Encyclopaedia Islamica

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

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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Epic (ḥamāsa)

(4,721 words)

Author(s): Hamidreza Shayganfar
Epic (ḥamāsa) in Persian literature refers to a type of heroic poetry and prose writing. Although in earlier times the epic was not viewed as a distinct genre and was classified as a form of mathnawī, modern Iranian scholars have coined the term ‘ ḥamāsa-sarāʾī’ (‘heroic poetry’) to designate it. The term ḥamāsa stems from the Arabic root ḥ-m-s, meaning ‘enthusiasm’, ‘zeal’ or ‘valour’, and was used in Arabic literature to refer to poetry, especially qaṣīdas, that described tribal achievements. Persian epics, on the other hand, were produced in a lengthy series of rhy…
Date: 2018-09-19


(7,369 words)

Author(s): Enayatollah Reza
Erzerum, the name of a province in northeastern Turkey, whose administrative capital is a city bearing the same name. This region, which the Armenians still call Karin, was part of Greater Armenia, and in some sources it is also given as Karana and Karnoi (Կարնո քաղաք Moses of Khoren [Movses Khorenatsi], 201; Pauly, 59/1924; Darkot, 341). In Armenian it can also be called Karnoi Kalak, and is also recorded as Kalak or Kalghak. According to Uzunçarşılı (p. 145, marginal notes no. 18 see also Biva…
Date: 2018-09-19


(9,675 words)

Author(s): Janis Esots
Eschatology ( ʿilm al-maʿ ā d), religious teaching about the end of the created world and its return to the Creator. In Islam, the Qurʾān and ḥad ī th provide the outline of the stages and/or landmarks of this process, the most important of which are the grave ( al-qabr), the rising ( al-qiy ā ma), the gathering ( al-ḥashr), the questioning ( al-suʾ ā l), the path ( al-ṣir ā ), the garden ( al-janna), the fire ( al-n ā r), and the ramparts ( al-aʿr ā ). Both the resurrection and its landmarks are interpreted in multiple, sometimes incompatible, ways by different currents of Isla…
Date: 2018-09-19


(36,082 words)

Author(s): part 1: Gholamreza Avani | with an addition by M.I. Waley | Part 2 and 3: Ahmad Pakatchi
Ethics ( akhlāq) is the branch of the humanities that investigates the value of human character traits and actions. This discipline is not concerned with a historical enquiry into the character and behaviour of human beings, and it does not attempt to establish the natural causes and reasons for their emergence and existence. Rather, it studies them insofar as they occupy a particular position in a system of moral values.As collections of values that offer prescriptions for developing good character traits and performing virtuous acts, and for avoiding bad traits…
Date: 2018-09-19


(6,566 words)

Author(s): Alireza Djafari Naini | Muhammad Ali Mowlavi
Euclid (Lat: Euclides, Ar: Uqlīdis), is the most celebrated mathematician of the pre-modern era, whose fame as the father of geometry still endures. Nothing is known about his birthplace or education, and only two general facts are commonly agreed: firstly, that he lived sometime after the time of Plato (d. 347 BCE) and was working before Archimedes (b. ca. 287 BCE); and secondly, that he taught in Alexandria, which was founded by Alexander in 332 BCE. What we know about Euclid’s life has come do…
Date: 2018-09-19