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al-Mubas̲h̲s̲h̲ir b. Fātik

(690 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
, Abu ’l-Wafāʾ , 5th/11th century Egyptian historian and savant. Said to have been of Syrian origin, he apparently spent all of his long life in Egypt. He possibly lived and worked as a private scholar, and he may have had ties with the ruling circles of the country. In addition to history, his many interests included philosophy and medicine. He supposedly studied with such leaders in their fields as Ibn al-Hayt̲h̲am and Ibn Riḍwān; a certain Jewish physician named Ibn Raḥmūn …

Laʿib

(1,974 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
( Liʿb , Laʿb ), the Arabic word for “play” (also used variously in Persian, against Turkish oyun ), in the Muslim world as fundamental a concept of vast sociological and psychological implications as in other civilisations. Only a few of its aspects can be briefly discussed here. The “play” character of many important human activities (dance, theatre, music, etc.) does not come under our purview, nor do ritual games as survivals of pre-Islamic religiously-motivated customs. We find them occasionally mentioned, as, for instance, in references to New Year practices, cf. al-Bīrūnī, Āt̲h̲…

S̲h̲aʿbad̲h̲a

(389 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
, S̲h̲aʿwad̲h̲a (also with final d for d̲h̲ ) (a.), prestidigitation, sleight of hand, and from it, mus̲h̲aʿb/wid̲h̲ , magician, trickster. The word is paraphrased by the lexicographers, following al-Layt̲h̲ (b. al-Muẓaffar) [ q.v.], by k̲h̲iffat al-yad and uk̲h̲ad̲h̲ (pl. of uk̲h̲d̲h̲d ), see al-Azharī, Tahd̲h̲īb , i, 405. Fihrist , 312, mentions as “the first to perform s̲h̲aʿbad̲h̲a in Islam” a certain ʿAbīd/ʿUbayd al-Kayyis who also wrote a Kitāb al-S̲h̲aʿbad̲h̲a , and another mus̲h̲aʿbid̲h̲ nicknamed “Mill Shaft” (Ḳuṭb al-raḥā), about both o…

Ibn ʿAbd al-Ḥakam

(958 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
refers to the son and the four grandsons of ʿAbd al-Ḥakam (said to have died in 171/787-88), a wealthy and influential family of legal scholars and historians in 3rd/9th century Egypt. The Banū ʿAbd al-Ḥakam were among those who introduced Mālikism into Egypt. They were also intimately connected with al-S̲h̲afiʿī [ q.v.], providing the initial financing of his stay in Egypt. Al-S̲h̲āfiʿī is said to have died in their house (Ibn Farḥūn, 134), and he was buried in their family plot. Later, they dissociated themselves from his teaching. Their promi…

al-Fāsī

(975 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
, Taḳī al-Dīn Muḥammad b. Aḥmad b. ʿAlī al-Makkī al-Ḥasanī al-Mālikī (775-832/ 1373-1429), historian of Mecca, was, through family connexions and upbringing, eminently qualified for his lifework as the outstanding historian of his native city. His father Aḥmad (754-819/1353-1416) had received an excellent scholarly education and was married to a daughter of the Meccan chief judge Abu ’l-Faḍl Muḥammad b. Aḥmad b. ʿAbd-al-ʿAzīz al-Nuwayrī; a daughter of his, and half-sister of the hist…

Mandīl

(1,294 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
, normalised mindīl , from Latin/Greek mantēl ( e, -um, ium ), entered Arabic speech in pre-Islamic times, presumably through Aramaic, and has remained in use to this day. Its principal meanings were those of handkerchief, napkin, and towel. Mandīl was, however, understood generally as “piece of cloth” and used for many other purposes, such as covering or carrying something or serving, attached to the body, as an untailored part of dress. Numerous other words were available in Islamic languages as synonyms of mandīl in both its specific and its generalised meanings. Arabic thus had ¶ mas̲h…

al-Kutubī

(645 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
, Abū ʿAbd Allāh Muḥammad b. S̲h̲ākir al-Dārānī al-Dimas̲h̲ḳī (686[?]-764/1287-1363), Syrian historian. The date of his birth is uncertain, since only one ms. of Ibn Ḥad̲j̲ar’s Durar fills the blank that was to contain it. It is plausible, however, and neither confirmed nor contradicted by the fact that a highly personal obituary notice in the ʿUyūn (Ms. Cambridge 699, fols. 7b-8a, anno 735) speaks of a young scholar born in 706/1306 as “our friend” ( ṣāḥibunā ). Born apparently in Dārayyā in the G̲h̲ūṭa, he spent all his later life in Damascus. He possibly went there to study with famous ḥadī…

