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Siḥr

(4,799 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
(a.), magic. This term is applied (1) to that which entrances the eye and acts on the psyche of the individual, making him believe that what he sees is real when it is not so. This is called al-uk̲h̲d̲h̲a , “charm, incantation” [see ruḳya ], “artifice, stratagem” [see nīrand̲j̲ , sīmiyā ]; in short, everything that is known as “white” or “natural magic”. It also refers (2) to things, the apprehension ( maʾk̲h̲ad̲h̲ ) of which is fine and subtle; this applies, for example, to certain poetry and certain eloquence, that of the Ḳurʾān in particular. The Prophet was allegedly told, inna min al-bayāni …

Nud̲j̲ūm

(3,790 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
( Aḥkām al- ), “decrees of the stars”, expression denoting astrology [see also munad̲j̲d̲j̲im ]. Astrology comprises two branches: natural astrology, consisting in the observation of the influences of the stars on the natural elements, and judicial astrology, consisting in the observation of the influences of the stars on human destiny. The scientific term which describes them is Ptolemaism (derived from the astrological work of Ptolemy, entitled Κλαυδίου Πτολεμαίου τῶν πρὸς Σύρον ἀποτελεσματικῶν, ed. F. Boll and Ae. Boer, in Bibliotheca Teubneriana , Le…

Niyāḥa

(461 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
(a.) “lamentation”, the noun of action from nāḥa “to weep with great cries, lamentations, sighings and affliction”. The term is used to designate the activity of professional mourners who play a great role in funeral ceremonies all around the Mediterranean. If it is mentioned here, it is because this practice, considered to be a legacy of paganism, was condemned by the Prophet. Indeed, he is made to say “Three pre-Islamic customs ( ak̲h̲lāḳ ; Usd al-g̲h̲āba , fiʿl ) are not to be retained by the Muslims. They are: invoking the planets in order to receive rain ( istisḳāʾ bi ’l-kawākib

Taʿbı̄r al-Ruʾya

(1,558 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
(a.), “The interpretation of dreams”. As well as this expression, tafsīr al-aḥlām is employed, with taʿbīr , basically “the passage of one thing to another, one sense to another”, hence “explanation” and tafsīr , lit. “commenting, explaining”, from roots occurring in other Semitic languages and with the two Arabic verbal nouns found, once each, in the Ḳurʾān, at XII, 43, and XXV, 33, with taʾwīl [ q.v.] also at XII, 44-5. In current usage, taʿbīr is confined to the sense of “interpretation of dreams”, whilst tafsīr [ q.v.] is used for commentaries on e.g. the Bible and the Ḳurʾān. For the ter…

Nuṣub

(1,330 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
(a.), pl. anṣāb , Hebrew maṣṣeb̲ōt . The plural, more often used, denotes the blocks ofstone on which the blood of the victims sacrificed for idols ( awt̲h̲ān , aṣnām ) was poured, as well as sepulchral stones and those marking out the sacred enclosure ( ḥimā ) of the sanctuary (cf. J. Wellhausen, Reste2 , 101-2; W. Robertson Smith, Religion of the Semites , 201 ff.). In nomadic circles, the nuṣub has been regarded in a few rare instances as the symbol of the divinity (cf. Ibn Saʿd, Ṭabaḳāt , iv/1, 159-60; R. Dozy, Essai sur l’histoire de l’Islamisme , translated from the Dutch by V. Chauvin, Paris-Leiden 1879, 9, quoting, after Ibn Ḳutayba, a contemporary of the Prophet, Abū Rad̲j̲āʾ al-ʿUṭāridī. For the two examples, see T. Fahd, Panthéon , 26). Among sedentary populations, the nuṣub, a rough stone, has become the ṣanam

Nīrand̲j̲

(1,186 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.

al-Maysir

(1,172 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
(a.), a noun derived from y-s-r "to be easy, simple", a root from which derives, by antiphrasis, a qualificative of the left hand, al-yusrā , with which the ḥurḍa (cf. Hebrew ḥ-r-ṣ and Akkadian ḫarāšu "decide, fix, determine"), the equivalent of the sādin of the istiḳsām [ q.v.], shot arrows one by one. Hence the term maysir could be rendered by "the game of the left-handed", although its present morphological state is inexplicable. The game consisted of dividing a slaughtered beast int…

al-Kaff

(1,138 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
( ʿilm-i ), a divinatory process which belongs to the realm of physiognomy [see firāsa ], and designates more specifically chirognomy, or the art of deducing the character of a person according to the shape and appearance of the hands, whereas chiromancy proper is designated by ʿilm al-asārīr (lines of the hand) or k̲h̲uṭūṭ al-yad . One can also say

