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(737 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
(a.), from rīf , pl. aryāf , “cultivated and fertile region”, generally designates the lands along a river or the sea and the fertile plains bordering the desert [see further rīf ]. The noun riyāfa , a recent formation on the model of ḳiyāfa (note that al-Ḏj̲āḥiẓ, K. al-Tarbīʿ wa ’l-tadwīr , ed. Pellat, 91-2, § 176, gives for ḳiyāfa [ q.v.] the sense of the detection of paternity, the whereabouts of water, atmospheric phenomena and the earth), designates the water-diviner’s art which estimates the depth of water under the earth through the smell of the ea…


(547 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
(a.), from the root s-ʿ-y , used 30 times in the Ḳurʾān in such senses as “to work, apply oneself to, denounce, seek to earn one’s living, run after s. th.” etc., but in the sense concerning here denoting the pilgrim’s running between al-Ṣafā and al-Marwa. These are two hills to the south and north-west of the Kaʿba respectively, linked by a masʿā , course, which the pilgrim follows after having made the sevenfold circuit of the Kaʿba, at his or her arrival and his or her departure. This following of the course, the saʿy , is likewise sevenfold; it starts in al-Ṣafā, and goes to al-Marwa, ca. 300 m a…


(319 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
, preferably to be read as Saʿīr, although the former is more common, an idol of the pre-Islamic Arabian tribe of ʿAnaza (Ibn al-Kalbī, 48-9), coming from ʿw.ṣ , an Aramaean eponym denoting in the Bible (refs. in Gesenius-Buhl, 573) the land of Edom and the group of tribes living there (W. Robertson Smith, Kinship and marriage in early Arabia , 260-1; Nöldeke, in ZDMG, xl [1887], 183). Saʿīr, which followed the same evolution as ʿAwḍ, denotes in the Bible the land of Edom before its occupation by the sons of Esau. Gen. xxxvi.9 speaks of the hill country Seʿir, o…


(631 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
(a.), the science of physiognomancy and the examination of traces on the ground. In their concern for the purity of race and the ¶ correctness of genealogical lines, the ancient Arabs perfected a technique which permitted them to verify, and, where necessary, to research into, lines of parentage. This technique consisted partly in experience and partly in divinatory intuition. In primitive times, a specialised personnel maintained the practice: but the progressive decline, in pre-Islamic Arabia, of personnel skilled i…


(949 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
, name of one of the most ancient deities ofthe Semitic pantheon, who appears in the Pre-Sargonic period in the form Menūtum and constitutes one ofthe names of Ishtar (J. Bottéro, Les divinités sémitiques anciennes en Mésopotamie , in S. Moscati (ed.), Le antiche divinité semitiche, 30; Tallqvist, Götterepitheta , 373-4); the Ḳurʾānic scriptio of her name preserves the primitive w, which also appears in the Nabatean mnwtw (Lidzbarski, Handbuch , 313; Wellhausen, Reste 2, 28). The w changes to i in the Bible (Isa. lxv, 11), as in the Sallier IV papyrus, verso , i, 5-6 (in J.B. Pritchard, Ancien…


(743 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
(a., pl. tamāʾim , synonyms taʿwīd̲h̲ , ʿūd̲h̲a ), amulet, talisman (for a wider consideration of this last, see ṭilsam ). In origin, it means a stone with white speckles on a black field or vice-versa, threaded on a thong or cord and worn round the neck to avert danger. The Arabs placed such stones on their children, believing that it would protect them from the evil eye, ill fate, sickness and death, having thereby recourse to someone other than God, Who alone is capable of preventing evil a…


(296 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J. | Fahd, T.
(a.), lord, God, master of a slave. Pre-Islamic Arabia probably applied this term to its gods or to some of them. In this sense the word corresponds to the terms like Baʿal, Adonis, etc. in the Northwestern Semitic languages, where rabb means “much, great” (see A. Jeffery, The foreign vocabulary of the Qurʾān , Baroda 1938, 136-7). In one of the oldest sūras (CVI, 3) Allāh is called the “lord of the temple”. Similarly, al-Lāt bore the epithet al-Rabba , especially at Ṭāʾif where she was worshipped in the image of a stone or of a rock. In the Ḳurʾān, rabb (especially with the possessive suffix)…

