Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān


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Syriac and the Qurʾān

(8,961 words)

Author(s): El-Badawi, Emran
Syriac was an Aramaic dialect spoken by Christians in and around Arabia during the time of the Qurʾān’s appearance. It originated in northern Mesopotamia and Syria but became the lingua franca of the late antique Near East (ca. second-seventh centuries C.E.), and the “golden age” of Syriac literature flourished from the fourth to the seventh centuries (Brock, A brief outline, 9-21). Syriac was the official language of the West Syrian (Jacobite) and East Syrian (Nestorian) churches, while the closely related dialect of Christian Palestinian Aramaic was used by the Chalcedonian (Melkite) church. It served as the litur…
Date: 2018-08-14

Age of Ignorance [Supplement 2016]

(2,049 words)

Author(s): William E. Shepard
This phrase is a common translation of the Arabic word jāhiliyya, which is used by Muslims to refer to the historical period in west-central Arabia covering the centuries immediately prior to the mission of Muḥammad, a period characterised by ignorance of the divine truth. To the original audience of the Qurʾān, however, it almost certainly referred primarily to the moral condition of the individuals who, and the society that, opposed the mission of the Prophet (see opposition to Muḥammad), and only secondarily, if at all, to a defined historical epoch. It is also possibl…
Date: 2016-11-17

Reciters of the Qurʾān [Supplement 2016]

(4,301 words)

Author(s): Christopher Melchert | Asma Afsaruddin
The reciters of the Qurʾān are those entrusted with the oral recitation of Qurʾānic passages, or of the entire text. The term “reciter” (Ar. sing. qāriʾ and muqriʾ) in its basic, most general meaning refers to one who reads or recites. With reference to the reciters of the Qurʾān, the plural qurrāʾ is used much more commonly than is muqriʾūn. In a broad sense, the term qurrāʾ is used in various sources to refer to both professi…
Date: 2016-11-17

Sīra and the Qurʾān [Supplement 2016]

(13,079 words)

Author(s): Wim Raven
Sīra is a branch of Arabic literature that is devoted to the earliest salvation history of Islam and focuses on God’s actions towards and through his prophet Muḥammad, i.e. the revelation of the Qurʾān and the foundation of an Islamic community. The term sīra can also denote 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 in which the action expressed by the verb is carried out (see Arabic language; grammar and the Qurʾān). Hence, it originally meant “way of going,” but its most frequent …
Date: 2016-11-17

M (Macdonald, D. - Marar Trading Company, Baghdad)

(616 words)

Macdonald, D.  Idolatry and Idolaters Macoraba  Geography Madelung, W.  Createdness of the Qurʾān  Emigration  Inimitability Madhabite  Yemen Madhḥij  Divination  South Arabia, Religions in Pre-Islamic Madigan, D.A.  Book  Criterion  Preserved Tablet…


(5,230 words)

Author(s): Powers, David Stephan
Rules for the division of wealth (q.v.) among the heirs of a deceased Muslim man or woman. Traditional Islamic perspective Traditional Islamic sources indicate that the intergenerational transmission of property by means of a last will and testament ( waṣiyya) was a common procedure prior to the rise of Islam and during the Meccan period (see pre-islamic arabia and the qurʾān ). The emigration (q.v.; hijra ) to Medina (q.v.) in 1/622 necessitated certain changes in the existing inheritance rules. By migrating to Medina, the Emigrants ( muhājirūn, see emigrants and helpers ) effectively…

Ethics and the Qurʾān

(15,872 words)

Author(s): Reinhart, A. Kevin
The subject matter of this article is elusive, since the word “ethics” itself is used in various ways in English. If we take the definition of a standard reference work, we learn that “ethics” is “(1) a general pattern or way of life, (2) a set of rules of conduct or moral code, and (3) inquiry about life and ¶ rules of conduct…” (

D (Dacca - Decius)

(483 words)

Dacca  Printing of the Qurʾān al-Ḍaḥḥāk (King Bīwarasb) see Bīwarasb al-Ḍaḥḥāk b. Muzāḥim (d. 105/723)  Exegesis of the Qurʾān: Classical and Medieval  Jesus  Language and Style of the Qurʾān  Paradise  Satanic Verses Dahlan, A.  Teaching and Preaching the Qurʾān Dajjāl see Antichrist Dakake, M.M.  Ṣiffīn, Battle of Dakhla Oasis  Readings of the Qurʾān Dale, G.  Translations of the Qurʾān Dallal, A.  Calendar  Day and Night  Science and the Qurʾān Damascenes  Ritual and the Qurʾān Damascus  Antichrist  Arabic Script  Art and Architecture and the Qurʾān  Cain and Abel  Captives  Cav…

Emigrants and Helpers

(2,465 words)

