Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān


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(4,189 words)

Author(s): Schmidtke, Sabine
Concise and authoritative formulae that provide a summation of the essentials of faith (q.v.). Professions of faith or creeds (ʿaqāʾid, sing. ʿaqīda) were formulated by individual scholars and by groups of scholars, yet there exists no standard or universally accepted Muslim creed. Rather, there are a variety of Islamic creeds, which ¶ vary substantially in length, contents and arrangement. Although the Qurʾān does not proclaim any formal creed or compendium of faith, it does contain elements that form the basis for most creeds. First among these is the nature of God (see god …

Sīra and the Qurʾān

(13,555 words)

Author(s): Raven, Wim
Sīra is a branch of Arabic literature that is devoted to the earliest salvation history of Islam and focuses on God's actions towards his prophet Muḥammad and through him, i.e. the revelation of the Qurʾān and the foundation of an Islamic community. The term sīra can also connote a work belonging to that literature. Sīra is the noun of kind (fiʿla) of the Arabic verb sāra, “to go,” “to travel,” etc., indicating the manner of doing what is expressed by the verb (see arabic language; grammar and the qurʾān). Hence it originally means “way of going,” but the most frequent meaning is “…


(727 words)

Author(s): Tottoli, Roberto
A messenger (q.v.) and prophet who is mentioned three times in the Qurʾān. In the first instance the name of Elijah (Ilyās) is cited along with those of Zechariah (q.v.), John (see john the baptist ) and Jesus (q.v.) with the statement that “all were of the righteous” ( q 6:85). The name of Elijah is next mentioned at the beginning of a passage ( q 37:123-32) that recounts his vicissitudes in the manner of ¶ other qurʾānic punishment stories (q.v.) involving the prophets and their peoples (see prophets and prophethood ). There Elijah is identified as one of the messengers, the one who c…


(838 words)

Author(s): Firestone, Reuven
Pre-Islamic prophet, named in the Bible as the son of Abraham (q.v.) and Hagar and the eponymous father of the Ishmaelites (a confederacy of Arab tribes; see tribes and clans ). Ishmael (Ismāʿīl) is mentioned twelve times in as many verses of the Qurʾān. In most of these, he is listed among other prophets as part of a litany of remembrances in which the pre-Islamic prophets are praised for their resolute steadfastness (see trust and patience ) and obedience (q.v.) to God, often in the face of adversity (see trial ). The subtext of these litanies is Muḥammad's position as authentic prophet (nabī)…


(1,533 words)

Author(s): Renard, John
Islamic tradition identifies as al-Khaḍir (or Khiḍr), an otherwise unnamed “servant (q.v.) of God” who appears in Sūrat al-Kahf (“The Cave”; q 18:60-82), in connection with Moses' (q.v.) quest for the “confluence of the two seas” (see barrier; nature as signs). Interpretations run a wide gamut. Al-Zamakhsharī (d. 538/1144; Kashshāf, ii, 703) asserts that Khiḍr lived from the time of Dhū l-Qarnayn (see alexander ) to that of Moses; Sayyid Quṭb (d. 1966; Ẓilāl, iv, 2276-82) sets that tradition aside, calling him only “the ¶ righteous servant.” Moses and an unnamed companion (traditi…

M (Muʿādh b. Jabl - Mālikī(s))

(941 words)

Muʿādh b. Jabl  Apostasy  Occasions of Revelation Muʿāwiya  Foretelling in the Qurʾān Muʿāwiya b. Abī Sufyān (first Umayyad caliph; r. 41/661-60/680)  Aqṣā Mosque  Arabic Script  Archaeology and the Qurʾān  Dissension  Foretelling in the Qurʾān  Iram  Iraq  Khārijīs  Last Judgment  Left Hand and Right Hand  Mosque  Orthography  Politics and the Qurʾān  Ritual and the Qurʾān  Syria  Ḥadīth and the Qurʾān  Ḥafṣa  Ṣiffīn, Battle of Muʿāwiya b. Rabīʿa (pre-Islamic king)  Archaeology and the Qurʾān Muʿāwiya b. Yazīd (r. 64/683-84)  Epigraphy al-Muʾayyad Dāwūd (Rasūlid ruler)  Agri…
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