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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(1,321 words)

Author(s): Buhl, Fr.
, a mountain about three miles north of Medīna, celebrated for the battle fought there in the year 3 which ended unfavourably for Muḥammad. It is a part of the great range of hills which runs from north to south but here spreads to the east over the plain and thus forms an independent group of hills. The rocky walls surmounted by a rectangular plateau — without peaks, Yāḳūt says — “which rise like masses of iron” (Burton) above the plain are quite destitute of trees and plants and only the face …


(1,034 words)

Author(s): Zetterstéen, K. V.
, a dynasty of al-Mawṣil. The Banū ʿOḳail belonged to the great Beduin tribe of ʿĀmir b. Ṣaʿṣaʿa. From their original home in Central Arabia they spread in course of time in different directions and among their better known subdivisions were the Banū Ḵh̲afād̲j̲a [q. v.] and the Muntafiḳ [q. v.]. In the fourth century of the ¶ Hid̲j̲ra the Banū ʿOḳail in Syria and ʿIrāḳ were tributary to the Ḥamdānids and when the latter were no longer able to maintain themselves in al-Mawṣil the city passed to the ʿOḳailids. The Kurd chief Bād̲h̲, the founder of the d…


(366 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A. J.
, name of an oasis situated between Ṭāʾif and Nak̲h̲la. The Arab philologists derive the name from the root meaning ‘to retain’, in the middle forms’to assemble’or from the meaning of ‘concourse’. Both interpretations are based on the fact that ʿOkāẓ was primarily celebrated for its annual fair, which was held on the 1st—20th Ḏh̲u’l-Ḳaʿda and was at the same time an official occasion of mufāk̲h̲ara, i. e. a gathering of tribes or rather of groups and individuals belonging to the same tribe where individuals competed for honours and for the honour of their tribe. These assemblies to which …

ʿOḳba b. Nāfiʿ

(1,500 words)

Author(s): Lévi-Provençal, E.
b. ʿAbd Ḳais al-Ḳuras̲h̲ī al-Fihrī, the famous general of the first century a. h. who endeavoured by consolidating the first successes of the Arab conquest in North Africa to put an end to the resistance of the Berbers but finally perished after a troubled career at the hands of African rebels. The data supplied by the historians regarding the career of ʿOḳba are relatively abundant but like all that relates to the beginnings of the expansion of Islām in North Africa have frequently to be taken with caution. They come from later traditions, and …


(537 words)

Author(s): Brockelmann, C.
, Abu ’l-Yumn ʿAbd al-Raḥmān b. Muḥammad Mud̲j̲īr al-Dīn al-ʿOmarī al-Ḥanbalī al-Maḳdisī, an Arab historian, born on the 13th Ḏh̲u ’l-Ḳaʿda 860 (Oct. 13, 1456) in Jerusalem, studied from 880 (1476) in Cairo, became in 889 (1484) ḳāḍī in Ramla and in 891 (1486) chief ḳāḍī in Jerusalem. He retired in 922 (1516) and died in 928 (1522) in Jerusalem. His best known work is a history of Jerusalem and Hebron, which he began on the 25th Ḏh̲u ’l-Ḥid̲j̲d̲j̲a 900 (Sept. 17, 1494) and finished on the 17th Ramaḍān 901 (May 31, 1495), entitled al-Ins (= Anīs, which is sometimes found in the MSS. in plac…

Olčaitu K̲h̲udābanda

(703 words)

Author(s): Kramers, J. H.
, eighth Īlk̲h̲ān of Persia, reigned from 1304 till 1317. He was, like his predecessor G̲h̲āzān, a son of Arg̲h̲ūn and a great-grandson of Hūlāgū. At his accession ¶ he was 24 years of age. In his youth he had been given the surname of Ḵh̲arbanda, for which different explanations are given (cf. the poem by Ras̲h̲īd al-Dīn reproduced on p. 46 of E. G. Browne, A Literary History of Persia, iii. p. 46 sq. and Ibn Baṭṭūṭa, ii. 115), but E. Blochet, in his Introduction à l’histoire des Mongols (G. M. S., xii. 51), has explained the name as a Mongolian word, meaning “the third”. The Byzantin…