Author(s): al-Faruque, Muhammad
Those who emigrated from Mecca (q.v.) to Medina (q.v.) with the prophet Muḥammad (Emigrants, muhājirūn), and the residents of Medina who received and helped them (Helpers, anṣār). In a broader sense, those who forsake home and land, giving up evil deeds and renouncing personal desires for the sake of God are called emigrants by the Qurʾān ( muhājir, q 4:100; 29:26). In some classical sources the Medinans who came to Mecca and met Muḥammad at ʿ Aqaba were also characterized as emigrants because Medina was considered to be the abode of polytheism (see polytheism and atheism ) and from there …

Manual Labor

(934 words)

Author(s): Mattson, Ingrid
Literally “work with one's hands,” it often carries the implication of strenuous physical exertion. Manual labor is not a topic explicitly addressed in the Qurʾān though the term “forced laborer” ( sukhrī) is mentioned once and the Qurʾān describes some of the ancient prophets (see prophets and prophethood ) as having been able to achieve prominence by using forced and voluntary labor in great building projects (see art and architecture and the qurʾān; archaeology and the qurʾān). The Qurʾān states that it is God who “raises some to levels above others so that some of them compel others to work for them” ( q 43:32; see social interactions; social relations; community and society in the qurʾān). The point of this verse is not to justify forced labor. Rather, it is to deny…

Q (Qadarī(s) - Qurva)

(852 words)

Qadarī(s)  Ambiguous  Freedom and Predestination  Grace  Jews and Judaism  Left Hand and Right Hand  Moses  Philosophy and the Qurʾān  Witnessing and Testifying al-Qāḍī, W. see Kadi, W. al-Qāḍī, ʿA.  Printing of the Qurʾān al-Qāḍī, N.  Printing of the Qurʾān al-Qāḍī ʿAbd al-Jabbār see ʿAbd al-Jabbār b. Aḥmad al-Asadābādi al-Qāḍī al-Hamadhānī (d. 414-15/1025) Qāḍī Aḥmad  Manuscripts of the Qurʾān al-Qādir (r. 381-422/991-1031)  Creeds   Qādirī Creed [al-iʿtiqād al-qādirī]   Creeds  Ṣūfism and the Qurʾān

P (Pococke, Edward (d. 1691) - Punjabi (language))

(340 words)

Pococke, Edward (d. 1691)  Post-Enlightenment Academic Study of the Qurʾān  Pre-1800 Preoccupations of Qurʾānic Studies  Translations of the Qurʾān Poimandres  Idrīs Poonawala, I.K.  Ritual and the Qurʾān [Pope] Eugene IV  Pre-1800 Preoccupations of Qurʾānic Studies [Pope] Pius II  Pre-1800 Preoccupations of Qurʾānic Studies [Pope] Pius IX  Bahāʾīs Porter, V.  Epigraphy Pos(t)nikov, P.V.  Translations of the Qurʾān…

(-ṣād- - ṣ-w-r - ṣ-ḥ-ḥ)

(509 words)

ṣ-w-r    muṣawwir    God and his Attributes    Iconoclasm    taṣwīr    Ashes    Literary Structures of the Qurʾān    ṣawwara    Cosmology    God and his Attributes    Popular and Talismanic Uses of the Qurʾān    ṣāra    Textual Criticism of the Qurʾān    ṣūr    Apocalypse    Eschatology    Instruments    Last Judgment    R…

R (al-Rabadha - Reclam, P.)

(907 words)

al-Rabadha  Archaeology and the Qurʾān Rabbat, N.  City Rabin, Ch.  Dialects  Grammar and the Qurʾān  Language and Style of the Qurʾān  Post-Enlightenment Academic Study of the Qurʾān Rabīʿ I  Emigration Rachel  Belief and Unbelief  Benjamin Rada  Material Culture and the Qurʾān Radscheit, M.  Provocation  Responsibility  Springs and Fountains  Table  Witnessing and Testifying  Word of God Radtke, B.  Saint  Wisdom al-Rāghī al-Tūnisī (d. 715/1315)  Translations of the Qurʾān al-Rāghib al-Iṣfahānī, Abū l-Qāsim al-Ḥusayn (d. 502/1108)  Brother and Brotherhood  Conquest  Foreign Vocabulary  Glorification of God  Jesus  Names of the Qurʾān  Paradise  Tools for the Scholarly Study of the Qurʾān  Traditional Disciplines of Qurʾānic Studies  Year  Zaqqūm Ragmat  South Arabia, Religions in Pre-Islamic Rah…

J (Judaism - Jārūdites)

(422 words)

Judaism  Abraham  Abrogation  Agriculture and Vegetation  Angel  Anthropomorphism  Apocalypse  Apologetics  Art and Architecture and the Qurʾān  Baptism  Belief and Unbelief  Calf of Gold  Carrion  Children  Christians and Christianity  Chronology and the Qurʾān  Community and Society in the Qurʾān  Creation  Expeditions and Battles …


(1,477 words)

Author(s): Juynboll, G.H.A.
Arabic term for “way of acting.” The ancient Arab concept sunna (pl. sunan) occurs ¶ eighteen times in the Qurʾān. Generally — that is to say outside the strict context of the Qurʾān — it is defined as a way of acting, whether approved or disapproved, and is normally associated with the people of earlier generations, whose example has to be followed or shunned by later generations. The concept occupies a crucial place in Islam. In the development of Islamic theology, it eventually came to be associated with orthodoxy, the bastion against heterodox innovation (


(4,710 words)

Author(s): Landau-Tasseron, Ella
Struggle, or striving, but often understood both within the Muslim tradition and beyond it as warfare against infidels (see fighting; war; belief and unbelief). The term jihād derives from the root j-h-d, denoting effort, exhaustion, exertion, strain. Derivatives of this root occur in forty-one qurʾānic verses. Five of these contain the phrase

C (Caetani, L. - Childs, B.)

