Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition

Get access Subject: Middle East and Islamic Studies
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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Ṣafī al-Dīn al-Urmawī

(2,377 words)

Author(s): Neubauer, E.
, ʿAbd al-Muʾmin b. Yūsuf b. Fāk̲h̲ir al-Urmawī al-Bag̲h̲dādī (Ṣūfī al-Dīn in some Ottoman sources), renowned musician and writer on the theory of music, was born ca. 613/1216, probably in Urmiya. He died in Bag̲h̲dād on 28 Ṣafar 693/28 January 1294, at the age of ca. 80 (Ibn al-Fuwaṭī, al-Ḥawādit̲h̲ al-d̲j̲āmiʿa , 480). The sources are silent about the ethnic origin of his family. He may have been of Persian descent (Ḳuṭb al-Dīn S̲h̲īrāzī [ q.v.] calls him afḍal-i Īrān ). In his youth, Ṣafī al-Dīn went to Bag̲h̲dād. Well-educated in Arabic language, l…

Safīd Kūh

(222 words)

Author(s): Bosworth, C.E.
(p.), in Pas̲h̲to Spīn G̲h̲ar (“The White Mountain”), the name of a mountain range falling mainly in eastern Afghānistān. According to Bābur, it derives its name from its perpetual covering of snow; from its northern slopes, nine rivers run down to the Kābul River ( Bābur-nāma , tr. Beveridge, 209, cf. Appx. E, pp. xvii-xxiii). The Safīd Kūh, with its outliers, runs from a point to the east of G̲h̲azna [ q.v.] in a northeasterly and then easterly direction almost to Attock [see atak ] on the Indus (approx. between longs. 68° 40′ E. an…

Safīd Rūd

(273 words)

Author(s): Bosworth, C.E.
(p.) “White River”, a river system of northwestern Persia draining the southeastern part of Ād̲h̲arbayd̲j̲ān and what was, in mediaeval Islamic times, the region of Daylam [ q.v.]. The geographers of the 4th/10th century already called it the Sabīd/Sapīd̲h̲ Rūd̲h̲, and Ḥamd Allāh Mustawfī (8th/14th century) clearly applies it to the whole system. In more recent times, however, the name tends to be restricted to that part of the system after it has been formed from the confluence at Mard̲j̲il of its two great ¶ affluents, the Ḳi̊zi̊l Üzen [ q.v.] coming in from the left and the S̲h̲āh…


(4,475 words)

Author(s): Kindermann, H. | Bosworth, C.E. | Ed. | G. Oman
(a. pls. sufun , safāʾin , safīn ), a word used in Arabic from pre-Islamic times onwards for ship. Seamanship and navigation are in general dealt with in milāḥa , and the present article, after dealing with the question of knowledge of the sea and ships in Arabia at the time of the birth of Islam, not covered in milāḥa, will be confined to a consideration of sea and river craft. 1. In the pre-modern period. (a) Pre-Islamic and early Islamic aspects. The most general word for “ship” in early Arabic usage was markab “conveyance”, used, however, …

Ṣafī (pl. safāyā), Ṣawāfī

(2,831 words)

Author(s): Lambton, A.K.S.
(a.), two terms of mediaeval Islamic finance and land tenure. The first denotes special items consisting of immoveable property selected from booty by the leader [see fayʾ and g̲h̲anīma ], while the second is the term for land which the Imām selects from the conquered territories for the treasury with the consent of those who had a share in the booty (al-Māwardī, al-Aḥkām al-sulṭāniyya , Cairo 1966, 192). In pre-Islamic Arabia the leader was also entitled to one-fourth ( rubʿ ) or onefifth ( k̲h̲ums ) of the booty in addition to the ṣafī . The custom of k̲h̲ums was upheld by the prophet and …


(4,663 words)

Author(s): Kohlberg, E. | Ayalon, A. | Viguera, M.J. | K.A. Nizami
(a., “ambassador”, “messenger”). 1. In S̲h̲īʿism. Here, this is a term used to refer to the deputies of the twelfth imām during the Lesser Occultation (260-329/874-941) [see g̲h̲ayba ]; there were four such deputies. The doctrine that the hidden imām is represented by a deputy appears to have taken shape in the circles of the Nawbak̲h̲t family [ q.v.], whose members played a prominent role in the ʿAbbāsid court in the early 4th/10th century. According to a recent study, it was Ibn Rawḥ (Rūḥ) al-Nawbak̲h̲tī [ q.v.], regarded by the Twelver S̲h̲īʿīs as the third safīr ,…


(1,702 words)

