(1,023 words)

(a.), literally “hard, smooth stone”, whence also “tract of stony ground”.

1. Al-Ṣafā is the name of a mound at Mecca which now rises barely above the level of the ground and which, together with the slightly higher, similar eminence of al-Marwa, plays an important role in the ceremonies or manāsik of the Meccan Pilgrimage. The names al-Ṣafā and al-Marwa (this last also sometimes qualified, e.g. by the local historian al-Azraḳī [q.v.], as al-Bayḍāʾ “the white”) both mean “the stone(s)” (see al-Ṭabarī, Tafsīr , ad sūra II, 153/158). The twin hillocks mark the beginning and conc…

Cite this page
Joel, B., Braemer, F. and Macdonald, M.C.A., “al-Ṣafā”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Consulted online on 14 December 2018 <>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004161214, 1960-2007

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