Encyclopaedia of Islam, First Edition (1913-1936)

Get access Subject: Middle East and Islamic Studies
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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(405 words)

Author(s): Bel, Alfred
(Ṣuwāʿ; m. or f. in Arabie) a measure for grain “of the value of 4 mudd (modius) according to the custom of Medīna” ( Lisān). If the cubical contents of the ṣāʿ, like that of the mudd, varied with town and district as far as commercial transactions were concerned, the value of the ṣāʿ was from the canonical point of view fixed in religious law by the Prophet in the year 2 a. h. when he laid down the ritual details of the orthodox feast of ʿĪd al-fiṭr, which carried with it the compulsory giving of alms called Zakāt al-fiṭr, the value of which in grain was one ṣāʿ for each member of a family. It was, o…


(611 words)

Author(s): Ruska, J.
(a.), a time, a period of time, especially the hour. Following the custom of the Greek astronomers, a distinction is made between the equal or astronomical (sidereal) hour, sāʿa falakīya, which corresponds to a revolution of the heavens of the fixed stars through 15° and is also ¶ called mustawiya (uniform), and the unequal, curved, muʿwad̲j̲d̲j̲a, also an hour of time, zamānīya, which is the result of dividing day and night each into 12 hours and therefore varies with latitude and season and in the higher latitudes becomes quite absurd. — In the language of religion sāʿa is also the hour …


(314 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A. J.
(a.) felicity, good fortune. The root s-ʿ-d and some of its derivatives is associated in various connections with pre-Islāmic Arab conceptions. Its general meaning is given as “auspicious, fortunate ( y-m-n, opposite n-ḥ-s). The proper name Saʿd (feminine Su’ād, see the article saʿd) may therefore be synonymous with Hebrew names like Benjamin and Gad. Saʿd is also found as the name of a god; Wellhausen ( Reste arabischen Heidentums 2, p. 65) suggests that al-Saʿīda (a house round which the Arabs used to run) was originally an epithet of al-ʿUzzā. Saʿd followed by…

Saʿādat ʿAlī K̲h̲ān

(474 words)

Nawāb of Oudh (q. v.), from 1798 to 1814; on the death of his brother, Āṣaf al-Dawla, in September 1797, a reputed son, Wazīr ʿAlī Ḵh̲ān, who had been purchased by the late Nawāb but never formally adopted, had been appointed to succeed, but four months later he was set aside as incompetent, and the British Governor-General, Sir John Shore, installed in his place Saʿādat ʿAlī Ḵh̲ān, who had been living under British protection in Benares since 1776. His reign is noteworthy for the extension of …


(17,675 words)

Author(s): Tkatsch, J.
, the name of the people and kingdom in South-western Arabia in the first millennium B.C., frequently mentioned in the Old Testament, in Greek, Roman and Arabic literature and especially in the South Arabian inscriptions; the old Arabic sources, which are mainly inscriptions, and isolated references in Greek sources, give us further information regarding the history of Sabaʾ in the first centuries A. D. down to the period of Muḥammad. In Assyrian, on the evidence of the cuneiform inscriptions down to the eighth century, Sabʾu was the name of a country, as was S̲h̲abi (a) t (also S̲h̲abt (i)…


(1,681 words)

Author(s): de Boer, Tj.
(a., pl. asbāb) is with ʿilla (pl. ʿilal), the general term for cause in the Peripatetic sense: the two expressions are used to a great extent synonymously like ἀρχή and αἰτία or ἀίτιον in Aristotle. Ibn Rus̲h̲d ( Mā baʿd al-Ṭabīʿa, Cairo, p. 15) says that sabab and ‘ilia are synonyms. Previous to him, Abū Ṣalt (d. 1134) used them in his Logic (Madrid, p. 50 of Arabic text) with the same meaning. Many examples for the synonymous use could also be quoted from the older writings of eastern Islām. Although for example God is usually called by the philosophers the first ʿilla, he is often called wit…


(862 words)

Author(s): Babinger, Franz
, chief place of the nāḥiya of the same name, picturesquely situated on the Southeastern bank of lake Ṣaband̲j̲a which is well known for its clear water and its many fishes. Ṣ. belongs to the wilāyet Stambul and to the Ṣand̲j̲aḳ Ismld. It is the residence of a Mudir and has about 8000 inhabitants (of whom three-quarters are Muslims), 15 mosques, 2 Madrasa’s, 15 schools and about 1200 houses (cf. V. Cuinet, Za Turquie d’Asie iv. 378). Of the history of the town little is kbown; there are remains from the Byzantine period, not however from antiquity. The origin of the n…


(23 words)

, tide of Sūra Ixxxvii. of the Ḳurʾān, which is also called al-Aʿlā, after the last word of the first verse.


(2,138 words)

Author(s): Krenkow, F.
, Abū Isḥāḳ Ibrāhīm b. Hilāl b. Ibrāhīm b. Zahrūn al-Ḥarrānī was an adherent of the sect of Sābiʾans [see the art. ṣābiʾa] and was born on the 5th of Ramaḍān, 313 a.h., according to the most trustworthy authority, his grandson Hilāl, while the Fihrist gives the year 320, which is certainly too late a date. His father Hilāl was a skilful doctor and in the service of Tūzūn, who died in 324 a. h. Ibrāhīm was brought up to the same sciences as other members of his family, who were all skilled in medicine, astronomy and mathematics. He is stated to have made an astrolabe o…


(1,170 words)

Author(s): Carra de Vaux, B.
, the Sabaeans. This name has been given to two quite distinct sects. 1. the Mandaeans or Subbas, a Judaeo-Christian sect practising the rite of baptism in Mesopotamia (Christians of John the Baptist); 2. the Sabaeans of Ḥarrān, a pagan sect which survived for a considerable period under Islām, of interest for its doctrines and of importance for the scholars whom it has produced. The Sabaeans mentioned in the Ḳorʾān, who are on three occasions placed along with the Jews and Christians among the “people of the book”, i. e. possessors of a revealed book, are a…


