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Riyāfa

(737 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
(a.), from rīf , pl. aryāf , “cultivated and fertile region”, generally designates the lands along a river or the sea and the fertile plains bordering the desert [see further rīf ]. The noun riyāfa , a recent formation on the model of ḳiyāfa (note that al-Ḏj̲āḥiẓ, K. al-Tarbīʿ wa ’l-tadwīr , ed. Pellat, 91-2, § 176, gives for ḳiyāfa [ q.v.] the sense of the detection of paternity, the whereabouts of water, atmospheric phenomena and the earth), designates the water-diviner’s art which estimates the depth of water under the earth through the smell of the ea…

Saʿy

(547 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
(a.), from the root s-ʿ-y , used 30 times in the Ḳurʾān in such senses as “to work, apply oneself to, denounce, seek to earn one’s living, run after s. th.” etc., but in the sense concerning here denoting the pilgrim’s running between al-Ṣafā and al-Marwa. These are two hills to the south and north-west of the Kaʿba respectively, linked by a masʿā , course, which the pilgrim follows after having made the sevenfold circuit of the Kaʿba, at his or her arrival and his or her departure. This following of the course, the saʿy , is likewise sevenfold; it starts in al-Ṣafā, and goes to al-Marwa, ca. 300 m a…

Suʿayr

(319 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
, preferably to be read as Saʿīr, although the former is more common, an idol of the pre-Islamic Arabian tribe of ʿAnaza (Ibn al-Kalbī, 48-9), coming from ʿw.ṣ , an Aramaean eponym denoting in the Bible (refs. in Gesenius-Buhl, 573) the land of Edom and the group of tribes living there (W. Robertson Smith, Kinship and marriage in early Arabia , 260-1; Nöldeke, in ZDMG, xl [1887], 183). Saʿīr, which followed the same evolution as ʿAwḍ, denotes in the Bible the land of Edom before its occupation by the sons of Esau. Gen. xxxvi.9 speaks of the hill country Seʿir, o…

Ḳiyāfa

(631 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
(a.), the science of physiognomancy and the examination of traces on the ground. In their concern for the purity of race and the ¶ correctness of genealogical lines, the ancient Arabs perfected a technique which permitted them to verify, and, where necessary, to research into, lines of parentage. This technique consisted partly in experience and partly in divinatory intuition. In primitive times, a specialised personnel maintained the practice: but the progressive decline, in pre-Islamic Arabia, of personnel skilled i…

Manāt

(949 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
, name of one of the most ancient deities ofthe Semitic pantheon, who appears in the Pre-Sargonic period in the form Menūtum and constitutes one ofthe names of Ishtar (J. Bottéro, Les divinités sémitiques anciennes en Mésopotamie , in S. Moscati (ed.), Le antiche divinité semitiche, 30; Tallqvist, Götterepitheta , 373-4); the Ḳurʾānic scriptio of her name preserves the primitive w, which also appears in the Nabatean mnwtw (Lidzbarski, Handbuch , 313; Wellhausen, Reste 2, 28). The w changes to i in the Bible (Isa. lxv, 11), as in the Sallier IV papyrus, verso , i, 5-6 (in J.B. Pritchard, Ancien…

Faʾl

(2,669 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
, ṭīra and zad̲j̲r are terms which merge into one another and together correspond to and express adequately the concept of “omen” and of οι̉ωνóς.

