Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE

Get access Subject: Middle East and Islamic Studies
Edited by Kate Fleet, Gudrun Krämer, Denis Matringe, John Nawas and Everett Rowson with a team of more than 20 section editors.

EI-Three is the third edition of Brill’s Encyclopaedia of Islam which 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.

The Third Edition of the Encyclopaedia of Islam is an entirely new work, with new articles reflecting the great diversity of current scholarship. It is published in five substantial segments each year, both online and in print. The new scope includes comprehensive coverage of Islam in the twentieth century and of Muslim minorities all over the world.

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Bā ʿAbbād

(1,173 words)

Author(s): Boxberger, Linda
The Āl Bā ʿAbbād (Āl Abī ʿAbbād) are a clan of the Ḥaḍramī social category known as mashāyikh, designating social and religious prestige, members of which merit the honorific “shaykh.” As mashāyikh, the Bā ʿAbbād serve as spiritual leaders, teachers, and jurists, and also as social leaders, mediating in tribal conflicts. They hold authority among tribes of western Ḥaḍramawt around their dual family seats of Shibām and Ghurfat Bā ʿAbbād. The Bā ʿAbbād are distinguished by their facilitation of the annual ziyāra (ritual visit) to the tomb of the pre-Islamic prophet Hūd, in eas…
Date: 2020-06-10


(350 words)

Author(s): Andaya, Leonard Y.
Baabullah (d. 1583) succeeded his father as sultan of Ternate in eastern Indonesia in 1570. In just over a decade, he transformed the island sultanate into a major commercial and political empire and, through trade and conquest, extended the boundaries of Islam in eastern Indonesia. Throughout his reign he opposed the Portuguese and resisted the Christian mission, headed by the Jesuits, in northern Maluku (then known as the Moluccas) and Ambon, though a Christian presence has persisted there up …
Date: 2020-06-10


(447 words)

Author(s): Tottoli, Roberto
Baal (baʿl) is the name of a pagan deity or idol that is mentioned in the Qurʾān in connection with the story of Elijah (Q 37:125). Elijah was sent by God to eradicate from amongst his people the worship of the idol Baal, and this brief allusion to Baal and its story in the Qurʾān was developed further in later traditions and literature. A few more details about the idol are presented in traditional reports: it was of gold, twenty cubits tall, and had four faces (al-Thaʿlabī, al-Kashf, 8:159; al-Rāzī, 26:140), and it was crowned with hyacinths, pearls, and gems; it had four hundre…
Date: 2020-06-10

Bā ʿAlawī

(758 words)

Author(s): Peskes, Esther
The Bā ʿAlawī are a kinship group that traces its genealogy back to the prophet Muḥammad, through his grandson al-Ḥusayn (4–61/626–80). The Bā ʿAlawī has been based in Ḥaḍramawt, in southern Arabia, since the first half of the fourth/tenth century, then later spread to other regions, mainly the Islamic lands around the Indian Ocean. There are no authentic sources on the early history of the Bā ʿAlawī. The Bā ʿAlawī themselves assert that their ancestor in Ḥaḍramawt was Aḥmad b. ʿĪsā (d. 345/956), called al-Muhājir (the Emigrant). He is said to have…
Date: 2020-06-10


(1,632 words)

Author(s): Frenkel, Yehoshua
Baalbek (Ar., Baʿlabakk, known in Greek and Roman times as Heliopolis, the city of the sun; Duval 128) is a city and archaeological site in the northern Bekaa (Biqāʿ) valley of Lebanon, a part of the Syrian-African rift. Since the ʿAbbāsid period, initially in narratives of the Islamic conquests (futūḥāt) (Donner), the place has been named in Arabic chronicles, biographical dictionaries, and geographical texts. Its archaeological remains attracted the attention of travellers whose writings spread Baalbek’s fame, as early as the middle Islamic …
Date: 2020-06-10


(720 words)

Author(s): Heß, Michael R.
Baba is a title of uncertain origin used for spiritual leaders amongst Turkic and some other peoples, which apparently appears first in New Persian. A connection with the name of Bābak Khurramī (d. 223/838) is phonetically, geographically, and chronologically possible and semantically reasonable but remains unproven and speculative. Mandarin 爸爸 ( bàba, “father”) is phonetically and semantically congruent and chronologically and geographically another possible source, but the word is absent from Classical Chinese. Baba does not appear in the second/eighth-century Turk…
Date: 2020-06-10


(707 words)