(1,776 words)

Author(s): Grohmann, A.
, a nominally independent state on the Persian Gulf under the protectorate of England. Its extent has varied considerably in the course of its history. While Iṣṭak̲h̲rī, for example, who gives ʿOmān an extent of 300 parasangs, includes the district of Mahra in it, Idrīsī describes the latter as an independent country. In the northwest ʿOmān was bounded by the province of al-Baḥrain or al-Had̲j̲ar, in the south by Yaman and Ḥaḍramōt. The sultanate reached its greatest extent under Sulṭān Ibn Māli…


(541 words)

Author(s): Nicholson, R. A.
b. ʿAlī (S̲h̲araf al-Dīn) al-Miṣrī al-Saʿdī, generally known as Ibn al-Fāriḍ, a celebrated Ṣūfī poet. The name al-Fāriḍ (notary) refers to the profession of his father, who belonged to Ḥamāt but migrated to Cairo, where ʿOmar was born in 576 or, more probably, in 577. In early youth he studied S̲h̲āfiʿī law and Ḥadīt̲h̲; then came his conversion to Ṣūfism, and for many years he led the life of a solitary devotee, first among the hills (al-Muḳaṭṭam) to the east of Cairo and afterwards in the Ḥid̲j̲āz. On his return to Cairo he was venerated as a sa…

ʿOmāra b. Abi ’l-Ḥasan

(1,380 words)

Author(s): Kratschkowsky, Ign.
ʿAlī b. Zaidān al-Ḥakamī al-Yamanī, an Arab man of letters born in 515 (1121) in Marṭān on the Wādī Wasāʿ in the district of al-Zarāʾib in the Tihāmat al-Yaman, executed on Ramaḍān 2, 569 (April 6, 1174) in Cairo by orders of Ṣalāḥ al-Dīn [cf. the article saladin]. In that period the Yaman, broken up into many little principalities, was suffering severely from continual civil wars. Traditional learning was still in a flourishing condition however, especially in the large towns. In 530 (1136) ʿOmāra was sent by his father to Zabīd, where he s…

ʿOmar (Abū Ḏj̲aʿfar) b. Ḥafṣ

(624 words)

Author(s): Marçais, G.
was appointed governor of the province of Ifrīḳiya by the ʿAbbāsid caliph al-Manṣūr in 151 (768). He belonged to a family which in the time of the Umaiyads had furnished a number of high officials to the state. One of his uncles, al-Muhallab b. Abī ¶ Ṣufra, had attained fame as governor of Ḵh̲urāsān under ʿAbd al-Mālik b. Marwān. ʿOmar whose bravery was celebrated had himself held a command in the eastern provinces: he had been given the Persian epithet of Hazarmerd “1,000 men”. The difficult situation in Ifrīḳiya at the time justified the choice of an energetic governor. Barba…

ʿOmar [b. ʿAbd Allāh] b. Abī Rabīʿa

(965 words)

Author(s): Kratschkowsky, Ign.
, “undeniably the greatest love-poet of the Arabs” (Rückert), born, according to tradition, on the 26th Ḏh̲u ’l-Ḥid̲j̲d̲j̲a 26 (beginning of Nov. 644), died in 93 (712) or 101 (719). His biography, like those of other poets who are regarded as representatives of a particular form of poetry (e. g. Abū Nuwās with his drinking songs), is much encumbered by legend; he was regarded as the great love-poet and imitations by his contemporaries and the works of later poets were readily ascribed to him. It is only the b…

ʿOmar b. ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz

(2,271 words)

