Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition

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al- Milal wal- niḥal
(1,484 words)

(a.), “the religions and the sects”, one of the stock phrases employed, in the literature known as “heresiographical” (which would be more accurately described as “doxographical”), to denote an enumeration of religious and occasionally philosophical doctrines, as well as the various groups or schools which profess them.

The origin of the expression is obscure, and its meaning is imprecise and variable. On the general sense of the first term, see milla. Al-S̲h̲ahrastānī claims, in one passage, to establish a distinction between milla and dīn , the latter signifying religion as …

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Gimaret, D., “al-Milal wa ’l-niḥal”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Consulted online on 25 July 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1573-3912_islam_SIM_5198>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004161214, 1960-2007



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