Author(s): Elisséeff, N.
, a place in western Syria, situated in the D̲j̲abal Bahrāʾ region. This last becomes lower as it falls southwards, with a large gap commanded to the north by Ṣāfīt̲h̲a and Ḥiṣn al-Akrād [ q.v.] and to the south by ʿAkkār and ʿIrḳa [ q.vv.]. The mountains of the ʿAlawīs fall southwards into the Ṣāfīt̲h̲a depression. Ṣāfīt̲h̲a was the ’Αργυρόκστρων of Byzantine authors, Castrum Album or Chastel Blanc of the ¶ Latin ones, and is the main place in the district, with its fortress called in Arabic texts Burd̲j̲ Ṣāfit̲h̲a; this last lies to the eas…


(734 words)

Author(s): Vacca, V. | Roded, Ruth
bt. Ḥuyayy b. Ak̲h̲ṭab . Muḥammad’s eleventh wife, was born in Medina and belonged to the Jewish tribe of the Banu ’l-Naḍīr [see al-naḍīr ]; her mother Barra bt. Samawʾal, the sister of Rifaʿa b. Samawʾal, was of the Banū Ḳurayẓa [ q.v.]. Her father and her uncle Abū Yāsir were among the Prophet’s most bitter enemies. When their tribe was expelled from Medina in 4 A.H., Ḥuyayy b. Ak̲h̲ṭab was one of those who settled in K̲h̲aybar [ q.v.], together with Kināna b. al-Rabīʿ, to whom Ṣafiyya was married at the end of 6 or early in 7 A.H.; her age at this time was about 17. The…

Ṣafi̇yye Wāli̇de Sulṭān

(432 words)

Author(s): Balim, Çİğdem
(Cecilia Baffo), Ottoman queen mother, born in Venice in 1550, died in 1014/1605. ¶ The daughter of the Italian Baffo, governor of Corfu, when she was fourteen years old, while travelling between Venice and Corfu on the Adriatic Sea, she was captured by Ottoman pirates. On account of her beauty, she was taken to the palace of prince Murād, grandson of Süleymān and governor of the sand̲j̲aḳ of Manisa. In the Manisa palace, she became a Muslim, learned Turkish and was trained in palace manners. In 972/1565, she was presented to Murād, She g…


(307 words)

Author(s): Izzi Dien, Mawil Y.
(a), a term of Islamic law meaning literally, “striking hands together”. The parallel root ś-f / p-ḳ (and in other places, more correctly, s-f / p-ḳ ) is found in Biblical Hebrew, cf. Isa. ii. 6 “they strike hands with foreigners”. Ṣafḳa is a non-Ḳurʾānic word, but taṣdiya is found in sūra VIII, 35, with a comparable meaning. Technically, safḳa has come to mean the ratification of a commercial contract, a formal, symbolic act for concluding a contract which has been disregarded in practice by Islamic law. Striking hands together, although associated with sale ( bayʿ ), should be designated ṣaf…

Ṣafwān b. Idrīs

(823 words)

Author(s): Fierro, Maribel
b. Ibrāhīm b. ʿAbd al-Raḥmān b. ʿĪsā b. Idrīs al-Tud̲j̲ībī al-Mursī al-Kātib, Abū Baḥr (560-98/1164-1201), poet and scholar of Muslim Spain. He was born in Murcia when the town was ruled by Ibn Mardanīs̲h̲ (d. 567/1172), but the major part of his life witnessed Almohad times (see the studies of Gaspar Remiro and Guichard about the history of Murcia under Almohad rule). He belonged to an important family of the town, the Banū Idrīs, some of whom were judges. Ṣafwān gives information on them in his Zād al-musāfir (152-7). He studied with his father and his relative, the ḳāḍī

Ṣafwān b. al-Muʿaṭṭal

(713 words)

Author(s): Juynboll, G.H.A.
(the fatḥa of the is confirmed in Ibn Durayd, Is̲h̲tiḳāḳ , ed. Hārūn, 310; occasionally wrongly al-Muʿaṭṭil), from the tribe of Sulaym, was a Companion of the Prophet Muḥammad. His year of birth does not seem to be recorded, and he is mentioned as having died a martyr’s death during the Arabs’ conquest of Armīniya in 17/638 (cf. Ṭabarī, i, 2506) or 19/640 (cf. Ibn Ḥad̲j̲ar, Iṣāba , iii, 441). Other reports have it that he met his death at a much later date in the year 59/679 (cf. K̲h̲alīfa, Taʾrīk̲h̲ , ed. A.D. al-ʿUmarī, 226-7) or ¶ 60/680 in S̲h̲ims̲h̲āṭ in the D̲j̲azīra (cf. Ibn al-D̲j̲awzī. Munt…

Ṣafwān b. Ṣafwān al-Anṣārī

(750 words)

