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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(709 words)

Author(s): Heinrichs, W.P.
, the seventeenth letter of the Arabic alphabet, numerical value: 900 The transliteration /ẓ/ reflects an urban/sedentary pronunciation as “emphatic” (pharyngealised) /z/. Sībawayh (d. 177/793 [ q.v.]), however, describes the sound as an “emphatic” voiced interdental, thus /ḏ̣/ (iv, 436), and this is the way it is pronounced in those dialects, mainly Bedouin, that have preserved the interdentals. There is, however, an additional complication: with ¶ very few exceptions (in Northern Yemen, see Behnstedt, 5), all modern dialects of Arabic have coalesced the sou…

(5 words)

[see zāy ].


(1,027 words)

Author(s): Côte, M.
, with its pl. Zībān , the name of a region of the Algerian Sahara around Biskra [ q.v.], ¶ extending over an area of ca. 150 km/100 miles from west to east and 40 km/25 miles from north to south. 1. Geography. The Zībān form part of the great Saharan piedmont which stretches from Agadir to Gabès. Within this, they have a special dual role, the first role derived from their position at the narrowest part of the Mag̲h̲ribī mountain rim and at the opening of the great southern axis of communication of eastern Algeria (Skikda-Constantine-Ba…


(827 words)

Author(s): Bosworth, C.E.
, the name of two left-bank tributaries of the Tigris [see did̲j̲la ] in northern ʿIrāḳ, both of them rising in the Zagros mountain chain in Kurdistān. 1. The Great or Upper Zāb ( al-Zāb al-akbar or al-aʿlā ) was already known to the Assyrians, as Zabu ēlū “the upper Zāb”, and appears in classical Greek as Λύκος (cf. PW, xiii, cols. 2391-2), Byzantine Greek as ὁ μέγας Ζάβας, in Syriac as Zāb̲ā and in later Armenian as Zav . In Kurdish it is known today as the Zēʾ-i Bādinān and in Turkish as Zap J. Markwart discussed possible etymologies and suggested a link with older Aramaic dēb̲ā


(354 words)

Author(s): Rafeq, Abdul-Karim
, the name currendy given to a town of Syria, and also to an administrative region ( minṭaḳa idāriyya ), to a smaller administrative unit ( nāḥiya ) composed of eight villages and six farms ( mazraʿa ), and to a river which flows from the north through the town. Various fanciful etymologies have been suggested from zabad , some of them alluding to its fertility. Whatever the case, Zabadānī was and still is known for the abundance of its apple trees. Under the Byzantines, the town of Zabadānī was attached to the bis̲h̲opric of the town of Abilla in Sūḳ Wādī Baradā, but after t…

Zābad̲j̲, Zābid̲j̲, Zābag

(2,228 words)

Author(s): Tibbetts, G.R. | Toorawa, Shawkat M.
, the name of an island placed in the northeastern part of the Indian Ocean by the Arabic geographical writers. It appears as early as the Akabār al-Ṣīn wa ’l-Hind of Sulaymān al-Tād̲j̲ir and in the K. al-Masālik wa ’lmamālik of Ibn K̲h̲urradād̲h̲bih (3rd/9th century) and then in almost all subsequent texts, and the title of its ruler, the Mahārād̲j̲[ā], is also regularly used from an early date. The location of Zābad̲j̲ in Southeast Asia is certain. The Arabic authors describe it as a trading empire, and place it in relation to known places, such as India, Ḳimār [ q.v.] (Khmer = Cambodia) an…


(107 words)

Author(s): Ed,
(a.), a word found in Ḳurʾān, XCVI, 18, usually interpreted by the commentators as the guardians of Hell or else the angels who carry off the souls at death [see malāʾika. 1]. A. Jeffery, The foreign vocabulary of the Qurʾān , Baroda 1938, 148, thought that an origin from Syriac zabūrā , the ductores who, says Ephraim Syrus, lead the departed souls for judgment was likely; but W. Eilers, Iranisches Lehngut im arabischen , in Indo-Iranian Jnal , v (1962), 220, favoured an Iranian etymology, from MP zen ( dān ) bān “warder, keeper of a prison”, NP zindānbān . (Ed.) Bibliography Given in the article.


