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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(549 words)

Author(s): Shaw, S.J.
, a term used interchangeably in Ottoman documents and Arabic texts with firda , in reference to personal taxes. Attested in Ottoman Egypt after about 1775 as one of the many illegal charges imposed on peasants by soldiers of the provincial governors, in 1792 this tax was legalized under the name Firdat al-taḥrīr , as a comprehensive levy to replace all the previous illegal charges. It was not a regular imposition, nor was it applied everywhere at the same time, but only where and when local authorities needed money for speci…


(1,656 words)

Author(s): Walzer, R.
, i.e., Пορφúριος, Porphyry (A.D 234-about 305) of Tyre, amanuensis, biographer and editor of Plotinus, and outstanding as the founder of Neoplatonism as a scholastic tradition. The philosophical syllabus common in Arabic philosophy is ultimately due to him: since his days it became customary to use the lecture courses of Aristotle as set-books in the Neoplatonic schools of late antiquity and to start with the Categories . He himself wrote commentaries on Aristotle and Plotinus, which seem to have reached the Arabs either in their origina…


(7 words)

[see ʿizzet pas̲h̲a, aḥmed ].


(1,036 words)

Author(s): Paret, R.
, soteriological expression used in the Ḳurʾān. The word occurs in various connexions in the Ḳurʾān and is usually translated as “discrimination”, “criterion”, “separation”, “deliverance”, or “salvation”, where it is translated at all. The Aramaic word purḳān on which it is modelled, ¶ means “deliverance”, “redemption”, and (in the Christian sense) “salvation”. The Arabic root faraḳa , which must be considered as another element in the furḳān of the Ḳurʾān, means “to separate”, “to divide”, “to distinguish”. Sūra VIII, 29 runs: “O believers, if you fear God, He will assign you a furḳān…


(1,282 words)

Author(s): Pellat, Ch.
, one of the two terms used by the Arabs to denote the Persians, the other being al-ʿAd̲j̲am [ q.v.]. In the following lines we shall attempt to show in precisely what way the Arabs were acquainted with the Persians and their civilization; for other aspects, see īrān . From remotest antiquity, the Arabian peninsula had maintained relations with Persia; shortly before Islam, these connexions were established, in the north-east, through the Lak̲h̲mids [ q.v.] of al-Ḥīra, and, in the south, through the medium of the Yemen, a vassal of Persia, and the Abnāʾ [ q.v.] who were settled in the cou…


(5 words)

[see siyāsa ].


(6 words)

[see fiḳh, uṣūl ].


(276 words)

Author(s): Naficy, Said
, the pseudonym of two Persian poets: (1) Abu ’l-Ḳāsim K̲h̲ān, younger son of Fatḥ ʿAlī K̲h̲ān Ṣabā, poet laureate at the court of Fatḥ ʿAlī S̲h̲āh Ḳād̲j̲ār, was regarded as one of the scholars of ¶ his time and had been well educated. He spent some time in Mas̲h̲had in the civil service and, after the crown prince ʿAbbās Mīrzā had visited the region, he entered his service, principally as a poet. Later he returned to Tehrān where he retired from public life and lived until the end of the 19th century. (2) Muḥammad Mahdī ibn Muḥam…


(538 words)

Author(s): Naficy, Said
, the pseudonym of three Persian poets: 1) Mīrzā Muḥammad Iṣfahānī, a scholar and native of that town. During his travels in the middle of his life he attached himself to Tīmūr S̲h̲āh, amīr of Afghanistan (1187-1207/1773-93) and became his court poet. 2) Mīrzā ʿAbbās, son of Āḳā Mūsā Bistāmī, born in 1213/1798 in ʿIrāḳ, where his father was travelling. As a youth he travelled in Māzanderān and Karmān where he started his career as a poet, at first using the pseudonym “Miskīn”. After taking the n…


(3,333 words)

Author(s): Douillet, G. | Ayalon, D.
, (A.), the whole field of equestrian knowledge, both theoretical and practical, including the principles of hippology ( k̲h̲alḳ al-k̲h̲ayl ), the care of horses and farriery ( bayṭara ), and siyāsat al-k̲h̲ayl , a more exact rendering of the concept of “equitation” in European languages, which can be defined as the art of training and using correctly a saddlehorse. The words farāsa and furūsa , more rarely used, embrace the same group of ideas. If we consult the indexes of the classical catalogues, such as the Fihrist of Ibn al-Nadīm or the exhaustive biblio…


(2,734 words)

Author(s): Marçais, G.
mosaic. The fact that the Arabic word for the mosaic itself is ultimately derived from the Greek ψῆφος, perhaps through Aramaic , and the word faṣṣ , used for the little coloured cubes which are arranged according to a pre-designed cartoon, derives from the Greek πεσσóς, leads us to consider this form of architectural decoration as a borrowing by Muslim art from Byzantine art. This borrowing is undeniable and we shall examine it ¶ later. All the same, apart from this importation from abroad, Muslim art of the early centuries seems to have included a form of mosaic wh…


(1,961 words)

Author(s): Jomier, J.
, the first city to be founded in Egypt by the Muslim conquerors and the first place of residence of the Arab governors. It was built on the east bank of the Nile, alongside the Greco-Coptic township of Babylon or Bābalyūn [ q.v.], traces of which are still preserved in the ramparts of the Ḳaṣr al-S̲h̲amʿ. A bridge of boats, interrupted by the island of al-Rawḍa [ q.v.], linked the Ḳaṣr with the city of Giza (al-D̲j̲īza) on the other bank of the Nile. Al-Fusṭāṭ was partly built beside the river, which at that time followed a more easterly course, and partly on …

Fūta Ḏj̲allon

(1,970 words)

Author(s): Cornevin, R.
(accepted French spelling Fou ta), principal massif of tropical West Africa, situated at the north-east of the Republic of Guinea. This group of mountains has been thoroughly studied by J. Richard Molard (1913-51). It is twice the size of Switzerland and of very varied character. Its eastern section has a crystalline base which rises to about ¶ 700 m./3000 ft., with some peaks of over 1000 m./3,300 ft. The Tinkisso, a tributary of the Niger, rises there. The central Fouta is an internal “Tassili” divided into three masses: in the north the massif of …


(5 words)

[see fīt̲h̲āg̲h̲ūras ].


(5 words)

[see ṭarābulus (al-s̲h̲aʾm)].


(9,840 words)

Author(s): Cahen, Cl. | Fr. Taeschner
, a term invented in about the 2nd/8th century as the counterpart of muruwwa [ q.v.], the qualities of the mature man, to signify that which is regarded as characteristic of the fatā , pl. fityān , literally “young man”; by this term it has become customary to denote various movements and organizations which until the beginning of the modern era were wide-spread throughout all the urban communities of the Muslim East. The study of these movements is made difficult by the fact that, in the course of history, t…


(6 words)

[see ibn al-fuwaṭī ].


(638 words)

Author(s): Goitein, S.D.
, pl. of fayḏj̲ , (from Persian payk ), is the name not only of the couriers of the government Barīd [ q.v.], but also of the commercial mail serving the population at large. This term was common all over North Africa and Egypt during the 5th/11th and 6th/12th centuries, while on the Egypt-Syria route the word kutubī , letter-bearer, was used. Occasionally, rasūl appears in the same sense, although the latter is more regularly applied to special messengers (see below). Since only a few letters written in Arabic script on paper have been published, for the time being our information about the fuyū…


(5 words)

[see fuḍūlī ].
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