Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition

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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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Bilmed̲j̲e

(811 words)

Author(s): Kowalski, T.
, the name given as a rule to popular riddles among the Ottoman Turks. Northern and eastern Turks use instead various words from the root tap- (‘to find’), such as tabi̊s̲h̲maḳ , tapmad̲j̲a , tapḳi̊s̲h̲ , tabi̊s̲h̲ḳaḳ , tabus̲h̲turmak . The true riddles of the people can generally be distinguished from artificial riddles such as the lug̲h̲az or muʿammā by their obviously simple form, their puns or double meanings, and their appearance of unreason or illogicality. This last characteristic of riddles, their irrationality, is manifes…

Bīmāristān

(3,821 words)

Author(s): Dunlop, D.M. | Colin, G.S. | Şehsuvaroǧlu, Bedi N.
, often contracted to māristān , from Persian bīmār ‘sick’ + the suffix -istān denoting place, a hospital. In modern usage bīmāristān is applied especially to a lunatic asylum. ¶ i. Early period and Muslim East . According to the Arabs themselves (cf. Maḳrīzī, Ḵh̲iṭaṭ , ii, 405), the first hospital was founded either by Manāḳyūs, a mythical king of Egypt, or by Hippocrates, the latter of whom is said to have made for the sick in a garden near his house a xenodokeion , literally ‘lodging for strangers’. The authority for this statement is given by Ibn Abī Uṣaybiʿa ( ʿUyūn , …

Bināʾ

(2,136 words)

Author(s): Marçais, G.
, building, the art of the builder or mason. Building techniques depend partly on the materials used. In the Islande countries we find very widely differing materials employed, from rammed earth to ashlar, with unbaked and baked brick, rubble and rough-hewn stone as intermediary stages. The choice of one of these materials depends of course on the resources of a given country, or the lack of them, but as well as this on local traditions or traditions brought in by foreign builders, which may for…

Biñbas̲h̲i̊

(326 words)

Author(s): Lewis, B.
, ‘head of a thousand’, a Turkish military rank. The word appears at an early date among the Western Turks, and is already used in connexion with the military reorganisation said to have been made by Ork̲h̲ān in 729/1328-9 ( e.g., Saʿd al-Dīn, Tād̲j̲ al-Tawārīk̲h̲ , i, 40— ‘onbas̲h̲i̊s , yüzbas̲h̲i̊s , and biñbas̲h̲i̊s were appointed to them ...’). In the form miñbas̲h̲i̊ the term also occurs among the Eastern Turks, and is used, for example, of a rank in the Ṣafawid forces in Persia (V. Minorsky, Tad̲h̲kirat al-Mulūk , London 1943, 36, 74, 155). The title miñ-begi , wi…

Bingöl

(52 words)

Author(s): Canard, M.
, name of a town in ancient Turkish Armenia, previously called Čapakčur, capital of a vilāyet partly filled by the mountain range of Bingöl Dag̲h̲. It is situated on the Gönük Su, a tributary of the Aracani-Arsanas-Murād Su, and on the road joining Elazig with Mus̲h̲ via Palu. (M. Canard)

Bingöl Dag̲h̲

(494 words)

Author(s): Canard, M.
name of a mountain massif, a raised but not volcanic plateau, which stretches south of Erzurum across the vilāyets of Erzurum, Mus̲h̲ and Bingöl (Čapakčur). Its highest peak in the ¶ east is Demir or Timur Kale or Ḳalʿa (Fortress of Iron), over whose height there is some disagreement among different writers: 3690 ms. according to H. and R. Kiepert, Formae orbis antiqui , pl. V, 1910, Abos Mons, cf. above, 655; 3650 ms. according to the Erzurum sheet of the Harta Genel Direktörlüğü, 1936; 3250 ms. according to the road-map of the Karayo…

Binn

(283 words)

Author(s): Ebied, R. Y. | Young, M. J. L.
, a term of the Druze religion. In this, the Binn were conceived of as one of a number of earlier races or sects whose names are also mentioned in the Druze writings, such as the Rimm and the Ṭimm. The Binn were said to have been a group of inhabitants of Had̲j̲ar in the Yemen who believed in the message of S̲h̲aṭnīl, the incarnation of Ḥamza ¶ in the Age of Adam. According to the Druzes, the city was originally called Ṣurna (meaning “Miracle” according to Ḥamza), and S̲h̲atnīl came there from India. He called on the people to renounce polytheism and worship al-Ḥākim bi-Amr Allāh [ q.v.] as their sole…

