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Lak̲h̲mides

(2,240 words)

Author(s): S̲h̲ahîd, Irfan
, dynastie arabe pré-islamique qui avait pour capitale al-Ḥīra [ q.v.] et qui ¶ régna trois siècles environ, en gros de 300 à 600 de J.-C. A proprement parler, ses membres devraient être appelés Naṣrides, du nom de Naṣr, leur éponyme, car Lak̲h̲m [ q.v.] ne désigne que la tribu à laquelle ils appartenaient. Rois semi-indépeiidaivts et clients des Sāsānides, les Lak̲h̲mides constituent la force dominante dans l’histoire politique, militaire et culturelle des Arabes pendant les trois siècles qui ont précédé la naissance de l’Islam. I. — Histoire. Le fondateur de la dynastie dont la p…

ʿUkāẓ

(440 words)

Author(s): Shahîd, Irfan
, la plus importante et la plus fameuse des foires annuelles ( sūḳ [ q.v.], plur. aswāḳ) des Arabes, à l’époque pré-islamique. Elle se tenait au Sud-est de La Mecque, entre Nak̲h̲la et al-Ṭāʾif sur le territoire du groupe tribal, Hawāzin [ q.v.]. Elle partageait avec deux autres foires, Mad̲j̲anna et Ḏh̲ū l-Mad̲j̲āz cette proximité de La Mecque et le fait d’avoir lieu durant les mois sacrés. Cependant, c’était la plus importante des trois et elle prenait place pendant le mois de d̲h̲ū l-Ḳaʿda, juste avant le pèlerinage à La Mecque et ʿArafāt. Ce sūḳ était stratégiquement situé au milieu …

al-Nuʿmān [iii] b. al-Mund̲h̲ir

(722 words)

Author(s): Shahîd, Irfān
, dernier roi lak̲h̲mide d’al-Ḥīra [ q.v.] et vassal de la Perse sāsānide. Il était le fils d’al-Mund̲h̲ir IV [ q.v.] et de Salmā, fille d’un orfèvre juif de Fadak. Dans les annales des Lak̲h̲mides [ q.v.], son règne (vers 580-602 de J. C.) est le plus mémorable après celui de son grand-père al-Mund̲h̲ir III (m. 554). Il dut de monter sur le trône d’al-Ḥīra à ʿAdī b. Zayd [ q.v.], le célèbre poète et homme d’Etat chrétien; le Sāsānide Hormuzd célébra cet avènement avec une couronne spécialement splendide. Al-Nuʿmān fut un roi autoritaire et puissant, dont le règne a vu des tensions …

Lak̲h̲m

(848 words)

Author(s): Lammens, H. | Shahîd, Irfan
, tribu arabe particulièrement influente au début de l’Islam. A l’exception de la famille lak̲h̲mide [voir Lak̲h̲mides] du ʿIrāḳ si fréquemment célébrée dans la vieille poésie arabe, leur histoire préislamique est mal connue et envahie par la légende. D’après la généalogie traditionnelle, Lak̲h̲m passait pour être d’origine yéménite et était frère de Ḏj̲ud̲h̲ām et de ʿĀmila [ q.vv.], bien que Yéménites et Maʿaddites aient tenu à se réclamer des puissants dynastes lak̲h̲mides du ʿIrāḳ. Des trois tribus-sœurs, Lak̲h̲m formait sans contredit le groupe le plus illustre, l…

al-Mund̲h̲ir Iv

(299 words)

Author(s): Shahîd, Irfan
, nom de l’un des rois lak̲h̲mides qui régna de 575 environ à 580 de J.-C. et fut le troisième et dernier fils d’al-Mund̲h̲ir III (vers 505-54) à monter sur le trône de Ḥīra [ q.v.] après ses deux frères aînés, ʿAmr b. Hind (554-69) et Ḳābūs (569-vers 574). ¶ Son accession au trône ne fut pas facile. Après la mort de Ḳābūs, il y eut un interrègne durant lequel un Persan, Suhrāb, gouverna la ville pendant un an. L’opposition de la population de Ḥīra à Mund̲h̲ir provenait de sa violence et peut-être de son paganisme. Finalement, ce fut Zayd b. Ḥammād, le père du poète ʿAdī b. Zayd [ q.v.], qui sauva le tr…

