Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition


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(1,735 words)

Author(s): Ferhat, Halima
, Ceuta , a town of northern Morocco. It is situated 16 km/10 miles to the south of Gibraltar on the Moroccan coast, 60 km/38 miles to the north-west of Tetouan and 210 km/130 miles from Fās. Sabta has the form of a peninsula, ending in a small mountain (the Ḏj̲abal al-Minā or Mt. Hacho, 193 m/633 feet), which has played the double role of a natural acropolis and a watch point. The isthmus of the peninsula, 60 m/197 feet in height, is attached to the mainland by a narrow strip of land, easily defensible. The old town had its counterpart in the Marīnid town, the Āfrāg [ q.v.]. Explanations of the placen…


(5 words)

[see sabta ]


(687 words)

Author(s): Kaptein, N.J.G.
3. In the Mag̲h̲rib. Unlike the use of the term mawlid in other regions, e.g. in Egypt and the Sudan, where it also includes the celebration of the birthdays of various saints (see 1., in Vol. VI, 895), in the Mag̲h̲rib the term mawlid is restricted to the birthday of the Prophet Muḥammad. ¶ In this part of the world, alongside the ʿīd al-fiṭr and the ʿīd al aḍḥāʾ [ q.vv.], the mawlid is among the most important festivals of the year. The oldest known mawlid celebrations in the Mag̲h̲rib were held in Sabta [ q.v.]. This festival was introduced into this city by an ʿālim named …


(447 words)

Author(s): Ed.
(a.), pl. of malḥama [ q.v.], which is the subject of the article below mainly devoted to the Malḥamat Dāniyāl and its several versions culminating in an apocalyptic current, at first in connection with the announcing of the approach of the Mahdī [ q.v.], and then oriented towards the predictions concerning the fate of different dynasties. These oracles gave birth to the elaborating of so-called malāḥim (or ḥidt̲h̲ān ) works, which have been already spoken of in the article d̲j̲afr , and the subject is only raised again here in order to note the use of…


(1,254 words)

Author(s): Ferhat, Halima
, the Berber name for Tétouan, the Tetteguin of Leo Africanus, Description , tr. Épaulard, i, 267, a town on the Mediterranean coast of northern Morocco. It lies on the flanks of the D̲j̲abal al-Darsa, part of the Rīf [


(2,024 words)

Author(s): Vignet-Zunz, J. | Ed.
(a.), “countryside”. I. As a geographical and territorial term. One sense of this term early emerged from the Egyptian context, where an arid country is traversed by a river with food-producing fringes: the image is that of the fertile (and cultivated) banks of the Nile [see nīl ]. It includes two ideas, that of “fringe” (bank, littoral and, by extension, flank, limit) and that of “fertile countryside”, “abundance” (as opposed to the desert; and, by extension, “countryside” as opposed to the town) (see the lexicon of Lane and Kazimirski). In Morocco, where the natural environment is…


(1,774 words)

Author(s): Mansour, Mohamed El
, the name for the town of Tangier on the northern Moroccan shore of the Straits of Gibraltar. Ṭand̲j̲a is an Arabised form of the Roman Tinjis , but it is very probable that the name is Berber in origin, judging by the frequency of toponyms beginning with tin-, e.g. Tinmal, Ting̲h̲ir, etc. Situated some 12 km/7 miles east of Cape Spartel, where the Atlantic begins, Ṭand̲j̲a has for long been coveted on account of its strategic position, with Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Vandals, Portuguese, Spaniards and English successively controlli…


(891 words)

Author(s): Fierro, Maribel
, abu ’l-ḥasan ʿalī b. muḥammad b. ʿAlī b. Muḥammad b. ʿAbd al-Raḥmān b. Hayṣam (al-Ḥād̲j̲d̲j̲), scholar and adīb of Muslim Spain. He belonged to a family, known as the Banu ’l-Ḥād̲j̲d̲j̲, established in Baṭs̲h̲a (near Seville) and was also known as Ibn al-Fak̲h̲k̲h̲ār, “the son of the potter”, that being his father’s occupation, which he refused to follow. Al-Ruʿaynī was born in Seville in 592/1196 and died in Marrākus̲h̲ in 666/1267, where his funeral was widely attended. He studied the Ḳurʾānic sciences, grammar, ḥadīt̲h̲ , fiḳh and adab . Most of the detail…

Yūsuf b. Tās̲h̲ufīn

(832 words)

