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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Maʿbad b. ʿAbdallāh al-Juhanī

(746 words)

Author(s): Judd, Steven C.
Maʿbad b. ʿAbdallāh b. ʿUkaym al-Juhanī (executed c.80/699) was a Basran religious thinker who was associated with the Qadarī doctrine of human free will (qadar). While he was ultimately condemned as a heretic, for a time he enjoyed a good reputation in Basra and was trusted by the Umayyad authorities. Al-Ḥajjāj b. Yūsuf (d. 95/714), governor of the East, recommended him to the caliph ʿAbd al-Malik (r. 65–86/685–705) as an emissary to the Byzantine emperor. Maʿbad also tutored one of the caliph’s sons. He may also have…
Date: 2020-06-10

Maʿbad b. Wahb

(995 words)

Author(s): Sawa, George Dimitri
Maʿbad b. Wahb (d. c.126/743) was a singer in the Umayyad court. Raised in Medina, he was a mawlā (client) of ʿAbd al-Raḥmān b. Qaṭar (or Qaṭan) who was, in turn, a mawlā of either al-ʿĀṣ b. Wābiṣa al-Makhzūmī or the caliph Muʿāwiya b. Abī Sufyān (r. 41–60/661–80). He was of mixed Arab and African descent, his father being black, and was tall and cross-eyed. He sang in Damascus at the courts of Yazīd b. ʿAbd al-Malik (r. 101–5/720–4) and al-Walīd b. Yazīd (r. 125–6/743–4). He became semi-paralysed, lost his voice, and then die…
Date: 2020-08-13


(3,437 words)

Author(s): Shokoohy, Mehrdad | Shokoohy, Natalie H.
Maʿ bar (Mabar) is the name given by the Muslims to the Coromandel Coast, in Tamil Nadu, India, from at least the sixth/twelfth century, appearing in Muslim chronicles, along with the name of its capital city, Madura, from the beginning of the seventh/thirteenth. The high official, historian, and physician of Īlkhānid Iran Rashīd al-Dīn (c. 645–718/1247–1318) mentions Maʿbar as “the key to India,” with a distance of 300 parasangs (about 1,680 kilometres) from the Malabar port of Kaulam (Quilon or…
Date: 2020-08-13

Macaronic Turkic poetry

(1,249 words)

Author(s): Bekki, Salahaddin
Macaronic Turkic poetry is termed mülemma in Turkish (Ott. mülemmaʿ), from the Arabic mulammaʿ, which literally means “multi-coloured, motley,” but is used in literature to define “poems containing a verse, word, or word group written in another language” (Şemseddin Sâmi, 1403; Çağbayır, 3364). Talmīʿ, as a literary term, is the composition of mulammaʿ poems, and poems composed in this way are called mulammaʿāt (Tahiru’l-Mevlevi, 106, 158; Macit, 451). In Turkish literature, mülemma mostly designates poems of divan (dīvān, high culture) Ottoman poets written in Turkish-P…
Date: 2020-06-10


(3,248 words)

Author(s): Desplat, Patrick
Madagascar, the world’s fourth largest island, lies in the southwestern Indian Ocean, separated by the Mozambique Channel from the African mainland by approximately 420 kilometres. Neighbouring countries are the Comoros in the northwest and Mauritius and the French overseas department of La Réunion in the east. In 1896, the island was colonised by the French. It gained independence in 1960 as the Republic of Madagascar, with Antananarivo as its capital. The estimated population in 2017 was twent…
Date: 2020-06-10

Madanī, Ḥusayn Aḥmad

(1,463 words)

Author(s): Metcalf, Barbara D.
Mawlānā Sayyid Ḥusayn Aḥmad Madanī (1879–1957) was the foremost madrasa-based Islamic scholar to participate actively in the Indian nationalist movement and oppose, on both pragmatic and Islamic grounds, the creation of the separate state of Pakistan. Madanī attended the Dār al-ʿUlūm at Deoband, a major centre for reformist Ḥanafī scholarship, where he studied with Mawlānā Maḥmūd al-Ḥasan (d. 1920) and became a disciple in taṣawwuf (Ṣūfism) of Mawlānā Rashīd Aḥmad Gangohī (d. 1905). In 1892, his pious father resigned as a government schoolteacher and moved t…
Date: 2020-06-10

Madjid, Nurcholish

(1,070 words)

