Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World

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(929 words)

Hijaz is a region in northwestern Arabia situated on the Red Sea between the Gulf of Aqaba and ʿAsīr. It is home to the Muslim sacred cities of Mecca and Medina. Lacking clearly defined boundaries, the term Hijaz (Ar. al-Ḥijāz) refers generally to the region along the Red Sea coast. While scholars agree that the word means “the barrier,” they do not agree as to the reason; the dispute centers on which particular mountain chain the “barrier” refers to.

Although Jews were a powerful presence in the Hijaz by the time of Muḥammad, scholars are uncertain about the origin of Jew…

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Shari Lowin, “Hijaz”, in: Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman. Consulted online on 22 September 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1878-9781_ejiw_SIM_0009820>
First published online: 2010

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