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Ecstasy

(8,208 words)

Author(s): Stephen Hirtenstein
Ecstasy ( wajd), an overwhelming and heightened state of awareness, usually of joyful intoxication and wonderment, specifically associated with an experience of mystical self-transcendence, or a whole range of emotive responses to an encounter with the divine. Sometimes this experience leads to ecstatic utterances which are shocking or even heretical to the ordinary mind (see below: Ecstatic Speech).The Definitions of EcstasyThe English word ‘ecstasy’ derives from the Greek ekstasis ( εκστασις), ‘standing outside oneself’ or ‘displacement beyond the normal state o…
Date: 2019-08-21

Day

(6,846 words)

Author(s): Stephen Hirtenstein
Day (Arabic: yawm, pl. ayyām, Persian: rūz), conventionally understood to refer to a whole 24-hour period or to the daytime period from sunrise to sunset (also known as nahār), but as in other Semitic languages such as Syriac and Aramaic, the meaning of yawm (Hebrew: yōm /יוֹם) particularly when used in the plural can be extended to indicate a much broader sense of time in general, including age or epoch. For example, the Hebrew name of the two Books of Chronicles is divrei ha-yamim /דִּבְרֵי הַיָּמִים or ‘reports of the times’. When used in Arabic with the definite article ( al-yawm), it mean…
Date: 2018-09-19

Dhawq

(7,189 words)

Author(s): Stephen Hirtenstein
Dhawq (taste, tasting), a central concept in Sufism, derived from the Qurʾān and developed over several centuries, which has several interrelated meanings. From the scientific point of view, the primary sense of taste is the sensory capacity possessed by human beings and other creatures, enabled by the specialist organs of the tongue and mouth, to discriminate and evaluate whatever substances are to be ingested. This involves the ability not only to experience how different foods taste and to cl…
Date: 2018-09-19

Dissection and Anatomy (Tashrīḥ)

(7,423 words)

Author(s): Younes Karamati | Stephen Hirtenstein
Dissection and Anatomy (Tashr ī ), a technical term in Islamic medicine which is used somewhat ambiguously to refer to both dissection and anatomy. In the fifth chapter ( taʿlīm) of the first part ( fann) of the first Book of Ibn Sīnā’s medical encyclopaedia al- Q ā nūn (‘The Canon’), entitled ‘ M āhiyyat al-ʿu ḍw wa aqsāmihi ’ (‘The Nature of the [Bodily] Members and their Parts’), tashr ī refers to the anatomy of the various body parts rather than their dissection, in other words, understanding how a particular part of the body functions. The Arabic term hayʾat (physical structure) also so…
Date: 2018-09-19

Empedocles

(3,518 words)

Author(s): Sharafoddin Khorasani | Stephen Hirtenstein
Empedocles (Empedoklēs, variously spelt as Anbāduqlīs, Anbādhuqlīs or Banduqlīs etc.), was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher, whose supposed teachings became well known in the Islamic world as a demonstration of the underlying connections between Greek philosophy and the Semitic tradition of revelation.Little is known about his actual life apart from scattered fragments of information. Our only significant source is The Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers by Diogenes Laertius (fl. 3rd century CE) (8/51–77, pp. 366–391). Empedocles is also given as the …
Date: 2018-09-19

Darwīsh (Dervish)

(6,601 words)

Author(s): Alireza Ebrahim | Stephen Hirtenstein
Darwīsh (Dervish) is a Sufi term meaning poor ( faqīr) and indigent ( nādār). In certain historical periods, especially in the east of Iran and among the Sufis of Khurāsān, it was applied to all Sufis, while at other times it was regarded as an expression for a particular stage on the spiritual path. Many different types of individuals have been referred to as ‘dervish’, ranging from those who interpreted poverty as the radical asceticism of mendicancy, itinerancy, celibacy and antinomian behaviour to those …
Date: 2018-09-19

Dayṣāniyya

(5,823 words)

