Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE

Get access Subject: Middle East And Islamic Studies

Edited by Kate Fleet, Gudrun Krämer, Denis Matringe, John Nawas and Devin J. Stewart.

With Roger Allen, Edith Ambros, Thomas Bauer, Johann Büssow, Carl Davila, Ruth Davis, Ahmed El Shamsy, Maribel Fierro, Najam Haider, Konrad Hirschler, Nico Kaptein, Alexander Knysh, Corinne Lefèvre, Scott Levi, Roman Loimeier, Daniela Meneghini, Negin Nabavi, M'hamed Oualdi, D. Fairchild Ruggles, Ignacio Sánchez, and Ayman Shihadeh.

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The Third Edition of the Encyclopaedia of Islam is an entirely new work, which sets out the present state of our knowledge of the Islamic World and reflects the great diversity of current scholarship. 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. The new scope includes comprehensive coverage of Islam in the twentieth century and of Muslim minorities all over the world.

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al-Nābigha al-Shaybānī

(558 words)

Author(s): Weipert, Reinhard
Al-Nābigha al-Shaybānī or Nābighat Banī Shaybān (lit., the poetic genius of the Banū Shaybān) was the honorific name of ʿAbdallāh b. al-Mukhāriq b. Sulaym (d. c.126/744), a Bedouin poet who belonged to the Banū Dhuhl b. Shaybān, a subtribe of the Bakr b. Wāʾil (for his complete genealogy, see his Dīwān, ed. Yaʿqūb, 51, and Abū l-Faraj al-Iṣfahānī, 7:106). He lived in what is today lower Iraq and travelled frequently to Damascus, where he met Umayyad caliphs, such as ʿAbd al-Malik b. Marwān (r. 65–86/685–705), al-Walīd b. ʿAbd al-Malik (r. 86–96…
Date: 2021-07-19

Nadhīr Aḥmad

(2,439 words)

Author(s): Oesterheld, Christina
Nadhīr Aḥmad (Dihlavī) (1831–1912), widely regarded as the first novelist of Urdu, was one of the most fascinating intellectuals of his period and one of the most famous graduates of Delhi College, an ardent supporter of the Aligarh movement, and probably the most successful orator of his time. In his works he sought to provide answers to the challenges of modernity under colonial rule faced by North Indian Muslims. 1. Early life Coming from a humble background, this “self-made man,” as he called himself, owed his extraordinary career to a sharp mind, a prodigious m…
Date: 2021-07-19

Nafīsa, al-Sayyida

(1,044 words)

Author(s): Ruggles, D. Fairchild
Al-Sayyida Nafīsa (d. Ramaḍān 208/January 824) was a pious and learned woman who became venerated in Cairo as one of its most celebrated saints. She was the daughter of al-Ḥasan b. Zayd b. al-Ḥasan b. ʿAlī b. ʿAbī Ṭālib (d. 167/783), the governor of Medina and a ḥadīth transmitter, and thus directly descended from the prophet Muḥammad. That she lived in prominent Shīʿī circles is evident from her marriage to Abū Muḥammad Isḥāq al-Muʾtamin, son of the famed Shīʿī Imām and ḥadīth transmitter Jaʿfar al-Ṣādiq (d. 148/765), and a ḥadīth transmitter himself. Moving from Medina to al-Fusṭā…
Date: 2021-07-19


(3,127 words)

Author(s): Shokoohy, Mehrdad | Shokoohy, Natalie H.
Nagaur (Pers., Nāgūr, located at latitude N 27.2°, longitude E 73.73°), in Rajasthan State, is one of the oldest Muslim strongholds in India, and historically the centre of a district with many towns, including Didwana, Khatu, Ladnun, and Naraina ( Āʾīn-i Akbarī, 1:512). The foundation of the town goes back to the Ghaznavids (386–583/976–1186), its fort having been built by Muḥammad Bāhalīm (or Bahlīm), Multān’s governor under Bahrām Shāh (r. 511–52/1117–57/8; Ṭabaqāt-i Nāṣirī, 1:242). A tombstone of this period in Nagaur records the death of the son of an Ismāʿīlī dāʿī (a high-ranki…
Date: 2022-04-21

al-Naḥḥās, Abū Jaʿfar

(889 words)

