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(332 words)

Author(s): Becker, C.H.
, town in Middle Egypt. Aṭfīḥ (also written with t instead of ) is a small town of 4,300 inhabitants on the east bank of the Nile at the latitude of Fayyūm. The name of the town in old Egyptian was Tep-yeh or Per Hathor nebt Tepyeh, i.e., "house of Hathor, lady of Tepyeh". The Copts changed this name to Petpeh, the Arabs to Aṭfīḥ. The Greeks, identifying Hathor with Aphrodite, called the town Aphroditopolis, abbreviated to Aphrodito. The town must still have possessed importance in th…


(490 words)

Author(s): Becker, C.H. | Beckingham, C.F.
b. saʿīd b. sulṭān , sultan of Zanzibar, succeeded his brother Mad̲j̲īd, 7 Oct. 1870, and reigned till his death, 27 March 1888. He tried to seize power on his father’s death in 1856, and again in 1859 when he was defeated by British intervention and sent to Bombay for two years. The British supported his accession but he at once resisted their efforts to suppress the Slave Trade, for he relied partly on the Ibāḍī Mlawa faction which was hostile to all European intervention in …

ʿAbd Allāh b. ʿAbd al-Malik

(346 words)

Author(s): Becker, C.H.
b. Marwān , son of the caliph ʿAbd al-Malik b. Marwān [ q.v.], was born about the year 60/680-1, perhaps somewhat earlier, as he is said to have been 27 years old in the year 85/704. He grew up in Damascus and accompanied his father in several campaigns. We first meet him as an independent general in the year 81/700-1, in one of the usual razzias against the Eastern Romans. Then in the year 82/701-2, he was sent with Muḥammad b. Marwān to help ¶ al-Ḥad̲j̲d̲j̲ād̲j̲ against al-As̲h̲ʿat̲h̲ and played a part in the negotiations of Dayr al-Ḏj̲amād̲j̲im. Thereup…


(817 words)

Author(s): Becker, C.H. | Colin, G.S.
(ar.) “broker”, “agent”. Dallāl , literally “guide”; is the popular Arabic word for simsār , sensal . In the Tād̲j̲ al-ʿArūs we find, on the word simsār: “This is the man known as a dallāl ; he shows the purchaser where to find the goods he requires, and the seller how to exact his price”. Very little is known from the Arabic sources about the origins of these brokers, who have been of such great importance in economic affairs. The dallāl corresponded to the Byzantine μεδίτης. In the absence of any systematic earlier studies, only certain items of information collected at r…

Abu ’l-Hawl

(428 words)

Author(s): Becker, C.H.
( Hōl ), "father of terror", the Arabic name for the sphinx of Ḏj̲īza (Gizeh). Some authors simply call it al-ṣanam , "the idol", but the name Abu ’l-Hawl is already attested for the Fāṭimid ¶ period. At that time the Coptic name Belhīt ( Belhīb ), or as al-Kuḍāʿī (quoted by al-Maḳrīzī) has it: Belhūba ( Belhawba ), was also still known. The Arabic Abu ’l-Hawl is most probably a popular etymology based on the Coptic designation; the initial B probably represents the Coptic article, which has been transformed in Arabic, as often happened, into Abū. In the old tradition the n…

ʿAyn S̲h̲ams

(374 words)

Author(s): Becker, C.H.
is a town in Egypt. ʿAyn S̲h̲ams is the Arabic name of the ancient Egyptian town of Ōn, which the Greeks called Heliopolis because of its famous sun-temple. A recollection of this cult is contained in the Arabic name (“the spring, or the eye, of the sun”), which must be a popular arabicised form of an old name. In the first centuries of Islam ʿAyn S̲h̲ams was still, according to some authorities, an important town, and the capital of a district ( kūra ), but according to others, a collection of ruins used as a public quarry. The Fāṭimid al-ʿAzīz built cas…

ʿAbbās b. Abi ’l-Futūh

(692 words)

Author(s): Becker, C.H. | Stern, S.M.
Yaḥyā b. Tamīm b. Muʿizz b. Bādīs al-Ṣinhād̲j̲ī , al-Afḍal Rukn al-Dīn Abu ’l-Faḍl , Fāṭimid vizier, a descendant of the Zīrids [ q.v.] of North Africa. He seems to have been born shortly before 509/1115, for in that year he was still a nursling. His father was then in prison and was banished in 509 to Alexandria, whither his wife Bullāra and the little ʿAbbās accompanied him. After Abu ’l-Futuḥ’s death his widow married Ibn Sallār [see al-ʿĀdil ibn Sallār ], commandant of Alexandria and al-Buḥayra, one of the most powerful generals of the Fāṭimid empir…


