Encyclopaedia Islamica

Get access Subject: Middle East And Islamic Studies
Edited by: Farhad Daftary and Wilferd Madelung

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Encyclopaedia Islamica Online is based on the abridged and edited translation of the Persian Dāʾirat al-Maʿārif-i Buzurg-i Islāmī, one of the most comprehensive sources on Islam and the Muslim world. A unique feature of the Encyclopaedia Islamica Online lies in the attention given to Shiʿi Islam and its rich and diverse heritage. In addition to providing entries on important themes, subjects and personages in Islam generally, Encyclopaedia Islamica Online offers the Western reader an opportunity to appreciate the various dimensions of Shiʿi Islam, the Persian contribution to Islamic civilization, and the spiritual dimensions of the Islamic tradition.

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(21,761 words)

Author(s): Bagher, Ali Rez | Waley, M. I. | Harris, Russell
(in Arabic, al-Qāhira), capital of the Arab Republic of Egypt, and one of the largest and most important cities of the Muslim world as well as in the continent of Africa. The city is situated 23 metres above sea level, at latitude 30°6’ N. and longitude 31°26’ E., on both banks of the River Nile and along the delta extending south from the foot of the Muqattam Hills (Jabal al-Muqaṭṭam) (Rogers, 4/424; see Governorate of Cairo website). Origins Before becoming part of the Islamic world, the area where Cairo now stands passed through a number of historical phases. Recent ar…


(22,443 words)

Author(s): Karamati, Younes | Negahban, Farzin | Pakatchi, Ahmad | Poor, Daryoush Mohammad
( ta⁠ʾrīkh or taqwīm), this article will deal with the term calendar as the annual system of keeping time with regard to the division of the year into twelve months. According to the common usage of the word in the English language, the term calendar refers to a record or list containing the days and months of the year (hence a year book or daftar al-sana). The Arabic word taqwīm, also a loan word in Persian, is used with reference to the latter connotation while the word calendar in its former meaning lacks a precise equivalent in either Persian or Arabic. In modern Persian or Arabic the word taqwīm


(36,107 words)

Author(s): Pakatchi, Ahmad | Asatryan, Mushegh | Ahmadi, Abuzar
( khilāfa), a central religio-political institution in Islamic history. As a concept, it has its roots in the Qurʾān, especially those verses in which the caliphates of Adam and David are mentioned. In addition to its Qurʾānic denotation and usage for prophets and their successors, the term is employed in other uses in the Shiʿi and Sunni schools of thought, as well as in the mystical and philosophical traditions of Islam. This article explores the various and complex ways in which the concept of…


(34,553 words)

Author(s): Waley, M. I. | Semsar, Mohammad Hassan | Tehrani, Hamid | Afsari, Hamid Rez | Abbas, Najam | Et al.
1. Calligraphy in the Arab World Through the spread of the Arab people a new language and alphabet found their way to a large area of the world, from Spain to Turkistan, along with a new religious dispensation. This article considers the art of handwriting, as distinct from details of the history of Arabic writing systems. The Arabic letters readily lend themselves to a wide variety of expressive forms, not only in manuscripts and other written documents but also in architectural and other inscription…

Carpets and Carpet-Making

(22,304 words)

Author(s): Parham, Cyrus | Asatryan, Mushegh
1. Types of Hand-Woven Carpets Knotted Carpets Qālī Kilims Zīlū 2. Carpet-Weaving before Islam Non-Textile Specimens and Documents The Earliest Known Carpet-Weaving The Pazyryk Carpet: Significance Sāsānid Carpets The Bahāristān Carpet Kilims and Zīlū 3. Carpet-Weaving during the Islamic Period up to the 9th/15th Century The Early Islamic Centuries The Mid-Islamic Centuries Early- and Middle-Islamic Written Sources 4. The Golden Age of Carpet-Weaving The Ardabīl Carpets The Salting Carpet Carpets in Persian Miniature Paintings Centres of Persian Carpet Production The Globa…


(12,650 words)

Author(s): Sajjadi, Sadeq | Esots, Janis
( al-maqūlāt, the Arabic term used by Isḥāq b. Ḥunayn to translate the Greek Κατηγορίαι, Arabicised as Qāṭīghūriyās), a work on the classification of predicates, which was the title of the first book in a group of writings by Aristotle known collectively as the Organon. The word was also used by Muslim authors as a title for works on the same subject, i.e. the classification of the predicates of an existent, which must be known in order for its quiddity to be understood. According to Aristotle, categories are both the ways we think about …


(10,974 words)

Author(s): Esots, Janis
(Arabic ʿilliyya, from ʿalla ‘to cause’; ʿilla ‘cause’; cf. Greek aitiologia, from aition), a relationship between two or more affairs (things, beings or events), some of which relate to the other as cause to effect; one of the central issues of metaphysics (Aristotle, Metaphysics, 983a23–24) that plays a crucial role in the process of knowledge (Rizvi, 573). In classical Islamic thought, a cause is typically defined as that on which a thing depends, in terms of its quiddity or its existence (Jurjānī, 160), and an effect, as that which d…