(568 words)

Caetani, L.  Expeditions and Battles  Sīra and the Qurʾān Cahen, C.  Contemporary Critical Practices and the Qurʾān Cain [Qābīl]  Adam and Eve  Animal Life  Brother and Brotherhood  Burial  Cain and Abel   Children of   Idrīs  Corruption  Dialogues  Hell and Hellfire  History and the Qurʾān  Literacy  Murder  Narratives  Noah  Repentance and Penance  Vengeance Cairo  Adultery and Fornication  Art and Architecture and the Qurʾān  Cave   Congress on Arab Music (1932)   Recitation of the Qurʾān  Drowning  Epigraphy  Everyday Life, Qurʾān In  Exegesis of the Qurʾān: Early Mode…

A (Abū l-Hārith al-Layth b. Khālid al-Baghdādī (d. 240/854) - Abū Ḥafṣ ʿUmar b. Jamīʿ (eighth/fourteenth-ninth/fifteenth century))

(1,064 words)

Abū l-Hārith al-Layth b. Khālid al-Baghdādī (d. 240/854)  Readings of the Qurʾān  Reciters of the Qurʾān Abū l-Hārith ʿīsā b. Wirdān al-Madanī see Ibn Wardān al-Madanī, Abū l-Ḥārith (d. 160/777) Abū l-Jārūd (d. after 140/757-8)  Exegesis of the Qurʾān: Classical and Medieval Abū l-Kalām āzād see āzād, [Mawlānā] Abū l-Kalam Abū l-Khayr (of Seville)  Agriculture and Vegetation Abū l-Khayr Ṭashkubrīzādah (d. 968/1561)  Traditional Disciplines of Qurʾānic Studies Abū l-Layth Naṣr b. Muḥammad b. Aḥmad al-Samarqandī (d. 373-5/983-5)  Apocalypse  Exegesis of the Qurʾān: Classica…

Trust and Patience

(4,528 words)

Author(s): Alexander, Scott C.
Belief in another's integrity, justice or reliability, and forbearance in the face of adversity. According to the Qurʾān, trust and patience are two distinguishing virtues (see virtues and vices, commanding and forbidding ) of the “faithful” person (i.e. muʾmin; see belief and unbelief ). There are two qurʾānic concepts typically translated by the English word “trust.” The first, tawakkul (ʿalā), is a maṣdar (abstract noun expressing action) derived from the fifth form of the Arabic root w-k-l, meaning “to give oneself over to” ( istaslama ilayhi), “to rely/depend on” ( iʿtamada ʿala…

S (Sūrat al-Anbiyāʾ)

(930 words)

Sūrat al-Anbiyāʾ  Sūrat al-Anbiyāʾ   Narratives   Ritual and the Qurʾān  1   Expeditions and Battles   Last Judgment  2   Belief and Unbelief   Remembrance  2-3   Magic  3   Grammar and the Qurʾān   Magic   Muḥammad   Whisper  3-4   Provocation  4   Ears   Pairs and Pairing  5   Agriculture and Vegetation   Divination   Dreams and Sleep   Foretelling in the Qurʾān   Language and Style of the Qurʾān   Literature and the Qurʾān   Muḥammad   Poetry and Poets   Popular and Talismanic Uses of the Qurʾān   Prophets and Prophethood   Provocation   Revelation and Inspiration   R…

Textual Criticism of the Qurʾān

(9,912 words)

Author(s): Bellamy, James A.
Introduction Anyone who writes on textual criticism should begin with definitions. So let it be ¶ said from the outset that textual criticism has nothing to do with the criticism of music, art or literature. In simplest terms, textual criticism is the correction of errors in texts. Classical scholars are, however, a bit more sophisticated. A. E. Housman (Application, 67) defines textual criticism as the “science of discovering error in texts and the art of removing it.” But he goes on to say that it is not an exact science, so perhaps we might be just…

H (Ha-Amen - Hebrew)

(1,442 words)