Author(s): Weipert, Reinhard
Abū Jaʿfar Aḥmad b. Muḥammad b. Ismāʿīl al-Naḥḥās (d. 338/950) was an Egyptian philologist with expertise in the fields of Qurʾānic philology, grammar, and pre-Islamic Arabic poetry. From Egypt, al-Naḥḥās, who is also called Ibn al-Naḥḥās or al-Ṣaffār by some biographers, travelled to Baghdad, where he studied philology under al-Zajjāj (d. 311/923), who familiarised him with the Kitāb by the famed grammarian Sībawayh (d. c.180/796). He also studied philology with ʿAlī b. Sulaymān al-Akhfash al-Aṣghar (d. 315/927), Nifṭawayh (d. 323/935), and Abū Bakr …
Date: 2021-07-19

al-Naḥḥās, Muṣṭafā

(1,226 words)

Author(s): Pink, Johanna
Muṣṭafā l-Naḥḥās (1879–1965) was an Egyptian politician. He was a member of the delegation (wafd) that demanded Egyptian independence in 1919. He became leader of the Wafd Party in 1927 and was prime minister on five different occasions between 1928 and 1952. Al-Naḥḥās was born in Samanūd, in al-Gharbiyya, on 15 June 1879 to the family of a lumber merchant. He first attended a local French-language school (run by Copts) and then moved to Cairo to continue his education at government schools. Upon graduation from the Khedivial School in …
Date: 2021-07-19

Nahj al-balāgha

(4,369 words)

Author(s): Qutbuddin, Tahera
Nahj al-balāgha (“The measure of eloquence”) is an anthology of orations, epistles, and sayings attributed to ʿAlī b. Abī Ṭālib (d. 40/661), who was the first Shīʿī Imām and the fourth Sunnī caliph (r. 35–40/656–61). The work was compiled in 400/1010 by the Twelver-Shīʿī Baghdadi scholar and poet al-Sharīf al-Raḍī (d. 406/1015). Acclaimed as a masterpiece of Arabic literature and a font of Islamic wisdom literature, it contains material on a range of topics, including history, theology, ethics, j…
Date: 2023-02-24


(970 words)

Author(s): Repp, Richard C.
Mustafa Naima (Muṣṭafā Naʿīmā, 1065–1128/1655–1716), known by his pen name (mahlas, makhlaṣ) Naima, was the author of one of the most highly regarded histories of the Ottoman state, the first in a series of state-sponsored histories that would continue until the end of the empire. He was born in Aleppo, probably around 1065/1655, the son and grandson of Janissary commanders resident in the city. He arrived in Istanbul around 1091/1680, where he entered the baltacılar ( bālṭacīlar, halberdiers), one of the corps of palace guards, and was trained for the scribal service. …
Date: 2021-07-19


(596 words)

Author(s): Bosworth, C. Edmund | updated by, ¨ | Ruggles, D. Fairchild
Nāʾīn (Nāyin) is a small town (lat. N 32°52′ long. E 53°05′, elev. 1,408 metres) on the southwestern edge of the Great Desert of central Iran, on the road connecting Yazd with Isfahan and Qum. The town, known for its large citadel and its congregational mosque, seems to have had a pre-Islamic history, but nothing is known of it. The mediaeval Islamic geographers place it in the sardsīr (cooler upland regions) and describe it as located administratively within Fārs but as dependent on either Yazd or Isfahan. According to Mustawfī (69, trans. 77), its citadel, wh…
Date: 2021-07-19


(1,086 words)

