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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Kāf

(659 words)

Author(s): Fleisch, H.
, 22nd letter of the Arabic alphabet, transcribed k, numerical value 20, according to the eastern order [see abd̲j̲ad ]. ¶ Definition: occlusive , postpalatal , surd; postpalatal, the medial position of k in the variations that it can be subjected to, according to the vowel with which it is in contact (see H. Fleisch, Traité , §2 b). According to the Arab grammatical tradition: s̲h̲adīda , mahmūsa , in mak̲h̲rad̲j̲ : the region a little less further back than that of ḳāf , the furthest back in the mouth (Sībawayhi, ii, 453, 1. 6-7, ed. Paris; al-Zamak̲h̲s̲h̲arī, Mufaṣṣal

Ḳāf

(884 words)

Author(s): Fleisch, H.
, 21st letter of the Arabic alphabet, transcribed , numerical value 100, according to the eastern order [see abd̲j̲ad ]. Definition: occlusive , uvulovelar , surd . According to the Arab grammatical tradition: s̲h̲adīda , mad̲j̲hūra , in mak̲h̲rad̲j̲ : the rear-most part of the tongue and the highest part of the upper palate (Sībawayhi, ii, 453, 1. 5-6, ed. Paris; al-Zamak̲h̲s̲h̲arī, Mufaṣṣal , 188, 1. 16-7, 2nd ed. Broch), that is to say: the root of the tongue is in contact with the very lowest part of the soft palate and the uvula …

Ḳāf

(2,269 words)

Author(s): Streck, M. | Miquel, A.
, in Muslim cosmology, the name of the mountain range surrounding the terrestrial world. There is little doubt that this conception is borrowed from Iranian traditions. These make the Alburz [ q.v.] the mythical mountain at the edge of the world, and the home of the gods. All the other mountains in the world have come from the Alburz by underground ramifications. This mountain (the high mountain: Hara-berezayti) surrounds all the world, but also a lake with the name of Wurukas̲h̲a; however, according to the Bundahis̲h̲n , this lake itself, although confined …

Kafa

(5 words)

[see kefe ].

Kafāʾa

(821 words)

Author(s): Linant de Bellefonds, Y.
(a.), a term which in common usage signifies at one and the same time equality, parity and aptitude, but in the terminology of fiḳh designates equivalence of social status, fortune and profession (those followed by the husband and by the father-in-law), as well as parity of birth, which should exist between husband and wife, in default of which the marriage is considered ill-matched and, in consequence, liable to break-up. In fact, in fiḳh, kafāʾa works in a single direction and protects only the wife who must not marry beneath her station; it m…

Kafāla

(1,122 words)

Author(s): Linant de Bellefonds, Y.
( ḍamān in all but the Ḥanafī school), aninstitution corresponding to some extent to the surety-bond in Western juridical systems, with the difference that the fuḳahāʾ distinguished two types of surety-bond. On the one hand there is the type for which the surety ( kafīl ) is binding to secure only the appearance in court of the debtor ( aṣīl or makfūl ); this, known as the kafāla bi’l-nafs, is an institution peculiar to Muslim law. There also exists the kafāla bi’l-māl , by means of which the surety stands as a pledge to the creditor ( makfūl lahu) that the obligation of the principal debtor…

Kafan

(872 words)

Author(s): Bianquis, Th.
(a.), “shroud”. In the Islamic world, a dying person was often forewarned of imminent death by a dream, or by a dream that an inhabitant of his town had had during the preceding days, to the effect that the Prophet or some other great figure like Abū Bakr, ʿUmar or ʿAlī, was waiting for him and he should get ready for the meeting. Since death is the natural goal of life, its approach should be managed calmly. When the death agony is imminent, the dying person pronounces the s̲h̲ahāda or profession of faith, whilst raising one finger of the right hand to re-aff…

Ḳafes

(2,010 words)

Author(s): Veinstein, G.
(a., t.) “cage”, the popular term in Ottoman Turkish usage for the area of the harem ¶ of the Ṭopḳapi̊ palace in which Ottoman princes of the blood ( s̲h̲eh-zādeler ) were confined from the early 17th century onwards. In a more abstract sense, historians apply the same term to the system whereby the rights of claimants to the Ottoman throne were determined, as opposed to the “law of fratricide” which it was gradually superseding during this period. In the sources, the term is of late usage only (d’Ohsson uses the word in the plural; Tableau de l’Empire ottoman , vii, 101; ʿĀṣi̊m, Tārīk̲h̲

al-Kaff

(75 words)

Author(s): Ed.
(a.), verbal noun of the verb kaffa in the sense of “to abstain, desist [from s.th.],” and “to repel [s.o. from s.th.]” (see WbKAS , i, Letter Kāf , 236-9), in a religio-political context refers to the quiescent attitude of some K̲h̲ārid̲j̲ite [ q.v.] groups in early Islam, called ḳaʿada “those who sit down”, i.e. stay at home, in abstaining from overt rebellion and warfare against the ruling authority. See further ḳuʿūd . (Ed.)

al-Kaff

(1,138 words)

