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Donkey (eschatological aspects)

(336 words)

Author(s): Cook, David B.
The donkey appears in Muslim eschatology as the principal method of locomotion for the Dajjāl (Antichrist) during the brief period of his rule at the end of the world. Use of the donkey for the Antichrist figure is in opposition to the use of the donkey in the biblical tradition, where it is generally held to be one of the signs of the messianic figure (cf. Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, Matt. 21:5). The most probable reason for this difference has to do with the difference in attitude towards the donkey: in the Qurʾānic tradition the donkey (ḥimār) is considered to be emblematic of…
Date: 2020-02-11

Gog and Magog

(610 words)

Author(s): Cook, David B.
Gog and Magog (Yājūj wa-Mājūj) are two subhuman peoples, mentioned in the Qurʾān (Q 18:94, 21:96), located usually in the region of Central Asia or northern Asia, who, as part of the apocalyptic events prior to the end of the world, will invade and destroy large sections of the Muslim world. Yājūj and Mājūj are based upon the biblical peoples of Gog and Magog, first mentioned in Ezekiel 38–9, and amplified in Revelation 20:7–9 and in Christian early-Islamic-era apocalypses (Pseudo-Methodius, 133–4…
Date: 2020-02-11


(902 words)

Author(s): Cook, David B.
Ghazw means “to raid,” with the understanding of gaining spoils thereby (the English “razzia” is a derivative). The term is used extensively in pre-Islamic poetry as the standard term for raiding, especially of camels and other domestic animals, a favourite Bedouin activity. The root is mentioned only once in the Qurʾān (3:156), where the implication is of an activity associated with unbelievers (alladhīna kafarū) rather than believers. The term soon gained an Islamic connotation and was used, in the first centuries of Islam, for the battles and raids of the pr…
Date: 2020-02-11


(474 words)

Author(s): Paret, Rudi | updated by, ¨ | Cook, David B.
al-Aʿrāf (pl. of ʿurf, “elevated place”, “crest”), appears in an eschatological judgement scene in Qurʾān 7:46, where a dividing wall is spoken of, which separates the dwellers of Paradise from the dwellers of Hell, and men “who are on the al-aʿrāf and recognise each by his marks” (Q 7:48, “those of the al-aʿrāf”). The interpretation of this passage is disputed. Richard Bell makes a doubtful conjecture that the word is al-iʿrāf and translates: “(Presiding) over the recognition are men, who recognise… .” According to Tor Andrae the “men on the elevated places” are …
Date: 2020-02-11