Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition

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Miṣr

(46,751 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J. | Bosworth, C.E. | Becker, C.H. | Christides, V. | Kennedy, H. | Et al.
, Egypt A. The eponym of Egypt B. The early Islamic settlements developing out of the armed camps and the metropolises of the conquered provinces C. The land of Egypt: the name in early Islamic times 1. Miṣr as the capital of Egypt: the name in early Islamic times 2. The historical development of the capital of Egypt i. The first three centuries, [see al-fusṭāṭ ] ii. The Nile banks, the island of Rawḍa and the adjacent settlement of D̲j̲īza (Gīza) iii. The Fāṭimid city, Miṣr al-Ḳāhira, and the development of Cairo till the end of the 18t…

Makka

(45,581 words)

Author(s): Watt, W. Montgomery | Wensinck, A.J. | Bosworth, C.E. | Winder, R.B. | King, D.A.
(in English normally “Mecca”, in French “La Mecque”), the most sacred city of Islam, where the Prophet Muḥammad was born and lived for about 50 years, and where the Kaʿba [ q.v.] is situated. 1. The pre-Islamic and early Islamic periods Geographical description. Mecca is located in the Ḥid̲j̲āz about 72 km. inland from the Red Sea port of Jedda (D̲j̲udda [ q.v.]), in lat. 21° 27′ N. and long. 39° 49′ E. It is now the capital of the province ( manātiḳ idāriyya ) of Makka in Suʿūdī Arabia, and has a normal population of between 200,000 and 300,000, which …

Wazīr

(14,750 words)

Author(s): Zaman, Muhammad Qasim | Bianquis;, Th. | Eddé, Anne-Marie | Carmona, A. | Lambton, Ann K.S | Et al.
(a.), vizier or chief minister. I. In the Arab World 1. The ʿAbbāsids. Etymology The term wazīr occurs in the Ḳurʾān (XXV, 35: “We gave Moses the book and made his brother Aaron a wazīr with him”), where it has the sense of “helper”, a meaning well attested in early Islamic poetry (for examples, see Goitein, The origin of the vizierate, 170-1). Though several scholars have proposed Persian origins for the term and for the institution, there is no compelling reason to doubt the Arabic provenance of the term or an Arab-Islamic origin and evolution of the institution of the wazīr (cf. Goitein, op. ci…

Taʾrīk̲h̲

(48,480 words)

Author(s): De Blois, F.C. | Van Dalen, B. | Humphreys, R.S. | Marin, Manuela | Lambton, Ann K.S | Et al.
(a.) “date, dating, chronology, era”, then also “annals, history”. ¶ I. Dates and Eras in the Islamic World 1. In the sense of “date, dating”, etc. i. Etymology . The non-Arabic origin of this word was recognised by the mediaeval philologists, but the often-cited derivation of the participle muʾarrak̲h̲ “dated”, from a supposed Persian compound māh-rōz “month-day”, is naturally fanciful. In fact, it clearly belongs to the common Semitic root for “moon” and “month”; cf. Akkadian ( w) arḫu , Sabaic wrḫ , Ethiopic wärḫ , Mehri wark̲h̲ , or, with the usual Northwe…

Maʿdin

(33,280 words)

Author(s): Ashtor, E. | Hassan, A.Y. al- | Hill, D.R. | Murphey, R. | Baer, Eva
(a.), "mine, ore, mineral, metal". In modern Arabic, the word mand̲j̲am denotes "mine", while muʿaddin means "miner" and d̲j̲amād is a mineral. In the vast Islamic empire, minerals played an important part. There was a great need for gold, silver and copper for the minting of coins and other uses. Iron ore was indispensable for the manufacture ¶ of iron and steel for arms and implements. Other minerals such as mercury, salt and alum, as well as pearls and precious stones, were necessary for everyday life. The empire was richly endowed with the various…

Tunisia

(25,019 words)

