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Matn

(207 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
(a.), a term with various meanings, of which that of text of a ḥadīt̲h̲ [ q.v.] is to be noted. Matn already appears with the sense of “text” in pre-Islamic poetry, and has been used thus in Arabic literature up to the present day. It denotes especially the text of a book as distinguished from its oral explanation or its written or printed commentary. In connection with traditions, matn denotes the content or text itself, in distinction from the chain of traditionists who have handed it down ( isnād [ q.v.]). The choice of this term to designate the body of a ḥadīt̲h̲ led Goldziher to put forwar…

Rasūl

(783 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
(a., pl. rusul ), messenger, apostle. 1. In the religious sense. According to the Ḳurʾān, there is a close relation between the apostle and his people ( umma [ q.v.]). To each umma God sends only one apostle (sūra X, 48, XVI, 38 cf. XXIII, 46, XL, 5). These statements are parallel to those which mention the witness whom God will take from each umma at the Day of Judgment (IV, 45, XXVIII, 75 and cf. the descriptions of the rasūl who will cross the bridge to the other world at the head of his umma: al-Buk̲h̲ārī, Ad̲h̲ān , bāb 129; Riḳāḳ , bāb 52). Muḥammad is sent to a people to whom Allāh has not ye…

Amīr al-Muslimīn

(108 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
, i.e. lord of the Muslims, a title which the Almoravids first assumed, in contra-distinction to Amīr al-Muʾminīn [ q.v.]. The latter title was born by the independent dynasties; the Almoravids, however, recognized the supremacy of the ʿAbbāsids and did not wish to arrogate to themselves this title of the Caliphs. So they established a kind of sub-caliphate with a title of their own. Afterwards the African and Spanish princes bore either the one or the other of these titles, according as they sought after the independent caliphate or recognized any supremacy. (A.J. Wensinck) Bibliography…

K̲h̲id̲h̲lān

(437 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
(a.), nomen actionis from the root k̲h̲-d̲h̲-l , “to leave in the lurch”, a technical term in Islamic theology, applied exclusively to Allāh when He withdraws His grace or help from man. The disputes regarding it first appear in connection with the quarrel over ḳadar [ q.v.]. A starting point is found in Sūra III, 154/160: “but if He abandon you to yourselves ( yak̲h̲d̲h̲ul-kum ), who will help you after Him? Let the faithful therefore trust in God”. On this al-Rāzī observes: “The Companions deduce from this verse that belief is exclusiv…

Samūm

(588 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
(a.), yielding Fr. simoun and Eng. simoom, a hot wind of the desert accompanied by whirlwinds of dust and sand, and set in motion by moving depressions which form within the trade winds or calm zones of the high, subtropical depressions. This wind is especially characteristic of the Sahara, in Egypt, in Arabia and in Mesopotamia. The word occurs in three passages of the Ḳurʾān, where it is, however, not especially applied to the wind. In sūra XV, 27, it is said that the Ḏj̲ānn were created from the fire of Samūm. In LII, 27, the punishment of the Samūm is …

Mīkāl

(994 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
, the archangel Michael [see also malāʾika ], whose name occurs once in the Ḳurʾān, viz. in II, 92: “Whosoever is an enemy to God, or his angels, or his apostles, or to Gabriel or to Michael, verily God is an enemy to the unbelievers.” In explanation of this verse two stories are told. According to the first, the Jews, wishing to test the veracity of the mission of Muḥammad, asked him several questions, to all of which he gave the true answer. Finally, they asked him, who transmit…

Rahbāniyya

(503 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
(a.), monasticism. The term is derived from rāhib [ q.v.] “anchovite, monk”; it occurs in the Ḳurʾān once only, in a complicated passage (sūra LVII, 27) that has given rise to divergent interpretations: “And we put in the hearts of those who followed Jesus, compassion and mercy, and the monastic state ( rahbāniyya ); they instituted the same (we did not prescribe it to them) only out of a desire to please God. Yet they observed not the same as it ought truly to have been observed. And we gave unto such of them as believed, their reward; but many of them have been doers of evil.” According to some of …

