Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān


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S (-sīn- - s-n-m - s-t-t)

(559 words)

s-n-m    tasnīm    Springs and Fountains    Water   s-n-n    masnūn    Adam and Eve    ṣalṣāl min ḥamaʾ masnūn    sanna    Cain and Abel    Politics and the Qurʾān    sinn    Teeth    sunna, pl. sunan    Abrogation    Apostasy    Barēlwīs    Children of Israel    Circumcision    Companions of the Prophet    Consecration of Animals    Creeds    Divination    Economics    Ethics and the Qurʾān    Everyday Life, Qurʾān In    Foreign Vocabulary    Freedom and Predestination    Heresy    History and the Qurʾān    Islam    Jihād    Khārijīs    Law and the Qurʾān    Medicine …

B (Bektashiyya (Ṣūfī order) - Bishr b. al-Muʿtamir (d. ca. 210/825))

(736 words)

Bektashiyya (Ṣūfī order)  African Americans  Magic  Popular and Talismanic Uses of the Qurʾān Belial  Antichrist Bell, R.  Afternoon  Apocalypse  Baptism  Book  Cain and Abel  Chronology and the Qurʾān  Clay  Contemporary Critical Practices and the Qurʾān  Death and the Dead  Form and Structure of the Qurʾān  Fātiḥa  Impeccability  Language and Style of the Qurʾān  Muḥammad  Mysterious Letters  Narratives  Night of Power  Pit  Post-Enlightenment Academic Study of the Qurʾān  Religious Pluralism and the Qurʾān  Revision and Alteration  Textual Criticism of the Qurʾān  Theolo…

G (Gabriel [Jibrīl] - Ginat, J.)

(672 words)

Gabriel [Jibrīl]  Abraham  Air and Wind  Angel  Apocalypse  Ascension  Belief and Unbelief  Bilqīs  Book  Calf of Gold  Cave  Chronology and the Qurʾān  Cleanliness and Ablution  Dog  Ethics and the Qurʾān  Everyday Life, Qurʾān In  Faith  Foreign Vocabulary  Foretelling in the Qurʾān  Gabriel  Heavenly Book  Holy Spirit  Informants  Intercession  Jesus  Jews and Judaism  Kaʿba  Language and Style of the Qurʾān  Last Judgment  Lot  Mary  Michael  Miracles  Musaylima  Muḥammad  Night of Power  Noah  Noon  Nāmūs  Paradise  Philosophy and the Qurʾān  Prayer  Profane and Sacred  …


(1,533 words)

Author(s): Renard, John
Islamic tradition identifies as al-Khaḍir (or Khiḍr), an otherwise unnamed “servant (q.v.) of God” who appears in Sūrat al-Kahf (“The Cave”; q 18:60-82), in connection with Moses' (q.v.) quest for the “confluence of the two seas” (see barrier; nature as signs). Interpretations run a wide gamut. Al-Zamakhsharī (d. 538/1144; Kashshāf, ii, 703) asserts that Khiḍr lived from the time of Dhū l-Qarnayn (see alexander ) to that of Moses; Sayyid Quṭb (d. 1966; Ẓilāl, iv, 2276-82) sets that tradition aside, calling him only “the ¶ righteous servant.” Moses and an unnamed companion (traditi…

M (Muʿādh b. Jabl - Mālikī(s))

(941 words)

Muʿādh b. Jabl  Apostasy  Occasions of Revelation Muʿāwiya  Foretelling in the Qurʾān Muʿāwiya b. Abī Sufyān (first Umayyad caliph; r. 41/661-60/680)  Aqṣā Mosque  Arabic Script  Archaeology and the Qurʾān  Dissension  Foretelling in the Qurʾān  Iram  Iraq  Khārijīs  Last Judgment  Left Hand and Right Hand  Mosque  Orthography  Politics and the Qurʾān  Ritual and the Qurʾān  Syria  Ḥadīth and the Qurʾān  Ḥafṣa  Ṣiffīn, Battle of Muʿāwiya b. Rabīʿa (pre-Islamic king)  Archaeology and the Qurʾān Muʿāwiya b. Yazīd (r. 64/683-84)  Epigraphy al-Muʾayyad Dāwūd (Rasūlid ruler)  Agri…

Manual Labor

(934 words)

Author(s): Mattson, Ingrid
Literally “work with one's hands,” it often carries the implication of strenuous physical exertion. Manual labor is not a topic explicitly addressed in the Qurʾān though the term “forced laborer” ( sukhrī) is mentioned once and the Qurʾān describes some of the ancient prophets (see prophets and prophethood ) as having been able to achieve prominence by using forced and voluntary labor in great building projects (see art and architecture and the qurʾān; archaeology and the qurʾān). The Qurʾān states that it is God who “raises some to levels above others so that some of th…

R (al-Rabadha - Reclam, P.)