Author(s): Brunschwig, R. | Hafedh Sethom | Ammar, Mahjoubi | Chapoutot-Remadi, Mounira | Daghfous, Radhi | Et al.
, a region of the northeastern part of the Mag̲h̲rib. In mediaeval Islamic times it comprised essentially the province of Ifrīḳiya [ q.v.]. Under the Ottomans, the Regency of Tunis was formed in the late 10th/16th century, continuing under local Beys with substantial independence from Istanbul until the establishment of the French Protectorate in 1881, which in turn gave way in 1957 to the present fully independent Tunisian Republic. I. Geography, Demography and Economy . (a) Geography. Tunisia, situated between 6° and 9° degrees of longitude east, and between 32° and 37…

Masd̲j̲id

(77,513 words)

Author(s): Pedersen, J. | Hillenbrand, R. | Burton-Page, J. | Andrews, P.A. | Pijper, G.F. | Et al.
(a.), mosque, the noun of place from sad̲j̲ada “to prostrate oneself, hence “place where one prostrates oneself [in worship]”. The modern Western European words (Eng. mosque , Fr. mosquée , Ger. Moschee , Ital. moschea ) come ultimately from the Arabic via Spanish mezquita . I. In the central Islamic lands A. The origins of the mosque up to the Prophet’s death. The word msgdʾ is found in Aramaic as early as the Jewish Elephantine Papyri (5th century B.C.), and appears likewise in Nabataean inscriptions with the meaning “place of worship…

ʿIrāḳ

(21,303 words)

Author(s): Miquel, A. | Brice, W.C. | Sourdel, D. | Aubin, J. | Holt, P.M. | Et al.
, a sovereign State, of the Muslim religion, for the most part Arabic-speaking, situated at the eastern end of the Fertile Crescent. i.—Geography The structure of ʿIrāḳ paradoxically derives its originality from the fact that it forms part of a large geographical block of territory. From the Arabo-Syrian desert tableland which it faces along its south-western flank, it takes its general aspect and its climate. All along its frontiers on the North-East, on the other hand, it shares the orientation and ¶ relief of the folded mountain-chains of western Asia, which give it its t…

Umayyads

(8,994 words)

Author(s): Hawting, G.R.
( Banū Umayya ), the dynasty of caliphs which, from its centre in Syria, ruled the whole of the Arab Islamic territories from 41/661 to 132/750. All of the caliphs during this period are descendants of Umayya b. ʿAbd S̲h̲ams [ q.v.], a preIslamic notable of the tribe of Ḳurays̲h̲ of Mecca, but they represent two distinct lines within the clan of Umayya: the first three caliphs, descended from Abū Sufyān b. Ḥarb [ q.v.]., are referred to as Sufyānids; the remaining eleven, descendants of Marwān b. al-Ḥakam b. Abi ’l-ʿĀṣ [ q.v.], as Marwānids. For convenience, a list of the Umayyad calip…

Iran

(85,490 words)

Author(s): McLachlan, K.S. | Coon, C.S. | Mokri, M. | Lambton, A.K.S. | Savory, R.M. | Et al.
i.—Geography The geological background: The alignments of Iran’s principal topographie features, represented by the Kūhhā-yi Alburz and the Zagros Chain, are west to east and north-west to south-east, respectively. In broad context, the Alburz is a continuation of the European Alpine structures, while the Zagros chain has been linked through Cyprus with the Dinaric Alps (Fisher, 1956). The structure of the mountain rim of the country has been influenced strongly by tectonic movements which have n…

Sald̲j̲ūḳids

(46,928 words)

Author(s): Bosworth, C.E. | Hillenbrand, R. | Rogers, J.M. | Blois, F.C. de | Darley-Doran, R.E.
, a Turkish dynasty of mediaeval Islam which, at the peak of its power during the 5th-6th/11th-12th centuries, ruled over, either directly or through vassal princes, a wide area of Western Asia from Transoxania, Farg̲h̲āna, the Semirečye and K̲h̲wārazm in the east to Anatolia, Syria and the Ḥid̲j̲āz in the west. From the core of what became the Great Sald̲j̲ūḳ empire, subordinate lines of the Sald̲j̲ūḳ family maintained themselves in regions like Kirmān (till towards the end of the 6th/12th century), Syria (till the opening years of…