Muslim

(261 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
(a.), the active participle of the IVth form of the root s-l-m, designates the person who professes Islam [ q.v.], islāmī being exclusively used today for what is relative to Islam and having, as a corresponding term, the forms in western languages islamic , islamique , islamisch , etc. However, in the 4th/10th century the theologian al-As̲h̲ʿarī [ q.v.] called his heresiographical work Maḳālāt al-Islāmiyyīn in order not to prejudice the question which of the various sects could or could not be called muslim . Whilst forms like mohammedan , mahométan , maomettano ,…

Muṭlaḳ

(386 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A .J.
(a.), part. pass. IV from ṭ-l-ḳ, “to loose the bond ( ḳaid) of an animal, so as to let it free” (e.g. Muslim, Ḏj̲ihād, trad. 46; Abū Dāwūd, Ḏj̲ihād, bāb 100). The term is also applied ¶ to the loosening of the bowstring (Buk̲h̲ārī, Ḏj̲ihād, b. 170), of the garments, the hair etc. Thence the common meaning absolute, as opposed to restricted ( muḳaiyad), and further the accusative muṭlaḳan “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 (cognate accusative), i. e. the objectivate…

Zaid b. T̲h̲ābit

(429 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A. J.
b. al-Ḍaḥḥāk b. Zaid b. Lawd̲h̲ān b. ʿAmr b. ʿAbd Manāf (or ʿAwf) b. G̲h̲anm b. Mālik b. al-Nad̲j̲d̲j̲īr al-Anṣārī al-Ḵh̲azrad̲j̲ī, one of the Companions of Muḥammad, best known through his part in the editing of the Ḳurʾān. His father was killed in the battle of Buʿāt̲h̲ [q. v.], five years before the hid̲j̲ra, when Zaid was six years old. His ¶ mother was al-Nawār, daughter of Mālik b. Muʿāwiya b. ʿAdī, also of a Madīnd̲j̲ad̲j̲ family. It is said that the boy knew already a number of Sūras when Muḥammad settled in al-Madīna. At any rate he became his secretary, who rec…

al-Masd̲j̲id al-Aḳṣā

(475 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A. J.
, the mosque built on the site of the Temple in Jerusalem. The name means “the remotest sanctuary” and is first found in the Ḳurʾān, Sūra xvii. 1: “Praise ʿilm who made his servant journey in the night from the holy place to the remotest sanctuary, which we have surrounded with blessings to show him of our signs”. As was explained in the article isrāʾ [q. v.], the older exegesis refers this verse to the journey to heaven [cf. miʿrād̲j̲] and sees in the name al-Masd̲j̲id al-Aḳṣā a reference to some heavenly place (cf. Sidrat al-Muntahā, Sūra liii. 14). This explanation had however in time to g…

ʿIzrāʾīl

(1,116 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A. J.
(in European literature one also finds ʿAzrāʾīl), the name of the angel of death, one of the four archangels (next to Ḏj̲ibrīl, Mīk̲h̲āʾīl, Isrāfīl). The name is perhaps a corruption of which is given by Eisenmenger, Entdecktes Judenthum, ii. 333, as the name of the prince of Hell. Like Isrāfīl, whose office of trumpet-blower at the last judgment is sometimes given to him, he is of cosmic magnitude; if the water of all the seas and rivers were poured on his head, not a drop would reach the earth. He has a seat ( sarīr) of light in the fourth or seventh heaven, on which one of his feet re…

Sad̲j̲d̲j̲āda

(1,785 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A. J.
(a., plural sad̲j̲id̲j̲id, sad̲j̲ād̲j̲īd, sawād̲j̲id), the carpet on which the ṣalāt is performed. The word is found neither in the Ḳorʾān nor in the canonical Ḥadīt̲h̲; the article itself, however, was known at quite an early period, as may be seen from the traditions about to be mentioned. In the Ḥadīt̲h̲ we are often told how Muḥammad and his followers performed the ṣalāt on the floor of the mosque in Medīna after a heavy shower of rain with the result that their noses and heads came in contact with the mud (e. g. al-Buk̲h̲ārī, Ad̲h̲ān, bāb 135, 151; Muslim, Ṣiyām, trad. 214—216, 218 etc.)…

