Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition


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al-Milal wa ’l-niḥal

(1,484 words)

Author(s): Gimaret, D.
(a.), “the religions and the sects”, one of the stock phrases employed, in the literature known as “heresiographical” (which would be more accurately described as “doxographical”), to denote an enumeration of religious and occasionally philosophical doctrines, as well as the various groups or schools which profess them. The origin of the expression is obscure, and its meaning is imprecise and variable. On the general sense of the first term, see milla. Al-S̲h̲ahrastānī claims, in one passage, to establish a distinction between milla and dīn , the latter si…


(12 words)

[see Ḥizb (on political parties), al-milal wa’l-niḥal , ṭarīḳa ].


(316 words)

Author(s): Tritton, A.S.
, ʿabd al-ḳāhir b. ṭāhir , abū manṣūr al-S̲h̲āfiʿī , d. 429/1037. His father took him to Nīs̲h̲āpūr for his education and there he made his home. Most of the scholars of Ḵh̲urāsān were his pupils and he could teach 17 subjects, especially law, principles, arithmetic, law of inheritance and theology. He left Nīs̲h̲āpūr because of rioting by Turkmens and went to Isfarāʾīn where he soon after died. He was learned in literature as well as in law, was rich, helped other scholars and his …


(143 words)

Author(s): Hodgson, M.G.S.
name given by later Sunnīs to the Murd̲j̲iʾī position associated with Abū Ḥanīfa. In As̲h̲ʿarī ( Maḳālāt al-Islāmiyyīn , ed. Ritter, i, 138 f.), Abū Ḥanīfa appears as head of a section of the Murd̲j̲iʾa asserting that īmān is the affirmation of God and the Prophet, however poorly these are understood; some of his followers, including G̲h̲assān, differ from him in including reverence within ī mān and allowing that it may increase. Al-Bag̲h̲dādī ( Al-farḳ bayn al-firaḳ , ed. Muḥammad Badr, 191) cites this latter difference as proof that G̲h̲assān did …

Afḍal al-Dīn Turka

(314 words)

Author(s): Zarrinkoob, A. H.
, more frequently referred to as K̲h̲wād̲j̲a Afḍal-i Ṣadr, was a famous theologian in the reign of the Tīmūrid S̲h̲āhruk̲h̲ Mīrzā [ q.v.], and a member of an originally turco-phone family of Iṣfahān, whence the appelation Turka. In 845/1441, when S̲h̲āhruk̲h̲ appointed his own grandson, Muḥammad b. Bāysonḳor as governor of a part of Irāḳ-i ʿAd̲j̲amī (al-D̲j̲ibāl), Afḍal al-Dīn Turka was among the learned courtiers of this young prince. But later when, in consequence of Muḥammad’s revolt, S̲h̲āhruk̲h̲ came to Iṣfahān,…

al-Ẓāhir wa ’l-Bāṭin

(1,934 words)

Author(s): Poonawala, I.
(a.), two terms of Arabic theological and philosophical discourse, the first, ẓāhir , meaning “outward, external, exoteric sense”, hence “apparent, manifest sense”, and the second, bāṭin , its antonym, meaning “hidden, inner, esoteric sense”. This pair of words occurs together four times in the Ḳurʾān: in VI, 120, to describe the outwardness and the inwardness of a sin; in XXXI, 20, as adjectives to describe God’s blessings, both manifest and hidden; in LVII, 3, as names of God to mean that He is th…

Masāʾil Wa-Ad̲j̲wiba

(4,041 words)

Author(s): Daiber, H.
(a.), “questions and answers”, a technique of argumentation in mediaeval Islam. The pattern of question ( suʾāl , pl. suʾālāt , asʾila ) and answer ( d̲j̲awāb , pl. d̲j̲awābāt , ad̲j̲wiba ) has strongly influenced, both in form and content, numerous Arabic writings in virtually all fields of knowledge. Unsolved problems, or questions and objections propounded by a third person, are followed by answers or explanations and refutations. Sometimes the author, at the request of a third person, composed a monog…


(278 words)

