Encyclopaedia of Islam, First Edition (1913-1936)

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Edited by: M. Th.Houtsma, T.W.Arnold, R.Basset and R.Hartmann
The Encyclopaedia of Islam First Edition Online (EI1) was originally published in print between 1913 and 1936. The demand for an encyclopaedic work on Islam was created by the increasing (colonial) interest in Muslims and Islamic cultures during the nineteenth century. The scope of the  Encyclopedia of Islam First Edition Online is philology, history, theology and law until early 20th century. Such famous scholars as Houtsma, Wensinck, Gibb, Snouck Hurgronje, and Lévi-Provençal were involved in this scholarly endeavor. The Encyclopedia of Islam First Edition Online offers access to 9,000 articles.

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(16 words)

(a.), also Bawʿ, Būʿ, Plur. Abwāʿ, a linear measure = a fathom (Turkish ḳulad̲j̲).


(88 words)

Author(s): Schaade, A.
, the second letter of the Arabic alphabet (apart from Ḵh̲alīl’s arrangement of it; cf. the article abd̲j̲ad), as a numeral = 2. Graphically it is known as al-Bāʾ al-muwaḥḥada. Phonetically Sībawaihī defined it sufficiently according to our ideas as a-voiced, bilabial, explosive sound (ed. Derenbourg ii. 453, …


(1,723 words)

Author(s): Sobernheim, M.
(Baʿlabekk; called “Heliopolis” by the Greeks) chief town of a district in the province of Damascus, seat of a Ḳāʾimmaḳām, situated in the Syrian plateau of Biḳāʿ, famous for the ruins of the Temple of Jupiter erected by the Emperor Antoninus (138—161) on a broad terrace, the courts and propylaea of which Caracalla added, as well as for its Temple of Bacchus. The etymology of the name Baalbek has not been explained, according to the Greek designation “Heliopolis” it was the site of the cult of a sungod. T…


(255 words)

Author(s): Hell, J.
(a.) door, gate. Unlike the open tent of the Bedouin the ancient Arab house formed a sort of stronghold which could only be entered by a door, Bāb. As is still often the case the door varied with the style of house and was small and concealed, heavy and barricaded, or high and open. The Bāb always concealed the view into the interior of a dwelling, nothing of the richness and beauty of which could be gathered from thé exterior. The Bāb thus became a symbol of approach and beginning of the means …


(1,589 words)

Author(s): Huart, Cl.
, an Arabic word signifying ”gate”, early ¶ received among the Ṣūfis the meaning of “gate by which one enters, means of communication with that which is within”. Among the Ismaélis, this word is used symbolically for the S̲h̲aik̲h̲ or spiritual leader, who initiates into the mysteries of religion, the Asās (Guyard, Fragments, p. 106); among the Noṣairis, Salmān al-Fārisī, entrusted with the propaganda is the Bāb (R. Dussaud, Noṣairīs, p. 62. n. 4). The Druses call by this name the first spiritual minister, who embodies universal reason ( Mawlāya ʿaḳl “Monseigneur l’esprit”; cf. Sacy, Dr…


(367 words)

Author(s): Huart, Cl.
, (Turkish) “father” is also used as a designation of any old man of the people, in East Turkish it also denotes “grandfather” (Vámbéry, Čagat. Sprachstudien, p. 240; Süleimān-Efendi, Lug̲h̲āti d̲j̲ag̲h̲atai, p. 66). This surname is best known from the story in the 1001 Nights of ʿAli Bābā and the Forty Thieves (French Translation by Galland), of which the Arabic original has recently been discovered (Duncan B. Macdonald in Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, April 1910). Some holy men have borne the name, like Geikli Bābā and Dog̲h̲li Bābā who accompanied Sultān Or…

Bābā Beg

(627 words)

Author(s): Barthold, W.
, an Uzbeg chief of the family of the Keneges, was till 1870 prince of S̲h̲ahrisabz and had taken part, in the summer of 1868, in the siege of the citadel of Samarḳand then held by the Russians. In the s…

Bāb al-Abwāb

(12 words)

, the “Iron Gate” at Derbend. [see the latter.]…


(147 words)

Author(s): Hell, J.
(a.) “Parrot”, a name of the Arab poet Abu ’l-Farad̲j̲ ʿAbd al-Wāḥid b. Naṣr of Nisibis, who lived at the court of the prince Saif al-Dawla and after his death in Mosul and Bag̲h̲dād and died in 398 (1007). Standing next to his famou…

Bābā Ṭāhir

(3,559 words)

Author(s): Minorsky, V.
, a mystic and poet who wrote in a Persian dialect. According to Riḍā Ḳulī Ḵh̲ān (xix…


(420 words)

Author(s): Huart, Cl.
, Chief of the Ḵh̲urrami-sect; the name is the arabicised form of the Iranian Pāpak. He was, it is said, the son of an itinerant oilmerchant, and was engaged in a very humble occupation when Ḏj̲āwīd̲h̲ān b. Sahl, chief of the Ḵh̲urramīs noticed his gifts. On the death of the latter he claimed that his spirit had entered him and began to stir up the population of the district of al-Bad̲h̲d̲h̲ in Arrān (201=816-817).…


