Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE

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(957 words)

Henna (ḥinnāʾ) denotes the shrub Lawsonia inermis L. (Lythraceae) and the reddish dye obtained from it that is mentioned in the Prophetic ḥadīth as a dye for the body and hair, and as a remedy. It is widely cultivated and used from Morocco to Indonesia for aesthetic, ritual, magical, and medicinal reasons.

The plant is widespread in Arabia, Africa, and Asia (map in Aubaile-Sallenave, Voyages, 130), and has also been introduced to the New World tropics. The Arabic word ḥinnāʾ has entered Persian (ḥinā), Turkish (kına), and Turkic languages, while in the Indian subcontinent deriva…

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Schönig, Hanne, “Henna”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE, Edited by: Kate Fleet, Gudrun Krämer, Denis Matringe, John Nawas, Devin J. Stewart. Consulted online on 25 July 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1573-3912_ei3_COM_30430>
First published online: 2016
First print edition: 9789004305779, 2016, 2016-4

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