(232 words)

Author(s): Haig, T. W.
, a way, road, or path, is used in the Ḳurʾān (1) literally, e. g. man istaṭāʿa ilaihi sabīlan (Sūra iii. 91 etc.) “he who is able to journey thither”; (2) figuratively, as in the expression sabīl-Allāh, for which see d̲j̲ihād; (3) figuratively, in the sense of the true way, the Apostle’s way, as in the passage yā laitanī ittak̲h̲ad̲h̲tu maʿa ’l-rasūl sabīlan (Sūra xxv. 29) “Oh! would that I had taken with the Apostle a path!” i. e. his ¶ path, or the true path; (4) figuratively, in the sense of a means of attaining or acquiring an object, or a way out of a difficulty or trouble, as in the passage aw yad̲j…


(2,532 words)

Author(s): Strothmann, R.
“Sevener”, the name of various S̲h̲īʿa groups who restrict the number of visible Imāms to seven. Confusion came upon the legitimist S̲h̲īʿa, who believe that the character of Imām is transmitted by divine providence from father to son, when about 145 (762) Ismāʿīl, the (eldest?) son of the sixth Imām Ḏj̲aʿfar al-Ṣādiḳ [q. v.] died before his father. While the majority replaced Ismāʿīl by another son of Ḏj̲aʿfar, Mūsā al-Kāẓim, the seventh in the series of the twelve visible Imāms of the It̲h̲nā…


(140 words)

Author(s): Ruska, J.
or Ṣabir, the aloe, the dried juice from the leaves of a group of African aloes belonging to the Liliaceae; a bitter drug and strong purgative, described as early as by Dioscurides, which is highly esteemed in Arab medicine. At the present day the aloe of Sokoṭrā is considered the best quality. Al-Dimas̲h̲ḳī ( Nuk̲h̲bat al-Dahr, ed. Mehren, p. 81) gives a good description of the plant; and a description of how the sap is obtained is given by al-Nuwairī; see also the lexicons (Lane, Lexicon, ii. 1645) (J. Ruska) Bibliography O. Warburg, Die Pflanzenwelt, iii. 448 I. Löw, Die Flora der Juden, ii. …


(2,402 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A. J.
(a.). The significance of this conception could hardly be conveyed in a West-European language by a single word, as may be seen from the following. According to the Arabic lexicographers, the root ṣ-b-r, of which ṣabr is the nomen actionis, means to restrain or bind; thence ḳatalahu ṣabran “to bind and then slay someone”. The slayer and the slain in this case are called ṣābir and maṣbūr respectively. The expression is applied, for example, to martyrs and prisoners of war put to death; in the Ḥadīt̲h̲ often to animals which — contrary to the Muslim prohibition …

Sabʿ, Sabʿa

(774 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A. J.
, the number seven, which has a special significance for Muslims as for other — Semitic and non-Semitic — peoples. The preference for this number in various conceptions and actions goes back in part to borrowing from Jews, Christians and other peoples but in part was already indigenous among the pre-Muḥammadan Arabs. The latter is doubtless true of the sevenfold ṭawāf around the Kaʿba, the sevenfold course between al-Ṣafā and al-Marwa (cf. saʿy) and the sevenfold casting of stones at the Ḥad̲j̲d̲j̲ (see d̲j̲amra i. 1012 sq.). Another series of these beliefs is connected with pecu…


(410 words)

Author(s): Palache, J. L.
, the Arabic equivalent of the Hebrew S̲h̲abbāt, the name of the Jewish day of rest. According to the Ḳorʾān, Sūra iv. 153, the Sabbath was imposed upon the Jews on Sinai as a binding law; according to Sūra xvi. 125, upon those “who have differences of opinion regarding this”, by which expression, according to the commentators, either the Jews or — which is more probable — the Jews and Christians are intended. Sūra vii. 163—166, ii. 61, iv. 50 contain allusions to a legend, according to which Je…


(393 words)

Author(s): Ben Cheneb, Moh.
, Aḥmad b. Ḏj̲aʿfar al-Ḵh̲azrad̲j̲ī Abu ’l-ʿAbbās al-Sabtī, a holy man famous for his virtues and his miracles, born at Ceuta in 540 (= June 24, 1145—June 12, 1146) and died on Monday Ḏj̲umādā II 6, 601 (= Jan. 31, 1205) at Marrākis̲h̲ where he was buried near the Tāzrūt gate. He studied more particularly under Abū ʿAbd Allāh al-Fak̲h̲k̲h̲ār, the pupil of the celebrated Ḳāḍī ʿIyāḍ of Ceuta. He was eloquent and had no difficulty in convincing his questioners; he was very pious and used to recite the Ḳur…


(275 words)

Author(s): Schoy, C.
, Ṣūrat al-Sabūʿ, the constellation of the Wolf, and Ṣūra Ḳīṭus Sabūʿ al-Baḥr, constellation of Cetus, ΚῆτοΣ (cf. al-Bīrūnī, al-Ḳānūn al-Masʿūdī, Berl. Ms. or. 8°. 275, p. 207a and 220ab). The Sūrat al-Sabuʿ with the Arabs (just as with Ptolemy) consists of 19 single stars, none of which is of more than the third magnitude (according to modern star catalogues the brightest are of 2.8 and 2.9 magnitude). The Greeks called the constellation (undefined) τὸ Θησίον (= the beast); but even among the oldest Babylonians the suggestion of a raging beast seems to have been present. The name i…
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