Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān

Get access Subject: Middle East and Islamic Studies
General Editor: Jane Dammen McAuliffe, Georgetown University, Washington DC

The Encyclopaedia of the Qur’ān Online is an encyclopaedic dictionary of qur’ānic terms, concepts, personalities, place names, cultural history and exegesis extended with essays on the most important themes and subjects within qur’ānic studies. The Encyclopaedia of the Qur’ān Online is the first comprehensive, multivolume reference work on the Qur’ān to appear in a Western language.
Encyclopaedia of the Qur’ān Online includes direct access to 62 Early Printed Western Qur’āns Online and the Electronic Qurʾān Concordance, a unique online finding aid for textual research.

Subscriptions: see brill.com


(4 words)

 see insanity Bibliography


(4 words)

 see midian Bibliography


(779 words)

Author(s): Darrow, William R.
Originally a term for the professional priesthood of the pre-Islamic religious institution in Iran, in qurʾānic usage it is presumably a term for all followers of that religion. The Arabic term translated as “Magians,” (al- majūs) is attested once at q 22:17, a late Medinan sūra (see chronology and the qurʾān ), where the list Jews (see jews and judaism ), Christians (see christians and christianity ) and Sabians (q.v.) attested in q 2:62, now also includes them. The etymology and history of the term and the question whether the Magians are People of the Book (q.v.) are the two large i…


(4,047 words)

Author(s): Khān, Gabriel Mandel
The art which claims to produce effects by the assistance of supernatural beings or by a mastery of secret forces in nature. The contrast between the rational and the irrational, of supreme importance to the human being, even in the present day, suggests the question: “Is magic credible?” The Qurʾān replies in the affirmative, both when speaking about magic — describing its deeds and consequences — as well as by concluding with two apotropaic sūras, which are often regarded as protective talismans (see popular and talismanic uses of the qurʾān ), and thus confirmations of magic. To t…


(6 words)

 see gog and magog Bibliography


(9 words)

 see modesty; virtue; sex and sexuality; houris Bibliography

Maintenance and Upkeep

(501 words)

Author(s): Melchert, Christopher
Preservation and repair of property, or, more commonly in the Qurʾān, the care for one's dependents. In Islamic law, nafaqa indicates the obligation to maintain one's dependents (see guardianship ). The Qurʾān uses nafaqa of expenditures in general, even those against Islam at q 8:36. It is enjoined by q 2:215-6 for the benefit of parents (q.v.), relatives (see kinship ), orphans (q.v.), the poor (see poverty and the poor ) and wayfarers (see journey ; similarly q 17:26; 30:38). Repeated injunctions to do good to one's parents (wa-bi-l- wālidayn iḥsānan) have also been taken to require their maintenance ( q 4:36; 6:151; 17:23; 46:15). q 2:240 calls for the maintenance of the widow (q.v.) for a year, apparently from the man's estate. q 25:67 indicates that they do best whose expenditures are neither excessive nor stingy. In the context of divorce, finally, q 65:6-7 enjoins husbands to allow their wives to live where they themselves do and not to be hard on them if they are pregnant (see marriage and divorce …


(7 words)

 see god and his attributes Bibliography


(4 words)

 see magians Bibliography


(4 words)

 see gender Bibliography


(4 words)

 see enemies Bibliography

Malikis (Mālikī)

(8 words)

 see law and the qurʾān Bibliography


(6 words)

 see idols and images Bibliography


(7 words)


(6 words)

 see hospitality and courtesy Bibliography

Manual Labor

(934 words)

Author(s): Mattson, Ingrid
Literally “work with one's hands,” it often carries the implication of strenuous physical exertion. Manual labor is not a topic explicitly addressed in the Qurʾān though the term “forced laborer” ( sukhrī) is mentioned once and the Qurʾān describes some of the ancient prophets (see prophets and prophethood ) as having been able to achieve prominence by using forced and voluntary labor in great building projects (see art and architecture and the qurʾān; archaeology and the qurʾān). The Qurʾān states that it is God who “raises some to levels above others so that some of th…

Manuscripts of the Qurʾān

(13,558 words)

Author(s): Déroche, François
Within the handwritten heritage of the Islamic world (see orthography; arabic script), the Qurʾān occupies by far the most conspicuous place — at least in terms of sheer volume. Until the present day, copyists, amateurs as well as professionals, have devoted much time and effort to transcribing the revealed text by hand. It is therefore no wonder that the topic “manuscripts of the Qurʾān” should cover a wide variety of cases: Qurʾāns are found in one volume ( muṣḥaf, q.v.) or sets ( rabʿa) from two to sixty volumes but also as excerpts, usu-¶ ally connected with prayers (see prayer ). In all t…


(1,126 words)

Author(s): Buckley, Ronald Paul
Public places in which commercial transactions occur. The term aswāq, “markets,” occurs in two places in the Qurʾān, but is used incidentally to indicate that the prophets were men who shared the same nature as those they were sent to teach: …

Marriage and Divorce

(2,855 words)

Author(s): Motzki, Harald
The social institution through which a man and a woman are joined in a social and legal dependence for the purpose of forming and maintaining a family (q.v.), and the regulated dissolution of such a union. Both marriage and divorce are legal issues extensively dealt with in the Qurʾān (see …
▲   Back to top   ▲