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 covenant Bibliography


(14 words)

 see age of ignorance; idolatry and idolaters; south arabia, religion in pre-islamic Bibliography


(5 words)

 see sheets; scrolls Bibliography

Pairs and Pairing

(5,085 words)

Author(s): Schmidtke, Sabine
Any aspect of the language and style of the Qurʾān in which pairs are perceived as a structural element in the composition of the Qurʾān (see form and structure of the qurʾān ), such as any form of parallelism or repetition, pairs of synonymous, synthetic or antithetic terms or concepts, double divine epithets (see god and his attributes ) as well as aspects of the number two or use of the dual form (see numbers and enumeration ). Ethical dualism Throughout the Qurʾān, an antithetic or dual parallelism is observable in the admonitions to humankind (see exhortations ), in the descriptions of…


(8 words)

 see date palm; agriculture and vegetation Bibliography


(1,576 words)

Author(s): Zahniser, A.H. Mathias
An illustrative story teaching a lesson. The word for parable, mathal (pl. amthāl, often used with a form of the verb ḍaraba/yaḍribu, “to strike,” “to coin”), occurs numerous times in the Qurʾān and evidences a much broader semantic range than does ¶ the English word “parable.” For Arabic literature in general, mathal can be translated by such terms as simile, similitude, example, parable, allegory, proverb, motto, apothegm, aphorism, fable and maxim (see also similes; literary structures of the qurʾān). This range of meaning for mathal also characterizes other Semitic language…


(15 words)

 see muḥammad; names of the prophet; christians and christianity; polemic and polemical language Bibliography


(5,029 words)

Author(s): Kinberg, Leah
The abode of the souls of the righteous after their death, heaven; also, the garden of Eden. In the Qurʾān, descriptions of the hereafter appear in relation to the arrival of a day, “the hour” (al- sāʿa), “reckoning day” ( yawm al-ḥisāb), “the day of judgment” ( yawm al-dīn), “the last day” (al- yawm al-ākhir), or “the day of resurrection” ( yawm al-qiyāma), in which every individual is resurrected and has to face up to his or her deeds and be judged accordingly ( q 52:21, “…Every man shall be pledged for what he earned…”). The descriptions of heaven and hell, which are very of…


(9 words)

 see writing and writing materials; sheets; scrolls Bibliography


(4 words)

 see forgiveness Bibliography


(1,385 words)

Author(s): Giladi, Avner
Those who beget or bring forth children. Terms designating “parents” in the Qurʾān are wālidāni and abawāni, respectively the dual form of wālid, “father, one who begets a child” (the passive al- mawlūd lahu indicates “to whom the child is borne”; wālida, “mother, one who brings forth a child,” appears in both the singular and the plural; umm/ummahāt also designate “mother”), and the dual form of ab, “father” (the singular means “nurturer,” see Robertson-Smith, Kinship and marriage, 142; Lane, 10; in certain verses the plural ābāʾ means “ancestors”). Natural aspects of parenthood a…

Parody of the Qurʾān

(1,164 words)

Author(s): Boullata, Issa J.
Literary composition attempting to imitate the language and style of the Qurʾān. Parodies of the Qurʾān (sing. muʿāraḍat al-Qurʾān) have been known in Islamic history, but no authentic and complete texts of them have come down to us. What Islamic sources have recorded of them in snippets shows imitation that is obviously weak, ¶ grossly ludicrous and vastly inferior to the Qurʾān in language, style and content (see language and style of the qurʾān; form and structure of the qurʾān; literary structures of the qurʾān), making the parodies themselves the object of ridicule. When the qurʾān…

Parties and Factions

(2,176 words)

Author(s): Hawting, Gerald R.
Divisions within groups. The Qurʾān has a relatively rich and varied, but not precisely differentiated, vocabulary which refers to parties or factions within larger communities or groups (see community and society in the qurʾān ). Although the words and phrases concerned are sometimes used in the Qurʾān in an apparently neutral way, for example, with reference to groups among the believers themselves (see belief and unbelief ), they are often employed there in a derogatory sense or in polemic against opponents. The opponents are accused of dividing their relig…


(9 words)

 see friends and friendship; parties and factions Bibliography


(6 words)

 see veil; barrier; barzakh Bibliography

Partners [of God]

(8 words)

 see polytheism and atheism Bibliography

Party of God

(11 words)

 see parties and factions; friends and friendship Bibliography

Party of Satan

(9 words)

 see parties and factions; enemies Bibliography

Path or Way

(2,305 words)

Author(s): Frolov, Dmitry V.
That along which one passes to reach a destination. The concept of the path or way (of God) — expressed by derivatives of several roots ( sabīl, ṣirāṭ, ṭarīq, minhāj) — pervades the Qurʾān and is related to several basic notions of Islam such as right guidance ( hudā or hidāya; see astray ), the religious law ( sharīʿa; see law and the qurʾān ) and jihād (q.v.). When the Qurʾān uses this last notion (which connotes “struggle” and is often rendered as “holy war”) in conjunction with the concept of the path or way of God, it is expressed exclusively by the term sabīl and only in a set phrase, “in th…

Patience and Self-Restraint

(8 words)

 see trust and patience Bibliography
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