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(913 words)

(a.), deviator, apostate, heretic, atheist. The religious meaning of the term is derived from the basic sense of the root l-ḥ-d “to incline, to deviate”. There is no evidence of pre-Islamic usage in a religious meaning. The Islamic usage arose on the basis of the Ḳurʾānic verses VII, 180: “Leave those who deviate ( yulḥidūna , var . yalḥadūna ) in regard to His names”; XLI, 40: “Verily, those who deviate in regard to Our signs ( yulḥidūna fī āyātina ) are not hidden from Us”; and XXII, 25: “Whoever seeks in it (sc. the sacred Mosque of Mecca) to perpetrate deviation ( bi-ilḥād ) wantonly, We shal…

Cite this page
Madelung, W., “Mulḥid”, 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 November 2018 <>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004161214, 1960-2007

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