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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(420 words)

Author(s): Dor, Rémy
Apendi (Afandi) is the Kyrgyz variant of “Nasrettin Hoca,” the famous Turkish hero of anecdotes and jokes, who is also known in Central Asia as Apandi (Uzbek) or Avanti (Neo-Uyghur). Unlike the populations of other regions, which favoured the religious title “Hoca” (in Turkey, as well as among Serbs Croats, and Hungarians), or “Joha” ( Juḥa), the metathesis of the former (in the Arab world; “Djahan” in Malta), Central Asians chose the term of civility efendi, which is derived from the Greek authentikos and is rich in connotations. Beyond acquired good manners, with the varnis…
Date: 2019-11-11


(2,113 words)

Author(s): Berger, Lutz
An aphorism is “a concise statement of a principle, a terse formulation of a truth,” generally in prose. There is no exact Arabic equivalent for the term. The most common approximations are ḥikma (“[piece of] wisdom,” “maxim”), faṣl (“sentence”), or nukta (“witticism”). According to the fourth/tenth-century critic Isḥāq al-Fārābī (d. 350/961), who spent most of his life in Yemen, “a ḥikma is formed when an artful formulation latent in an artful composition is extracted and stated in a pronouncement containing it” (Gutas, Classical Arabic wisdom, 1981). W…
Date: 2019-11-11


(2,050 words)

Author(s): Cook, David B.
Apocalypse, referring to the revelation of things to come, especially the end of time, in standard Muslim apocalyptic narrative is closely related to that developed in the classical Roman-Byzantine world (herein referred to as Judaeo-Christian apocalypses), first by Jews (cf. the book of Daniel and many other Second Temple era compositions), and then utilised extensively by Christians (cf. Matthew 24, 2 Peter 3, and especially the book of Revelation) and probably by Zoroastrians as well. In func…
Date: 2019-11-11

Apollo Group

(613 words)

Author(s): Hafez, Sabry
The Apollo Group (1932–4) (Ar. Jamāʿat Apollo) was an important literary movement, which produced the journal Apollo. The precursors of romanticism in modern Arabic culture are numerous, but the most significant among them is Khalīl Muṭrān (1872–1949), who called for individualism in poetic expression: the poet was seen as an individual creator endowed with a special talent and sensibility, capable of interacting with nature and the universe, and, more importantly, aware of the unity of the poem as an organic s…
Date: 2019-11-11

Apollonius of Perge

(1,216 words)

Author(s): Bellosta, Hélène
Apollonius of Perge (c. 262 B.C.E.–c. 190 B.C.E.) was one of the great mathematicians of antiquity, and his works profoundly influenced the development of the mathematical sciences. He was born probably around 262 B.C.E. in Perge, one of the chief cities of Pamphylia, in Asia Minor (near Antalya, in present-day Turkey). He went to Alexandria to study geometry with the successors of Euclid and remained there during the reigns of Ptolemy III Euergetes (246–22 B.C.E.) and Ptolemy IV Philopator (222–0…
Date: 2019-11-11

Apollonius of Tyana

(1,419 words)

Author(s): Strohmaier, Gotthard
Apollonius of Tyana (Arabic Balīnūs, Balīnās, Būlīnyās, Abullūniyūs, Abūlūn, Ablūs, and similar forms) was a Neo-Pythagorean philosopher of the first century C.E. who became famous in Islam as “the creator of the talismans” (ṣāḥib al-ṭilasmāt or al-muṭalsim) and as the pseudonymous author of works on magic and alchemy. This posthumous career is not easy to explain; it is an example of a continuity in Mediterranean culture that belongs more to the sphere of folklore than to literary tradition. Some Greek authors describe Apollonius…
Date: 2019-11-11


(741 words)

Author(s): van Gelder, Geert Jan
Apology (Ar. iʿtidhār) is often recognised as one of the themes of Arabic poetry, closely related to, or forming a sub-genre of, panegyric poetry (madīḥ). Thaʿlab (d. 291/904) lists it as one of the “branches” of poetry, illustrating it with two lines from a poem (the ʿayniyya) by the pre-Islamic poet al-Nābigha al-Dhubyānī, composed for King al-Nuʿmān of al-Ḥīra, after he had offended the latter. Thaʿlab is followed by many literary critics and theorists, such as Abū Hilāl al-ʿAskarī (d. 395/1005) and Ibn Rashīq (d. 456/1063–4 or 463/1070–…
Date: 2019-11-11


