Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE

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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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Avarice, in premodern Arabic literature

(1,070 words)

Author(s): Ghersetti, Antonella
Avarice ( bukhl, luʾm) in Arabic lexicographical works is generally defined as “the opposite of generosity ( karam, jūd)” or as “not giving in the case of need” (see definition in al-Taʿrīfāt). A distinction is made between “passive” avarice ( bukhl, avarice with respect to one’s own money, being miserly) and “active” avarice, or greed ( shuḥḥ, shaḥḥ, avarice directed at someone else’s money, coveting someone else’s wealth) (see definitions in al-Qāmūs al-muḥīṭ, Lisān al-ʿArab, and al-Taʿrīfāt). Avarice can have varying degrees of both intensity and range (that is, it c…
Date: 2019-11-11


(539 words)

Author(s): Ergene, Bogaç A.
Avarız (ʿAwārıḍ) was an abbreviated term used in the Ottoman financial system to denote state levies (avarız-ı divaniye, ʿawārıḍ-i dīwāniyye) that were exacted by the central government in cash (awarız akçesi, ʿawārıḍ aqçesi), kind, or services. The Ottoman administration collected avarız mainly to support military campaigns, but also imposed the levies for other purposes, such as maintaining the postal system, provisioning the imperial kitchen, guarding mountain passes, and repairing roads, bridges, and waterworks. Reportedly, the terms avarızat and avarız-ı divaniye appe…
Date: 2019-11-11


(3,387 words)

Author(s): Golden, Peter B.
The Avars are the largest ethnic group of Dāghistān (capital, Makhachkala) in the Northeast Caucasus and form smaller communities in adjoining regions. About 500,000 of the 600,000 Avars live in Dāghistān (especially in the Andi and Avar Qoy Su region), where the Avar nationality often includes smaller, linguistically related groupings. Ethnic identification, in a region of more than thirty distinct ethnicities, is often situational and includes strong “sub-ethnic” identities. The Avar self-designation is maʿarulal “mountaineers” (< Avar meʿer “mountain,” although this e…
Date: 2019-11-11


(682 words)

Author(s): Blum, Stephen
Āvāz is a Persian term (also āvā and āvāza in Persian, āwāz in Arabic) for the voice of a person, bird, or animal, or a sound from another source. It has three important meanings in music: singing in general; the most prestigious form of singing in Persian traditional (sunnatī) music and its imitation on musical instruments; and a modal system regarded as a branch or derivative of a larger system. In performances of Persian traditional music, interest centres on the āvāz in the second of these senses, in which a singer presents selected verses of one or more ghazals to the accompaniment of a…
Date: 2019-11-11


(6,073 words)

Author(s): Tamer, Georges
Averroism is a philosophical movement named after the sixth/twelfth-century Andalusian philosopher Ibn Rushd (Averroes, d. 595/1198), which began in the thirteenth century among masters of arts at the University of Paris and continued through the seventeenth century. The movement included philosophers in Oxford, Naples, Bologna, Padua, and Erfurt, whose views, such as those on the oneness of the human intellect, the attainment of happiness in this life, and the eternity of the world, could not e…
Date: 2019-11-11


(1,587 words)

Author(s): Kiel, Machiel
Avlonya is the Ottoman Turkish name of the town of Vlorë in southern Albania, which is known as Valona in most Western languages and traces its origins to the ancient settlement of Aulon. It is situated on the shores of a magnificent bay that is protected against high seas by the island of Sasan. Throughout its multi-millennial history, it served as the chief harbour of southern Albania and was often used as springboard for military action in the Balkans or against Italy. In the Ottoman period (1417–1912), Avlonya was an important administrative centre—the capital of a sancak (sancaq)—a nav…
Date: 2019-11-11

Avni (Mehmed II)

(656 words)

Author(s): Coşkun, Vildan Serdaroğlu
Avni (ʿAvnī) was the pen name of Mehmed (Meḥmed) II (r. 848–50/1444–6 and 855–86/1451–81), who was both the Ottoman sultan and a poet. The son of Murad (Murād) II (r. 824–48/1421–44 and 850–5/1446–51) and Hüma Hatun (Hümā Khatun), Mehmed II was born on 26 Recep (Rajab) 835/March 1432 in Edirne. Writing under the pen-name Avni (ʿAvnī, “pertaining to aid”), Mehmed himself became a well-known literary figure whose divan ( dīvān, collection of a poet’s literary output) still survives. He was a sultan, statesman, and military leader as well as an intellectual interest…
Date: 2019-11-11


