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(45,581 words)

Author(s): Watt, W. Montgomery | Wensinck, A.J. | Bosworth, C.E. | Winder, R.B. | King, D.A.
(in English normally “Mecca”, in French “La Mecque”), the most sacred city of Islam, where the Prophet Muḥammad was born and lived for about 50 years, and where the Kaʿba [ q.v.] is situated. 1. The pre-Islamic and early Islamic periods Geographical description. Mecca is located in the Ḥid̲j̲āz about 72 km. inland from the Red Sea port of Jedda (D̲j̲udda [ q.v.]), in lat. 21° 27′ N. and long. 39° 49′ E. It is now the capital of the province ( manātiḳ idāriyya ) of Makka in Suʿūdī Arabia, and has a normal population of between 200,000 and 300,000, which …


(2,474 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J. | Gimaret, D. | Schimmel, Annemarie
(a.), intercession, mediation. He who makes the intercession is called s̲h̲āfiʿ and s̲h̲afīʿ . The word is also used in other than theological language, e.g. in laying a petition before a king ( LʿA s.v.), in interceding for a debtor (al-Buk̲h̲ārī, Istiḳrāḍ , 18). Very little is known of intercession in judicial procedure. In the Ḥadīt̲h̲ it is said: “He who by his intercession puts out of operation one of the ḥudūd Allāh is putting himself in opposition to God” (Ibn Ḥanbal, Musnad , ii, 70, 82; cf. al-Buk̲h̲ārī, Anbiyāʾ 54/11; Ḥudūd , 12). 1. In official Islam. The word is usually found in …


(567 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
(a.), active participle of Form IV of the root ʿ-d̲j̲-z , lit. “that by means of which [the Prophet] confounds, overwhelms, his opponents”, has become the technical term for miracle. It does not occur in the Ḳurʾān, which denies miracles in connection with Muḥammad, whereas it emphasises his “signs”, āyāt , later taken to mean the verses of the Ḳurʾān [see ḳurʾān. 1]. Even in later literature, Muḥammad’s chief miracle is the Ḳurʾān (cf. Abū Nuʿaym, Dalāʾil al-nubuwwa , 74). Muʿd̲j̲iza and aya have become synonyms; they denote the miracles performed by Al…

ʿAmr b. al-Ahtam

(202 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J. | Pellat, Ch.
( sinān ) b. sumayy al tamīmī al-minḳarī , an eminent Tamīmite famous for his poetic and oratorical talent, and also for his physical beauty which earned him the surname of al-Mukaḥḥal (“anointed with collyrium”). ¶ Born a few years before the hid̲j̲ra , he made his way to Medina in 9/630 with a delegation from his tribe; in 11/632, he was a follower of the prophetess Sad̲j̲āḥi [ q.v.], but he was converted to Islam and took part in the wars of conquest; he conveyed the news of the capture of Ras̲h̲ahr to ʿUmar in verse; he is said to have died in 57/676. His poe…


(839 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
, from Arabic k̲h̲adama “to serve (a master)”, means properly “servant, domestic”, but it has acquired the euphemistic sense, first in Arabic and then in the other Islamic languages, of “eunuch”; hence the word is often ambiguous. In this article, only servants of free status are covered; for slaves, see ʿabd and for eunuchs k̲h̲aṣī . At the side of the slaves, there have always been free servants (coll. k̲h̲adam , pl. k̲h̲uddām ). Anas b. Mālik [ q.v.] entered Muḥammad’s service as a youth (al-Buk̲h̲ārī, Ḏj̲ihād , bāb 74 etc.) and he records it to his master’…


(381 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
(a., pl. nud̲h̲ur , Ḳurʾān, LIII, 57), from form IV of n-d̲h̲-r , with the meaning of warner; sometimes also as a verbal noun, e.g. LXVII, 17. The plural nud̲h̲ur is also found in the sense of an infinitive, e.g. LXXVII, 6. The term occurs frequently in the Sacred Book, where it is even said to be synonymous with rasūl ; its opposite is bas̲h̲īr , mubas̲h̲s̲h̲ir . Nad̲h̲īr as well as bas̲h̲īr are applied to the prophets, the former when they are represented as warners, the latter as announcers of good tidings (cf. XVII, 106; XXV, 58; XXXIII, 44; XLVIII, 8; mubas̲h̲s̲h̲iran wa-nad̲h̲īran


