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Harun al-Rashid

(90 words)

Author(s): Schönig, Hanne (Halle/Saale)
[German version] ( Hārūn ar-Rašı̄d). Fifth Abbasid ( Abbasids)  Caliph (AD 786-809). Popular because of the narratives from the ‘Arabian Nights’. His term of office was characterized by political unrest in the Arab lands from North Africa to Yemen, by difficulties in consolidating  Islam in the eastern parts of his realm, as well as by wars against Byzantium. His main achievement in the cultural area is the promotion of translations into Arabic of Greek natural scientific and philosophical literature. Schönig, Hanne (Halle/Saale) Bibliography F. Omar, s.v. Hārūn al-Rashı̄d, E…

Uṯman

(97 words)

Author(s): Schönig, Hanne (Halle/Saale)
[German version] (Uṯmān ibn Affān; Οὐθμάν/ Outhmán; Persian-Turkish Osman). Third of the four 'rightly-guided' caliphs (AD 644-655). After the glittering rule of his predecessor Omar, whose (expansionist) policies he continued, U. instead received reproach and dissatisfaction, e.g. owing to nepotism. His compilation of divine revelations into a final canonical edition (Qur'ān), a move towards strengthening central authority, was also heavily criticized in its implementation. Unexplained happenings a…

Shiites

(118 words)

Author(s): Schönig, Hanne (Halle/Saale)
[German version] (< Shia/ Šı̄a, literally 'party', elliptical for 'Party of Ali'). Term for the supporters of Ali in the struggle for the caliphate (Caliph). According to the number of imams (Imam) they recognise, Fiver (e.g. Zaidites in Yemen), Sevener (e.g. Ismailites in Pakistan and central Asia; Fatimids 909-1171 in northern Africa and Egypt, Fatima) and Twelver Shiites (group with the largest number of adherents, today in e.g. Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon) are distinguished. Martyrdom, i.e…

Yaṯrib

(160 words)

Author(s): Müller, Walter W. (Marburg/Lahn) | Schönig, Hanne (Halle/Saale)
(Qurʾan 33,13; Ἰάθριππα/ Iáthrippa in Steph. Byz. 321,13; corrupted as Λαθρίππα/ Lathríppa in Ptol. 6,7,31), modern Medina. [German version] I. Pre-Islamic period Ancient oasis settlement of economic significance in western central Arabia on the Incense Road. The Babylonian king Nabonidus set out from Tayma c. 550 BC on campaigns in the course of which he also conquered Y. Y. is mentioned in 3rd-cent. BC name lists in the Minaean capital Qarnāwu (Minaei). From the 1st century AD until the advent of Islam, there were powerful Judaeo-Arabian tribes in Y. Müller, Walter W. (Marburg…

Muawiya

(92 words)

Author(s): Schönig, Hanne (Halle/Saale)
[German version] ( Muāwiya, Greek Μαυΐας/ Mauïas). Founder of the dynasty of Umayyads, Caliph AD 661-680. From 634 onwards, the caliphs Abu Bakr and later Omar had already entrusted M. with various capacities as commander and governor in Syria. During his rule he consolidated this firm position internally, maintaining and incorporating the tribal structure. In foreign policy he built on earlier advances, particularly against North Africa and Byzantium, and achieved further military successes. Testimonials: Theophanes, p. 346-348, 355f. de Boor. Ali Schönig, Hanne (Halle/Saa…

Abbasids

(143 words)

Author(s): Schönig, Hanne (Halle/Saale)
[German version] (Abbāsids). Islamic dynasty (AD 750-1258). The accession of the A. occurred after a weakening of the  Omayyads by disputes over succession, tribal conflicts, social alienation and Iranian influences, which were expressed in a new orientation towards the East. In 763 the capital relocated from Damascus to Baghdad. Intellectual life profited from the multinational constellation. Scientific, cultural and literary flowering characterized by Hellenistic and Iranian influences under ca…

Islam

(1,038 words)