(1,596 words)

Author(s): Barnett, Richard B.
Awadh (British Oudh), a region between the Himalayas and the Ganges in North India, a perennially important cultural and administrative centre, was a province of all the major Islamicate dynasties in India and emerged as an autonomous political system during Mughal segmentation in the eighteenth century. Under the rule of its eleven rulers, called nawābs and descended from the Iranian Nīshāpūrī sayyids, who presided over this rich realm from 1720 to 1856, the region expanded to twice its original size. By 1188/1775 Awadh comprised 233,000 square kilometer…
Date: 2019-11-11

ʿAwaḍ, Luwīs

(696 words)

Author(s): Abdul-Latif, Emad
Luwīs ʿAwaḍ (1915–90) was an Egyptian scholar, writer, and essayist. He was born on 5 January 1915 to a middle-class Coptic family in Upper Egypt. He finished a degree in English literature at Cairo University in 1933. In 1937, he went to Cambridge University to obtain a Ph.D., but three years later he had to return to Egypt before completing the programme, because of the outbreak of the Second World War. It was not until 1953 that he obtained his doctorate from Princeton University. From 1940 to…
Date: 2019-11-11


(3,320 words)

Author(s): Bernards, Monique
The Arabic noun awwal, pl. awāʾil , literally “the first, preceding all others,” elliptically refers to a genre in the Arabic literary tradition in which each sentence begins with the words awwalu man, “the first person who…,” or awwalu mā, “the first time something.…” All of these instances of “the first to” refer to narratives about inventors and inventions or about someone doing something for the first time or something having been done for the first time. Awāʾil narratives are an expression of humankind’s inborn curiosity about the origin of things, devices, and prac…
Date: 2019-11-11

ʿAwāna b. al-Ḥakam al-Kalbī

(1,431 words)

Author(s): Sakly, Mondher
ʿAwāna b. al-Ḥakam b. ʿAwāna al-Kalbī was an Akhbārī (author or collector of reports and narratives of historical, biographical, or anecdotal nature) historiographer of the second/eighth century and a member of a large family of scholars from Kufa and Wāsiṭ. He was born perhaps before the year 90/708 and died perhaps in 147/764, 153/770, or 158/774 (the sources differ). Blind and reputed for his eloquence—he also spoke Sindhi (Wakīʿ, 3:135)—he, like his father al-Ḥakam b. ʿAwāna, devoted himself to philological and historical studies, genealogy, poetry, and futūḥ (early Muslim wa…
Date: 2019-11-11


(345 words)

Author(s): Peskes, Esther
Al-ʿAwāzim (sing. al-ʿĀzimī) is a tribe with several subgroups in Kuwait and the northern part of the Saudi Arabian province of al-Aḥsāʾ, not to be confused with minor tribal groups bearing the same name, such as subgroups of the ʿUtayba and al-Sharārāt (al-Jāsir, 2:572–4). The ʿAwāzim may have been originally a subgroup of the Hutaym, located between Khaybar and Ḥāʾil. They themselves traced their genealogical origin back to the Ḥarb (Lorimer, 2A:189) yet were reckoned by others to be an inferior tribe of unknown descent (ghayr aṣīl), with whom others would not intermarry. Membe…
Date: 2019-11-11


(1,353 words)

Author(s): Ould Cheikh, Abdel Wedoud
Awdaghost, first mentioned in late third/ninth-century Arabic sources concerned with West Africa, was a settlement on the fringes of the Saharan Sahel, on the boundary between the nomadic Berber-speaking world and the Bilād al-Sudān. It is attested in various readings, which are uncertain because of the absence of vocalisation and the inconsistent use of diacritical marks, sh being distinguishable from s only by the three dots above the Arabic letter. It is thus rendered as “Ghast” by al-Yaʿqūbī (d. 278/891) and as “Awdaghust” and “Awdaghusht” by the fam…
Date: 2019-11-11

ʿAwfī, Sadīd al-Dīn

(1,094 words)

Author(s): Feuillebois, Ève
Sadīd al-Dīn Muḥammad ʿAwfī was a Persian writer of the late sixth/twelfth and early seventh/thirteenth centuries, author of the oldest poetry anthology Lubāb al-albāb (“Quintessence of intellects,” completed in 618/1221) and of the collection of prose anecdotes, Javāmiʿ al-ḥikāyāt va lavāmiʿ al-rivāyāt (“Collection of tales and flashes of anecdotes”). Our information about his life comes mainly from his own writings. The exact date of his birth in Bukhara is unknown. He claimed descent from ʿAbd al-Raḥmān b. ʿAwf (d. c.34/654), a Companion of…
Date: 2019-11-11