Binyāmīn

(167 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J. | Vajda, G.
, the Benjamin of the Bible. In its nairation of the history of Joseph (Yūsuf, [ q.v.]), the Ḳurʾān gives a place to the latter’s uterine brother (xii, 8, 59-79), without ever mentioning him by name. Tradition embellishes without any great variation the biblical story concerning him (it is aware notably that his birth cost his mother her life) and receives also Aggadic additions (summarised notably in the Encyclopaedia Judaica , iv, 112-14), such as the etymological connexion of the names of his sons with the lost elder brother. In Muslim mys…

Biʾr

(3,083 words)

Author(s): Kraemer, J. | Rentz, G. | Despois, J.
(in modern, also some ancient, dialects pron. bīr plur. biʾār , abʾur , ābār ) is the most comprehensive Arabic word for the well; very often it appears as the genus proximum of its numerous synonyms (like ḳalīb , rakiyya etc.), and the number of its various epithets is considerable. The word is of common Semitic origin (Accad. bēru , Hebr. b e ēr , Aram. bērā ) and, as in the other Semitic languages, of feminine gender (for exceptions in modern Ar. dialects see Fleischer, Kl. Schriften , i, 265; Bräunlich, Well 3212). In general, however, biʾr embraces a much wider co…

al-Bīra

(92 words)

Author(s): Streck, M.
, the name of several places, generally in districts where Aramaic was once spoken, for al-Bīra is a translation of the Aramaic bīrt̲h̲ā “fortress”, “citadel”. The best known is al-Bīra on the east bank of the Euphrates in North-west Mesopotamia, the modern Bīred̲j̲ik [ q.v.]: on other places, bearing the name Bīra, cf. Yāḳūt, Muʿd̲j̲am (ed. Wüstenfeld), i, 787; Nöldeke in the Nachr. der Götting . Ges. der Wiss. , 1876, 11-12 and in De Goeje, BGA, iv, (gloss.), 441; Le Strange, Palestine under the Moslems (1890), 423. (M. Streck)

Bīrd̲j̲and

(417 words)

Author(s): Lockhart, L.
District and town in the IXth ustān of Persia. The town is situated at 59° 13′ E. (Greenwich) and 32° 52′ N. It is on the northern side of an arid valley and is built on two low hills between which is a torrent-bed. The altitude is 1490 metres. The early Arab geographers made no reference to Bīrd̲j̲and, and Yāḳūt (i, 783) is apparently the first to mention it (ca. 623/1226). He described it as one of the finest towns of Kūhistān, which was then part of the great province of Ḵh̲urāsān. Ḥamd Allāh Mustawfī, writing ca. 740-1/1340, stated ( Nuzha , 143) that Bīrd̲j̲and was a …

Bīred̲j̲ik

(1,088 words)

Author(s): Streck, M. | Parry, V.J.
, a town in Mesopotamia, on the left bank of the Euphrates. The name Bīred̲j̲ik (amongst the local population, Beled̲j̲ik; also, according to Sachau, Bārād̲j̲īk in the Ḥalabī (Aleppo) dialect) means “little Bīra”, i.e., “small fortress” (Arabic bīra , with the Turkish diminutive suffix). The Arabic name “al-Bīra” ([ q.v.]; Bīreh in the later Syriac writers) derives from the Aramaic “Bīrt̲h̲ā” = “fortress”. Bīred̲j̲ik, known to the Romans as “Birtha”, is to be identified (according to Cumont) with a certain Makedonopolis mentioned in some of th…

Birge

(492 words)

Author(s): Parry, V.J.
(Birgi, sometimes also Bergi or Birki), a small town in western Asia Minor situated in the valley of the Küçük Menderes, is the centre of a nāḥiye belonging to the ḳaḍāʾ of Ödemis̲h̲ in the province of İzmir (Smyrna). Here stood the ancient Διὸς ‘Ιερόν in Lydia. The town was known in Byzantine times as Χριστούπολις and also as Πυργίον. It was raised to the status of a metropolitan see between 1193 and 1199, being thus freed from the ecclesiastical control of Ephesos, but it became once more a suffragan …

Birgewī

(747 words)