Ṣābiʾa

(4,595 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
(a.), the name of two rather mysterious groups in early Islamic times: 1. Ṣābiʾat al-baṭāʾiḥ . The Mesopotamian dialectal pronunciation of ṣābiʿa , where the ʿayn has been transformed into y or ī , also occurs in Mandaean (cf. Lidzbarski, Ginzā ; Nöldeke, Mandäische Grammatik ; R. Macuch, Handbook , 94, 1. 16: ṣabuia ). This substantive, which became current in Mecca during the period of Ḳurʾānic preaching, irrespective of its etymology, derives from the Semitic root ṣ-b-ʿ (Aramaic, Hebrew, Syriac; Ethiopic ṣabk̲h̲a ), corresponding to ṣ-b-g̲h̲ in Arabic. Th…

Saʿd Wa-Naḥs

(351 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
(a.), literally, "the fortunate and the unfortunate". These concepts are based on the influence exerted by the planets and the signs of the Zodiac on earthly events. The astrologers describe the stars as being either . saʿd or naḥs . Thus Jupiter, Venus and the Moon are said to be saʿd, Saturn is naḥs and the Sun and Mercury are at times called one or the other. But this can vary as a function of their positions in the ecliptic and of their conjunctions (cf. Abū Maslama Muḥammad al-Mad̲j̲rīṭī, G̲h̲āyat al-ḥakīm , ed. H. Ritter, Leipzig 1933, 198 ff. = M. Plessner, Picatrix , London 1962, 209 ff.; L’ag…

Ṣanam

(874 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
(a.), image, representation and, especially, idol (from the Common Semitic root ṣ-l-m , cf. Akk. ṣalmu , Aram, ṣalmā , Hebr. ṣelem , etc., by a shift of l into n, see Gesenius-Buhl, 684); for Old Testament parallels, see inter alia, Num. xxxiii. 52; II Kings xi. 18; Ezek., vii. 20; Amos, v. 26). It is in this sense that it is found in the Ḳurʾān, where the pl. aṣnām is cited five times (VI, 74; VII, 138; XIV, 35; XXI, 57; XXVI, 71). Ṣana…

Sakīna

(1,670 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
(a.), a term of the Ḳurʾān and of Islamic religion. The root s̲h̲-k-n (Akkadian, Hebrew, Aramaic) or s-k-n (Arabic) means basically “to go down, rest, be quiescent, inhabit”, and the corresponding Later Hebrew form to Arabic sakīna is s̲h̲ek̲h̲īnā and the Jewish Palestinian Aramaic one s̲h̲ e k̲h̲īnā, Syriac s̲h̲ekīntā . Cf. Hebr. ham-mis̲h̲kan , mis̲h̲kan Yhwh , Syr. mas̲h̲kan zab̲h̲nā / zab̲h̲nō , Ar. ḳubbat al-zamān (al-Ḳardāḥī, Lubāb

K̲h̲aṭṭ

(2,762 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
, more precisely al-k̲h̲aṭṭ bi-raml , the original name for Arab geomancy. In the Islamic era, raml (or ʿilm al-raml ) was dominant, but with the growing influence of astrology on the occult sciences, the term s̲h̲akl (pl. as̲h̲kāl ), “figure” was used (see below, the expression as̲h̲kāl al-raml, as̲h̲kāl al-turāb , ḥulūl al-as̲h̲kāl ), From s̲h̲akl are derived “squill” a figure in geomancy, and “to squill”, to practise divination by sand, cf. G. Ferrand, in JA, 10th Series, vi (1905), 195. In Madagascar, the words sikili and skidy also denote geomantic figure…

Naḳā

(192 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
(a.), a term connected with nuḳāwā , a generic noun denoting alkaline plants utilised for washing linen and whitening cloths. These are plants which grow stems without any leaves; as soon as they dry up, they become white. They give linen a dazzling white colouring. By analogy, the term denotes also a “rite of reconciliation” which was used in the Ḥid̲j̲āz and which was used for righting injuries. This was done in the following manner: The party causing the offence stops on the threshhold of the aggrieved party, holding a knife in each hand, and says: al-naḳā naḳānā wa ’l-naḳā naḳiyyu ’l-r…