Author(s): Halima Ferhat
or Tās̲h̲fīn , Abū Yaʿḳūb , the real founder of the Almoravid dynasty ¶ [see al-murābiṭūn ] in North Africa (r. 453-500/1061-1106). According to tradition, he was born in 400/ 1009-10, but nothing at all is known of him until 453/ 1061 when his cousin Abū Bakr b. ʿUmar made him his lieutenant before himself returning to the Sahara to suppress a revolt. Yūsuf was a Berber from the Banū Turgut (Turguit) of the Ṣanhād̲j̲a [ q.v.]. He married the beautiful and redoubtable Zaynab al-Nafzawiyya, and on her advice, cleverly got rid of his cousin and completed the conquest of M…

Mūsā b. Abi ’l-ʿĀfiya

(1,610 words)

Author(s): Latham, J.D.
, a chieftain of the Miknāsa [see al-butr ], a prominent Berber tribe of the Zanāta confederation. His claim to fame rests on his role in the troubled history of the Idrīsids [ q.v.] of Fās (Fez) and the politics of the western Mag̲h̲rib in the 4th/10th century. To an understanding of that role some account of the background against which it was played is essential. In the last years of the 3rd/early years of the 4th century, Fās was politically as well as physically divided between the Ḳayrawānī and Andalusian banks of the city and plagued with civil war. It …

al-S̲h̲arīf al-G̲h̲arnātī

(569 words)

Author(s): Fierro, Maribel | Marín, Manuela
, Muḥammad b. Aḥmad ... b. al-Ḥasan b. ʿAlī b. Abī Ṭālib al-Sabtī, Abū ʿAbd Allāh and Abu ’l-Ḳāsim (697-760/1297-1359), philologist, grammarian and poet of Muslim Spain. He was born at Sabta (Ceuta) and deeply educated in Arabic language and the law. At an unknown date he went to Granada and worked in the dīwān al-ins̲h̲āʾ of the Naṣrid Muḥammad IV (725-37/1325-37), and became friendly with the eminent poet Ibn al-D̲j̲ayyāb [ q.v.]. He then embarked on a legal career and in 737/1336 became ḳāḍī of Malaga and then six years later followed Ibn Burṭāl as ḳāḍī ’l-d̲j̲amāʿa


(2,261 words)

Author(s): Bencheneb, H.
, Aḥmad b. Ḏj̲aʿfar al-Ḵh̲azrad̲j̲ī, Abu ’l-ʿAbbās, renowned Moroccan saint, born at Sabta (Ceuta) in 524/1130, not to be confused, in the text of Ibn Ḵh̲aldūn ( Muḳaddima ), with a homonym who lived in a later period and was the inventor of a circular divinatory table known as the zāʾirad̲j̲a , al-ʿālam . Two accounts afford a glimpse of his career, which was contemporaneous with that of the great saint of Tlemcen Abū Madyan al-Andalusī (520-94/1126-97): that of the ḳāḍī al-Tādilī and that of Ibn Ḥāmawayh, which is more concise, …


(1,236 words)

Author(s): Colin, G.S.
(in modern Arabic: Mlīlya , Berber Tamlilt , "the white"; in the Arab geographers, Malīla ), a seaport on the east coast of Morocco on a promontory on the peninsula of Gelʿiyya at the end of which is the Cape Tres Forcas or the Three Forks ( Rās Hurk of the Arab geographers, now Rās Werk ). Melilla probably corresponds to the Rusadir of the ancients (cf. Rhyssadir oppidum et portus (Pliny, v. 18), Russadir Colonia of the Antoninian Itinerary). Leo Africanus says that it had belonged for a time to the Goths and that the Arabs took it from them, but…


(1,252 words)

Author(s): Latham, J.D.
(a.), a term used in Muslim Spain and certain parts of the Mag̲h̲rib ( nāḍūr ) in mediaeval times to denote a look-out or watch-tower of one kind or another, and, in parts of the 19th-century Mag̲h̲rib at least, a lighthouse. Based on one of the so-called intensive forms of the participial pattern fāʿil , used to convey the idea of habitual or occupational activity, the word can be said originally to have denoted the man whose business it was to keep watch, for it is clearly in this sense ( pace Dozy’s “une tour” ( Suppl., s.v.)) that Ibn Baṭṭūṭa [ q.v.] uses it (iv, 364-5) in an account of a Ch…


(1,324 words)

