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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(599 words)

Author(s): Levy, R.
(p.), New (Year’s) Day, frequently represented in Arabic works in the form Nairūz (Ḳalḳas̲h̲andī, Ṣubḥ al-Aʿs̲h̲ā, ii. 408). It was the first day of the Persian solar year and is not represented in the Muslim lunar year (Masʿūdī, Murūd̲j̲, iii. 416 sq.). In Achaemenid times the official year began with Nawrūz, when the sun entered the Zodiacal Sign of Aries (the vernal equinox). Popular and more ancient usage however would appear to have regarded the midsummer solstice as Nawrūz (Bīrūnī, Chronology, transl. Sachau, p. 185, 201). It was the time of harvest and was celebrated…


(1,745 words)

Author(s): de Boer, Tj.
(a.) probably did not receive until the ninth century a. d. the meaning of research in the sense of scientific investigation as a translation of the Greek θεωρία. With Aristotle (e. g. Metaph., 1064 b 2) the philosophies were then divided into theoretical ( naẓarīya) and practical ( ʿamalīya); the latter seek to obtain the useful or the good for man, the former pure truth, in physics, mathematics and metaphysics. Naẓar is primarily an epistemological conception and after the example of Ammonios Hermiae, a pupil of Proclus, is dealt with among the Arabs in a work prefixed to the Isagoge of Por…


(4 words)

[See al-Nāṣira.]


(12 words)

, title of sūra lxxix., taken from the opening word. ¶


(477 words)

Author(s): Menzel
, Yaḥyā, the most important Ottoman religious poet of his period, as is apparent from his epithet Naʿt-gū, the singer of hymns. Born in 1059 (1649) in Ḳāsim Pas̲h̲a in Constantinople, he entered the Serai as a boy where he received the education of the Enderūn and had the opportunity to acquire special proficiency in Arabic and Persian. He showed a talent for poetry and considerable musical ability. His beautiful voice and his work as a poet and composer gained him the favour of Sulṭān Murād IV. He was given important offices at the court as a result: the office of a ḳog̲h̲us̲h̲ ag̲h̲asi̊ to the kil…


(138 words)

Author(s): Menzel
, properly Muṣṭafā b. Ismāʿīl, a notable Ottoman religious poet. The son of a Janissary, the inspector Yeni Bag̲h̲čeli Ördek Ismāʿīl Ag̲h̲a, he was born in Constantinople and succeeded his father in his office, after rising through all the grades in the Janissary office: he became s̲h̲āgird, k̲h̲alīfe, bas̲h̲ k̲h̲alīfe and finally in 1108 (1696) yeničeri kātibi. He died in this year on the campaign against Belgrade. Nāẓim wrote an extensive Dīwān, the poetical value of which is not very great but which contains much that is religious and mystical in its 550 g̲h̲azels and about 50 taʾrīk̲h̲

NāẒim Farruk̲h̲ Ḥusain

(284 words)

Author(s): Berthels, E.
, a Persian poet. Mullā Nāẓim, son of S̲h̲āh Riḍā Sabzawārī, was born in Herāt about 1016 (1607) and spent the greater part of his life there. Little is known of his career, except that he made a journey to India and, after spending several years in Ḏj̲ahāngīrnagar, returned to his native town where he died in 1081 (1670—1671). He was court poet of the Beglerbegīs of Herāt and his greatest work, the Yūsuf u-Zulaik̲h̲ā begun in 1058 (1648) and finished in 1072 (1661—1662), was dedicated to one of these governors, ʿAbbās Ḳūlī Ḵh̲ān S̲h̲āmlū. This, a poem of considerable…

NāẒir al-Maẓālim

(432 words)