Ḥurūf

(1,620 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
( ʿIlm al- ), “The science of letters”, is a branch of d̲j̲afr [ q.v.] which was originally concerned with onomatomancy in the strict sense; but, among some esoteric sects, it became a sort of magical practice, to such an extent that Ibn K̲h̲aldūn ( Muḳaddima , iii, 137-61, Fr. tr. 188-200, Rosenthal 171-82) gave it the name of sīmiyāʾ (σημεῖα), which is usually reserved for white magic. It is based on the occult properties of the letters of the alphabet and of the divine and angelic names which they form. Three basic elements are …

Firāsa

(1,286 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
, a technique of inductive divination which permits the foretelling of moral conditions and psychological behaviour from external indications and physical states: al-istidlāl bi’l-k̲h̲alḳ al-Ẓāhir ʿala’l-k̲h̲ulḳ al-bāṭin (cf. al-Rāzī, Firāsa , ed. Mourad, 4; Ḥād̲j̲d̲j̲ī K̲h̲alīfa, ii, p. VIII; iv, 388 ff.; al-Ḳazwīnī, i, 318; cf. Ps.-Diāḥiẓ. ʿIrāfa , ed. Inostrant̲s̲ev, 17 ff.). These indications are provided by colours, forms and limbs; they reveal to experts the secrets of characters and minds. “Peculiarities of charac…

Istinzāl

(407 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
, a term denoting hydromancy, according to Doutté, Magie et religion dans l’Afrique DU Nord (Algiers 1909), 389; but in Ibn Ḵh̲aldūn. Muḳaddima , iii, 137 ff., istinzāl rūḥāniyyāt al-aflāk is a technique belonging to sīmyāʾ [ q.v.], natural or phantasmagoric magic (cf. T. Fahd, Divination, 49, n. 1). The Pseudo-Mad̲j̲rīṭī prefers to use istid̲j̲lāb (cf. Sources Orientales , vii (1966), 170 ff.). Elsewhere, in al-Būnī and Ibn al-Muwaḳḳiʿ, istinzāl al-arwāḥ wa-’ stiḥḍāruhā fī ḳawālib al-as̲h̲bāḥ denotes the techniques of spiritism, although these are generally denoted by the name ʿilm…

Malḥama

(944 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
(a) in modern times designates an epic [see haṃāsa ] and also corresponds to a usage already in evidence in the Old Testament, where milḥamōt is applied to the wars of Yahweh (I Sam. xviii, 17, xxv, 28), but in the Islamic Middle Ages this word meant a writing of a divinatory character, the Malḥamat Dāniyāl [cf. dāniyāl ]. It is a question of a collection of meteorological signs with their divinatory meanings, derived from the day of the week on which 1 January falls (from the Saturday to the Friday), eclipses of the moon, followi…

Talbiya

(1,154 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
(a.), the invocation made in a loud voice and repeatedly by the pilgrim when he enters the state of ritual taboo ( iḥrām ) for the Pilgrimage at Mecca [see ḥad̲j̲d̲j̲ ]. This moment begins on entering the Ḥaram or sacred area and at the points where the pilgrims gather together ( mawāḳīt ) on the boundaries of the enclosure. Amongst the practices to be followed by the pilgrims are prayers and movements (see T. Fahd, Les pratiques musulmanes , in Atlas des religions , Encylopaedia Universalis, Paris 1988, 319-23). On entering the sacred territory, the pilgr…

al-Uḳayṣir

(930 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
, an idol of the tribes of Ḳuḍāʿa, Lak̲h̲m, Ḏj̲ud̲h̲ām, ʿĀmila and G̲h̲aṭafān [ q.vv.], venerated in northern Arabia, across which these tribes ranged, as far as the Syrian borders (Ibn al-Kalbī, 24, 30). Pilgrimage was made to it by devotees with shaven heads; with each lock of hair, a handful of meal was offered, all this thrown into a large trench or a dried-up well ( ḥafr ). The Hawāzin, neighbours of the Ḳuḍāʿa, used to come and collect the meal, either at the time of the offering or after it was mixed with the hair. The deity seems to have been embodied in several betyles. The poet Zu…