Author(s): Kufrevî, Kasim
(Birgiwī, Birgili), meḥmed b. pīr ʿalī , a Turkish scholar whose fame still lives among the cornmon people. Born at Bali̊kesir in 928/1522 (or 926/1520 if Kātib Čelebi is correct in saying that he died at the age of 55), he began his education at home, but soon distinguished himself among his coevals and went to Istanbul, where he attached himself first to Ak̲h̲ī-zāde Meḥmed Efendi and then to the ḳāḍī-i ʿaskar ʿAbd al-Raḥmān Efendi. Having completed his education he taught in the medreses of Istanbul, and during this time was initiated into the Bayramiyy…

Biʾr Maʿūna

(342 words)

Author(s): Bosworth, C.E.
, a well on the Mecca-Medina road, between the terri tories of ʿĀmir b. Ṣaʿṣaʿa and Sulaym, where a group of Muslims was killed in Ṣafar 4/625. The traditional account is that the chief of ʿĀmir, Abū Barāʾ (or Abū ’l-Barāʾ), invited Muḥammad to send a missionary group to his tribe, promising his personal protection for them. So a group of “Ḳurʾān-readers” ( ḳurrāʾ ) was sent from Medina. When they reached Biʾr Maʿūna, they were massacred by clans of Sulaym, led by ʿĀmir b. al-Ṭufayl, who had failed to induce his own tribe of ʿĀmir to vi…

Biʾr Maymūn

(297 words)

Author(s): Rentz, G.
, a well in the environs of Mecca. Although the well was famous in early Islamic times, the name no longer occurs in the Meccan area. Available sources fail to show whether Biʾr Maymūn has been abandoned or is still in use under another name. The location of the ancient well is also uncertain. Much of the evidence places it between the Great Mosque and Minā, somewhat closer to the latter. The account given by al-Ṭabarī, iii, 456, of the death of the Caliph al-Manṣūr at Biʾr Maymūn in 158/775 indicates that the well lay inside the Sacred Zone ( al-Ḥaram ) and suggests that …

Birr

(47 words)

Author(s): Gardet, L.
(Ḳurʾānic term), “pious goodness” (R. Blachère’s translation; see Ḳurʾān, ii, 189). In the analysis of the spiritual states ( aḥwāl ) and the attitude of the soul towards God, it must at the same time be compared with and distinguished from taḳwā [ q.v.]. (L. Gardet)

Birs

(372 words)

Author(s): Herzfeld, E.
, also called birs nimrūd , in the older literature burs , a ruined site 9 miles S.W. of the town of Ḥilla on the Euphrates, about 12 miles S.S.W. of Babylon on the eastern shore of the Lake of Hindiyya. The place is the ancient Borsippa, the sister town of Babylon. Its immense ruins, the largest that have survived from the Babylonian period, were thought by the Arabs to be the palace of Nimrūd b. Kanʿān ( ṣarḥ Nimrūd , Yāḳūt, i, 136) or of Buk̲h̲tnaṣṣar (Yāḳūt, i, 165). Even in modern times they were thought to be the ruins of the Tower of Babel and t…

Bīr al-Sabʿ

(214 words)

Author(s): Honigmann, E.
, the Arabic name of Beersheba, in southern Palestine. At this place were the springs which Abraham is said to have dug with his own hands; many legends are current about them. The place was uninhabited from the 8th/14th century, but was rebuilt by the Turks in 1319/ 1901 as an administrative centre for the south. This step was no doubt influenced by the dispute with Britain over the Egyptian-Palestinian frontier and by the need for closer surveillance of the southern tribes. In October 1917 a d…

Bīrūn

(101 words)

Author(s): Lewis, B.
, in Persian ‘outside’, the name given to the outer departments and services of the Ottoman Imperial Household, in contrast to the inner departments known as the Enderūn [ q.v.]. The Bīrūn was thus the meeting-point of the court and the state, and besides palace functionaries included a number of high officers and dignitaries concerned with the administrative, military, and religious affairs of the Empire. (B. Lewis) Bibliography D’Ohsson, Tableau général de l’Empire Othoman, vii, Paris 1824, 1-33 Ismail Hakkı Uzunçarşılı, Osmanlı Devletinin Saray Teşkilâtı, Ankara 1945, 358 ff. Gib…

al-Bīrūnī

(2,144 words)

