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sayyidī/sīdī Muḥammad IV b. ʿAbd al-Raḥmān

(2,050 words)

Author(s): Pellat, Ch.
, ʿAlawid sovereign who reigned over Morocco 1276-90/1859-73. Born probably around 1230/1815, he was appointed by his father, Mawlāy ʿAbd al-Raḥmān b. His̲h̲ām [ q.v.] as viceroy ( k̲h̲alīfa ) in Marrakesh, where he was to continue to reside after his accession to the throne and to leave behind a certain number of buildings (but less than Sīdī Muḥammad b. ʿAbd Allāh [ q.v.]). Memorable among them are the mausoleum erected in the cemetery ( rawḍa ) of Bāb al-Rubb, the conversion of the ʿArṣat al-Maʿās̲h̲ into a military quarter, the renovation of th…


(1,228 words)

Author(s): Pellat, Ch.
(a.), a system of computation among the early Arabs. The singular nawʾ , connected with the root nāʾa “to rise with difficulty, to lean, to support a load with difficulty” (cf. Ḳurʾān, xxviii, 76), denotes the acronychal setting of a star or constellation and heliacal rising of its opposite ( raḳīb ); by extension, it is applied to a period of time and, in the language of the later Middle Ages and the modern era, it has come to mean “cloud, rain, storm, tempest” (see Dozy, Suppl ., s.v.; Beaussier, s.v.; H. Wehr, Arab. Wörterbuch , s.v.), on account of the pluvial ro…

ʿAbd Allāh b. Abī Isḥāḳ

(203 words)

Author(s): Pellat, Ch.
al-Ḥaḍramī , grammarian and Ḳurʾān-reader from Baṣra, died in 117/735-6. His "exceptional" ( s̲h̲ād̲h̲d̲h̲a ) reading continued the tradition of Ibn ʿAbbās and, in turn, influenced the readings of ʿĪsā b. ʿUmar al-T̲h̲aḳafī and of Abū ʿAmr b. al-ʿAlāʾ. It seems now established that he was the earliest of the real Arab grammarians (cf. Ibrahim Mustafa, Actes du XXI Congrès des Orient., 278-9). He is said to have extended the use of inductive reasoning ( ḳiyās ) and the detail is handed down that in case of doubt he opted for the accusative ( naṣb ). Nothing else is kn…


(9,755 words)

Author(s): Brockelmann, C. | Pellat, Ch.
, a purely and typically Arabic literary genre. The word is generally translated as “assembly” or “session” (Fr. “séance”), but this is an approximation which does not convey exactly the complex nature of the term. ¶ Semantic evolution of the term. The semantic study of this vocable for the period previous to the creation of the genre is complicated by the fact that the plural maḳāmāt , which is frequently used, is common to two nouns, maḳāma and maḳām [ q.v.]. Both are derived from the radical ḳ-w-m , which implies the idea of “to rise, to stand in order to p…

D̲j̲āwīd̲h̲ān K̲h̲irad

(918 words)

Author(s): Pellat, Ch.
(P.) “eternal wisdom”, the title of a kind of Iranian Fürstenspiegel whose earliest known mention, occurs in a work by al-D̲j̲āḥiẓ, now lost, containing the memorable sayings of wise men and poets (see al-Ḵh̲afād̲j̲ī, Ṭirāz , 108), the Istiṭālat al-fahm . Judging by an extract which has been preserved, this author recounts, on the authority of al-Wāḳidī, the conditions in which the Ḏj̲āwīd̲h̲ān k̲h̲irad , the spiritual testament written “just after the Flood” by the mythical king Hūs̲h̲ang [ q.v.] for his sons and successors, was allegedly rediscovered. When al-Maʾmūn was …

ʿAzza Al-Maylāʾ

(182 words)

