Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition

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Ahl al-Kisāʾ

(156 words)

Author(s): Tritton, A.S.
, the people of the cloak. According to a tradition Muḥammad went out one morning—at the time of the visit of the Nad̲j̲rān delegation in 10/631 [cf. mubāhala ]—wearing a figured black cloak; first Fāṭima, then ʿAlī and then al-Ḥasan and al-Ḥusayn came and he took them under his cloak, hugging them and quoting from Ḳurʾān, xxxiii, 32: “God only desireth to put away filthiness from you as his household, and with cleansing to cleanse you”. The Sunnīs explains filthiness as unbelief but the Shīʿa explain…

Ahl al-Bayt

(1,053 words)

Author(s): Goldziher, I. | Arendonk, C. van | Tritton, A.S.
, āl al-bayt , "the people of the House", āl al-nabī , "the family of the Prophet", all mean the same; the term Āl Yāsīn also occurs. The origin of the phrase is to be found in the strong clan sense of the pre-Islamic Arabs, among whom the term al-bayt was applied to or adopted by the ruling family of a tribe (by derivation from an ancient right of guardianship of the symbol of the tribal deity, according to H. Lammens, Le Culte des Bétyles , in L’Arabic occidentale avant l’Hégire , Beirut 1928, 136 ff., 154 ff.), and survived into later centuries in the plural form al-buyūtāt f…

Umm al-Kitāb

(1,300 words)

Author(s): Geoffroy, E. | Daftary, F.
(a.), an expression which means literally “the mother of the book”. It appears three times in the Ḳurʾān (III, 7; XIII, 39; XLIII, 4), but has no equivalent in the earlier Semitic languages. 1. In general usage It appears in about forty ḥadīt̲h̲ s, but it should be noted that, there also, the expression retains an enigmatic character. This explains why all authors ( mufassirūn , philologists, mystics, etc.) generally interpreted it in a number of different ways. It most often denotes the heavenly prototype ( aṣl ) of the Ḳurʾān, and is identified as "The Well-Guarded Tablet" ( al-lawḥ al-maḥf…

Muk̲h̲ammisa

(1,052 words)

Author(s): Madelung, W.
(a.), Pentadists is the name applied to a doctrinal current, rather than a specific sect, among the S̲h̲īʿī extremists ( g̲h̲ulāt ) which espoused the divinity of the five members of the ahl al-kisāʾ [ q.v.], Muḥammad, ʿAlī, Fāṭima, al-Ḥasan and al-Ḥusayn. The ismāʿīlī Abū Ḥātim al-Rāzī (d. 322/945-5) defines the Muk̲h̲ammisa as those who considered the five members of the pentad as equal in rank and as embodying a single divine spirit. Representative of this type of pentadist doctrine is the Umm al-Kitāb preserved by the Ismāʿīlī community in Badak̲h̲s̲h…

(al-)Ḥasan b. ʿAlī b. Abī Ṭālib

(3,663 words)

Author(s): Veccia Vaglieri, L.
, son of ʿAlī and Fāṭima [ q.v.], claimant to the caliphate until he renounced the office in favour of Muʿāwiya b. Abī Sufyān, and, in the eyes of the S̲h̲īʿīs, the second imām . Early years. He was born in 3/624-5 (the month is uncertain; mid-Ramaḍān?) and given the name al-Ḥasan by Muḥammad, while his father wanted to call him Ḥarb; he lived with the Prophet for only seven years, but was nevertheless able later to recollect some of his phrases and actions (for example that Muḥammad threw back into the heap of ṣadaḳa dates one which he had already put into his mout…

Mubāhala

(1,180 words)

Author(s): Schmucker, W.
(a.), synonym mulāʿana , literally “mutual imprecation, curse” (e.g. “may God’s curse over the one of us who is wrong, who lies”), implies swearing a conditional curse (e.g. “may God’s punishment hit me, may I be cursed if...”) and a purifying oath (cf. b-h-l VIII: nabtahil ). In fact, the term indicates: (1) spontaneously swearing a curse in order to strengthen an assertion or to find the truth; (2) a kind of ordeal, invoked for the same purpose, between disputing individuals or parties, in which the instigation or call to the ordeal is mor…

(al-)Ḥusayn b. ʿAlī b. Abī Ṭālib

(10,546 words)

