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Ṣābir b. Ismāʿīl al-Tirmid̲h̲ī, S̲h̲ihāb al-Dīn, usually known as Adīb Ṣābir

(392 words)

Author(s): Blois, F.C. de
a Persian poet of the first half of the 6th/12th century. His dīwān , which has been published twice (ed. ʿAlī Ḳawīm, Tehran 1331 S̲h̲ ./1952-3, and ed. M.ʿA. Nāṣiḥ, Tehran 1343 S̲h̲./1964), consists almost entirely of panegyrics praising the Sald̲j̲ūḳ sultan Sand̲j̲ar (511-52/1118-57), the Ḵh̲wārazms̲h̲āh Atsi̊z (521-68/1127-72) and various persons at their respective courts, in particular Sand̲j̲ar’s raʾīs-i Ḵh̲urāsān , Mad̲j̲d al-Dīn ʿAlī b. Ḏj̲aʿfar al-Musawī, the poet’s principal patron. The rivalry between his two royal master…


(439 words)

Author(s): Blois, F.C. de
, the pen-name of several Persian poets of various periods, among them the author of the Saʿādat-nāma , a collection of moral precepts in some 300 verses, wrongly ascribed, in mss. and in the printed editions, to the famous 5th/11th-century Ismāʿīlī poet Nāṣir-i K̲h̲usraw [ q.v.]. This poem was first published by E. Fagnan, together with a (rather inadequate) French translation, from a Paris manuscript in ZDMG, xxxiv (1880), 643-74, reprinted (from Fagnan, with some emendations) in the appendix to the edition of Nāṣir’s Safar-nāma published in Berlin, Kavi…


(596 words)

Author(s): Blois, F.C. de
(or perhaps better, S̲h̲uhayd) b. al-Ḥusayn al-Balk̲h̲ī al-Warrāḳ al-Mutakallim, Abu ’l-Ḥasan, a philosopher and a poet in Persian and Arabic, died (according to Yāḳūt, followed by al-Ṣafadī) in 315/927. He was a contemporary and close friend of the polymath Abū Zayd al-Balk̲h̲ī and of the Muʿtazilī theologian Abu ’l-Ḳāsim al-Balk̲h̲ī (see al-balk̲h̲ī ; the three Balk̲h̲īs were the subject of a joint biography, used by Yāḳūt) and a bitter rival of the famous philosopher Abū Bakr al-Rāzī [ q.v.]; the latter wrote a polemic against S̲h̲ahīd on the subject of pleasure ( al-lad̲h̲d̲h̲a


(14,403 words)

Author(s): Blois, F.C. De | King, D.A. | Samsó, J.
, in Islamic science an astronomical handbook with tables, after the models of the Sāsānid Persian Zīk -i S̲h̲ahriyār , the Indian Sindhind [ q.v.], and Ptolemy’s Almagest and Handy Tables [see baṭlamiyūs ]. A typical zīd̲j̲ might contain a hundred folios of text and tables, though some are substantially larger than this. Most of the relevant astronomical and astrological concepts are clearly explained in the Tafhīm of al-Bīrūnī [ q.v.]. The history of Islamic zīd̲j̲s constitutes a major part of the history of Islamic astronomy [see ʿilm al-hayʾa ]. i. Etymology Arabic zīd̲j̲ (pl. zīd̲j̲ā…

S̲h̲āh “king”, and S̲h̲āhans̲h̲āh

(1,050 words)

Author(s): Blois, F.C. de
“king of kings”, two royal titles in Persian. They can be traced back to the Achaemenid kings of ancient Persia, who, from Darius I (521-486 B.C.) onwards, refer to themselves in their inscriptions both as xšāyaθiya “king” (from the root xšay- “to rule”, cognate to Sanskrit kṣáyati “possess” and Greek κτάομαι “acquire”) and as xšāyaθiya xšāyaθiyānām “king of kings”. Even earlier the title “king of kings” had been used by the rulers of Assyria and of Urartu (in the Caucasus) and it is not unlikely that the Persians adopted it from the latter (see O.G. von Wesendonk, The title “King of Kings” , in O…

Sīn and S̲h̲īn

(1,206 words)

Author(s): Blois, F.C. de
, the 12th and 13th letters of the Arabic alphabet. Both letters have the same form ( rasm ), which derives from that of the Aramaic letter s̲h̲īn , and are distinguished only by diacritics, s̲h̲īn having three dots above, while sīn is in principle unpointed ( muhmal ), though in carefully written manuscripts it can be distinguished by a V-shaped sign above the letter, or else by three dots below. In the Eastern form of the abd̲j̲ad [ q.v.], sīn occupies the position of Aramaic semkat̲h̲ and, like this, has the numerical value 60, while s̲h̲īn has the position of Aramaic s̲h̲īn ( = 300), but in th…


(792 words)

