Ḥanīf
(1,754 words)

(a.) (pl. ḥunafāʾ ), means in Islamic writing one who follows the original and true (monotheistic) religion.

1. The Ḳurʾān. The word ḥanīf is used especially of Abraham as the type of this pure worship of God; II, 135/129; III, 67/60, 95/89; IV, 125/124; VI, 79, 161/162; XVI, 120/121, 123/124; XXII, 31/32. In most of these verses the ḥanīf is contrasted with the idolaters ( mus̲h̲rikūn ). Il is also asserted that Abraham was neither a Jew nor a Christian (III, 67/60; cf. II, 135/129), and that the people of the book were originally commanded to worship God as ḥunafāʾ (XCVIII, 5/4). In the rem…

Cite this page
Watt, W. Montgomery, “Ḥanīf”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Consulted online on 14 December 2018 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1573-3912_islam_COM_0264>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004161214, 1960-2007



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