D̲j̲afr

(2,616 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
The particular veneration which, among the S̲h̲īʿas, the members of the Prophet’s family enjoy, is at the base of the belief that the descendants of Fāṭima have inherited certain privileges inherent in Prophethood; prediction of the future and of the destinies of nations and dynasties is one of these privileges. The S̲h̲īʿī conception of prophecy, closely connected with that of the ancient gnosis (cf. Tor Andrae, Die Person Muhammeds in Lehre und Glauben seiner Gemeinde , Stockholm 1918, ch. vi) made the prophetic afflatus pass from Adam to Muḥammad and from Muḥammad to the ʿAlids (cf. H. H. Schaeder, in ZDMG, lxxix, 1925, 214 ff.). The Banū Hās̲h̲im, to whom ʿAlī b. Abī Ṭālib belonged, had long since claimed superiority over the Banū Umayya, as h…

Tamīma

(743 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
(a., pl. tamāʾim , synonyms taʿwīd̲h̲ , ʿūd̲h̲a ), amulet, talisman (for a wider consideration of this last, see ṭilsam ). In origin, it means a stone with white speckles on a black field or vice-versa, threaded on a thong or cord and worn round the neck to avert danger. The Arabs placed such stones on their children, believing that it would protect them from the evil eye, ill fate, sickness and death, having thereby r…

K̲h̲awāṣṣ al-Ḳurʾān

(514 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
, the art of drawing prognostications from verses of the Ḳurʾān to which beneficial effects are attributed. The sacred text is used here in the same spirit as in rhapsodomancy ( ʿilm al-ḳurʿa ) and onomatomancy [see d̲j̲afr and ḥurūf. ] But it is here more particularly a case of the “natural properties” (φυσικά) which certain formulae of a magical and superstitious nature can have, based upon suitable Ḳurʾānic verses, letters drawn from these verse, words, names of angels, prophets or God, prayers bearing celebrated names and poems ( e.g. the Burda ). Hence these varied elements are treated just as the “science of properties” treats animals, plants and minerals, by calling attention to the sympathy and antipathy which exists between them (on this science, extensively developed in Islam, cf. P. Kraus, Jābir ibn Ḥayyān , ii, 61 ff.; M. Ullmann, Die Natur-und Geheimwissenschaften im Islam , Leiden 1972, 393 ff.). Two series of results are sought from this practice, prognostications and beneficial effects ( manāfiʿ ). Medical prognostications are the most sought-after, ¶ and the treatises of popular medicine are crammed with them ( e.g. see al…

S̲h̲iʿār

(606 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
(a.), a term having various significations. The root s̲h̲-ʿ-r involves, inter alia, the ideas of knowing something; being aware of something; being a poet; being hairy; notifying, making aware of something; marking something; etc. S̲h̲iʿār stems from the latter semantic field. It denotes: 1. The rallying signal for war or for a travel expedition, war cry, standard, mark indicating the place of standing ( wuḳūf ) of ¶ soldiers in battle or pilgrims in the Pilgrimage (ʿArafa: the idea of “recognising” this mark). The warcry of the Prophet’s Companions was “Amit

Munās̲h̲ada

(618 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
(a.), derived from nas̲h̲ada “to search (especially for a stray camel), designates a set form of oath, at the beginning of a prayer of petition, sometimes involving a threat or coercion, directed at God. A certain Abū Sammāl of Banū Asad set out once in search of his camel; after a long, vain search, he turned to God, entreating him in these words: aymunuka laʾin lam taruddahā ilayya lā aʿbudka , “I swear if you do not return it to me, I will not worship you”; and he found it. The man was not a saint, so that his success could be attributed to his merits. However, ʿAbd Allāh b. Maṭar, a contemporary of the Prophet, known by his …

Istik̲h̲āra

(1,232 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
(A.), deriving from a root k̲h̲-y-r which expresses the idea of option or choice, consists of entrusting God with the choice between two or more possible options, either through piety and submission to His will, or else through inability to decide oneself, on account of not knowing which choice is the most advantageous one. To the first category belong the ak̲h̲yār or “chosen”, who regulate their lives according to the model inspired by God in the Ḳurʾān and the Law; to the second belong the mustak̲h̲īrūn , those who seek to escape from indecision with the help of divine inspiration. The divine voice expresses itself either by means of a ruʾyā [ q.v.] or dream, or else by ḳurʿa [ q.v.] or rhapsodomancy. As a result of its affinities with the ancient practice of incubation, used especially in hiatromancy or medical d…

