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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Sōba

(329 words)

Author(s): Spaulding, J.L.
, a town of the mediaeval Sūdān, situated on the right bank of the Blue Nile 22.5 km/14 miles above its confluence with the White Nile. While the city arose amidst the remains of older Meroitic or Napatan settlements, to the Islamic world Sōba was the capital of the mediaeval kingdom of Alodia [see ʿalwa ]. Brief inscriptions in Old Nubian have been found in the area, while recent discoveries of texts in Greek, including a royal tombstone, suggest that this language also played an important role in the court culture of the very…

Socotri

(6 words)

[see suḳuṭra . 3]. ¶

Sofāla

(4,541 words)

Author(s): Ferrand, G. | Freeman-Greenville, G.S.P.
, Ar. Sufāla, a district and former town in Mozambique, in lat. 18° 13′ S., long. 14° 20′ E., 48 km south-south-east of Beira, was the principal port for the regional gold export trade at least from the 10th to the 17th century. Materials are not available to construct an orderly history, which is recorded only in scattered Arabic, Chinese, Persian and Portuguese sources. The name is generally connected with the Arabic root safala “to be low-lying”. Thus al-Masʿūdī (i, 331-2 = §§ 362-3) says that “whenever a mountain stretc…

Sofia

(5 words)

[see ṣofya ].

Ṣofta

(315 words)

Author(s): Bosworth, C.E.
(t., orthography ṣ.w.f.t.h ), a name given to students of the theological, legal and other sciences in the madrasa [ q.v.] system of Ottoman Turkey. A parallel form is sūk̲h̲te , in Persian literally “burnt, aflame (i.e. with the love of God or of learning)”, which seems to be the earlier form; the relationship between the two words, if any, is unclear (see S̲h̲. Sāmī, Ḳāmūs-i turkī , Istanbul 1318/1900-1, ii, 839 col. 3; Redhouse, Turkish and English dict., 1087, 1192). The term ṣofta was applied to students in the earlier stages of their education; when a student became qualified to act as a muʿ…

Softa

(308 words)

Author(s): Morray, D.W.
(Greek Sukē; Armenian Siga, Sigui; Frankish Nessekin; Arabic Sukayn, a fortress (Softa Kalesi), on the border of Cilicia Tracheia with Pamphylia, in present-day southern Turkey, 16 km/10 miles east of Anamur [ q.v.] near to the fishing-port of Bozyazı (ancient Nagidos), and the classical site of Arsinoē (Maraş, Harabeleri). The fortress occupies the top of a conical feature about a mile from the Mediterranean Sea. The fortifications consist of an upper and lower bailey, enclosed by a single enceinte punctuated with round and s…

Ṣofya

(4,084 words)

Author(s): Ivanova, Svetlana
, the Ottoman form for Sofia, the present-day capital of Bulgaria [ q.v.]. It is situated in the southern part of the Sofia plain at an altitude of 550 m/1,800 feet, at the foot of the mountains Vitoša and Ljulin; it has a temperate continental climate; a number of affluents of the river Iskăr run through the city; there are many mineral springs; and it lies on the main road between Central Europe and Istanbul, and that between Vidin on the Danube and Thessaloniki. Its successive names were Serdnopolis (Thracian population); Serdica (Roman name), Ulpia Serdica (from the second …

Soghdia

(5 words)

[see al-ṣug̲h̲d ].

Sögüd

(514 words)

Author(s): Kramers, J.H.
, modern Turkish Söğüt , a small town of northwestern Anatolia, in the classical Bithynia, now in the modern Turkish il or province of Bilecik [see biled̲j̲ik ] (lat. 40° 02′ N., long. 30° 10′ E., altitude 650 m/2,132 feet). In Ottoman times it came within the wilāyet of Ḵh̲udāwendigār or Bursa [ q.vv.]. It lies to the south of the Saḳarya river [ q.v.] between Lefke and Eskişehir, and is a day’s journey from each of these places ( Ḏj̲ihān-nümā ). Sögüd lies at the mouth of a mountain gorge, very deep and very narrow, and is built in an amphitheatre. Th…

Sökmen

(10 words)

[see alp ; artuḳids ; s̲h̲āh-i arman ].