Author(s): Halm, H.
or Sumayṭiyya (also S̲h̲umaṭiyya or Sumaṭiyya), a S̲h̲īʿī sect whose name is derived from that of one of its heads, a certain Yaḥyā b. Abi ’l-S̲h̲umayṭ. The sect recognised as imām and successor of D̲j̲aʿfar al-Ṣādiḳ [ q.v.] his youngest son Muḥammad, who not only bore the name of the Prophet but also is said to have resembled him physically. After the failure in 200/815 of the S̲h̲īʿī rebellion of Abu ’l-Sarāyā [ q.v.] in Kūfa against the caliph al-Maʾmūn (al-Ṭabarī, hi, 976 ff.), Muḥammad b. D̲j̲aʿfar, who then lived in Mecca as an old man, was urged by his followe…


(363 words)

Author(s): Tritton, A.S.
take their name from Muḥammad b. ʿĪsā the secretary, who was called Burg̲h̲ūt̲h̲ (Ar. = flea). They hived off from the Nad̲j̲d̲j̲āriyya [ q.v.], holding with them that God has a nature ( māhiyya ), that His attributes only tell what He is not (generous says that He is not stingy) and He always knew what would happen. Peculiar to the Burg̲h̲ūt̲h̲iyya is the doctrine that God always ¶ speaks from His self or essence, i.e., that speech is an attribute of His essence, though a report says that according to them His speech is action ( lahu kalām faiʿlī ) whence it was conclude…

Abū Sulaymān Muḥammad b. Ṭāhir b. Bahrām al-Siḏj̲istānī al-Manṭiḳī

(343 words)

Author(s): Stern, S.M.
philosopher, b. about 300/912, d. about 375/985. He was a pupil of Mattā b. Yūnus (d. 328/939) and Yaḥyā b. ʿAdī (d. 364/974), and lived in Bag̲h̲dād (he was patronized by ʿAḍud al-Dawla, to whom he dedicated some of his treatises), occupying an eminent place among the philosophers of the capital. His system, like that of most of the other members of his environment, had a strong Neo-platonic colouring. For the content of his teaching we are mainly indebted to Abū Ḥayyān al-Tawḥīdī [ q.v.], whose works, especially al-Muḳābasāt and al-Imtāʿ wa ’l-Muʾānasa , are fill…


(429 words)

Author(s): Buhl, F. | Bosworth, C.E.
(a.), religion, sect. Although the Arab philologists claim this term as a native Arabic word (cf. Nöldeke, in ZDMG, lvii ‘903], 413), their explanations are so farfetched as to render it almost certain that the term stems from Hebrew and Jewish and Christian Aramaic milla , Syriac melltā “utterance, word”, translating the Greek logos . It does not seem to have any pre-Islamic attestations, hence may have been a borrowing by Muḥammad himself. In the Ḳurʾān, it always means “religion”. It occurs fifteen times, including three ti…

D̲j̲aʿfar b. Mubas̲h̲s̲h̲ir

(573 words)

Author(s): Nader, A.N. | Schacht, J.
al-Ḳaṣabī (also al-T̲h̲aḳafī), a prominent Muʿtazilī theologian and ascetic of the school of Bag̲h̲dād, d. 234/848-9. He was a disciple of Abū Mūsā al-Murdār, and to some slight degree also influenced by al-Naẓẓām [ q.v.] of Baṣra. Little is known of his life except some anecdotes about his abnegation of the world, and the information that he introduced the Muʿtazilī doctrine to ʿĀna [ q.v.], and held disputations with Bis̲h̲r b. G̲h̲iyāt̲h̲ al-Marīsī [ q.v.]. He is the author of numerous works on fiḳh and kalām (al-K̲h̲ayyāṭ 81; Fihrist 37) and he had numerou…


(1,310 words)

Author(s): Daiber, H.
, Abū Mūsā ʿĪsā b. Ṣubayḥ , a Muʿtazilī theologian from Bag̲h̲dād who died in 226/840-1. He was a pupil of Bis̲h̲r b. al-Muʿtamīr [ q.v.], the founder of the Muʿtazilī school of Bag̲h̲dād. and had discussions with fellow-Muʿtazilīs, among them Abu ’l-Hud̲h̲ayl al-ʿAllāf [ q.v.]. According to the Fihrist , he wrote 35 treatises, mostly on Muʿtazilī themes: on the oneness of God ( tawḥid ), on justice, knowledge, the createdness of the Ḳurʾān and theodicy; they include criticisms of his fellow-Muʿtazilīs al-Nad̲j̲d̲j̲ār, T̲h̲umāma b. As̲h̲r…


(615 words)