Author(s): Kersten, Carool
Nurcholish Madjid (1939–2005) was a leading Indonesian Muslim intellectual, who began his career as a prominent student leader in the 1960s and became one of the most influential Islamic thinkers and activists in late twentieth-century Indonesia. He was born in Jombang, the heartland of traditionalist Javanese Islam, to parents that subscribed to reformist-modernist Islamic ideas, leading to his family being socially ostracised. This experience was formative for the young man and shaped his lifel…
Date: 2020-06-10

Madrasa in South Asia

(3,848 words)

Author(s): Robinson, Francis
The madrasa in South Asia was the main institution for transmitting Islamic knowledge and sustaining Islamic identity. 1. The Delhi Sultanate The first madrasas appear to have been founded after the establishment of the Delhi Sultanate in 602/1206. One was the Muʿizziya, probably founded by Iltutmish (r. 607–33/1211–36) and named after Muḥammad Ghūrī’s title Muʿizz al-Dīn (Muḥammad Ghūrī ruled in Ghazna 569–99/1173–1203). The second, the Nāṣiriyya, was built by Balban (r. 664–86/1266–87), while he was chief minister t…
Date: 2020-06-10

Madrasa in Southeast Asia

(1,650 words)

Author(s): van Bruinessen, Martin
The madrasa in Southeast Asia is commonly known as pesantren or pondok. The root of the former term is the word santri, which may be of South Indian origin and means student (of religion); pondok is the local pronunciation of Arabic funduq and refers to the dormitory or row of huts in which the santri are lodged. In some regions the institution is known by yet other names, such as dayah in Aceh and surau in West Sumatra. The chief teacher of the pesantren is the kiai, who holds unchallenged authority over the institution. In Indonesia, the term madrasah refers to a different type of school, …
Date: 2020-06-10


(1,361 words)

Author(s): Pribadi, Yanwar
Madura, an island in the Java Sea and part of the Indonesian province of East Java, is characterised by a mixture of strong Islamic characteristics and a distinctive local culture. It comprises an area of approximately 4,250 square kilometres and consists of four regencies ( kabupaten), which are, from west to east: Bangkalan, Sampang, Pamekasan, and Sumenep. According to the 2015 census, the island had a population of 3,808,533. The main language spoken is Madurese. There are two dialects, with varying levels of prestige accorded to them,…
Date: 2020-06-10


(2,632 words)

Author(s): Shokoohy, Mehrdad | Shokoohy, Natalie H.
Madurai (also spelt Madura or Mathura, in Tamil Nadu state, India, latitude N 9°54′, longitude E 78°6′), a Hindu pilgrimage centre on the river Vaigai, was under Muslim rule following raids by the Delhi sultans ʿAlāʾ al-Dīn Khaljī (r. 695–715/1296–1316) (Vaṣṣāf, 4:527; Amīr Khusraw, 126, 172–4, 181; Baranī, 283) and his successor Mubārak Shāh (r. 716–20/1316–20) (Baranī, 398–9; Firishta, 1:126), culminating in the short-lived independent Maʿbar sultanate (734–79/1334–77). As governor, Jalāl al-D…
Date: 2020-06-10

Ma families of warlords

(1,660 words)

Author(s): Cieciura, Włodzimierz
Ma families of warlords (馬家軍閥, Ma jia jun fa) is a collective term for three separate Hui Muslim lineages, all surnamed Ma, who dominated militarily and politically large parts of northwestern China from the late nineteenth century, through the establishment of the Republic of China in 1912, to the foundation of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. There is no evidence that the three lineages were related, but all of them had roots in western Hezhou prefecture (in Gansu province), and two of them hai…
Date: 2020-06-10

Ma Fulong

(759 words)

Author(s): Unno, Noriko
Ma Fulong (馬福龍, 1919–70) was a Chinese Islamic scholar of Hui ethnicity and a leading figure of the Ningxia Hui community in the twentieth century. His courtesy name (a name bestowed upon an adult Chinese male in lieu of his given name for use in formal settings) was Yuncheng, and his pen name was Ma Hanying. He also went by the Arabic name Ayyūb. Ma was born into a religious family in Helan district, Ningxia province, in northwestern China. From his childhood, he studied Islamic belief and practices, the Arabic and Persian languages, and the Chinese classic…
Date: 2020-06-10


(1,936 words)

