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ʿAbd al-Muṭṭalib b. Hās̲h̲im

(480 words)

Author(s): Watt, W. Montgomery
, paternal grandfather of Muḥammad. Passing through Medina on trading journeys to Syria, Hās̲h̲im b. ʿAbd Manāf married Salmā bint ʿAmr of the clan of ʿAdī b. al-Nad̲j̲d̲j̲ār of the Ḵh̲azrad̲j̲, by whom he had two children, ʿAbd al-Muṭṭalib (or S̲h̲ayba) and Ruḳayya. The mother and her son remained in her house in Medina, this apparently being the practice of her family in accordance with a matrilineal kinship system. Some time after Hās̲h̲im’s death his brother al-Muṭṭalib tried to strengthen h…


(271 words)

Author(s): Watt, W. Montgomery
or Mud̲j̲bira , the name given by opponents to those whom they alleged to hold the doctrine of d̲j̲abr , “compulsion”, viz. that man does not really act but only God. It was also used by later heresiographers to describe a group of sects. The Muʿtazila applied it, usually in the form Mud̲j̲bira, to Traditionists, As̲h̲ʿarite theologians and others who denied their doctrine of ḳadar or “free will” (al-K̲h̲ayyāṭ, K. al-intiṣār , 18, 24, 26 f., 49 f., 67, 69, 135 f.; Ibn Ḳutayba, K. taʾwīl muk̲h̲talif al-ḥadīt̲h̲ , 96; Ibn al-Murtaḍā, K. al-munya (ed. Arnold), 45, 71 — of Fak̲h̲r al-Dīn al…

Ibn Fūrak

(642 words)

Author(s): Watt, W. Montgomery
, Abū Bakr Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan b. Fūrak al-Anṣārī al-Iṣbahānī , As̲h̲ʿarite theologian and traditionist, was born about 330/941, perhaps in Ispahan. In ʿIrāḳ, both at Basra and at Baghdad, he studied As̲h̲ʿarite kalām under Abu ’l-Ḥasan al-Bāhilī along with al-Bāḳillānī [ q.v.] and al-Isfarāʾinī [ q.v.], and also traditions under ʿAbd Allāh b. Ḏj̲aʿfar al-Iṣbahānī. From ʿIrāḳ he went to Rayy, then to Nis̲h̲āpūr, where a madrasa was built for him beside the k̲h̲ānḳāh of the ṣūfī al-Būs̲h̲and̲j̲ī. He was in Nīs̲h̲āpūr before the death of the ṣūfī Abū ʿUt̲h̲mān …

ʿAmr b. ʿUbayd

(380 words)

Author(s): Watt, W. Montgomery
b. bāb , one of the first of the Muʿtazila, with the kunya , Abū ʿUt̲h̲mān. His grandfather Bāb was captured by Muslims at Kābul. He himself was born at Balk̲h̲ in 80/699 and was a mawlā of a branch of Tamīm. His father apparently moved to Baṣra, and ʿAmr seems for a time to have been a member of the school of al-Ḥasan al-Baṣrī, though al-Ḏj̲āhiẓ also speaks of him as a pupil of al-Faḍl b. ʿĪsā al-Raḳas̲h̲ī. He also had some connexion with Yazīd III. He gained a great reputation as an ascetic, and was known a…

Abū Ḏj̲ahl

(449 words)

Author(s): Watt, W. Montgomery
, properly Abu ’l-Ḥakam ʿAmr b. His̲h̲ām b. al-Mug̲h̲īra of the Banū Mak̲h̲zūm of Ḳurays̲h̲, also named Ibn al-Ḥanẓaliyya after his ¶ mother, Asmāʾ bint Muk̲h̲arriba. He was born about 570 or a little after; he and Muḥammad were youths together at a feast in the house of ʿAbd Allāh b. Ḏj̲udʿān, while his mother became a Muslim and lived until after 13/635. A few years before the Hid̲j̲ra Abū Ḏj̲ahl seems to have succeeded al-Walīd b. al-Mug̲h̲īra as leader of Mak̲h̲zūm and also of the group of clans associated with …

Kaʿb b. Mālik

(484 words)

Author(s): Watt, W. Montgomery
, Abū ʿAbd Allāh or Abū ʿAbd al-Raḥmān , one of the poets supporting Muḥammad, was an Anṣārī of the clan of Salima of the tribe of al-K̲h̲azrad̲j̲ [see al-anṣār ]. He must have been born before 600 A.D., since he is said to have taken part in the internal fighting in Medina before the Hid̲j̲ra, and to have been present at the second ʿAḳaba [ q.v.], when allegiance was sworn to Muḥammad. He was not present at Badr, but took part in most of the subsequent expeditions led by Muḥammad. At Uḥud he received several wounds and was the first to recognize Muḥammad after the rumour ¶ that he had been killed. S…


(832 words)