Author(s): Madelung, W.
or, more commonly, Karibiyya is the name of a subsect of the Kaysāniyya [ q.v.] derived from its otherwise unknown leader Abū, more rarely Ibn Karib (or Kurayb, Karnab) al-Ḍarīr. The heresiographical sources are agreed that Abū Karib denied the death of Muḥammad b. al-Ḥanafiyya, the Imām and Mahdī of the Kaysāniyya. It is thus evident that he was active immediately after the death of Ibn al-Ḥanafiyya in 81/700 and probably played a major rôle in promoting Messianic ideas about him among the Kaysāniyya. The sources disagr…

Muḥammad al-Ḳāʾim

(669 words)

Author(s): Haar, J.G.J. ter
, the twelfth imām according to the It̲h̲nā ʿAs̲h̲ariyya [ q.v.] or Twelver S̲h̲īʿa. When the eleventh imām, al-Ḥasan b. ʿAlī al-ʿAskarī [ q.v.], died in 260/874, the question who was to be recognised as his successor split the [proto-] S̲h̲īʿī community into numerous factions. Al-S̲h̲ahrastānī ( K. al-Milal wa ’l-niḥal ) counts eleven, al-Nawbak̲h̲tī ( Firaḳ al-s̲h̲īʿa ) fourteen, Saʿd al-Ḳummī ( K. al-Maḳālāt wa ’l-firaḳ ) fifteen and al-Masʿūdī ( Murūd̲j̲ al-d̲h̲ahab ) as many as twenty different factions. The opinions put forward by these fac…


(974 words)

Author(s): Pines, S.
, a term which occurs in many verses of the Ḳurʾān in the sense of command, viz. of God. (A paper by J. M. S. Baljon, The amr of god in the Koran , is to appear in Acta Orientatia .) These Ḳurʾānic passages formed the point of departure for speculations of theologians and philosophers, in which the Muslim element is often so contaminated, with doctrines of Hellenistic origin, that it loses all distinctive character. Nevertheless, the term itself does not seem to have an exact parallel in the relevant Greek termin…


(958 words)

Author(s): Huart, Cl. | Massé, H.
(Old Persian: Ahuramazda, “wise lord”; Pahlavi: Auharmazd; Persian: Hurmazd, Hurmuzd, Hurmuz), supreme god of the ancient Iranians, whose name was later given to the planet Jupiter and to the first day of each month of the ¶ Zoroastrian year. In the works of Muslim writers (especially the Iranians and particularly the poets) are found allusions which display a very imprecise knowledge of Mazdaism; although there occurs the name of Zoroaster (Zardus̲h̲t), one searches in vain for the name of Hurmuzd (cf. M. Moīn, Mazdayasna , parts 7 & 8 and the introd. by …


(844 words)

Author(s): Walzer, R.
, i.e., Proclus (A.D. 410-485), head of the pagan philosophical school at Athens (the ʿPlatonic Academy’), outstandihg scnolastic ¶ systematiser of Neoplatonic thought and one of the chief links between ancient and medieval philosophy. Although it would be premature to attempt a monograph about the influence he exercised upon medieval Arabic thought, the information at present at our diaposal is not so scanty that its complete neglect in R. Beutler’s comprehensive article on Proclus ( Pauly-Wissowa-Kroll 45, 1957, col. 186 ff.) appears justified. …


(1,028 words)

Author(s): de Blois, F.C.
, the Arabic name for the Marcionites, an important non-monotheistic tendency in early Christianity. Marcion (Μαρκιων; Ar. Marḳiyūn) was a native of Sinope [see sīnūb ] on the Black Sea who arrived in Rome in A.D. 138 (or somewhat later) and taught among the Christian community in the imperial capital. Marcion’s doctrine was that the god described in the Old Testament (the creator, or just god) is different from the god described in the New Testament (the stranger, or good god), the father of Chris…


(2,438 words)

Author(s): Monnot, G.
, Abu ’l-Fatḥ Muḥammad b. ʿAbd al-Karīm b. Aḥmad, Tād̲j̲ al-Dīn, thinker and historian of religious and philosophical doctrines, who lived in Persia in the first half of the 6th/12th century. He received other honorific titles such as al-Afḍal or al-Imām. Besides a few landmarks, little is known of his life. Al-S̲h̲ahrastānī (the customary Arabic vocalisation is retained here) was born in the small town of S̲h̲ahristān, on the northern frontier of K̲h̲urāsān, not far from Nasā, at the edge of the desert of Ḳara Ḳum (currently in the Republic of Turkmenistan) [see s̲h̲ahristān (6)]. His …
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