Kindan

(2,640 words)

Author(s): Shahîd, Irfan | Beeston, A. F. L.
, groupe tribal d’origine sud-arabique, dont l’ascendance, réelle ou imaginaire, en remontant à Kahlān, confirme leur qualité d’Arabes et les distingue, comme les Azd, des Ḥimyar et des autres habitants non-arabes de l’Arabie du Sud. Aux Ve et VIe siècles, la tribu se répandit dans toute l’Arabie, en remontant du Sud vers le centre et le Nord et elle joua un rôle décisif dans l’histoire militaire, politique et culturelle de la péninsule avant l’avènement de l’Islam. 1. — Période pré-islamique. De Kinda ( laḳab, surnom de T̲h̲awr) sont issus Muʿāwiya et As̲h̲ras et, de ces dern…

Ṭayyiʾ ou Ṭayy

(678 words)

Author(s): Shahîd, Irfan
, nisba Tāʾī, tribu arabe qui, à l’instar d’al-Azd et de Kinda, quitta le Sud arabe et vint s’installer au Nord, sur le plateau de S̲h̲ammar [ q.v.] qui englobait deux rides montagneuses Ad̲j̲aʾ et Salmā, appelées d’après cette tribu Ḏj̲abalā Ṭayyiʾ. En raison de leur occupation du S̲h̲ammar, la tribu nord-arabique Asad perdit une part de son territoire mais les deux tribus fraternisèrent et furent appelées les «deux alliées», al-Ḥalīfāni. Les deux principales subdivisions de la tribu étaient al-G̲h̲awt̲h̲ et Ḏj̲adīla, dont une part appelée Ḏj̲abaliyyūn vivait sur la montagne, un…

Halīma

(143 words)

Author(s): Shahid, Irfan
, jument, vallée ou princesse g̲h̲assānide, qui donna son nom à l’un des plus célèbres de tous les ayyām [ q.v.] de l’Arabie préislamique, parfois identifié au yawm de ʿAyn Ubāg̲h̲. Il est possible que le yawm Ḥalīma soit le «jour» qui vit la victoire de G̲h̲assān sur Salīḥ [ q.v.] à la fin du Ve siècle de J.-C. Mais il est plus probable qu’il représente la victoire du G̲h̲assānide al-Ḥārit̲h̲ b. Ḏj̲abala sur le Lak̲h̲mide al-Mund̲h̲ir b. al-Nuʿmān, qui fut tué dans le combat. Si c’est exact, la bataille aurait eu lieu en juin 554 de J.-C., à la source de ‘Ud̲h̲ayya, dans le district de Ḳinnasrīn. (Ir…

S̲h̲iʿb Ḏj̲abala

(423 words)

Author(s): Shahîd, Irfān
, l’un des trois ayyām [ q.v.] les plus célèbres, journées de batailles des Arabes à l’époque préislamique, les deux autres étant le premier jour d’al-Kulāb et Ḏh̲ū Ḳār [ q.v.]. Ce yawm est daté de façon variable vers l’an 550 ou 570 après J.-C. Dans ce yawm là, les deux adversaires étaient les tribus de Tamīm et ʿĀmir, cette dernière étant sortie victorieuse des Tamīm. L’instigateur principal du yawm était le chef tamīmī, Laḳīṭ b. Zurāra, qui souhaitait venger la mort de son frère Maʿbad, capturé par les ʿĀmir lors du yawm de Raḥraḥān au cours de l’année précédente. Laḳīṭ parvint à ra…

Salīḥ

(1,481 words)