(756 words)

Author(s): Becker, C.H.
, town in Upper Egypt. Asyūṭ, the largest and busiest town of Upper Egypt, is situated Lat. 27º 11′ N. on the wast bank of the Nile. Owing to its situation in one of the most fertile and sheltered districts of the cultivable Nile valley, and also to its being the natural terminus of great desert highways it was in antiquity an important town (Syowt, Greek: Lykopolis) and the chief town of a Nomos. Under Islām Asyūṭ remained the chief town of a kūra (modern markaz , "district"), and on the inauguration of the division into provinces became the capital of a province ( ʿamal , now mudīriyya ). Asyūṭ is th…


(789 words)

Author(s): Becker, C. H.
, Aḥmad b. Yaḥyā b. Ḏj̲ābir al-Balād̲h̲urī was one of the greatest Arab historians of the third century. Little is known of his life. He was an intimate friend of the caliphs Mutawwakkil and Mustaʿīn and educated ʿAbd Allāh the brilliant son of the caliph al-Muʿtazz. Aḥmad b. Yaḥyā is said to have died mentally deranged in 279 (892), after drinking the juice of the anacardia, ( balād̲h̲ur) not knowing its effect, and from the manner of his death has received the name Balād̲h̲urī. This is probably only an etiological legend and besides, it is not certain that th…


(255 words)

Author(s): Becker, C. H.
, a town in Lower Egypt, northeast of Cairo on the edge of the desert. The name Bilbīs appears in many forms e. g. Balbīs, Bulbīs, Bilbais and is derived from the Coptic Phelbes. As a halting-place on the road from Syria to Cairo, Bilbīs played a certain part during the period of the conquest. Tradition connects a daughter of Muḳauḳīs with it. In the year 109 (727) the first regular settlements of Arab tribes took place in the neighbourhood of Bilbīs. It is again mentioned in 386 (996) as the place where the F…

ʿAbd Allāh

(669 words)

Author(s): Becker, C. H.
b. Muḥammed, successor of the Mahdī in the Sudan. ʿAbd Allāh b. Muḥammed al-Taʿāʾis̲h̲ī, the notorious Ḵh̲alīfa and successor of the Sudanese Mahdī Muḥammed Aḥmed [q. v.], was born, it seems, in the middle of the forties of the 19th century. He was a native of the South-West Dārfūr and belonged to the tribe of the Arab-Sudanese Baggāra (Baḳḳāra), more particularly to the Ḏj̲ubarāt and here again to the group of the Awlād Umm Surra. His father Muḥammed al-Faḳīh left his home in the seventies with his whole family with the intention to…

Abu’ l-Hawl

(415 words)

Author(s): Becker, C. H.
(Hōl), i. e. „Father of Terror“, the Arabic designation for the sphinx of Ḏj̲īza (Gizeh). Certain authors call it simply al- Ṣanam "the idol", but its proper name was already notorious in the Fāṭmide epoch. At that time it was also known under the Coptic name Belhīt ( Belhīb), or, according to Ḳuḍāʿi in Maḳrīzī, Belhūba ( Belhawba). Abu’l-Hawl is probably an Arabic popular etymology deriving from the Coptic name; the initial B contains probably the Coptic article, which in Arabic is often transformed into Abū. Ancient tradition understands under Abu’l-Hawl only the …


(637 words)

Author(s): Becker, C. H.
li-Dīn Allāh, the last Fāṭimide caliph. His real name was Abū Muḥammed ʿAbd Allāh, and he was the son of Sulaimān, whom ʿAbbās b. Abi’l-Futūḥ [q. v.] killed, and the grandson of the caliph Ḥāfiẓ. He was a cousin of his predecessor al-Fāʾiz, who died on the 17th Rad̲j̲ab 555 (23d July 1160) at the age of 11½ years, after having „reigned“ 6½ years. Al-ʿĀḍid was born on the 20th Muḥarram 546 (9th May 1151), thus at the time of his accession to the throne he was 9 years old. From the beginning till his death at the age of 20 (10th Muḥarram 567 = 13th September 1171) he was an unconscious instrument in …


(529 words)