K̲h̲awāṣṣ al-Ḳurʾān

(514 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
, the art of drawing prognostications from verses of the Ḳurʾān to which beneficial effects are attributed. The sacred text is used here in the same spirit as in rhapsodomancy ( ʿilm al-ḳurʿa ) and onomatomancy [see d̲j̲afr and ḥurūf. ] But it is here more particularly a case of the “natural properties” (φυσικά) which certain formulae of a magical and superstitious nature can have, based upon suitable Ḳurʾānic verses, letters drawn from these verse, words, names of angels, prophets or God, prayers bearing celebrated names and poems ( e.g. the Burda ). Hence these …


(606 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
(a.), a term having various significations. The root s̲h̲-ʿ-r involves, inter alia, the ideas of knowing something; being aware of something; being a poet; being hairy; notifying, making aware of something; marking something; etc. S̲h̲iʿār stems from the latter semantic field. It denotes: 1. The rallying signal for war or for a travel expedition, war cry, standard, mark indicating the place of standing ( wuḳūf ) of ¶ soldiers in battle or pilgrims in the Pilgrimage (ʿArafa: the idea of “recognising” this mark). The warcry of the Prophet’s Companions was “Amit , amit! O victorious ones,…


(618 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
(a.), derived from nas̲h̲ada “to search (especially for a stray camel), designates a set form of oath, at the beginning of a prayer of petition, sometimes involving a threat or coercion, directed at God. A certain Abū Sammāl of Banū Asad set out once in search of his camel; after a long, vain search, he turned to God, entreating him in these words: aymunuka laʾin lam taruddahā ilayya lā aʿbudka , “I swear if you do not return it to me, I will not worship you”; and he found it. The man was not a saint, so that his success could be attributed t…


(1,232 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
(A.), deriving from a root k̲h̲-y-r which expresses the idea of option or choice, consists of entrusting God with the choice between two or more possible options, either through piety and submission to His will, or else through inability to decide oneself, on account of not knowing which choice is the most advantageous one. To the first category belong the ak̲h̲yār or “chosen”, who regulate their lives according to the model inspired by God in the Ḳurʾān and the Law; to the second belong the mustak̲h̲īrūn , those who seek to escape from indecision with the h…


(304 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
, apparently the name of an idol of the pre-Islamic Arabs. In a marginal addition to Ibn al-Kalbī’s K. al-Aṣnām (ed. Klinke-Rosenberger, 2), the following ḥadīt̲h̲ is given: “Fulfill your legal alms obligations, for God has freed you from al-Sud̲j̲d̲j̲a and al-Bad̲j̲d̲j̲a” (missing from the Concordance ). The commentator says that al-Sud̲j̲d̲j̲a was an idol. As for al-Bad̲j̲d̲j̲a, This is the blood drawn from an incision ( faṣīd ) of a camel’s vein, on which the Arabs used to feed in times of dearth. But according to TʿA , ii, 6, al-Bad̲j̲d̲j̲a was an idol too…


(853 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
, spontaneous pulsations, tremblings or convulsions which occur in all parts of the body, in particular in the limbs, the eyelids and the eyebrows and which provide omens the interpretation of which as a divinatory sign is known as the ʿilm al-ik̲h̲tilād̲j̲ or “palmoscopy”. Palmoscopy forms part of physiognomy and, like it, formed part of medical diagnosis by the physicians of classical antiquity, among them Galen, who established a distinction between “palpitation” and “trembling, shudder, convulsion”. As a divinatory practice, Islamic palmoscopy seems to have as its s…


(2,242 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
, a term of controversial origin (cf. T. Fahd, Divination arabe , 91 ff.), belonging to Canaanite, Aramaic and Arab traditions. At the earliest stage known to us it appears to have been used by the “Western Semites” to designate the possessor of a single function with related prerogatives, that is to say, the offering of sacrifices in the name of the group, the representing of this group before the deity, the interpretation of the will of the deity, and in addition the anticipation an…