Author(s): S̲h̲ahīd, Irfan
, tribu arabe que les généalogistes rattachent au grand groupe tribal des Ḳuḍaʿa [ q.v.]. Autour de l’an 400, elle entra dans l’orbite politique byzantine et devint la principale alliée fédérée de Byzance au Ve siècle, ses foederati. Il est pratiquement sûr que les Salīḥ franchirent la frontière byzantine à partir de la région de Wādī-Sirḥān. Dans sa Géographie, Ptolémée évoque un toponyme, ΖαγμαΐΣ, au Nord de l’Arabie, assimilé au nom arabe ṣalīḥite, Ḍud̲j̲ʿum/Ḍad̲j̲ʿum; l’un des affluents du Wādī Sirḥān est appelé Ḥidrid̲j̲/Ḥidrad̲j̲, également ident…

Ḳayṣar

(1,528 words)

Author(s): Fischer, A. | Wensinck, A.J. | Schaade, A. | Paret, Rudi. | S̲h̲ahîd, Irfān
, désignation usuelle, en arabe, de l’empereur de Rome et de Byzance. Ce terme, qui représente le latin Caesar (al-Masʿūdī, Murūd̲j̲, II, 296 = § 717, en indique l’étymologie) et le grec καῖσαρ, est entré en arabe par l’intermédiaire de l’araméen (voir Fraenkel, Die aramäischen Fremdwörter im arabischen, Leyde 1886, 278 sq.); l’emprunt a dû se produire à une date très ancienne, car ce mot apparaît presque toujours, par la suite, sous la forme Ḳēṣar en syriaque (voir Payne Smith, Thesaurus syriacus, s.v.). I. — Avant l’Islam. Plusieurs siècles avant l’Islam, les Arabes entretenaien…

Tanūk̲h̲

(2,109 words)

Author(s): Shahîd, Irfan
, une confédération préislamique de plusieurs tribus arabes ayant adopté une généalogie commune. La véracité des récits des historiens arabes à propos de cette confédération est étayée par l’épigraphie sabéenne, grecque, araméenne, et syriaque et aussi par Ptolémée, malgré quelques relations contradictoires sur les débuts de son histoire dans la péninsule arabique, donnant des détails qui n’ont pas encore été vérifiés. I. Dans la Péninsule arabique. L’histoire des Tanūk̲h̲ péninsulaires appartient à la «période de migration» qui vit le déplacement de trib…

T̲h̲amūd

(582 words)

Author(s): Shahîd, Irfan
, ancienne tribu arabe qui était en plein essor dans l’antiquité, mais avait disparu de la ¶ carte ethnographique de l’Arabie avant la naissance de l’Islam. Les références à cette tribu dans les sources nonarabes depuis l’inscription assyrienne de Sargon II en 715 av. J.-C. jusqu’à la Géographie de Ptolémée (136-65 apr. J.-C.) attestent à la fois son ancienneté et sa localisation dans le Ḥid̲j̲āz; à part cela, elles ne donnent pas d’informations. Mais une inscription bilingue du IIe siècle en grec et en araméen, trouvée à Ruwāfa dans le Hid̲j̲āz septentrional, montre que …

Zarḳāʾ al-Yamāma

(321 words)

Author(s): Shahîd, Irfan
, litt. «la femme aux yeux bleus du Yamāma», une figure semi-légendaire de la tradition populaire arabe ancienne. Les yeux bleus dont elle était dotée étaient si perçants qu’elle pouvait discerner un objet à trente milles de distance, d’où l’expression proverbiale, abṣaru min Zarḳāʾ al-Yamāma, «doté d’une meilleure vue que Zarḳāʾ al-Yamāma». ¶ Elle était de la tribu de Ṭasm [ q.v.] mais avait été mariée à un membre de la tribu-sœur de Ḏj̲adīs. Après le massacre des premiers par les seconds, son frère, un survivant, demanda l’aide du roi sud-arabique des Ḥ…

G̲h̲assān

(1,434 words)

