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al-Lāt

(1,276 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
, name of one of the three most venerated deities of the pre-Islamic pantheon, the two others being Manāt and al-ʿUzzā [ q.vv.]. The deep attachment felt by the T̲h̲aḳīf towards al-Lāt, the Aws and the K̲h̲azrad̲j̲ towards Manāt and the Ḳurays̲h̲ towards al-ʿUzzā, constituted the greatest obstacle in the path of the peaceful implantation of Islam in the regions of the Ḥid̲j̲āz. This obstacle was so difficult to overcome that the Prophet seems, for a brief period, to have consented to the continuation of the cult of these three deities, called al-g̲h̲arānīḳ al-ʿulā (see T. Fahd, Panthéon

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…

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…

Nubuwwa

(4,585 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
(a.), “prophecy”, Hebrew nəb̲ūʾa , substantive derived from nabī “prophet”, Hebrew nābī (ʾ), term denoting in the first instance the precognition given by the divinity (Yahweh, the Baʿl, Allāh) to the prophet and the prediction made by the latter of future contingencies. In the second instance, nubuwwa is identified with waḥy , “revelation”, which simultaneously comprises dogmas, cultic regulations, moral education, precepts of social and political order. In fact, for the early Muslims, prophecy was regarded as being the so…

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…

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…

Siḥr

(4,799 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
(a.), magic. This term is applied (1) to that which entrances the eye and acts on the psyche of the individual, making him believe that what he sees is real when it is not so. This is called al-uk̲h̲d̲h̲a , “charm, incantation” [see ruḳya ], “artifice, stratagem” [see nīrand̲j̲ , sīmiyā ]; in short, everything that is known as “white” or “natural magic”. It also refers (2) to things, the apprehension ( maʾk̲h̲ad̲h̲ ) of which is fine and subtle; this applies, for example, to certain poetry and certain eloquence, that of the Ḳurʾān in particular. The Prophet was allegedly told, inna min al-bayāni …

Nud̲j̲ūm

(3,790 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
( Aḥkām al- ), “decrees of the stars”, expression denoting astrology [see also munad̲j̲d̲j̲im ]. Astrology comprises two branches: natural astrology, consisting in the observation of the influences of the stars on the natural elements, and judicial astrology, consisting in the observation of the influences of the stars on human destiny. The scientific term which describes them is Ptolemaism (derived from the astrological work of Ptolemy, entitled Κλαυδίου Πτολεμαίου τῶν πρὸς Σύρον ἀποτελεσματικῶν, ed. F. Boll and Ae. Boer, in Bibliotheca Teubneriana , Le…

Niyāḥa

(461 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
(a.) “lamentation”, the noun of action from nāḥa “to weep with great cries, lamentations, sighings and affliction”. The term is used to designate the activity of professional mourners who play a great role in funeral ceremonies all around the Mediterranean. If it is mentioned here, it is because this practice, considered to be a legacy of paganism, was condemned by the Prophet. Indeed, he is made to say “Three pre-Islamic customs ( ak̲h̲lāḳ ; Usd al-g̲h̲āba , fiʿl ) are not to be retained by the Muslims. They are: invoking the planets in order to receive rain ( istisḳāʾ bi ’l-kawākib

Taʿbı̄r al-Ruʾya

(1,558 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
(a.), “The interpretation of dreams”. As well as this expression, tafsīr al-aḥlām is employed, with taʿbīr , basically “the passage of one thing to another, one sense to another”, hence “explanation” and tafsīr , lit. “commenting, explaining”, from roots occurring in other Semitic languages and with the two Arabic verbal nouns found, once each, in the Ḳurʾān, at XII, 43, and XXV, 33, with taʾwīl [ q.v.] also at XII, 44-5. In current usage, taʿbīr is confined to the sense of “interpretation of dreams”, whilst tafsīr [ q.v.] is used for commentaries on e.g. the Bible and the Ḳurʾān. For the ter…

Nuṣub

(1,330 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
(a.), pl. anṣāb , Hebrew maṣṣeb̲ōt . The plural, more often used, denotes the blocks ofstone on which the blood of the victims sacrificed for idols ( awt̲h̲ān , aṣnām ) was poured, as well as sepulchral stones and those marking out the sacred enclosure ( ḥimā ) of the sanctuary (cf. J. Wellhausen, Reste2 , 101-2; W. Robertson Smith, Religion of the Semites , 201 ff.). In nomadic circles, the nuṣub has been regarded in a few rare instances as the symbol of the divinity (cf. Ibn Saʿd, Ṭabaḳāt , iv/1, 159-60; R. Dozy, Essai sur l’histoire de l’Islamisme , translated from the…