Author(s): Becker, C.H.
, a variegated silk cloth (satin). Dībād̲j̲ is an Arabicised form of the Persian dībā or dībāh, which means a coloured cloth in which warp and woof are both, made of silk ( abrīs̲h̲am, Arabic ibrīsam). dībād̲j̲ probably first entered Arabic through the Aramaic; in any case the word was known by Muḥammad’s time, for it appears in a poem by Ḥassān b. T̲h̲ābit ( kitāb al-Ag̲h̲ānī, iv. 17, 1 according to Fraenkel, aram. Fremdwörter, p. 41). The derivation from dīwbaf = nisād̲j̲at al-d̲j̲inn = “cloth of the spirits” ( tād̲j̲ al-ʿarūs) is of course a popular etymology. In spite of the interdiction…


(310 words)

Author(s): Becker, C. H.
b. ʿAmr al-G̲h̲anawī, general and governor of note of the ʿAbbāside caliphs towards the end of the third century of the Hegira (about 900), known principally for the defeat suffered by him at the hands of the Karmathians, for his captivity and for his release. He was born in the country of Raḳḳa. Being the governor of Yamāma and Baḥrain, he was sent by the caliph al-Muʿtaḍid, against the celebrated Karmathian general, Abū Saʿīd al-Ḏj̲annābī, by whom, after a sanguinary battle, he was taken prisone…


(1,549 words)

Author(s): Becker, C. H.
(a.) “tribute, poll-tax”, the name given in Muḥammadan Law to the indulgencetaxes levied on the ahl al-d̲h̲imma. 1. The Theory of the d̲j̲izya in the Fiḳh. In the Fiḳh-books, the d̲j̲izya is discussed in connection with the holy war ( d̲j̲ihād, q. v., p. 1041 et seq.). While pagans only have the choice between Islām or death, the possessors of a scripture ( ahl al-kitāb) may obtain security and protection for themselves, their families and goods by paying the d̲j̲izya. This dogma is founded on Ḳorʾān ix. 29, where it is laid down: “Fight them, that believe not in God and t…


(852 words)

Author(s): Becker, C. H.
b. Abi ’l-Futūḥ, his full name, al-Afdal Rukn al-Dīn Abu ’l-Fadl ʿAbbās b. Abi ’l-Futuḥ b. Tamīm b. Muʿizz b. Bādīs al-Ṣinhād̲j̲ī, a descendant of the well known princely house of the Banū Bādīs [q. v.] of Northern Africa. He seems to have been born shortly before 509 (1115), for in that year be was still a nursling. His father, Abu ’l-Futūḥ, was then in prison, and was banished in 509 to Alexandria, whither his wife Bullāra and the little ʿAbbās accompanied him. After Abu ’l-Futūḥ’s death his widow married ʿAlī b. …


(599 words)

Author(s): Becker, C. H.
, a group of oases in the Lybian desert. The Baḥrīya is the most northerly of the Lybian desert. The Wāḥāt Baḥrīya (also singular) i. e. the northern oases are distinguished from the Wāḥāt Ḳiblīya, the southern oases i. e. the Dāk̲h̲la [q. v.] and Ḵh̲ārga [q. v.]. Between these two groups lie the little oases of Farafra (included in the Dāk̲h̲la by some), called al-Farāfira by al-Bakrī and al-Farfarūn by al-Yaʿḳūbī. The three large oases are also distinguished as inner, middle and outer, the inn…

Banī Suēf

(281 words)

Author(s): Becker, C. H.
(written Banī Suaif) a town in Egypt, on the west bank of the Nile opposite the Faiyūm; it has only attained importance in recent ¶ times. According to Sak̲h̲āwī (902 = 1497) the old name of the town was Binimsuwaih, from which the form Banī Suaif arose through a popular etymology. This name may be compared with in Ibn Ḏj̲īʿān, al-Tuḥfa al-sanīya, 172 and the false reading given by Ibn Duḳmāḳ, Kitāb al-intiṣār, v. 10, whereby a considerable age would be proved for the town. In still more ancient times Ahnās (Heracleopolis Magna) was the capital of this district, whi…


(490 words)

Author(s): Becker, C. H.
(Bābalyūn), a town in Egypt. The name Babylon of the mediaeval Egyptian town in the neighbourhood of the modern Caïro is according to Casanova the Graëcised form of an ancient Egyptian Pi-Hapi-n-On through assimilation to the Asiatic βαβυλών which was familiar to the Greeks. This etymology is not quite free from objections but there is no doubt that some ancient Egyptian place-name underlies it. By the name is meant the ancient town and fortification of the Greeks which — situated on the borders…
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