Ha-Amen  Hāmān al-Ḥabash, Muḥammad  Politics and the Qurʾān al-Ḥabash(a) see Abyssinia Ḥabīb (carpenter in Antioch)  Narratives  Parable Ḥabīb b. Khidma Abū Rāʾiṭa  Trinity Ḥabīb al-Raḥmān al-Aʿẓamī  Ḥadīth and the Qurʾān Ḥabrūn see Hebron Ḥacī Özbek  Mosque Hackspan, Theodor (d. 1659)  Pre-1800 Preoccupations of Qurʾānic Studies Hadad (Aramaic god)  South Arabia, Religions in Pre-Islamic Ḥadaqān  South Arabia, Religions in Pre-Islamic Ḥadath  South Arabia, Religions in Pre-Islamic Haddad, Y.Y.  Angel  Nature as Signs  Religion al-Hādī ilā l-Ḥaqq  Numismatics Ḥaḍramawt  …

Prophets and Prophethood

(11,066 words)

Author(s): Rubin, Uri
Those individuals who receive divine revelation and their collective vocation. In Arabic (as in Hebrew), the word for “prophet” is nabī, plural nabiyyūn and anbiyāʾ. These forms occur seventy-five ¶ times, apart from the term nubuwwa, “prophethood,” which occurs five times. Much more prevalent, however, is the term rasūl (pl. rusul) which denotes a “messenger” (q.v.) or “apostle” (of God). Messengers are mentioned more than 300 times. A messenger is also referred to as mursal, which, together with its plural form (mursalūn), occurs more than thirty times. The form risāla (pl. risālāt)…

Reciters of the Qurʾān

(4,440 words)

Author(s): Melchert, Christopher | Afsaruddin, Asma
Those entrusted with the oral recitation of qurʾānic passages, or the entire text. The term “reciter” (Ar. sing. qāriʾ and muqriʾ) in its basic, general signification refers to one who reads or recites. With reference to reciters of the Qurʾān, the plural qurrāʾ is much more common than muqriʾūn. In a broad sense, the term qurrāʾ is used in various sources to refer both to professional reciters, namely those who accepted payment for their recitation and were often employed by the state, and to pious, non-professional ones who did not seek to make a …

Q (-qāf- - q-d-s - q-r-d)

(477 words)

q-d-s    muqaddas    Names of the Prophet    Profane and Sacred    Sacred Precincts    qudsī    Garden    Names of the Prophet    Ḥadīth and the Qurʾān    qudus    Holy Spirit    Profane and Sacred   q-d-w    iqtidāʾ    Fear   q-d-ḥ    qidḥ, pl. aqdāḥ    Gambling    Soothsayer   q-dh-f    maqdhūf    Flogging    qadhafa    Fear    qadhf    Flogging    Gossip    Law and the Qurʾān    Witnessing and Testifying   q-dh-r    qadhir    Contamination   q-f-l    qufl, pl. aqfāl    Instruments   q-f-r    qaf[f]ūr    Camphor    qāfūr    Camphor   q-f-w    qaffā    Prophets and Prophethood    q…

S (Sūrat Maryam)

(899 words)

Sūrat Maryam  Sūrat Maryam   Chronology and the Qurʾān   Creation   Gender   Jesus   Left Hand and Right Hand   Mary   Material Culture and the Qurʾān   Mysterious Letters   Names of the Qurʾān   Narratives   Pre-1800 Preoccupations of Qurʾānic Studies   Women and the Qurʾān   Zechariah  1   Manuscripts of the Qurʾān  1-7   Popular and Talismanic Uses of the Qurʾān  1-22   Christians and Christianity  2   Rhetoric and the Qurʾān   Zechariah  2-7   Patriarchy  2-15   Mary   Zechariah  2-33   Trial  2-40   Narratives  2-58   Zechariah  2-63   Narratives  2-74   Narratives…

Age of Ignorance

(3,137 words)

Author(s): Shepard, William E.
This phrase is a common translation of the Arabic word jāhiliyya used by Muslims to refer to the historical period in west-central Arabia covering the centuries immediately prior to the mission of Muḥammad, a period characterized by ignorance of the divine truth. To the original audience of the Qurʾān, however, it almost certainly referred primarily to the moral condition of those individuals and their society which led them to oppose the mission of the Prophet (see opposition to muḥammad ) and only secondarily, if at all, to a defined historical epoch. It is also possible…

Sex and Sexuality

(3,503 words)

Author(s): Stewart, Devin J.
The act by which humans procreate, and the sum total of those attributes that cause an individual to be physically attractive to another. While the Qurʾān does criticize lust for women as an example of man's infatuation with worldly pleasures (cf. q 3:14), it does not categorically condemn sex as a cause of evil and attachment to the world. The Qurʾān does recognize sex as ¶ an important feature of the natural world and subjects it to legislation in a number of passages (see law and the qurʾān ). It accepts sex as a natural and regular part of human existence, specifically authoriz…


(1,386 words)

Author(s): Erder, Yoram
A qurʾānic prophet (see prophets and prophethood ) blessed with the virtues of piety (q.v.) and patience (see trust and patience ). There is no doubt that his uniqueness is the result of his ascent to a high station by the hand of God ( q 19:56-7; 21:85). Muslim tradition claims that he ascended to heaven while still alive and there he was awarded eternal life and a permanent home in the fourth heaven, although some traditions place him in the sixth heaven (see heaven and sky ). Indeed, the prophet Muḥammad meets him in heaven during his nocturnal journey ( isrāʾ, see ascension ). Other traditions…

