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: 2020-02-11

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: 2020-02-11


(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: 2020-02-11

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: 2020-02-11

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: 2020-02-11

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: 2020-02-11

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: 2020-02-11


(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: 2020-02-11


(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: 2020-02-11

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: 2020-02-16

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: 2020-02-11

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: 2020-02-11

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: 2020-02-11

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: 2020-02-11

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: 2020-02-16

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: 2020-02-11

Māhlaqā Bāʾī Chandā

(1,558 words)

Author(s): Tharu, Susie
Māhlaqā Bāʾī Chandā (1768–1824), also known as Chandā Bībī, who has been described as the most captivating and celebrated woman artist—and possibly courtesan—of the eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century Indian subcontinent, was associated with the reign of two Āṣaf Jāhī niẓāms (lit., governor, but, in fact, autonomous rulers; the niẓāms ruled from 1137/1724 to 1367/1948)) of Hyderabad, Deccan, namely Niẓām ʿAlī Khān (r. 1762–1803) and Sikandar Jāh (r. 1803–29). With her aristocratic education, artistic and intellectual acumen, quick wit, a…
Date: 2020-02-11

Maḥmūdābād family

(1,915 words)

Author(s): Robinson, Francis
The Maḥmūdābād family was a leading landed family of North India that was prominent in public life under the Mughals, the nawwābs (an honorific title for semi-autonomous Muslim rulers of princely states) of Awadh, and the British. These Ṣiddīqī shaykhs trace their descent from the first caliph, Abū Bakr al-Ṣiddīq (d. 13/634), through Naṣrallāh, a qāḍī of Baghdad, who is said to have come in the seventh/thirteenth century to India, where his descendants were qāḍīs of Delhi. In the eighth/fourteenth century, Qāḍī Naṣrallāh’s great-grandson, Qāḍī Nuṣratallāh, acquired la…
Date: 2020-02-11

Maḥmūd, ʿAbd al-Ḥalīm

(876 words)

Author(s): Aishima, Hatsuki
ʿAbd al-Ḥalīm Maḥmūd (1910–78), a leading Ṣūfī scholar of the 1960s and 70s in Egypt and reformist rector of al-Azhar Mosque University during the period of Sadat’s presidency (1970–81), is credited for his dedication to al-Azhar and for popularising Ṣūfī knowledge through his publications and radio broadcast. His commitment to revitalising Islamic knowledge earned him the honorary title of “the al-Ghazālī of the twentieth century.” Since 1979 his mawlid (annual birthday festival) has been celebrated in al-Salām, his home village in the Nile Delta. This two-day …
Date: 2020-02-11

Maḥmūd Gāvān

(3,038 words)

Author(s): Flatt, Emma
Khvāja ʿImād al-Dīn Maḥmūd Gīlānī (813–86/1411–81), commonly known as Maḥmūd Gāvān, was a powerful vizier of the Bahmanī sultanate of South India. Born into a politically important family in Gīlān, Gāvān seems initially to have entered service with the rulers of Gīlān (Sherwani, Gawan, 22–4, citing al-Sakhāwī). Following the death of his father, Jalāl al-Dīn Muḥammad b. Khvāja Kamāl al-Gīlānī, Maḥmūd and his elder brother Shihāb al-Dīn Aḥmad were forced into exile by a rival political faction, headed by two men who had once been protégés of the brothers’ own family ( Riyāḍ al-inshāʾ, 22…
Date: 2020-02-11
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