Author(s): Pellat, Ch.
, “ʿAzza with the graceful walk”, celebrated singer and lu te player of Medina, mawlāt of the Anṣār, died probably before the end of the 1st/7th century, after a long career. A pupil of Sāʾib Ḵh̲ātir and Nas̲h̲īṭ, singers of Persian origin, then of Rāʾiḳa and D̲j̲amīla [ q.v.], she in her turn numbered among her pupils such famous singers as Ibn Muḥriz and Ibn Surayd̲j̲ [ q.v.], but, unlike D̲j̲amīla. she did not form an actual school. She ¶ differed from the latter, too as regards her practice of giving recitals in aristocratie households, but she also used to receive in …


(7,462 words)

Author(s): Pellat, Ch. | Imber, C.H. | Kelly, J.B.
(A.), pl. ḳarāsina and also ḳarāṣin/ḳarāṣīn , “corsair, pirate”, stems from Italian corsale , which has further given forms closer to the original but less commonly-found, such as ḳurṣāl , pl. ḳarāṣil/ ḳarāṣīl , and kursālī , pl. kursāliyya . In turn, Arabic has formed the abstract noun ḳarṣana “privateering, piracy”, still in use today, as is also ḳurṣān , sometimes conceived of as a plural. In the colloquial there is further the verb ḳarṣan “to raid, act as a pirate”, and the dialects also given to ḳurṣān the double sense of “corsair” and “boat”. This latter term was an Andalusi…


(1,650 words)

Author(s): Pellat, Ch.
(a.), pl. of mat̲h̲la/uba , from the root t̲h̲.l.b ., which means “to criticise, to blame, to slander, to point out faults with the intention of being hurtful”. Although it is not a Ḳurʾānic term, it is attested from ancient times and has been used continuously until to-day to mean “faults, vices, defects, disgrace, etc.” (see further, Wehr). In earliest times and in the first centuries of Islam, it had a specialised usage, for it was broadly applied to what were regarded as subjects of shame for the tribes, the ethnic groups or even clans, rather than…

Miskīn al-Dārimī

(972 words)

Author(s): Pellat, Ch.
, the sobriquet and nisba of a poet from Tamīm of ʿIrāḳ, whose real name was Rabīʿa b. ʿĀmir b. Unayf b. S̲h̲urayḥ... b. Dārim (see his genealogy in Ibn al-Kalbī-Caskel, D̲j̲amhara , Tab. 60, and Register, ii, 409) and who lived in the 1st/7th century (Yāḳūt, Udabāʾ , xi, 132, fixes the date of his death in 89/708). The biographical notices which concern him tell us that he was very dark, handsome, courageous, and eloquent, but they give little information about his family and his offspring (he is said to have had a son called ʿUtba or ʿUḳba but Ibn Ḳutayba, S̲h̲iʿr , Cairo …

Abu ’l-Nad̲j̲m al-Faḍl (al-Mufaḍḍal) b. Ḳudāma al-ʿId̲j̲lī

(319 words)

Author(s): Pellat, Ch.
, Arab poet of the 1st/7-8th century (d. after 105/724). Although he composed several ḳaṣīda s, he owes his celebrity to his verses in rad̲j̲az in which he treats of beduin subjects (descriptions of camels, horses, ounces, etc.), and eulogizes the Umayyads ʿAbd al-Malik, His̲h̲ām, ʿAbd al-Malik b. Bis̲h̲r, and the governor al-Ḥad̲j̲d̲j̲ād̲j̲. The critics, who include him among the four best rud̲j̲d̲j̲āz (with his fellow-tribesman al-Ag̲h̲lab and the two Tamīmites of al-Baṣra, al-ʿAd̲j̲d̲j̲ād̲j̲ and his son Ruʾba), rank him highest for…

G̲h̲asīl al-Malāʾika

(187 words)

