Encyclopaedia Islamica

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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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Ḥabīb al-ʿAjamī

(1,790 words)

Author(s): Nahid Ashraf Vaghefi | Translated by Alexander Khaleeli
Ḥabīb al-ʿAjamī (d. in the early to mid 2nd/8th century), also known as Ḥabīb al-Farsī, was a Persian Sufi. While his epithet ‘al-ʿAjamī’ (‘one who is illiterate in Arabic’) appears to signify Persian origins, some biographical sources state that he was given this epithet because he was unable, at least initially, to recite the Qurʾān properly (see ʿAṭṭār, 60; Field, 81, 85).His full name is Abū Muḥammad Ḥabīb b. Muḥammad b. ʿĪsā. Regarded as one of the earliest Sufi masters, Ḥabīb was a well-known ascetic in Baṣra towards the end of the 1st/7th centur…
Date: 2023-11-10

Ḥabīb Allāh Rashtī

(1,579 words)

Author(s): Faramarz Haj Manouchehri | Translated by Alexander Khaleeli
Ḥabīb Allāh Rashtī (1234–1312/1819–1894), an Uṣūlī jurist and a prominent student and propagator of the jurisprudence of Shaykh Murtaḍā al-Anṣārī (d. 1281/1864). His family were originally from the Siyāh Manṣūrī Kurdish tribe who, during the reign of the Ṣafawid Shāh ʿAbbās I (r. 995–1038/1587–1629), were settled in Amlash, Gīlān in the north of Iran. Ḥabīb Allāh’s grandfather, Jahāngīr Khān Qūchānī Gīlānī, was a notable scholar in his time (Amlashī, 34–35; al-Amīn, 4/559; Muẓaffarī, 26).BiographyMīrzā Ḥabīb Allāh completed his initial seminary studies in the city o…
Date: 2023-11-10

Ḥabīb b. Maslama

(1,989 words)

Author(s): Bahramian, Ali | Translated by Alexander Khaleeli
Ḥabīb b. Maslama, Abū ʿAbd al-Raḥmān (d. ca. 42/662), a famous Muslim military commander from the first half of the 1st/7th century. His genealogy can be traced to Banū Muḥārib b. Fihr, an offshoot of the larger Quraysh tribe, and he is sometimes given the nisba al-Fihrī (al-Kalbī, 119–120; al-Zubayrī, 447; al-Balādhurī, Ansāb, 11/56; for the different kunyas he is given, see Ibn ʿAsākir, 12/62; Ibn Ḥajar, 2/190).          According to surviving historical accounts, Ḥabīb’s first activities appear to be connected to the conquests ( futūḥāt) that took place during the caliphate…
Date: 2023-11-10

Ḥabīb b. Muẓāhir

(1,711 words)

Author(s): Mas‘ud Habibi Mazaheri | Translated by Alexander Khaleeli
Ḥabīb b. Muẓāhir (d. 10 Muḥarram 61/10 October 680), a prominent Shiʿi figure in Kūfa during the first half of the 1st/7th century, a companion of Imams ʿAlī, al-Ḥasan, and al-Ḥusayn, and one of the martyrs of Karbalāʾ.Ḥabīb b. Muẓāhir was a member of the Banū Asad tribe. In sources, he is sometimes  given the nisba ‘al-Asadī’, although ‘al-Faqʿasī’ (indicating descent from Banū Faqʿas), is also used. His lineage is given as Ḥabīb b. Muẓahhar b. Riʾāb b. al-Ashtar of Banū Faqʿas (al-Kalbī, 170). There is disagreement in the primary sources on t…
Date: 2023-11-10


(1,135 words)

Author(s): Ali Katebi | Translated by Alexander Khaleeli
Ḥabībī, (lit. ‘beloved’) a nom de plume ( takhalluṣ) shared by two Persian-speaking poets.1. Ḥabībī Bargushādī, an Ādharbāyjānī poet (late 9th/15th and early 10th/16th century). He was born in the village of Bargushād (Bərgüşad), in the Ujar Rayon of Ādharbāyjān (Dawlatābādī, 169). Ṣabā erroneously renders ‘Ḥabībī’ as ‘Jayshī’, and claims he was an ethnic Turk ( Tadhkira, 187); and Tarbiyat ( Dānishmandān, 102) proposes Turkoman origins. However Sāmī considers Ḥabībī to have been of Tājīk (Persian) origin ( Qāmūs, 3/1927).Sām Mīrzā Ṣafawī (pp. 357–358) describes Ḥabībī’s …
Date: 2023-11-10

