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Ḥawṭa

(871 words)

Author(s): Chelhod, J.
, enclave, enclosure, is the name given in southern Arabia to a territory generally placed under the protection of a saint which thus is considered sacred. The term belongs to classical Arabic and in fact means “precaution”. Nevertheless, inherent in the root ḥ w ṭ is the technical meaning given to this word by the Arabs in the south: it does in fact express the action of surrounding, of encircling, but also that of defending, of guarding and, by extension, of preserving; whence the substantive ḥawṭ : a red and black twisted cord which a woman wears round her hips to protect her from the evil eye ( LA…

ʿIrḳ

(698 words)

Author(s): Chelhod, J.
, an Arabic word which, etymologically, has the basic meaning of “root”, but other acceptations have been grafted on to this original meaning so that it eventually approximates to the idea of race. It is clear, as far as can be judged from the rare documents which can be collected, that such a concept is nowhere clearly attested, and it would be more correct, in this respect, to speak of a stock: “I trace my origins ( ʿurūḳ ) to the root ( ʿirḳ ) of the land” said Imruʾ ’l-Ḳays ( LA s.v. ʿrḳ ). But the idea of race seems to be present in outline behind this substanti…

Ḳadāsa

(458 words)

Author(s): Chelhod, J.
(a.), a neologism of comparatively recent creation, generally understood in the sense of holiness. The word does not occur either in the Ḳurʾān or in ḥadīt̲h̲ , and the LA ignores it. On the other hand, the root ḳ-d-s is well known to the Arab lexicographers; the Ḳurʾān (II, 30, 87, 253; V, 21, no; XVI, 102; XX, 12; LIX, 23; LXII, 1; LXXIX, 16) and ḥadīt̲h̲ (Wensinck, Concordance ) use it sporadically. Basically, it is used to denote beings and objects that are pure, wholly unsullied or in touch with the divine. This religious meaning seems to be alien to Arabic and borrowed from Aramai…

Marʿā

(9,855 words)

Author(s): Chelhod, J. | Lambton, A.K.S. | Güriz, Adnan
(a.), pasture. 1. In nomadic Arab life. The word marʿā is used only twice in the Ḳurʾān, where it has the purpose of praising the divine power (LXXIX, 31, and LXXXVII,4). In ḥadīt̲h̲ there are also two uses of this substantive to be noted (cf. Wensinck, Concordance ); one of them touches incidentally on the problem of the exploitation of pastures, but ḥadīt̲h̲ is more explicit with reference to kalaʾ , dry and green forage. In fact, a tradition asserts that “the Muslims are united ( s̲h̲urakāʾ ) in three things: water, forage and fire”; it is the principle of…

al-Marʾa

(28,871 words)

Author(s): Tomiche, N. | Chelhod, J. | Lambton, A.K.S. | Afshar, Haleh | Ansari, Ghaus
(a) Woman. 1. In the Arab world. For a long time, the problem of woman has been avoided or dealt with only partially or in a biased way, but now a general twinge of conscience has brought it to the focus of our attention. Not just one but many different problems confront the Arab woman and affect how she is seen by society. There is the legal aspect, defining the precise relationship between divine and human law; there is the collection of “distorted pictures” (the expression used by Etiemble ¶ with which literature in particular presents the “myth” of woman; and there is feminine b…

ʿIfrīt

(1,299 words)

Author(s): Chelhod, J.
, sometimes connected with nifrīt , wicked, is an epithet expressing power, cunning and insubordination. In spite of its aberrant form, the word seems to be of Arabic origin. The lexicographers consider it to derive from the verb ʿafara , “to roll someone in the dust” and, by extension, “to bring low”. The word is used rarely in Arabic poetry of the time of the Hid̲j̲ra and is found only once in the Ḳurʾān. To Solomon’s request that he should be brought the throne of the queen of Sheba, “an ʿifrīt of the d̲j̲inns said, ‘I shall bring it to you before you can rise f…

Ḳabīla

(2,113 words)