al-Sud̲j̲d̲j̲a

(304 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
, apparently the name of an idol of the pre-Islamic Arabs. In a marginal addition to Ibn al-Kalbī’s K. al-Aṣnām (ed. Klinke-Rosenberger, 2), the following ḥadīt̲h̲ is given: “Fulfill your legal alms obligations, for God has freed you from al-Sud̲j̲d̲j̲a and al-Bad̲j̲d̲j̲a” (missing from the Concordance ). The commentator says that al-Sud̲j̲d̲j̲a was an idol. As for al-Bad̲j̲d̲j̲a, This is the blood drawn from an incision ( faṣīd ) of a camel’s vein, on which the Arabs used to feed in times of dearth. But according to TʿA , ii, 6, al-Bad̲j̲d̲j̲a was an idol too…

Ik̲h̲tilād̲j̲

(853 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
, spontaneous pulsations, tremblings or convulsions which occur in all parts of the body, in particular in the limbs, the eyelids and the eyebrows and which provide omens the interpretation of which as a divinatory sign is known as the ʿilm al-ik̲h̲tilād̲j̲ or “palmoscopy”. Palmoscopy forms part of physiognomy and, like it, formed part of medical diagnosis by the physicians of classical antiquity, among them Galen, who established a distinction between “palpitation” and “trembling, shudder, convulsion”. As a divinatory practice, Islamic palmoscopy seems to have as its s…

Kāhin

(2,242 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
, a term of controversial origin (cf. T. Fahd, Divination arabe , 91 ff.), belonging to Canaanite, Aramaic and Arab traditions. At the earliest stage known to us it appears to have been used by the “Western Semites” to designate the possessor of a single function with related prerogatives, that is to say, the offering of sacrifices in the name of the group, the representing of this group before the deity, the interpretation of the will of the deity, and in addition the ant…

Nār

(3,415 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
(a.), pl. nīrān , denotes fire, whereas nūr , pl. anwār , denotes light. In Akkadian, Aramaic, Hebrew, Syriac and Arabic, the root n-w-r simply denotes “flash”, “dazzlement”, “florescence”, “tattooing”, anything, in short, which gives light and anything which stands out clearly. The other Arabic term which signifies light, ḍawʾ , is to be associated with the Sanskrit dev/w which appears in Zeus, Dieu, dies , and expresses the notion of the personification of the luminous and calorific phenomena of nature. Nār occurs 129 times in the Ḳurʾān, of which 111…

al-Dīnawarī

(237 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
, Abū saʿīd ( Saʿd ) Naṣr b. Yaʿḳūb , is a writer chiefly remembered as author of al-Ḳādirī fi ’l-Taʿbīr (composed in 397/1006 and dedicated to al-Ḳādir Bi’llāh 381-422/991-1020), which is the oldest authentic Arabic treatise on oneirocriticism and an excellent synthesis of everything that was known on the subject at the time. Its sources were Arabic: Ibn Sīrīn [ q.v.] to whom innumerable interpretations are attributed; Greek: Artemidorus of Ephesus, whose Oneirocritica translated into Arabic by Ḥunayn b. Isḥāḳ (died 260/873; cf. Fihrist, 255, MS A 4726 in the Istanbul Universi…

S̲h̲araf

(672 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
(a.), a verbal noun from the root s̲h̲-r-f indicating elevation, nobility, pre-eminence in the physical and the moral senses. Hence the s̲h̲arīf [ q.v.] is a person who is placed above those who surround him on account of his prestigious and noble origin. In pre-Islamic Arabia and in early Islam, s̲h̲araf and mad̲j̲d both denote “illustriousness on account of birth”, while hasab , “individual quality, merit” (as opposed to nasab ) and karam denote “illustriousness acquired by oneself” ( LA, s.w. and see ḥasab wa-nasab ). According to the historians of Islam…

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…
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