Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition

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K̲h̲ayāl al-Ẓill
(717 words)

(“Shadow fantasy”), popular Arabic name for the shadow-play, possibly brought over from South-East Asia or India and performed in Muslim lands from the 12th century A.D. to the 20th one. Although occasionally presented during the long evenings of the Ramaḍān fast, it has now virtually disappeared with the spread of education, the cinema and television.

The only extant texts of medieval Arabic shadow-plays were composed in the 7th/13th century A.D. by an Egyptian ophthalmologist, Ibn Dāniyāl [q.v.], and consist of a humorous pageant of Egyptian life under the Mamlūk ruler Baybars I [q.v…

Cite this page
Landau, J.M., “K̲h̲ayāl al-Ẓill”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Consulted online on 19 April 2021 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1573-3912_islam_SIM_4251>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004161214, 1960-2007



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