Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition

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(3,023 words)

(a., pl. zuhdiyyāt ), a pious, homiletic or ascetic poem, of the kind that flowered as a genre of Arabic poetry in the 2nd-3rd/8th-9th centuries. The noun zuhd [q.v.] denotes principally “asceticism”, “renunciation (of the material world)”, but the themes of the zuhdiyya are broader than this allows one to understand; collectively, the zuhdiyyāt articulate a general, God-fearing Islamic piety, exhorting mankind to be mindful of mortality and to a comportment of utter sobriety.

Though the zuhdiyya emerged as a distinctive genre in the early ʿAbbāsid period with the poetr…

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Kennedy, P.F., “Zuhdiyya”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Consulted online on 10 July 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1573-3912_islam_COM_1392>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004161214, 1960-2007

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