Firʿawn

(1,457 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A. J.
(Plur. Farāʿina), Pharaoh. The word is explained by the commentaries on Sūra ii. 46 of the Ḳorʾān as a laḳab or ʿalam of the Amalakite kings, like Kisrā and Ḳaiṣar of the Kings of the Persians and Romans. The verb tafarʿana means “to be arrogant and tyrannous”, hence the Ḳorʾānic Firʿawn is called al-Ḏj̲abbār “the tyrant” by al-Yaʿḳūbī (ed. Houtsma), i. 31. A number of Firʿawns are mentioned in Arabic literature; their number is very differently given. In the Ḳorʾān, however, Firʿawn is always the kfng with whom Mūsā and Hārūn had to deal; the word is here clearly understood as a proper name. The …

al-Awzāʿī

(254 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A. J.
, ʿAbd al-Raḥmān b. ʿAmr Abū ʿAmr, a jurist born in Baʿalbekk 88 (757). Later he lived in Damascus and Bairūt. Nothing else is known abut his life, his good character and asceticism are emphasized; he died in his bath in the year 157 (774) and was buried in the Ḳibla of the mosque in Bairūt. — Al-Awzāʿī during his life-time was a star of the first magnitude. He is said to have been the Imām of Syria and even the Mag̲h̲rib and Spain are said to have followed his Mad̲h̲hab. His influence soon declined in favour of that of Abū Ḥanīfa and of Mālik. Hardly any data about hi…

Aʿs̲h̲ā Hamdān

(194 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A. J.
, properly ʿAbd al-Raḥmān b. ʿAbd Allāh, Arab poet, who lived in Kūfa in the second half of the i. (vii.) cent. He was married to a sister of the theologian al-S̲h̲aʿbī, and he, again, had married a sister of al-Aʿs̲h̲ā. The role which he played under ʿAbd al-Raḥmān b. al-As̲h̲ʿat̲h̲ is best known. He took part in his campaign against the Turks and was taken captive but escaped with the aid of a Turkish woman whose passions were enflamed for him. When Ibn al-As̲h̲ʿat̲h̲ turned against al-Ḥad̲j̲d…

Kānūn

(172 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A. J.
, the name of a month, which is found as early as in inscriptions from Palmyra (see S. A. Cook, A Glossary of the Aramaic Inscriptions, s. v.) and corresponds to Marḥes̲h̲wān. It later appears among the Syriac names of the months (see Payne Smith, Thesaurus Syrd., s.v.) as K. ḳed̲ēm or ḳad̲māyā and K. ḥrāy or ḥrāyā. Here the two K. are the ninth and tenth months respectively. Al-Bīrūnī, Kitāb al-Āt̲h̲ār al-bāḳiya, ed. Sachau, p. 60, transcribes the Syriac forms exactly as K. ḳadīm and K. ḥrāy. In Arabic terminology they are called K. al-awwal and K. al-āk̲h̲ir, In the Ḥadīt̲h̲ the former app…

al-Nasafī

(411 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A. J.
, nisba [cf. nasaf] of several eminent persons of whom the following may be mentioned: I. Abu ’l-Muʿīn Maimūn b. Muḥammad b. Muḥammad ... b. Makḥūl ... al-Ḥanafī al-Makḥūlī (d. 508 = 1114), one of the mutakallimūn [q. v.] whose scholastic position is between that of the early period as represented by ʿAbd al-Ḳāhir al-Bag̲h̲dādī [q. v.], who is still endeavouring to find a convenient arrangement and an adequate formulation of the contents of kalām, and the younger mutakallims who have at hand the necessary formulas for ready use. Of his works the following are known to me: 1. Tamhīd li-Ḳawāʿid…

K̲h̲uṭba

(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…

Ṣabr

(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…

Tasnīm

(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…

Muṭlaḳ

(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 (…

Mawḳif

(236 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
(a.), nomen loci from w-ḳ-f “to stand” hence “place of standing”. Of the technical meanings of the term, three may be mentioned here: (a) The place where the wuḳūf [ q.v.] is held during the pilgrimage, viz. ʿArafāt [ q.v.] and Muzdalifa [ q.v.] or D̲j̲amʿ. In well-known traditions, Muḥammad declares that all ʿ Arafāt and all Muzdalifa is mawḳif (Muslim, Ḥad̲j̲d̲j̲ , trad. 149; Abū Dāwūd, Manāsik , bāb 56, 64, etc.; cf. Wensinck, Handbook of early Muhammadan tradition, s.v. ʿArafa). Snouck Hurgronje ( Het mekkaansche feest , 150 = Verspreide Geschriften , i, 99) ha…

