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S̲h̲araf

(672 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
(a.), a verbal noun from the root s̲h̲-r-f indicating elevation, nobility, pre-eminence in the physical and the moral senses. Hence the s̲h̲arīf [ q.v.] is a person who is placed above those who surround him on account of his prestigious and noble origin. In pre-Islamic Arabia and in early Islam, s̲h̲araf and mad̲j̲d both denote “illustriousness on account of birth”, while hasab , “individual quality, merit” (as opposed to nasab ) and karam denote “illustriousness acquired by oneself” ( LA, s.w. and see ḥasab wa-nasab ). According to the historians of Islam…

Ḥurūf

(1,620 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
( ʿIlm al- ), “The science of letters”, is a branch of d̲j̲afr [ q.v.] which was originally concerned with onomatomancy in the strict sense; but, among some esoteric sects, it became a sort of magical practice, to such an extent that Ibn K̲h̲aldūn ( Muḳaddima , iii, 137-61, Fr. tr. 188-200, Rosenthal 171-82) gave it the name of sīmiyāʾ (σημεῖα), which is usually reserved for white magic. It is based on the occult properties of the letters of the alphabet and of the divine and angelic names which they form. Three basic elements are …

Nasr

(390 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
(a.) “vulture”, one of the five deities said to date from the time of Noah and to have been adored by the people then (Ḳurʾān, LXXI, 23). Ibn al-Kalbī, Aṣnām , our sole source regarding this, makes it the idol of the Ḥimyarites, who worshipped it at Balk̲h̲aʿ in the land of Sabaʾ ( TA, iii, 572, at the end, cites al-D̲j̲awharī, who says that Nasr was the idol of D̲h̲u ’l-Kilāʿ of the Ḥimyarite country). It was Maʿdī-Karib, of the sub-group of D̲h̲ū Ruʿayn, who received it from ʿAmr b. Luḥayy, the first known reformer of the cult in Arabia; he disco…

Ibn Waḥs̲h̲iyya

(2,716 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
, name of a person to whom are attributed a number of works and whose full name is said to have been Abū Bakr Aḥmad b. ʿAlī b. Ḳays (omitted in Fihrist , 311, which adds: b. al-Muk̲h̲tār b. ʿAbd al-Karīm b. Ḏj̲art̲h̲iya b. Badniyā b. Barṭāniyā b. ʿĀlāṭiyā) al-Kasdānī (omitted in MS Istanbul, Beyazit 4064 [see below]) al-Ṣūfī (added in Fihrist and some manuscripts) al-Ḳussaynī (added in MSS Beyazit 4064 and Leiden, vocalized thus in Beyazit, read al-Ḳasītī or al Ḳusaytī by M. Plessner; cf. Fihrist: min ahl Ḳussīn ), known as Ibn Waḥs̲h̲iyya, but of whose existenc…

Manāf

(479 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
, name of a deity ofancient Arabia. This IVth form maṣdar from the root n-w-f is connected with the Qatabanite nwfn “the exalted”, an epithet describing ʿAt̲h̲ar-Venus at its zenith, as opposed to s̲h̲rḳn “the eastern” and g̲h̲rbn “the western”. From the same root is derived tanūf “that which climbs high in the firmament”, an epithet of the sun, as opposed to ms̲h̲rḳtym “that which rises”, and tadūn “that which sets” (cf. A. Jamme, Le panthéon sud-arabe préislamique’d’après les sources épigraphiques , in Le Muséon , lx [1947], 88 and n. 225, 102, 106; on th…

Ibn G̲h̲annām

(511 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
, Abū Ṭāhir Ibrāhīm b. Yaḥyā b. G̲h̲annām al-Ḥarrānī al-Numayrī al-Ḥanbalī al-Maḳdisī (d. 693/1294), is the author of a treatise on oneiromancy that was widely circulated, on account of its alphabetical arrangement which makes it rapid and simple to consult. He was thus the innovator of a system which, after his time, became widely adopted. His treatise, entitled al-Muʿallam ʿalā ḥurūf al-muʿd̲j̲am , led oneiromancy away from the traditional paths by renouncing the plan inspired by that of the Book of Dreams of Artemidorus of Ephesus (ed. T. Fahd, Damascus 1964, PIFD) and sanctioned b…

K̲h̲awāṣṣ al-Ḳurʾān

(514 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
, the art of drawing prognostications from verses of the Ḳurʾān to which beneficial effects are attributed. The sacred text is used here in the same spirit as in rhapsodomancy ( ʿilm al-ḳurʿa ) and onomatomancy [see d̲j̲afr and ḥurūf. ] But it is here more particularly a case of the “natural properties” (φυσικά) which certain formulae of a magical and superstitious nature can have, based upon suitable Ḳurʾānic verses, letters drawn from these verse, words, names of angels, prophets or God, prayers bearing celebrated names and poems ( e.g. the Burda ). Hence these …

