Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition

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Mat̲h̲al
(14,502 words)

(a., pl. amt̲h̲āl ) proverb, popular saying, derives—similarly to Aram, mat̲h̲lā , Hebr. mās̲h̲āl and Ethiop. mesl , mesālē —from the common Semitic root for “sameness, equality, likeness, equivalent” (cf. Akkad. mas̲h̲ālum “equality”, mis̲h̲lum “half”). In Arabic, to create a proverb is fa-arsala(t) , or d̲j̲aʿala (t)hu mat̲h̲al an, fa-ḍaraba (t) bihi ’l-mat̲h̲al a; to become proverbial is ḍuriba bihi ’l-mat̲h̲alu , mat̲h̲al un yuḍrabu fa-d̲h̲ahaba (t), or d̲j̲arā / d̲j̲arat mat̲h̲al an, or, simply, fa-ṣāra mat̲…

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Sellheim, R., Wickens, G.M., Boratav, P.N., Haywood, J.A. and Knappert, J., “Mat̲h̲al”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Consulted online on 09 August 2022 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1573-3912_islam_COM_0707>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004161214, 1960-2007



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