Sutra

(797 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
(a.), covering, protection, shelter, especially at the ṣalāt , where sutra means the object which the worshipper places in front of himself or lays in the direction of the ḳibla , whereby he shuts himself off in an imaginary area within which he is not disturbed by human or demoniacal influences. “The fictitious fencing off of an open place of prayer, the sutra, seems to have had among other objectives that of warding off demons” (Wellhausen, Reste 2, 158). In one tradition, the man who deliberately penetrates into this imaginary area is actually called a s̲h̲ayṭān (al-Buk̲h̲ārī, Ṣalāt , bāb

Ḥawḍ

(477 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
, the basin at which on the day of the resurrection Muḥammad will meet his community. This idea is not found in the Ḳurʾān, but in Tradition, which supplies a great variety of details of which the following are the more important. Muḥammad is called the precursor ( faraṭ ) of his community On the day of the resurrection the latter, in the first place the poor who have not known the pleasures of life, will join him near the basin. So far as one can judge, the question is one of admittance: Muḥammad pleads with Allāh for hi…

al-Nasāʾī

(356 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
, Abū ʿAbd al-Raḥmān Aḥmad b. ʿAlī b. S̲h̲uʿayb b. Baḥr b. Sinān , author of one of the six canonical collections of traditions [see Ḥadīt̲h̲ ], b. 215/830, d. 303/915. Very little is known about him. He is said to have made extensive travels in order to hear traditions, to have settled in Egypt, afterwards in Damascus, and to have died in consequence of ill-treatment to which he was exposed at Damascus or, according to others, at Ramla, in consequence of his feelings in favour of ʿAlī and against t…

K̲h̲abar

(270 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
(a.), plural ak̲h̲bār , ak̲h̲ābir , report, piece of information. The word is not used in any special context in the Ḳurʾān. In the ḥadīt̲h̲ it occurs among other passages in the tradition which describes how the d̲j̲inn by eavesdropping obtain information from heaven ( k̲h̲abar min al-samaʾ ) and how they are pelted with fiery meteors to prevent them from doing so (al-Buk̲h̲ārī, Ad̲h̲ān , bāb 105; Muslim, Ṣalāt , tr. 149); al-Tirmid̲h̲ī, Tafsīr , Sūra Ixxii, trad. 1). In his collection al-Buk̲h̲āri has a chapter entitled Ak̲h̲bār al-āḥād , which, as the tard̲j̲ama

Ḥawārī

(459 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
, apostle. The word is borrowed from Ethiopie, in which language ḥawāryā has the same meaning (see Nöldeke, Beiträge z . sem . Sprachwissenschaft , 48). The suggested derivations from Arabic, attributing to it the meaning “one who wears white clothing” etc., are incorrect. Tradition delights to endow the earliest Islamic pioneers with foreign bynames which were familiar to the “people of the Book”. Abū Bakr is called al-Ṣiddīḳ , ʿUmar al-Fārūḳ , al-Zubayr b. al-ʿAwwām al-Ḥawārī Moreover, the collective term al-Ḥawāriyyūn occurs, denoting twelve persons …

Miswāk

(764 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
(a.), a term denoting the toothbrush as well as the tooth-pick. The more usual word is siwāk (plural suwuk ) which denotes also the act of cleansing the teeth. Neither of the two terms occurs in the Ḳurʾān. In Ḥadīt̲h̲ , miswāk is not used, siwāk, on the other hand, frequently. In order to understand its use, it is necessary to know that the instrument consists of a piece of smooth wood, the end of which is incised so as to make it similar to a brush to some extent. The piece of wood used as a tooth-pick must have been smaller and thinner,…

