Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition

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(1,481 words)

Plural of awwal "first", technically used to denote various ideas such as the "primary data" of philosophical or physical phenomena; the "ancients" of either pre-Islamic or early Islamic times; and the "first inventors" of things (or the things invented or done first).

In the last mentioned connotation, the term characterises a minor branch of Muslim literature with affinities to adab , historical, and theological literature. Among the Muslims themselves, only the 10th/17th-century Ḥād̲j̲d̲j̲ī Ḵh̲alīfa (Flügel), i, 490; Istanbul 1941-3, col. 1996, defines the awāʾil as a separ…

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Rosenthal, F., “Awāʾil”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Consulted online on 16 July 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1573-3912_islam_SIM_0863>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004161214, 1960-2007

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