Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition

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Banū Isrāʾīl
(2,370 words)

, “the Children of Israel”.

1. This designation of the Jewish people occurs in the Ḳurʾān about forty times. The terms Yahūd , Jews, and its derivatives as well as Naṣāra , Christians, appear only in the Medinese period, although they had been widely used in pre-Islamic poetry and certainly were familiar to every Arab townsman (Joseph Horovitz, Koranische Untersuchungen , 144 ff. and 153 ff.). On the other hand, Banū Isrāʾīl never occurs in authentic pre-Islamic poetry (ibid., 91). It would therefore seem to follow that the exclusive use of this term during the Meccan pe…

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Goitein, S.D., “Banū Isrāʾīl”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Consulted online on 05 December 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1573-3912_islam_SIM_1196>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004161214, 1960-2007

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