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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Shaaban Robert

(229 words)

Author(s): Freeman-Greenville, G.S.P.
(1909-1962) was the foremost Swahili poet of his generation, if not of the past three centuries. He also had a profound influence on contemporary Swahili prose writing. He was born at Machui, a village south of Tanga on the Tanzanian coast, the son of a Yao settler from Malawi and a local Digo mother. His only formal education in the western sense was in Dar es Salaam from 1922 to 1926, which enabled him to gain employment as a government clerk. He had also attended Ḳurʾānic schools, and, as tru…


(1,870 words)

Author(s): Beeston, A.F.L. | Ayalon, A.
1. In pre-Islamic South Arabia this term (spelt s 2ʿb in the musnad script) denotes a unit of social organisation for which there has grown up among specialists a convention of using the translation “tribe”; but this can be misleading for non-specialists. ¶ The South Arabian s 2ʿb was antithetic on one hand to the term ʿs 2 r (= Arabic ʿas̲h̲āʾir ) applied by the South Arabian sedentary communities to the nomad bedouin of central Arabia; and on the other hand, within the South Arabian sedentary culture itself, to the “house” ( byt ), a family group based on kinship …


(5 words)

[see katanga ].


(389 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
, S̲h̲aʿwad̲h̲a (also with final d for d̲h̲ ) (a.), prestidigitation, sleight of hand, and from it, mus̲h̲aʿb/wid̲h̲ , magician, trickster. The word is paraphrased by the lexicographers, following al-Layt̲h̲ (b. al-Muẓaffar) [ q.v.], by k̲h̲iffat al-yad and uk̲h̲ad̲h̲ (pl. of uk̲h̲d̲h̲d ), see al-Azharī, Tahd̲h̲īb , i, 405. Fihrist , 312, mentions as “the first to perform s̲h̲aʿbad̲h̲a in Islam” a certain ʿAbīd/ʿUbayd al-Kayyis who also wrote a Kitāb al-S̲h̲aʿbad̲h̲a , and another mus̲h̲aʿbid̲h̲ nicknamed “Mill Shaft” (Ḳuṭb al-raḥā), about both o…


(1,022 words)

Author(s): Bruinessen, M. van
, a heterodox religious community living in several dozen villages east of Mawṣil, in a triangle bounded by the Tigris and the Greater Zāb. Their numbers were in 1925 estimated at around 10,000; the 1960 ʿIrāḳi census enumerated 15,000, living in 35 villages (Vinogradov 1974: 208). Recent estimates tend to be considerably higher. The S̲h̲abak commonly consider themselves as Kurds, but have since the 1970s been subject to concerted efforts at Arabicisation, culminating in the destruction of around 20 S̲h̲abak villages in 1988. The ¶ language of their prayers and religious ritual…


(350 words)

Author(s): Morray, D.W.
, the name given in several mediaeval Arabic sources to an area east of presentday Turkish Urfa (Arabic al-Ruhā [ q.v.], Frankish Edessa), and north of Ḥarrān. We can perhaps identify it with the range of hills known as the Tektek Dağ. S̲h̲abak̲h̲tān apparently comprised a number of strongholds, each with its dependant fief or ʿamal . Fiefs ( aʿmāl ) of S̲h̲abak̲h̲tān referred to in the sources include D̲j̲umlayn, al-Ḳurādī, Tall Mawzan and al-Muwazzar. References to S̲h̲abak̲h̲tān, or to strongholds within it, begin with the Crusad…


(578 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
, name of the eighth month of the Islamic lunar year. In classical ḥadīt̲h̲ it has already its place after Rad̲j̲ab Muḍar. In Indian Islam it has the name of S̲h̲ab-i barāt (see below), the Atchehnese call it Kandūri bu and among the Tigrē tribes of Eritrea it is called Maddagēn , i.e. who follows upon Rad̲j̲ab. In early Arabia, the month of S̲h̲aʿbān (the name may mean “interval”) seems to have corresponded, as to its significance, to Ramaḍān. According to the ḥadīt̲h̲, Muḥammad practised superogatory fasting by preference in S̲h̲aʿbān (al-Buk̲h̲ārī, Ṣawm , bāb 52; Muslim, Ṣiyām


(913 words)

