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 lie Bibliography


(630 words)

Author(s): Beaumont, Daniel
To deceive; anything which deceives. The polemical context of the qurʾānic revelation and the discursive nature of qurʾānic ¶ scripture make lying one of the most frequently mentioned sins in the Qurʾān (see sin, major and minor ). Furthermore, the Qurʾān's oft-repeated references to itself as “the truth” (q.v.; al- ḥaqq) and the declaration that God created the entire world “with truth” ( q 46:3), make dishonesty a central characteristic of unbelief ( kufr) and polytheism ( shirk), such links sometimes being explicitly stated ( q 16:39; 29:17; see belief and unbelief; polytheism an…


(2,517 words)

Author(s): Netton, Ian Richard
The vital force that distinguishes organic from inorganic matter. At the heart of the qurʾānic evocation of life are a paradox and two paradigms. The paradox arises from a dual attitude to, or sense of, “life” ( ḥayāt). On the one hand, life as an animating force in the body is perceived as utterly sacred. Humans are urged not to kill their children (q.v.) out of fear of being reduced to poverty ( imlāq, q 17:31; see poverty and the poor ). God promises that he will provide for both parent and child (see family; parents) and warns that infanticide (q.v.) is a grievous sin (see sin, major and minor ). Th…

Life after Death

(14 words)

 see eschatology; resurrection; paradise; hell and hellfire; reward and punishment Bibliography


(10 words)

 see destiny; fate; life; death and the dead Bibliography


(1,318 words)

Author(s): Elias, Jamal J.
The emanation from a light-giving body: the essential condition for vision (see vision and blindness; seeing and hearing) — the opposite of darkness (q.v.). The Qurʾān is rich in references to light, both in the literal sense of the word as well as in symbolic and metaphoric senses (see metaphor; symbolic imagery). The most common word for light is nūr, although ḍiyāʾ also appears on three occasions (also miṣbāḥ and sirāj; see also lamp and fire ). Light as nūr most frequently appears juxtaposed to darkness ( ẓulumāt). This is most common in the phrase “From the darkness into the light” (mina l…


(4 words)

 see weather Bibliography


(5 words)

 see animal life Bibliography


(4 words)

 see anatomy Bibliography


(9 words)

 see hearing and deafness; seeing and hearing Bibliography


(2,837 words)

Author(s): Günther, Sebastian
The ability to read and, often, to write. Literacy (framed in contemporary Arabic by expressions such as maʿrifat al-qirāʾa wa-l- kitāba, thaqāfa and their derivatives) is in many cultures considered a primary requisite for learning and education. In Arabia at the beginning of the first/seventh century, however, oral transmission of knowledge, memorization and the spoken word had a long tradition and were highly appreciated among the tribes (see tribes and clans; orality and writing in arabia; memory; speech). Until that time, the use of writing and written matter — due …

Literary Structures of the Qurʾān

(8,307 words)

Author(s): Boullata, Issa J.
Rhetorical, grammatical and linguistic devices utilized in the conveyance of meaning. The message of the Qurʾān is couched in various literary structures, which are widely considered to be the most perfect example of the Arabic language (q.v.; see also language and style of the qurʾān ). Arabic grammars were written based upon the qurʾānic language (see grammar and the qurʾān ), and, by the general consensus of Muslim rhetoricians, the qurʾānic idiom is considered to be sublime. This article is concerned with these literary structures and how they produc…

Literature and the Qurʾān

(14,013 words)

Author(s): Kadi (al-Qāḍī), Wadad | Mir, Mustansir
This article deals with two main topics: the Qurʾān as literature, which focuses on the literary aspects of the Qurʾān, and the Qurʾān in literature, which focuses on the use of the Qurʾān in various Islamic literatures: Arabic, Persian, Urdu, Punjabi, and Malay. For further and more comprehensive discussion of the utilization of the Qurʾān in various non-Arabic Islamic literatures, see the articles south asian literature and the qurʾān; southeast asian literature and the qurʾān; turkish literature and the qurʾān; persian literature and the qurʾān; african literature. Qurʾān as li…

Liturgical Calendar

(8 words)

 see festivals and commemorative days Bibliography

L (Laban - Lord, A.)

(533 words)

Laban  Community and Society in the Qurʾān al-Labbān al-Miṣrī (d. 749/1349)  Traditional Disciplines of Qurʾānic Studies Labīb al-Saʿīd  Recitation of the Qurʾān Labīd b. Rabīʿa  Poetry and Poets al-Lāh  South Arabia, Religions in Pre-Islamic Labīd b. al-Aʿṣām  Createdness of the Qurʾān  Orality and Writing in Arabia Lahore  Mosque  Printing of the Qurʾān Lakemacher, Johann Gottfried (d. 1736)  Pre-1800 Preoccupations of Qurʾānic Studies Lakhm  Christians and Christianity  Language and Style of the Qurʾān Lakhmids  Calligraphy  Christians and Christianity  Markets Lalani,…

L (-lām- - l-w-ḥ - lāhūt)

(434 words)

l-w-ḥ    lawwāḥa    Hell and Hellfire    lawḥ [lūḥ], pl. alwāḥ    (al-)lawḥ (al-)maḥfūẓ    Abrogation    Angel    Ark    Arrogance    Commandments    Createdness of the Qurʾān    Everyday Life, Qurʾān In    Fate    Heavenly Book    Instruments    Literacy    Moses    Orality and Writing in Arabia    Preserved Tablet    Printing of the Qurʾān    Prophets and Prophethood    Scrolls    Sheets    Ships    Social Sciences and the Qurʾān    Torah    Uncertainty    Verse(s)    Ṣūfism and the Qurʾān    talwīḥ    Literature and the Qurʾān   l-w-ṭ    liwāṭ    Sex and Sexual…

L (-lām- - l-w-n)

(380 words)

-lām-   l-b-b    lubb, pl. albāb    Heart    Intellect    Knowledge and Learning    Memory    ūlū l-albāb   l-b-n    laban    Food and Drink    Milk    talbīna    Honey   l-b-s    labasa    libās    Clothing    Day and Night    Family    Nudity    talbīs    Dissimulation    Philosophy and the Qurʾān   l-b-y    labbaya    Everyday Life, Qurʾān In    Prayer Formulas    labbayka allāhumma labbayka    talbiya    Geography    Idolatry and Idolaters    Prayer Formulas    Satanic Verses   l-f-ẓ    lafẓ    Ambiguous    Law and the Qurʾān    Names of the Qurʾān    Orthography    Revel…

L (Lot [Lūṭ] - LʿHôpital, J.-Y.)

(367 words)

Lot [Lūṭ]  Abraham  Archaeology and the Qurʾān  Belief and Unbelief  Blessing  Brother and Brotherhood  Chastisement and Punishment  Chronology and the Qurʾān  Clay  Consolation  Day, Times of  Debate and Disputation  Deliverance  Dialogues  Elisha  Ethics and the Qurʾān  Expeditions and Battles  Family  Fire  Form and Structure of the Qurʾān  Generations  Geography  Hell and Hellfire  History and the Qurʾān  Homosexuality  Hūd  Idols and Images  Ignorance  Imām  Job  Joy and Misery  Language and Style of the Qurʾān  Literature and the Qurʾān  Lot  Messenger  Miracles  Muḥa…