Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition

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(5,057 words)

(a.), pl. ṣaʿālīk , brigand, brigand-poet and mercenary in time of need. The ṣaʿālīk owe their place in history mainly to their poetic talents which were without equal at the time of the Ḏj̲āhiliyya and until the end of the Umayyad régime.

It is not at all easy to unravel the problem posed by the existence of this group, on account of the absence of contemporary documents. On the other hand, later authors, in copying ancient texts, have replaced the original terms with those in use in their own time: the ṣaʿālīk mentioned by al-Balād̲h̲urī ( Futūḥ , 310-11) become d̲h̲uʿʿār (“thieves”) in the…

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Arazi, A., “Ṣuʿlūk”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Consulted online on 25 January 2022 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1573-3912_islam_COM_1120>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004161214, 1960-2007

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