(1,299 words)

, sometimes connected with nifrīt , wicked, is an epithet expressing power, cunning and insubordination. In spite of its aberrant form, the word seems to be of Arabic origin. The lexicographers consider it to derive from the verb ʿafara , “to roll someone in the dust” and, by extension, “to bring low”.

The word is used rarely in Arabic poetry of the time of the Hid̲j̲ra and is found only once in the Ḳurʾān. To Solomon’s request that he should be brought the throne of the queen of Sheba, “an ʿifrīt of the d̲j̲inns said, ‘I shall bring it to you before you can rise from your place’” (XXVI…

Cite this page
Chelhod, J., “ʿIfrīt”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Consulted online on 11 December 2018 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1573-3912_islam_SIM_3502>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004161214, 1960-2007

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