(538 words)

The most popular interpretation was that ʿarim (sing. ʿarima) were dam-like structures designed to hold back flood waters. The words occurs only once in the Qurʾān: “They turned away [from God], so we sent upon them the flood of the dams (sayl al-ʿarim) and gave them, instead of their two gardens, two which produced bitter fruit, and tamarisks and a few lote trees” ( q 34:16). Citing other Muslim sources, al-Ṭabarī (d. 310/923) describes the construction of the dams and their destruction after the people of Sheba (Sabā, see sheba ), who had enjoyed the easiest existence on earth, rejected th…

Cite this page
Khoury, R.G., “Al-ʿArim”, in: Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān, General Editor: Jane Dammen McAuliffe, Georgetown University, Washington DC. Consulted online on 21 November 2018 <>

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