Author(s): Shahîd, Irfan
, branche du grand groupe tribal des Azd qui émigra de l’Arabie du Sud, erra dans la Péninsule et s’établit finalement à l’intérieur du limes romain vers 490 de J.-C, après avoir adopté le Christianisme et accepté de payer tribut. Après une courte période de co-existence avec les Salīḥ [ q.v.] en tant que tributaires (ύπόφοροι), ils étendirent leur autorité sur ce dernier groupe, qu’ils supplantèrent, et devinrent les nouveaux alliés (σύμμαχοι) arabes de Byzance en 502-3 de J.-C Leurs relations avec l’empire étaient régies par un traité, fœdus, selon lequel ils recevaient des subsi…

ʿAmr b. Hind

(690 words)

Author(s): Shahîd, Irfan
ʿAmr b. Hind was a Lakhmid king (r. 554–70 C.E.), son of the more famous al-Mundhir (r. 527–54 C.E.) and the Kindī princess Hind, to whom the matronymic by which he is known refers. Before his accession as king in 554 C.E., he had been designated by his father to watch over the large Arab confederation of Maʿadd and in that capacity was defeated by Abraha, the Ethiopian ruler of southern Arabia, at the battle of Ḥulubān/Ḥalibān in about 550 C.E. As the Lakhmid client-king of Sāsānid Persia (554–69 C.E.), his most important funct…
Date: 2020-02-11

al-Ḥārit̲h̲ b. Ḏj̲abala

(277 words)

Author(s): Shahîd, Irfan
, 529-569 de J.-C, est le plus célèbre de tous les rois de G̲h̲assān [ q.v.] dans les annales militaires de l’Arabie et dans l’histoire de Byzance et du Monophysisme au VIe siècle. En qualité de phylarque et allié de Byzance, il conduisit son contingent de cavaliers contre les ¶ Persans et leurs alliés arabes, les Lak̲h̲mides, au cours des guerres du règne de Justinien, et se distingua en deux de ses campagnes: à la bataille de Callinicum en 531 de J.-C, et pendant la campagne d’Assyrie en 541 de J.-C. Au yawm Ḥalima [ q.v.], en 554 de J.-C, il remporta un succès décisif sur le Lak̲h̲mide…

Nad̲j̲rān

(1,108 words)

Author(s): Shahîd, Irfan
, ville du Nord du Yémen et important centre urbain de la péninsule Arabique dans les temps anciens. C’était un centre agricole, industriel et commercial grâce à des facteurs géographiques. Elle était renommée pour ses céréales, ses fruits et ses légumes, ainsi que pour son cuir et ses tissus, placée comme elle l’était, au milieu d’un wādī fertile qui portait également le nom de Nad̲j̲rān. Son importance en tant que ville caravanière était due au fait qu’elle était située à l’intersection de deux principales routes de caravanes, l’une allant du Ḥaḍra…

al-Zabbāʾ

(714 words)

Author(s): Shahîd, Irfan
, le plus courant des deux noms donnés dans les sources musulmanes à la célèbre Reine de Tadmur/Palmyre, l’autre étant Nāʾila, que l’on peut identifier sans aucun doute avec les formes grecque et araméenne de son nom, Zénobie et Bethsabée, toutes deux attestées par l’épigraphie. Al-Zabbāʾ «la chevelue (?)» était peut-être son sobriquet alors que Nāʾila était son nom. Bien que les sources musulmanes aient brodé sur l’histoire d’al-Zabbāʾ et l’ait développée, elles demeurent précieuses car elles rendent compte du point de vue des Arabes, alors que les sou…

Kinda

(2,550 words)

Author(s): Shahîd, Irfan | Beeston, A.F.L.
, a South Arabian tribal group, whose descent, real or imaginary, from Kahlān correctly identifies them as Arabs and distinguishes them, as it does the Azd, from Ḥimyar and other non-Arab inhabitants of South Arabia. The tribe spread all over Arabia in the 5th and 6th centuries A.D., from the south to the centre to the north, and played a decisive role in the military, political, and cultural history of the peninsula before the rise of Islam. 1. The pre-Islamic period. From Kinda (a laḳab , nickname for T̲h̲awr) are descended Muʿāwiya and As̲h̲ras, and from the latter ¶ are descended al-Sakū…

al-Zabbāʾ

(660 words)

