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.

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(4 words)

 see sheba Bibliography


(4 words)

 see sheba Bibliography


(615 words)

Author(s): Rippin, Andrew
Saturday, technically, Friday evening to Saturday evening. While related etymologically to the Aramaic and Hebrew words for the Sabbath (in which tradition it connotes the day of “rest”), the Arabic term ( sabt) was provided with an appropriate Islamic sense by the Qurʾān and later Muslim interpretation. The Qurʾān uses the word sabt six times (plus once as a verb, yasbitu, “to keep the Sabbath,” in q 7:163) and clearly draws a relationship between the Jews, the Sabbath and not working on that day of the week, in keeping with the Jewish tradition (see jews and judaism ). The day was imposed…


(1,103 words)

Author(s): de Blois, François
A religious community mentioned three times in the Qurʾān. The Sabians ( ṣābiʾūn) should not be confused with the Sabaeans, the inhabitants of Sabaʾ, the biblical Sheba, a famous ancient nation in south Arabia (see sheba; bilqīs; pre-islamic arabia and the qurʾān;south arabia, ¶ religion in pre-islamic). The identity of the Sabians has puzzled both medieval and modern scholarship. q 2:62 states: “As for those who have believed and those who have professed Judaism and the Naṣārā and the Sabians: those who believed in God and the last day and did good, they shall have …


(9 words)

 see profane and sacred; forbidden; sacred precincts Bibliography

Sacred Precincts

(2,397 words)

Author(s): Rubin, Uri
Areas considered holy, often associated with places of worship or religious rituals. Sacred precincts are treated in the Qurʾān on two levels: Israelite and Arabian (see children of israel; pre-islamic arabia and the qurʾān; south arabia, religion in pre-islamic). On the Israelite level, a sacred precinct is mentioned, to begin with, in the story of Moses' (q.v.) vocation. In q 20:12, Moses stands before the burning bush and God tells him that the wādī, “valley,” i.e. precinct, he is standing in is of “multiple sacredness” ( al-wādī l- muqaddas ṭuwan); therefore he must take off his…


(841 words)

Author(s): Firestone, Reuven
The act of making an offering to a deity or the offering itself. In Arabic, these are commonly rendered by the roots, ḍ-ḥ-y, q-r-b and dh-b-ḥ. The first root, which in ¶ the second form can mean to sacrifice an animal during the period of daylight called al- duḥā, is not attested in the Qurʾān, though ʿīd al-adḥā, “feast of the sacrifice,” has become the primary name for the one great sacrificial ritual in Islam, occurring during the daylight hours of the tenth of the month of dhū l- ḥijja (see months; day, times of; noon) as a part of the major pilgrimage (q.v.; ḥajj). In contemporary usage, some …


(6 words)

 see joy and misery Bibliography

(-ṣād- - ṣ-f-r)

(531 words)

-ṣād-   ṣ-b-b    aṣabb    Months   ṣ-b-gh    ṣibgh    Tree(s)    ṣibgha    Baptism    Covenant    Textual Criticism of the Qurʾān    ṣibghat allāh   ṣ-b-r    iṣṭabara    Trust and Patience    ṣabara    Ethics and the Qurʾān    Grammar and the Qurʾān    Hospitality and Courtesy    Moses    Muḥammad    Trust and Patience    Virtues and Vices, Commanding and Forbidding    ṣabbār    Moses    Trust and Patience    ṣabr    Courage    Ethics and the Qurʾān    Faith    Medicine and the Qurʾān    Moses    Myths and Legends in the Qurʾān    Suffering    Trust and Patience    Virtue    ṣā…

(-ṣād- - ṣ-f-w - ṣ-l-y)

(376 words)

ṣ-f-w    aṣfiyāʾ    Ṣūfism and the Qurʾān    ikhwān al-ṣafāʾ    iṣṭafā    Election    Muḥammad    Prophets and Prophethood    Samuel    muṣṭafā    Election    Language and Style of the Qurʾān    Names of the Prophet    Ṣafā and Marwa    ṣafwa    Election    ṣafwān    Earth    ṣafā    Ṣafā and Marwa    ṣāfin/ṣāfī    Taxation   ṣ-f-ḥ    ṣafaḥa    Muḥammad    ṣafḥ    Tolerance and Coercion   ṣ-gh-r    [wa-hum] ṣāghirūn    Poll Tax    aṣghar    Adam and Eve    ṣaghār    Poll Tax    ṣaghīr    Children    ṣaghīra, pl. ṣaghāʾir    Sin, Major and Minor   ṣ-gh-w    aṣghā    Hearing and Deaf…

