(238 words)

(a.), plur. of ʿurf , "elevated place", "crest". In an eschatological judgement scene in Ḳuʾrān, vii, 46 a dividing wall is spoken of which separates the dwellers in Paradise from the dwellers in Hell, and men, "who are on the aʿrāf and recognise each by his marks" (v. 48: "those of the aʿrāf"). The interpretation of this passage is disputed. Bell makes the doubtful conjecture iʿrāf and translates: "(Presiding) over the recognition are men, who recognize…". According to T. Andrae the "Men on the elevated places" are probably the dwellers in the highest degrees…

Cite this page
Paret, R., “al-Aʿrāf”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Consulted online on 17 November 2018 <>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004161214, 1960-2007

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