Author(s): Zetterstéen, K. V.
b. Marwān b. al-Ḥakam, Abū Ḥafṣ al-As̲h̲ad̲j̲d̲j̲, Umaiyad caliph. He was born in Medīna in the year 63 (682—683). His father ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz [q. v.] had been for many years governor of Egypt; through his mother he was descended from ʿOmar I. She was Umm ʿĀṣim bint Āṣim b. ʿOmar b. al-Ḵh̲aṭṭāb. He spent the greater part of his life in Medīna. He was sent there by his father from Egypt to receive a fitting education in the city of the Prophet and remained there till the death of his father in 85 (704). H…

ʿOmar b. Aiyūb

(9 words)

[See Ḥamā and Aiyūbids supplement.] ¶

ʿOmar b. Ḥafṣūn

(1,490 words)

Author(s): Lévi-Provençal, E.
, leader of a famous rebellion in Spain, who at the end of the ninth century a. d. held out for years against the Uroaiyad emīrs of Cordova and in the end was only brought to book by the caliph ʿAbd al-Raḥmān III al-Nāṣir [cf. umaiyads]. His full name was ʿOmar b. Ḥafṣ b. ʿOmar b. Ḏj̲aʿfar called al-Islāmī, from his conversion from Christianity to Islām and he claimed descent from an ancestor named Alfonso who had the title of count ( comes). ʿOmar’s father Ḥafṣ or with the specifically Spanish suffix (- ūn), Ḥafṣūn, was thus the grandson of a Visigothic lord who had become a Muslim and…

ʿOmar b. Hubaira

(13 words)

[See Ibn Hubaira , [See i. supra, ii. 388a.]

ʿOmar Efendi

(379 words)

Author(s): Babinger, Franz
, an Ottoman historian, according to popular tradition originally called Elkazović or Čaušević, belonged to Bosnisch-Novi (Bosanski-Novi). Of his career we only know that he was acting as ḳāḍī in his native town when fierce fighting broke out on Bosnian soil between the Imperial troops and those of Ḥakīm-Og̲h̲lu ʿAlī Pas̲h̲a (1150 = 1737). ʿOmar Efendi at this time wrote a vivid account of the happenings in Bosnia from the beginning of Muḥarram 1149 (May 1736) to the end of Ḏj̲umādā I 1152 (end …

ʿOmar ibn al-K̲h̲aṭṭāb

(2,773 words)

Author(s): Vida, G. Levi Della
, the second Caliph, one of the greatest figures of the early days of Islām and the founder of the Arab empire. Religious legend has naturally in the case of ʿOmar, as with other heroes and saints of Islām, filled his biography with a mass of apocryphal details. Nevertheless the main characteristics of his personality are revealed to historical research with sufficient clearness for it to be possible to understand his character and assign him his place in the formation of Islām. Like many other …

ʿOmar K̲h̲aiyām

(4,341 words)

Author(s): Minorsky, V.
famous Persian scientist and poet of the Sald̲j̲ūḳ period (d. in 526 = 1132). Biography. Although reliable information on Ḵh̲aiyām is still scarce we cannot underestimate the importance of the sources at present available. In his Algebra he calls himself Abu ’l-Fatḥ ʿOmar b. Ibrāhīm al-Ḵh̲aiyāmī and in his verses seems to use Ḵh̲aiyām (“tent-maker”) as his tak̲h̲alluṣ. It is likely that this nickname refers to the profession of his ancestors. W. Litten, in his pamphlet Was bedeutet Chajjām? Warum hat O. Chajjām... gerade diesen Dichternamen gewählt?, Berlin 1930 (25 p.), has sugg…


(755 words)

Author(s): Hillelson, S.
(Umm Durmān), a town of the Anglo-Egyptian Sūdān situated on the west bank of the main Nile immediately below the junction of the Blue and White Niles. A seven-span steel bridge built in 1925—1928 connects Omdurman with Ḵh̲arṭūm [q. v.], and the two towns (together with Ḵh̲arṭūm North on the right bank of the Blue Nile) form for practical purposes a single city; but whereas Ḵh̲arṭūm as the seat of the government and the centre of foreign commerce has acquired a European character blended of Briti…