Author(s): Boilot, D.J.
( bērūnī ) abū ’l-rayḥān muḥammad b. aḥmad , also sometimes called by the niṣba al-ḵh̲wārizmī by certain Arabic authors ( e.g., Yāḳūt) and also, at the risk of a confusion of names, by some modern Orientalists (see al-ḵh̲wārizmī), was one of the greatest scholars of mediaeval Islam, and certainly the most original and profound. He was equally well versed in the mathematical, astronomie, physical and natural sciences and also distinguished himself as a geographer and historian, chronologist and linguist and as an impartial observer of customs and creeds. He is known as al-Ustād̲h̲

Birzāl

(313 words)

Author(s): Tourneau, R. le
, banū , a Berber tribe of the Zenata group mentioned as living in the Lower Zab (south of Msīla) at the beginning of the 4th/10th century. These Berbers, in conflict with the Fāṭimid Caliph, ʿUbayd Allāh, who built the fortress of Msīla as a look-out against them, supported the Ḵh̲ārid̲j̲ite agitator, Abū Yazīd [ q.v.], and offered him refuge when he was pursued by the Fāṭimid Caliph, al-Manṣūr. Although the latter pardoned them, they nevertheless took part in the rebellion of the governor of the Zāb, Ḏj̲aʿfar Ibn al-Andalusī [ q.v.] in 360/971. Fāṭimid repression forced them to flee…

al-Birzālī

(945 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
, ʿalam al-dīn al-ḳāsim b. muḥammad b. yūsuf , also called Ibn al-Birzālī, Syrian historian and ḥadīt̲h̲ scholar. He was born in Damascus in D̲j̲umada I or II, 665/February-April, 1267. A case could be made for the earlier date, sometimes mentioned, of 663/1265, but al-Birzālī himself evidently maintained that he was born in 665. His ancestors belonged to the Birzāl [ q.v.] Berbers. His great-grandfather, Zaki al-Dīn Muḥammad b. Yūsuf (b. ca. 577/1181-82, d. in Ḥamā in 636/1239), ¶ had settled in Syria at the beginning of the 7th/13th century. Zakī nl-Dīn’s additional nisba

Bisāṭ

(5 words)

[see ḳālī ].

Bisāṭ

(14,774 words)

Author(s): Ed. | Spuhler, F. | Golvin, L. | Allgrove, J.
(a.), pls. busṭ/busuṭ , absiṭa , which implies the general meaning of extensiveness (thus in Ḳurʾān, LXXI, 18), is a generic term for carpet, more specifically, one of fairly large dimensions. Any kind of carpet with a pile is called a ṭinfisa if it is decorated with multicoloured bands, a zarbiyya ( zirbiyya , zurbiyya , pl. zarābī cf. Ḳurʾān, LXXXVIII, 16); if it is decorated with a relief design, a maḥfūra whilst a prayer carpet is called a sad̲j̲d̲j̲āda (modern Turkish seccade ), and the collective sad̲j̲d̲j̲ād is sometimes used as a generic term (on the …

Bisbarāy

(197 words)

Author(s): Naficy, Said
b. harigarbhdās kāyat̲h̲ , also called karkarni, Indian author who wrote in Pcrsian; the correct pronunciation of his name in Sanskrit is Vis̲h̲warai (Rajah of the world), son of Harigarhdas (slave of God), of the well known family of Kayastha, which was particularly noted for its Persian culture. His surname Karkarni signifies “he who has ears as big as hands”. He translated into Persian, in 1061-2/1651-2, during the reign of S̲h̲āh-D̲j̲ahān, the Sanskrit tale Vikramačaritram , making use of the work of his predecessors. (The Sanskrit original also bore the title Vikrama-čaritram

Bīs̲h̲a

(361 words)

Author(s): Mulligan, W.E.
, an oasis in western Arabia stretching about 25 miles along the banks of the wādī of the same name immediately north of 20° N. Lat. The headwaters of the wādī are east of Abhā in the highlands of ʿAsīr, and the channel extends c. 400 miles north to its junction with Wādī Ranya, whence the combined channels turn inland to Wādī Tat̲h̲līt̲h̲ and Wādī al-Dawāsir (see al-dawāsir ]. The tributaries Hard̲j̲āb and Tard̲j̲, coming from the east and west respectively, empty into Wādi Bīs̲h̲a south of the oasis of Bīs̲h̲a, and Wādī Tabāla [seetabāla ] joins Wādī Bīs̲h̲a in the…