(660 words)

Author(s): Shahîd, Irfan
, the more common of the two Arabic names given in the Islamic sources to the famous Queen of Tadmur/Palmyra, the other being Nāʾila, undoubtedly identifiable with the Greek and Aramaic forms of her name, Zenobia and Bat̲h̲-Zabbay, both attested epigraphically. Al-Zabbāʾ “the hairy (?)” was possibly her surname while Nāʾila was her given name. In spite of embroideries and accretions that have accumulated around her in the Islamic sources, these are valuable as they document the Arab profile of the history of al-Zabbāʾ, on which the Classical sources…


(503 words)

Author(s): Waines, D.
(a.), dried grapes, raisins, or currants. In the mediaeval Islamic culinary tradition, raisins were deemed indispensable for meat dishes of chicken or mutton with a sweet-sour character, such as those of Persian origin called zirbād̲j̲ or sikbād̲j̲ . [ q.v.], in which the sweetness of the dried grapes (sometimes combined with another dried fruit like apricot or additional sugar) is balanced by the acidity of vinegar. In another kind of preparation, the meat is initially cooked in a vinegar and raisin stock. A dish called zabībiyya , probably of Egyptian prov…


(1,511 words)

Author(s): Sadek, Noha
, a town in the Tihāma [ q.v.] coastal plain of Yemen, at about 25 km/15 miles from the Red Sea, in a region of fertile agricultural lands irrigated by two major wādīs , Zabīd to the south and Rimaʿ to the north. It is the centre of an administrative district, a mudīriyya , with the same name, which falls under the jurisdiction of the governorate of al-Ḥudayda [ q.v.]. 1. History. Originally known as al-Ḥuṣayb, a village of the As̲h̲āʿir tribe, Zabīd took on the name of the wādī , to which it owed its prosperity, when it was founded in S̲h̲aʿbān 204/January 820 by Muḥammad b. ʿAbd Allāh b. Ziyād [see ziyād…

al-Zabīdī, Muḥammad Murtaḍā

(8 words)

[see muḥammad murtaḍā ].

Zābul, Zābulistān

(534 words)

Author(s): Bosworth, C.E.
, the name found in early Islamic times for a region of what is now eastern Afg̲h̲anistān, roughly covering the modern Afg̲h̲ān provinces of G̲h̲aznī and Zābul. The early geographers describe what was a remote region on the far eastern frontiers of the Dār al-Islām in understandably vague terms as an extensive province with G̲h̲azna [ q.v.] as its centre. It thus emerges that it lay between Kābul and the Kābul river valley on the north and the territories around the confluence of the Helmand river and Arg̲h̲andāb known as Zamīndāwar and al-Ruk̲h̲k̲h̲ad̲j̲ [ q.vv.], but the boundaries her…


(1,345 words)

Author(s): Horovitz, J. | , Firestone, R.
(a.), a term found in pre-Islamic poetry referring to a written text, and in the Ḳurʾān referring to divine scripture, in some contexts specifically to a scripture of David [see dāwūd ], probably the Psalms. The Arabic root z-b-r is associated with “stone” ( ḥid̲j̲āra ), and verbal forms from it convey such meanings as stoning, lining a well with stones or setting stones in walls according to an overlapping pattern (an unrelated word is zubra , said to designate a piece of iron). A further range of meanings associated with the root conveys the sens…


(5,681 words)