ʿIyāfa

(893 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
(a.), as opposed to faʾl [ q.v.] which denotes human omens (cledonism), is applied in a general sense to animal omens (zoomancy) and, in the strict sense, to ornithomancy, that is to say the art of divining omens in the names of birds, their cries, their flight and their posture ( TA, vi, 207, l. 24 ff.). With certain names of birds a fatal quality is associated, though why this is so is not always known; in general, black and greenish plumage and down constitute the only justification. This is the case with the crow, the roller, the jay, and with …

Ruḳya

(961 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
, (a.) from the root r-ḳ-y meaning “to ascend” (cf. Ḳurʾān, XVII, 93, XXXVIII, 10; to this, LXXV, 27, adds the idea of “enchanter”, “one who cures” and “magician” rāḳ in, a term often found in the Sīra , in Ḥadīt̲h̲ and in the Sunna), “enchantment, magical spell”. Since casting a spell was usually by means of a magical formula pronounced or written on an amulet of parchment or leather, rāḳ in is to be connected with ḳāriʾ and riḳḳ [ q.v.]. The term tarāḳī of the preceding verse, 26, from the root r-ḳ-w/y , variously understood by the commentators, means “collar bones” (see TA and Lane, s.v.; Steingass…

Ibn Sīrīn

(947 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
, Abū Bakr Muḥammad , the first renowned Muslim interpreter of dreams, was also, according to Ibn Saʿd (vii/1, 140), a traditionist “of great trustworthiness, who inspired confidence, great and worthy, well-versed in jurisprudence. He was an imām of great scholarship and piety”. Born two years before the end of the caliphate of ʿUt̲h̲mān, i.e., in 34/654, he was the contemporary and friend of al-Ḥasan al-Baṣrī [ q.v.] and died in the same year as he, in 110/728. His father, a tinker from Ḏj̲ard̲j̲arāyā. had been taken prisoner in ʿIrāḳ (at Maysān or at ʿAyn al-…

Saḥbān Wāʾil

(244 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
, the name given to an orator and poet of the tribe of Wāʾil, “whose seductive eloquence has passed into a proverb and who, it is said, whilst addressing an assembly for half-a-day, never used the same word twice” (Kazimirski, Dictionnaire , i, 1057; see LʿA and the other lexica). Speaking of the random effects of chance, whereby some person became a household word whereas others, equally meritorious, do not, al-D̲j̲āḥiẓ ( Ḥayawān , ii, 104), cites Saḥbān Wāʾil, who was eclipsed by his contemporary Ibn al-Ḳirriyya, murdered by al-Ḥad̲j̲d̲j̲ād̲j̲ in 84/703 ( loc. cit., n. 5). In his eulogy o…

Ruʾyā

(4,775 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T. | Daiber, H.
(a.), derived from the Semitic root r-ʾ-y which gives rise to formations expressing “sight” ( ruʾya ( t)) and “vision” ( ruʾyā ), one of the aspects of vision being nocturnal vision, the dream. 1. In the meaning of dream. On relations between “seer” ( rōʾe - Aram, ḥōzē = Ar. ḥāzī ), “soothsayer” ( kāhin , ʿarrāf , etc.) and “prophet” ( nabī ), see the articles kāhin, kihāna , nubuwwa. The Semitic terminology of the dream and of the vision evolves in two fundamentally different semantic zones: (1)The first is situated in the space extending between sleep and waking and is consequentl…

Zāʾird̲j̲a

(1,374 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T. | Regourd, Anne
(a.) or Zāʾirad̲j̲a , a divinatory technique which, in the same manner as geomancy [see k̲h̲aṭṭ ] and d̲j̲afr [ q.v.], and under various outside influences, had a wide diffusion in the mediaeval Islamic lands. It involved a mechanical means of calculating portents, strongly imbued with magic and astrology, in which were strongly mingled the talismanic sciences, based on the ʿilm al-k̲h̲awāṣṣ “knowledge of secret properties”, the ʿilm al-awfāḳ “knowledge of conjunctions”, ʿilm al-ṭilasmāt “knowledge of talismans” and ʿilm al-ḥurūf “knowledge of letters” [see ḥurūf ]. D̲j̲afr and ḥur…