Author(s): Fahd, T.
( ʿilm-i ), a divinatory process which belongs to the realm of physiognomy [see firāsa ], and designates more specifically chirognomy, or the art of deducing the character of a person according to the shape and appearance of the hands, whereas chiromancy proper is designated by ʿilm al-asārīr (lines of the hand) or k̲h̲uṭūṭ al-yad . One can also say naẓar fi ’l-yad , firāsat al-kaff , ʿalāmāt asārīr al-kaff (cf. T. Fahd, Divination arabe , 393 ff.). But the use of the term ʿilm al-kaff has become general, and this has supplanted the others. It covers both c…

Kaff

(17 words)

, term used in prosody [see ʿArūḍ ]; term with politico-religious meaning [See Ḳuʿūd ].

Kaffa

(5 words)

[see Kefe ].

Kaffāra

(1,172 words)

Author(s): Chelhod, J.
, an expiatory and propitiatory act which grants remission for faults of some gravity. This technical term, which is only employed four times in the Ḳurʾān, is said to have been borrowed from Hebrew kappārā (A. Jeffery, Foreign vocabulary of the Qurʾan , 250; D. S. Margoliouth, art. Expiation and atonement ( Muslim), in Hastings Enc .) For the reasons set out below, this thesis should be considered as unproven. On the other hand the root k f r is undoubtedly Arabic. Speaking strictly etymologically, kaffāra “covers” sins rather than wi…

Kafīl

(5 words)

[see Kafāla ].

Ḳāfila

(5 words)

[see Tid̲j̲āra ].

Kāfir

(1,956 words)

Author(s): Björkman, W.
(a.), originally “obliterating, covering”, then, “concealingbenefits received” = “ungrateful”; this meaning is found even in the old Arab poetry and in the Ḳurʾān, Sūra XXVI, 18. In the Ḳurʾān the word is used with reference to God: “concealing God’s blessings” = “ungrateful to God”, see Sūra XVI, 57 and XXX, 33: “That they are ungrateful for our gifts”; cf. also Sūra XVI, 85. The next development— probably under the influence of the Syriac and Aramaic where the corresponding development took pl…

Kāfiristān

(2,408 words)

Author(s): Bosworth, C.E.
(“land of the unbelievers”), the name of a mountainous region of the Hindu Kush massif in north-eastern Afg̲h̲ānistān, until 1896 very isolated and politically independent, but since the Afg̲h̲ān conquest of that date and the introduction of Islam known as Nūristān (“land of light”). Some older European writers mentioned what might be termed a “greater Kāfiristān”, comprising such regions as Kāfiristān in the restricted sense (see below), Lag̲h̲mān, Čitral, Swāt, Bad̲j̲awr, Gilgit, etc. This cor…

Kāfirkūb

(440 words)

Author(s): Chouémi, M.
, which is recorded only in the plural form kāfirkūbāt , is formed from the Arab word kāfir [ q.v.] (impious, unfaithful) and the present participle of the Persian verb kūbīdan (to strike, to crush). It ¶ denotes a club, literally a “heathen-basher”. The term is testified, in ʿIrāḳ, from the end of the 2nd/8th century, by Arab writers and chroniclers: al-Ḏj̲āḥiẓ, Abū Ḥanīfa al-Dīnawarī, etc. (see Bibl. below), but al-Ṭabarī already cites it when describing the incidents arising in 66/685 during the revolt of al-Muk̲h̲tār [ q.v.], and his S̲h̲iʿite followers, al-K̲h̲as̲h̲abiyya [ q.v.], w…

Ḳāfiya

(3,383 words)

Author(s): Bonebakker, S.A.
(a.), plur. ḳawāfin , term in prosody, meaning “rhyme”. Goldziher ( Abh . zur Arabischen Philologie , Leiden 1896, i, 83-105; cf. R. Blachère, Deuxième contribution, in Arabica vi (1959), 141) has shown that the word meant originally “lampoon”, then “line of poetry”, “poem” and, that these earlier senses survived in Islamic times after the word had also come to be used in the technical sense of “rhyme”. He derives ḳāfiya from ḳafan , “nape of the neck” (and the corresponding verb ḳafā , “to hit the nape of the neck”) and draws attention to passages in whi…

al-Kāfiyad̲j̲ī

(507 words)

Author(s): Rosenthal, F.
, muḥyī al-dīn muḥammad b. sulaymān al-ḥanafī , 9th-15th century scholar and prolific writer on many subjects. Born in, or rather, after, 788/1386-87 in Ṣarūk̲h̲ān [ q.v.] in a place called Kökd̲j̲ekī, apparently situated near Bergama as indicated by the additional nisba al-Barg̲h̲amī, he came to Egypt after 830/1427 and was soon welcomed into the leading scholarly circles there. Čaḳmaḳ appointed him a professor in the Zāwiyat al-As̲h̲raf S̲h̲aʿbān and later promoted him to the academic deanship ( mas̲h̲yak̲h̲at al-tadrīs ) of S̲h̲aʿbān’s Turba. The id…
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