ʿAbd Allāh b. Sabaʾ
(609 words)

, reputed founder of the S̲h̲īʿa. Also called Ibn al-Sawdāʾ, Ibn Ḥarb, Ibn Wahb. "Sabaʾ" appears also as Sabāʾ; the name of the associated sect appears as Sabaʾiyya, Sabāʾiyya, or, corrupted, as Sabāyiyya, Sabābiyya.

In the Sunnī account he was a Yamanite Jew converted to Islam, who about the time of ʿAlī first introduced the ideas ascribed to the more extreme wing of the S̲h̲īʿa [ g̲h̲ulāt , q.v.]. Especially attributed to him is the exaltation of ʿAlī himself: that ʿAlī stood to Muḥammad as divinely appointed heir, as Joshua did to Moses (the wiṣāya doctrine); that ʿAlī was not dead, b…

Cite this page
Hodgson, M.G.S., “ʿAbd Allāh b. Sabaʾ”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Consulted online on 24 February 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1573-3912_islam_SIM_0061>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004161214, 1960-2007

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