Author(s): Shahîd, Irfan
, the more common of the two Arabic names given in the Islamic sources to the famous Queen of Tadmur/Palmyra, the other being Nāʾila, undoubtedly identifiable with the Greek and Aramaic forms of her name, Zenobia and Bat̲h̲-Zabbay, both attested epigraphically. Al-Zabbāʾ “the hairy (?)” was possibly her surname while Nāʾila was her given name. In spite of embroideries and accretions that have accumulated around her in the Islamic sources, these are valuable as they document the Arab profile of the history of al-Zabbāʾ, on which the Classical sources…

Tanūk̲h̲

(2,109 words)

Author(s): Shahîd, Irfan
, a pre-Islamic confederacy of various Arab tribes that adopted a common genealogy. The essential reliability of the Arabic historians’ accounts of this confederacy is supported epigraphically by a Sabaic, a Greek, an Aramaic, and a Syriac inscription and also by Ptolemy, in spite of some conflicting reports on its early history in the Arabian peninsula, with details that so far have not been open to verification. 1. The Arabian Peninsular stage. The history of Peninsular Tanūk̲h̲ belongs to the “Migration Period” in the history of Arabia, which witnessed the m…

ʿUkāẓ

(455 words)

Author(s): Shahîd, Irfan
, the most famous and important of all the annual fairs ( sūḳ [ q.v.], pi. aswāḳ ) of the Arabs in pre-Islamic times. It was situated to the southeast of Mecca between Nak̲h̲la and al-Ṭāʾif in the territory of the tribal group Hawāzin [ q.v.]. It shared with two other fairs, Mad̲j̲anna and Ḏh̲u ’l-Mad̲j̲az̄, proximity to Mecca and its being held during the Sacred Months. But it was the most important of the three, and was held in the month of Ḏh̲u ’l-Ḳaʿda, just before the start of the pilgrimage to ʿArafāt and Mecca. The sūḳ was strategically located in the middle of the Spice Route of Wes…

S̲h̲iʿb D̲j̲abala

(440 words)

Author(s): S̲h̲ahîd, Irfān
, one of the three most famous ayyām [ q.v.], battle-days of the Arabs in pre-Islamic times, the other two being the First Day of al-Kulāb and D̲h̲ū Ḳār [ q.v.]. The yawm is variously dated to around A.D. 550 or 570. The two main contestants in this yawm were the tribes of Tamīm and ʿĀmir, in which ʿĀmir emerged victorious over Tamīm. The chief instigator of the yawm was the Tamīmī chief Laḳīṭ b. Zurāra, who wanted to avenge the ¶ death of his brother Maʿbad at the hand of ʿĀmir after he had been captured at the yawm of Raḥraḥān during the preceding year. Laḳīṭ was able …

al-Mund̲h̲ir IV

(312 words)

Author(s): Shahîd, Irfan
, one of the Lak̲h̲mid kings of Ḥīra, who reigned ca. 575-580, being the third and last son of al-Mund̲h̲ir III ( ca. 505-54) to rule Ḥīra after his elder brothers, ʿArnr b. Hind (554-69) and Ḳābūs ( 569-ca. 574). His accession to the throne of Ḥīra [ q.v.] was not smooth. After the death of his brother Ḳābūs, there was an interregnum during which a Persian, Suhrāb, ruled Ḥīra for a year. There was opposition to his accession on the part of the population of Ḥīra because of his violence and possibly because of his heathenism. Finally, it was Zayd b. Ḥammād, the father of the poet ʿAdī b. Zayd [ q.v.] who …

G̲h̲assān

(1,376 words)

Author(s): Shahîd, Irfan
a division of the great tribal group al-Azd who migrated from South Arabia, wandered in the Peninsula, and finally settled within the Roman limes ca. A.D. 490, having accepted Christianity and agreed to pay tribute. After a short period of co-existence with Salīḥ [ q.v.] as tributaries, ύπόφοροι, they overpowered the latter group and superseded them as the new Arab allies, σύμμαχοι, of Byzantium in A.D. 502-3. Their relations with the Empire were regulated by a treaty, foedus , according to which they received annual subsidies, annonae foederaticae, and in return they contributed …

