Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition

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Raʾīs
(2,026 words)

(a.), pl. ruʾasāʾ , from raʾs , “head”, denotes the “chief, leader” of a recognisable group (political, religious, juridical, tribal, or other). The term goes back to pre-Islamic times and was used in various senses at different periods of Islamic history, either to circumscribe specific functions of the holder of the office of “leadership” ( riʾāsa ) or as a honorific title ( laḳab [q.v.]).

1. In the sense of “mayor” in the central Arab lands.

Here, the raʾīs most commonly referred to was the head of a village, a city or a city-region. He emerged as a kind of local “mayo…

Cite this page
Havemann, A., Bosworth, C.E. and Soucek, S., “Raʾīs”, 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 August 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1573-3912_islam_COM_0904>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004161214, 1960-2007



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