Author(s): Blois, F.C. de
, the 27th letter of the Arabic alphabet (or the 26th, if hāʾ is placed after wāw ), with the numerical value 6. It has two principal functions in Arabic orthography, standing either for the semivowel w or for the long vowel ū . Traditional Arabic grammar reduces these two functions to one by analysing ū as short u ( ḍamma ) plus wāw. Wāw also serves (like alif and yāʾ ) as a “support” for medial or final hamza [ q.v.], reflecting, according to the most commonly held view, the situation in the ancient dialect of Mecca, where ʾ appears to have shifted to w in certain positions. In the words ulāʾika and ulū , w…


(1,257 words)

Author(s): Blois, F.C. de
(properly Rōd̲h̲akī, arabicised as al-Rūd̲h̲akī) the leading Persian poet during the first half of the 4th/10th century and author of the earliest substantial surviving fragments of Persian verse. Al-Samʿānī gives his name as Abū ʿAbd Allāh D̲j̲aʿfar b. Muḥammad b. Ḥakīm b. ʿAbd al-Raḥmān b. Ādam al-Rūd̲h̲akī al-S̲h̲āʿir al-Samarḳandī, says that he was born in Rōd̲h̲ak, a suburb of Samarḳand, and that he also died there in 329/940-1; there are, however, reasons to think that this date might be a…

Tāʾ and Ṭāʾ

(490 words)

Author(s): Blois, F.C. de
, the third and sixteenth letters of the Arabic alphabet, with the numerical values in the abd̲j̲ad system of 400 and 9 respectively. In the modern standard pronunciation, the former represents a voiceless, slightly aspirated, dental (or dento-alveolar) stop; the latter a voiceless, unaspirated, dental (dento-alveolar) stop with simultaneous velarisation, i.e. with the back of the tongue lifted towards the soft palate. Sībawayh and his successors classify ṭāʾ as mad̲j̲hūr , which most modern scholars have understood to mean "voiced" [see ḥurūf al-hid̲j̲āʾ and the references c…

Ras̲h̲īd al-Dīn Muḥammad b. Muḥammad b. ʿAbd D̲j̲alīl al-ʿUmarī, known as Waṭwāṭ

(901 words)

Author(s): Blois, F.C. de
, secretary and prolific author in Arabic and Persian. A reputed descendant of the caliph ʿUmar, he was born either in Balk̲h̲ or Buk̲h̲ārā, but spent most of his life in Gurgānd̲j̲, the capital of K̲h̲ w ārazm. He died, according to Dawlats̲h̲āh, in 578/1182-3, in his 97th year, which would put his birth in 481/1088-9; Yāḳūt (at least in the published text) has him die 5 years earlier. Ras̲h̲īd al-Dīn was chief secretary ( ṣāḥib dīwān al-ins̲h̲āʾ ) under the K̲h̲wārazms̲h̲āh Atsi̊z (521-51/1127-56) and his successor Īl-Arslān (d. 568/1172). His loyalty to Atsi̊z earned him …


(414 words)

Author(s): Blois, F.C. de
or S̲h̲awarwa , banū , conventional readings for the name of a family of Ḥanafī clerics and men of letters in Iṣfahān during the 6th/12th century. The name has not been explained and should perhaps be read rather as (Persian) S̲h̲aβ-rō “black-face”. Although several members of the family are listed in biographical works, the only one about whom we have precise knowledge is S̲h̲araf al-Dīn ʿAbd al-Muʾmin b. Hibat Allāh b. Muḥammad b. Hibat Allāh b. Ḥamza al-maʿrūf bi -S̲h̲awarwa. a religious scholar who spent time in Damascus and…

Sayfī ʿArūḍī Buk̲h̲ārī

(207 words)

Author(s): Blois, F.C. de
, a Persian prosodist and minor poet at the Tīmūrid court in Harāt during the second half of the 9th/15th century. He is remembered for his text-book of Persian prosody ʿArūḍ-i Sayfī , which he completed in 896/1491; this has been published several times in India, notably with an English translation and extensive commentary in H. Blochmann’s The prosody of the Persians according to Saifi , Jami , and other writers, Calcutta 1872, a work which played an important role in making Persian poetical theory accessible to European students. But now that older and more det…


(177 words)

Author(s): Blois, F.C. de
(p.) “town”. The word goes back to Old Persian xšaça- (cf. Avestan xšaθra- , Sanskrit kṣatrá- ; all from the same root as New Persian s̲h̲āh [ q.v.]), “kingship, royal power”, thence “kingdom”. The latter meaning is still the usual one for Middle Persian s̲h̲ahr and it survives in the S̲h̲āh-nāma , especially in set phrases such as s̲h̲ahr-i Ērān (used metri causa instead of Ērān-s̲h̲ahr “kingdom of the Aryans”, the official name of the Sāsānid empire), s̲h̲ahr-i Tūrān , s̲h̲ahr-i Yaman , etc. But already in the earliest New Persian texts, the usual mean…
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