Author(s): Schoeler, G. | Stoetzer, W.
(a.), the name of a genre of vernacular strophic poetry that acquired literary status around 500/1100 in al-Andalus. It was cultivated by numerous Andalusian poets (the most famous being Ibn Ḳuzmān ( q.v.]), later also spreading to the Mag̲h̲rib and the Arabic-speaking East. Since the 7th/13th century its strophic structure is also encountered in the poetry of several Romance languages. In presentday Arabic the term zad̲j̲al may denote various types of dialect poems, even those with monorhyme. The non-technical meaning of zad̲j̲al is “a voice, sound or cry, or the uttering o…


(384 words)

Author(s): Versteegh, C.H.M.
, Abū Isḥāḳ Ibrāhīm b. al-Sarī , Arabic grammarian who worked most of his life in Bag̲h̲dād; he was born ca. 230/844 and died in 311/923. He was the main teacher of al-Zad̲j̲d̲j̲ād̲j̲ī [ q.v.], who took his nisba from him. Among his other pupils are al-Fārisī, Ibn Wallād and al-Rummānī [ q.vv.]. Al-Zad̲j̲d̲j̲ād̲j̲ himself had learnt grammar from both T̲h̲aʿlab and al-Mubarrad [ q.vv.], combining in his own teachings what he had learnt from these representatives of both the Baṣran and the Kūfan schools. He may be regarded as the link between the old generations ¶ of Kūfan and Baṣran grammar…


(1,372 words)

Author(s): Versteegh, C.H.M.
, Abu ’l-Ḳāsim ʿAbd al-Raḥmān b. Isḥāḳ, famed Arabic grammarian. He was born in Nihāwand in western Persia in the second half of the 3rd century A.H. (i.e. around 860-70), received his training as a grammarian in Bag̲h̲dād, and was active in Damascus and Aleppo. He probably died in Ṭabariyya (Tiberias), either in 337/948 or 339-40/949-50. Almost nothing is known about his life except for a few anecdotes. It is clear from his grammatical writings that he was a Muʿtazilī (he mentions with approval such typically Muʿtazilī tenets as al-kalām fi ’l al-mutakallim and the non-identity of ism and mu…


(5 words)

[see ʿiyāfa ].


(1,134 words)

Author(s): Müller, W.W.
, i.e. Ẓafār i, the name of the ancient capital of the South Arabian kingdom of Ḥimyar. The present small village of the same name on the ruins of the ancient town is located approximately 8 km/5 miles to the south of the town of Yarīm; the geographical co-ordinates of Ẓafār are lat. 14° 13′ N. and long. 44° 24′ E. The identity of the site has been known in Yemen since Antiquity and is confirmed by Late Sabaic inscription ¶ found at this place. The site of Ẓafār is located at the foot of a hilltop with the ruins of an ancient castle, and remains of foundations and walls can…


(1,197 words)

Author(s): Smith, G.R.
, a former settlement on the Indian Ocean coast and modern name of the Southern Region of the Sultanate of Oman. In early, mediaeval and late mediaeval times it was never actually a port, and is now a ruined site called al-Balrd, a few miles to the east of the chief town of the southern region, Ṣalāla [ q.v.]. In modern times, the name came to be used for the whole of the Southern Region of the Sultanate of Oman [see ʿumān ] and was officially Anglicised as Dhofar. There can be no longer any doubt about the correct vocalisation of the Arabic name, for both lexicographers (e.g. Ibn Manẓūr, LA, Beirut 195…


(1,024 words)

Author(s): Waines, D. | Sanagustin, F.
(a.) saffron, Crocus sativus L. or Crocus officinalis Pers., one of some eighty species of low-growing perennial plants of the family Iridaceae, found throughout the Mediterranean area, mid-Europe and Central Asia. A product, used in antiquity as an important source of yellow orange dye, was obtained from the stigma ( s̲h̲aʿr , s̲h̲uʿayra ) of the sterile cultigen C. sativus. 1. Domestic uses. Saffron was, and remains, also widely used in Middle Eastern culinary traditions. In the extant Arabic culinary manuals of the mediaeval period (4th/10th to 8th/14th …
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