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

Ahl al-Bayt

(379 words)

 see family of the prophet; people of the house Bibliography


(12 words)

 see muḥammad Bibliography


(941 words)

Author(s): Friedmann, Yohanan
The Aḥmadiyya Movement in Islam (Urdu Jamāʿat-i Aḥmadiyya) is a modern messianic movement. It was founded in 1889 in the Indian province of the Punjab by Mirzā Ghulām Aḥmad (1835-1908) and has become exceedingly controversial within contemporary Muslim circles. Claiming for its founder messianic and prophetic status of a certain kind, the Aḥmadī Movement aroused fierce opposition from the Muslim mainstream and ¶ was accused of rejecting the dogma that Muḥammad was the last prophet. Under British rule, the controversy was merely a doctrinal dispute between …

Air and Wind

(3,542 words)

Author(s): Johns, Anthony H.
The gases which surround the earth and the motion within these gases. Air is mentioned only twice in the Qurʾān, once as jaww and once as

Air and Wind [Supplement 2017]

(2,616 words)

Author(s): Anthony H. Johns
Air consists of the gases forming the earth’s atmosphere and wind
Date: 2017-08-31

ʿĀʾisha bint Abī Bakr

(3,387 words)

Author(s): Spellberg, Denise A.
The woman thought by the majority of Muslims to be the Prophet Muḥammad's favorite wife. Although ʿĀʾisha bint Abī Bakr (d. 58/678) is never explicitly named in the Qurʾān, she was consistently defined with reference to the sacred text in the formation of her historical and symbolic standing in Islamic history. Through ʿĀʾisha, Muslim scholars, who historically were almost exclusively men, struggled with questions central to the formation of communal identity and gender roles. Her ¶ persona focused debate and determined the nuances of Islamic identity in its formative …


(7 words)

 see resurrection; paradise; hell; eschatology Bibliography


(4 words)

 see world Bibliography


(7 words)

 see shīʿism and the qurʾān Bibliography


(4 words)

 see intoxicants Bibliography


(1,335 words)

Author(s): Renard, John
The Macedonian conqueror who lived from 356 until 323 b.c.e. Traditional and modern scholars have identified the figure the Qurʾān refers to as the Possessor of the Two Horns (Dhū l-Qarnayn, q 18:83, 86, 94) as Alexander the Great (al-Iskandar in Arabic). His “two horns” may be the east and the west, suggesting breadth of his dominion. Anomalously, some early scholars saw the epithet as reference to a pre-Islamic monarch of south Arabia or Persia. The famous mystic Ibn al-ʿArabī (d. 638/1240) interpreted the figure allegorically, identifying the “Possessor of the Two Horn…

ʿAlī b. Abī Ṭālib

(835 words)

Author(s): Asani, Ali S.
The cousin of the Prophet Muḥammad and husband of his daughter Fāṭima. ʿAlī b. Abī Ṭālib (d. 40/661) was among the first to embrace Islam and was renowned for his loyalty to the Prophet and his courageous role in a number of the military expeditions in the defense of the early Muslim community. Also known for his piety, his profound knowledge of the Qurʾān and the sunna (the exemplary practice of the Prophet; see sunna ), he figures prominently in several esoteric traditions in Islam including Ṣūfism (see ṣūfism and the qurʾān ). Shīʿī Muslims — originally “the partisans of ʿAlī” ( shīʿat ʿA…


(7 words)

 see god and his attributes Bibliography


(5 words)

 see oaths; pledge Bibliography


(9 words)

 see language and style of the qurʾān Bibliography


(6 words)

 see contracts and alliances Bibliography


(4,018 words)

Author(s): Nanji, Azim
Charitable gifts to relieve the poor. In common with the teachings of most other faiths and more particularly the biblical traditions, the Qurʾān repeatedly emphasizes the moral value of giving. While the term “almsgiving” may suggest a somewhat simple and unfocused act of charity directed at the poor and needy, the Qurʾān articulates through a variety of terms, especially ṣadaqa and zakāt, a very textured and multivalent conception of giving which draws upon the ideals of compassion, social justice, sharing and strengthening the community. As this act ai…


(9 words)

 see arabic script; letters and mysterious letters Bibliography
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