Soḳollu Meḥmed Pas̲h̲a

(5,703 words)

Author(s): Veinstein, G.
, called Ṭawīl “the tall” ( ca. 1505-79), one of the most famous Ottoman Grand Viziers and the only to have held this office uninterruptedly under three successive sultans, from 27 June 1565 to 12 October 1579. He was born in Bosnia in the village of Sokolovići (< soḳol “falcon”) near the little town of Rudo in the ḳaḍāʾ of Višegrad into a Serbian family of minor rural nobility deriving its name from the village (sc. that of Sokolović > Tkish. Soḳollu). It had several branches, one of them supplying the second vizier Deli Ḵh̲osrew Pas̲h̲a (dismissed in 1544) through the dews̲h̲irme [ q.v.]. The s…

Sokoto

(1,077 words)

Author(s): Last, D.M.
(Sakkwato in Hausa; Ṣakata in Arabic), a city in north-western Nigeria. It was established first as a camp in 1223/1808, then the following autumn as a ribāṭ , by Muḥammad Bello [ q.v.], the son of the S̲h̲ayk̲h̲ ʿUt̲h̲mān b. Fūdī [ q.v.], in the fourth and final year of their d̲j̲ihād against Gobir. In 1230/1815, the S̲h̲ayk̲h̲, now ill, moved to Sokoto from Sifawa. On his death in 1232/1817 and with the election of Muḥammad Bello as Amīr al-Muʾminīn , the city became the headquarters of the “Sokoto Caliphate”. The S̲h̲ayk̲h̲ was buried in the garden …

Ṣolaḳ

(210 words)

Author(s): Kramers, J.H.
, the name of part of the sultan’s bodyguard in the old Ottoman military organisation. It comprised four infantry companies or ortas of the Janissaries [see yeñi čeri ], and these were originally ¶ archers ( ṣolaḳ “left-handed”, presumably because they carried their bows in the left hand); they comprised ortas 60-63. Each orta had 100 men and was commanded by a ṣolaḳ bas̲h̲i̊ , assisted by two lieutenants ( rikāb ṣolag̲h̲i̊ ). The ṣolaḳs were used exclusively as bodyguards, together with the smaller (150 men) od̲j̲aḳ of the peyks (“messengers”) under the peyk bas̲h̲i̊

Ṣolaḳ-Zāde

(363 words)

Author(s): Woodhead, Christine
, Meḥmed Hemdemī (?-1068/1658), Ottoman historian and musical composer. Very little is known about the life and career of Ṣolaḳ-zāde. Described as “old” at the time of his death, he was perhaps born sometime around the year 1000/1592. He died in Istanbul in 1068/1658. His father may have been a retired ṣolaḳ-bas̲h̲i̊ , whose connections gave his son an early entrée into the Ottoman imperial household, with which he remained closely associated. The mak̲h̲las Hemdemī reflected his status as “constant companion” to Murād IV (1…

Solomon

(7 words)

[see sulaymān b. dāwūd ].

Soltangaliev

(7 words)

[see sulṭān ʿalī ūg̲h̲lī ].

Somali, the name of a people of the Horn of Africa, and Somalia, Somaliland

(16,127 words)

Author(s): Orwin, M. | Cerulli, E. | Freeman-Greenville, G.S.P. | Rouaud, A.
, the geographical region there which they substantially inhabit. The Somali people may be divided into two major socio-economic groups: nomadic pastoralists and sedentary agriculturalists; in addition to these are people who live and work in the towns. The sedentary agriculturalists live primarily along and between the two main rivers the Shabeelle and the Jubba whilst the nomadic pastoralists live in the surrounding areas, namely the northern, western and south-western regions. The pastoralists rear ca…

Ṣōmāy

(868 words)

Author(s): Minorsky, V.
, a Kurdish district of Persia lying between the Turkish frontier (modern il or province of Hakkâri) and the western shore of Lake Urmiya, hence falling within the modern Persian ustān or province of West Ād̲h̲arbāyd̲j̲ān. In Kurdish, sōmāy means “view” (cf. in Persian sūma “terminus, finis, scopus”, Vullers, ii, 352). To the north, Ṣōmāy is separated from the basin of the Zola Čay (S̲h̲epirān, Salmās [ q.v.]) by the mountains of Bere-dī, Und̲j̲ali̊ḳ and Ag̲h̲wān; on the east the canton of Anzal separates it from Lake Urmiya; to the south-east lies the S̲h̲ayk̲…

Somnāth

(5 words)

[see sūmanāt ].
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