(5,401 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J. | Hall, Margaret | Knysh, A.
(a., pl. sad̲j̲ād̲j̲id , sad̲j̲ād̲j̲īd , sawād̲j̲id ), the carpet on which the ṣalāt [ q.v.] is performed. The word is found neither in the Ḳurʾān nor in the canonical Ḥadīt̲h̲; the occasional use of a floor-covering of some kind was, however, known at quite an early period. 1. Early tradition. In the Ḥadīt̲h̲ [ q.v.] we are often told how Muḥammad and his followers performed the ṣalāt on the floor of the mosque in Medina after a heavy shower of rain, so that their noses and heads came in contact with the mud (e.g. al-Buk̲h̲ārī, Ad̲h̲ān , bāb s 135, 151; Muslim, Ṣiyām , trads…


(6,726 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J. | Jomier, J.
, the most famous sanctuary of Islam, called the temple or house of God ( Bayt Allāh ). It is situated almost in the centre of the great mosque in Mecca. Muslims throughout the whole world direct their prayers to this sanctuary, where every year hundreds of thousands of pilgrims make the greater ( ḥad̲j̲d̲j̲ ) or lesser ( ʿumra ) pilgrimage. Around it they gather and make their ritual circuits; around the Kaʿba the young Muslim community spent the early years of Islam. For the Muslim community the Kaʿba holds a place analogous to that of the temple in Jerusalem for ancient Jewry. I. The Kaʿba and …


(3,041 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
(a.), circumcision. The term is used indifferently for males and females, but female excision is particularly called k̲h̲ifāḍ or k̲h̲afḍ [ q.v.]. In the dual, al-k̲h̲itānāni are “the two circumcised parts” (viz. that of the male and that of the female), and according to tradition “if the two circumcised parts have been in touch with one another, g̲h̲usl is necessary” (Buk̲h̲ārī. G̲h̲usl , bāb 28; Muslim, Ḥayḍ , trad. 88; Abū Dāwūd, Ṭahāra , bābs 81, 83). Some words connected with the root k̲h̲-t-n denote the father-in-law, the son-in-law, the daughter-in-law ( k̲h̲atan , k̲h̲atana


(373 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
, sacrifice, sacrificial victim. The word goes back to the Hebrew ḳorbān , perhaps through the intermediary of the Aramaic (cf. Mingana, Syriac influence on the style of the Ḳurʾān , in Bulletin of the John Rylands Library , xi (1927), 85; S. Fränkel, De vocabulis in ... corano peregrinis, 20). The language of the Ḳurʾān, as is well known, shows a preference for religious technical terms ending in -ān and some of them are not always used with their original significations. This is true of ḳurbān , which occurs three times in the Ḳurʾān. In sūras III, 179 and …


(636 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J. | Reinhart, A.K.
(a.), the recommendation or permission to perform the ritual ablution with sand instead of water in certain cases, is based on two passages in the Ḳurʾān, IV, 43/46 and V, 7/9. The latter passage runs as follows: “And if you are in a state of impurity ( d̲j̲unub an ) purify ( fa-ṭṭahharū ) yourselves. But if you are ill, or on a journey or if you come from the privy or you have touched women and you find no water, take fine clean sand ( saʿīd an ṭayyib an ) and rub your faces and hands with it.” Sūra IV, 43/46, is nearly identical except that the phrase “with it…


(288 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J. | Burton, J.
(a.), a religio-legal term. The meaning of the root appears to be “to raise”, especially “to elevate a thing so that it is visible to all”. The word does not occur with this sense in either Ḳurʾān or Ḥadīt̲h̲ , but it may be etymologically connected with naṣaba . In the technical vocabulary of uṣūl al-fiḳh , the term refers to a text whose presence in either Ḳurʾān or Ḥadīt̲h̲ must be demonstrated to justify an alleged ruling. In his Risāla , al-S̲h̲āfiʿī uses it to refer to rulings textually referred to in either Ḳurʾān or Sunna , (81, 83, 88, 138, 149, 158-9, 166, 17…


(537 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J. | Vajda, G.
is the name given in the Ḳurʾān (VI, 85 and XXXVII, 123, with a variant Ilyāsīn, perhaps prompted by the rhyme, in verse 130), to the Biblical prophet Elijah; the form Ilyās derives from ’Ελιας, a Hellenized adjustment, but attested also in Syrian and Ethiopic, of the Hebrew name Eliyāh (ū): cf. Jos. Horovitz, Koranische Untersuchungen , 81, 99, 101. In the Ḳurʾān, the figure of Ilyās scarcely shows any outstanding features, except for one allusion (in XXXVII, 125) to the worship of Baal. In the Muslim legend related by later au…


