Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition

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Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel and W.P. Heinrichs

The Encyclopaedia of Islam (Second Edition) Online sets out the present state of our knowledge of the Islamic World. It is a unique and invaluable reference tool, an essential key to understanding the world of Islam, and the authoritative source not only for the religion, but also for the believers and the countries in which they live. 

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Saʿd Wa-Naḥs

(351 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
(a.), literally, "the fortunate and the unfortunate". These concepts are based on the influence exerted by the planets and the signs of the Zodiac on earthly events. The astrologers describe the stars as being either . saʿd or naḥs . Thus Jupiter, Venus and the Moon are said to be saʿd, Saturn is naḥs and the Sun and Mercury are at times called one or the other. But this can vary as a function of their positions in the ecliptic and of their conjunctions (cf. Abū Maslama Muḥammad al-Mad̲j̲rīṭī, G̲h̲āyat al-ḥakīm , ed. H. Ritter, Leipzig 1933, 198 ff. = M. Plessner, Picatrix , London 1962, 209 ff.; L’ag…

al-Ṣafā

(1,023 words)

Author(s): Joel, B. | Braemer, F. | Macdonald, M.C.A.
(a.), literally “hard, smooth stone”, whence also “tract of stony ground”. 1. Al-Ṣafā is the name of a mound at Mecca ¶ which now rises barely above the level of the ground and which, together with the slightly higher, similar eminence of al-Marwa, plays an important role in the ceremonies or manāsik of the Meccan Pilgrimage. The names al-Ṣafā and al-Marwa (this last also sometimes qualified, e.g. by the local historian al-Azraḳī [ q.v.], as al-Bayḍāʾ “the white”) both mean “the stone(s)” (see al-Ṭabarī, Tafsīr , ad sūra II, 153/158). The twin hillocks mark …

Ṣafad

(2,045 words)

Author(s): Amitai-Preiss, R.
, a small city surrounding the ruins of a once impressive fortress in the hilly region of northern Palestine, 40 km east of ʿAkkā [ q.v.] and 20 km north of Ṭabariyya [ q.v.]. The fortress is situated at the summit of a hill ca. 840 m high, and enjoys a fine view of the surrounding area, including the Sea of Galilee to the east. In the Crusader period, Ṣafad was an important Templar stronghold; in the Mamlūk period it served as the capital of a province ( mamlaka ), while under the Ottomans it was the centre of a sand̲j̲aḳ [ q.v.]. Today it is the principal town of the upper Galilee region in th…

al-Ṣafadī

(290 words)

Author(s): Krenkow, F. | Little, D.P.
, al-Ḥasan b. Abī Muḥammad ʿAbd Allāḥ al-Hās̲h̲imī , appears to have been a minor government official during the early reign of the Egyptian Sulṭan al-Malik al-Nāṣir Muḥammad b. Ḳalāwūn [ q.v.]. In any event, we know that in the year 694/1294-5 he was appointed by the wazīr Ibn al-K̲h̲alīlī to head a mission to al-Fāḳūs in S̲h̲arḳiyya province charged with cultivating the crown lands there. While on this mission, al-Ṣafadī reports on a grisly case of cannibalism that he observed at first hand durin…

al-Ṣafadī

(2,000 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
, Ṣalāḥ al-Dīn K̲h̲alīl b. Aybak , Abu ’l-Ṣafāʾ al-Albakī (696-764/1297-1363), philologist, literary critic and littérateur, biographer, and all-round humanist. Ṣafad was his family’s home, and he was born there. His father, al-Amīr ʿIzz al-Dīn Aybak (b. ʿAbd Allāh!) was of Turkic origin; the nisba al-Albakī, after some mamlūk amīr named Albakī, seems to have belonged to him. From the apparent absence of any mention of him by his son, we may conclude that al-Ṣafadī considered him undistinguished. Relations with his father…

Ṣafaitic

(2,338 words)

Author(s): Macdonald, M.C.A.
is the modern name given to a group ¶ of graffiti in a North Arabian language, expressed in a variety of the South Semitic script. They are found mainly on rocks in the deserts of southern Syria, north-eastern Jordan and northern Saudi Arabia, with isolated finds in ʿIrāḳ, Lebanon and at Pompeii (see M.C.A. Macdonald in Syria, lxx [1993], 304-5 for references), and their distribution and content show that they were written almost exclusively by nomads. They are conventionally dated between the 1st century B.C. and the 4th century A.D. While the majority consist of the author’s name a…

Safāḳus

(1,962 words)

