Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition

Get access Subject: Middle East and Islamic Studies
Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel and W.P. Heinrichs

The Encyclopaedia of Islam (Second Edition) Online sets out the present state of our knowledge of the Islamic World. It is a unique and invaluable reference tool, an essential key to understanding the world of Islam, and the authoritative source not only for the religion, but also for the believers and the countries in which they live. 

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(5 words)

[see Kayl ].


(3,132 words)

Author(s): Talbi, M.
(gafsa), a town in Tunisia 360 km. south-west of Tunis, 200 km from Ḳayrawān, and 100 km from Gabès [see ḳābis ], population 30,000; the chief town of an administrative region with a population of 300,000 whose principal mineral resources ¶ consist of the phosphate deposits of M’Dilla, Metlaoui, Redeyef, and Moularès, which were discovered in 1885. The oasis of Ḳafsa contains about 100,000 palm trees producing dates of second-rate quality, to which must be added orchards of orange trees, lemon trees, apricots and figs, vineyards and, very recently, olive groves and attempts to grow pistachio trees. Irrigation is supplied by copious springs which arise in the heart of the town itself, and also by the sinking of artesian wells. As it is the first oasis on the road from Ḳayrawān towards the region of the Chotts, and is moreover likely to detain the visitor on account of its prehistoric and classical remains, the town has begun to take an interest in tourism and has therefore been able to take advantage of some recent improvements such as that of the road system and equipment of hotels; development of parks; the restoring of the “Roman baths”, the Ḳaṣaba and the Great Mosque; the partial reconstruction of the Byzantine city wall etc. Handicrafts, consisting mainly of the fabrication of brightly coloured blankets and carpets decorated with simple mot…


(764 words)

Author(s): Digby, S.
, Malik , known as ʿIzz al-Dawla , Tād̲j̲ al-Dīn and Hazār-dīnārī , eunuch general and minister of Sultan ʿAlāʾ al-Dīn Muḥammad S̲h̲āh K̲h̲ild̲j̲ī [ q.v.] of Dihlī, is stated to have been of Marhat́t́a (Marāt́ha) origin (see ʿIṣāmī, p. 319). In youth he was the slave of a wealthy K̲h̲wād̲j̲a (“K̲h̲od̲j̲a”—sc. Nizārī Ismāʿīlī) of Kanbhāyat (Cambay). In the Muslim conquest of Gud̲j̲arāt of 698/1299 he was taken by the commander Nuṣrat K̲h̲ān and presented to Sultan ʿAlā al-Dīn in Dihlī. Ibn Baṭṭūṭa (iii, 187) may be in error in stating that the epithet Alfī (= Hazār-dīnārī —“the thousand guinea man” ace. S. Lane Poole, p. 113) refers to a sum paid by the sultan himself for Kāfūr. Kāfūr was evidently of great physical beauty and Baranī refers in coarse terms to passive homosexual practices as well as to the Sultan’s infatuation with him. His advance through the following few years is undocumented and he next appears as an outstandingly successful military commander. Ca. 705-6/1305-6 he commanded an army which in the Pand̲j̲āb defeated the Mong…


(735 words)

Author(s): Ehrenkreutz, A.S.
, Abu’l-Misk , a black eunuch (the name al-Lābī, given to him by al-Mutanabbī, suggests his origin from Lāb in Nubia) became the dominant personality of the Ik̲h̲s̲h̲īdid [ q.v.] dynasty in Egypt. Sold to its founder, Muḥammad ibn Ṭug̲h̲d̲j̲ al-Ik̲h̲s̲h̲īd [ q.v.], Kāfūr so impressed his new master that the latter sponsored his rise to positions of political and military influence. As a field commander Kāfūr participated in the Egyptian expedition of 333/945 to Syria; he was also involved in the diplomatic exchanges between al-Ik̲h̲s̲h̲īd and the Caliph of Bag̲h̲dād. Of great significance was his appointment as the supervisor of the princely education of the two sons of al-Ik̲h̲s̲h̲īd. Upon the death of Ibn Ṭug̲h̲d̲j̲ Kāfūr safeguarded the interests of his master’s dynastic legacy by securing a formal succession of the Ik̲h̲s̲h̲īdid princes, Abu’l-Ḳāsim Anūd̲j̲ūr (Unūd̲j̲ūr) in 334/946, and ʿAlī ibn al-Ik̲h̲s̲h̲īd in 349/961. Although during that period Kāfūr enjoyed complete executive authority, he found it expedient to operate behind the façade o…


(1,021 words)

Author(s): Huart, Cl. | Grohmann, A.
, Kāg̲h̲id (from the Persian kāg̲h̲ad̲h̲ perhaps of Chinese origin), paper. In the early period of development of Muslim culture the east was acquainted only with papyrus ( ḳirṭās ) as writing-material. It was Chinese prisoners of war brought to Samarḳand after the battle of Aṭlak̲h̲ near Tālās who first introduced in 134/751 the industry of papermaking from linen, flax or hemp rags after the method used in China. “The various kinds of paper then made were the following: firʿawnī (“Pharaonic”), a kind which was to compete with papyrus even in the land…


(5 words)

[see k̲h̲aḳān ].