Lak̲h̲m

(858 words)

Author(s): Lammens, H. | Shahîd, Irfan
, an Arab tribe, especially influential in the pre-Islamic period. With the exception of the Lak̲h̲mid family [see lak̲h̲mids ] in ʿIrāḳ, so frequently celebrated in the old Arab poetry, the pre-Islamic history of this family is not well-known and is full of legend. According to the traditional genealogy, Lak̲h̲m was of Yemenī origin and was the brother of D̲j̲ud̲h̲ām and ʿĀmila [ q.vv.]. Yemenīs and Maʿaddīs claimed descent from the powerful Lak̲h̲mid dynasty of ʿIrāḳ. Of the three sister-tribes, Lak̲h̲m was undoubtedly the most illustrious and the oldest also. Legend …

T̲h̲amūd

(622 words)

Author(s): Shahîd, Irfan
, an old Arabian tribe that flourished in ancient times but had disappeared from the ethnographic map of Arabia before the rise of Islam. References to it in the non-Arabic sources from the Assyrian inscription of Sargon II in 715 B.C. to the Geography of Ptolemy (A.D. 136-65) attest both its antiquity and its Ḥid̲j̲āzī location; otherwise they are not informative. But a bilingual Greek-Aramaic inscription of the 2nd century, found in Ruwāfa in the northern Ḥid̲j̲āz, indicates that the tribe had entered the Roman cultural and political orbit and had intimate connections with Rome: inter a…

Lak̲h̲mids

(2,286 words)

Author(s): Shahîd, Irfan
, a pre-Islamic Arab dynasty of ʿIrāḳ that made al-Ḥīra [ q.v.] its capital and ruled it for some three centuries from ca. 300 A.D. to ca. 600 A.D. Strictly speaking, the dynasty should be called the Naṣrids after their eponym, Naṣr, Lak̲h̲m [ q.v.] being the tribe to which they belonged. As semi-independent kings and as clients of the Sāsānids, the Lak̲h̲mids were the dominant force in the political, military, and cultural history of the Arabs during these three centuries before the rise of Islam. 1. History. The founder of the dynasty, whose floruit may be assigned to the last quarter of the ¶ 3…

al-Nuʿman (iii) b. al-Mund̲h̲ir

(715 words)

Author(s): S̲h̲ahîd, Irfān
, the last Lak̲h̲mid king of Ḥīra [ q.v.] and vassal of Sāsānid Persia. He was the son of al-Mund̲h̲ir IV [ q.v.] and Salmā, the daughter of a Jewish goldsmith from Fadak. In the annals of the Lak̲h̲mids [ q.v.], his reign ( ca. A.D. 580-602) was the most memorable after that of his grandfather, al-Mund̲h̲ir III (d. 554). His accession to the throne of Ḥīra he owed to ʿAdī b. Zayd [ q.v.], the famous Christian poet and statesman of Ḥīra, and the Sāsānid Hormuzd celebrated that accession with an especially splendid crown. Al-Nuʿmān was an assertive and strong ruler, and his reign witnessed…

al-Ḥārit̲h̲ b. D̲j̲abala

(251 words)

Author(s): Shahîd, Irfan
, A.D. 529-569, the most famous of all the kings of G̲h̲assān [ q.v.] in the military annals of Arabia, and in the history of Byzantium and of Monophysitism in the sixth century. As the phylarch and ally of Byzantium he led his mounted contingent against the Persians and their Arab allies, the Lak̲h̲mids, in the wars of Justinian’s reign and distinguished himself in two of its military operations: the battle of Callinicum, A.D. 531, and the Assyrian campaign, A.D. 541. At Yawm Ḥalīma [ q.v.] in A.D. 554 he triumphed decisively over the Lak̲h̲mid Mund̲h̲ir. As a believer in the One Nature o…