Talbiya

(1,154 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
(a.), the invocation made in a loud voice and repeatedly by the pilgrim when he enters the state of ritual taboo ( iḥrām ) for the Pilgrimage at Mecca [see ḥad̲j̲d̲j̲ ]. This moment begins on entering the Ḥaram or sacred area and at the points where the pilgrims gather together ( mawāḳīt ) on the boundaries of the enclosure. Amongst the practices to be followed by the pilgrims are prayers and movements (see T. Fahd, Les pratiques musulmanes , in Atlas des religions , Encylopaedia Universalis, Paris 1988, 319-23). On entering the sacred territory, the pilgr…

Isāf Wā-naʾila

(657 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
, a pair of gods worshipped at ¶ Mecca before Islam. Several orientalists of the last century, such as Rudolph Krehl and François Lenormant, saw in them, not unreasonably, replicas of Baʿl and Baʿla. Indeed Isāf and Nāʾila do display the essential characteristics distinguishing this pair of gods from the many avatars known in the various Semitic religions: physical représentation by two sacred stones erected close to each other, or by two parallel hills; symbolic représentation of…

Malḥama

(944 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
(a) in modern times designates an epic [see haṃāsa ] and also corresponds to a usage already in evidence in the Old Testament, where milḥamōt is applied to the wars of Yahweh (I Sam. xviii, 17, xxv, 28), but in the Islamic Middle Ages this word meant a writing of a divinatory character, the Malḥamat Dāniyāl [cf. dāniyāl ]. It is a question of a collection of meteorological signs with their divinatory meanings, derived from the day of the week on which 1 January falls (from the Saturday to the Friday), eclipses of the moon, followi…

Istinzāl

(407 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
, a term denoting hydromancy, according to Doutté, Magie et religion dans l’Afrique DU Nord (Algiers 1909), 389; but in Ibn Ḵh̲aldūn. Muḳaddima , iii, 137 ff., istinzāl rūḥāniyyāt al-aflāk is a technique belonging to sīmyāʾ [ q.v.], natural or phantasmagoric magic (cf. T. Fahd, Divination, 49, n. 1). The Pseudo-Mad̲j̲rīṭī prefers to use istid̲j̲lāb (cf. Sources Orientales , vii (1966), 170 ff.). Elsewhere, in al-Būnī and Ibn al-Muwaḳḳiʿ, istinzāl al-arwāḥ wa-’ stiḥḍāruhā fī ḳawālib al-as̲h̲bāḥ denotes the techniques of spiritism, although these are generally denoted by the name ʿilm…

Saʿd Wa-Naḥs

(351 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
(a.), literally, "the fortunate and the unfortunate". These concepts are based on the influence exerted by the planets and the signs of the Zodiac on earthly events. The astrologers describe the stars as being either . saʿd or naḥs . Thus Jupiter, Venus and the Moon are said to be saʿd, Saturn is naḥs and the Sun and Mercury are at times called one or the other. But this can vary as a function of their positions in the ecliptic and of their conjunctions (cf. Abū Maslama Muḥammad al-Mad̲j̲rīṭī, G̲h̲āyat al-ḥakīm , ed. H. Ritter, Leipzig 1933, 198 ff. = M. Plessner, Picatrix , London 1962, 209 ff.; L’ag…

S̲h̲āma

(847 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
(a., pl. s̲h̲āmāt ) “naevus, skin blemish, mole”. This term seems originally to have denoted the coloured marks on a horse’s body, above all, where they are disapproved of ( TʿA , viii, 362 ll. 12-13). It is applied to all marks of a colour different from the main body which they mark, and to all black marks on the body or on the ground ( ibid., ll. 304). But from what we know at present in our texts, there is no difference between s̲h̲āmāt and k̲h̲īlān (sing, k̲h̲āl ) (the two terms are attested in Akkadian: cf. ḫālu , Bezold, Babylonisch-Assyrisches Glossar , Heidelberg 1926, 120, and sāmūti , Labat, T…