Author(s): Chelhod, J.
(a.) denotes a large agnatic group, the members of which claim to be descended from one common ancestor; this word is generally understood in the sense of tribe. It derives from the Arabic root ḳ-b-l , of which the form ḳābala signifies to meet, to be face to face with. The definition given by al-Nuwayrī ( Nihāya , ii, 269), the only one, we believe, which refers to its morphology, refers specifically to this etymology: “the ḳabīla was so named because its component parts are placed face to face and in equal numbers”. Its structure seems indeed to …

Ṣāyig̲h̲

(600 words)

Author(s): Chelhod, J.
, Fatḥ Allāh (1790-?, still alive in 1847), son of Anthony, a Christian of the Latin rite who was a native of Aleppo and was the clerk, dragoman and biographer of Lascaris de Vintemille, Napoleon Bonaparte’s agent. In Lascaris’s company, he made a “commercial” tour through different regions of Syria and ʿIrāḳ. This trip concealed what was in reality a plan involving high politics, which Ṣāyig̲h̲ was unaware of at the beginning of the travels. It was a question of getting to k…

Ḥid̲j̲āb

(2,795 words)

Author(s): Chelhod, J.
(a., from the verb ḥad̲j̲aba “to hide from view, conceal”) is used of any veil placed in front of a person or an object in order to conceal it from view or to isolate it. In medicine, it is a membrane which separates certain parts of the organism: al-ḥid̲j̲āb al-ḥād̲j̲iz or ḥid̲j̲āb al-d̲j̲awf “diaphragm”, al-ḥid̲j̲āb al-mustabṭin “pleura” and ḥid̲j̲āb al-bukūriyya “hymen” (al-Tahānawī, Kas̲h̲s̲h̲āf; LA Dozy, Suppl). Scarcely anything is known of the pre-Islamic use of this word; but the Ḳurʾān, though it is found there only seven times, provides as valuable i…

Ḳarāba

(1,194 words)

Author(s): Chelhod, J.
(A.), kinship, from the root ḳ-r-b , which has the meaning of closeness, proximity. As a technical term, ḳarāba seems to be of post-Hid̲j̲ra usage. It is found in the works of the Muslim exegetes, but not in the Ḳurʾān itself, where the preferred word is ḳurba , also employed in pre-Islamic poetry (cf. Ṭarafa, Muʿallaḳa ). In fact, in these cases it is less a question of kinship than of relatives, more particularly close relatives, such as d̲h̲ū , d̲h̲awū , ūlū ’l-ḳurba (Ḳurʾān, II, 83, 177, IV, 8, 36, V, 106, VI, 152, VIII, 41, IX, 113, XVI, 90, XVII, 26…

Fidya

(184 words)

Author(s): Chelhod, J.
, (which becomes, according to the area concerned, fedu , fadu , fadwa and even fdīya ) is a general designation among Syro-Palestinians for a blood sacrifice made for purposes of atonement. From this point of view, its meaning is close to that of ḍaḥiyya . Indeed, in the Negeb and other parts of former Palestine, these two terms are sometimes used to designate one and the same thing. In fact, however, while the ḍaḥiyya is essentially an offering to the dead made on the occasion of ʿīd al-aḍḥā , the fidya , on the other hand, is practised in the interests of the l…

Ḳayn

(918 words)

Author(s): Chelhod, J.
, from the Arabic root ḳ y n which has the basic meaning of “to adorn, embellish”, comes by extension to denote artisan, workman ( ṣāniʿ ), although current usage reserves it above all for blacksmith ( LA, s.v. ḳ y n). It does not occur-in the Ḳurʾān; on the other hand, it occurs in many ḥadīt̲h̲ s, generally in its particular sense of “ironsmith”. The feminine ḳayna means “singing girl”. However, since the men working at this trade usually belonged to the lowest stratum of the population, ḳayn became a deprecatory term applied to slaves. In the satirical poem…

Ḥimā

(550 words)