Author(s): Véronne, Chantal de La
, Banū Waṭṭās , a Moroccan dynasty which reigned in the 9th/15th and 10th/16th centuries. The Banū Waṭṭās, Zanāta Berbers, were a branch of the Banū Marīn, descendants of the Banū Wasīn [see marīnids ]. Initially nomadic horsemen, the Banū Waṭṭās left the Zāb [ q.v.] and the highlands of the central Mag̲h̲rib, reaching the Mag̲h̲rib al-Aḳṣā in the early years of the 5th/11th century and occupying ¶ part of the Moroccan Rīf. In 622/1293, during the reign of the Marīnid Abū Yaʿḳūb Yūsuf, their chief ʿUmar b. Yaḥyā b. al-Wazīr took temporary control of the fortres…

D̲j̲awhar al-Ṣiḳillī

(1,519 words)

Author(s): Monés, Hussain
, general and adminisstrator, one of the founders of the Fāṭimid Empire in North Africa and Egypt. His name was D̲j̲awhar b. ʿAbd Allāh, also D̲j̲ōhar together with the epithets of al-Ṣaḳlabī (the Slav), al-Ṣiḳillī (the Sicilian) or al-Rūmī (the Greek) and al-Kātib (the State Chancellor) or al-Ḳāʾid (the General). The first two epithets cast some light on his obscure origin, the other two denote the two highest posts he occupied. His birth date is unknown, but judging by the date of his death (20 D̲h̲u ’l-Ḳaʿda …


(1,740 words)

Author(s): Haarmann, U.
, Luxor, the present site of ancient Thebes, the capital of the New Kingdom on the eastern bank of the Nile in Upper Egypt. In the mediaeval Arabic geographical sources we find side-by-side the following renderings of the name of the city: (a) al-Aḳṣur "castles" (in the pluralis paucitatis as is explained by Yāḳūt, Muʿd̲j̲am , Beirut, i, 237a); the vocalisation with fatḥa is explicitly stated by Abu ’l-Fidāʾ, Taḳwīm , 110. (b) al-Uḳṣur, the colloquial equivalent to al-Aḳṣur with ḍamma , as given by al-Ḳalḳas̲h̲andī, Ṣubḥ , iii, 380, only a few decades after A…


(1,693 words)

Author(s): Eustache, D.
( Adārisa ), Moroccan dynasty of descendants of ʿAlī b. Abī Ṭālib, founded in 172/789 by Idrīs I [ q.v.], who was succeeded by his son, Idrīs II [ q.v.]. The decadence of the dynasty was to commence with the latter’s death. He left twelve sons: Muḥammad, Aḥmad, ʿUbayd Allāh, ʿĪsā, Idrīs, D̲j̲aʿfar, Ḥamza, Yaḥyā, ʿAbd Allāh, al-Ḳāsim, Dāwūd, ʿUmar. His eldest son, Muḥammad (no. 3 in the table), succeeded him and, on the advice of his grandmother Kanza, divided the kingdom among the eldest of his brothers, he himself retainin…


(1,945 words)

Author(s): Latham, J. D.
, banu’l-, family of notables prominent in the annals of medieval Ceuta (Sabta [ q.v.]) and descended from a Ceutan faḳīh by the name of Abu ’l-ʿAbbās Aḥmad b. al-ḳāḍī Abī ʿAbd Allāh Muḥammad b. Aḥmad al-Lak̲h̲mī, whose ancestor Muḥammad al-Lak̲h̲mī was known as Ibn Abī ʿAzafa, whence “Azafī”. There is no reason to suppose that the ʿAzafids were descended from Mad̲j̲kasa Berbers, as some 8th/14th-century Ceutans alleged. A gratuitous (but not wholly unreasonable) assumption of more recent date is that the family was of Andalusian origin. Abu ’l-ʿAbbās was bor…

sayyidī/sīdī Muḥammad III b. ʿAbd Allāh

(1,597 words)

Author(s): Ed.
, fifth ruler (1171-1204/1759-90) of the Moroccan dynasty of the ʿAlawids [see ʿalawīs ] and one of the most remarkable. Born in 1134/1722, he received a traditional education at the court and, in 1159/1746, his father, Mawlāy ʿAbd Allāh b. Ismāʿīl [ q.v.] appointed him viceroy ( k̲h̲alīfa ) at Marrakesh, where he was to make a lasting impression with his construction activities and which he was virtually to make his capital, without however neglecting the other cities of Morocco. Harassed by hostile tribes before being …
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