Bīs̲h̲arʿ

(105 words)

Author(s): Naficy, Said
(Pers.), a term not often used, and then mainly in a pejorative sense; it is a compound of the Persian privative prefix (“without”) and the Arabic s̲h̲arʿ , the canon law of Islam. It denotes in particular those Ṣūfīs who declare that the law of Islam does not exist for persons illuminated by mysticism (antinomians). This somewhat colloquial term seems primarily to denote the adepts of the Ṣūfī sect of the Malāmatiyya, who were given to keeping secret their acts of worship, and hence to neglecting …

Bis̲h̲ārīn

(263 words)

Author(s): Holt, P.M.
, A nomadic Bed̲j̲a [ q.v.] tribe, now occupying two areas: (a) the ʿAtbāy, or western slopes of the Red Sea Hills, between approximately 23° and 19° N; (b) the banks of the ʿAṭbarā and adjoining lands between about 17° and 16° N. The tribe is divided into two main clans: (a) Umm ʿAlī, in the north-eastern ʿAtbāy; (b) Umm Nād̲j̲ī, in the south-western ʿAtbāy and on the ʿAṭbarā. Tribal genealogies indicate a connection with the Arab Awlād Kāhil (Kawāhla), who, in the 14th century, lived near ʿAyd̲h̲āb…

Bis̲h̲bali̊ḳ

(986 words)

Author(s): Spuler, B.
, Bes̲h̲bali̊ḳ, the Soghdian (?) Pand̲j̲ikat̲h̲ (both meaning ‘Town of Five’), a town in eastern Turkestan frequently mentioned between the 2nd/8th and 7th/13th centuries (concerning the name cf. Minorsky in Ḥudūd al-ʿĀlam , 271 f. and 2715). It was rediscovered in 1908 by Russian explorers, with the aid of information found in Chinese sources. Its position is 47 km. to the west of Kūs̲h̲ang (Chinese Ku-čʿöng) which was founded in the 18th century, and 10 km. north of Tsi-mu-sa, near the village of Hu-pao-tse. Its ruins (known as …

al-Bis̲h̲r

(305 words)

Author(s): Bosworth, C.E.
, scene of a battle in eastern Syria in 73/692-3 between the Arab tribes of Sulaym and Tag̲h̲lib. Ḵh̲ālid b. al-Walīd campaigned here in 12/633 (Ṭabarī, i, 2068, 2072-3). Yāḳūt describes it as a range of hills stretching from ʿUrḍ near Palmyra to the Euphrates, corresponding to the modern D̲j̲ebel el-Bis̲h̲rī. The battle is also sometimes called after al-Raḥūb, a local water-course. The “Day of al-Bis̲h̲r” was the climax of several clashes between the two tribes. This strife lay to some extent outside the Ḳays-Kalb tribal feud of the period; both tribes we…

Bis̲h̲r b. Abī Ḵh̲āzim

(740 words)

Author(s): Fück, J.W.
(not Ḥāzim, see ʿAbd al-Ḳādir, Ḵh̲izānat al-adab 1, ii, 262) the most considerable pre-Islamic poet of the Banū Asad b. Ḵh̲uzayma in the second half of the sixth century. al-Farazdaḳ, Dīwān (ed. Ṣāwī) 721, mentions him amongst his predecessors. Abū ʿAmr b. al-ʿAlāʾ counts him among the classics ( fuḥūl ). His poems were collected by al-Aṣmaʿī and Ibn al-Sikkīt ( Fihrist 158, 6). Abū ʿUbayda wrote a commentary on his Dīwān which was utilised by ʿAbd al-Ḳādir l.c. ii, 262, 4. The Mufaḍḍaliyyāt , Nrs. 96-99 ed. Lyall, contain four poems of Bis̲h̲r; the last o…

Bis̲h̲r b. al-Barāʾ

(205 words)

Author(s): ʿArafat, W.
, Medinese Companion, of the Ḵh̲azrad̲j̲ite clan of Banī Salima. Both he and his father al-Barāʾ b. Maʿrūr [ q.v.] accepted Islam early and were among the seventy odd Medinese who were present at the second ʿAḳaba meeting with the Prophet. Later, Bis̲h̲r fought at Badr, Uḥud, the siege of Medīna, (Battle of the Ditch), and at Ḵh̲aybar in 7/628. There he ate from a poisoned sheep which a Jewess offered to the Prophet in an attempt to venge her lost relatives. The Prophet tasted the poison and spat out the meat, but…