Ḳaws Ḳuzaḥ

(2,053 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T. | Wiedemann, E.
, the Arabic term for the rainbow, formed from ḳaws “bow” ( Ḳws in the inscriptions of Jordan; Ḳaws̲h̲ in the inscriptions of Tiglath-Pileser, Esarhaddon and Assurbanipal; Ḳūsu in Babylonian inscriptions of the time of Darius and Artaxerxes I; Ḳūsu, Ḳūs̲h̲u , Ḳīs̲h̲i , Ḳūs̲h̲i , in the Old Testament; Kos / Kōs /Κοξε, amongst the Nabataeans; Ḳaws , Ḳays , in Arabia), an Edomite deity known during the first millennium and later venerated by the Nabataeans (cf. Vriezen, The Edomitic deity Qaus , 330 ff.). He was a war-god, symbolised by the bow, just as Adad…

Ibn S̲h̲āhīn al-Ẓāhirī

(394 words)

Author(s): Gaulmier, J. | Fahd, T.
, G̲h̲ars al-Dīn K̲h̲alīl , born in Cairo (or Jerusalem) in 813/1410, son of a mamlūk of the Burd̲j̲ī sultan Sayf al-Dīn Tatar, studied in Cairo and achieved a brilliant administrative career under Barsbay and Čaḳmaḳ (cf. Ziriklī, Aʿlām 2, iii, 367). In about 857/1453 he composed a major work, Kas̲h̲f al-mamālik wa-bayān al-uruḳ , wa ’l-masālik , of which only an abridged version, Zubdat Kas̲h̲f al-mamālik ... has survived. This vivid and exact picture of Egypt under the Mamlūks, the interest of which was first emphasized by Volney in the appendix to the Voyage en Egypte et en Syrie 3, ed. Dug…

S̲h̲ayṭān

(3,072 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T. | Rippin, A.
(a.), evil spirit, demon, devil. 1. In pre-Islamic Arabia. According to the lexicographers, s̲h̲ayṭān is derived from the verb s̲h̲aṭana “to detain somebody in order to divert him from his intention and his destination”, s̲h̲aṭan being “a cord” and s̲h̲āṭin “an evil man”. The verbs s̲h̲ayṭana and tas̲h̲ayṭana signify “to behave like the shayṭan ”. The s̲h̲ayṭān is an evil, rebellious spirit, inhabiting Hell-Fire; he cannot be seen, but he is imagined as a being of great ugliness (al-D̲j̲āḥiẓ, Ḥayawān , vi, 213). Proverbs underline his wickedness, his c…

Rad̲j̲m

(2,838 words)

Author(s): Gaudefroy-Demombynes, M. | Fahd, T.
(a.), the casting of stones. R-d̲j̲-m is a Semitic root, derivatives from which are found in the Old Testament with the meaning of “to stone, to drive away or kill by throwing stones” an abominable creature; rad̲j̲ma is “a heap of stones, an assembly of men, cries, tumult”. In Arabic, the root means “to stone, to curse”; rad̲j̲m , “heap of stones”, also means simply the stones placed upon tombs either as flagstones or in a heap, a custom which ḥadīt̲h̲ condemns, recommending rather that a grave should be level with the surface of the ground. On the ḥadīt̲h̲ of ʿAbd Allāh b. Mug̲h̲fal, it is …

Istisḳāʾ

(1,794 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T. | P. N. Boratav
, a rogatory rite still practised at the present day (notably in Jordan and Morocco) and dating back to the earliest Arab times (ʿĀdite according ¶ to Ibn al-At̲h̲īr, i, 61; Abrahaniic according to Ibn Saʿd, i/1, 22) which is a supplication for rain during periods of great drought. The rite must have been both astral and magical in nature. Obliged to retain it because of its great popularity, primitive Islam tried to remove these features. A precise ritual was established—as in the case of istik̲h̲āra [ q.v.], another custom deriving from pagan cultic practices —so that the faithf…

Nabaṭ

(4,468 words)

Author(s): Graf, D.F. | Fahd, T.
or Nabīṭ (coll.), Nabaṭī (sing.), Anbāṭ (pl.), the name given by the Arabs to the Nabataeans , amongst whom they distinguished the Nabaṭ al-Sham (i.e. of Syria), installed at Petra towards the end of the Hellenistic imperial era and at the beginning of the Roman one, and the Nabaṭ al-ʿIrāḳ (i.e. of ʿIrāḳ). [The Editors of the EI have decided to retain unchanged the following two articles, despite the inevitable overlappings in their present forms.] 1. The Nabaṭ al-S̲h̲ām. The Arabic term, occuring in Aramaic inscriptions, nbṭ / nbṭw , appears very often in the …