Author(s): Watt, W. Montgomery
, Banū , one of the three main Jewish tribes of Yat̲h̲rib (Medina), with lands towards the south-east of the oasis. As in the case of the other Jewish groups, it is not known whether they were descended from refugees of Hebrew stock or from Arabs who had adopted Judaism. They adhered firmly to the Jewish religion, but at the same time had adopted many Arab practices and had intermarried with Arabs. According to a genealogy given by al-Samhūdī, Ḳurayẓa, Hadl and ʿAmr were sons…

ʿAbbād b. Sulaymān

(312 words)

Author(s): Watt, W. Montgomery
al-Ṣaymarī (or al-Ḍaymarī ), one of the Muʿtazila of Baṣra, died c. 250/864. He was a pupil of His̲h̲ām b. ʿAmr al-Fuwaṭī ( fl.c. 210/825), like his father criticizing the main tendency of the school of Baṣra (that of Abu ’l-Hud̲h̲ayl), and being in his turn criticized by Abu ’l-Hud̲h̲ayl’s successors, al-Ḏj̲ubbāʾī and Abū Hās̲h̲im. Our knowledge of his distinctive views comes mainly from al-As̲h̲ʿarī’s Maḳālāt . He emphasized the difference between God and man, admitting that God might be called a "thing" in the sense that He was "other" ( l.c., 519). In particular he insisted that G…

Abū Lahab

(358 words)

Author(s): Watt, W. Montgomery
, son of ʿAbd al-Muṭṭalib and Lubnā bint Hād̲j̲ir (of Ḵh̲uzāʿa), and half-brother of Muḥammad’s father. His name was ʿAbd al-ʿUzza and his kunya Abū ʿUtba; Abū Lahab (literally "father of the flame") was a nickname given by his father on account of his beauty. At one time, doubtless before Muḥammad’s preaching had roused opposition, he was friendly with his nephew, for his sons ʿUtba and ʿUtayba were married (or perhaps only betrothed) to Muḥammad’s daughters Ruḳayya and Umm…

Abū Bakr

(2,031 words)

Author(s): Watt, W. Montgomery
, the first caliph. i. Name, family, and early life.—Abū Bakr was probably born shortly after 570 as he is said to have been three years younger than Muḥammad. His father was Abū Ḳuḥāfa (ʿUt̲h̲mān) b. ʿĀmir of the clan of Taym of the tribe of Ḳurays̲h̲, and he is therefore sometimes known as Ibn Abī Ḳuḥāfa. His mother was Umm al-Ḵh̲ayr (Salmā) bint Ṣak̲h̲r of the same clan. The names ʿAbd Allāh and ʿAtīḳ (‘freed slave’) are attributed to him as well as Abū Bakr, but the relation of these names to on…


(248 words)

Author(s): Watt, W. Montgomery
, Alexander the Great. It is generally agreed both by Muslim commentators and modéra occidental scholars that D̲h̲u ’l-Ḳarnayn, “the two-horned”, in Sūra XVIII, 83/82-98 is to be identified with Alexander the Great. The story is told in reply to questioners, often said to be Jews. D̲h̲u ’l-Ḳarnayn was given power on earth, and made his way te the furthest west and furthest east; and in response to an appeal from oppressed people built a wall or rampart of iron and brass against the incursions of Yādiūd̲j̲ and Mād̲j̲ūd̲j̲ [ q.v.]. The origin and precise significance here of the name D…

ʿAbd Allāh b. ʿAbd al-Muṭṭalib

(224 words)

Author(s): Watt, W. Montgomery
of B. Hās̲h̲im of Ḳurays̲h̲, father of the prophet Muḥammad. The earliest and most reliable sources give little information about him. His mother was Fāṭima bint ʿAmr of B. Mak̲h̲zūm. Al-Kalbī places his birth in the 24th year of the reign of Anūs̲h̲irwān (554), but he is usually said to have been twenty-five when he died (? 570). According to a well-known story, picturesque but probably with little factual basis, ʿAbd al-Muṭṭalib vowed that, if he had ten sons who reached maturity, he would sac…


(370 words)

Author(s): Watt, W. Montgomery
, banū , a clan of the Meccan tribe of Ḳurays̲h̲. The genealogists reckon Nawfal as one of the sons of ʿAbd Manāf, and brother of ʿAbd S̲h̲ams. Hās̲h̲im and al-Muṭṭalib. Nawfal himself is said to have been specially concerned to develop trade with ʿIrāḳ and the Persian empire, and is also reported to have quarrelled with ʿAbd al-Muṭṭalib b. Hās̲h̲im (Muḥammad’s grandfather). Some information has been preserved about the mutual relations of the clans of Ḳurays̲h̲. At one period, all the descendants of ʿAbd Manāf together with some other clans formed a group …

Ibn His̲h̲ām

(310 words)