Dhū l-Kifl

(1,059 words)

Author(s): Busse, Heribert
An enigmatic figure, whose name appears in the Qurʾān in two places: “And [remember] Ismāʿīl (see ishmael ) and Idrīs (q.v.) and Dhū l-Kifl, all of them were patient” ( q 21:85); “And call to mind Ismāʿīl and Alyasaʿ and Dhū l-Kifl and all of the best” ( q 38:48). In some exegetical works, it is held that Dhū l-Kifl was a prophet since he is mentioned alongside other prophets (see prophets and prophethood ). Most exegetes, however, deny his prophethood, confining themselves to repeating the qurʾānic statement that he belonged to ¶ those who were patient and the best. A person named Dhū l- Kifl is u…

Ritual Purity

(5,782 words)

Author(s): Lowry, Joseph E.
A state of heightened cleanliness, symbolic or actual, associated with persons, activities and objects in the context of ritual worship (q.v.; see also cleanliness and ablution; contamination). The Qurʾān imposes a specific, two-tiered requirement of ritual cleansing before prayer (q.v.) and this is its most direct and detailed — and perhaps its only — regulation of ritual purity in the narrow sense. More general notions of purity and impurity extend, however, to a fairly wide array of persons, objects and activities in …

A (Antioch - Arab(s) [al-ʿarab])

(580 words)

Antioch  Monasticism and Monks  Narratives  Philosophy and the Qurʾān  Rass  Syria Antiochus  Expeditions and Battles  People of the Ditch Antiochus IV  Antichrist Antiquity, Late  Material Culture and the Qurʾān Antoun, Richard  Teaching and Preaching the Qurʾān Anṣārī of Herat see Anṣārī al-Harawī, ʿAbdallāh (d. 481/1089) Apartheid  Teaching and Preaching the Qurʾān Aphraates (Aphrahat)  Creation Aphrodito  Aqṣā Mosque Apollo  Springs and Fountains Apollonius  Agriculture and Vegetation Apostle  Apostle  Illiteracy  Informants Aqaba [ʿAqaba]  Arabic Script  Archaeo…

S (-sīn- - s-n-m - s-t-t)

(559 words)

s-n-m    tasnīm    Springs and Fountains    Water   s-n-n    masnūn    Adam and Eve    ṣalṣāl min ḥamaʾ masnūn    sanna    Cain and Abel    Politics and the Qurʾān    sinn    Teeth    sunna, pl. sunan    Abrogation    Apostasy    Barēlwīs    Children of Israel    Circumcision    Companions of the Prophet    Consecration of Animals    Creeds    Divination    Economics    Ethics and the Qurʾān    Everyday Life, Qurʾān In    Foreign Vocabulary    Freedom and Predestination    Heresy    History and the Qurʾān    Islam    Jihād    Khārijīs    Law and the Qurʾān    Medicine …

S (Sherkat, Sh. - Sinai)

(829 words)

Sherkat, Sh.  Women and the Qurʾān al-Shiblī, Abū Bakr (d. 334/946)  Ṣūfism and the Qurʾān Shihāb al-Dīn Yaḥyā b. Ḥabash al-Suhrawardī see al-Suhrawardī, Shihāb al-Dīn Yaḥyā b. Ḥabash (d. 578/1191) Shihāb al-Dīn al-Būnī see al-Būnī, Shihāb al-Dīn (d. 622/1225) Shihāb al-Dīn al-ālūsī see al-ālūsī, Maḥmūd Shihāb al-Dīn (d. 1854) Shillong (East Pakistan)  Printing of the Qurʾān al-Shinqīṭī, Shurayḥ al-Khuzāʿī (d. 1913)  Vengeance al-Shīrāzī (d. 1050/1641)  Philosophy and the Qurʾān Shiqq  Soothsayer Shukrī Muṣṭafā  Cave Shukrī ʿAyyād  Exegesis of the Qurʾān: Early Modern a…


(4,840 words)

Author(s): Heck, Paul L.
Extraction of a part of communal wealth for its social redistribution and for its use in maintaining governing authority (q.v.), its various institutions, and public works. The Qurʾān offers no trace of the fiscal system first developed under ʿUmar b. al-Khaṭṭāb (r. 2-12/634-44), in substance a reformulation of Byzantine and Sasanian models (see Jeffery, For. vocab. and relevant ei 2 articles — e.g. Cahen, Djizya; Zysow, ¶ Zakāt; Cahen, Kharādj — for discussion of the foreign origins of taxation terminology in the Qurʾān; see also foreign vocabulary ). That fiscal system was a pro…

B (Bektashiyya (Ṣūfī order) - Bishr b. al-Muʿtamir (d. ca. 210/825))

(736 words)