Author(s): Gaiser, Adam R.
The Najadāt were an early Khārijī subsect, named after its founder, Najda b. ʿĀmir (d. 73/692; Najdiyya and other variant spellings are recorded). Initially, he followed Nāfiʿ ibn al-Azraq (d. 65/684–5) in the Basran Khārijī rebellion of 65/684–5 against the Umayyad governor Masʿūd b. ʿAmr al-ʿAntakī (d. 65/684–5) and then against the Zubayrid general Muslim b. ʿUbays (d. 65/684–5), retreating with the Azāriqa into al-Ahwāz (Pers., Ahvāz), in southwestern Iran (al-Balādhurī, 7:174). There, howeve…
Date: 2022-09-21

al-Najāshī al-Ḥārithī

(994 words)

Author(s): Hussein, Ali Ahmad
Al-Najāshī al-Ḥārithī (d. c.40/660 or 49/669) is the sobriquet of Qays b. ʿAmr, a renowned Yemeni poet who sided with the fourth Muslim caliph, ʿAlī b. Abī Ṭālib (r. 35–40/656–61), against the ruler of Syria and future caliph Muʿāwiya b. Abī Sufyān (r. 41–60/661–80). He was born into the al-Ḥārith b. Kaʿb b. ʿAmr tribe of Yemen from the Najrān region of southwest Arabia (Kaḥḥāla, 1:231). His nickname, najāshī, comes from the Ge’ez word for ‘king’ (used in early Islam for the Ethiopian ruler) because his mother was Ethiopian and also, apparently, because of his d…
Date: 2023-01-04

Najd since 1700

(2,741 words)

Author(s): Pétriat, Philippe
The history since 1700 of Najd—the elevated plateau of Central Arabia that lies between the lowlands of the Arabian Gulf to the east, the al-Nafūd desert to the north, the Ḥijāz mountains to the west, and the Rubʿ al-Khālī (Empty Quarter) to the south—was, until the early twentieth century, characterised by recurring episodes of resistance to centralisation by local oasis-based chieftaincies. Ecological constraints, an overwhelmingly tribal political organisation, and the growth of regional trade exa…
Date: 2022-02-04

Najd until 1700

(2,075 words)

Author(s): Pétriat, Philippe
A region of variable extent in the mediaeval geographers, Najd is the elevated plateau of Central Arabia between the lowlands of the Arabian Gulf to the east, al-Nafūd desert to the north, the Ḥijāz mountains to the west, and the Rubʿ al-Khālī (Empty Quarter) to the south. On the margins of Arabia’s main kingdoms such as Ḥimyar, pre-Islamic Najd is seldom mentioned by Islamic authors, and, after the fifth/eleventh century, Najd is nearly absent from mediaeval accounts. Archaeological and historical works…
Date: 2022-02-04

Najīb al-Dīn al-Samarqandī

(1,127 words)

Author(s): Müller, Juliane
Najīb al-Dīn Abū Ḥāmid (or Abū l-Muḥāmid or Abū l-Fatḥ) Muḥammad b. ʿAlī b. ʿUmar al-Samarqandī (d. 619/1222) was a physician and author of several books on medicine. Little is known about his life other than that he suffered a violent death during the Mongol conquest of Herat in 619/1222 (Ibn Abī Uṣaybiʿa, 2:31; cf. GAL, 1:490–1; Iskandar, 451; Ullmann, 170). He started writing medical texts before 594/1197–8, as can be deduced from the oldest known dated copy of one of his works (a Mosul manuscript described in GAL, 1:491; cf. Müller, 313). Al-Samarqandī either worked or studied …
Date: 2021-07-19

Nājī, Ibrāhīm

(937 words)

Author(s): Ostle, Robin
Ibrāhīm Nājī (1893–1953) was a key member of the group of Egyptian Romantic poets who were associated with the Apollo literary journal, which was based in Cairo and founded and edited by Aḥmad Zakī Abū Shādī (d. 1955), an Egyptian man of letters and scientist. Although Apollo was published for only two years (1932–4), the poets who gathered around it were active both before and after its brief appearance, as the Romantic movement in Arabic poetry and literature gained momentum throughout the 1920s and 1930s. Ibrāhīm Nājī was born in Cairo into relatively comfortable middle-class…
Date: 2022-08-02


