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(4,189 words)

Abraha was one of the most famous Christian rulers of Yemen, known as ‘the possessor of the elephant’ (see the Qurʾān, Sūrat al-Fīl, 105:1–5). He came originally from Ethiopia, and acceded to power around 530 CE.

Abraha, which is a non-Arabic word (al-Jawālīqī, 20), is the Amharic equivalent of Ibrāhīm (Ibn Durayd, 532; Wahb b. Munabbih, 136; Nöldeke, 332) or Abraham (ʿĀbidīn, 59) (cf. variant spellings for Ibrāhīm in Jeffery, 44–45). The name …

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Bargnisi, Kazem and Translated by Maryam Rezaee, “Abraha”, in: Encyclopaedia Islamica, Editors-in-Chief: Farhad Daftary. Consulted online on 02 April 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1875-9831_isla_COM_0027>
First published online: 2015

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