Author(s): Kreiser, Klaus
Babaeski (Bābā Eskī) is a town in eastern Thrace (in present-day Turkey), located approximately fifty kilometres southeast of Edirne, probably on the site of the Byzantine settlement of Bulgarophygon. The town, already deserted by the Byzantines, was taken by the troops of Murad (Murād) I (r. 763–91/1362–89) circa 1359. The conquest is narrated in the mostly legendary epic of Sarı Saltuk (Ṣarı Ṣalṭūq), and one of the twelve burials places of this celebrated warrior-saint was revered in Babaeski until the beginning of the twentieth century. All variants of the name Babaeski—Babae…
Date: 2020-06-10

Bābā Faraj

(1,548 words)

Author(s): DeWeese, Devin A.
Bābā Faraj was a sixth/twelfth-century saint of Tabrīz who figures in some accounts of the early life and training of Najm al Dīn Kubrā (d. 618/1221), the eminent Ṣūfī from Khwārazm. The earliest references to Bābā Faraj come from the first half of the eighth/fourteenth century. He is mentioned—in a work preserved in a large, recently discovered manuscript miscellany compiled in Tabrīz in the early 720s/1320s—as a local saint who was visited by Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī (d. 606/1209), the celebrated t…
Date: 2020-06-10


(2,469 words)

Author(s): Ocak, Ahmet Yaşar
Babai (Bābāʾī) is the name given to the supporters of a great socio-religious messianic revolt against Seljuk (Saljūq) rule in Anatolia in 637/1240. The rebellion was led by the Wafāʾī şeyh (shaykh) Baba İlyas-i Horasani (Bābā Ilyās-i Khurāsānī, d. 638/1240), supported by a certain Baba İshak (Bābā Isḥāq, d. 638/1240), who was most probably a converted Christian from the region of Kafarsūd. Baba İlyas was a disciple of Dede Gharkīn, a great Turkmen şeyh, and a deputy of the order founded by Tāj al-ʿĀrifīn Sayyid Abū l-Wafāʾ al-Baghdādī (d. 501/1107) (Elvan Çelebi, 9–13; Ocak, La révolte, …
Date: 2020-06-10

Baba İlyas-i Horasani

(1,650 words)

Author(s): Ocak, Ahmet Yaşar
Baba İlyas-i Horasani (Bābā Ilyās-i Khurāsānī, d. 638/1240) was a Turkmen şeyh (shaykh) and the leader of a great socio-religious and messianic revolt in Seljuk (Saljūq) Anatolia in the seventh/thirteenth century, which is known in modern historical literature as the Revolt of the Babais (Bābāʾīs) or the Revolt of Baba Resul (Bābā Rasūl). Little is known about Baba İlyas other than his activities during the uprising. He had migrated to Anatolia (apparently from Khurāsān) at the beginning of the seventh/thirteenth century, before the Mongol invasio…
Date: 2020-06-10


(1,466 words)

Author(s): Crone, Patricia
Bābak (d. 223/838) was the leader of a major Khurramī revolt in early ʿAbbāsid Iran. The son of an Aramean peddler from Iraq and an Azerbaijani village woman, he grew up as a Muslim under the name of al-Ḥasan; his two brothers also bore Muslim names. Initially he worked for Arab warlords in the Tabriz region in Azerbaijan, first as a cowherd, later as a groom, but eventually he found employment with Jāvīdhān, the leader of a native cult society, who converted him to Khurramism. Bābak eventually …
Date: 2020-06-10

Bābā Sammāsī

(792 words)

Author(s): Paul, Jürgen
Khvāja Muḥammad Bābā Sammāsī (d. c.734–6/1334–6; 755/1354 is also given) was a Central Asian Ṣūfī of the Khvājagān tradition (the Ṭarīqa-yi Khvājagān, lit., way of masters, goes back to ʿAbd al-Khāliq Ghijduwānī, d. 575/1179, and was the precursor of the Naqshbandiyya the widespread Ṣūfī order, whose eponymous founder was Bahāʾ al-Dīn Naqshband, d. 791/1389). He was born in Sammāsī (other forms of the name are also cited), a village situated between Romitan and Varakhsha, on the western rim of the oasis of Bukhara (…
Date: 2020-06-10

Bābā Ṭāhir (ʿUryān)

(1,366 words)

Author(s): Baldick, Julian
Bābā Ṭāhir ʿUryān (“the Naked”) was a legendary or semi-legendary mystic and poet of central-western Iran, usually dated to the fourth/tenth or fifth/eleventh century. Associated with him in that part of Iran are two tombs, one at Hamadhān and one at Khurramābād, the capital of the province of Luristan, where he is much venerated. The tomb at Hamadhān was mentioned in 740/1340 and was described in 1922, before it was rebuilt. It was a low brick building, with a nearby structure consisting of a roo…
Date: 2020-06-10

Bāb (in Shīʿism)