Rabb

(296 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J. | Fahd, T.
(a.), lord, God, master of a slave. Pre-Islamic Arabia probably applied this term to its gods or to some of them. In this sense the word corresponds to the terms like Baʿal, Adonis, etc. in the Northwestern Semitic languages, where rabb means “much, great” (see A. Jeffery, The foreign vocabulary of the Qurʾān , Baroda 1938, 136-7). In one of the oldest sūras (CVI, 3) Allāh is called the “lord of the temple”. Similarly, al-Lāt bore the epithet al-Rabba , especially at Ṭāʾif where she was worshipped in the image of a stone or of a rock. In the Ḳurʾān, rabb (especially with the possessive suffix)…

Ṭāg̲h̲ūt

(1,527 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T. | Stewart, F.H.
(a.). 1. In pre- and early Islamic usage. The root ṭ -g̲h̲-w yields several forms with the general meaning of "to go beyond the measure, be very lofty, overflow, be tyrannical, rebellious, oppressive, proud, etc.", from which two may be noted here: ṭag̲h̲w , designating a height or mountain summit, and ṭag̲h̲ūt , pl. ṭawāg̲h̲īt , meaning the great pre-Islamic Arabian deities like al-Lāt at Ṭāʾif and al-ʿUzzā at Mecca. The term was then applied to Satan, sorcerer and rebel, and to any power opposed to that of Islam. One may also cite ṭag̲h̲wa "excess of injustice, impiety", as opposed to the s̲h̲…

Ṣūra

(3,576 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J. | Fahd, T.
(a.), image, form, shape, e.g. ṣūrat al-arḍ , “the image of the earth”, ṣūrat ḥimār , “the form of an ass” (Muslim, Ṣalāt , trad. 115), or face, countenance (see below). Taṣāwīr are rather pictures; see for these, taṣwīr . Ṣūra and taṣwīra are therefore in the same relation to one another as the Hebrew demūt and ṣelem . 1. In theological and legal doctrine. The Biblical idea according to which man was created in God’s ṣelem (Gen. i. 27) has most probably passed into Ḥadīt̲h̲. It occurs in three passages in classical Ḥadīt̲h̲; the exegesis is uncertain and in general unwilling to adopt i…

al-Ṭāliʿ

(1,303 words)

Author(s): King, D.A. | Fahd, T.
(a.), literally “that which rises”. 1. Astronomical aspects. Al-ṭāliʿ is that point of the ecliptic which is rising over the horizon at a given moment, called the ascendent or horoscopus (and sometimes, incorrectly, the horoscope); see the diagram in maṭāliʿ . The determination of the ascendent is necessary in mathematical astrology [see nud̲j̲ūm , aḥkām al- ] before one can calculate the instantaneous positions of the 12 astrological houses ( al-buyūt ); with these determined, one can then investigate in which houses the sun, moon and five na…

S̲h̲ams

(4,027 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T. | Dalen, B. van | Milstein, Rachel
(a.), the sun (f). 1. In Pre-Islamic Arab lore. This was a divinity worshipped in the Semitic world, especially in Assyria-Babylonia (cf. its attributes in K. Tallqvist, Akkadische Götterepitheta , Helsinki 1938, 453 ff.) and in South Arabia, where the plurals s̲h̲ums (for s̲h̲umūs ) given by Yāḳūt (ed. Beirut, iii, 362) for this ṣanam or idol, ʾs̲h̲ms and the dual s̲h̲msy (G. Ryckmans, Les noms propres sudsémitiques , Louvain 1934-5, i, 33; A. Jamme, Le panthéon sud-arabe préislamique d’après les sources épigraphiques , in Muséon , lx [1947], 101 ff.) ¶ denote the titulary divinities…

S̲h̲iḳḳ

(329 words)