Bektashiyya (Ṣūfī order)  African Americans  Magic  Popular and Talismanic Uses of the Qurʾān Belial  Antichrist Bell, R.  Afternoon  Apocalypse  Baptism  Book  Cain and Abel  Chronology and the Qurʾān  Clay  Contemporary Critical Practices and the Qurʾān  Death and the Dead  Form and Structure of the Qurʾān  Fātiḥa  Impeccability  Language and Style of the Qurʾān  Muḥammad  Mysterious Letters  Narratives  Night of Power  Pit  Post-Enlightenment Academic Study of the Qurʾān  Religious Pluralism and the Qurʾān  Revision and Alteration  Textual Criticism of the Qurʾān  Theolo…

A (Arabian(s) - Philosophy and the Qurʾān)

(689 words)

Arabian(s)  Messenger  South Arabia, Religions in Pre-Islamic  The Collection of the Qurʾān Arabic (language)  African Literature  Agriculture and Vegetation  Ambiguous  Arabic Language  Arabic Script  Arabs  Ark  Art and Architecture and the Qurʾān  Authority  Christians and Christianity  Chronology and the Qurʾān   Classical (CA)   Arabic Language   Grammar and the Qurʾān   Language and Style of the Qurʾān   Money   Moon   Post-Enlightenment Academic Study of the Qurʾān   Pre-1800 Preoccupations of Qurʾānic Studies   Readings of the Qurʾān   Slaves and Slavery   Tabl…

Short Titles

(5,218 words)

Abbott, Studies II N. Abbott, Studies in Arabic literary papyri. II. Qurʾānic commentary and tradition, Chicago, 1967 ʿAbd al-Bāqī Muḥammad Fuʾād ʿAbd al-Bāqī, al-Muʿjam al-mufahras li-alfāẓ al-Qurʾān al-karīm, Cairo, 1945 ʿAbd al-Jabbār, Mutashābih ʿAbd al-Jabbār b. Aḥmad al-Asadābādī al-Qāḍī al-Hamadhānī, Mutashābih al-QurʾānʿAdnān M. Zarzūr, 2 vols., Cairo, 1969 ʿAbd al-Jabbār, Tanzīh ʿAbd al-Jabbār b. Aḥmad al-Asadābādī al-Qāḍī al-Hamadhānī, Tanzīh al-Qurʾān ʿan al-maṭāʿin, Beirut, 1966 ʿAbd al-Raḥmān, ʿAṣrī ʿĀʾisha ʿAbd al-Raḥmān, al-Qurʾān wa-l-tafsīr al-ʿaṣ…

E (Elias, J. - Ezra [ʿEzrā; ʿUzayr])

(621 words)

Elias, J.  Face of God  Job  John the Baptist  Lamp  Light  Throne of God  Ṣūfism and the Qurʾān Eliash  Revision and Alteration Elijah Muham…

Foreign Vocabulary

(6,992 words)

Author(s): Rippin, Andrew
From the earliest period of Islam down to the present day, attentive readers have ¶ observed that there are words in the Qurʾān which appear to be of non-Arabic origin. Such observations, motivated by varying factors, have been the source of controversy, discussions and extensive study in traditional Muslim and Euro-American scholarship. Why foreign words? When the Qurʾān proclaimed itself to be written in “clear Arabic,” the seeds of discussion, disagreement and analysis concerning the presence of “foreign words” within the text were sown. Not only…


(7,243 words)

Author(s): Gilliot, Claude
Stories of individuals and communities of the past, of varying length, many of which appear in numerous renditions throughout the qurʾānic text, but are found predominantly in the Meccan sūras of the Qurʾān (see chronology and the qurʾān ). Although the Qurʾān does relate the tales of prophets (see prophets and prophethood ) and other notable persons, tales that presumably were already familiar to the first auditors of the Qurʾān (see orality and writing in arabia; south arabia, religion in pre-islamic…

Everyday Life, Qurʾān In

(11,444 words)

Author(s): Zayd, Nasr Hamid Abu
Introduction The topic of religion in everyday life has become a subject of increasing interest for historians and social scientists alike. The role of scripture, however, in everyday life has hardly been studied. “Everyday life” is ¶ not, it should be said, as obviously or immediately discernible as one might suppose, but entails a variety of complex activities of individuals as well as of communities within a specific cultural domain. The definition of ‘everyday life’ adopted here is “the routine non-ritual activities of ordinar…

J (-jīm- - j-h-n-m)

(589 words)

-jīm-   j-b-b    jubb    Water   j-b-h    jibāh    Anatomy   j-b-l    jabal, pl. jibāl    Kaʿba    Pilgrimage    jabal makka   j-b-r    ijbār    Tolerance and Coercion    jabarūt    Ṣūfism and the Qurʾān    jabbār, pl. jabābira    Arrogance    God and his Attributes …


(900 words)

