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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(189 words)

Author(s): Ed.
, Mīrzā ʿAlī Akbar (b. 1862 in S̲h̲emākha, d. 1911 in Bākū), Azerbaijani satirical poet and journalist. After the First Russian Revolution of 1905, a humorous and satirical literature grew up in Russian Ād̲h̲arbayd̲j̲ān, seen especially in the weekly journal Mollā Naṣreddīn founded at Tiflis in 1906 by Ḏj̲elāl Meḥmed Ḳulī-zāde [see d̲j̲arīda. iv], which attacked the old literary forms, backwardness in education and religious fanaticism, achieving a circulation also in Turkey and Persian Ād̲h̲arbayd̲j̲ān. One of the writers in it was Ṣābir (who als…

Ṣābir b. Ismāʿīl al-Tirmid̲h̲ī, S̲h̲ihāb al-Dīn, usually known as Adīb Ṣābir

(392 words)

Author(s): Blois, F.C. de
a Persian poet of the first half of the 6th/12th century. His dīwān , which has been published twice (ed. ʿAlī Ḳawīm, Tehran 1331 S̲h̲ ./1952-3, and ed. M.ʿA. Nāṣiḥ, Tehran 1343 S̲h̲./1964), consists almost entirely of panegyrics praising the Sald̲j̲ūḳ sultan Sand̲j̲ar (511-52/1118-57), the Ḵh̲wārazms̲h̲āh Atsi̊z (521-68/1127-72) and various persons at their respective courts, in particular Sand̲j̲ar’s raʾīs-i Ḵh̲urāsān , Mad̲j̲d al-Dīn ʿAlī b. Ḏj̲aʿfar al-Musawī, the poet’s principal patron. The rivalry between his two royal master…


(255 words)

Author(s): Halm, H.
, "Seveners", a designation for those S̲h̲īʿīsects which recognise a series of seven Imāms. Unlike the name It̲h̲nā ʿas̲h̲ariyya or "Twelvers" the term Sabʿiyya does not occur in mediaeval Arabic texts; it seems to have been coined by modern scholars by analogy with the first term. The name is often used to designate the Ismāʿīliyya [ q.v.], but this is not correct, because neither the Bohora nor the Ḵh̲ōd̲j̲a Ismāʿīlīs count seven Imāms. The term can be applied only to the earliest stage of the development of the Ismāʿīlī sect, during which the Ismā…


(379 words)

Author(s): Yver, G.
(a.), pl. sibāk̲h̲ , the term used by the mediaeval Arabic geographers for salt marshes or lagoons and for the salt flats left by the evaporation of the water from such areas. Thus they employ it for describing the salt flats characteristic of parts of the Great Desert of central and eastern Persia (the present Das̲h̲t-i Kawīr and Das̲h̲t-i Lūṭ) and of the adjacent province of Sīstān (Ibn Ḥawḳal, ed. Kramers, 407, 415, tr. Kramers-Wiet, 397, 404; al-Muḳaddasī, 488; cf. A. Miquel, La géographie humaine du monde musulman jusqu’au milieu du 11 e siècle . iii . Le milieu naturelle, Paris-The Hagu…

Sabk-i, Hindī

(1,736 words)

Author(s): Bruijn, J.T.P. de
(p.), the Indian style, is the third term of a classification of Persian literature into three stylistic periods. The other terms, sabk-i Ḵh̲urāsānī (initially also called sabk-i Turkistānī ) and sabk-i ʿIrāḳī , refer respectively to the eastern and the western parts of mediaeval Persia. The assumption underlying this geographical terminology is that the shifts of the centre of literary activity from one area to another, which took place repeatedly since the 4th/10th century, were paralleled by a stylisti…


(2,521 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
(a.), usually rendered "patience, endurance". The significance of this conception can hardly be conveyed in a West European language by a single word, as may be seen from the following. According to the Arabic lexicographers, the root ṣ-b-r , of which ṣabr is the nomen actionis, means to restrain or bind; thence ḳatalahu ṣabr an “to bind and then slay someone”. The slayer and the slain in this case are called ṣābir and maṣbūr respectively. The expression is applied, for example, to martyrs and prisoners of war put to death; in the Ḥadīt̲h̲ often to animals that— c…


(373 words)

Author(s): Dietrich, A.
( ṣabir , ṣabur ) (a.) denotes the aloe, a species of the Liliaceae , which was widespread in the warm countries of the ancient world, mainly in Cyprus and on the mountains of Africa. The leaves of many varieties provide fibres ("aloe-fibres") for spinning coarse cloths, and from the aloe’s dark-brown wood a valued perfumery is won. Important was also the aloe drug, i.e. the juice pressed from the leaves, whose Greek name ἀλόη was borrowed by the Arab pharmacologists as āluwī . In the West, the name apparently was pronounced ṣibar , which survives in Spanish acibar . The…


