Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition

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Ahl al-Bayt
(1,053 words)

, āl al-bayt , "the people of the House", āl al-nabī , "the family of the Prophet", all mean the same; the term Āl Yāsīn also occurs. The origin of the phrase is to be found in the strong clan sense of the pre-Islamic Arabs, among whom the term al-bayt was applied to or adopted by the ruling family of a tribe (by derivation from an ancient right of guardianship of the symbol of the tribal deity, according to H. Lammens, Le Culte des Bétyles , in L’Arabic occidentale avant l’Hégire , Beirut 1928, 136 ff., 154 ff.), and survived into later centuries in the plural form al-buyūtāt for the noble tribal fa…

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Goldziher, I., Arendonk, C. van and Tritton, A.S., “Ahl al-Bayt”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Consulted online on 22 January 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1573-3912_islam_SIM_0378>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004161214, 1960-2007

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