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


(6 words)

 see throne of god Bibliography

Challenges of Modern Science

(10 words)

 see science and the qurʾān Bibliography

Chance and Coincidence

(16 words)

 see marvels; omens; secrets; hidden and the hidden; theology and the qurʾān Bibliography


(4 words)

 see sūra(s) Bibliography


(4 words)

 see almsgiving Bibliography


(4 words)

 see amulets Bibliography

Chastisement and Punishment

(2,366 words)

Author(s): Fadel, Moḥammad Hossam
To discipline, especially by corporal means, as retribution for a wrong and incidentally for correction and prevention. “Chastisement” and “punishment” correspond to several Arabic terms used in the Qurʾān, e.g. ʿadhāb, nakāl, ʿiqāb, jazāʾ and their cognates, although, in addition to these discrete terms, the Qurʾān does use other expressions to convey the same meaning. The word ʿadhāb and its cognates appear in the Qurʾān over 350 times; jazāʾ and its cognates over 100 times; ʿiqāb and its cognates 26 times; and nakāl and its cognates four times. Considering the numerous qur…

Chastisement and Sentences

(10 words)

 see chastisement and punishment; trial; judgment Bibliography


(1,036 words)

Author(s): Motzki, Harald
Avoidance of illicit sexual intercourse. Within the Qurʾān, this concept is generally expressed by the Arabic verb aḥṣana, its participles and the verbal noun taḥaṣṣun. The original meaning of the fourth form of the verb is “to protect or preserve something or someone,” in the fifth form “to protect oneself” (Lane, 586). Other verbs used to convey this idea are ḥafiẓa (to protect) and istaʿaffa (to abstain). The special meaning of the concept can be discerned by a comparison of qurʾānic verses in which the word, its synonyms or antonyms occur. There are transit…


(757 words)

Author(s): Jackson, Sherman A.
Defrauding by deceit or trickery. Several qurʾānic expressions depict this vice (see virtues and vices ): taṭfīf (lit. making light of or slighting); bakhs (shortchanging); akl amwāl al-nās bi-l-bāṭil (devouring people's wealth on false pretext); taghābun (mutual fraud). Sūrat al-Muṭaffifūn, “The Slighters” ( q 83), is one of two sūras of the Qurʾān named for the actual practice of cheating. Its opening verses chide proprietors who manipulate the scales and measuring devices (see measurement ) in the market (see markets ) so that buyers receive less than the quantity for wh…


(1,277 words)

Author(s): Giladi, Avner
Offspring; gender-inclusive term for young people, between infancy and youth. The Qurʾān contains a number of terms for ¶ “offspring” and “young people,” (e.g. dhurriyya; ghulām, pl. ghilmān; ibn, pl. banūn; walad, pl. awlād), but it is only seldom clear from the context when these refer to the age group between birth (q.v.) and maturity (q.v.). More specific terms for infants and children are: walīd, “child” (pl. wildān, although in q 56:17, wildān probably means “youths”); mawlūd, “born, child,” ṣabī, “infant, boy,” ṭifl, “infant” and ṣaghīr, “young.” Generally the terms in th…

Children of Israel

(2,783 words)

Author(s): Rubin, Uri
One of the qurʾānic designations of Israelites as well as Jews ( yahūd, see jews and judaism ) and Christians ( naṣārā, see christians and christianity ), in reference mainly to past generations (q.v.). The majority of the passages mentioning the Children of Israel (Bānū Isrāʾīl) are dedicated to the Israelites of the time of Moses (q.v.), while references do exist to later stages of their history, such as the story of Saul (Ṭālūṭ; q 2:246-52; see saul ), the destruction of the Temple ( q 17:2-8) and the emergence of Jesus (q.v.) among them ( q 61:6). Sometimes, the label “Children of Isra…


(6 words)

 see christians and christianity Bibliography

Christians and Christianity

(5,904 words)

Author(s): Griffith, Sidney H.
Evidence for the presence of Christians and currency of Christianity in the Arabian milieu in which Islam was born comes from the Qurʾān itself as well as from reports included in other documents of a similar date and provenance. From these texts it is clear that by the beginning of the first Islamic century, toward the end of the first quarter of the seventh century according to the common reckoning, the number of Christians in the territories frequented by the Arab tribes in the Middle East was on the increase (see tribes and clans ). Evidence of the Christian presence on the periphery of Arabia…

Christ (masīḥ)

(5 words)

 see jesus Bibliography

Chronological Sequence of the Qurʾān

(11 words)

 see chronology and the qurʾān Bibliography

Chronology and the Qurʾān

(13,266 words)

Author(s): Böwering, Gerhard
The Qurʾān is the most recent of the major sacred scriptures to have appeared in the chronology of human history. It originated at a crucial moment in time when Muḥammad proclaimed it in the northwestern half of the Arabian peninsula during the first quarter of the seventh century c.e. The Qurʾān exhibits a significant relationship to the biblical tradition, the scriptures of Judaism and Christianity, while it shows no literary affinity to the sacred literatures of Hinduism and Buddhism and little to Zoroastrian sacred writings (see scripture and the qurʾān ). The elements of the bib…


(767 words)

Author(s): Griffith, Sidney H.
Building in which public Christian religious services occur. Christian churches, shrines, monasteries and other institutions were common in the territories inhabited by Arabic-speaking peoples in the world in which Islam was born. In the early Islamic period both Muslims and Christians regularly used the word kanīsa to mean “church” and sometimes “synagogue.” Although this conventional Arabic word for church does not appear in the Qurʾān, there is one verse that has been interpreted as referring to churches. In q 22:40, churches (biyaʿ) are mentioned along with monasteries ( ṣawāmi…

Cinema and the Qurʾān

(10 words)

 see media and the qurʾān Bibliography


(5 words)

 see kaʿba; pilgrimage Bibliography
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