Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition


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(926 words)

Author(s): Huart, Cl. | Grohmann, A.
(κάλαμος, reed), the reed-pen used for writing in Arabic script. It is a tube of reed cut between two knots, sliced obliquely (or concave) at the thicker end and with the point slit, in similar fashion to the European quill and later the steel pen. The reed has to be very firm so that it does not wear away too quickly; the best kind comes from Wāsiṭ and grows in the marshes ( baṭāʾiḥ ) of ʿIrāḳ, but those from the swamps of Egypt (al-Muḳaddasī, BGA, iii, 203, 1. 13) or from Fāris were also recommended. Those from a rocky ground were called ṣuk̲h̲rī , those from the seashore baḥrī (Ibn ʿAbd Rabbihi, al-ʿIḳd…


(2,870 words)

Author(s): Gardet, L.
, in the sense of kalām Allāh the Word of God, must here be distinguished from 1) kalām meaning ʿilm al-kalām [ q.v.], “defensive apologetics”, or “the science of discourse” (on God); and 2) kalima [ q.v.] which, in the expression kalimat Allāh , means “a” (single) divine utterance. Kalām Allāh is found at least three times in the Ḳurʾān (II, 75, IX, 6, XLVIII, 15). God spoke to the prophets (II, 253); He spoke “clearly” to Moses (IV, 164, VII, 143), who had been chosen to transmit His messages and His Word (VII, 144); God…


(8 words)

, theology [see ʿilm al-kalām ].


(50 words)

Author(s): Ed.
In Ottoman usage the word ḳalam, pronounced ḳalem , was used figuratively to designate the secretariat of an official department or service, and then came to be the normal term for an administrative office. This usage has survived in modern Turkish, and is also current in Arabic. (Ed.)

ʿIlm al-Kalām

(10,417 words)

Author(s): Gardet, L.
, one of the “religious sciences” of Islam. The term is usually translated, as an approximate rendering, “theology”. I.—Definition. It is difficult to establish precisely when ʿilm al-kalām came to mean an autonomous religious science (or branch of knowledge). In any case, whereas the term fiḳh meant originally —especially in the Ḥanafī school (cf. fiḳh akbar) —speculative meditation, hence distinguished from ʿilm in the sense of traditional knowledge, the term kalām , literally “word”, quickly acquired the senses of “conversation, discussion, controversy” (cf. A. J. Wensinck, Th…


(1,111 words)

Author(s): Gardet, L.
, pl. afʿāl , actuation, act, and sometimes the result of an act, that is to say effectuation, effect. From its current usage in Arabic, this word very quickly became a technical term ( iṣṭilāḥ ), not only in grammar but also in falsafa and in ʿilm al-kalām . If ʿamal [ q.v.] designates the realms of ‘doing’ and ‘acting’ (whence ‘work’, human acts, and moral action), and thus has at least in its last meaning an ethical connotation, fiʿl refers above all to noetic and ontological values: the fact of actuating, of passing (or causing to pass) to the per…


(1,523 words)

Author(s): Gardet, L.
, absolute creation, primordial innovation.— The term itself is not Ḳurʾānic, but the Ḳurʾān calls God Badīʿ , Absolute Creator, Innovator. The two verses II, 117 and VI, 101 assert that God is “Creator ( Badīʿ) of the heavens and the earth”: we should obviously understand by this, of everything. The commentators emphasize that God is called Badīʿ by virtue of His (absolute) creation of the heavens and the earth, and K̲h̲āliḳ by virtue of His creation ( k̲h̲alḳ ) of man (“made of clay”, LV, 14). There is another distinction founded on the Ḳurʾān: the text frequently contrasts “the…


(2,026 words)

Author(s): Gardet, L.
, appeal, invocation (addressed to God) either on behalf of another or for oneself ( li...), or else against someone ( ʿalā ...); hence: prayer of invocation, calling either for blessing, or for imprecation and cursing, connected with the Semitic idea of the effective value of the spoken word. Cf. Ḳurʾān XVII, 11: “Man prays for evil as he prays for good”.— Duʿāʾ therefore will have the general sense of personal prayer addressed to God, and can often be translated as “prayer of request”. I.—The scope and practice of duʿāʾ . 1. In the Ḳurʾān, duʿāʾ always keeps its original meaning of invo…


(13,436 words)

Author(s): Gardet, L.
, God the Unique one, the Creator and Lord of the Judgment, polarizes the thought of Islam; He is the sole reason for its existence. ¶ Allāh was known to the pre-Islamic Arabs; he was one of the Meccan deities, possibly the supreme deity and certainly a creator-god (cf. Ḳurʾān, xiii, 16; xxix, 61, 63; xxxi, 25; xxxix, 38; xliii, 87). He was already known, by antonomasia, as the God, al-Ilāh (the most likely etymology; another suggestion is the Aramaic Alāhā ).—For Allāh before Islam, as shown by archaeological sources and the Ḳurʾān, see ilāh . But the vague notion of supreme (not sole) di…


(10,078 words)

Author(s): Arnaldez, R.
(a.), creation. I.— Lexicographical data. K̲h̲alḳ, noun of action of the verb k̲h̲alaḳa , which properly means the act of creating, can also be used to designate Creation in its entirety: wa’l-k̲h̲alḳ yakūn al-maṣdar wa-yakūn al-mak̲h̲lūḳ ( LA). The noun of the agent, al-k̲h̲āliḳ , defined by the article, is applied only to God and is one of His Names. According to the LA, in the speech of the Arabs al-k̲h̲alḳ is used to designate the production of some new thing ( ibtidāʿ ) on a pattern which has not been previously employed ( ʿalā mit̲h̲āl lam yusbaḳ ilayh ). Abū


(7 words)

[see ḳalam , kitaba ].


