Encyclopaedia Islamica

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

Help us improve our service

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.

Subscriptions: see Brill.com

Epic (ḥamāsa)

(4,719 words)

Author(s): Hamidreza Shayganfar | Translated by Abuzar Ahmadi
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: 2021-06-17


(7,369 words)

Author(s): Enayatollah Reza | Translated by Keven Brown
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 n…
Date: 2021-06-17


(9,675 words)

Author(s): Janis Esots
Eschatology ( ʿilm al-maʿ ā d
Date: 2021-06-17


(36,109 words)

Author(s): Gholamreza Avani | M.I. Waley | Translated by Alexander Khaleeli | Ahmad Pakatchi | Khaleeli, Alexander
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.…
Date: 2021-06-17


(6,564 words)

Author(s): Alireza Djafari Naini | Muhammad Ali Mowlavi | Translated by Pouyan Shahidi Marnani
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: 2021-06-17