Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition

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Ahl al-Ṣuffa
(765 words)

, a group of Muḥammad’s Companions, mentioned chiefly in ascetic and mystical writings, where they have come to typify the ideal of poverty and piety. The ṣuffa or ẓulla (often rendered ‘bench’, ‘banquette’, etc.) was, according to Lane, a long, covered portico or vestibule, which formed part of the mosque at Medina. This—so the legend ran—was the sole home of these men, and they spent their time in study and worship, except when in obedience to a command from Muḥammad they went out to fight. They are sometimes said to have been as many as 400; Lane (s.v. ṣuffa) quotes al-Sayyid Murtaḍā as s…

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Watt, W. Montgomery, “Ahl al-Ṣuffa”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Consulted online on 26 September 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1573-3912_islam_SIM_0385>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004161214, 1960-2007

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