Author(s): Levy, R.
(a.), “reviewer of wrongs”. His office “combined the justice of the ḳāḍī with the power of the sovereign” and was instituted by the later Umaiyads, who sat in person to receive petitions complaining of ẓulm. The early ʿAbbāsids, from Mahdī to Muhtadī, followed their example (Māwardī, p. 129; Baihaḳī, Kitāb al-Maḥāsin wa ’l-Masāwī, ed. Schwally, p. 577; Masʿūdī, Murūd̲j̲, viii. 21; Ṭabarī, iii. 1736), but after them the duty was undertaken by the vizier, whose failure to carry it out was regarded as a serious fault (ʿArīb, ed. de Goeje, p. 25). At Bag̲h̲dād the Caliph Muḳtadir ordered the ṣāḥi…


(199 words)

Author(s): Menzel
, Meḥmed (according to the Sid̲j̲ill-i ʿot̲h̲mānī: Naẓmī Niẓāmī), Ottoman poet of Adrianople in the period of Sulaimān al-Ḳānūnī. He was the son of a janissary, later himself became a janissary, then siliḥdār and sipāhī. He died in 996 (1588) in Adrianople, where he is buried in the türbe of S̲h̲aik̲h̲ S̲h̲ud̲j̲āʿ. ¶ Naẓmī possessed great poetic gifts and ability, which he displayed particularly in the clever and accurate imitation of other poets, in so-called naẓīre’s (pl. naẓāʾir). He also himself wrote g̲h̲azels. He rendered a great service to Ottoman literary history…


(229 words)

Author(s): Menzel
, S̲h̲aik̲h̲ Meḥmed b. Ramazān, Ottoman poet and Ḵh̲alwetī S̲h̲aik̲h̲. The son of a merchant named Ramazān b. Rustem, he was born in Constantinople in the Ḳod̲j̲a Muṣṭafā Pas̲h̲a quarter in 1032 (1622—1623). He became a disciple of ʿAbd al-Aḥad al-Nūrī. In 1065 (1654-1655) he became s̲h̲aik̲h̲ ( pōst-nis̲h̲īn) in the Ḵh̲alwetī monastery of Yawas̲h̲d̲j̲e Meḥmed Ag̲h̲a near S̲h̲ehr Emīni, later (1105 = 1693) also preacher ( wāʿiẓ) at the Sulṭān Wālide mosque. He died in 1112 (1700) and was buried in a special türbe. His son was ʿAbd al-Raḥmān Rafīʿā. Naẓmī was considered a high a…


(1,244 words)

Author(s): Nyberg, H. S.
, Ibrāhīm b. Saiyār b. Ḥāniʾ b. Isḥāḳ, a Muʿtazilī theologian of the Baṣra school. Brought up in Baṣra, he spent the latter part of his life in Bag̲h̲dād, where he died between 220 and 230 (835—845) while still, it seems, at the height of his powers. A brilliant poet, a philologist of note, and above all an extremely perspicacious and subtle dialectician, he is one of the most interesting figures in the culture of the ʿAbbāsid period. He occupies a most important place in the development of Muslim ideas. He studied speculative theology in the mad̲j̲lis of Abu ’l-Hud̲h̲ail al-ʿAllāf, from w…


(5 words)

[See Buk̲h̲t Naṣar.]


(2,659 words)

Author(s): Grohmann, Adolf
, the highlands of Arabia in contrast to the low-lying ground along the coast ( Tihāma) or the depression ( G̲h̲ōr). In the dialect of the Hud̲h̲ail Nad̲j̲d is pronounced Nud̲j̲ud. The exact application of this originally topographical conception is very differently understood and sometimes it means more generally the elevated country above the coastal plain or the extensive country, the upper part of which is formed by the Tihāma and the Yaman and the lower by Syria and the ʿIrāḳ, or the part of Arabia which stretches from …


(3,869 words)