Bis̲h̲r b. G̲h̲iyāt̲h̲ b. Abī Karīma Abū ʿAbd al-Raḥān al-Marīsī

(671 words)

Author(s): Carra de Vaux, B. | Nader, A.N. | Schacht, J.
, a prominent theologian belonging to the Murd̲j̲iʾa [ q.v.]. His father, a fuller and dyer in Kūfa, is said to have been a Jew, and Bis̲h̲r, on his conversion to Islam, to have become a mawlā of Zayd b. al-Ḵh̲aṭṭāb. He lived ¶ in the western quarter of Bagdad, in the Darb al-Marīs (or al-Marīsī ), from which he took his nisba . He died in Bag̲h̲dād in 218/833. Bis̲h̲r was an assiduous disciple of Abū Yūsuf in fiḳh , and although he held some opinions of his own, he is counted among the followers of the Ḥanafī school; he also heard traditions from Ḥamm…

Bis̲h̲r b. Marwān

(1,065 words)

Author(s): Veccia Vaglieri, L.
b. al-ḥakam , Abū Marwān, an Umayyad prince, son of the Caliph, Marwān [ q.v.] and of Ḳuṭayya bint Bis̲h̲r (of the Banū D̲j̲aʿfar b. Kilāb, thus a Ḳaysite). He took part in the battle of Mard̲j̲ Rāhiṭ (65/684) and there killed a Kilāb chief. After his father’s accession to the Caliphate he followed him at the time of his expedition to Egypt, for the sources tell us that when in 65/684 Marwān had regained this province for the Umayyads, taking it from Ibn al-Zubayr [ q.v.] who had seized it in S̲h̲aʿbān 64/March-April 684, and had put his son, ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz [ q.v.] in charge of the Prayer and the …

Bis̲h̲r b. al-Muʿtamir

(768 words)

Author(s): Nader, A.N.
( abū sahl al-ḥilālī ), born in Bag̲h̲dād, from where he went to Baṣra where he met Bis̲h̲r b. Saʿīd and Abū ʿUt̲h̲mān al-Zaʿfarānī, both companions of Wāṣil b. ʿAṭāʾ (founder of the Muʿtazilite school) who initiated him in the principles of the school. Another of his masters was Muʿammar b. ʿAbbād al-Sulamī. After his return to Bag̲h̲dād, Bis̲h̲r was able to win a large number of converts to the iʿtizāl . Hārūn al-Ras̲h̲īd, who was hostile to the Muʿtazilite doctrine, threw him into prison. Bis̲h̲r thereupon composed some forty thousand Unes of remarkably eloquent verse on “justice” ( al-ʿad…

Bis̲h̲r b. al-Walīd

(342 words)

Author(s): Veccia Vaglieri, L.
b. ʿabd al-malik , Umayyad prince, one of the numerous sons of the Caliph al-Walīd and brother of the Caliphs Yazīd III and Ibrāhīm. His learning earned him the title of scholar ( ʿālim ) of the Banū Marwān. He led many military expeditions (certainly in 92/710-11: al-Yaʿḳūbī, ii, 350, and in 96/714-15 against the Byzantines: al-Ṭabarī, ii, 1269 etc.). He was nominated amīr of the pilgrimage by his father in 95/714. His name does not appear in the sources until the conspiracy against his cousin al-Walīd II in 126/743-44. Despite the pr…

Bis̲h̲r al-Ḥāfī

(2,755 words)

Author(s): Meier, F.
, full name: abū naṣr bis̲h̲r b. al-ḥārīt̲h̲ b. ʿabd al-raḥmān b. ʿaṭāʾ b. hilāl b. māhān b. ʿabd allāh (originally Baʿbūr) al-ḥāfī . He was a Ṣūfī, born in Bakird or in Mābarsām, a village near Marw (al-S̲h̲āhid̲j̲ān) in 150/767 (or 152/769), and died in Bag̲h̲dād (some sources say that he died in Marw, but this seems unlikely) in 226/840 or 227/841-42. Little is known about his early age. He is said to have belonged to some young men’s association, or a gang of robbers, whilst still in Marw. He…

Biskra

(1,005 words)

Author(s): Despois, J.
, town and oasis of the Zībān in the south-east of Algeria and on the northern fringe of the Sahara. It is situated at an altitude of between 100-120 metres, on the alluvial cone and the west bank of the Oued Biskra, at the mouth of a wide depression which extends from the Awrās massif to the western Saharan peaks of the Atlas Mountains. This has always been a route much used by nomads and conquering shepherds. Its blue sky, seldom streaked with clouds, its mild winter climate (mean temperature …

Bismillāh

(5 words)

[see basmala ].

