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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…

Mawsim

(447 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J. | Bosworth, C.E.
(a., from the root w-s-m “to mark, imprint”), market, festival. In this sense the term is used in ḥadīt̲h̲ , especially in connection with the markets of early Arabia, such as those which were held in ʿUkāẓ, Mad̲j̲anna, D̲h̲u ’l-Mad̲j̲āz, ʿArafa, etc. (al-Buk̲h̲ārī, Ḥad̲j̲d̲j̲ , bāb 150; Tafsīr , sūra II, bāb 34). At these markets, the worst elements of Arabia gathered ( al-mawsim yad̲j̲maʿ raʿāʿ al-nās , al-Buk̲h̲ārī, Ḥudūd , bāb 31). Advantage was also taken of these assemblies to make public proclamations and inquiries, e.g. in order to regulate the affairs of d…

Waḥy

(2,912 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J. | Rippin, A.
(a.), a term of the Ḳurʾān, primarily denoting revelation in the form of communication without speech. Cognates in other Semitic languages include Palmyrene Aramaic twḥytʾ ( tawḥītā ) “decree [of the government]” and Mehri hewḥū “to come to someone’s help”. In the Ḳurʾān, waḥy is presented as an exceptional modality of God’s speaking to His creatures. This waḥy forms a concept of inspiration and communication without linguistic formulation, conveying the will of God, as in VII, 117: “And We suggested/put the idea into the head ( awḥaynā ) to Moses: ‘Cast thy …

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 ,…

Rāhib

(275 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
(a., pl. ruhbān , rahābīn , rahābina ), a monk. The figure of the monk is known to pre-Islamic poetry and to the Ḳurʾān and Tradition. The pre-Islamic poets refer to the monk in his cell, the light of which the traveller by night sees in the distance and which gives him the idea of shelter. In the Ḳurʾān, the monk and the ḳissīs , sometimes also the aḥbār , are the religious leaders of the Christians. In one place it is said that rabbis and monks live at the expense of other men (sūra IX, 34) and that the Christians have taken as their masters instead of God their aḥbār and their monks as well as al-Mas…

ʿĀs̲h̲ūrāʾ

(1,188 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J. | Marçais, Ph.
, name of a voluntary fast-day which is observed on the 10th Muharram. I. When Muḥammad came to Madīna he adopted from the Jews amongst other days the ʿĀs̲h̲ūrāʾ. The name is obviously the Hebrew ʿāsōr with the Aramaic determinative ending; in Lev. xvi, 29 it is used of the great Day of Atonement. Muḥammad retained the Jewish custom in the rite, that is, the fast was observed on this day from sunset to sunset, and not as in other fasts only during the day. When in the year 2 Muḥammad’s relations with the Jew…

Mutawātir

(717 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J. | Heinrichs, W.P.
(a.), active participle of Form VI of w-t-r, “that which comes successively”. It is used as a technical term in two senses: (a) In the methodologies of ḥadīt̲h̲ [ q.v., and for the term see Vol. III, 25b] and of law, the term is the counterpart of k̲h̲abar al-wāḥid [ q.v.] and denotes a Prophetic tradition (or, in general, any report) with multiple chains of transmission [see isnād ]. Concerning the requisite number of concurrent chains that would make a report mutawātir , there is no unanimity; it is supposed to be a sufficient number to preclude the po…

Anas b. Mālik

(410 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J. | Robson, J.
abū ḥamza , one of the most prolific traditionists. After the hid̲j̲ra his mother gave him to the prophet as servant; according to his own statement he was then ten years of age. He was present at Badr, but took no part in the battle, and is therefore not counted among the combatants. He remained in Muḥammad’s service up to the time of the Prophet’s death; later he took part in the wars of conquest. He also played small parts in the civil wars. In the year 65/684 he officiated as imām of the ṣalāt at Baṣra oh behalf of the rival caliph ʿAbd Allāh b. al-Zubayr. When …

ʿAmr b. al-ʿĀṣ

(962 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
(al-ʿĀṣī) al-sahmī , a contemporary of Muḥammad of Ḳurays̲h̲ite birth. The part which he played in Islāmic history begins with his conversion in the year 8/629-630. At that time he must already have been of middle age, for at his death which took place circa 42/663 he was over ninety years old. He passed for one of the most wily politicians of his time, and we must endorse this verdict. The more clear-sighted inhabitants of Mekka already foresaw shortly after the unsuccessful…

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…

Ḳibla

(5,614 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J. | D. A. King
, the direction of Mecca (or, to be exact, of the Kaʿba or the point between the mīzāb or water-spout and the western corner of it), towards which the worshipper must direct himself for prayer, j i.—Ritual and Legal Aspects From very early times the direction at prayer and divine service for the worshippers was not a matter of choice among the Semitic peoples. There is already an allusion to this in I Kings, viii, 44 and it is recorded of Daniel (Dan., vi, 11) that he offered prayer three times a day in the direction of Jerusalem (which has remained the Jewish ḳibla to this …

ʿArafa

(596 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J. | Gibb, H.A.R.
, or ʿarafāt , plain about 21 km. (13 miles) east of Mecca, on the road to Ṭāʾif, bounded on the north by a mountain-ridge of the same name. The plain is the site of the central ceremonies of the annual Pilgrimage to Mecca; these are focussed on a conical granite hill in its N.E. corner, under 200 feet in height, and detached from the main ridge; this hill also is called ʿArafa, but more commonly Ḏj̲abal al-Raḥma (Hill of Mercy). On its eastern flank, broad stone steps (constr…

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

Iblīs

(1,881 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J. | Gardet, L.
, proper name of the devil, probably a contraction of διάβολος. A different etymology has been suggested by D. Künstlinger, in RO, vi, 76 ff.; ¶ the Arab philologists consider that Iblīs derives from the root bls , “because Iblīs has nothing to expect ( ublisa ) from the mercy of God”. He is also known as ʿAduww Allāh (the enemy of God) and al-ʿAduww (the Enemy). Finally he is given the common name of al-s̲h̲ayṭān [ q.v.]. In the Ḳurʾān he appears at two points in the story of the beginning of the world. (1) When God had created Adam [ q.v.] from clay and had breathed into him the spirit of life…

Muṣallā

(1,957 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J. | Hillenbrand, R.
(a.), the noun of place from ṣallā “to perform the Muslim worship, ṣalāt [ q.v.]”, hence the place where the ṣalāt is performed on certain occasions. 1. Historical and legal aspects. ¶ When Muḥammad had fixed his abode in Medina, he performed the ordinary ṣalāts in his dār , which was also his masd̲j̲id (not in the sense of temple). The extraordinary ṣalāts, however, were performed on a place situated southwest of the city in the territory of the Banū Salima, outside the wall, northeast of the bridge on the wādī , where at present the street from the suburb of al…
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