Author(s): Bachrouch, T.
, conventional European form SFAX, a town of Tunisia, on the eastern coast to the north of the Gulf of Gabès. The historical study of the towns of Tunisia poses a series of problems, the approaches to which are far from uniform, given the sparseness of information. The urban societies did not preserve the pieces of evidence, above all, the written ones, concerning their own past nor did they transmit them intact to us. Given these lacunae, stretching over a long period of centuries, historical information is necessarily laconic and disparate. There was nothing which destined Sfax to b…

Ṣafar

(210 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
, name of the second month of the Islamic year, also called Ṣ al-k̲h̲ayr or Ṣ al-muẓaffar because of its being considered to be unlucky (C. Snouck Hurgronje, The Atchehnese , i, 206; idem, Mekka , ii, 56). The Muslim Tigrē tribes pronounce the name S̲h̲afar, the Achehnese Thapa. According to Wellhausen, in the old Arabian year, Ṣafar comprised a period of two months in which al-Muḥarram (which name, according to this scholar is a Muslim innovation) was included. As a matter of fact, tradition reports that the early Arabians called al-Muḥarram Ṣafar and considered an ʿumra

Safar

(416 words)

Author(s): Peters, R.
, (a.) “journey”, “travel”. 1. In law. In Islamic law, travelling permits certain mitigations in the carrying out of ritual duties. This applies to three topics: 1. ritual purity: according to most schools, a traveller may extend the period during which he is allowed to perform the minor ritual ablution ( wuḍūʾ [ q.v.]) by rubbing his foot-covering instead of washing his feet, from one to three days; 2. ritual prayer ( ṣalāt [ q.v.]): a traveller is permitted to shorten ( ḳaṣr ) the ṣalāts with four rakʿa s [ q.v.], i.e. the ṣalāt al-ẓuhr , the ṣalāt al-ʿaṣr , and the ṣalāt al-ʿis̲h̲āʾ , to two rakʿas…

Ṣafar

(775 words)

Author(s): Shinar, P.
(common spelling, Sfar), Muḥammad al-Bas̲h̲īr a leading figure in the early Tunisian reformist (“evolutionist”) and Young Tunisian movements, of Turkish parentage (1865-1917). Born at Tūnis as the third son of Brigadier-General ( amīr liwāʾ ) Muṣṭafā Ṣafar, he received a strict education, attended first a Ḳurʾānic school and then the élitist Ṣādiḳī [ q.v.] College from its inception (1875). His excellent record won him the favour of its founder, K̲h̲ayr al-Dīn Pas̲h̲a [ q.v.] and a scholarship to Paris. Having lost it a year later owing to the diversion of the school…

Ṣafawids

(30,242 words)

Author(s): Savory, R.M. | Bruijn, J.T.P. de | Newman, A.J. | Welch, A.T. | Darley-Doran, R.E.
, a dynasty which ruled in Persia as “sovereigns 907-1135/1501-1722, as fainéants 1142-8/1729-36, and thereafter, existed as pretenders to the throne up to 1186/1773. I. Dynastic, political and military history. The establishment of the Ṣafawid state in 907/1501 by S̲h̲āh Ismāʿīl I [ q.v.] (initially ruler of Ād̲h̲arbāyd̲j̲ān only) marks an important turning-point in Persian history. In the first place, the Ṣafawids restored Persian sovereignty over the whole of the area traditionally regarded as the heartlands of Persia for the first ti…

Ṣafdār D̲j̲ang

(312 words)

Author(s): Barnett, R.B.
, Mīrzā Muḥammad Muḳīm Ṣafdār D̲j̲ang (“the Lion in War”) (1708-54) the second Nawwāb or ruler of the North Indian post-Mug̲h̲al successor state of Awadh [ q.v.] (Eng. Oudh) from 1739 until his death fifteen years later. Nephew, son-in-law, and successor to Saʿādat K̲h̲ān Burhān al-Mulk, and like him an immigrant to India from Nīs̲h̲āpūr, he expanded his territory in the Gangetic valley while retaining as much influence as possible within the declining Mug̲h̲al Empire. This was an era of political fragmentation, regional…

Ṣaff

(1,862 words)

Author(s): Bosworth, C.E. | Shinar, P.
(a.), pl. ṣufūf , literally “rank, row or line, company of men standing in a rank, row or line” (Lane, 1693 col. 3), a term with various usages. 1. In religious practice. Here, ṣaff is used for the lines of worshippers assembled in the mosque or elsewhere for the prescribed worship; see on This, ṣalāt . 2. In military organisation. In the traditional formation of armies on the march or on the battlefield ( taʿbiya ), there was a classic five-fold division of a centre, its left and right wings, a vanguard and a ¶ rearguard (whence the term k̲h̲amīs for an army). In actual…

al-Saffāḥ

(6 words)

[see abu ’l-ʿabbās ].