Bisṭām

(263 words)

Author(s): Frye, R.N.
(also basṭām , rarer bosṭām ). A town of ca. 4,000 inhabitants (1950) in Ḵh̲urāsān. in the district ( s̲h̲ahristān ) of S̲h̲āhrūd, and county ( bak̲h̲s̲h̲ ) of Ḳalʿa-i naw. It is located 6 km. N. of S̲h̲āhrud at 55 E. Long. (Greenw.) and 36° 30′ N. Lat, on a spur of the Elburz mountains. The pre-Islamic history of the town is unknown. According to one tradition the town was founded by Bisṭām, governor of Ḵh̲urāsān during the rule of his nephew Ḵh̲usraw II Parwīz, ca. 590 A.D. Yāḳūt attributes the town to S̲h̲āpūr II (cf. Schwarz, 821). During the Ara…

Bisṭām b. Ḳays

(889 words)

Author(s): Kister, M.J.
b. masʿūd b. ḳays , abū ʾl-ṣahbāʾ or abū zīḳ (according to Ibn al-Kalbī, Ḏj̲amhara 203, nicknamed “al-Mutaḳammir”)—pre-Islamic hero, poet and sayyid of the Banu S̲h̲aybān. His family was considered one of the three most noble and aristocratie Bedouin families ( al-Ag̲h̲ānī , xvii, 105). His father is known ( al-Muḥabbar , 253) as one of the “d̲h̲awū ’l-Ākāl” (enjoying grants of the foreign rulers) and was granted by the Sāsānid kings. as a fee Ubulla and the adjacent border territories. (Ṭaff Safawān) against the obligation…

al-Bisṭāmī, ʿAbd al-Raḥmān

(182 words)

Author(s): Smith, M.
b. muḥammad b. ʿalī b. aḥmad al-ḥanafī al-ḥurūfī was born in Antioch and appears to have witnessed the sack of Aleppo, by Tīmūr, in 803/1400. He studied in Cairo and went to Bursa, then the Ottoman capital and imperial residence. There he gained the favour of Sulṭān Murād II, a patron of learning, to whom several of his works are dedicated; there he died in 858/1454. He was a mystic, belonging, as his name indicates, to the Ḥurūfī [ q.v.] order of dervishes, who attributed a mystical signifcance to the letters of the alphabet and to combinations of these (cf. his Kas̲h̲f Asrār al-Ḥurūf and his S̲h̲a…

Bīstī

(5 words)

[see sikka ]. ¶

Bīsutūn

(309 words)

Author(s): Herzfeld, E. | Frye, R.N.
, ( bihistūn of the Arabic geographers, Bīstūn in present local parlance), a mountain ca. 30 km. E. of Kirmāns̲h̲āh on the main road from Bag̲h̲dād to Hamadān. The name is found in Greek sources (Diodorus 2.13 and Isidore of Charax) τὸ βαγίστανον ὄρος, and in early Islamic authors (as al-Ḵh̲wārizmī and Ḥamza al-Iṣfahānī) where we find the archaic form Bag̲h̲istān, Old Persian* bāgastāna “place of the gods”, (or one divinity in particular). Later Islamic authors have the form Bihistūn (Bahistūn) which in modern tim…

Bitik, Bitikči

(417 words)

Author(s): Sinor, D.
, Turkish words derived from the verb biti- “to write”. A deverbal-noun bitig “written document book” is found in the Orkhon inscriptions and in the Turkish texts of Turfan. Bitikči , is a nomen agentis in -či signifying “scribe, secretary”. It is first found in Qutadyu bilig under the form bitigči . The forms with a final surd ( bitik , bitikči ) are well attested in middle Turkish notably in Čagatay and Coman. The verb biti-and its derivatives have almost disappeared from modern dialects. Khakas has preserved pičik , book, writing, document” as well as pičikči

Bitlīs

(5 words)

[see bidlīs ].

Bitolja

(5 words)

[see manastir ].
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