(2,038 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
(a.), sermon, address by the k̲h̲aṭīb [ q.v.]. The k̲h̲uṭba has a fixed place in Islamic ritual, viz. in the Friday-service, in the celebration of the two festivals, in services held at particular occasions such as an eclipse or excessive drought. On the Friday it precedes the ṣalāt , in all the other services the ṣalāt comes first. A short description of the rules for the k̲h̲uṭba according to al-S̲h̲īrāzī ( Tanbīh , ed. Juynboll, 40), one of the early S̲h̲āfiʿī doctors [ q.v.], may be given here. (a.) One of the conditions for the validity of the Friday service is that it must be…


(330 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J. | Rippin, A.
(a.), verbal noun of form V of s̲h̲-h-d , the recitation of the s̲h̲ahāda [ q.v.], especially in the ṣalāt [ q.v.]. It must, however, be kept in mind that in this case s̲h̲ahāda comprises not only the kalimatān i, but (1) the following formula: “To God belong the blessed salutations and the good prayers”; (2) the formula “Hail upon thee, O Prophet, and God’s mercy and His blessing; hail upon us and upon God’s pious servants”; and (3) the s̲h̲ahāda proper, consisting of the kalimatān i. The above form of the tas̲h̲ahhud is in keeping with a tradition on the authori…


(2,521 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
(a.), usually rendered "patience, endurance". The significance of this conception can hardly be conveyed in a West European language by a single word, as may be seen from the following. According to the Arabic lexicographers, the root ṣ-b-r , of which ṣabr is the nomen actionis, means to restrain or bind; thence ḳatalahu ṣabr an “to bind and then slay someone”. The slayer and the slain in this case are called ṣābir and maṣbūr respectively. The expression is applied, for example, to martyrs and prisoners of war put to death; in the Ḥadīt̲h̲ often to animals that— c…


(319 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
(a.). 1. The name of a fountain in Paradise, occurring in the Ḳurʾān, LXXXIII, 27, where it is said that its water will be drunk by the muḳarrabūn “those who are admitted to the divine presence” and that it will be mixed with the drink of the mass of the inhabitants of Paradise. The commentaries are uncertain whether tasnīm is a proper name— which, according to the Lisān al-ʿArab , is inconsistent with its being a diptote—or a derivative from the root s-n-m, a root conveying the meaning of “being high” (cf. sanām “camel’s hump”). In the latte…


(5,614 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J. | D. A. King
, the direction of Mecca (or, to be exact, of the Kaʿba or the point between the mīzāb or water-spout and the western corner of it), towards which the worshipper must direct himself for prayer, j i.—Ritual and Legal Aspects From very early times the direction at prayer and divine service for the worshippers was not a matter of choice among the Semitic peoples. There is already an allusion to this in I Kings, viii, 44 and it is recorded of Daniel (Dan., vi, 11) that he offered prayer three times a day in the direction of Jerusalem (which has remained the Jewish ḳibla to this …


(596 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J. | Gibb, H.A.R.
, or ʿarafāt , plain about 21 km. (13 miles) east of Mecca, on the road to Ṭāʾif, bounded on the north by a mountain-ridge of the same name. The plain is the site of the central ceremonies of the annual Pilgrimage to Mecca; these are focussed on a conical granite hill in its N.E. corner, under 200 feet in height, and detached from the main ridge; this hill also is called ʿArafa, but more commonly Ḏj̲abal al-Raḥma (Hill of Mercy). On its eastern flank, broad stone steps (constr…


(484 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
(a.), passive participle of form IV verb ṭ-l-ḳ , “to loose the bond ( ḳayd ) of an animal, so as to let it free” (e.g. Muslim, D̲j̲ihād , trad. 46; Abū Dāwūd, D̲j̲ihād, bāb 100). The term is also applied to the loosening of the bowstring (al-Buk̲h̲ārī, D̲j̲ihād, bāb 170), of the garments, the hair, etc. Thence the common meaning absolute, as opposed to restricted ( muḳayyad ), and further the accusative muṭlaḳ an “absolutely”. The use of the term is so widely diffused that a few examples only can be given. In grammar, the term mafʿūl muṭlaḳ denotes the absolute object (…
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