(937 words)

Author(s): Bayhom-Daou, Tamima
Bāb (in Shīʿism), literally “gate” or “entrance,” is a term applied most commonly to a leading disciple and authorised representative of the Imām. The prophet Muḥammad, other prophets, and the Imāms themselves are also, though much less commonly, described as “gates.” In third/ninth-century Imāmī heresiographical literature the characterisation of a leading disciple of the Imām as a “gate” reflects his status as a messenger of the Godhead (who was thought to be incarnated in Muḥammad and the Imāms) and a key to esoteric knowledge. Salm…
Date: 2020-06-10


(3,962 words)

Author(s): Dale, Stephen F.
Bābur (Old Pers. “tiger” or “leopard”), Zaḥīr al-Dīn Muḥammad (886–937/1483–1530), was the founder of the Tīmūrid-Mughal empire of India and the author of one of the world's richest autobiographical memoirs. He was a patrilineal Tīmūrid and matrilineal Chingīzid born on 6 Muharram 886/14 February 1483 in his father's Tīmūrid appanage of Farghāna, the rich alluvial valley of the Syr Darya located east-southeast of Tashkent. Bābur was raised an orthodox Sunnī Muslim in a region where Ḥanafī Sunnī …
Date: 2020-06-10

Bachetarzi, Mahieddine

(1,009 words)

Author(s): Elsner, Jürgen
Mahieddine Bachetarzi (also Bachtarzi, Ar. Muḥyī l-Dīn Bashṭārzī, b. 15 December 1897 in the Algiers kasbah, d. 6 February 1986 in Algiers) was a famous Algerian singer, actor, author, and organiser of cultural events as the Algerian national liberation movement against French colonial rule was beginning to gather momentum. Because of his strong social conscience and his interest in the cultural development of his people, he considered music and popular theatre especially effective media for awak…
Date: 2020-06-10


(1,335 words)

Author(s): Amir-Moezzi, Mohammad Ali
Badāʾ , literally, “emergence, appearance,” refers in theology to the advent of a divine decree that changes a previous divine decree in response to new circumstances. Hence, the term is sometimes translated as “versatility or mutability of God.” The concept is found mainly in Shīʿī theology, among the “extremist” Badāʾiyya, about whom we know nothing except for allusions by heresiographers, but especially the “moderate” Twelver Imāmīs (van Ess, Frühe, 64, Arabic text, 75; van Ess, TG, index). The idea seems to have originated with the Kaysānīs (one of the oldest Shīʿī…
Date: 2020-06-10


(562 words)

Author(s): García Sanjuán, Alejandro
Baṭalyaws, today Badajoz, was a city of al-Andalus founded in 261/875 by Ibn Marwān al-Jillīqī, a local leader who rose against the domination of the Umayyad amīrs of Córdoba. His father, Marwān b. Yūnus (or Marwān al-Jillīqī) was governor ( wālī) of Mérida, appointed by Muḥammad I (r. 238–73/852–86), the fifth Umayyad amīr. The original nucleus of the city was the Cerro de la Muela, on the Guadiana riverside, where there is evidence of human settlement since prehistoric times and where today stands the citadel ( qaṣba), the main vestige of the Islamic era. During the Umayyad cal…
Date: 2020-06-10

Badakhshī, Nūr al-Dīn Jaʿfar

(1,138 words)

Author(s): DeWeese, Devin A.
Nūr al-Dīn Jaʿfar Badakhshī (d. c.797/1395) was a disciple of the eminent Central Asian Ṣūfī shaykh Sayyid ʿAlī Hamadānī (d. 786/1385). He wrote, in Persian, the Khulāṣat al-manāqib (“The epitome of virtues”), the earliest hagiographical work devoted to his master. What little is known of Badakhshī’s life comes almost entirely from this work. From it we learn that he met Hamadānī in 773/1371–2, in the village of ʿAlīshāh, in Khuttalān, apparently not long after Hamadānī had moved there from his native Hamadān, and that he…
Date: 2020-06-10

Badar ud-Din

(524 words)

Author(s): Reyes, Portia L.
Badar ud-Din (r. 1718–32) was the seventeenth sultan of Sulu, in the present-day Philippines. He was the illegitimate son of Sultan Salah ud-Din Bakhtiar (r. 1650–80) and a Tirun woman from northeastern Borneo, an area also known, for a time, as Kalimantan. After his older brother Mustafa Shafi ud-Din (r. 1711–17) formally abdicated in 1718, Badar ud-Din took over the rule of the Sulu and Tawi-tawi islands, Mindanao, and northern Borneo. Local sources portrayed him as “a champion of land and sea,…
Date: 2020-06-10
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