(2,667 words)

Author(s): Griffel, Frank
Apostasy (irtidād, ridda) is the abandonment of Islam either by a declared desertion of Islam in favour of another religion or a clandestine rejection of Islam, often combined with the secret practice of another religion. From the first/seventh century to the present day, Muslim jurists have agreed that the punishment for apostasy from Islam is death, but they have developed legal institutions to circumvent this harsh punishment. The Qurʾān does not mention the case of explicit rejection of Islam after conversion. However, it does address the assumed clandestin…
Date: 2019-11-11


(758 words)

Author(s): Robinson, Neal S.
“Apostle” is generally employed by Christians exclusively as a title for members of Jesus' inner group of twelve disciples and for Paul, although its use in the New Testament is less restricted. In the Qurʾān, there are four references to the ḥawāriyyūn, an Ethiopic loan word meaning “apostles.” From the context it is clear that they are Jesus' companions. 1. Christian usage The English word “apostle” is derived, via Latin, from the Greek apostolos, which means literally “one who is sent.” As generally used by Christians, it is a title reserved for members of Jesus' …
Date: 2019-11-11


(2,219 words)

Author(s): Powers, David S.
Appeal denotes both the right to question the validity of a judicial decision and the protocols for its reversal. Scholarly consensus for much of the twentieth century held that the decision (ḥukm) of a qāḍī is final and irrevocable, that a judge may not change his mind once he has rendered his decision, and that a judgement may not be reversed under any circumstances. According to Schacht (Introduction, 189; cf. Tyan), for example, “[T]here is no means of reversing an unjust judgement, because strict Islamic law does not recognise stages of appeal.” The only exception was the maẓālim court…
Date: 2019-11-11


(425 words)

Author(s): Dieterich, Renate
Al-ʿAqaba, the sole harbour of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, is located at the northern end of the Red Sea Gulf of ʿAqaba. According to archaeological findings, human settlement existed at the site by 3500 B.C.E. The city served as an important resting place for caravans travelling between Yemen and the Mediterranean shores during the Nabataean and Roman periods and was a prosperous port during Islamic times. The city of Ayla, precursor to al-ʿAqaba, became Islamic around 29–30/650. An alleged visit of the caliph ʿUmar b. al-Khaṭṭāb to al-ʿAqaba in 17/638 as…
Date: 2019-11-11

Āqā Najafī Iṣfahānī

(3,765 words)

Author(s): Walcher, Heidi A.
Shaykh Muḥammad Taqī Āqā Najafī Iṣfahānī (1846–1914) was a prominent if controversial mujtahid who played an active role in the politics of Isfahan. His role during the Constitutional Revolution was ambivalent and evasive, showing himself neither as revolutionary nor activist. Under the city’s Bakhtiārī regime since 1909, he managed to maintain a position of influence, but had to act more carefully and indirectly. Born on 22 Rabīʿ II 1262/19 April 1846) to a family of clerics in Isfahan who were descended t…
Date: 2019-11-11

Āqā Najafī Qūchānī

(421 words)

Author(s): Eslami, Kambiz
Sayyid Muḥammad Ḥasan Āqā Najafī Qūchānī, (1878–1943) was an Iranian mujtahid and writer. He rose from humble beginnings, born into a peasant family in a village near Qūchān, to become a respected mujtahid (religious dignitary, highest ranking in knowledge of Sharīʿa) with one of the most highly-praised works of Perso-Islamic autobiographical literature to his credit. Published posthumously, Sīyāḥat-i sharq (“Journey to the East”) underscores—in a bold, honest, and often witty style—the intertwined themes of piety, sacrifice, poverty, perseverance, and…
Date: 2019-11-11


(992 words)

Author(s): Peters, Rudolph
ʿĀqila, in Islamic law, denotes the group that by virtue of its connection to a person who has accidentally injured or killed another is held liable to pay blood money ( diya or ʿaql) on behalf of that person. In pre-Islamic Arabia, the ʿāqila consisted of the adult able-bodied tribesmen whose duty it was to protect all members of the tribe. The concept was adopted by the early Muslim jurists, in disregard of the principle articulated in Q 6:164 according to which a person is responsible only for his own acts. The collective liability of the ʿāqila indicates that diya is not a form of punishm…
Date: 2019-11-11