Salīḥ

(1,460 words)

Author(s): S̲h̲ahîd, Irfān
, an Arab tribe that the genealogists affiliate with the large tribal group, Ḳuḍāʿa [ q.v.]. Around A.D. 400, it entered the Byzantine political orbit and became the dominant federate ally of Byzantium in the 5th century, its foederati . It is practically certain that Salīḥ penetrated the Byzantine frontier from the region of Wādī Sirḥān. Ptolemy in his Geography speaks of a toponym, Ζαϒμαΐς, in northern Arabia, identifiable with the Arabic Salīḥid name, Ḍud̲j̲ʿum/Ḍad̲j̲ʿum, and one of the affluents of Wādī Sirḥān is called Ḥidrid̲…

Ṭayyiʾ or Ṭayy

(710 words)

Author(s): Shahîd, Irfan
, nisba Ṭāʾī, an Arab tribe, which like others such as al-Azd and Kinda, emigrated from the Arabian south and settled in the north, in the plateau of S̲h̲ammar [ q.v.], which contained the two ranges Ad̲j̲aʾ and Salmā, called after the tribe D̲j̲abalā Ṭayyiʾ As a result of their occupation of S̲h̲ammar, the north Arab tribe of Asad lost some of its territory but the two tribes fraternised and were called “the two allies”, al-Ḥalīfān. The two main subdivisions of the tribe were al-G̲h̲awth and D̲j̲adīla, part of whom lived on…

Zarḳāʾ al-Yamāma

(301 words)

Author(s): Shahîd, Irfan
, lit. “the blue-eyed woman of Yamāma”, a semi-legendary figure of early Arabic lore. She was endowed with such piercing eyesight that she could descry an object some thirty miles away, hence the proverb absạru min Zarḳāʾ al-Yamāma . She belonged to the tribe of Ṭasm [ q.v.], but was married to a member of the sister tribe D̲j̲adīs. After the massacre of the former by the latter, a survivor, her brother, invoked the aid of the South Arabian king Ḥassān, who marched against D̲j̲adīs in Yamāma. Al-though Ḥassān’s army was camouflaged with leaf…

Nad̲j̲rān

(1,125 words)

Author(s): Shahîd, Irfan
, a city in northern Yaman and a major urban centre in the Arabian Peninsula in ancient times. It was an agricultural, an industrial, and a trade centre, owing all this to the facts of geography. It was celebrated for its cereals, fruits and vegetables and also for its leather and textiles, situated as it was in the midst of a fertile wādī , which also bore the name Nad̲j̲rān. Its importance as a caravan city was owed to the fact that it was located at the intersection of two main caravan routes, one that ran from Ḥaḍramawt through Ḥid…

Ḳayṣar

(1,543 words)

Author(s): Fischer, A. | Wensinck, A.J. | Schaade, A. | Paret, R. | S̲h̲ahîd, Irfān
1. In early Islam. The usual name in Arabic for the Roman and Byzantine emperor. The word represents the Greek Καῖσαρ and came to the Arabic through the intermediary of the Aramaic (see Fraenkel, Die aramäischen Fremdwörter im Arabischen , Leiden 1886, 278 f.). The borrowing must have taken place at quite an early period, as the word in Syriac later appears almost in the form Ḳesar (see Payne Smith, Thesaurus Syriacus , s.v.). The Arabs, centuries before Muḥammad, had relations with Roman and to a greater extent with Byzantine emperors. As earl…

Saracens

(1,483 words)

Author(s): S̲h̲ahîd, Irfān | Bosworth, C.E.
, a vague term used in the West for the Arabs and, eventually, other Islamic peoples of the Near East, in both pre-Islamic and mediaeval times. 1. Earlier usage. Saracens was one of the many terms that Classical authors and ecclesiastical writers, used for the Arabs, the others being Arabes, Skēnitai, Ṭayyāyē, Ismailitai and Hagarēnoi. It became the most common of all these terms, although it was one that the Arabs did not use in referring to themselves. The term was a coinage composed of *Sarak and the Greek suffix ēnos , and both its etymology and denotation are controversial. Many etyma