(6 words)

[see aṣḥāb al-kahf ]


(7 words)

[see ʿalī b. ʿīsā ].


(493 words)

Author(s): Rahman, Munibur
(late 9th century-988/late 15th century-1580), the tak̲h̲alluṣ [ q.v.] or pen-name of an Indo-Muslim poet, Nad̲j̲m al-Dīn Abu ’l-Ḳāsim Muḥammad, who wrote at the courts of the Mug̲h̲al emperors Humāyūn and Akbar [ q.vv.]. …


(2,242 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
, a term of controversial origin (cf. T. Fahd, Divination arabe , 91 ff.), belonging to Canaanite, Aramaic and Arab traditions. At the earliest stage known to us it appears to have been used by the “Western Semites” to designate the possessor of a single function with related prerogatives, that is to say, the offering of sacrifices in the name of the group, the representing of this group before the deity, the in…


(1,628 words)

Author(s): Talbi, M.
(“the Sorceress”) was the guiding spirit of Berber resistance to the Arab invaders led by Ḥassān b. al-Nuʿmān [ q.v.] after the collapse of Byzantine power marked by the fall of Carthage (73/692-3). ¶ Her true personality—which must have been highly complex—is very difficult to discern, for only the distorted reflections of her real features can be detected behind the legend. There is no agreement even on her real name, for al-Kāhina is only a nickname given to her by the Arabs. It is said that she was named Dihya—Ibn K̲h̲aldūn (tr. de Slane, Berbères , i, 172) mentions a B…


(22,495 words)

Author(s): Rogers, J.M. | J. M. Rogers | J. Jomier
, capital of Egypt and one of the most important centres of religious, cultural and political life in the Muslim world. The city is situated on both banks on the Nile, at 30°6′ Lat. N. and 31°26′ Long. E. respectively, at ca. 20 km. south of the delta where the Muḳaṭṭam Mountain almost comes down to the river. This strategical point dominating the access to Lower Egypt had been inhabited since early times, but became of primary importance during the arab invasion in 22/643, when ʿAmr b. al-ʿĀṣ e…

al-Ḳāhir Bi’llāh

(382 words)

Author(s): Sourdel, D.
, 19th ʿAbbāsid Caliph, who reigned from 320/932 to 322/934 in succession to his brother al-Muḳtadir [ q.v.]. He had previously been temporarily chosen as caliph after the abortive palace revolution in Muḥarram 317/March 929. Al-Muḳtadir’s death followed after the sortie he made at the head of his troops against the amīr Muʾnis [ q.v.] in 320/932. W…


(858 words)

Author(s): Bruijn, J.T.P. De
, or Dāstān-i Ḳahramān , a popular romance in prose, several versions of which are known in both Persian and Turkish. It belongs to a series of prose works which develop themes from the Iranian epic tradition, embellishing them with fabulous touches borrowed from folk literature. Like the


(472 words)

Author(s): Plessner, M.
(also writen as kāhrabāʾ ; for other forms see Wörterbuch der klass. arab. Sprache , s.v. and W. Schmucker, Die pflanzliche una mineralische Materia Medica im Firdaus al-Ḥikma des Ṭabarī , Bonn 1969, 414), yellow amber. The word is of Persian origin (for Pehlevi quotations see G. Jacob, ZDMG, xliii (1889), 358) and means “a strawattracting substance”. It occurs in the Arabic translation of Dioscorides, ed. E. Terés, Tetuan 1952-Barcelona 1957, p. 84, s.v. αἴγειρος (Greek text, ed. Wellmann, i, 82); but since this text, originally translated b…


(2,431 words)

Author(s): Sharon, M.
b. S̲h̲abib b. K̲h̲ālid b. Maʿdān …


(1,474 words)

Author(s): Fischer, A. | Irvine, A.K.
, according to the consensus of opinion among Muslim genealogists, historians, and geographers, ¶ and in popular tradition, the ancestor of all the South-Arabian peoples [see yaman ], whence he is sometimes known as “father of all Yaman”, the Yamanīs themselves being called banū Ḳaḥṭān , ḳabāʾil Ḳaḥṭān , or simply Ḳaḥṭān . He thus corresponds to ʿAdnān [ q.v.], the common ancestor of the northern Arabs, thoug…


(1,180 words)

Author(s): Robin, Ch.
, Qahtanite , a name which has been proposed for designating the ensemble of graffiti found in pre-Islamic South Arabia but whose use has not yet become generalised. The numerous written documents found in Arabia and dated from pre-Islamic times, may be classed under three headings: (1) monumental inscriptions on stone or other durable materials, meant to be exposed and using varieties of the Arabian alphabet (South Arabian, Dedanite, Liḥyānite and Ḥasaean) or foreign scripts (Aramaic, Greek, Latin and Geʿez); (2) private …
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