(3,415 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
(a.), pl. nīrān , denotes fire, whereas nūr , pl. anwār , denotes light. In Akkadian, Aramaic, Hebrew, Syriac and Arabic, the root n-w-r simply denotes “flash”, “dazzlement”, “florescence”, “tattooing”, anything, in short, which gives light and anything which stands out clearly. The other Arabic term which signifies light, ḍawʾ , is to be associated with the Sanskrit dev/w which appears in Zeus, Dieu, dies , and expresses the notion of the personification of the luminous and calorific phenomena of nature. Nār occurs 129 times in the Ḳurʾān, of which 111…


(1,276 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
, name of one of the three most venerated deities of the pre-Islamic pantheon, the two others being Manāt and al-ʿUzzā [ q.vv.]. The deep attachment felt by the T̲h̲aḳīf towards al-Lāt, the Aws and the K̲h̲azrad̲j̲ towards Manāt and the Ḳurays̲h̲ towards al-ʿUzzā, constituted the greatest obstacle in the path of the peaceful implantation of Islam in the regions of the Ḥid̲j̲āz. This obstacle was so difficult to overcome that the Prophet seems, for a brief period, to have consented to the continuation of the cult of these three deities, called al-g̲h̲arānīḳ al-ʿulā (see T. Fahd, Panthéon


(1,527 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T. | Stewart, F.H.
(a.). 1. In pre- and early Islamic usage. The root ṭ -g̲h̲-w yields several forms with the general meaning of "to go beyond the measure, be very lofty, overflow, be tyrannical, rebellious, oppressive, proud, etc.", from which two may be noted here: ṭag̲h̲w , designating a height or mountain summit, and ṭag̲h̲ūt , pl. ṭawāg̲h̲īt , meaning the great pre-Islamic Arabian deities like al-Lāt at Ṭāʾif and al-ʿUzzā at Mecca. The term was then applied to Satan, sorcerer and rebel, and to any power opposed to that of Islam. One may also cite ṭag̲h̲wa "excess of injustice, impiety", as opposed to the s̲h̲…


(3,576 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J. | Fahd, T.
(a.), image, form, shape, e.g. ṣūrat al-arḍ , “the image of the earth”, ṣūrat ḥimār , “the form of an ass” (Muslim, Ṣalāt , trad. 115), or face, countenance (see below). Taṣāwīr are rather pictures; see for these, taṣwīr . Ṣūra and taṣwīra are therefore in the same relation to one another as the Hebrew demūt and ṣelem . 1. In theological and legal doctrine. The Biblical idea according to which man was created in God’s ṣelem (Gen. i. 27) has most probably passed into Ḥadīt̲h̲. It occurs in three passages in classical Ḥadīt̲h̲; the exegesis is uncertain and in general unwilling to adopt i…

Ibn G̲h̲annām

(511 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
, Abū Ṭāhir Ibrāhīm b. Yaḥyā b. G̲h̲annām al-Ḥarrānī al-Numayrī al-Ḥanbalī al-Maḳdisī (d. 693/1294), is the author of a treatise on oneiromancy that was widely circulated, on account of its alphabetical arrangement which makes it rapid and simple to consult. He was thus the innovator of a system which, after his time, became widely adopted. His treatise, entitled al-Muʿallam ʿalā ḥurūf al-muʿd̲j̲am , led oneiromancy away from the traditional paths by renouncing the plan inspired by that of the Book of Dreams of Artemidorus of Ephesus (ed. T. Fahd, Damascus 1964, PIFD) and sanctioned b…


(1,303 words)

Author(s): King, D.A. | Fahd, T.
(a.), literally “that which rises”. 1. Astronomical aspects. Al-ṭāliʿ is that point of the ecliptic which is rising over the horizon at a given moment, called the ascendent or horoscopus (and sometimes, incorrectly, the horoscope); see the diagram in maṭāliʿ . The determination of the ascendent is necessary in mathematical astrology [see nud̲j̲ūm , aḥkām al- ] before one can calculate the instantaneous positions of the 12 astrological houses ( al-buyūt ); with these determined, one can then investigate in which houses the sun, moon and five na…
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