Ḥalīma

(143 words)

Author(s): Shahîd, Irfan
, a mare, or a valley, or a G̲h̲assānid princess, after whom was named one of the most famous of all the ayyām [ q.v.] of pre-Islamic Arabia, sometimes identified with the yawm of ʿAyn Ubāg̲h̲. It is possible that yawm Ḥalīma was the “day” which witnessed the victory of G̲h̲assān over Ṣalīḥ [ q.v.] late in the 5th century A.D. But more probably, it represents the victory of the G̲h̲assānid al-Ḥārit̲h̲ b. D̲j̲abala over the Lak̲h̲mid al-Mund̲h̲ir b. al-Nuʿmān, who was killed in the encounter. If true, the battle would have taken place in June, A.D. …

Ships

(676 words)

Author(s): Shahīd, Irfan A.
Means of transportation over water. The terms for ship in the Qurʾān are three: fulk, which occurs twenty-three times; safīna, four times and jāriya (pl. jāriyāt, jawārī) also four times. The first is probably Greek (epholkion), while the third is a purely descriptive term, “the (mellifluously) moving one.” In addition to being the most frequently employed, fulk is the most significant in qurʾānic thought. Ships in the Qurʾān appear as an important sign of God's providential care for humankind, an element in the divine economy (see grace; blessing). It is through the employment of…

Sinai

(861 words)

Author(s): Shahīd, Irfan
The triangularly shaped peninsula that witnessed the wanderings of the Israelites after their flight from Egypt on the way to their promised land in Canaan, under the leadership of Moses (q.v.); the scene of the latter's miracles (q.v.) and, above all, the region where the Decalogue was given and God's covenant (q.v.) with Israel (q.v.) concluded. All of these matters are recorded in many of the sūras (q.v.) of the Qurʾān, with variations from the biblical accounts (see narratives; children of israel). The term Sinai appears twice in the Qurʾān, in q 23:20 as saynāʾ and in q 95:2 as sīnīn, pos…

Najrān

(819 words)

Author(s): Shahid, Irfan A.
A major Arab urban center of pre-Islamic south Arabia, not attested by name in the Qurʾān, but probably alluded to in q 34:18 and 85:10. The dominant group of the city was the tribe of Balḥārith, the chief clan of whom was Banū ʿAbd al-Madān (see tribes and clans; arabs; pre-islamic arabia and the qurʾān). Najrān was both an agricultural and an industrial center producing cereals, fruits, vegetables, leather and textiles (see hides and fleece; hunting and fishing; city; agriculture and vegetation). It was also a caravan (q.v.) city, at which the celebrated spice route bifurc…

Syria

(1,495 words)

Author(s): Shahīd, Irfan
In the larger sense, Syria (in Arabic al-Shām) extended from the Euphrates River/ Amanus Mountains to the Gulf of Clysma/ Suez. The region was known to the pre-Islamic Arabs (q.v.), especially the Meccans, whose caravans (see caravan) traversed the spice-route, the two termini of which, Gaza and Buṣrā, were visited by them, as was the Sinai (q.v.) peninsula (see also pre-islamic arabia and the qurʾān). The term Syria or al-Shām does not appear in the Qurʾān but, as al-Shām included the holy land, references to it in the Qurʾān as the land of the biblical prop…

People of the Elephant

(1,261 words)

Author(s): Shahīd, Irfan
The phrase in the first verse of q 105 ( Sūrat al- Fīl, “The Elephant”), from which al-fīl (“the elephant”) provides the term by which that sūra is known. The verse is addressed directly to the prophet Muḥammad: “Have you not seen how your lord has dealt with the People of the Elephant ( aṣḥāb al-fīl)?” The short sūra of five verses ¶ is early Meccan (see chronology and the qurʾān ) and it describes an expedition in which one of the mounts was an elephant and which was miraculously annihilated by God, who sent flocks of birds against the invading host. The sūra leaves unknown both the identity of the Peo…
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