Author(s): Carra de Vaux, B. | Fahd, T.
1. S̲h̲iḳḳ is the name of two diviners or kāhins who allegedly lived shortly before the rise of Islam. According to the Abrégé des merveilles , S̲h̲iḳḳ the Elder was the first diviner among the ʿArab al-ʿĀriba. He is a completely fabulous personage. Like the Cyclops, he had only one eye in the middle of his forehead or a fire which split his forehead into two ( s̲h̲aḳḳa “to split”). He is also confused with al-Dad̲j̲d̲j̲āl [ q.v.], Antichrist, or at least Dad̲j̲d̲j̲āl is of his family. He is said to have lived chained to a rock on an island where volcanic phenomena occur…

Saṭīḥ b. Rabīʿa

(1,293 words)

Author(s): Levi Della Vida, G. | Fahd, T.
, a legendary diviner ( kāhin ) of pre-Islamic Arabia, whom tradition connects with the beginnings of Islam; in reality, we are dealing here with a quite mythical personage like the other kāhin in whose company he appears in most stories, S̲h̲iḳḳ al-Saʿbī, who is simply the humanisation of a demoniacal monster in appearance like a man cut in two ( s̲h̲iḳḳ al-insān : cf. van Vloten, in WZKM, vii [1893], 180-1, and s̲h̲iḳḳ ). Saṭīḥ, whose name means “flattened on the ground and unable to rise on account of the weakness of his limbs” ( Lisān al-ʿArab 1, iii, 312), is described as a monster with…

Sīmiyāʾ

(1,421 words)

Author(s): MacDonald, D.B. | Fahd, T.
, in form like kibriyāʾ , belongs to old Arabic ¶ beside sīmā , sīmāʾ (Ḳurʾān, XLVIII, 29 etc.; al-Bayḍāwī, ed. Fleischer, i, 326, 14, 15), in the sense “mark, sign, badge” (Lane 1476a; Ṣaḥāḥ , s.v., ed. Būlāḳ, 1282, ii, 200; Ḥamāsa , ed. Freytag, 696; LʿA , xv, 205). But the word, as a name for certain genres of magic, had a quite different derivation; in that sense it is from σημει̂α, through the Syriac sīmya (pl), and means “signs, letters of the alphabet” (Dozy, Suppl., i, 708b, and references there; Payne Smith, Thesaurus Syriacus , ii, col. 2614). In Bocthor, Dictionnaire français-arabe

Sad̲j̲ʿ

(6,970 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T. | Heinrichs, W.P. | Ben Abdesselem, A.
(a.), originally, the formal expression of the oracular pronouncement. 1. As magical utterances in pre-Islamic Arabian usage. Here, sad̲j̲ʿ was the rhythmical style practised by the Arab kāhin s [ q.v.] and kāhina s [see al-kāhina ], a style intermediate between that of the versified oracular utterances of the Sibylls and Pythians and that of the prose utterances of Apollo (see P. Amandry, La mantique apollinienne à Delphes . Essai sur le fonctionnement de l’oracle, diss. Paris 1950, 15). These utterances are "formulated in short, rhymed phrases, with rhythmical caden…

S̲h̲āʿir

(23,851 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T. | Moreh, S. | Ben Abdesselem, A. | Reynolds, D.F. | Bruijn, J.T.P. de | Et al.
(a.), poet. ¶ 1. In the Arab world. A. Pre-Islamic and Umayyad periods. Among those endowed with knowledge and with power in ancient Arabia stands the figure of the s̲h̲āʿir , whose role is often confused with that of the ʿarrāf ( s̲h̲aʿara and ʿarafa having the same semantic value: cf. I. Goldziher, Abhandlungen , i, 3 ff.) and of the kāhin [ q.v.]. They were credited with the same source of inspiration, the d̲j̲inns (Goldziher, Die Ǧinnen der Dichter , in ZDMG, xlv [1891], 685 ff.). However, the s̲h̲āʿir was, originally, the repository of magical rather than divinatory knowledge; …

Māʾ

(34,897 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T. | Young, M.J.L. | Hill, D.R. | Rabie, Hassanein | Cahen, Cl. | Et al.
(a.) “water”. The present article covers the religio-magical and the Islamic legal aspects of water, together with irrigation techniques, as follows: 1. Hydromancy A a vehicle for the sacred, water has been employed for various techniques of divination, and in particular, for potamonancy (sc. divination by means of the colour of the waters of a river and their ebbing and flowing; cf. FY. Cumont, Études syriennes , Paris 1917, 250 ff., notably on the purification power of the Euphrates, consulted for divinatory reasons); for pegomancy (sc…
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