Author(s): Schönig, Hanne (Halle/Saale)
( islām). [German version] I. Definition Islam, ‘complete, unreserved submission, devotion to God’, agent noun muslim; both terms are Koranic. The most recent of the three monotheistic world religions, with today more than a billion adherents. Schönig, Hanne (Halle/Saale) II. History [German version] A. Origin In the predominantly nomadic society of 7th cent. Arabia, a number of gods and goddesses, most of them tribal and local deities, were worshipped. A tendency towards  monotheism (Allāh = ‘ the God’) developed, in the transition to a settled way of life during the l…

Hassan

(76 words)

Author(s): Schönig, Hanne (Halle/Saale)
[German version] ( Ḥasan). Grandson of the prophet  Muhammad, son of his daughter  Fatima and his cousin  Ali, brother of  Husain; 624-625 until after AD 670. After Ali's murder, H. relinquished the Caliphate after negotiations in favour of the  Umayyad  Muāwiya (in 661) and thereafter remained politically unimportant. For the  Shiites, he is the second  imam after his father Ali. Schönig, Hanne (Halle/Saale) Bibliography L. Veccia Vaglieri, s.v. Ḥasan b. Alı̄ b. Abı̄ Ṭālib, EI 3, 240b-243b.

Cumani, Comani

(214 words)

Author(s): Schönig, Hanne (Halle/Saale)
[German version] Extinct Turkic people from the Kipchak group. Their self-designation was Kun, Slavic Polovcy, German Polowzer, or Falben; referred to as ‘Falbi’ in the Middle Ages. The C. are documented to have lived in the Volga Basin since the late 9th cent. In the middle of the 11th cent. AD, they invaded the region of the modern Ukraine, laid waste Hungary in 1071-72, extinguished the  Patzinaks in 1091, represented a constant threat for Russia between 1060 and 1210, and were defeated in 1239-40 by the Mongo…

Muezzin

(106 words)

Author(s): Schönig, Hanne (Halle/Saale)
[German version] ( muaḏḏin). Islamic prayer caller who summons Muslims from the minaret (Mosque) for the five daily compulsory prayer sessions. The office was established by the prophet Muhammad in early Islam. In later times, the duties of the muezzin extended to the recitation of religious texts. The call (or rather song) to prayer comprises among other things the phrase Allāhu akbar (‘God is great’), the profession of faith, and the actual summons to prayer (‘come to prayer!’). Today the call to prayer is mostly announced from a loudspeaker via a cassette recording. …

Hejira

(86 words)

Author(s): Schönig, Hanne (Halle/Saale)
[German version] ( hiǧra). Emigration, movement of the prophet  Muḥammad and some of his followers from  Mecca to  Medina in AD 622 after tribal difficulties (withdrawal of the clan protection on the part of his tribe Quraiš); beginning of the Islamic calendar. Only with the hejira did Mohammed's work as a statesman begin; it also marked the starting-point of the actual spread of  Islam (initially through a policy of alliances). Schönig, Hanne (Halle/Saale) Bibliography A. Noth, Die Hiǧra, in: U. Haarmann (ed.), Geschichte der arabischen Welt, 1987, 11-57.

Imam

(137 words)

Author(s): Schönig, Hanne (Halle/Saale)
[German version] (Arab. imām, in general ‘conductor, leader’). 1. conductor of prayer, i.e. prayer-leader in the mosque, 2. leader of the community of all Muslims in succession to the prophet  Mohammed (Muḥammad), i.e. religious and political head. The schools of law and lines of belief evidently have different views about qualifications, investiture and offices/duties of the imam. Among the  Sunnites: defender of faith, (religious) law and justice. The imam following on from the four  Caliphs, who…

Harem

(131 words)

Author(s): Schönig, Hanne (Halle/Saale)
[German version] ( ḥarı̄m). A sacred, inviolable, prohibited place, i.e. those parts of the house where the women (mother, wife/wives, daughters, unmarried sisters, concubines) of a family live and which can only be entered by those male members of the family who have a particular family relationship. Also a term for the female members of a family. The segregation of the sexes is based on statements in the Koran (Surah 33,53-59). In Europe, an erotically-exotic image of the harem prevailed for a lo…

Ali

(72 words)

Author(s): Schönig, Hanne (Halle/Saale)
[German version] (Alī). Ali ben Abu Talib, last of the four righteous caliphs (AD 656-661). Cousin, son-in-law and one of the first followers of  Muhammad. After differences in opinion and struggles with the  Omayyad Muāwiya, the Kharijites, who eventually assassinated A., separated. Shiites believe A. is the first rightful successor of Mohammed, the first Caliph  Imam.  Caliph;  Shiites Schönig, Hanne (Halle/Saale) Bibliography V. Vaglieri, Alī b. Abī Ṭālib, in: EI 1, 381b-386a.