Author(s): Holt, P.M.
, the name of two Mamlūk sultans. 1. al-Malik al-Kāmil , (son of al-Nāṣir Muḥammad b. Ḳalāwūn [ q.v.]), who succeeded his full brother, al-Ṣāliḥ Ismāʿīl, on the latter’s death on 4 Rabīʿ II 746/4 August 1345. His accession was brought about by a faction headed by his stepfather, Arg̲h̲ūn al-ʿAlāʾī, who had been in effect regent for Ismāʿīl. A rival faction led by the vicegerent of Egypt, Almalik, supporting his half-brother Ḥād̲j̲d̲j̲ī, rapidly lost power, and Arg̲h̲ūn became the dominant magnate throughout the reign. His sound pol…


(1,627 words)

Author(s): Clayer, Nathalie
, a mystical brotherhood arising out of the K̲h̲alwatiyya [ q.v.] at Kastamonu in northern Anatolia towards the middle of the 10th/16th century. Its pīr , S̲h̲aʿbān Well, born at Tās̲h̲köprü in this same region, was initiated into the K̲h̲alwatiyya precepts by the s̲h̲ayk̲h̲ K̲h̲ayr al-Dīn Tokadī of Bolu on his return from a period of study in Istanbul, and died in 976/1568-9 at Kastamonu, where he directed a group of his disciples after spending twelve years at the side of his spiritual master…


(2,313 words)

Author(s): Büchner, V.F. | Bosworth, C.E.
, the name of a Kurdish tribe and of their country in southern Persia during mediaeval Islamic times. Ibn al-At̲h̲īr spells the name S̲h̲awānkāra, whilst Marco Polo rendered it as Soncara. According to Ḥamd Allāh Mustawfī, the S̲h̲abānkāra country was bounded by Fārs, Kirmān and the Persian Gulf. At present, it falls within the ustān or province of Fārs, and there are still two villages, in the s̲h̲ahrastāns of D̲j̲ahrum and Bū S̲h̲ahr respectively, bearing the name S̲h̲abānkāra (Razmārā (ed.), Farhang-i d̲j̲ug̲h̲rāfiyā-yi Īrānzamīn , vii, 139). Mustawfī says that the capital was…


(378 words)

Author(s): Bosworth, C.E. | Jackson, P.
, Muḥammad b. ʿAlī, Persian poet, littérateur and historian, of Kurdish origin ( ca. 697-759/ ca. 1298-1358), who wrote during the last decades of the Īl-K̲h̲ānid era. His general history, the Mad̲j̲maʿ al-ansāb fi ’l-tawārīk̲h̲ , exists in a number of versions. The first redaction, dedicated to the Īl-K̲h̲ānid Abū Saʿīd’s vizier G̲h̲iyāt̲h̲ al-Dīn Muḥammad b. Ras̲h̲īd al-Dīn, was produced in 733/1332-3 but was lost in the destruction of the vizier’s house in 736/1336. S̲h̲abānkāraʾī completed a second redac…


(200 words)

Author(s): Massignon, L.
, the name of a sect of extreme Ḳarmaṭians in the region of Baṣra and al-Aḥsā led by hereditary chiefs, the Banū S̲h̲ābās̲h̲ s̲h̲ayk̲h̲ s (the rubūbiyya was handed down from father to son). Their political activity lasted over a century (about 380 to 480/990-1090) in the Persian Gulf region. (The form S̲h̲abbāsiyya should be dropped.) Two of them, in spite of their excommunication by orthodox writers, were viziers to the Būyid governor of Baṣra: Abu ’l-Ḥasan ʿAlī b. Faḍl (or Ḥasan) Ibn S̲h̲ābās̲h̲ (d. 444/1052) and his son Salīl al-Barakāt (mentioned…

S̲h̲abbatay Ṣebī

(1,334 words)

Author(s): Fenton, P.-B.
, a jewish mystic, pseudo-Messiah and the inspiration for a Judaeo-Muslim sect. Born at Izmir in 1035/1626, where his father, originally from the Peloponnese, was a trader, he showed a precocious propensity for the religious sciences, and was dedicated to a rabbinical career. From his adolescence, he devoted his time to the esoteric study of the Ḳabbālāh and led a life of abstinence and solitude. Thanks to his remarkable charisma, he became surrounded by a group of adepts whose extravagant practices ended u…