Author(s): Heinrichs, W.P.
, Arab poet of the 2nd-3rd centuries A.H. known for his ideological poetry in support of the Muʿtazila [ q.v.]. Al-D̲j̲āḥiẓ [ q.v.] is the only source for the few bits of information on his life and the sparse samples from his poetry that we have. The biographical snippets show him in Multān at the court of the governor of Sind, Dāwūd b. Yazīd al-Muhallabī, who held this office from 184/800-205/820 [see muhallabids , toward the end]. In all of them he is al-D̲j̲āḥiẓ’s authority on elephants, quoting poetry by the elephant expert Hārūn b. Mūsā al-Azdī mawlāhum ; describi…


(1,235 words)

Author(s): Baalbaki, Ramzi
Raḍiyy al-Dīn al-Ḥasan b. Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan b. Ḥaydar b. ʿAlī b. Ismāʿīl al-Ḳuras̲h̲ī al-ʿAdawī al-ʿUmarī, lexicographer and muḥaddit̲h̲ , who owed his name to the upper Oxus province of Čag̲h̲āniyān [ q.v.], Arabised form Ṣag̲h̲āniyān. He was born in Lahore on 10 Safar 577/25 June 1181 according to the most generally accepted report. He commenced his studies in G̲h̲azna, first under his father who was a mutakallim , then under a number of scholars, most notable of whom was Niẓām al-Dīn al-Marg̲h̲īnānī [ q.v.]. In further pursuit of knowledge, he travelled—between the years …


(89 words)

Author(s): Ed.
, ʿAbd al-Muʾmin b. Ḥasan, adīb , floruit during the 7th/13th century. ¶ He is noted only for his poetic version of the animal fable collection, originally translated into Arabic by Ibn al-Muḳaffaʿ [ q.v.], Kalīla wa-Dimna [ q.v.]. This version he called Durrat al-ḥikam fī amt̲h̲āl al-Hunūd wa ’l-ʿAd̲j̲am , and he completed it on 20 D̲j̲umādā 640/15 November 1242 (according to the Vienna ms.) or possibly some 25 years later (according to the other extant ms. of Munich); see Brockelmann, S I, 234-5. (Ed.) Bibliography Given in the article.


(7,470 words)

Author(s): Giladi, A.
(a.), infant, child, minor (opp. bālig̲h̲ [ q.v.]), one who has not attained to puberty (opp. kabīr ). Minority ends with the onset of physical maturity, and the ability to control one’s own affairs (see al-Wans̲h̲arīsī, ii, 269). In the absence of signs of physical maturity, fifteen was generally regarded as the age that divided between majority and minority for males and females alike (see bālig̲h̲ and Goldziher, Muh. Studien , ii, 17, Eng. tr. Muslim studies, ii, 29). Entrusting a boy or a girl with their respective adult functions was the accepted way to examine mental maturity ( rus̲h̲d


(1,696 words)

Author(s): Muranyi, M.
(a.), (pl., sing, ṣaḥābī , other plural forms are aṣḥāb , ṣaḥb , ṣuḥbān ) are the Companions of the Prophet Muḥammad, who in many respects are key-figures in the early history of Islam. In the critical approach of tradition ( ʿilm al-rid̲j̲āl [ q.v.]), which is a section of ḥadīt̲h̲ literature, they are considered as reliable transmitters of statements, deeds and instructions of the Prophet. Their own deeds and statements, too, are worthy of imitation, particularly in the history of Islamic rites. ¶ The first endeavours to define the ṣaḥāba as a distinct group o…

Saḥābī Astarābādī

(451 words)

Author(s): Rahman, Munibur
, Kamāl al-Dīn, Persian poet of the 10th/16th century, born in S̲h̲us̲h̲tar [ q.v.]. He is known as Astarābādī after his father’s place of origin, which was Astarābād, and also as S̲h̲ūs̲h̲tarī after his own place of birth. Some writers have called him Nad̲j̲afī since he lived for forty years at Nad̲j̲af, where he went towards 970/1562-3 during the reign of the Ṣafawid ruler Ṭahmāsp I (930-84/1524-76). During his stay in that city, he studied and taught, as one of the jurists of his time, at the holy shrine attached to ʿAlī’s tomb. The author of the Haft iḳlīm , Amīn Aḥmad Rāzī [ q.v.], describes …


(5 words)

[see al-ṣaḥrāʾ ].


(518 words)

Author(s): Haig, T.W. | Bosworth, C.E.
, a city of northern India in the uppermost part of the Ganges-D̲j̲amnā Doʾāb (lat. 29° 57′ N., long. 77° 33′ E.), now in the extreme northwestern tip of the Uttar Pradesh State of the Indian Union. It was founded in ca. 740/1340, in the reign of Muḥammad b. Tug̲h̲luḳ [ q.v.] and was named after a local Muslim saint, S̲h̲āh Haran Čis̲h̲tī. The city and district suffered severely during the invasion of Tīmūr; in 932/1526 Bābur traversed them on his way to Pānīpat, and some local Mug̲h̲al colonies trace their origin to his followers. Muslim influe…
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