Ḥabīb Iṣfahānī

(2,660 words)

Author(s): Ali Miransari | Translated by Alexander Khaleeli
Ḥabīb Iṣfahānī, Mīrzā, also known as Ḥabīb Allāh Iṣfahānī (1251–1310/1835–1893), an Iranian poet, man of letters, grammarian and translator. He was regarded as one of the pioneers of literary modernisation ( tajaddud-i adabī) in Iran.He was born in the village of Bin in Chahār Maḥāl wa Bakhtiyārī province and received his primary education in Bin, before continuing his studies in Iṣfahān. He then set off for Tehran where he completed his education. Some time around 1279/1862 he went to Baghdad, where he lived for four years and studied Islamic jurisprudence ( fiqh) and Arabic literatu…
Date: 2023-11-10

Ḥabīb Khurāsānī

(1,584 words)

Author(s): Daadbeh, Nahid | Translated by Alexander Khaleeli
Ḥabīb Khurāsānī (1266–1327/1850–1909), a Twelver Shiʿi jurist, mystic and poet. Ḥabīb was born on 9 Jumādā I 1266/23 March 1850 in Mashhad, the son of Ḥājj Mīrzā Hāshim and the great-grandson of Mīrzā Muḥammad Mahdī Khurāsānī (d. 1218/1803), who was known as ‘Shahīd-i Thālith’ (the Third Martyr) (Bāmdād, 6/76; Yūsufī, 339 see also Sādāt Nāṣirī, 1/287–288). His full name, Ḥabīb Allāh Shahīdī, contains an allusion to the honorific title of his great-grandfather (Badāyiʿ-nigār, 16; for h…
Date: 2023-11-10

Ḥābis al-Ṣaʿdī

(1,423 words)

Author(s): Kashian, Iran-naz | Translated by Farshid Kazemi
Ḥābis al-Ṣaʿdī, Shams al-Dīn Aḥmad b. Yaḥyā b. Aḥmad b. Ḥābis (d. 1061/1651) was a Zaydī jurist ( faqīh), theologian ( mutakallim) and judge ( qāḍī) in Yemen. His date of birth is not mentioned in the sources, but since he wrote a commentary on al-Takmila li al-aḥkām in 1019/1610 when he was aged 18, his birth can be dated to ca. 1001/1593 (Ibn Abī al-Rijāl, 1/510–511; see below).Ḥābis was born in Ṣaʿda (near Ṣanʿāʾ) into a learned family from the clan of Banū Ḥābis, one of the branches of the Banū al-Dawwārī, hence he was called al-Dawwārī. Ḥābis’s father w…
Date: 2023-11-10


(2,224 words)

Author(s): Tavallaei, Ali | Translated by Alexander Khaleeli
Ḥabs, a legal term that is generally synonymous with waqf except in Twelver Shiʿi jurisprudence. It has widest use in the sense of waqf among Mālikī jurists. Ḥabs is a verbal noun with the literal meaning of ‘to withhold, restrict, detain’, and is the opposite of takhliya (‘granting unrestricted access’) (al-Jawharī, 3/915; Ibn Manẓūr, 6/44). In modern usage, the term ḥubs or ḥubus (especially in North Africa, and Fr. habous) is used to signify a pious endowment, while ḥabs tends to refer to the act of sequestration or detaining, but in the early period of Islam such a d…
Date: 2023-11-10

Ḥabsiyya poetry

(4,772 words)

Author(s): Nourian, Mahdi | Translated by Alexander Khaleeli
Ḥabsiyya poetry or ḥabsiyya-sarāʾī, a thematic designation in Persian poetry composed by an imprisoned poet, the content of which describes the conditions of his incarceration and his hardships. The word ‘ ḥabsiyya’ is derived from the Arabic root ḥ-b-s, meaning ‘to detain’, and originally functioned as an adjective to describe a type of qaṣīda.The oldest surviving reference to this term is found in Niẓāmī ʿArūḍī’s (flor. 6th/12th century) Chahār-maqāla, where he employs it in the plural form (‘ ḥabsiyyāt’) to refer to compositions by Masʿūd-i Saʿd-i Salmān (ca. 440–515…
Date: 2023-11-10