(907 words)

al-Rabadha  Archaeology and the Qurʾān Rabbat, N.  City Rabin, Ch.  Dialects  Grammar and the Qurʾān  Language and Style of the Qurʾān  Post-Enlightenment Academic Study of the Qurʾān Rabīʿ I  Emigration Rachel  Belief and Unbelief  Benjamin Rada  Material Culture and the Qurʾān Radscheit, M.  Provocation  Responsibility  Springs and Fountains  Table  Witnessing and Testifying  Word of God Radtke, B.  Saint  Wisdom al-Rāghī al-Tūnisī (d. 715/1315)  Translations of the Qurʾān al-Rāghib al-Iṣfahānī, Abū l-Qāsim al-Ḥusayn (d. 502/1108)  Brother and Brotherhood  Conquest  For…

S (Sūrat al-Anbiyāʾ)

(930 words)

Sūrat al-Anbiyāʾ  Sūrat al-Anbiyāʾ   Narratives   Ritual and the Qurʾān  1   Expeditions and Battles   Last Judgment  2   Belief and Unbelief   Remembrance  2-3   Magic  3   Grammar and the Qurʾān   Magic   Muḥammad   Whisper  3-4   Provocation  4   Ears   Pairs and Pairing  5   Agriculture and Vegetation   Divination   Dreams and Sleep   Foretelling in the Qurʾān   Language and Style of the Qurʾān   Literature and the Qurʾān   Muḥammad   Poetry and Poets   Popular and Talismanic Uses of the Qurʾān   Prophets and Prophethood   Provocation   Revelation and Inspiration   R…

S (Sūrat Maryam)

(899 words)

Sūrat Maryam  Sūrat Maryam   Chronology and the Qurʾān   Creation   Gender   Jesus   Left Hand and Right Hand   Mary   Material Culture and the Qurʾān   Mysterious Letters   Names of the Qurʾān   Narratives   Pre-1800 Preoccupations of Qurʾānic Studies   Women and the Qurʾān   Zechariah  1   Manuscripts of the Qurʾān  1-7   Popular and Talismanic Uses of the Qurʾān  1-22   Christians and Christianity  2   Rhetoric and the Qurʾān   Zechariah  2-7   Patriarchy  2-15   Mary   Zechariah  2-33   Trial  2-40   Narratives  2-58   Zechariah  2-63   Narratives  2-74   Narratives…

S (Sherkat, Sh. - Sinai)

(829 words)

Sherkat, Sh.  Women and the Qurʾān al-Shiblī, Abū Bakr (d. 334/946)  Ṣūfism and the Qurʾān Shihāb al-Dīn Yaḥyā b. Ḥabash al-Suhrawardī see al-Suhrawardī, Shihāb al-Dīn Yaḥyā b. Ḥabash (d. 578/1191) Shihāb al-Dīn al-Būnī see al-Būnī, Shihāb al-Dīn (d. 622/1225) Shihāb al-Dīn al-ālūsī see al-ālūsī, Maḥmūd Shihāb al-Dīn (d. 1854) Shillong (East Pakistan)  Printing of the Qurʾān al-Shinqīṭī, Shurayḥ al-Khuzāʿī (d. 1913)  Vengeance al-Shīrāzī (d. 1050/1641)  Philosophy and the Qurʾān Shiqq  Soothsayer Shukrī Muṣṭafā  Cave Shukrī ʿAyyād  Exegesis of the Qurʾān: Early Modern a…


(900 words)

Author(s): Tottoli, Roberto
Term mentioned twice in the Qurʾān in connection with the expression aṣḥāb al-rass, “the people of al-Rass”: “We have prepared for the evildoers a painful chastisement. And ʿĀd (q.v.), Thamūd (q.v.) and the people of al-Rass, and between that, ¶ many generations” ( q 25:37-8); “The people of Noah (q.v.) and the people of al- Rass, and Thamūd and Pharaoh (q.v.), and ʿĀd and the brothers of Lot (q.v.) cried lies before them…” ( q 50:12). Although there are no other elements that help clarify who the people of al-Rass were, the fact that they are mentioned alongside othe…

Language, Concept of

(887 words)

Author(s): Larcher, Pierre
The uniquely human faculty of (primarily) verbal expression. In the Qurʾān, the concept of language is expressed by the word lisān (lit. tongue). The other common term for language, lugha, which is well-attested in classical and modern standard Arabic (see arabic language ), does not appear in the Qurʾān; one encounters only the related words laghw and lāghiya, which express exclusively the connotation of “vain utterance.” There are twenty-five occurrences of the word lisān in the Qurʾān, fifteen in the singular and ten in the plural ( alsina; the other plural, alsun, is not attested …


(838 words)

Author(s): Firestone, Reuven
Pre-Islamic prophet, named in the Bible as the son of Abraham (q.v.) and Hagar and the eponymous father of the Ishmaelites (a confederacy of Arab tribes; see tribes and clans ). Ishmael (Ismāʿīl) is mentioned twelve times in as many verses of the Qurʾān. In most of these, he is listed among other prophets as part of a litany of remembrances in which the pre-Islamic prophets are praised for their resolute steadfastness (see trust and patience ) and obedience (q.v.) to God, often in the face of adversity (see trial ). The subtext of these litanies is Muḥammad's position as authentic prophet (nabī)…

