Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE

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Abū Jahl
(1,290 words)

Abū Jahl (d. 2/624), the “Father of Ignorance,” was the Qurashī leader of Muḥammad’s pagan opponents in Mecca. His actual name was ʿAmr b. Hishām b. al-Mughīra of the Makhzūm of the Quraysh. This derogatory nickname was reportedly given to him by the Prophet, and was designed to replace his actual kunya, Abū l-Ḥakam. The Prophet declared that he who calls Abū Jahl Abū l-Ḥakam commits a grave sin (al-Balādhurī, 1:141; 10:173–4). A verse by Ḥassān b. Thābit, Muḥammad’s poet, states that “his kinsmen named him Abū Ḥakam, but God named him Abū Jahl”…

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Rubin, Uri, “Abū Jahl”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE, Edited by: Kate Fleet, Gudrun Krämer, Denis Matringe, John Nawas, Devin J. Stewart. Consulted online on 16 July 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1573-3912_ei3_SIM_0029>
First published online: 2007
First print edition: 9789004161641, 2007, 2007-3

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