Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition

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al- K̲h̲āṣṣa wa ’l-ʿĀmma
(2,373 words)

(a.), two antithetical terms which, as here, and also in the plural al-k̲h̲āwaṣṣ wa’l-ʿawāmm , denote in a general way the élite and commonalty, the notables and the plebs, or the aristocracy and the masses. It is, however, extremely difficult to be more precise about these two elements of the population. Despite the equalitarianism preached by Islam, the existence of social classes within the community is indisputable, and it is certain that the use of these two general terms, by both ancient and modern wri…

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Beg, M.A.J., “al-K̲h̲āṣṣa wa ’l-ʿĀmma”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Consulted online on 31 March 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1573-3912_islam_SIM_4228>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004161214, 1960-2007

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