Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition

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al-Ṣīn
(10,023 words)

, the usual designation in mediaeval Arabic for China; properly, it means the Chinese people, but is normally used, with the prefixed bilād , for the land of China itself. 1. The name.

The initial consonant of the word represents the customary rendering of Persian čīm into early Arabic as ṣād. Thus the forms Čīnistān and Čin appear in the Persian Ḥudūd al-ʿālam (ca. 372/982), the first form going back to the 2nd century A.D. Sogdian letters and appearing subsequently in Middle Persian and Armenian; in New Persian, the form Čīn is more common. The Arabic version al-Ṣīn appears in geographical

Cite this page
Bosworth, C.E., Hartmann, M. and Israeli, R., “al-Ṣīn”, 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 January 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1573-3912_islam_COM_1080>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004161214, 1960-2007



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