Author(s): Chelhod, J.
(a., literally “protected, forbidden place”), an expanse of ground, with some vegetation, access to and use of which are declared forbidden by the man or men who have arrogated possession of it to themselves. The institution, which dates back to pre-Islamic Arabia, seems to have a secular origin. To protect their flocks from the ill-effects of drought, the powerful nomadic lords used to reserve to themselves the grazing and watering rights in certain rich pasturages. The story is well-known of t…

Hady

(1,195 words)

Author(s): Chelhod, J.
, oblation, from the Arabic root h d y which has the meanings “to guide”, “to put on the right path”, “to make a present”. The word is certainly of pre-Islamic origin; it used to denote the sacrificial offerings destined for the lord of the Meccan sanctuary (Ibn Saʿd, Ṭabaḳāt , i, 92). The ritual of the taḳlīd and the is̲h̲ʿār , to which we shall return, suggests that the hady had to be some kind of humped animal, especially selected. It appears that the slaughtered beast was left by the man making the sacrifice for the poor and for animals (Ibn His̲h̲ām, Sīra , i, 146). The …

Raḍāʿ or Riḍāʿ

(2,100 words)

Author(s): Schacht, J. | Burton, J. | Chelhod, J.
, also Raḍāʿa (a.), suckling; as a technical term, the suckling which produces the legal impediment to marriage of foster-kinship. 1. Legal aspects. From the manner in which the Ḳurʾān presents its ruling, it may be supposed that the question was already familiar to those addressed. Sūra IV, 23, falls into two sections comprising lists of those with whom the Muslim may not contract marriage. The first, dealing with blood relatives, begins with the natural mother. The second, opening with the foster-mother and the fost…

Kaffāra

(1,172 words)

Author(s): Chelhod, J.
, an expiatory and propitiatory act which grants remission for faults of some gravity. This technical term, which is only employed four times in the Ḳurʾān, is said to have been borrowed from Hebrew kappārā (A. Jeffery, Foreign vocabulary of the Qurʾan , 250; D. S. Margoliouth, art. Expiation and atonement ( Muslim), in Hastings Enc .) For the reasons set out below, this thesis should be considered as unproven. On the other hand the root k f r is undoubtedly Arabic. Speaking strictly etymologically, kaffāra “covers” sins rather than wi…

Rzewuski

(464 words)

Author(s): Chelhod, J.
, (Count) Wenceslas Severin (1785-1831?), the son of a Hetman or supreme general of Poland. Born at Lemberg (Lvov), he was eight years old at the time of the Second Partition of Poland in 1793. Deeply moved by the dismemberment of his native land, Wenceslas’ father voluntarily exiled himself to Austria and chose Vienna for his home. He established friendly relations with the Viennese aristocracy and the French emigrés, and it was in this Franco-Germanic milieu that the young Rzewuski was brought up. Under the …

K̲h̲ayma

(5,810 words)

Author(s): Pellat, Ch. | Chelhod, J. | Bosworth, C.E.
(a.) “tent”. When the ancient poets and the writers of the Middle Ages spoke of a nomad’s tent they generally described it by the very widely-known Semitic term bayt [ q.v.], which refers to a dwelling of some kind, either permanent or temporary, and so is not without ambiguity. A more precise term is bayt s̲h̲aʿar , lit. “dwelling of hair”. But this word can also cause confusion since the ductus is the same as in bayt s̲h̲iʿr , “verse of poetry”. There is, however, less confusion in the spoken language and the expression has a typically bedouin air;…

al-D̲h̲unūb, Dafn

(257 words)

Author(s): Chelhod, J.
, burial of offences, a nomadic practice which consists of a make-believe burial of the offences or crimes of which an Arab is accused. According to S̲h̲ihāb al-Dīn al-ʿUmarī ( al-Taʿrīf bi ’l-muṣṭalaḥ al-sharīf , Cairo 1312, 165 ff.), almost the only source, this curious ceremony was practised as follows. A delegation consisting of men who had the full confidence of the culprit appeared before an assembly of notables belonging to the tribe of the victim, to whom they said: “We wish you to perform the dafn for So-and-so, who admits the truth of your accusati…