(-ṣād- - ṣ-l-ḥ - ṣ-w-m-ʿ)

(565 words)

ṣ-l-ḥ    aṣlaḥ    Responsibility    Theology and the Qurʾān    aṣlaḥa    Ethics and the Qurʾān    Persian Literature and the Qurʾān    Taxation    istiṣlāḥ    Law and the Qurʾān    Modesty    iṣlāḥ    Creation    Politics and the Qurʾān    maṣlaḥa, pl. maṣāliḥ    Feminism and the Qurʾān    Justice and Injustice    Law and the Qurʾān    Politics and the Qurʾān    Wahhabism and the Qurʾān    ṣalaḥa    Ethics and the Qurʾān    Faith    ṣalāḥ    Responsibility    Ritual and the Qurʾān    ṣulḥ    Conquest    Persian Literature and the Qurʾān    Retaliation    Taxation    Vengean…

(-ṣād- - ṣ-w-r - ṣ-ḥ-ḥ)

(509 words)

ṣ-w-r    muṣawwir    God and his Attributes    Iconoclasm    taṣwīr    Ashes    Literary Structures of the Qurʾān    ṣawwara    Cosmology    God and his Attributes    Popular and Talismanic Uses of the Qurʾān    ṣāra    Textual Criticism of the Qurʾān    ṣūr    Apocalypse    Eschatology    Instruments    Last Judgment    Resurrection    ṣūra, pl. ṣuwar    Art and Architecture and the Qurʾān    God and his Attributes    Magic    Persian Literature and the Qurʾān    fī aḥsana ṣuwarakum    ʿalā ṣūratihi   ṣ-w-t    ṣawt, pl. aṣwāt    Anatomy    Speech   ṣ-w-ʿ    ṣuwāʿ    Cups an…

Ṣafā and Marwa

(1,222 words)

Author(s): Firestone, Reuven
Two low hills near the Kaʿba (q.v.) in Mecca (q.v.) between which the pilgrim engages in a brisk walk or trot called “the running” (al- saʿy) during the pilgrimage (q.v.; ḥajj and ʿumra). This running is an obligatory station ( mansik, pl. manāsik) among the various ritual activities during the ten days of the ḥajj pilgrimage ritual at Mecca (see ritual and the qurʾān ). The root meaning of ṣafā is to be clear or pure, from which comes the familiar name muṣṭafā, meaning “elected” or “chosen” (see names of the prophet; election), but may also designate smooth stones. Lexicographers define marwa


(6 words)

 see peace; sacred precincts Bibliography


(545 words)

Author(s): Radtke, B.
Person marked by divine favor, holiness. The idea of special, chosen people, “saints,” is alien to the Qurʾān (for the closest qurʾānic attestation of this concept, see election ). The word walī (pl. awliyāʾ) used later for these people, though occurring very frequently, does not designate special people distinguished by striking qualities but the faithful as such, who are devout ( ṣāliḥūn, muttaqūn; see good and evil; piety). This makes them friends of God and he is their friend (see friends and friendship; clients and clientage). Satan (see devil ), who is the enemy ( ʿaduww) of God and…


(5 words)

 see rhymed prose Bibliography


(4 words)

 see shekhinah Bibliography


(4 words)

 see prayer Bibliography


(981 words)

Author(s): Tottoli, Roberto
A messenger (q.v.) sent to the people of Thamūd (q.v.), named nine times in the Qurʾān. His story is dealt with in a number of passages ( q 7:73-9; 11:61-8; 26:141-59; 27:45-53; 54:23-31; 91:11-5), and in other verses mention is made of the people of Thamūd and their fate. The Qurʾān does not contain a complete narrative of the story of this messenger and the events that led his people to punishment and destruction, but it does mention (and occasionally repeats some details of) his mission among his people. Particular attention is given to the…


(6 words)

 see food and drink Bibliography
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