(1,796 words)

Author(s): Qasem Mehr Alizadeh | Translated by Alexander Khaleeli
Ḥabwa (lit. ‘gift’), a legal term unique to Twelver Shiʿi jurisprudence that is dealt with as a subcategory of farāʾiḍ (dues) or irth (inheritance). The Arabic word ḥabwa literally means a ‘gift’ or ‘award’ (Ibn Manẓūr, 14/162; al-Fīrūzābādī, 4/341; al-Ṭurayḥī, 1/94–95), and is understood to mean specific assets which are only given to the eldest son from his father’s inheritance, before the remainder of the estate is shared out (al-Ḥusaynī al-ʿĀmilī, 8/134 ff.; Narāqī, 19/201; al-Shahīd al-Thānī, al-Rawḍa, 2/310 ff.). Some jurists consider ḥabwa in its literal meaning as a g…
Date: 2023-11-10

Ḥadāʾiq al-siḥr fī daqāʾiq al-shiʿr

(1,250 words)

Author(s): Farshid Sadatsharifi | Translated by Farshid Kazemi
Ḥadāʾiq al-siḥr fī daqāʾiq al-shiʿr (‘Gardens of Magic in the Subtleties of Poetry’) is the second earliest surviving treatise on the art of badīʿ (‘figures of speech’) in Persian poetry. It was written by Rashīd al-Dīn Muḥammad b. Muḥammad ʿUmarī (d. 578/1182), better known as Rashīd al-Dīn Waṭwāṭ, a high-ranking official of the court of the Khwārazmshāhs. Ḥadāʾiq al-siḥr was considered as the earliest extant treatise in Persian on the poetics of rhetoric until the discovery by Ahmed Ateş of a manuscript of Muḥammad b. ʿUmar al-Rādūyānī’s Tarjumān al-balāgha (‘The Interpreter of …
Date: 2023-11-10

Ḥādhiqa Harawī

(645 words)

Author(s): Dodangeh, Soghra | Translated by Alexander Khaleeli
Ḥādhiqa Harawī, a modern Afghan poetess. Her given name was Kishwar, and Ḥādhiqa was her nom de plume ( takhalluṣ). She was born in Herat on 25th Muḥarram 1340/28 September 1921 (Hidāyat, 1/362; Shāh Ḥusaynī, 418; Muhājir, 699; Mushīr Salīmī, 3/106). At the age of seven, Ḥādhiqa attended junior school ( dabistān), and after completing her primary education, continued her studies while at the same time learning Persian, Arabic and English from her father, Muḥammad ʿUthmān, who was a great lover of art and literature (see Shāh Ḥusaynī, 418).As well as learning jurisprudence, legal th…
Date: 2023-11-10

Ḥādhiq, Junayd Allāh

(1,055 words)

Author(s): Mulloahmadov, Mirzo | Translated by Alexander Khaleeli
  Ḥādhiq, Junayd Allāh (d. 1259/1844) was a 13th/19th century Tajik poet and physician. He was born in the village of Karkh, near Herat (Amīrqūlūf, 7). In 1216/1801 he went to Bukhārā, where he studied in the Madrasa-yi ʿĀlī (ʿAynī, 131; Maʿṣūmī, 1/43; Amīrqūlūf, 7–8). While he was studying, Ḥādhiq caught the attention of the emir of Bukhārā, Ḥaydar b. Shāh Murād (r. 1215–1242/1800–1826) and, upon the conclusion of his studies, was given the position of teacher in the same madrasa. From there he gained admission to Ḥaydar’s court (Amīrqūlūf, 8). However, because he was a …
Date: 2023-11-10

Ḥadīqat al-ḥaqīqa

(3,595 words)

Author(s): Daadbeh, Asghar | Ahmadi, Jamal | Khaleeli, Alexander
Ḥadīqat al-ḥaqīqa (‘The Walled Garden of Reality’), is the earliest known example of a New Persian mystical didactic poem in the mathnawī (rhyming couplets) form. It is the last, and most influential, work by Abū al-Majd Majdūd b. Ādam Ghaznawī (467–529/1075–1134), known as Sanāʾī, a native of the city of Ghazna (Ghazni) in present-day Afghanistan. The full title of the poem is Ḥadīqat al-ḥaqīqa wa sharīʿat al-ṭarīqa (‘The Walled Garden of Ultimate Truth, and the Sacred Law on the Spiritual Path’.Before the Ḥadīqa, mathnawīs were either narrative or lyric poems. By employing …
Date: 2023-11-10