Author(s): Pellat, Ch.
, nickname by which Ḥanẓala b. Abī ʿĀmir (= ʿAbd ʿAmr) b. Ṣayfī al-Awsī, a Companion of the Prophet, is known. Son of a Christian monk counted among the “People of the Interval” [see fatra ], he embraced Islam and took part in the battle of Uḥud; he was about to kill Abū Sufyān [ q.v.], when he was mortally wounded by one of the enemy (some think that he fell at the hand of Abū Sufyān who, by killing a Ḥanẓala, would thus have avenged his own son Ḥanẓala who had fallen at Badr). On hearing of his death, the Prophet exclaimed: “The angels will prepar…

Muḥriz b. K̲h̲alaf

(1,276 words)

Author(s): Pellat, Ch.
, the patron saint of Tunis, today generally called Sidi Maḥrez ; in the classical texts, his name is sometimes followed by the epithet al-ʿĀbid owing to his legendary piety (e.g. in the Madārik of the ḳāḍī ʿIyāḍ: Sayyidī/Sīdī Muḥriz al-ʿĀbid), but his name is more often preceded by the title Muʾaddib. This famous personality actually dispensed, in his dwelling which was not yet the zāwiya of Sīdī Maḥrez, religious instruction of a kind that was followed by children as well as adults, and which gave to his cousin Ibn Abī Zayd al-Ḳayrawānī [ q.v.] the idea of composing a manual sufficient…

Ibn al-Aʿrābī

(628 words)

Author(s): Pellat, Ch.
, Muḥammad b. Ziyād , Abū ʿAbd Allāh , philologian of the school of Kūfa, who is said to have been the son of a slave from Sind who became a mawlā of al-ʿAbbās b. Muḥammad b. ʿAlī al-Hās̲h̲imī. Born at Kūfa in 150/767, he was the pupil principally of al-Kisāʾī [ q.v.], of Abū Muʿāwiya al-Ḍarīr, of al-Ḳāsim b. Maʿn al-Masʿūdī (see Fihrist , Cairo, 103) and of al-Mufaḍḍal al-Ḍabbī [ q.v.], who had married his mother and whose Mufaḍḍaliyyāt he handed on; and he in his turn had many disciples, among them T̲h̲aʿlab [ q.v.], Ibrāhīm al-Ḥarbī and Ibn al-Sikkīt [ q.v.], besides Saʿīd b. Salm b. Ḳutayba, …

Ibn Saʿīd al-Mag̲h̲ribī

(996 words)

Author(s): Pellat, Ch.
, Abu ’l-Ḥasan ʿAlī b. Mūsā b. Muḥ. b. ʿAbd al-Malik b. Saʿīd , Andalusian poet, anthologist, historian and geographer, born near Granada in 610/1213, in a family which was descended from the Companion of the Prophet ʿAmmār b. Yāsir [ q.v.] and which had long previously emigrated to Spain, where, during the period of the Ṭawāʾif , it had carved out a principality for itself in the Ḳalʿa of the Banū Yaḥṣub (modern name Alcala la Real), but had afterwards been forced to enter the service of the Almohads (for this family, see G. Potiron, Eléments de biographie et de généalogie des Banū Saʿīd , in Arabic…

Ibn al-Ḳaṭṭāʿ

(324 words)

Author(s): Pellat, Ch.
ʿĪsā b. Saʿīd al-Yaḥṣubī , Andalusian vizier of humble extraction but of Arab origin. Although he was the son of a simple schoolmaster, he succeeded in raising himself in the social scale thanks to al-Manṣūr [ q.v.], who gave him important posts and even entrusted to him the command of an army sent to Morocco in 386/997 to bring Zīrī b. ʿAṭiyya (cf. H. R. Idris, Zīrīdes , 81) to reason. Al-Manṣūr’s successor, his son ʿAbd al-Malik al-Muẓaffar [ q.v.], confirmed his appointment as vizier and left the administration of the state to him; he even gave his youngest sister in ma…


(481 words)

