ʿAbdallāh b. Sabaʾ
(1,503 words)

ʿAbdallāh b. Sabaʾ, sometimes known as Ibn al-Sawdāʾ, is remembered as a heresiarch who promoted extremist teachings about ʿAlī b. Abī Ṭālib. One set of historical traditions ascribes to him a key role in provoking the dissension which led up to the murder of the caliph ʿUthmān (r. 23–35/644–56) and the First Civil War; the heresiographical literature, by contrast, paints him as the founder of extremist Shīʿism (ghulūw). In both types of material, he is described as a Jewish convert from Yemen wh…

Cite this page
Lewinstein, Keith, “ʿAbdallāh b. Sabaʾ”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE, Edited by: Kate Fleet, Gudrun Krämer, Denis Matringe, John Nawas, Everett Rowson. Consulted online on 14 November 2018 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1573-3912_ei3_COM_24156>
First published online: 2016
First print edition: 9789004305748, 2016, 2016-1

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