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(1,210 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
(A.), 10th form of the root ḳ-s-m which embraces two groups of meanings, the one of a magical nature and the other divinatory. The first is applied to formulae and methods for conjuring up demons, for adjuration and exorcism; this latter is the meaning acquired by the 2nd and 4th forms, ḳassama and aḳsama , particularly in the Christian Arab world, clearly influenced by the Hebrew ḳesem ( e.g., Deut. xxiii, 23), which has the same meaning. This usage is late, colloquial, and most frequently found among Christian Arabs, who also employ ḳisām , “adjuration, exorcism …

D̲h̲u ’l K̲h̲alaṣa

(469 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
(or K̲h̲ulaṣa ). D̲h̲u ’l-K̲h̲alaṣa refers to the sacred stone (and the holy place where it was to be found) which was worshipped by the tribes of Daws, K̲h̲at̲h̲ʿam, Bad̲j̲īla, the Azd of the Sarāt mountains and the Arabs of Tabāla. “It was a white quartziferous rock, bearing the sculpture of something like a crown. It was in Tabāla at the place called al-ʿAblāʾ, i.e., White Rock ( TʿA , viii, 3) between Mecca and the Yemen and seven nights’ march from the former ( i.e., approximately 192 kilometres or 119 miles). The guardians of the sanctuary were the Banū Umāma of the Bāhila…


(371 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
(a.), in early Arabia, the guardian of a shrine (abstract noun, sidāna ). The root s - d - n contains the sense of "veil, curtain", which puts sādin on a level with ḥād̲j̲ib , the first term denoting the guardian of a shrine, and the second, the "door-keeper" of a palace, hence "chamberlain". The ḥād̲j̲ib acts under the orders of someone else, whereas the sādin acts on his own initiative ( LʿA , xvii, 69, citing Ibn Barrī). However, the two terms may be found juxtaposed, e.g. in Ibn His̲h̲ām, who says, "The Arabs possessed, as well as the Kaʿba, tawāg̲h̲īṭ which were shrines ( buyūt : cf. Fahd, La divin…


(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…


(2,616 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
The particular veneration which, among the S̲h̲īʿas, the members of the Prophet’s family enjoy, is at the base of the belief that the descendants of Fāṭima have inherited certain privileges inherent in Prophethood; prediction of the future and of the destinies of nations and dynasties is one of these privileges. The S̲h̲īʿī conception of prophecy, closely connected with that of the ancient gnosis (cf. Tor Andrae, Die Person Muhammeds in Lehre und Glauben seiner Gemeinde , Stockholm 1918, ch. vi) made the prophetic afflatus pass from Adam to Muḥamm…


(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…

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…


(990 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
(a.), active participle from nad̲j̲d̲j̲ama “to observe the stars and deduce from them the state of the world”. The munad̲j̲d̲j̲im claims to know the lot of humans and their destiny from the positions of the stars. He is the astrologer. For a long time this noun designated both astrologer and astronomer, so close were the functions of the two. Often the court astrologer used to observe the stars scientifically and to interpret their movements for the benefit of his master. This is borne out ¶ by the fact that, according to D̲j̲ābir b. Ḥayyān, “the astrologer must be a mathematician ( riyāḍi

S̲h̲ayʿ al-Ḳawm

(273 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
, the name of a Safaitic deity, unknown however in the pantheon of Central and South Arabia. In Safaitic inscriptions he appears as šyʿhḳwm , i.e. S̲h̲ayʿ ha-Ḳawm, and it is only in the Nabataean and Palmyrene inscriptions (see G. Ryckmans, Les religions arabes préislamiques 2, Louvain 1953 = Quillet, Hist . gen . des religions 2, Paris 1960, ii, 199-228) that we have the form with the regular Arabic definite article, S̲h̲ayʿ al-Ḳawm. The name may refer to a tribal deity in the form of a lion or lion cub, so that S̲h̲ayʿ Allāh (this theophoric name, probably a depagan…
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