Ṣaffārids

(2,702 words)

Author(s): Bosworth, C.E.
, a dynasty of mediaeval eastern Persia which ruled 247-393/861-1003 in the province of Sid̲j̲istān or Sīstān [ q.v.], the region which now straddles the border between Iran and Afg̲h̲ānistān. The dynasty derived its name from the profession ¶ of coppersmith ( ṣaffār , rūygar ) of Yaʿḳūb b. al-Layt̲h̲. founder of the dynasty. Sīstān, on the far eastern periphery of the caliphal lands, had begun to slip away from direct ʿAbbāsid rule at the end of the 8th century, when K̲h̲urāsān and Sīstān were caught up in the great K̲h̲ārid̲j̲ite rebellion, led by Ḥamza b. Ād̲h̲arak (d. 213/828 [ q.v.]), whi…

al-Ṣāffāt

(350 words)

Author(s): Rippin, A.
(a.), the title of sūra XXXVII of the Ḳurʾān, and a word used three times in the text including at XXXVII, 1, where it is generally understood by the early tafsīr authorities to mean “(angels) standing in ranks” (and translated as “Celles qui sont en rangs” [R. Blachère], “Those who range themselves in ranks” [A. Yusuf Ali], and “Die in Reih und Glied stehen” [R. Paret]). The meaning is derived from the verb ṣaffa referring to camels (or military units) lined up in a row (for sacrifice, as in Ḳurʾān, XXII, 36, using the broken plural ṣawāff ). The sense of the terse oath phrase wa ’l-ṣāffāti ṣaffan

Ṣafī

(311 words)

Author(s): Hanaway, W.L.
, the by-name of Fak̲h̲r al-Dīn ʿAlī b. Ḥusayn Wāʿiẓ Kās̲h̲ifī (b. 21 D̲j̲umādā I 867/11 February 1463, d. 939/1532-3), author, preacher and prominent Naḳs̲h̲bandī Ṣūfī, and son of the famous Kamāl al-Dīn Ḥusayn Wāʿiẓ [see kās̲h̲ifī ]. Born in Sabzawār, he was brought up and educated in Harāt. His mother was the sister of D̲j̲āmī [ q.v.]. Among his early teachers were D̲j̲āmī and Raḍiyy al-Dīn ʿAbd al-G̲h̲afūr Lārī. He was early attracted by Naḳs̲h̲bandī ideas, and travelled to Samarḳand in 889/1484 and again in 893/1487-8 to study with K̲h̲wād̲j̲a ʿUbayd Allāh Aḥrār [ q.v. in Suppl.], ch…

Ṣafī al-Dīn ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz b. Sarāyā al-Ḥillī

(4,310 words)

Author(s): Heinrichs, W.P.
al-Ṭāʾī al-Sinbisī, Abu ’l-Maḥāsin (b. 5 Rabīʿ II 677/26 August 1278 [according to al-Ṣafadī, Wāfī , xviii, 482, 6-7, and most other sources] ¶ or D̲j̲umādā II, 678/Oct.-Nov. 1279 [according to al-Birzālī (d. 739/1339; q.v.) who claims to have received this information from al-Ḥillī himself, see Ḥuwwar, 20], d. probably 749/1348), the most famous Arab poet of the 8th century A.H. In spite of his fame, information about his life is rather scarce; even the year of his death is variously given (see Bosworth, Underworld , i, 138, n. 26). Born in al-Ḥilla [ q.v.], a centre of S̲h̲īʿī learning…

Ṣafī al-Dīn Audabīlī

(1,044 words)

Author(s): Babinger, Fr. | Savory, R.M.
, S̲h̲ayk̲h̲ Abu ’l-Fatḥ Isḥāḳ, son of Amīn al-Dīn D̲j̲ibrāʾīl and Dawlatī, born 650/1252-3, died 12 Muḥarram 735/12 September 1334 at Ardabīl [ q.v.], eponymous founder of the Ṣafawid Order of Ṣūfīs and hence of the Ṣafawid dynasty, rulers of Persia 907-1148/1501-1736 [see ṣafawids ]. Traditional hagiographical accounts depict Ṣafī al-Dīn as being destined for future greatness from infancy. As a boy, he spent his time in religious exercises, experienced visions involving angelic beings, and was visited by the abdāl and awtād [ q.vv.]. As he grew up, he could find no murs̲h̲id
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