Kalam

(264 words)

Author(s): Schönig, Hanne (Halle/Saale)
[German version] ( kalām). In Islam, (scholastic) theology, (defensive) apologetic. In fact: ʿilm al-kalām, literally: ‘science of the word, of speech’, which means presentation and explanation, dispute, discussion, (rational and dialectical) argumentation, reasoning, and the defence of Islamic beliefs and of the divine unity, against persons of different faiths, infidels, doubters, and heretics ( Heresiology). A theological discipline since the 7th cent. The emphasis is on a rational-dialectical, and, from …

Caliph

(189 words)

Author(s): Schönig, Hanne (Halle/Saale)
[German version] ( ḫalı̄fa). ‘Successor’, ‘representative’, elliptical for ‘successor of the Prophet’  Muhammad, since the Umayyads (661-750; contested, perhaps even earlier) ‘representative of Allah’. The following caliphs were regarded as ‘rightfully appointed’ (by election; Muhammad did not leave any regulations):  Abu Bakr (632-634),  Omar (634-644), who was the first to also hold the title ‘ruler of the believers’,  Othman (644-656), and  Ali (656-661). Since the  Umayyads, we find hereditary …

Mosque

(110 words)

Author(s): Schönig, Hanne (Halle/Saale)
[German version] ( masǧid; ‘place where one prostrates oneself (in prayer)’; the Arabic word is of Syrian origin: masgeḏā). Muslim (Islam) place of prayer; also, a social meeting-point and a place of teaching. In the course of time several architectural types of mosques developed and already existing cult buildings were taken over (Hagia Sophia, Constantinople; Ummayad Mosque, Damascus). All mosques have a prayer niche facing Mecca, washing facilities and usually one or more minarets (Muezzin). In special Friday mosques ( ǧāmi) the Friday prayer is performed together in th…

Heresy

(780 words)

Author(s): Käppel, Lutz (Kiel) | Schönig, Hanne (Halle/Saale)
[German version] I. Christian Term used to delineate unwelcome religious teachings divergent from orthodoxy. In Pre-Christian and non-Christian contexts, the Greek term   haíresis (αἵρεσις, Latin haeresis [5]) was still entirely value-free: the basic meaning ‘to take’, ‘to choose’ evolves into ‘religious or philosophical school of thought’, ‘school perspective’, as well as ‘member of a school of thought’, ‘(fragmentation into) parties’, ‘sect’, cf. for example the titles in Lucian, Hermótimos ḕ perì hairéseōn; Antipater of Tarsus, Katà tôn hairéseōn; Varro, Perì hairéseōn (M…

Sufism

(184 words)

Author(s): Schönig, Hanne (Halle/Saale)
[German version] ( taṣawwuf). As early as the initial period of Islam, Islamic mysticism developed out of a striving for an ascetic way of life and renunciation of the world, partly under the influence of Christian monasticism, but also of Neoplatonic philosophy (Neoplatonism) and Iranian elements of learning. According to the beliefs of Sufism, the fear of God and faith in God, with the aid of meditation and remembrance of God (recitations, standardized in content and technique, of religious formu…

Sunnites

(88 words)

Author(s): Schönig, Hanne (Halle/Saale)
[German version] ( ahl as-sunna). Islamic orthodoxy based primarily on the sunna (that is, the exemplary words and deeds) of the prophet Muhammad and on the Qurʾān. The S., who constitute the majority of Muslims (more than four fifth), distinguish themselves from the Shiites i.a. in their interpretation of the Koran, in the relatively low significance of martyrdom and in areas of law. Even within the S., various schools of law have developed (Islam). Islam; Kalam Schönig, Hanne (Halle/Saale) Bibliography G. H. A. Juynboll, D. W. Brown, s.v. Sunna, EI 9, 878a-881b.
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