Nīrand̲j̲

(1,186 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
(a.), derived from Persian nayrang , nīrang , pl. nīrand̲j̲āt , nīrand̲j̲iyyāt (Ibn Sīnā, ms. Paris; Brockelmann, S I, 828), nārand̲j̲iyyāt (al-D̲j̲ināʿī, ms. Strasbourg 4212, fol. 102b), designates, in the two languages, the operations of white magic, comprising prestidigitation, fakery and counter-fakery, the creating of illusions and other feats of sleight-of-hand ( ḥiyal ). A certain al-Ḥasan b. Muḥammad al-Iskandarī al-Kūs̲h̲ī al-ʿAbdari described the whole set of these operations in his work Fi ’l-ḥiyal al-bābiliyya li ’l-k̲h̲izāna al-kāmiliyya

al-Maysir

(1,172 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
(a.), a noun derived from y-s-r "to be easy, simple", a root from which derives, by antiphrasis, a qualificative of the left hand, al-yusrā , with which the ḥurḍa (cf. Hebrew ḥ-r-ṣ and Akkadian ḫarāšu "decide, fix, determine"), the equivalent of the sādin of the istiḳsām [ q.v.], shot arrows one by one. Hence the term maysir could be rendered by "the game of the left-handed", although its present morphological state is inexplicable. The game consisted of dividing a slaughtered beast into ten parts, for which the game was played: these being the thighs and shins of bo…

Munad̲j̲d̲j̲im

(990 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
(a.), active participle from nad̲j̲d̲j̲ama “to observe the stars and deduce from them the state of the world”. The munad̲j̲d̲j̲im claims to know the lot of humans and their destiny from the positions of the stars. He is the astrologer. For a long time this noun designated both astrologer and astronomer, so close were the functions of the two. Often the court astrologer used to observe the stars scientifically and to interpret their movements for the benefit of his master. This is borne out ¶ by the fact that, according to D̲j̲ābir b. Ḥayyān, “the astrologer must be a mathematician ( riyāḍi

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…

Suwāʿ

(582 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
, the name of one of the five gods dating from the time of Noah mentioned in the Ḳurʾān (LXX, 23), together with Wadd, Yag̲h̲ūt̲h̲, Yaʿūk and Nasr [ q.vv.]. Suwāʿ was worshipped by the Hud̲h̲ayl [ q.v.] at Ruhāt in the region of Yanbuʿ (Ibn al-Kalbī, 6) in one of the valleys running from the Red Sea towards Medina (Yāḳūt, Buldān , iv, 1038). The tribe assiduously frequented his shrine, made pilgrimages to it and constantly offered sacrifices of their best smaller beasts to it (Ibn al-Kalbī, 6, 35, citing two verses attributed to a Yem…

S̲h̲addād b. ʿĀd

(32 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
, a personage associated with the legendary town of Iram D̲h̲āt al-ʿImād, to whom is attributed its foundation. For information on him, see ʿād and iram. (T. Fahd)

Ik̲h̲tiyārāt

(559 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
or hemerologies and menologies (Gr. χαταρχαί, Lat. electiones ) means an ¶ astrological procedure whose aim is to ascertain the auspicious ( saʿd ) or inauspicious ( naḥs ) character of the future. It deals with years, months, days and hours. This task, which was the duty of the official astrologer of the court as early as the Umayyad period, became increasingly important under the ʿAbbāsids as a result of the adoption of Iranian customs and Sāsānid calendars which established precisely how the prince’s time should be spent during all the days of the week (cf. for example the Ps.-D̲j̲āḥiẓ, Bāb…

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…

Ḳurʿa

(1,558 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
(a.), in a technical sense designates rhapsodomancy. It is an Islamic divinatory procedure, analogous to bibliomancy; but in current usage the term refers to the drawing of lots, whatever form this may take, and this has been used following the Ḳurʾānic prohibition of istiḳsām [ q.v.] and of maysir [ q.v.], the two principal cleromantic techniques of pagan Arabia. I. In the usual sense of “the drawing of lots”, the term ḳurʿa , originally applied to “a wineskin with broad base and narrow neck” ( TA, v, 453, l. 23) which probably served as a receptacle for the shaking of the lots…
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