ʿAqīl b. Abī Ṭālib

(1,278 words)

Author(s): Rubin, Uri
ʿ Aqīl b. Abī Ṭālib (d. 50/670 or 63/683) was the elder full brother of ʿAlī (d. 40/661). Their mother was Fāṭima bt. Asad of the Banū Hāshim. Ten years before ʿAqīl was born she had given birth to Ṭālib, Abū Ṭālib's (d. c.619 C.E.) first son. Ten years after ʿAqīl was born she gave birth to Jaʿfar (d. 8/629), and a further ten years later to ʿAlī. After Abū Ṭālib's death, his sons Ṭālib and ʿAqīl are said to have inherited his possessions and wealth. ʿAqīl had several sons and daughters—his kunya (patronymic) being Abū Yazīd—among whom the most prominent was Muslim b. ʿAqīl. Five, six…
Date: 2019-11-11

ʿĀqil Khān Rāzī

(497 words)

Author(s): Amir-Moezzi, Mohammad Ali
ʿĀqil Khān Rāzī ʿAlī ʿAskarī b. Muḥammad Taqī Khwāfī (or Khāfī) (d. 1108/1696–7), man of letters and high-ranking official in the court of Awrangzīb (Mughal emperor of India, 1068–1118/1658–1707), was born to a family of Iranian sayyids (claiming descent from the Prophet), of the Khurāsānian village of Khwāf. ʿAlī ʿAskarī received the title of ʿĀqil (“sage”) from the emperor. His nisba “Rāzī” comes not from the ancient Iranian city of Rayy but from the name of his spiritual instructor—the Ṣūfī Shaṭṭārī Burhān al-Dīn Burhānpūrī (d. 1083/1672–3), called Rā…
Date: 2019-11-11


(593 words)

Author(s): Reichl, Karl
Aqın is a Kazakh and Kirghiz word denoting the singer and instrumental performer of oral poetry. In both languages, it is also employed as a general term for poet, as the creator of written literature. The commonly accepted derivation of the word aqın is from Persian ākhun(d) (teacher, mullā). As a term of oral poetry, aqın both overlaps and contrasts with other designations of oral singers in Kazakh and Kirghiz. The important defining characteristics of oral singers are the genres they perform, their manner of performance, their relationship to tra…
Date: 2019-11-11


(1,056 words)

Author(s): Aubaile-Sallenave, Françoise
ʿAqīqa is a custom associated with welcoming a newborn into the community. It is also performed for protection and purification of the child. The rituals associated with ʿaqīqa are complex and generally consist of several elements: the adhān; the taḥnīk, or rubbing of the palate with sweet things; the application of ointments and massage; salting the baby; shaving the baby’s hair; naming the child; the sacrifice of an animal and anointing with its blood or a substitute; and a communal meal. These activities may be conducted on the th…
Date: 2019-11-11

ʿAql, Saʿīd

(847 words)

Author(s): Fakhreddine, Huda J.
Saʿīd ʿAql (1912–2014) was a Lebanese poet, playwright, and intellectual known for his use of symbolism in Arabic poetry and his championing of Lebanese nationalism. He was born in the city of Zahle (Zaḥla) to a Christian Maronite family and began his writing career working for a local newspaper in Zahle called al-Wādī. He moved to Beirut in 1930 to write and edit for a number of publications including al-Barq (owned by the lyrical poet Bishāra al-Khūrī, d. 1968, known as al-Akhṭal al-Ṣaghīr), al-Maʿraḍ, Lisān al-ḥāl, and al-Ṣayyād. ʿAql had connections with the Lebanese communists…
Date: 2019-11-11

al-ʿAqqād, ʿAbbās Maḥmūd

(919 words)

Author(s): Hammond, Marlé
ʿAbbās Maḥmūd a l-ʿAqqād (1889–1964) was a very prominent and extremely prolific Egyptian man of letters. Along with other important figures such as Ṭāhā Ḥusayn and Ibrāhīm ʿAbd al-Qādir al-Māzinī, he is credited with modernising Arabic literary criticism by eschewing traditional philological and literalist analyses and approaches, while instead advancing alternative methods of composition and interpretation, based for the most part on European literary models. The son of a government clerk, al-ʿAq…
Date: 2019-11-11
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