(777 words)

Author(s): Huart, Cl.
, Zahīr al-Dīn Muḥammad, founder of the Great Mug̲h̲al dynasty in India, eldest son of ʿOmar S̲h̲aik̲h̲ Mīrzā, great grandson of Mīrān S̲h̲āh the son of Tīmūr, through his mother Ḳutlūḳ Nigār he was descended from Čagatai, the second son of Chingīz Ḵh̲ān. When only twelve years of age he succeeded his father in Farg̲h̲āna (5 Ramaḍān 899 = 10 June 494); he took Samarḳand (903 = 1497) but could not hold it for more than a hundred days; he then took up a firm position at Ḵh̲od̲j̲and from which he was …


(524 words)

Author(s): Huart, Cl.
, the designation of the followers of the Bāb who however prefer to call themselves Ahl-i bayān. The preaching of the doctrine began with the sending of missionaries into various Persian provinces [see bāb]; their teaching, which aroused the protestations of the S̲h̲īʿa population brought about persecutions which the Bābīs resisted; in consequence the sect, at first of a purely religious character, became a political party. After a counsel held at Bedes̲h̲t, Mollā Ḥusain of Bus̲h̲rūye set out for Bārfurus̲h̲ at the head of a li…

Bāb-I ʿĀlī

(285 words)

Author(s): Deny, J.
, the Sublime Forte. The Turkish wazīrs at one time had their offices in their private houses ( ḳonaḳ). Meḥemmed II built offices for them in 872 (1467—1468) which were called Pas̲h̲a Ḳapusu “Gate of the Pas̲h̲a”, later Bāb-i Āṣafī or Bāb-i ʿĀlī “Sublime Porte”. The Sublime Porte which became from 1654 a government office, was separated only by the street from the old palace of the Sulṭān ( top ḳapu serāyi). After the abolition of the viziers of the dome, the work of the grand vizierate assumed great importance. The grand vizier’s principal assistants were: the deputy ( Kehya Bey) and the chan…


(1,687 words)

Author(s): Herzfeld, Ernst
, the ancient Babylon, situated on the Euphrates in 32° 41′ 30″ North and 44° 23′ 30″ East of Greenwich. The ancient Babylon had even in early times a much greater importance for Islām, as for us, than the town which still existed in the earlier Islāmic period. All that the Muslims know about Bābil, comes from three sources, Jewish Persian or Christian. It is not quite clear whether the information, which can be traced to the Bible, has come through the Jews or the Christians. Even Adam and Ḳābīl and Hābīl are placed in Bābil after the expulsion from Paradise and an equal antiqui…

Bāb al-Mandab

(154 words)

, the strait, 17 miles broad, between the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. According to Yāḳūt, Muʿd̲j̲am, iv. 650 ff., Mandab which means the place of calling, or of lament for the dead, is the name of a mountain on the Arabian coast. According to the legend mentioned by him, this mountain was originally joined to the outlying mountains opposite the African coast till a certain king caused it to be cut through. Mandab or Mandam is also however, the name of a harbour, the ’ΟκηλὶΣ ἐμπόριον of Ptolemy, which at the pre…


(490 words)

Author(s): Becker, C. H.
(Bābalyūn), a town in Egypt. The name Babylon of the mediaeval Egyptian town in the neighbourhood of the modern Caïro is according to Casanova the Graëcised form of an ancient Egyptian Pi-Hapi-n-On through assimilation to the Asiatic βαβυλών which was familiar to the Greeks. This etymology is not quite free from objections but there is no doubt that some ancient Egyptian place-name underlies it. By the name is meant the ancient town and fortification of the Greeks which — situated on the borders…


(1,685 words)

Author(s): Goldziher
(a.), appearance; in the dogmatic sense: the intervention of new circumstances which bring about the alteration of an earlier divine determination. (Dozy gives the term too wide a signification Essai sur l’Histoire de l’Islamisme, 223, translating it “mutabilité de Dieu”). Three sorts of Badāʾ are distinguished (S̲h̲āhrastānī, ed. Cureton, p. 110) according as the word refers to the knowledge, the will, or the command of God ( B. fi ’l-ʿilm, fi ’l-irāda, fi ’l-amr). The possibility of Badāʾ is, in opposition to the very divergent orthodox Sunni doctrine, always dealt…


(479 words)

Author(s): Seybold, C. F.
, at the present day, the fortified capital of the province, the largest in Spain of the same name, the southern half of Spanish Estremadura, on the left shore of the Guadiana before its bend to the South on the Portuguese border (31,000 inhabitants). The identification of the town with and the derivation of the name from Pax (Julia) Augusta or Colonia Pacensis is without foundation and has arisen from an error of local patriotism as the latter certainly is Beja in Portugal (Arab. Bād̲j̲a = Bēd̲…
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