Author(s): Tottoli, Roberto
Term mentioned twice in the Qurʾān in connection with the expression aṣḥāb al-rass, “the people of al-Rass”: “We have prepared for the evildoers a painful chastisement. And ʿĀd (q.v.), Thamūd (q.v.) and the people of al-Rass, and between that, ¶ many generations” ( q 25:37-8); “The people of Noah (q.v.) and the people of al- Rass, and Thamūd and Pharaoh (q.v.), and ʿĀd and the brothers of Lot (q.v.) cried lies before them…” ( q 50:12). Although there are no other elements that help clarify who the people of al-Rass were, the fact that they are mentioned alongside othe…

Tradition and Custom

(1,526 words)

Author(s): Hawting, G.R.
The way things have been done, or are understood as having been done, in the past. In many societies the appeal to tradition and custom as the basis for current practice serves to legitimize the present. For a religion emerging in opposition to some of the beliefs and practices of its society, however, appeal to tradition or custom by its opponents is an obstacle to be overcome. At the same time, adherents of the new order may well attempt to justify it by reference to the past. In Islam the positive value of tradition is most obviously manifest in the concept of sunna (q.v.), the accepted practice. The sunna of the Prophet is a model that all believers should strive to emulate and, according to the classical Sunnī theory of law, it is the most important source of the law alongside the Qurʾān (see law and the qurʾān ). Innovations ( bidʿa, ḥawādith; see innovation ) on the other hand, are commonly regarded as reprehensible. Naturally, the attitude towards custom and tradition may vary according to circum-¶ stances. A category of commendable innovation ( bidʿa ḥasana) is recognized and what by many has been understood as the po…

T (Torrey, C. - al-Tirmidhī, Abū ʿīsā Muḥammad b. ʿīsā)

(573 words)

Torrey, C.  Agriculture and Vegetation  Idrīs  Pit  Politics and the Qurʾān  Post-Enlightenment Academic Study of the Qurʾān  Prophets and Prophethood  Psalms  Raqīm  Religious Pluralism and the Qurʾān  Rhetoric and the Qurʾān  Trade and Commerce Tottoli, R.  Bowing and Prostration  Elijah  Elisha  Ezekiel  Korah  Men of the Cave  People of the Ditch  Raqīm  Rass  Shuʿayb  Sleep  ʿImrān  ʿĀd  Ṣāliḥ Tower of Babel see Babel TPA see Islam Traditionalists [muḥaddithūn]  Createdness of the Qurʾān Transjordan  Christians and Christianity  Syria Transoxania  Creeds  Deferral  Exe…

H (Hebrew - Horovitz, J.)

(823 words)

Hebrew   Language [ʿibrī/ʿibrānī]   Anointing   Chronology and the Qurʾān   Elijah   Foreign Vocabulary   Forgery   Gospel   Grammar and the Qurʾān   Idrīs   Illiteracy   Jacob   Jesus   Jinn   Language and Style of the Qurʾān   Laughter   Magians   Path or Way   People of the Book   Pilgrimage   Pre-1800 Preoccupations of Qurʾānic Studies   Sacrifice   Signs   Spatial Relations   Speech   Torah   Wo…

Readings of the Qurʾān

(6,725 words)

Author(s): Leemhuis, Frederik
A term generally used to denote the qirāʾāt, the different ways of reciting the Qurʾān. Variant readings are an important aspect of Qurʾān recitation (see recitation of the qurʾān; reciters of the qurʾān), ¶ but qirāʾāt refer to more than that. Other elements — such as differences concerning length of syllables, when to assimilate consonants to following ones, and where to pause or insert verse endings — form an integral part of the different qirāʾāt systems. Reports about different ways of reciting or reading the Qurʾān were transmitted from the beginning of Islam. Tra…

Language, Concept of

(887 words)

Author(s): Larcher, Pierre
The uniquely human faculty of (primarily) verbal expression. In the Qurʾān, the concept of language is expressed by the word lisān (lit. tongue). The other common term for language, lugha, which is well-attested in classical and modern standard Arabic (see arabic language ), does not appear in the Qurʾān; one encounters only the related words laghw and lāghiya, which express exclusively the connotation of “vain utterance.” There are twenty-five occurrences of the word lisān in the Qurʾān, fifteen in the singular and ten in the plural ( alsina; the other plural, alsun, is not attested …

Lawful and Unlawful

(2,765 words)

Author(s): Lowry, Joseph E.
That which is legally authorized, and that which is not. Among its various legislative pronouncements, the Qurʾān declares certain objects and actions lawful or unlawful. The words ḥalāl, “lawful, allowed, permitted,” and ḥarām, “unlawful, forbidden, prohibited,” and cognate terms from the triliteral roots ḥ-l-l and ḥ-r-m, respectively, most often designate these two categories and are of relatively frequent occurrence. Qurʾānic declarations of lawfulness or unlawfulness are limited to a relatively few areas of the law as later elaborated by Muslim jurists: for the most part, ritual, family law and dietary matters (see …


(2,490 words)

