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Ibn Ḳuṭlūbug̲h̲ā

(715 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
, Ḳāsim b. Ḳuṭlūbug̲h̲ā al-Ḥanafī , Egyptian scholar in ḥadīt̲h̲ and religious law. He was born in Muḥarram 802/September 1399. His father, Ḳuṭlūbug̲h̲ā, a freedman of Sūdūn al-S̲h̲ayk̲h̲ūnī (d. 798/1396), died while he was still young. He supported himself in his youth as an accomplished tailor (needleworker) but embarked early upon his religious studies, which he pursued all his life. An early teacher of his was ʿIzz al-Dīn Ibn D̲j̲amāʿa (d. 819/1416). His principal s̲h̲ayk̲h̲ was Ibn al-Humām (d. 861/1457). Like all the aspiring young scholars…

Sīfawayh al-Ḳāṣṣ

(272 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
, a humorist of the 2nd/8th century. Ḳāṣṣ [ q.v.] “storyteller” is employed here, as was quite common, in the same sense as other less ambiguous terms for jester; he was also described as the prototypical mug̲h̲affal “irresponsible wit”. No decision is possible as to whether his nickname should be vocalised Sīfawayh or Sayfawayh, and the identification with another ḳāṣṣ called ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz, suggested on the basis of one shared remark by the recent editor of Ibn al-D̲j̲awzī, Ḳuṣṣāṣ , is probably unwarranted. Sīfawayh was credited with jokes and social…

ʿAbd al-Ḳādir al-Ḳuras̲h̲ī

(242 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
, Muḥyī al-Dīn ʿAbd al-Ḳādir b. Muḥammad b. Muḥammad b. Naṣr Allāh b. Sālim b. Abi ’l-Wafāʾ , Egyptian professor of Ḥanafite jurisprudence and biographer, born S̲h̲aʿbān 696/May-June 1297, died 7 Rabīʿ I 1775/27 August 1373. He is best known for his collection of alphabetically arranged brief biographies of Ḥanafites, al-Ḏjawāhir al-Muḍiyya fī Ṭabaḳāt al-Ḥanafiyya (Ḥaydarābād 1332/1913-4), a valuable reference work, generally considered to be the first to deal with its particular subject. Written in a country in which the Ḥana…


(993 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
(a.) or, apparently preferred by purists, ris̲h̲wa/rus̲h̲wa , pl. rus̲h̲ā , Persian ris̲h̲wat , ris̲h̲we , rus̲h̲wa , Turkish rüşvet , the legal term for “bribe.” Like English “bribe”, its connotation is absolutely negative and whatever is called ras̲h̲wa is strictly forbidden by law. The word itself does not occur in the Ḳurʾān. More general passages like II, 188, and V, 42, 62-3 ( suḥt ) were interpreted to include the prohibition of bribe-taking. The ḥadīt̲h̲ , however, makes the matter perfectly clear. One of the most explicit statements invoke…

Ibn al-ʿImād

(145 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
, ʿAbd al-Ḥayy b. Aḥmad , a Syrian teacher of the Ḥanbalī school (1032-1089/1623-1679), completed, in 1080/1670, a large biographical history, entitled S̲h̲ad̲h̲arāt al-d̲h̲ahab fī ak̲h̲bār man d̲h̲ahab , which is annalistically arranged and covers the Hid̲j̲ra years one to 1000. Although historical events are occasionally mentioned, the work concentrates on obituary notices, often rather detailed. The author intended it to be a help for impecunious scholars like himself who were unable to acquire a l…


(1,481 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
Plural of awwal "first", technically used to denote various ideas such as the "primary data" of philosophical or physical phenomena; the "ancients" of either pre-Islamic or early Islamic times; and the "first inventors" of things (or the things invented or done first). In the last mentioned connotation, the term characterises a minor branch of Muslim literature with affinities to adab , historical, and theological literature. Among the Muslims themselves, only the 10th/17th-century Ḥād̲j̲d̲j̲ī Ḵh̲alīfa (Flügel), i, 490; Istanbul 1941-3, col. 1996, defines the awāʾil

al-Mubas̲h̲s̲h̲ir b. Fātik

(690 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
, Abu ’l-Wafāʾ , 5th/11th century Egyptian historian and savant. Said to have been of Syrian origin, he apparently spent all of his long life in Egypt. He possibly lived and worked as a private scholar, and he may have had ties with the ruling circles of the country. In addition to history, his many interests included philosophy and medicine. He supposedly studied with such leaders in their fields as Ibn al-Hayt̲h̲am and Ibn Riḍwān; a certain Jewish physician named Ibn Raḥmūn …