Author(s): Verskin, Alan
Abū ʿAbdallāh Muḥammad b. ʿAbd al-Karīm al-Maghīlī (d. 909/1503–4 or 911/1505) was the most prominent scholar of premodern West Africa. His influence extends to the present. He is primarily known for his persecution of Jews, his role as an Islamic reformer (mujaddid), and his works of political thought. He was born in Tlemcen (Tilimsān), but left at a young age to settle in Tamanṭīṭ, a town in the Algerian Sahara. He studied under the Ṣūfī scholar ʿAbd al-Raḥmān al-Thaʿālibī (d. 875/1470), the qāḍī of Tuwāt, Yaḥyā b. Yadīr (d. 877/1472), and the Mālikī Ashʿarī scholar, Muḥamm…
Date: 2020-06-02

Maghribī, Aḥmad K̲h̲attū

(914 words)

Author(s): Balachandran, Jyoti Gulati
Aḥmad K̲h̲attū Maghribī (b. Delhi, 737/1336; d. Sarkhej, 10 Shawwal 849/9 January 1446), popularly known as Ganjbakhsh (bestower of treasures), was a Ṣūfī (spritual preceptor) of the Maghribī silsila (spiritual order) who came to be recognised as the spiritual protector of the regional sultanate of Gujarat (r. 810–980/1407–1573). The Maghribī silsila, founded by Shaykh Abū Madyan Shuʾayb (d. c 594/1198) in North Africa, had a minor presence in the Indian subcontinent. Ahmad K̲h̲attū is arguably the best known Ṣūfī from the Maghribī tradition in…
Date: 2020-06-10

Maghrib since 1830

(2,498 words)

Author(s): Vikør, Knut S.
The 1830s marked a change in the history of the Maghrib. Under the increasing influence of Europe, the region moved towards the establishment of modern nation states, but at a variable pace. By the early nineteenth century, Morocco and Tunisia already had well established identities. The three other modern states, Algeria, Libya, and Mauritania, were all creations of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This distinction between these two categories of countries can be seen in various ways throughout those two centuries. 1. The nineteenth century: reforms and foreign control Two M…
Date: 2020-06-10

Maḥbūb b. al-Raḥīl, Abū Sufyān

(776 words)

Author(s): Gaiser, Adam R.
Abū Sufyān Maḥbūb b. al-Raḥīl (or al-Ruḥayl) al-Qurayshī al-Makhzūmī al-ʿAbdī was a Basran Ibāḍī jurist, theologian, and historian who became a leader of the Basran Ibāḍī community after the death of Wāʾil b. Ayyūb, in about 190/806. His dates are uncertain: Crone and Zimmermann (310–1) propose his birth before 140/757 and his death in about 210/825; equally uncertain are his tribal identifications as a Qurayshī (al-Saʿdī, 8:303) or an ʿAbdī (i.e., a member of the ʿAbd al-Qays) (al-Darjīnī, 2:278), both of which Wilkinson doubts (Ibāḍism, 164). When his mother re-married, he be…
Date: 2020-06-10

Mahdī Khān Astarābādī

(696 words)

Author(s): Tucker, Ernest
Mahdī Khān Astarābādī (d. mid 1170s/early 1760s) was Nādir Shāh’s court historiographer and scribe, who achieved fame also as a lexicographer and scholar of the eastern Turkic Chaghatay language. Neither the dates nor the locations of his birth and death are known, but his name suggests family ties to Astarābād. He first served at the Ṣafavid court in about 1140/late 1720s and was noted to have sent a letter of congratulation to Nādir upon his capture of Isfahan from the Afghans in the fall of 114…
Date: 2020-06-10

Mahfudz Tremas

(886 words)

Author(s): van Bruinessen, Martin
Kiai Haji Mahfudz Tremas (Maḥfūẓ b. ʿAbdallāh al-Tarmasī al-Jāwī, d. 1920) was one of the most respected Javanese scholars of his generation and probably the most influential. Born into a family of ʿulamāʾ (Muslim religious scholars) in Tremas (Pacitan district, East Java), he spent most of his adult life in Mecca, studying with the major scholars of his day and later teaching numerous students, mostly from Java. Most of the men who came to lead major pesantrens (religious boarding schools) in Java in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries had studied at least one or two kitabs (…
Date: 2020-06-10

Maḥfūẓ, Najīb

(1,774 words)

Author(s): Allen, Roger M.A.
Najīb Maḥfūẓ (10 December 1911–30 August 2006) was Egypt's most prominent writer of fictional narratives in the twentieth century. In 1988 he was the first Arab author to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. 1. Life Maḥfūẓ was born in the Jamāliyya quarter in the old city of Cairo, but moved with his family to the suburb of ʿAbbāsiyya while he was still a child. Entering the University of Cairo as a student of philosophy, he was already beginning to show an interest in those broader topics that were to become the central them…
Date: 2020-06-10
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