Author(s): Bel, Alfred
(Ar. Nadrūma), pron. Nedrūma, and sometimes Medrūma, 40 miles S.W. of Tlemcen, has since the dawn of the modern period been the most important town in the hilly country between the sea on the north, the lower course of the Tāfnā on the east, the plain of Lālla Mog̲h̲nīy a(Marnia) on the south and the Algero-Moroccan frontier on the west. It is the country known since the xvith century a. d. as the land of the Trāra, Berbers converted to Islām and Arab culture in the period of the Idrīsids who were known in the middle ages as Kūmya. This little Berber bloc, speakin…


(701 words)

Author(s): Babinger, Franz
, the greatest satirist of the Ottomans. ʿOmar Efendi whose nom de plume ( mak̲h̲laṣ) was Nefʿī came from the village of Ḥasan Ḳalʿa near Erzerūm (Eastern Anatolia). Not much is known of his early life. He spent his early years in Erzerūm where the historian ʿĀlī [q. v.], who was a defterdār there, became acquainted with him. During the reign of Aḥmad I fate brought him to the capital Stambul where he worked for a time as a book-keeper. He failed in an attempt to gain the sulṭān’s favour or that of his son, the unfortunate ʿOt̲h̲mān II, with some…


(984 words)

Author(s): Marçais, G.
, a town in the south of Tunisia, lies 15 miles W. of Tozeur on the isthmus which separates the depressions of the S̲h̲oṭṭ al-Ḏj̲arīd and the S̲h̲oṭṭ G̲h̲arsa. In the middle ages it was considered one of the principal centres of the land of Ḳasṭīliya [q. v.] along with al-Ḥamma, Taḳiyus and Tozeur, which was the capital. It was regarded as a very old town. Nefṭa as a matter of fact replaced the town of Nepte or Aggarsel-Nepte. The Roman town must now be buried in the sands close to the present t…


(816 words)

Author(s): Menzel
, properly Nergis-zāde Meḥmed Efendi, an important and distinctive stylist of the old school, poet and calligrapher. Born about 1000 (1592) in Serajevo (Bosna Serai) the son of the nāʾ ib Nergis Aḥmad Efendi, he received his education in Constantinople where he attached himself as a pupil to Ḳāf-zāde Faizī ʿAbd al-Ḥaiy. On the completion of his studies he served as müderris and nāʾ ib in Gabela, Mostar, Yeni Pazar (Novibazar), Elbasan, Banyaluka and Monastir. He was on intimate terms with the S̲h̲aik̲h̲ al-Islām Yaḥyā Efendi. He travelled a great deal. Nergi…


(390 words)

Author(s): Menzel
Ḵh̲ōd̲j̲a Sulaimān, an Ottoman poet. He was born in Adrianople in 1148 (1735), the son of the poet Aḥmad Rafīʿ Efendi, then in exile; the latter is known as Muṣāḥib-i S̲h̲ahryārī. With his father, who had regained the sulṭān’s favour by writing a s̲h̲arḳi̊, which met with general approval, he came to Constantinople. He also accompanied his father on a journey to the Ḥid̲j̲āz and the young Ḥād̲j̲d̲j̲ī, on his way back, joined the Mewlewī order in Ḳonya. After his father’s death, he devoted himself to study, especially Persian, in order to understand the Met̲h̲newī. In Persian, which he ca…


(520 words)

Author(s): Babinger, Franz
Meḥemmed, an Ottoman historian, with the nom de plume ( mak̲h̲laṣ) of Nes̲h̲rī; his origin is not definitely known. According to Ewliyā Celebi ( Siyāḥetnāma, i. 247), he belonged to Germian-eli [q. v.]. ʿĀlī, Kunh al-Ak̲h̲bār v. 225 sketches the career of a certain Mewlānā Meḥemmed b. Nes̲h̲rī among the ʿulamāʾ of Murād II. According to him, the latter came at an early age to Brussa, studied there at the Sulṭān Medrese, was appointed müderris there and died in Brussa. In view of the rarity of the name — indeed it is not otherwise known —, it is probable that this Meḥe…
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