(1,175 words)

(a.), pl. ruwāt , reciter and transmitter of poetry, as also of narrative traditions ( ak̲h̲bār ) and ḥadīt̲h̲ [q.v.]. The term is derived from rawā “to bring, carry or convey water”, and has been extended to “carrying” in a figurative sense, i.e. “to bear by memory, to transmit or recite” (cf. Lane, 1194). There is an intensive form rāwiya , explained as “copious transmitter” ( kat̲h̲īr al-riwāya ), used in mediaeval sources as a synonym to rāwī . In modern research it is applied, as a rule, to the learned collectors of Bedouin poetry in the 8th century.

The institution of the rāwī is the main b…

Cite this page
Jacobi, Renate, “Rāwī”, 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 November 2018 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1573-3912_islam_SIM_6259>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004161214, 1960-2007

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