ʿIzrāʾīl

(1,086 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
(in European literature one also finds ʿAzrāʾīl), the name of the an gel of death, one of the four archangels (next to D̲j̲ibrīl, Mīk̲h̲āʾīl, Isrāfīl). Like Isrāfīl, whose office of trumpet-blower at the last judgment is sometimes given to him, he is of cosmic magnitude; if the water of all the seas and rivers were poured on his head, not a drop would reach the earth. He has a seat ( sarīr ) of light in the fourth or seventh heaven, on which one of his feet rests; the other stands on the bridge between paradise and hell. He is however also said to have 70,000 feet. The description of his appearance a…

al-Masd̲j̲id al-Ḥarām

(1,213 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
, the name of the Mosque of Mecca. The name is already found in the pre-Islamic period (Horovitz, Koranische Studien , 140-1) in Ḳays b. al-K̲h̲aṭīm, ed. Kowalski, v. 14: “By Allāh, the Lord of the Holy Masd̲j̲id and of that which is covered with Yemen stuffs, which are embroidered with hempen thread” (?). It would be very improbable if a Medinan poet meant by these references anything other than the Meccan sanctuary. The expression is also fairly frequent in the Ḳurʾān after the second Meccan period (Horovitz, op. cit.) and in various connections; it is a grave sin on the part ¶ of the polythei…

Ḳawm

(470 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
(a.), plural aḳwām , aḳāwim , aḳāyim , people. The word occurs also in Nabataean, Palmyrene and Ṣafaitic inscriptions in the name of the deity S̲h̲ayʿ al-Ḳawm “support of the people”, see Lidzbarski, Ephemeris für semitische Epigraphik , i, Index s.v. According to some lexicographers, the word applies in the first place to men; evidence for this opinion is afforded by passages from literature where Ḳawm is used in opposition to nisāʾ (women). The term does not primarily suggest the meaning of nation. A man’s Ḳawm are his s̲h̲ī ʿa and his ʿas̲h̲īra . In this limited…

Ṣafar

(210 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
, name of the second month of the Islamic year, also called Ṣ al-k̲h̲ayr or Ṣ al-muẓaffar because of its being considered to be unlucky (C. Snouck Hurgronje, The Atchehnese , i, 206; idem, Mekka , ii, 56). The Muslim Tigrē tribes pronounce the name S̲h̲afar, the Achehnese Thapa. According to Wellhausen, in the old Arabian year, Ṣafar comprised a period of two months in which al-Muḥarram (which name, according to this scholar is a Muslim innovation) was included. As a matter of fact, tradition reports that the early Arabians called al-Muḥarram Ṣafar and considered an ʿumra

Witr

(855 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
(a.), also watr , a term found in ḥadīt̲h̲ and fiḳh in connection with performance of the ṣalāt or worship and concerned with the odd number of rakʿa s which are performed at night. Witr does not occur in this sense in the Ḳurʾān, but frequendy in ḥadīt̲h̲, which in this case also discloses to us a part of the history of the institution in three stages, itself probably a continuation of the history of the fixing of the daily ṣalāts, as the traditions on witr presuppose the five daily ṣalāts, Some traditions even go so far as to call witr an additional ṣalāt of an obligatory nature (see also below…

Āṣāf b. Barak̲h̲yā

(156 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
(Hebrew Āsāf b. Bērek̲h̲yā), name of the alleged wazīr of King Solomon. According to the legend he was Solomon’s confidant, and always had access to him. When the royal consort Ḏj̲arāda was worshipping idols Āṣāf delivered a public address in which he praised the apoştles of God, Solomon among them, but only for the excellent qualities he had manifested in his youth. Solomon in anger at this took him to task, but was reproved for the introduction of idol-worship at the court. This was then done away with and the consort punished; the king became repentant. (A.J. Wensinck) Bibliography Ṭabarī,…

Kunya

(1,146 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
(a.), patronymic, an onomastic element composed of Abū (m.) “father” or Umm (f.) “mother” plus a name. We have here a metonymic designation corresponding to a general tendency among primitive peoples to consider an individual’s name as taboo and not to pronounce it unless exceptionally (see J. G. Frazer, The golden bough, ch. xxii). The kunya was therefore accordingly the name which should be used, but in historical times, the original intention here was forgotten, and al-Ḏj̲āḥiẓ (see JA [1967], 70, 82), far from seeing here any ¶ connection with sympathetic magic, counts the kunya