Textual Criticism of the Qurʾān

(9,912 words)

Author(s): Bellamy, James A.
Introduction Anyone who writes on textual criticism should begin with definitions. So let it be ¶ said from the outset that textual criticism has nothing to do with the criticism of music, art or literature. In simplest terms, textual criticism is the correction of errors in texts. Classical scholars are, however, a bit more sophisticated. A. E. Housman (Application, 67) defines textual criticism as the “science of discovering error in texts and the art of removing it.” But he goes on to say that it is not an exact science, so perhaps we might be just…


(1,477 words)

Author(s): Juynboll, G.H.A.
Arabic term for “way of acting.” The ancient Arab concept sunna (pl. sunan) occurs ¶ eighteen times in the Qurʾān. Generally — that is to say outside the strict context of the Qurʾān — it is defined as a way of acting, whether approved or disapproved, and is normally associated with the people of earlier generations, whose example has to be followed or shunned by later generations. The concept occupies a crucial place in Islam. In the development of Islamic theology, it eventually came to be associated with orthodoxy, the bastion against heterodox innovation ( bidʿa; see innovation; theolog…

Dhū l-Kifl

(1,059 words)

Author(s): Busse, Heribert
An enigmatic figure, whose name appears in the Qurʾān in two places: “And [remember] Ismāʿīl (see ishmael ) and Idrīs (q.v.) and Dhū l-Kifl, all of them were patient” ( q 21:85); “And call to mind Ismāʿīl and Alyasaʿ and Dhū l-Kifl and all of the best” ( q 38:48). In some exegetical works, it is held that Dhū l-Kifl was a prophet since he is mentioned alongside other prophets (see prophets and prophethood ). Most exegetes, however, deny his prophethood, confining themselves to repeating the qurʾānic statement that he belonged to ¶ those who were patient and the best. A person named Dhū l- Kifl is u…

Tradition and Custom

(1,526 words)

Author(s): Hawting, G.R.
The way things have been done, or are understood as having been done, in the past. In many societies the appeal to tradition and custom as the basis for current practice serves to legitimize the present. For a religion emerging in opposition to some of the beliefs and practices of its society, however, appeal to tradition or custom by its opponents is an obstacle to be overcome. At the same time, adherents of the new order may well attempt to justify it by reference to the past. In Islam the positive value of tradition is most obviously manifest in the concept of sunna (q.v.), the accepted pract…


(4,189 words)

Author(s): Schmidtke, Sabine
Concise and authoritative formulae that provide a summation of the essentials of faith (q.v.). Professions of faith or creeds (ʿaqāʾid, sing. ʿaqīda) were formulated by individual scholars and by groups of scholars, yet there exists no standard or universally accepted Muslim creed. Rather, there are a variety of Islamic creeds, which ¶ vary substantially in length, contents and arrangement. Although the Qurʾān does not proclaim any formal creed or compendium of faith, it does contain elements that form the basis for most creeds. First among these is the nature of God (see god …

A (Abū l-Hārith al-Layth b. Khālid al-Baghdādī (d. 240/854) - Abū Ḥafṣ ʿUmar b. Jamīʿ (eighth/fourteenth-ninth/fifteenth century))

(1,064 words)

Abū l-Hārith al-Layth b. Khālid al-Baghdādī (d. 240/854)  Readings of the Qurʾān  Reciters of the Qurʾān Abū l-Hārith ʿīsā b. Wirdān al-Madanī see Ibn Wardān al-Madanī, Abū l-Ḥārith (d. 160/777) Abū l-Jārūd (d. after 140/757-8)  Exegesis of the Qurʾān: Classical and Medieval Abū l-Kalām āzād see āzād, [Mawlānā] Abū l-Kalam Abū l-Khayr (of Seville)  Agriculture and Vegetation Abū l-Khayr Ṭashkubrīzādah (d. 968/1561)  Traditional Disciplines of Qurʾānic Studies Abū l-Layth Naṣr b. Muḥammad b. Aḥmad al-Samarqandī (d. 373-5/983-5)  Apocalypse  Exegesis of the Qurʾān: Classica…

H (Ha-Amen - Hebrew)

(1,442 words)

Ha-Amen  Hāmān al-Ḥabash, Muḥammad  Politics and the Qurʾān al-Ḥabash(a) see Abyssinia Ḥabīb (carpenter in Antioch)  Narratives  Parable Ḥabīb b. Khidma Abū Rāʾiṭa  Trinity Ḥabīb al-Raḥmān al-Aʿẓamī  Ḥadīth and the Qurʾān Ḥabrūn see Hebron Ḥacī Özbek  Mosque Hackspan, Theodor (d. 1659)  Pre-1800 Preoccupations of Qurʾānic Studies Hadad (Aramaic god)  South Arabia, Religions in Pre-Islamic Ḥadaqān  South Arabia, Religions in Pre-Islamic Ḥadath  South Arabia, Religions in Pre-Islamic Haddad, Y.Y.  Angel  Nature as Signs  Religion al-Hādī ilā l-Ḥaqq  Numismatics Ḥaḍramawt  …
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