Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition

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(10,427 words)

(a.), pl. mawālī , a term of theological, historical and legal usage which had varying meanings in different periods and in different social contexts. Linguistically, it is the noun of place of the verb waliya , with the basic meaning of “to be close to, to be connected with someone or something” (see LA, xx, 287ff.; TA, x, 398-401), whence acquiring the sense “to be close to power, authority” > “to hold power, govern, be in charge of some office” (see Lane, s.v.) and yielding such administrative terms as wāl…

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Wensinck, A.J. and Crone, P., “Mawlā”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Consulted online on 22 January 2021 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1573-3912_islam_COM_0714>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004161214, 1960-2007

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