Author(s): Sharafoddin Khorasani | Stephen Hirtenstein
Dayṣāniyya (Syriac, Ḍayṣānāyē), a religious group that was formed around the teachings of the Syrian Christian philosopher, theologian, musician and poet Bar Dayṣān (Dīṣān) (d. 222 CE), known as Bardaiṣan in modern scholarship, Bardesanes (Latin) or Ibn Dayṣān (Arabic). Bar Dayṣān’s thought seems, like his contemporaries Origen and Clement, to have been one of the first syntheses of Christian teaching and Greek philosophy (Ramelli, Bardaisan, 10).Little is known about Bar Dayṣān’s biography, as our main sources—accounts found in Christian heresiographies writ…
Date: 2018-09-19

Darqāwiyya

(4,597 words)

Author(s): Alireza Ebrahim | Stephen Hirtenstein
Darqāwiyya, or Darqāwa, is a branch of the Shādhiliyya Sufi ṭarīqa established in Morocco by Mawlāy Abū ʿAbd Allāh Muḥammad al-ʿArabī b. Aḥmad al-Darqāwī (d. 1239/1823). Given the contemporary account that he died at the age of 87 (Michon, ‘Témoignage’, 390), al-Darqāwī must have been born ca. 1152/1739 in the vicinity of Fez (Fās) into the tribe of the Banū Zarwāl. He claimed descent from the Ḥasanid sharīfs and the Idrīsids, a dynasty that had ruled swathes of North Africa for some 200 years (172–375/789–985). This physical connection clearly played an import…
Date: 2018-09-19

Elias/Elijah

(2,673 words)

Author(s): Faramarz Haj Manouchehri | Stephen Hirtenstein
Elias/Elijah ( Ilyās), a prophet of the Children of Israel, who is mentioned twice or possibly three times in the Qurʾān. The early philologists recognised that the name Elias (Ilyās) was not an Arabic word (e.g. see al-Jawālīqī, 102), and that it must have been derived, via a Greek or Syriac Christian source which introduced the final ‘s’, from the Hebrew Elijāhū which means ‘Yaweh is God’ and was perhaps symbolic of his prophetic mission (Jeffery, 68; Gutmannn [Sperling], 6/331).According to Q 6:84–85, Elias was descended from Noah and is considered one of ‘the righteous’ ( al-ṣāliḥīn). …
Date: 2018-09-19

Falconry

(7,277 words)

Author(s): Muhammad Ali Mowlavi | Stephen Hirtenstein
Falconry ( bāzdārī), the practice of hunting with various raptors or birds of prey, especially the genera falco (falcons) and accipiter (hawks), such as sparrowhawks, peregrines and saker falcons. Falconry is also concerned with the principles of classifying these birds, together with the practices of their maintenance, fosterage, training and veterinary care (Kushājim, 48, 56, 115–116; al-Ḥasan b. al-Ḥusayn, 49–50, 62–65, 79–94).Origins and Early HistoryThe history of falconry may be conveniently divided into three periods: 1. from its earliest beginnings i…
Date: 2018-09-19

Death

(3,218 words)

Author(s): Faramarz Haj Manouchehri | Stephen Hirtenstein
In the Qurʾān and ḤadīthGiven the natural fears and rituals surrounding death, it is not surprising that the Qurʾān, as a book of guidance and instruction, should pay so much attention to the place of death in human life. Perhaps more than any other religion, Islam provides graphic details of what comes after death, in terms of the Day of Resurrection ( yawm al-qiyāma) and the afterlife ( maʿād, ākhira), beginning with the soul’s sojourn in the Isthmus ( barzakh, q.v.) up until its Final Judgement and entry into Paradise or Hell. Since in Islam death represents not a termi…
Date: 2018-09-19

Eve

(3,689 words)

Author(s): Faramarz Haj Manouchehri | Stephen Hirtenstein
Eve (in Islam), the name of the first woman, the wife of Adam (Ādam, q.v.), and the maternal progenitor of humankind, who is referred to in the Islamic tradition as Ḥawwāʾ. Eve in the Qurʾān and its Exegetical Tradition In the Qurʾān, no specific name is used for the wife of Adam, and she is merely referred to as Adam’s ‘pair’ ( zawj). The post-Qurʾānic usage of the name Ḥawwā for the spouse of the first human (see Ibn Saʿd, 1/16) is taken from the Classical Hebrew name that appears in the Book of Genesis (3:20). The name has been linked to the Semitic word ḥayy (‘alive/living’), suggesting that Ḥa…
Date: 2018-09-19