Awḥad al-Dīn al-Rāzī

(511 words)

Author(s): Pourjavady, Nasrollah
Awḥad al-Dīn al-Rāzī (seventh/thirteenth century) was a philosopher-mystic, physician, and Persian poet. His exact dates are unknown, but he was a contemporary of the famous philosopher and scientist Naṣīr al-Dīn al-Ṭūsī (d. 672/1274) and a protégé of the powerful vizier Shams al-Dīn al-Juwaynī (executed in 683/1284), to whom he dedicated his Persian philosophical-mystical treatise Ḥakīm-nāma or Ijtimāʿ-i ʿallāma. Rāzī wrote this treatise in a combination of prose and poetry and in the form of a dialogue between the Universal Intellect and the rationa…
Date: 2019-11-11

Awḥadī Marāghaʾī

(2,943 words)

Author(s): Lewisohn, Leonard
Awḥadī Marāghāʾī (b. ca. 673/1274–5—d. 738/1338) was an important Persian Ṣūfī poet who flourished in Persian Āzarbāyjān under Mongol rule. His full name is given as Awḥad al-Dīn (or Rukn al-Dīn), b. Ḥusayn Iṣfahānī. As attested by one verse of his Mathnawī-yi Jām-i jam, (see Nafīsī, xlix), Awḥadī was born in Isfahan circa 673/1274 and remained there probably until his late teens. In the early 690s/1290s, he set out on travels which took him to cities such as Baṣra, Baghdād, Damascus, Sulṭāniyya, Karbalā, Kūfa, Najaf, Qum and Hamadān (Mīr-Anṣārī, 10, 415; Nafīsī, ed., Dīvān, lv). Awḥadī…
Date: 2019-11-11

Awlād al-Nās

(800 words)

Author(s): Meloy, John Lash
Awlād al-Nās (“the children of the people”), was an expression used in the Mamlūk sultanate of Egypt and Syria to designate the descendants, to about the fourth generation, of the politically significant people—that is, the foreign military elite, the manumitted Mamlūks—who dominated the state. Muslim by birth and foreign by descent, awlād al-nās had a social identity distinct from their Mamlūk fathers and the local civilians. Because they were born Muslims, unlike their fathers, they were not allowed to pursue the usual route to success as milit…
Date: 2019-11-11

Awlād al-Shaykh

(1,474 words)

Author(s): Eddé, Anne-Marie | Gottschalk, Hans L.
Awlād al-Shaykh (Banū Ḥamawayh, also spelled Ḥamawiya) refers to an Iranian family of Ṣūfīs and Shāfiʿī fuqahāʾ, of whom one branch emigrated to Syria and came to play an important role in the religious and political life of Egypt and Syria under the later Ayyūbid sultans, al-Malik al-Kāmil (615–35/1218–38) and his sons. The eldest known clan member, Abū Muḥammad b. Ḥamawayh al-Juwaynī (d. 530/1135–6) was a renowned Ṣūfī, faqīh, and author of several works on mysticism. His grandson ʿImād al-Dīn Abū l-Fatḥ ʿUmar b. ʿAlī (d. 577/1181) went to Damascus, where in 5…
Date: 2019-11-11


(1,177 words)

Author(s): Knysh, Alexander D.
ʿAwlaqī (pl. ʿAwāliq) is a South Arabian tribal confederation and its territory, located in the present-day Republic of Yemen, in an area that stretches approximately one hundred kilometres along the Indian Ocean coastline and extends inland to where it abuts the desert territory of Ramlat al-Sabʿatayn. In the late 1960s, under the Socialist government, the former ʿAwlaqī lands, which consisted of the Lower ʿAwlaqī Sultanate (with its “capital” in Aḥwar), the Upper ʿAwlaqī Sultanate (Niṣāb), and…
Date: 2019-11-11


(6,238 words)

Author(s): Faruqui, Munis D.
Abū l-Muẓaffar Muḥammad Muḥyī l-Dīn Awrangzīb ʿĀlamgīr (1027–1118/1618–1707) was the sixth and last of the great Mughal emperors. Over the course of his forty-nine-year reign (1068–1118/1658–1707), he displayed military talent, administrative acumen, and political skill. His historical legacy is, nonetheless, mixed. Although Awrangzīb succeeded in pushing the Mughal Empire's physical frontiers to their limits, the imperial military forces and administration were seriously degraded in the process. His…
Date: 2019-11-11
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