Author(s): Veccia Vaglieri, L.
, grandson of the Prophet and son of Fāṭima [ q.v.], famous because of his revolt which ended tragically at Karbalāʾ on 10 Muḥarram 61/October 680. Childhood and youth. (Al-)Ḥusayn was born at Medina, according to the majority of the sources in the beginning of S̲h̲aʿbān 4/January 626. He was thus still a child when the Prophet died and could therefore have very few memories of his grandfather. A number of ḥadīt̲h̲s mention the affectionate phrases which Muḥammad is said to have used of his grandsons, e.g., “whoever loves them loves me and whoever hates them hates me” and “al-Ḥas…

Muḥammadiyya

(1,925 words)

Author(s): Kohlberg, E.
, a term denoting four distinct ʿAlid groups: (1) The descendants of Muḥammad b. al-Ḥanafiyya. In the 4th/10th century they are reported to have been few in number, but to have none the less held positions of leadership in Fārs, ¶ Ḳazwīn, Ḳumm and Rayy. By the 6th/12th century their numbers appear to have grown. (2) Believers in the Mahdīship of Muḥammad b. ʿAbd Allāh al-Nafs al-Zakiyya (d. 145/762 [ q.v.]). This Ḥasanid pretender enjoyed widespread support among a variety of S̲h̲īʿīs long before his uprising against the ʿAbbāsids. The term Muḥammadiyya denotes tw…

S̲h̲arīf

(10,000 words)

Author(s): Arendonk, C. van | Graham, W.A.
(a.; loanword in p. and t.) (pl, as̲h̲rāf , s̲h̲urafāʾ [in the Mag̲h̲rib, s̲h̲urfāʾ q.v.], s̲h̲araf [seldom]) “noble”, “exalted”, “eminent” [in religious or worldly esteem], derives from the root s̲h̲-r-f which expresses the idea of exaltedness and prominence. Its pre-Islamic as well as its most basic use in Islamic cultures is to denote a free man who can claim a distinguished rank because of his descent from illustrious ancestors ( LA, xi, 70-1); that is, a person possessed of nobility ( s̲h̲araf, or, less frequently, s̲h̲urfa ; both also used in p.; in t., s̲h̲eref , s̲h̲erāfet

Fāṭima

(10,697 words)

Author(s): Veccia Vaglieri, L.
, daughter of Muḥammad and K̲h̲adīd̲j̲a, wife of ʿAlī b. Abī Ṭālib, mother of al-Ḥasan and al-Ḥusayn, was the only one of the Prophet’s daughters to enjoy great renown. She became the object of great veneration by all Muslims. This may be because she lived closest to her father, lived longest, and gave him numerous descendants, who spread throughout the Muslim world (the other sons and daughters of Muḥammad either died young or, if they had descendants, these soon died out); or it may be because…

Ṣūf

(777 words)

Author(s): Frenkel, Y.
(a.), the wool of sheep ( s̲h̲āʾ ḍaʾn ). The hair sheared from other animals is named differently; wabar denotes camels’ hair, s̲h̲aʿr the wool of goats ( d̲j̲ubbat s̲h̲iʿār , a gown made from goats’ hair, see al-Suyūṭī, Ṭaylasān , no. 114). The radical ṣ-w-f is known from pre-Talmudic Hebrew in the sense of “bundle of wool” ( Tosafta ). Ṣūf is mentioned in several pre-Islamic contexts, but in the Ḳurʾān only once in the plural form ( aṣwāf ), in XVI, “82/80. Sheep breeding ( aṣwāf muʿbarāt al-ritāʿ , the thick wool of sheep pasturing freely, in al-Ṭabarī, iii, 1848 1. 3; cf. Naṣr b. Muzāḥim, Waḳʿat Ṣ…

Libās

(25,345 words)

Author(s): Stillman, Y.K. | Stillmann, N.A. | Majda, T.
(a., pls. lubus , albisa ) like its cognate counterpart in most Semitic languages (cf. Akk. lubūs̲h̲u ; Heb. and Aram. ; Syr. ), is the general Arabic term for clothing or apparel. The dictionaries define it as “that which conceals or covers the pudenda”, for which the Ḳurʾānic verse is cited, “O Children of Adam! We have revealed unto you clothing to conceal your shame, and finery, but the garment of piety, that is best” (VII, 26). In addition, “it is for self-beautification and adornment and for protection against heat and cold” ( Ḳāmūs TA , s.v.). In addition to the form libās , one finds libs , mal…