(1,974 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
( Liʿb , Laʿb ), the Arabic word for “play” (also used variously in Persian, against Turkish oyun ), in the Muslim world as fundamental a concept of vast sociological and psychological implications as in other civilisations. Only a few of its aspects can be briefly discussed here. The “play” character of many important human activities (dance, theatre, music, etc.) does not come under our purview, nor do ritual games as survivals of pre-Islamic religiously-motivated customs. We find them occasionally mentioned, as, for instance, in references to New Year practices, cf. al-Bīrūnī, Āt̲h̲…


(389 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
, S̲h̲aʿwad̲h̲a (also with final d for d̲h̲ ) (a.), prestidigitation, sleight of hand, and from it, mus̲h̲aʿb/wid̲h̲ , magician, trickster. The word is paraphrased by the lexicographers, following al-Layt̲h̲ (b. al-Muẓaffar) [ q.v.], by k̲h̲iffat al-yad and uk̲h̲ad̲h̲ (pl. of uk̲h̲d̲h̲d ), see al-Azharī, Tahd̲h̲īb , i, 405. Fihrist , 312, mentions as “the first to perform s̲h̲aʿbad̲h̲a in Islam” a certain ʿAbīd/ʿUbayd al-Kayyis who also wrote a Kitāb al-S̲h̲aʿbad̲h̲a , and another mus̲h̲aʿbid̲h̲ nicknamed “Mill Shaft” (Ḳuṭb al-raḥā), about both o…

Ibn Sayyid al-Nās

(588 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
, Fatḥ al-Dīn Muḥammad b. Muḥammad al-Yaʿmurī al-Is̲h̲bīlī , biographer of the Prophet. The home of the distinguished scholarly family of the Ibn Sayyid al-Nās was in Seville, which they were forced to leave because of the unsettled political situation leading to the city’s conquest by the Christians in 646/1248. The grandfather, Abū Bakr Muḥammad b. Aḥmad, who was born in 597/1200-1, settled in Tūnis, where he died in Rad̲j̲ab 659/June 1261 (cf. al-D̲h̲ahabi, ʿIbar , v, 255). His son, Muḥammad, was born in D̲j̲umādā II 645/October 1247. He studie…


(919 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
(a.), mistake in writing, synonymous, in spite of sporadic artificial attempts to make a distinction, with taḥrīf (without, however, the specialised use of the latter, [ q.v.]). While its meaning is unambiguous, the derivation of the word is less so. Its connection with ṣ-ḥ-f in the (originally South Semitic) meaning of “to write” [see muṣḥaf ] can be considered certain; the negative connotation may reflect a negative attitude toward all writing as against orality, rather than a privative use of the second form of the verb. It is not excluded that taḥrīf may have influenced the format…

Ibn al-Sāʿī

(544 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
, ʿAlī b. And̲j̲ab , Abū Ṭālib Tād̲j̲ al-Dīn , ʿIrāḳi historian (14 S̲h̲aʿbān 593/2 July 1197-20 Ramaḍān 674/8 March 1276). Born in Bag̲h̲dād, he appears to have spent all of his life there. He was a librarian, in succession, it seems, of both the Niẓāmiyya and the Mustanṣiriyya libraries. Being inclined to Ṣūfism, he was inducted into it by (ʿUmar b. Muḥammad) al-Suhrawardī in 608/1211-12. He had a son, ʿUbayd Allāh, who was born on 7 S̲h̲aʿbān 632/27 April 1235. These are about al…


(6,429 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F. | Lewis, B.
, “freedom,” an abstract formation derived from ḥurr “free” corresponding to Hebrew ḥōr , Aram. ḥēr ( ḥerūt̲ā ), widely used also in Muslim languages other than Arabic. Already in pre-Islamic times, “free” was known not only as a legal term denoting the opposite of “unfree, slave” ( ʿabd [ q.v.]) but also as an Ethical term denoting those “noble” of character and behavior. The legal concept of “freedom” continued to be used as a matter of course by Muslim jurists, who were inclined to give preference to the presumption of a free status for individuals in doubtful cases [see ʿabd …

al-S̲h̲ayk̲h̲ al-Yūnānī

(365 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
, the disguise of one of the participants in the transmission of authoritative Neoplatonic thought to Islam based upon a translation of large portions of books IV-VT of the Enneads of Plotinus. Fragments with this designation have been recovered without, however, allowing a reconstruction of the form and extent of his work. It is also debatable whether al-S̲h̲ayk̲h̲ al-Yūnānī was substituting for the name of a given philosopher and even might have belonged to the entire lost Arabic Plotinus source. The wide range of meaning of s̲h̲ayk̲h̲ [ q.v.] permits a choice between “Greek Teac…