(696 words)

Author(s): Talbi, M.
or Sabratha , one of the three ancient cities (Leptis Magna = Lebda; Oea = Tripoli; and Sabratha or Sabrata = Ṣabra) which made up Tripolitania. Ṣabra Manṣūriyya [ q.v.], another town ¶ 33 km/20 miles to the west of Tlemcen in Algeria bore (Ibn Ḵh̲aldūn, ʿIbar , Beirut 1959, vii, 524), and still bears today, this same name, after having assumed that of Turenne in the colonial period. The homonomy here is fortuitous. Ṣabrāṭa—now a tourist town and the centre of an archaeological zone along the littoral some 75 km/48 miles west of Tripoli and 35 km…

Ṣabra or al-Manṣūriyya

(871 words)

Author(s): Talbi, M.
, or also Madīnat ʿIzz al-Islām , a royal city founded between 334 and 336/945-8, at half-a-mile to the southeast of Ḳayrawān, by the Fāṭimid caliph al-Manṣūr— whence its name—in order to commemorate his victory over the rebel Abū Yazīd [ q.v.], on the very spot, so we are told, of a decisive battle. The name. Ṣabra means "a very hard stone" ( LʿA , Beirut 1955, iv, 441, 442). Like ṣak̲h̲r "rock", the term is attested as a personal name (al-Ṭabarī, index; al-Mālikī, Riyāḍ , Beirut 1983, i, 250) or as that of a clan (Kaḥḥāla, Muʿd̲j̲am ḳabāʾil al-ʿArab , Beirut 1968, ii, 6…

Sabʿ, Sabʿa

(887 words)

Author(s): Schimmel, Annemarie
(a.), seven, is a number of greatest importance in both the Semitic and the Iranian traditions as it combines the spiritual Three and the material Four. Its history probably begins in Babylon with the observation of four lunar phases of seven days each. The seven planets (including sun and moon) have reigned supreme in human thought since Antiquity. Each of them is connected with a specific colour, scent and character. Niẓāmī’s (d. in the early 7th/13th century [ q.v.]) Persian epic Haft paykar is the finest elaboration of these ideas. The imagined seven stations between the …


(681 words)

Author(s): Rippin, A.
(a.), the sabbath, and thus ( yawm al- ) sabt , Saturday (technically, Friday evening to Saturday evening); it is also suggested to mean "a week", that is from sabt to sabt, as well as a more general sense of a long period of time. The word has been the common designator of the day which follows yawm al-djumʿa [see d̲j̲umʿa ] since early Islamic times at least [see zamān ]. Clearly related to the Aramaic word s̲h̲abbetā and ultimately Hebrew s̲h̲abbāt , the word was given an appropriately Islamic sense by the Ḳurʾān and later Muslim theological interpretation. The Ḳurʾān associates Jews, the …


(1,735 words)

Author(s): Ferhat, Halima
, Ceuta , a town of northern Morocco. It is situated 16 km/10 miles to the south of Gibraltar on the Moroccan coast, 60 km/38 miles to the north-west of Tetouan and 210 km/130 miles from Fās. Sabta has the form of a peninsula, ending in a small mountain (the Ḏj̲abal al-Minā or Mt. Hacho, 193 m/633 feet), which has played the double role of a natural acropolis and a watch point. The isthmus of the peninsula, 60 m/197 feet in height, is attached to the mainland by a narrow strip of land, easily defensible. The old town had its counterpart in the Marīnid town, the Āfrāg [ q.v.]. Explanations of the placen…


(2,261 words)

Author(s): Bencheneb, H.
, Aḥmad b. Ḏj̲aʿfar al-Ḵh̲azrad̲j̲ī, Abu ’l-ʿAbbās, renowned Moroccan saint, born at Sabta (Ceuta) in 524/1130, not to be confused, in the text of Ibn Ḵh̲aldūn ( Muḳaddima ), with a homonym who lived in a later period and was the inventor of a circular divinatory table known as the zāʾirad̲j̲a , al-ʿālam . Two accounts afford a glimpse of his career, which was contemporaneous with that of the great saint of Tlemcen Abū Madyan al-Andalusī (520-94/1126-97): that of the ḳāḍī al-Tādilī and that of Ibn Ḥāmawayh, which is more concise, …


(5 words)

[see sebüktigin ].