Author(s): Kimber, Richard
A direction one faces in order to pray (see prayer ). q 2:142-50 is concerned with the Muslims' qibla and appears to say the following: There is about to be a change of qibla. Foolish people will make an issue of the change and they should be answered with an affirmation of God's absolute sovereignty (q.v.; see also power and impotence ). God has made the believers neither Jews nor Christians (see belief and unbelief; jews and judaism; christians and christianity) but an example to all, just as the messenger (q.v.) is an example to the believers. The former qibla was instituted only as a test…


(4 words)

 see idrīs Bibliography

I (Ibn Ḥajar al-Haytamī (d. 974/1567) - al-Qurʾān Printers, Bombay)

(1,032 words)

Ibn Ḥajar al-Haytamī (d. 974/1567)  Sin, Major and Minor Ibn Ḥajar al-ʿAsqalānī (d. 852/1449)  Foreign Vocabulary  Occasions of Revelation  Satanic Verses  Sin, Major and Minor  Traditional Disciplines of Qurʾānic Studies Ibn Ḥanbal, Aḥmad (d. 241/855)  Anthropomorphism  Companions of the Prophet  Court  Createdness of the Qurʾān  Creeds  Exegesis of the Qurʾān: Classical and Medieval  Hell and Hellfire  Honey  Inimitability  Intercession  Manual Labor  Muʿtazila  Names of the Prophet  Noah  Philosophy and the Qurʾān  Preserved Tablet  Raqīm  Recitation of the Qurʾān  Scr…

Grammar and the Qurʾān

(14,355 words)

Author(s): Talmon, Rafael
Qurʾānic language and text Modern students of Arabic linguistics have been studying several fundamental questions about qurʾānic language and text ever since the earliest formulations of these investigations some hundred years ago (see language of the qurʾān; literary structures of the qurʾān). The qurʾānic text constitutes one of the three early language corpora that reflect language varieties of Arabic speakers in pre-Islamic Arabia (see arabic language ). The other two corpora are poetry (usually inclusive of almost all the pre-ʿAbbāsid Islamic inventory; see poetr…

Language and Style of the Qurʾān

(17,121 words)

Author(s): Gilliot, Claude | Larcher, Pierre
The semantic field of “language” includes several triliteral Arabic roots: l-s-n (Dāmaghānī, Wujūh, ii, 200-1; see H. Jenssen, Arabic language, 132; see also language, concept of), k-l-m (Yaḥyā b. Sallām, Taṣārīf, 303-5; Dāmaghānī, Wujūh, ii, 186-7), q-w-l, l-ḥ-n (Khan, Die exegetischen Teile, 276, on q 47:30: “the burden of their talk,” laḥn al-qawl; Fück, ʿArabīya, 133; Fr. trans. 202; Ullmann, Wa-h̲airu, 21-2). It should be noted that lugha in the sense of manner of speaking (Fr. parler, Ger. Redeweise) is totally absent from the Qurʾān — although the root l-gh-w is attested, but…


(554 words)

Author(s): Rubin, Uri
Ancestor of the people of Israel ( Isrāʾīl), whose name appears most frequently in the Qurʾān within the title “ Children of Israel” (q.v.; Banū Isrāʾīl). Only in two places does it occur separately ( q 3:93; 19:58). The commentators identify Israel with Jacob (q.v.; Yaʿqūb), the son of Isaac (q.v.; Isḥāq). q 3:93, which deals with Jewish dietary restrictions (see jews and judaism ), makes allusion to a specific event in Israel's life. It ¶ is stated here that all food was lawful (see lawful and unlawful ) to the Children of Israel save what Israel forbade for himself before the Torah (q.v.) was…

T (Thailand - Tornberg, C.J.)

(587 words)

Thailand  Teaching and Preaching the Qurʾān al-Thaʿlabī, Abū Isḥāq Aḥmad b. Muḥammad b. Ibrāhīm (d. 427/1035)  Alexander  Commandments  Exegesis of the Qurʾān: Classical and Medieval  Hārūt and Mārūt  Hūd  Insolence and Obstinacy  Khaḍir/Khiḍr  Literature and the Qurʾān  Persian Literature and the Qurʾān  Prophets and Prophethood  Raqīm  Religion  Satanic Verses  Traditional Disciplines of Qurʾānic Studies  Tubbaʿ  Ṣūfism and the Qurʾān Thamudeni  Archaeology and the Qurʾān Thamānīn  Ararat Thamūd  Animal Life  Archaeology and the Qurʾān  Arrogance  Brother and Brothe…

Ritual and the Qurʾān

(8,765 words)

Author(s): Meri, Josef W.
Following a brief discussion of ritual in modern academic discourse which proposes a functional typology of rituals both within and involving the Qurʾān, and taking into account the context in which certain rituals occur and are performed, this article will then explore the treatment of qurʾānic rituals in works of Islamic jurisprudence (see law and the qurʾān ). Those rituals which employ verses of the Qurʾān — written or spoken, individually or collectively — in various ceremonial, talismanic and therapeutic contexts will also be examined. This arti…


(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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