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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Salvation

(844 words)

Author(s): Borrmans, Maurice
Preservation from destruction or failure; in eschatology, deliverance from sin and eternal damnation. Salvation has many meanings in the Qurʾān. Contrary to the final Christian salvation ( khalāṣ), which supposes deliverance from sin and death for reconciliation and communion with God, the qurʾānic “supreme success” ( [al-] fawz [al-]ʿaẓīm, q 4:13, 73; 5:119; 9:72, 89, 100, 111; 10:64; 23:71; 37:60; 40:9; 44:57; 48:5; 57:13; 61:12; 64:9), sometimes called “the great success” ( al-fawz al-kabīr, q 85:11) or “the manifest success” ( al-fawz al-mubīn, q 6:16; 45:30), is always the …

Ṣamad

(7 words)

 see god and his attributes Bibliography

Samaritans

(880 words)

Author(s): Stenhouse, Paul
A tiny sect claiming to be Israelite, found today principally in Nablus, biblical Shechem, in the Palestinian territories; and in Holon in Israel. The Samaritans call themselves Shomerim, “observant ones,” from Hebrew shamar, “to observe.” 2 Kings 17:24-9, the earliest reference to them, calls them Shomronim or “Samarians,” alleging that they were pagan peoples settled in Samaria by the Assyrians after the deportations of 722 b.c.e. Enmity between Judaeans and Samaritans flared up with the return of Judaean deportees from Babylon in 539 b.c.e. and continued up to and beyond th…

Samson

(733 words)

Author(s): Takim, Liyakat
Biblical figure present in Islamic tradition and qurʾānic commentary, but not the Qurʾān. Called Shamsūn in Arabic, this name is not mentioned in the Qurʾān but is briefly mentioned in exegetical and historical works. His story is embellished with miraculous anecdotes. Many reports on him are cited by al-Ṭabarī (d. 310/923), who narrates them mainly from Wahb b. Munabbih (on whose authority Samson is portrayed as an extreme and austere ascetic: for example, he is said to have put out his eyes so as not to be diverted from the worship of God, and to h…

Samuel

(2,278 words)

Author(s): Kennedy, Philip F.
While not mentioned by name in the Qurʾān, there is little doubt that the prophet ( nabī; see prophets and prophethood ) referred to anonymously in q 2:246-8 is the biblical Samuel, the last of the “Judges” who administered the transition of Israel to a kingdom (see kings and rulers ). This important historical detail is ¶ significantly preserved in the short qurʾānic passage treating Samuel, “Have you not looked to the chiefs of the Children of Israel (q.v.) after Moses (q.v.) when they said to a prophet among them, ‘Appoint for us a king that we may fight in the way of God’” ( q 2:246; see …

Sanctity and the Sacred

(13 words)

 see sacred precincts; profane and sacred; forbidden; saint Bibliography

Sanctuary

(5 words)

 see sacred precincts Bibliography

Sand

(610 words)

Author(s): Saritoprak, Zeki
Loose granular material resulting from the disintegration of rocks. The most common Arabic word for sand is raml, which is not found in the Qurʾān. There are, however, some other terms for sand in the Arabic language, such as kathīb and hāṣib. These two words are used in the Qurʾān, in a variety of verses. The former is mentioned explicitly only a single time in the Qurʾān ( q 73:14). Referring to the final hour ( qiyāma), the verse says, “On the day when the earth and the hills rock, and the mountains become kathīb.” The word kathīb can be interpreted as meaning “a huge amount of sand” ( qiṭʿa ʿaẓīma …

Satanic Verses

(2,687 words)

Author(s): Ahmed, Shahab
Name given by western scholarship to an incident known in the Muslim tradition as “the story of the cranes” ( qiṣṣat al-gharānīq) or “the story of the maidens.” According to various versions, this is the assertion that the prophet Muḥammad once mistook words suggested to him by Satan as divine revelation (see revelation and inspiration; devil); that is to say, as verses of the Qurʾān — the words reportedly interpolated by Satan are called the “satanic verses.” The historicity of the satanic verses incident is strenuously rejected by modern Islamic orthodoxy, often on pain of takfīr (being…

