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Sīfawayh al-Ḳāṣṣ

(272 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
, a humorist of the 2nd/8th century. Ḳāṣṣ [ q.v.] “storyteller” is employed here, as was quite common, in the same sense as other less ambiguous terms for jester; he was also described as the prototypical mug̲h̲affal “irresponsible wit”. No decision is possible as to whether his nickname should be vocalised Sīfawayh or Sayfawayh, and the identification with another ḳāṣṣ called ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz, suggested on the basis of one shared remark by the recent editor of Ibn al-D̲j̲awzī, Ḳuṣṣāṣ , is probably unwarranted. Sīfawayh was credited with jokes and social…

ʿAbd al-Ḳādir al-Ḳuras̲h̲ī

(242 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
, Muḥyī al-Dīn ʿAbd al-Ḳādir b. Muḥammad b. Muḥammad b. Naṣr Allāh b. Sālim b. Abi ’l-Wafāʾ , Egyptian professor of Ḥanafite jurisprudence and biographer, born S̲h̲aʿbān 696/May-June 1297, died 7 Rabīʿ I 1775/27 August 1373. He is best known for his collection of alphabetically arranged brief biographies of Ḥanafites, al-Ḏjawāhir al-Muḍiyya fī Ṭabaḳāt al-Ḥanafiyya (Ḥaydarābād 1332/1913-4), a valuable reference work, generally considered to be the first to deal with its particular subject. Written in a country in which the Ḥana…


(993 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
(a.) or, apparently preferred by purists, ris̲h̲wa/rus̲h̲wa , pl. rus̲h̲ā , Persian ris̲h̲wat , ris̲h̲we , rus̲h̲wa , Turkish rüşvet , the legal term for “bribe.” Like English “bribe”, its connotation is absolutely negative and whatever is called ras̲h̲wa is strictly forbidden by law. The word itself does not occur in the Ḳurʾān. More general passages like II, 188, and V, 42, 62-3 ( suḥt ) were interpreted to include the prohibition of bribe-taking. The ḥadīt̲h̲ , however, makes the matter perfectly clear. One of the most explicit statements invoke…

Ibn al-ʿImād

(145 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
, ʿAbd al-Ḥayy b. Aḥmad , a Syrian teacher of the Ḥanbalī school (1032-1089/1623-1679), completed, in 1080/1670, a large biographical history, entitled S̲h̲ad̲h̲arāt al-d̲h̲ahab fī ak̲h̲bār man d̲h̲ahab , which is annalistically arranged and covers the Hid̲j̲ra years one to 1000. Although historical events are occasionally mentioned, the work concentrates on obituary notices, often rather detailed. The author intended it to be a help for impecunious scholars like himself who were unable to acquire a l…


(1,481 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
Plural of awwal "first", technically used to denote various ideas such as the "primary data" of philosophical or physical phenomena; the "ancients" of either pre-Islamic or early Islamic times; and the "first inventors" of things (or the things invented or done first). In the last mentioned connotation, the term characterises a minor branch of Muslim literature with affinities to adab , historical, and theological literature. Among the Muslims themselves, only the 10th/17th-century Ḥād̲j̲d̲j̲ī Ḵh̲alīfa (Flügel), i, 490; Istanbul 1941-3, col. 1996, defines the awāʾil

Ibn Sayyid al-Nās

(588 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
, Fatḥ al-Dīn Muḥammad b. Muḥammad al-Yaʿmurī al-Is̲h̲bīlī , biographer of the Prophet. The home of the distinguished scholarly family of the Ibn Sayyid al-Nās was in Seville, which they were forced to leave because of the unsettled political situation leading to the city’s conquest by the Christians in 646/1248. The grandfather, Abū Bakr Muḥammad b. Aḥmad, who was born in 597/1200-1, settled in Tūnis, where he died in Rad̲j̲ab 659/June 1261 (cf. al-D̲h̲ahabi, ʿIbar , v, 255). His son, Muḥammad, was born in D̲j̲umādā II 645/October 1247. He studie…


(919 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
(a.), mistake in writing, synonymous, in spite of sporadic artificial attempts to make a distinction, with taḥrīf (without, however, the specialised use of the latter, [ q.v.]). While its meaning is unambiguous, the derivation of the word is less so. Its connection with ṣ-ḥ-f in the (originally South Semitic) meaning of “to write” [see muṣḥaf ] can be considered certain; the negative connotation may reflect a negative attitude toward all writing as against orality, rather than a privative use of the second form of the verb. It is not excluded that taḥrīf may have influenced the format…

Ibn al-Sāʿī

(544 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
, ʿAlī b. And̲j̲ab , Abū Ṭālib Tād̲j̲ al-Dīn , ʿIrāḳi historian (14 S̲h̲aʿbān 593/2 July 1197-20 Ramaḍān 674/8 March 1276). Born in Bag̲h̲dād, he appears to have spent all of his life there. He was a librarian, in succession, it seems, of both the Niẓāmiyya and the Mustanṣiriyya libraries. Being inclined to Ṣūfism, he was inducted into it by (ʿUmar b. Muḥammad) al-Suhrawardī in 608/1211-12. He had a son, ʿUbayd Allāh, who was born on 7 S̲h̲aʿbān 632/27 April 1235. These are about al…


(6,429 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F. | Lewis, B.
, “freedom,” an abstract formation derived from ḥurr “free” corresponding to Hebrew ḥōr , Aram. ḥēr ( ḥerūt̲ā ), widely used also in Muslim languages other than Arabic. Already in pre-Islamic times, “free” was known not only as a legal term denoting the opposite of “unfree, slave” ( ʿabd [ q.v.]) but also as an Ethical term denoting those “noble” of character and behavior. The legal concept of “freedom” continued to be used as a matter of course by Muslim jurists, who were inclined to give preference to the presumption of a free status for individuals in doubtful cases [see ʿabd …

al-S̲h̲ayk̲h̲ al-Yūnānī

(365 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
, the disguise of one of the participants in the transmission of authoritative Neoplatonic thought to Islam based upon a translation of large portions of books IV-VT of the Enneads of Plotinus. Fragments with this designation have been recovered without, however, allowing a reconstruction of the form and extent of his work. It is also debatable whether al-S̲h̲ayk̲h̲ al-Yūnānī was substituting for the name of a given philosopher and even might have belonged to the entire lost Arabic Plotinus source. The wide range of meaning of s̲h̲ayk̲h̲ [ q.v.] permits a choice between “Greek Teac…
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