Author(s): Brockelmann, C. | Pellat, Ch.
, ("nyctalope" or "devoid of eyelashes"), cognomen of a number of grammarians listed by al-Suyūṭī ( Muzhir , Cairo, undated, ii, 282-3), viz.: Abu ’l-Ḵh̲aṭṭāb, Saʿīd b. Masʿada and ʿAlī b. Sulaymān, see below; ʿAbd. Allāh b. Muḥammad al-Bag̲h̲dādī, pupil of al-Aṣmaʿī; Aḥmad b. ʿImrān b. Salāma al-Alhānī, died before 250/863, author of a G̲h̲arīb al-Muwaṭṭaʾ , grammarian, lexicographer and poet (see Ben Cheneb, Classes des savants de lIfrīqiya , 34); Hārūn b. Mūsā b. S̲h̲arīk, d. 271/884-5; Aḥmad b. Muḥammad al-Mawṣilī, tutor of Ibn Ḏj̲innī;…

al-Fatḥ b. Muḥammad b. ʿUbayd Allāh b. K̲h̲āḳān

(838 words)

Author(s): Bencheneb, M. | Pellat, Ch.
, Abū Naṣr al-Ḳaysī al-Is̲h̲bīlī , an Andalusian anthologist whose history is somewhat obscure. We do, however, know that he studied seriously under well-known teachers and that he led an adventurous life, travelling through much of Muslim Spain and enjoying to the full pleasures strictly forbidden by the laws of Islam. Despite this, he obtained a position as secretary to the governor of Granada, Abū Yūsuf Tās̲h̲fīn b. ʿAlī, but did not keep it and went to Marrākus̲h̲ where, at …

Abū K̲h̲irās̲h̲

(157 words)

Author(s): Pellat, Ch.
Ḵh̲uwaylid b. Murra al-Hud̲h̲alī , muk̲h̲aḍram Arab poet, who was converted to Islam and died under the caliphate of ʿUmar, from the bite of a snake while he was drawing water for Yamanite pilgrims (who were then required by the caliph to pay his diya ). Abu Ḵh̲irās̲h̲ is counted among the pre-Islamic warriors who could run faster then horses, sharing this distinction with his nine brothers Abū Ḏj̲undab, ʿUrwa, al-Abaḥḥ, al-Aswad, Abu ’l-Aswad, ʿAmr, Zuhayr, Ḏj̲annād and Sufyān, who also were poets of rank. (Ch. Pellat) Bibliography The dīwān of Abū Ḵh̲irās̲h̲ was published by J. Hell, Neue …

Muḥammad b. Abī Ḥud̲h̲ayfa

(561 words)

Author(s): Pellat, Ch.
b. ʿUtba b. Rabīʿa b. ʿAbd S̲h̲ams, Abu ’l-Ḳāsim (genealogy in the D̲j̲amhara of Ibn al-Kalbī, Tab. 8), Companion of the Prophet born in Abyssinia, to which his father and his mother (Sahla bint Suhayl b. ʿAmr) had emigrated (Ibn His̲h̲ām, Sīra , ed. Saḳḳā et alii, i, 322, ii, 369). Following the death of his father in 12/633 at the battle of ʿAḳrabāʾ [ q.v.] against Musaylima [ q.v.], the young orphan was brought up by ʿUt̲h̲mān b. ʿAffān, a fact which makes all the more reprehensible the conduct which he was later to engage in. Sent to Egypt, he took part in th…


(521 words)

Author(s): Pellat, Ch.
(Berber) or amẓad , umẓad according to the dialect, “hair, fur”, denotes a musical instrument in use among the Touareg (Ṭawāriḳ [ q.v.]) and generally compared with a violin. The sounding-box consists of a half-calabash of varying diameter (20 to 50 cm.), over which a goatskin, tanned quickly and stripped of hair, is stretched and fixed with cord or acacia thorns; often decorated with motifs painted in bright colours or with inscriptions in tifinagh [see berbers, vi], the goatskin is pierced with one or two sound-holes (in Ahaggar, tiṭṭ “…
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