Satan(s)

(4 words)

 see devil Bibliography

Saul

(802 words)

Author(s): Takim, Liyakat
Israelite king mentioned in both the Qurʾān and the Bible. Called Ṭālūt, the “tall one,” in the Qurʾān, Saul is mentioned briefly in q 2:246-51. After Moses (q.v.), the Israelites (see children of israel ) asked an unnamed prophet (see prophets and prophethood ) — identified in qurʾānic commentaries as Ashmawīl or Shamwīl, Samuel (q.v.) — that God appoint a king so that they could fight in his path (see kings and rulers; path or way). They were surprised to find that Saul was appointed, especially since he was a poor water-carrier. The Israelites considered themselves …

Sawda

(7 words)

 see wives of the prophet Bibliography

Scholar

(1,725 words)

Author(s): Marlow, Louise
A learned person who has engaged in advanced study and acquired knowledge, generally in a particular field. The term ¶ ʿālim, most commonly used to designate “scholar” in Islamic societies, appears in the Qurʾān only as a description of God, in the sense of “knowing.” The plural ʿālimūn is applied sometimes to God (cf. q 21:51, 81) and sometimes to human beings (cf. q 12:44; 29:43; 30:22), while the plural form ʿulamāʾ, which appears twice in the Qurʾān (cf. q 26:197; 35:28), refers only to human beings. The Qurʾān also denotes knowledgeable or learned human beings by a numb…

Scholar [Supplement 2017]

(1,773 words)

Author(s): Louise Marlow
A scholar is a learned person who has engaged in advanced study and acquired knowledge, generally in a particular field. The term ʿālim, most commonly used to designate “scholar” in Muslim societies, appears in the Qurʾān only as a description of God, in the sense of “knowing.” Its plural form ʿālimūn is applied sometimes to God (cf. Q 21:51, 81) and sometimes to human beings (cf. Q 12:44; 29:43; 30:22), while the plural form ʿulamāʾ, which appears twice in the Qurʾān (cf. Q 26:197; 35:28), refers only to human beings. The Qurʾān also denotes knowledgeable or learned …
Date: 2017-08-31

Science and the Qurʾān

(11,543 words)

Author(s): Dallal, Ahmad
In his anthropological history of India, Abū Rayḥān al-Bīrūnī (d. ca. 442/1050), one of the most celebrated Muslim scientists of the classical period, starts a chapter “On the configuration of the heavens and the earth according to [Indian] astrologers,” with a long comparison between the cultural imperatives of Muslim and Indian sciences. The views of Indian astrologers, al-Bīrūnī maintains, have developed in a way which is different from those of our [Muslim] fellows; this is because, unlike the scriptures revealed before it, the Qurʾān does not artic…

Sciences of the Qurʾān

(22 words)

 see traditional disciplines of qurʾānic study; grammar and the qurʾān; exegesis of the qurʾān: classical and medieval Bibliography

Scourge

(4 words)

 see flogging Bibliography

Scribe(s)

(8 words)

 see orality and writing in arabia Bibliography

Scripture and the Qurʾān

(6,720 words)

Author(s): Graham, William A.
Addressing the issue of “scripture” in relation to the Qurʾān is at once a straight-¶ forward and a complicated venture. It is straightforward because in many respects the Qurʾān itself puts forward a generic concept of scripture that is consistent with that widely used today in the general study of religion. It is complicated because it raises numerous questions of historical, sociological and theological import for any understanding of either Islamic scripturalism or the relation of Islamic scripturalism to that of other religious traditions (see theology and the qurʾān ). In shor…

Scripture and the Qurʾān [Supplement 2016]

(6,759 words)

Author(s): William A. Graham
Addressing the issue of “scripture” in relation to the Qurʾān is both a straightforward and a complicated venture. It is straightforward because in many respects the Qurʾān itself offers a generic concept of scripture that is consistent with that widely used today in the general study of religion. It is complicated because it raises numerous questions of historical, sociological, and theological import for any understanding of either Islamic scripturalism or the relation of Islamic scripturalism to that of other religious traditions (see theology and the Qurʾān). To sum up, both…
Date: 2016-11-17
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