(37,889 words)

Author(s): Ahmad Pakatchi | Translated by Alexander Khaleeli
Ḥadīth (‘tradition’, pl. aḥādīth), an Islamic technical term that denotes a saying or an account of actions, manners, or tacit approval attributed to the Prophet, or in Twelver Shiʿi Islam additionally to any one of those deemed ‘Infallible’ ( maʿṣūm), namely Fāṭima (q.v.) and the twelve Imams. Together with the Prophet, these personages are referred to as the ‘Fourteen Infallibles’. Over the course of fourteen centuries of Islamic history, the ḥadīth have played an axial role, alongside the Qurʾān, in the development of religious law ( sharīʿa) at the hands of the jurists ( fuqahāʾ  ), …
Date: 2023-11-10

Ḥadīth Qudsī 

(1,637 words)

Author(s): Faramarz Haj Manouchehri | Translated by Alexander Khaleeli
Ḥadīth Qudsī (also ḥadīth ilāhī and ḥadīth rabbānī; lit. ‘holy speech’ or ‘holy tradition’), a subset of traditions (sgl. ḥadīth) where the speaker is God, in contradistinction to ḥadīth al-nabawī, where the speaker is the Prophet. The delivery of ḥadīth qudsī resembles that of Qurʾānic verses, namely, where the Prophet is the transmitter of God’s message. This, understandably, leads to confusion: are ḥadīth qudsī equivalent to the Qurʾān? A distinction drawn by ʿulamāʾ is that the Qurʾān is God’s ‘manifest revelation’ ( waḥy ẓāhir) conveyed by the Archangel Gabriel to the Pr…
Date: 2023-11-10


(40,510 words)

Author(s): Sadeq Sajjadi | Ahmad Pakatchi | Shamisa, Sirus | Ali A. Bulookbashi | Daadbeh, Asghar | Et al.
Ḥāfiẓ, Shams al-Dīn Muḥammad of Shīrāz (d. ca. 791/1389), a world-renowned Persian lyrical poet, is universally regarded as one of the greatest exponents of the ghazal form. Among the most distinctive features of the poetry of Ḥāfiẓ is his exploration of mystical themes, often ambiguously couched in the language of worldly love and carousing; his espousal of the values of the Malāmatī Sufis, who actively sought public disapproval as a safeguard against ostentatious piety and hypocrisy; his exquisite sensibility as…
Date: 2023-11-10

Ḥāfiẓa in Islamic Philosophy and Mysticism

(2,200 words)

Author(s): Masoud Tareh | Translated by Alexander Khaleeli
Ḥāfiẓa in Islamic Philosophy and Mysticism. In Islamic philosophy, ḥāfiẓa (‘memory’) refers to the faculty of the soul which is a repository for the meanings/intentions ( maʿānī) which the inner senses ( ḥawāss) receive from the faculty of estimation ( wahm) in both humans and animals (Ibn Sīnā, al-Shifāʾ, 148–149).In the Islamic intellectual tradition, the words dhākira (‘recollection’, see idem, al-Najāh, 2/100), mudhakkira and mutadhakkira (both ‘recollection’), mustarjiʿa (‘recall’) (Ibn Sīnā, al-Qānūn, 1/72; Jurjānī, 142), and taḥaffuẓ (‘retention’, see Naṣīr al…
Date: 2023-11-10

Ḥāfiẓ-i Abrū

(6,554 words)

Author(s): Ali Al-i Davud | Translated by Alexander Khaleeli
Ḥāfiẓ-i Abrū (the sobriquet by which he was known), ʿAbd Allāh (or Nūr Allāh) b. Luṭf Allāh b. ʿAbd al-Rashīd Bihdādīnī (also Harawī or Khwāfī), was one of the foremost and most prolific historians of the later medieval Iranian world (ca. 763–d. Shawwāl 833/1362–d. June 1430). He produced a series of continuations of the works of other historians to provide a continuous history up to his own day. He wrote a chronology of recent history and also wrote a geography, which is of importance because it consists mainly of a series of local histories. He was also a boon companion ( nad īm) to Tīmūr/Tem…
Date: 2023-11-10
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