(992 words)

Author(s): Ghédira, A.
, Abu ’l-Ḳāsim b. Muḥammad b. Abi ’l-Ḳāsim Ibrāhīm, modern Tunisian poet (1909-34). There exists no legal registration of his birth, but according to information published in his lifetime (al-Sanūsī, 1927, 202) and confirmed in a posthumous letter ( Complete works, ii, Correspondence , 269), he was born on 3 Ṣafar 1327/24 February 1909 in the village of al-S̲h̲ābbiyya, near Tozeur in southern Tunisia, whence his nisba , the eldest of a numerous family. His father, who had studied at al-Azhar 1901-8 and then at the Zaytūna of Tunis, was appointed in 1910 as ḳāḍī at S…

S̲h̲abbīr Ḥasan K̲h̲ān D̲j̲os̲h̲

(1,575 words)

Author(s): Rahman, Munibur
, modern Urdu poet, born 5 December 1898, died 22 February 1982. He was born in Malīḥābād, a town in present-day Uttar Pradesh (formerly United Provinces) in India. His parents gave him the name of S̲h̲abbīr Aḥmad K̲h̲ān, but subsequently he adopted his existing name of S̲h̲abbīr Ḥasan K̲h̲ān as a token of his S̲h̲īʿī sympathies. He descended from a line of poets reaching back to his great-grandfather, Nawwāb Faḳīr Muḥammad K̲h̲ān, who composed poetry under the pen-name Goyā. D̲j̲os̲h̲ received his early ed…

al-S̲h̲ābb al-Ẓarīf

(6 words)

[see al-tilimsānī ].


(1,620 words)

Author(s): Juynboll, G.H.A.
, ʿĀmir b. S̲h̲arāḥīl b. ʿAbd al-Kūfī, Abū ʿAmr, famous early legal expert and transmitter of ḥadīt̲h̲ [ q.v.]. He is said to have been a descendant of a kinglet (Ar. ḳayl ) of Yemen. He was a member of the S̲h̲aʿb clan of the tribe of Hamdān. In isnād s [ q.v.] he is either referred to as al-S̲h̲aʿbī or (less often) as ʿĀmir (without patronymic), but there are no other men called ʿĀmir, at least not in that early slot of isnāds, immediately preceding a Companion or the Prophet, with whom he could have been confused. As is the case with many other leading figures of the first …

S̲h̲abīb b. S̲h̲ayba

(608 words)

Author(s): Leder, S.
, Abū Maʿmar al-Minḳarī al-Tamīmī, orator, narrator of ak̲h̲bār and author of many maxims preserved in various works of adab literature, was a man of high lineage of the Saʿd b. Zayd Manāt branch of the Banū Tamīm at Basra. K̲h̲ālid b. Ṣafwān [ q.v.], the famous orator of the late Umayyad and early ʿAbbāsid periods, also belonged to the same family as S̲h̲abīb. According to al-D̲j̲āḥiẓ ( al-Bayān wa ’l-tabyīn , ed. ʿAbd al-Salām M. Hārūn, i, 355), they were cousins, but biographers also note a different lineage (e.g. al-K̲h̲aṭīb, Taʾrīk̲h̲ Bag̲h̲dād, ix, ¶ 274). In any case, they are oft…

S̲h̲abīb b. Yazīd

(664 words)

Author(s): Zetterstéen, K.V. | Robinson, C.F.
b. Nuʿaym al-S̲h̲aybānī, K̲h̲ārid̲j̲ite leader of the early Umayyad period. A tribesman of the Banū Hammām b. Murra b. D̲h̲uhl lineage of the S̲h̲aybān, S̲h̲abīb’s father Yazīd b. Nuʿaym emigrated from al-Kūfa to the region of al-Mawṣil, and participated in Salmān b. Rabīʿa al-Bāhilī’s raids along the northern frontier; during one of these Nuʿaym is said to have taken a wife, and the union produced S̲h̲abīb in Ḏh̲u ’l-Ḥid̲j̲d̲j̲a of year 25 (September/October 646) or 26 (September/October 647). S̲h̲abīb seems to have grown up in al-Mawṣil, ¶ perhaps in the town of Sātīdamā (on th…


(6 words)

[see maḥmūd s̲h̲abistarī ].
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