(5 words)

[see kalām ]


(6 words)

, abuʾl-kalām [see Supplement].


(935 words)

Author(s): Guimbretière, A.
, abu ’l-kalām , reviver of Muslim thought in India and influential politician of the first half of the 20th century. Born in Mecca in 1888, he received in Calcutta, where his family settled in 1898, an austere and rigorously orthodox education. With great precocity he made his début in the literary world at the age of fourteen with an article published in the Urdu language magazine Mak̲h̲zan . At the age of sixteen he made the acquaintance of the remarkable poet Alṭāf Ḥusayn Ḥālī [ q.v.], on whom he made a strong impression, and shortly after he met Mawlānī S̲h̲iblī Nuʿmānī who …

Ahl al-Naẓar

(79 words)

Author(s): Ed.
, “those who apply reasoning”. This term originally denotes the Muʿtazila [ q.v.], and it is probable that they coined it themselves. It occurs in Ibn Ḳutayba, Taʾwīl Muk̲h̲talif al-Ḥadīt̲h̲ , passim; al-Masʿudī speaks of ahl al-baḥt̲h̲ wal-naẓar ; synonyms are ahl al-kalām (in al-S̲h̲āfiʿī) and al-mutakallimūn (in al-As̲h̲ʿarī). Later, ahl (or aşḥāb ) al-naẓar came to denote the careful scholars who held a sound, well-reasoned opinion on any particular question. See also naẓar . (Ed.)


(101 words)

Author(s): Schacht, J.
, Muḥammad b. Muḥammad al-S̲h̲āfiʿī , a writer on Islamic dogmatics and teacher of al-Bād̲j̲ūrī [ q.v.], d. 1236/1821. Both of his works, Kifāyat al-ʿAwāmm fīmā yad̲j̲ib ʿalayhim min ʿilm al-kalām , and a commentary on the profession of monotheism, Risāla ʿalā lā ilāha illa ’llāh , have been commented upon by al-Bād̲j̲ūrī and have been often printed together with the commentaries. (J. Schacht) Bibliography Brockelmann, II, 641 S II, 744 D. B. Macdonald, in EI 1, s.v. translations of his Kifāya by Macdonald, Development of Muslim theology, etc., 1903, 315 ff., and by M. Horten, Muhammedanis…


(115 words)

Author(s): Gardet, L.
, maṣdar of g̲h̲afara , to forgive; refers to the two Ḳurʾānic Divine Names, al-g̲h̲afūr and al-g̲h̲affār , the Forgiver and He who unceasingly forgives. Thus: act of man forgiving an offence, but essentially: act of God forgiving sins. The term g̲h̲ufrān belongs to the vocabulary of ʿilm al-kalām , e.g. treatise on the “Last Things” ( al-waʿd wa’l-waʿid ) and chapter on tawba ; and to the vocabulary of taṣawwuf , e.g. “dwelling-place” ( maḳām ) of repentance ( tawba). Frequent synonym: al-ʿafw , which places the emphasis on forgiveness conceived as (tota…


(473 words)

Author(s): Gardet, L.
, (a.), technical term in ʿilm al-kalām (scholastic theology). Its use is common (see the commentators on al-Taftazānī, al-Bad̲j̲ūrī etc.), as expressing a certain concept, and to denote a genus of theological dissertations, which go back at least to the 6th/12th century with Fak̲h̲r al-Dīn al-Rāzī, and are clearly stated in the 8th/14th century by al-Īd̲j̲ī, al-Taftazānī and al-Ḏj̲urd̲j̲ānī. The term refers to the earlier expression al-ʿulūm al-ʿaḳliyya , derived from falsafa , signifying the rational (and natural) knowledge which the reason ( ʿaḳl) can acquire by itself. All…


(316 words)

Author(s): Irwin, J.
(from Persian ḳalam, “pen”, and kār , “work”), the hand-painted and resistdyed cottons of India, also known as chintz (from the Western Indian vernacular word chiṭṭa , “spotted ¶ cloth”). In true ḳalamkārī , printing-blocks are not employed. The design is sometimes drawn free-hand, but more commonly “pounced” ( i.e., applied by rubbing powdered charcoal through a perforated paper stencil), after which the mordants (fixing-agents), some of the colours themselves, and the wax-resist which protects parts of the fabric during red and blue dyeing operations, are applied by hand, with ḳala…


(1,144 words)

Author(s): MacDonald, D.B. | Gardet, L.
(a.), the spoken word, utterance; can be extended to mean “discourse” and “poem”. The falāsifa prefer to limit their discussion to the problems of grammar and logic: thus in the preamble to the Nad̲j̲āt (Cairo 2.1357/1938, 11) Ibn Sīnā defines kalima as “a single word ( lafẓa ) which refers to an idea and the length of time that this idea is applied to any indeterminate subject whatsoever; for example, when we say ‘he walked’.” Cf. also Manṭiḳ al-mas̲h̲riḳiyyīn , Cairo 1328/1910, 57-8, and p. 66 where kalima is given as a synonym for “that which grammarians call fiʿl ”. But according to the Is̲h̲ā…
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