Ibn Ḥamdūn

(330 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
, Abu ’l-Maʿālī Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan , the author of a vast and highly informative collection dealing with a great variety of adab subjects and entitled al-Tad̲h̲kira , which enjoyed much popularity during the Mamlūk period. Born in Rad̲j̲ab 495/April-May 1102 as one of the sons of an official well versed in financial and administrative matters, of a family which claimed to be related to the Ḥamdānids’ ancestor Ḥamdūn, he entered government service, attaining the offices of ʿāriḍ al-ʿaskar (Inspector of the Army) under al-Muḳtafī and ṣāḥib dīwān al-zimām (Dire…

Ibn Abī Ṭāhir Ṭayfūr

(769 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
, Abu ’l-Faḍl Aḥmad , Bag̲h̲dādī littérateur and historian. Born in 204/819-20 into a family of Persian origin, he started out as a teacher and eventually took up residence in the bookmen’s bazaar in the Eastern quarter of Bag̲h̲dād, embarking upon a literary career which brought him into contact with many of the outstanding littérateurs and high government officials of his time and resulted in the composition of about fifty works. He was also a poet whose verses provoked criticism—deserved or undeserved—in some quarters. Among other things, he wrote works in the fürstenspiegel


(8,430 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F. | Bosworth, C.E. | Wansbrough, J. | Colin, G.S. | Busse, H. | Et al.
, one of many Arabic words used to express the concept of “gift”, and the preferred legal term for it, see following article. The giving of gifts, that is, the voluntary transfer of property, serves material and psychological purposes. In the pre-history of man, it probably antedates the contractual payment for goods and services. In Islam, it has retained its inherited functions as an important component of the social fabric and has exercised a considerable influence on political life. Literature (in the narrow sense…

Asāṭīr al-Awwalīn

(591 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
“stories of the ancients,” a phrase occurring nine times in the Ḳurʾān (VI, 25/25, VIII, 31/31, XVI, 24/26, XXIII, 83/85, XXV, 5/6, XXVII, 68/70, XLVI, 17/16, LXVIII, 15/15, and LXXXIII, 13/13; see also EI 2, ¶ IV, 980b, s.v. k̲h̲alḳ ) and there “put exclusively in the mouth of unbelievers ... expressing themselves against the Ḳurʾānic revelation or, more specifically, against the doctrine of the Resurrection, by referring to the asāṭīr of the former (generations) when similar, and in their opinion silly, things could already be found without being accepted” (R. Paret, Der Koran , Komment…

Ibn ʿĀʾid̲h̲

(380 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
, the author of a work on the Raids ( mag̲h̲āzī [ q.v.]), used by such later authors as Ibn Sayyid al-Nās and al-D̲h̲ahabī. His given name was Muḥammad. His kunya is variously given as Abū ʿAbd Allāh or Abū Aḥmad, and his grandfather’s name as Saʿīd or ʿAbd al-Raḥmān. Born in Damascus in 150/767, he died there on Thursday, 25 Rabīʿ II 233/8 December 847 (or in D̲h̲u ’l-Ḥid̲j̲d̲j̲a 232/July-August 847, or in 234/848), having been the tax collector for the G̲h̲ūṭa under al-Maʾmūn. As a historian, he stand…

Ibn Ḥad̲j̲ar al-ʿAsḳalānī

(3,172 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
, S̲h̲ihāb al-Dīn Abu ’l-Faḍl Aḥmad b. Nūr al-Dīn ʿAlī b. Muḥammad , Egyptian ḥadīt̲h̲ scholar, judge, and historian (773-852/1372-1449), whose life work constitutes the final summation of the science of ḥadīt̲h̲ and makes him one of the greatest and, at the same time, most typical representatives of Muslim religious scholarship. He himself did not know the origin of his family name Ibn Ḥad̲j̲ar. The nisba ʿAsḳalānī was considered by family tradition to go back to 587/1191, when Ṣalāḥ al-Dīn ordered ʿAsḳalān [ q.v.] to be destroyed and its Muslim inhabitants resettled elsewher…
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