S̲h̲awwāl

(284 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
, the name of the tenth month of the Muslim lunar year. In the Ḳurʾān (sūra X, 2), four months are mentioned during which, in the year 9/630-1, the Arabs could move in their country without exposing themselves to attacks (cf. “the sacred months” in v. 5). These four months were, according to the commentaries, S̲h̲awwāl, D̲h̲u ’l-Ḳaʿda, D̲h̲u ’l-Ḥid̲j̲d̲j̲a and Muḥarram. In Ḥadīt̲h̲ , S̲h̲awwāl is therefore among “the months of pilgrimage mentioned in Allāh’s Book” (al-Buk̲h̲ārī, Ḥad̲j̲d̲j̲ , bāb 33, 37). In pre-Islamic times, S̲h̲awwāl was considered ill-omened for the conclus…

Nāfīʿ b. al-Azraḳ

(521 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
al-Ḥanafī al-Ḥanẓalī, Abū Rās̲h̲id (said to be the son of a freedman of Greek origin who was a blacksmith; al-Balād̲h̲urī. Futūḥ , 56), K̲h̲arid̲j̲ite who played quite a considerable role in Islamic history as leader of an extremist fraction of that sect known after him as the Azāriḳa [ q.v.] or Azraḳīs, which lived on substantially after his death; he is furthermore said to have laid down their doctrines. The sequence of events in which he was involved is difficult to establish, since there is a certain confusion in the narratives involving him. From them one le…

al-K̲h̲aḍir (al-K̲h̲iḍr)

(4,132 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
, the name of a popular figure, who plays a prominent part in legend and story. Al-K̲h̲aḍir is properly an epithet (“the green man”); this was in time forgotten and this explains the secondary form K̲h̲iḍr (approximately “the green”), which in many places has displaced the primary form. (i) In the Ḳurʾān and in oriental legend Legends and stories regarding al-K̲h̲aḍir are primarily associated with the Ḳurʾānic story in Sūra XVIII, 59-81, the outline of which is as follows. Mūsā goes on a journey with his servant ( fatā ), the goal of which is the mad̲j̲maʿ al-baḥrayn . …

Tarāwīḥ

(409 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
(a.), pl. of tarwīḥa , the term for ṣalāt s which are performed in the nights of the month of Ramaḍān. Tradition says that Muḥammad held these prayers in high esteem, with the precaution, however, that their performance should not become obligatory (al-Buk̲h̲ārī, Tarāwīḥ , trad. 3). ʿUmar is said to have been the first to assemble behind one ḳāriʾ those who performed their prayers in the mosque of Medina singly or in groups ( loc. cit., trad. 2); he is also said to have preferred the first part of the night for these pious exercises. The religious law recommends the performance of the tarāwīḥ

Āsiya

(253 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
This is the name given by the commentators to Pharaoh’s wife, who is twice (xxviii, 9 and lxvi, 11) mentioned in the Ḳurʾān. She plays the same part as Pharaoh’s daughter in the Bible, so that there is obviously confusion. In the second passage these words are put into her mouth: "My Lord, build me a house with thee in Paradise, and deliver me from Pharaoh and his doings and deliver me from the wicked". In connexion with this passage it is related that Āsiya endured many cruelties at the hands o…

Bāḥīra

(312 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
a she-camel or a ewe with slit ears. The Ḳurʾān and ancient poetry (cf. Ibn His̲h̲ām, 58) show that the ancient Arabs used to carry out certain religions cérémonies with respect to their cattle, which consisted firstly in letting the animal go about loose without making any use of it whatever, and secondly in limiting to males permission to eat its flesh (after it had died). In the varions cases the animais bore special names ( Baḥīra , Sāʾiba , Waṣīla , Ḥāmī ; on these names cf. Wellhausen as cited below). The lexicographers are not quite agreed on the p…

Niyya

(829 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
(a.), intention. The acts prescribed by the Islamic s̲h̲arīʿa , obligatory or not, require to be preceded by a declaration by the performer, that he intends to perform such an act. This declaration, pronounced ¶ audibly or mentally, is called niyya . Without it, the act would be bāṭil [ q.v.]. The niyya is required before the performance of the ʿibādāt , such as washing, bathing, prayer, alms, fasting, retreat, pilgrimage, sacrifice. “Ceremonial acts without niyya are not valid”, says al-G̲h̲azālī ( Iḥyāʾ , Cairo 1282, iv, 316). Yet a survey of the opinions of the lawyers regarding the niyya