(2,480 words)

Author(s): Tsibenko, Veronika
Nakhchivan is a city and historical region in the South Caucasus; it is now the capital of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic of Azerbaijan. The city lies on the right bank of the Nakhchivan river (Azerbaijani, Naxçıvançay) in the Aras valley in the Transcaucasian highlands. 1. The Name According to a local legend, Nakhchivan was the first city founded after the biblical flood, at the foot of the mountain atop which Noah’s ark landed; Noah himself lived here the rest of his life. The folk etymon of the city’s name is the Armenian nakh-ichevan (the first landing or resting place). Roman…
Date: 2021-05-25


(1,382 words)

Author(s): Fenech, Louis E.
Nānak (873–946/1469–1539) was the first of ten personal Sikh gurūs (teachers). Gurū Nānak was born on the Panjāb frontier, where Indic and Islamicate cultures interacted intimately. Nānak’s ideas, like those of the many exponents of the nirguńa sampradaya or Sant tradition of northern India with whom Nānak is often aligned in contemporary scholarship, thus bore striking affinities to both Islamic and Hindu traditions. While Nānak was not the first whose ideas demonstrated such connections, he was the most remarkable, in that he ref…
Date: 2021-07-19

Naon, Avram

(538 words)

Author(s): Mignon, Laurent
Avram Naon (also Avram Naum and İbrahim Nom, 1878–1947) was a lawyer, editor, and poet who advocated the use of Turkish as a literary language among the Jews of the Ottoman Empire and the Republic of Turkey. Born in Istanbul, he completed his primary education at the Şule-i Maarif (Şuʿle-I Maʿārif, “The Light of Education”), a Jewish school in the Hasköy district. After graduating from the Dersaadet İdadi-yi Mülki-yi Şahanesi (Der-saʿādet ʿİdādī-yi Mülkī-yi Şāhānesi, Imperial Civil High School), …
Date: 2021-07-19

Naqshband, Khvāja Bahāʾ al-Dīn Muḥammad b. Muḥammad

(2,294 words)

Author(s): Paul, Jürgen
Khvāja Bahāʾ al-Dīn Muḥammad b. Muḥammad Naqshband (718–91/1318–89) was one of the central figures of the Transoxanian Ṣūfī current called the Khvājagān (lit., masters), later growing into the Naqshbandiyya, named for Bahāʾ al-Dīn. The name “Naqshband” is explained in different ways; it appears originally to have denoted the profession which Bahāʾ al-Dīn’s father and later he himself practised: printing on cotton cloth with stamps. Later, the name was taken to …
Date: 2023-02-24

al-Nasafī, Muḥammad b. Aḥmad

(1,055 words)

Author(s): De Smet, Daniel
Abū l-Ḥasan Muḥammad b. Aḥmad al-Nasafī (d. 333/944) was an Ismāʿīlī propagandist (dāʿī) whose name is generally linked with the introduction of Neoplatonic philosophy into this branch of Shīʿī Islam. Born in Bazda (hence his nisba al-Bazdawī or al-Bazdahī), in the neighbourhood of Nasaf or Nakhshab, in present day Uzbekistan, he directed the Ismāʿīlī mission (daʿwa) in Nīshāpūr, before being dispatched to Bukhara, where he converted several Sāmānid dignitaries, including the amīr Naṣr II b. Aḥmad (r. 301–31/914–43). The latter’s son and successor Nūḥ (r. 331–43/943–54) put an end to this Ismāʿīlī intermezzo at the Sāmānid court and ordered the execution of al-Nasafī and other Ismāʿīlīs in 333/944 (Stern, 78–80, 219–20; Poonawala, Biobibliography, 40–3). Al-Nasafī belonged to the Qarmaṭī bran…
Date: 2021-05-25
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