Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān

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(1,731 words)

The right to act or command. The concept of authority is clearly attested in the Qurʾān but is not imparted by a single term or expression. The most common modern Arabic word for “authority,” sulṭa, does not occur in the Qurʾān. Its cognate, sulṭān, does indeed occur there frequently, although solely as a verbal noun with an abstract sense. Sulṭān denotes mainly, according to the classical exegetes, “proof” or “argument”; it only occasionally seems to mean “authority,” and even then mostly in association with “proof.” Other terms which denote some form of authority are quwwa (power), amr

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Kadi (al-Qāḍī, Wadad, “Authority”, in: Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān, General Editor: Jane Dammen McAuliffe, Georgetown University, Washington DC. Consulted online on 19 May 2022 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1875-3922_q3_EQSIM_00037>

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