Author(s): Watt, W. Montgomery
, Abū Muḥammad ʿAbd al-Malik , a scholar best known for his work on the biography of Muḥammad. His family was usually said to be of Ḥimyarite origin, and had moved from Baṣra to Egypt, where he was born and spent his life. His knowledge of genealogy and grammar was outstanding. He died in Egypt on 13 Rabīʿ II 218/8 May 833 or in 213/828. His Kitāb al-Tīd̲j̲ān on South Arabian antiquities is extant. He is chiefly famous, however, for his edition of the Sīra (Life of Muḥammad) of Ibn Isḥāḳ [ q.v.], which became the basic work on this subject. The Sīra of Ibn Isḥāḳ is not preserved as a single work…


(280 words)

Author(s): Watt, W. Montgomery
, the name of two valleys on the way from Mecca to al-Ṭāʾif, distinguished as S̲h̲aʾmiyya (Syrian, northern) and Yamāniya (Yemenite, southern). The name is presumably due to an abundance of palms ( nak̲h̲l) in the valleys. On a height in Syrian Nak̲h̲la there was an idol of al-ʿUzzā which was specially venerated by Ḳurays̲h̲ and Banū Kināna. Some regarded the circumambulation of al-ʿUzzā as an essential for the completion of the ḥad̲j̲d̲j̲ to the Kaʿba. Three Samura trees were closely associated with the deity. After the conquest of Mecca, Muḥa…


(656 words)

Author(s): Watt, W. Montgomery
, or al-Ḥudaybiyya , a medium-sized village on the edge of the ḥaram or sacred territory of Mecca, one marḥala from Mecca itself. Both the village and the Mosque of the Tree (presumably on the site of the pledge described below) were unknown in the time of al-Fāsi (d. 832/1429). One authority says the name was derived from a dome-shaped or hump-like ( ḥadbāʾ ) tree, but this may be conjecture. The village gave its name to an important Muslim expedition from Medina, led by Muḥammad, in D̲h̲u ’l-Ḳaʿda of the year 6 (March 628). Muḥammad had a dream (cf. Ḳurʾān, XLVII…


(308 words)

Author(s): Watt, W. Montgomery
is a collective name for the northern Arab tribes (see D̲j̲azīrat al-ʿarab (vi) = i, 544b). According to the standard genealogy, Maʿadd was a son of ʿAdnān [ q.v.]. His son Nizār [ q.v.] had three sons, Muḍar, Iyād and Rabīʿa, from the first and third of whom most of the northern Arabs claimed descent. Maʿadd and his descendants are said to have lived for a time in the neighbourhood of Mecca and to have intermarried with D̲j̲urhum [ q.v.]. The name Maʿadd is found in pre-Islamic poets, e.g. in verses of Imruʾ al-Ḳays (ed. Ahlwardt, no. 41, l. 5) and al-Nābig̲h̲a (ed. Ahlwa…

al-As̲h̲ʿarī, Abu ’l-Ḥasan

(958 words)

Author(s): Watt, W. Montgomery
, ʿalī b. ismāʿīl , theologian, and founder of the school of orthodox theology which bears his name. He is said to have been born in 260/873-4 at Baṣra, and was ninth in descent from the Companion Abū Mūsā al-As̲h̲ʿarī. Little is known of his life. He was one of the best pupils of al-Ḏj̲ubbāʾī, head of the Muʿtazila in Baṣra, and might have succeeded him, had he not left the Muʿtazila for the party of the orthodox traditionists ( ahl al-sunna). This change or conversion is placed in 300/912-3. In later life he moved to Baghdād, and died there in 324/935-6. The story of al-As̲h̲ʿarī’s conversion …

Abū Ṭālib

(307 words)

Author(s): Watt, W. Montgomery
, son of ʿAbd al-Muṭṭalib b. Hās̲h̲im and Fāṭima bint ʿAmr (of Mak̲h̲zūm), and full brother of Muḥammad’s father. His own name was ʿAbd Manāf. He is said to have inherited the offices of siḳāya and rifāda (providing water and food for pilgrims) from his father, but at the Ḥilf al-Fuḍūl and war of the Fid̲j̲ār his brother al-Zubayr seems to have been the leading man of Hās̲h̲im. He fell into debt, and to meet this surrendered the siḳāya and rifāda to al-ʿAbbās. Nevertheless he seems to have remained chief of the clan of Hās̲h̲im, and their quarter of the town was called the s̲h̲iʿb


(381 words)

Author(s): Watt, W. Montgomery
, time, especially infinitely extended time (cf. Lane; al-Bayḍāwī on K. 76.1). The pre-Islamic Arabs, as is shown by many passages in their poetry, regarded time (also zamān , and al-ayyām , the days) as the source of what happened to a man, both good and bad; they thus give it something of the connotation ¶ of Fate, though without worshipping it (W. L. Schrameier, Über den Fatalismus der vorislamischen Araber , Bonn 1881; Th. Nöldeke, Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics , i, 661 b; for possible parallels cf. A. Christensen, Iran , 149 f., 157—Zurvān as both time …
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