Ibn Sīrīn

(947 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
, Abū Bakr Muḥammad , the first renowned Muslim interpreter of dreams, was also, according to Ibn Saʿd (vii/1, 140), a traditionist “of great trustworthiness, who inspired confidence, great and worthy, well-versed in jurisprudence. He was an imām of great scholarship and piety”. Born two years before the end of the caliphate of ʿUt̲h̲mān, i.e., in 34/654, he was the contemporary and friend of al-Ḥasan al-Baṣrī [ q.v.] and died in the same year as he, in 110/728. His father, a tinker from Ḏj̲ard̲j̲arāyā. had been taken prisoner in ʿIrāḳ (at Maysān or at ʿAyn al-…

S̲h̲ayʿ al-Ḳawm

(273 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
, the name of a Safaitic deity, unknown however in the pantheon of Central and South Arabia. In Safaitic inscriptions he appears as šyʿhḳwm , i.e. S̲h̲ayʿ ha-Ḳawm, and it is only in the Nabataean and Palmyrene inscriptions (see G. Ryckmans, Les religions arabes préislamiques 2, Louvain 1953 = Quillet, Hist . gen . des religions 2, Paris 1960, ii, 199-228) that we have the form with the regular Arabic definite article, S̲h̲ayʿ al-Ḳawm. The name may refer to a tribal deity in the form of a lion or lion cub, so that S̲h̲ayʿ Allāh (this theophoric name, probably a depagan…

Naḳā

(192 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
(a.), a term connected with nuḳāwā , a generic noun denoting alkaline plants utilised for washing linen and whitening cloths. These are plants which grow stems without any leaves; as soon as they dry up, they become white. They give linen a dazzling white colouring. By analogy, the term denotes also a “rite of reconciliation” which was used in the Ḥid̲j̲āz and which was used for righting injuries. This was done in the following manner: The party causing the offence stops on the threshhold of the aggrieved party, holding a knife in each hand, and says: al-naḳā naḳānā wa ’l-naḳā naḳiyyu ’l-r…

D̲h̲u ’l K̲h̲alaṣa

(469 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
(or K̲h̲ulaṣa ). D̲h̲u ’l-K̲h̲alaṣa refers to the sacred stone (and the holy place where it was to be found) which was worshipped by the tribes of Daws, K̲h̲at̲h̲ʿam, Bad̲j̲īla, the Azd of the Sarāt mountains and the Arabs of Tabāla. “It was a white quartziferous rock, bearing the sculpture of something like a crown. It was in Tabāla at the place called al-ʿAblāʾ, i.e., White Rock ( TʿA , viii, 3) between Mecca and the Yemen and seven nights’ march from the former ( i.e., approximately 192 kilometres or 119 miles). The guardians of the sanctuary were the Banū Umāma of the Bāhila…

al-Kaff

(1,138 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
( ʿilm-i ), a divinatory process which belongs to the realm of physiognomy [see firāsa ], and designates more specifically chirognomy, or the art of deducing the character of a person according to the shape and appearance of the hands, whereas chiromancy proper is designated by ʿilm al-asārīr (lines of the hand) or k̲h̲uṭūṭ al-yad . One can also say naẓar fi ’l-yad , firāsat al-kaff , ʿalāmāt asārīr al-kaff (cf. T. Fahd, Divination arabe , 393 ff.). But the use of the term ʿilm al-kaff has become general, and this has supplanted the others. It covers both c…

Firāsa

(1,286 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
, a technique of inductive divination which permits the foretelling of moral conditions and psychological behaviour from external indications and physical states: al-istidlāl bi’l-k̲h̲alḳ al-Ẓāhir ʿala’l-k̲h̲ulḳ al-bāṭin (cf. al-Rāzī, Firāsa , ed. Mourad, 4; Ḥād̲j̲d̲j̲ī K̲h̲alīfa, ii, p. VIII; iv, 388 ff.; al-Ḳazwīnī, i, 318; cf. Ps.-Diāḥiẓ. ʿIrāfa , ed. Inostrant̲s̲ev, 17 ff.). These indications are provided by colours, forms and limbs; they reveal to experts the secrets of characters and minds. “Peculiarities of charac…

Ruḳya

(961 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
, (a.) from the root r-ḳ-y meaning “to ascend” (cf. Ḳurʾān, XVII, 93, XXXVIII, 10; to this, LXXV, 27, adds the idea of “enchanter”, “one who cures” and “magician” rāḳ in, a term often found in the Sīra , in Ḥadīt̲h̲ and in the Sunna), “enchantment, magical spell”. Since casting a spell was usually by means of a magical formula pronounced or written on an amulet of parchment or leather, rāḳ in is to be connected with ḳāriʾ and riḳḳ [ q.v.]. The term tarāḳī of the preceding verse, 26, from the root r-ḳ-w/y , variously understood by the commentators, means “collar bones” (see TA and Lane, s.v.; Steingass…
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