(691 words)

Author(s): Dietrich, A.
(a.), soap. Prodest et sapo, Gallorum hoc inventum rutilandis capillis; fit ex sebo et cinere ... duobus modis, spissus ac liquidus, uterque apud Germanos maiore in usu viris quam feminis (Pliny, Hist . nat . 28, 191). According to this passage, soap is a Gallic invention but the word itself is of German origin. The Romans borrowed it in the form of sapo , the Greeks from the latter as σάπων, which in its turn found its way into Arabic as ṣābūn . The word denotes a mixture of fat or tallow and vegetable ashes, used to dye the hair red; it was brought on the market in solid or liquid form. In Spain, ṣābūn al…


(223 words)

Author(s): Fontaine, J.
, Louis , a person of the second rank in the Nahḍa [ q.v.], born at Dayrak on 20 April 1833, died in Los Angeles, 24 April 1931. With an original first name John, and born a Syrian Catholic, he attended the seminary at Charfé and then the Pontifical College for Propaganda at Rome, where he was ordained priest in 1863 (he renounced his priestly orders in 1899). He taught Latin at the Syrian Protestant College and founded the journal al-Naḥla ("The Bee"), which he took up again in London in 1877. He became a British representative in Cairo, accompanied ʿUrābī Pas̲h̲a [ q.v.] into exile in Ceylon, s…

Sābūr b. Ardas̲h̲īr

(345 words)

Author(s): Bosworth, C.E.
Abū Naṣr Bahāʾ al-Dīn (330-416/942-1025), official and vizier of the Buy ids in Fārs. Beginning his career in high office as deputy to S̲h̲araf al-Dawla’s vizier Abū Manṣūr b. Ṣāliḥān, he subsequently became briefly vizier himself for the first time in 380/990 and for S̲h̲araf al-Dawla’s successor in S̲h̲īrāz. Bahāʾ al-Dawla [ q.v. in Suppl.]. He was vizier again in S̲h̲īrāz in Ḏj̲umādā I 386/May-June 996, this time for over three years, and in 390/1000 in Baghdād as deputy there for the vizier Abū ʿAlī al-Muwaffaḳ. Sābūr, although a native of S̲…

Sābūr b. Sahl

(245 words)

Author(s): Kahl, O.
b. Sābūr , Christian physician and pharmacologist (d. 21 Dhu ’l-Ḥid̲j̲d̲j̲a 255/30 November 869). Sābūr grew up in the Nestorian milieu of Ḵh̲ūzistān [ q.v.]. He must have been educated at the "Academia Hippocratica" in Gondēs̲h̲āpūr [ q.v.], where he later held a position in the famous local hospital, and rose to be one of the leading physicians of his time. In Gondēs̲h̲āpūr he practised medicine and pharmacology until he was appointed court physician by the ʿAbbāsid caliph al-Mutawakkil [ q.v.] and his successors. Sābūr died "as a Christian" ( naṣrāniyy an ), perhaps in Sāmarrāʾ [ q.v.]. T…


(859 words)

Author(s): van Donzel, E.
(Sabaya on Philby’s map), a town in the Tihāmat ʿAsīr [see tihāma ; ʿasīr and map] in wouth-western Saudi Arabia, at about 30 km/21 ¶ miles inland north-east of the port of D̲j̲ayzān [ q.v.]. In 1339/1920 Sayyid Muḥammad al-Idrīsī (see below) concluded a treaty with Ibn Suʿūd ¶ [see ʿabd al-ʿazīz āl suʿūd, in Suppl.], but after his death in 1340/1922-3 internal dissensions among the Idrīsiyya led to a Suʿūdī protectorate. The Imām of Yemen maintained a claim to the Idrīsid territories, but the Treaty of al-Ṭāʾif (1353/1934) determined that they belong to Saudi Arabia, including Ṣabyā [see ʿaṣ…

Sabz ʿAlī

(319 words)

Author(s): Nanji, Azim
, Ramaḍān ʿAlī , a Nizārī Ismāʿīlī dāʿī of the 20th century, and an emissary of the Imām of the time, Sulṭān Muḥammad S̲h̲āh Ag̲h̲a Ḵh̲ān III. He was born towards the end of the 19th century in Bombay into an established family of traders and was as a youth apprenticed with his uncle, a businessman in Gwādar. There he acquired an interest in learning more about Ismāʿīlī thought and began to deliver lectures on religious topics to members of the community. He moved subsequently to Karachi to continue his business activities and became prominent in the community as a wāʿiẓ
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