al-Azdī

(182 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
, abū zakariyyāʾ yazīd b. muḥ. b. iyās b. al-ḳāsim , historian of Mosul, who died in 334/945-6. While the work on Mosul by Ibrāhīm b. Muḥ. b. Yazīd al-Mawṣilī, who lived a generation before Al-Azdī, appears to have been concerned only with the biographies of religious scholars, al-Azdī wrote both on the "Classes of Mosul ḥadīt̲h̲ Scholars" and on the political history of Mosul, either in one combined or in two separate works. His treatment of ḥadīt̲h̲ scholars is known only from quotations and seems to have been restricted to the limited information usually found in rid̲j̲āl

Ibn al-Fuwaṭī

(944 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
, Kamāl al-Dīn ʿAbd al-Razzāḳ b. Aḥmad , historian and librarian, born in Bag̲h̲dād on 17 Muḥarram 642/25 June 1244. At the age of fourteen, he was imprisoned by the conquering Mongols and remained in this situation for, it seems, less than two years. In 660/1261-62, he joined the great scholar and wazīr , Naṣīr al-Dīn al-Ṭūsī [ q.v.], in Marāg̲h̲a where he became the librarian of the Observatory Library. In 679/1280-81, he returned to his native Bag̲h̲dād and was soon appointed director of the Mustanṣiriyya Library. Apart from occasional trips within …

al-Maḳrīzī

(1,235 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
, Taḳī al-Dīn Abū ’l-ʿAbbās Aḥmad b. ʿAlī b. ʿAbd al-Ḳādir (766-845/1364-1442), Egyptian historian. His father (d. 779/1378 at the age of fifty), married a daughter of the wealthy philologist and jurist Ibn al-Ṣāʾig̲h̲ (d. 776/1375). He was born in Cairo, apparently in 765/1363-4. The nisba Maḳrīzī refers to a quarter in Baʿlabakk where his paternal family came from. His paternal grandfather, ʿAbd al-Ḳādir b. Muḥammad ( ca. 677-733/1278-1332, see Ibn Ḥad̲j̲ar, Durar , ii, 391 f.) was a Ḥanbalī, his maternal grandfather, who influenced his early …

Abū ʿArūba

(231 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
, al-Ḥusayn b. Abī Maʿs̲h̲ar Muḥammad b. Mawdūd al-Sulamī al-Ḥarrānī , ḥadīth scholar of Ḥarrān (b. ca. 222/837, d. 318/930-1). Practically nothing is known about his life, except the names of his authorities and his students, some of them very famous personalities. He is said to have been judge or muftī of Ḥarrān. One source (Ibn ʿAsākir apud al-Ḏh̲ahabī) states that he was a partisan of the Umayyads. According to the Fihrist , 230, Abū ʿArūba wrote only one work, a collection of traditions which were transmitted by his authorities. This work seems to be identical with the Ṭabaḳāt

Ibn Fahd

(1,293 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
, an important Meccan family whose activities during a period of two hundred years in the 8th-10th/14th-16th centuries are known in quite considerable detail. The family claimed ʿAlid descent through Muḥammad b. al-Ḥanafiyya. Its members were all well trained in the traditional subjects and learned mainly in S̲h̲āfiʿī but also in Ḥanafī law. Through four successive generations, they boasted of productive historians whose chief interest lay in local history and biography. Through marriage, the Ba…

Ibn al-Tiḳṭaḳā

(387 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
, Ṣafī al-Dīn Muḥammad b. ʿAlī , ʿIrāḳī historian. A descendant of al-Ḥasan b. ʿAlī through Ibrāhīm al-Ṭabāṭabā, he was born, it seems, shortly after the conquest of Bag̲h̲dād by the Mongols, which he does not mention as having witnessed personally. His father, Tād̲j̲ al-Dīn ʿAlī b. Muḥammad b. Ramaḍān, chief naḳīb of the ʿAlids, had gained great wealth and influence, but in a game of political intrigue against the brothers ʿAlāʾ al-Dīn and S̲h̲ams al-Dīn al-D̲j̲uwaynī [ qq.v.], he lost his life and property (Ibn ʿInaba, ʿUmdat al-ṭālib , al-Nad̲j̲af 1381/1961, 180 f.). His son too, was a naḳ…