Isrāfīl

(385 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
, the name of an archangel, which is probably to be traced to the Hebrew Serāfīm as is ¶ indicated by the variants Sarāfīl and Sarāfīn ( Tād̲j̲ al-ʿArūs , vii, 375) The change of liquids is not unusual in such eudings. His size is astounding; while his feet are under the seventh earth, his head reaches up to the pillars of the divine throne. He has four wings: one in the west, one in the east, one with which he covers his body and one as a protection against the majesty of God. He is covered with hair,…

S̲h̲aʿbān

(578 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
, name of the eighth month of the Islamic lunar year. In classical ḥadīt̲h̲ it has already its place after Rad̲j̲ab Muḍar. In Indian Islam it has the name of S̲h̲ab-i barāt (see below), the Atchehnese call it Kandūri bu and among the Tigrē tribes of Eritrea it is called Maddagēn , i.e. who follows upon Rad̲j̲ab. In early Arabia, the month of S̲h̲aʿbān (the name may mean “interval”) seems to have corresponded, as to its significance, to Ramaḍān. According to the ḥadīt̲h̲, Muḥammad practised superogatory fasting by preference in S̲h̲aʿbān (al-Buk̲h̲ārī, Ṣawm , bāb 52; Muslim, Ṣiyām

ʿUt̲h̲mān b. Maẓʿūn

(405 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
b. Ḥabīb, Abu ’l-Sāʾib , of the Ḳurays̲h̲ clan of D̲j̲umaḥ, one of the earliest Companions of Muḥammad, the thirteenth man to adopt Islam and brother-in-law of the second caliph ʿUmar b. al-K̲h̲aṭṭāb. He took part in the hid̲j̲ra to Abyssinia, returned, like some other refugees, on the false news of a reconciliation between Muḥammad and his pagan enemies, and became for some time the client of al-Walīd b. al-Mug̲h̲īra. Soon he renounced this privilege, because he preferred to bear his share in the insults offered to his co-religionists ¶ in Mecca. On a quarrel between ʿUt̲h̲mān and …

ʿAmr

(204 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A. J.
b. al-Ahtam al-Tamīmī al-Minkarī, a member of a poetically gifted family; and himself fond of using metre and rhyme. He must have been born shortly before the Hid̲j̲ra; for in the year 9 (630) when he came to Medīna with the embassy of his tribe, he is said to have been a youth. In the year 11 (632) he followed the prophetess Sad̲j̲āḥ, but was later converted to Islām and took part in the wars of conquest. He informed ʿOmar in verse of the capture of Rās̲h̲ahr. — Little of his poetry is preserved; …

Idrīs

(983 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A. J.
, the name of a man, who is twice mentioned in the Ḳurʾān. Sūra xix. 57 sq.: “Mention Idrīs in the book. Verily he was an upright man, a prophet and we raised him to a high place”. And Sūra xxi. 85, mentions him alorig with Ismāʿīl and Ḏh̲u ’l-Kifl as one of the patient ( ṣābirūn) ones. These passages are not calculated to give any explanation of this character. Even the name was for long a puzzle to orientalists till Nöldeke pointed out that it probably concealed the name Andreas ( Zeitschr. für Assyr., xvii. 84 sq.). That this Andreas who was raised to a high place, is Alexander’s cook wh…

Rabb

(163 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A. J.
(a.), lord, God, master of a slave. Pre-Islāmic Arabia probably applied this term to its gods or to some of them. In this sense the word corresponds to the terms like Baʿal, Adon in the Semitic languages of the north where rabb means “much, great”. — 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 po…

Kaʿba

(8,757 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A. J.
, the palladium of Islām, situated almost in the centre of the great mosque in Mecca. I. The Kaʿba and its immediate neighbourhood. The name, not originally a proper name, is connected with the cube-like appearance of the building. It is however only like a cube at the first impression; in reality the plan is that of an irreguiar rectangle. The wall facing northeast, in which the door is (the front of the Kaʿba) and the opposite wall (back) are 40 feet long: the two other are about 35 feet long. The height is 50 feet. The Kaʿba is built of layers of the grey stone produced by the hills sur…
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