S̲h̲ahdānad̲j̲

(158 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
(also s̲h̲ahdānaḳ , s̲h̲āhdānad̲j̲ s̲h̲ādānaḳ , s̲h̲arānaḳ ) hempseed. In Greek pharmacology and throughout its Arabic counterpart, it was known as a rather minor simple, useful for drying out fluid in the ear by dripping its oil into it, harmful in that it caused headache and sexual dysfunction when eaten in large quantities, and the like. The word was commonly accepted as the Persian equivalent of Greek cannabis , Ar. ḳinnab , and hence served as another ¶ term for ḥas̲h̲īs̲h̲ [ q.v.]; this may explain why so many different forms were in use. (F. Rosenthal) Bibliography A. Dietrich, Dioscur…

Muḳābala

(2,323 words)

Author(s): Hartner, W. | Rosenthal, F. | Heinrichs, W.P.
(a.), a technical term in a number of different disciplines. 1. In astronomy. Here it corresponds to Gr. διάμετρος, in the Almagest άχρόνυκτος, Lat. oppositio, the term for the opposition of a planet and the sun or of two planets with one another. In opposition, the difference in longitude between the two heavenly bodies is 180°; while the modern use is to take no note of the deviations of latitude from the ecliptic, al-Battānī expressly emphasises ( Opus astronomicum, ed. Nallino, iii, 196) that we can only have the true muḳābala when both bodies are either in …

Nard

(981 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
(p.), a word of Persian origin designating the game of backgammon (trictrac). The form attested in Pehlevi treatises, nēv-artak̲h̲s̲h̲ēr “brave Ardas̲h̲īr’’, was contracted to nardas̲h̲īr (widely attested in Arabic) and the latter abridged to nard . This development is quite probable (cf., for instance, the place name Nēw Hormizd Ardas̲h̲īr > Narmas(h)īn, see R.N. Frye, in JSAI, xiii [1990], 40); nevertheless the doubts raised by T. Nöldeke ( Persische Studien . II, in SBWAW, Philos.-hist. CI. cxxvi [1892], 25-6) remain valid, especially in view of the fact that the …

Dawla

(1,398 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
, 1) an Arabic word signifying the period of an individual’s rule or power but also often employed in the meaning of “dynasty”. The root d-w-l may occur in Akkadian dālu “to wander around aimlessly” ( The Assyrian Dictionary , iii, 59) and Syriac dāl “to move, to stir” (Brockelmann, Lex . Syr .2, 144 b). However, the basic meaning of Arabic d-w-l is clearly “to turn, to alternate” (relating it to d-w-r?). The Ḳurʾān has nudāwiluhā “We cause (days) to alternate” (III, 140/134) and dūlatan “something whose ownership is passed around” (LIX, 7/7). In addition, the ḥadīt̲h̲ uses adāla

As̲h̲ʿab

(243 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
, nicknamed “the Greedy”, a Medinese comedian who moved in the circles of the grandchildren of the first four caliphs and flourished in his profession in the early years of the 8th century. He is said to have survived until 154/771. The historical information about him is rather plentiful; though contaminated by much legendary material, it permits us to get a glimpse at the life of a professional entertainer in the Umayyad period. The jokes and stories connected with his name concern politics, r…

Ibn S̲h̲arya

(762 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
, ʿAbīd/ʿUbayd al-D̲j̲urhumī , sage and antiquary, frequently cited as a relater of quasi-historical traditions. The form of his name is not certain. The manuscripts appear to vacillate between ʿAbīd and ʿUbayd. ʿUmayr occurs by mistake (Ibn al-At̲h̲īr, Usd al-g̲h̲āba , Būlāḳ 1286, iii, 351; Ibn Ḥad̲j̲ar, Iṣāba , Calcutta 1856-73, iii, 201). The form S̲h̲arya is confirmed by the metre (cf. O. Löfgren, Ein Hamdānī-Fund , Uppsala Universitets Årsskrift , vii (1935), 24; al-Hamdānī, Iklīl , ed. O. Löfgren, Uppsala 1954, 6). However, Ibn Ḥad̲j̲ar advoc…

Ibn Ḳuṭlūbug̲h̲ā

(715 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
, Ḳāsim b. Ḳuṭlūbug̲h̲ā al-Ḥanafī , Egyptian scholar in ḥadīt̲h̲ and religious law. He was born in Muḥarram 802/September 1399. His father, Ḳuṭlūbug̲h̲ā, a freedman of Sūdūn al-S̲h̲ayk̲h̲ūnī (d. 798/1396), died while he was still young. He supported himself in his youth as an accomplished tailor (needleworker) but embarked early upon his religious studies, which he pursued all his life. An early teacher of his was ʿIzz al-Dīn Ibn D̲j̲amāʿa (d. 819/1416). His principal s̲h̲ayk̲h̲ was Ibn al-Humām (d. 861/1457). Like all the aspiring young scholars…
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