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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Load or Burden

(979 words)

Author(s): Gaffney, Patrick D.
Something carried or borne, often with difficulty. The concept of load or burden appears in the Qurʾān approximately fifty times, in several forms, conveying a range of implications that can be classified as descriptive, metaphorical (see metaphor ), and morally didactic. As a term of physical description, variants of the radical ḥ-m-l frequently depict the load borne by animals such as cattle, donkeys and camels ( q 12:72; 16:7; 62:5; see camel; animal life); as the cargo aboard ships (q.v.; q 23:22; 40:80) or related to natural elements such as clouds laden with rain ( q 51:2; see air and …


(6 words)

 see debts; economics; usury Bibliography


(6 words)

 see animal life; plague Bibliography


(1,620 words)

Author(s): Calderini, Simonetta
One who has power and authority. One of the most frequent nouns in the Qurʾān, “lord” generally refers to God but on a few occasions designates a human master. Three terms in the Qurʾān can be rendered into English as lord: rabb, mawlā and walī. Rabb recurs 971 times in the Qurʾān, never as an isolated word with the definite article (al-rabb) but always as the first term in a genitive construct (i.e. the lord of the ¶ heavens and the earth), most often with a personal pronoun as suffix. Rabb conveys not only the meanings of lord and master but also of caregiver, provider, sustainer (…


(870 words)

Author(s): Busse, Heribert
The prophet sent to the people of Sodom as mentioned in both the Bible and the Qurʾān. In the latter, he is attested twenty-seven times. Among the qurʾānic stories of divine punishment (see punishment stories; chastisement and punishment), that of Lot (Lūṭ) and Sodom is second in terms of quantity to that of Noah (q.v.) and the flood. As in the Bible, it continues, in q 11:69-83, 15:57-77, and q 29:31-5, the story of the three angels (see angel ) who visited Abraham (q.v.), announcing the birth of Isaac (q.v.), and of Abraham's ¶ dispute with them on the fate of Sodom ( Gen 18-9). More frequently…

Lote Tree

(9 words)

 see agriculture and vegetation; trees; ascension Bibliography

Love and Affection

(2,692 words)

Author(s): Gril, Denis
Feelings of personal attachment induced by kinship (q.v.) or sympathy. Aḥabba is the most used verb to express the idea of love. The lexical field of the concept “love” has other roots, however, such as w-d-d, among others. The verbal noun ḥubb, “love,” is mentioned nine times in the Qurʾān. Love links humankind to God, human beings to one another and the individual to earthly life and its pleasures. As far as God's love is concerned, it focuses on persons but also on their qualities or their actions. In fact, the human being is often …


(7 words)

 see oppressed on earth, the Bibliography


(2,780 words)

Author(s): Moosa, Ebrahim
Being true to anyone to whom one owes fidelity. The idea or concept of “loyalty” occurs discursively in the Qurʾān and is dispersed under a variety of rubrics. Even though there is no single term that specifically deals with the theme of “loyalty,” it nevertheless features in the discussions and exegesis of a number of verses (see exegesis of the qurʾān: classical and medieval ). The concept is most frequently encountered in relation to “pacts of mutual assistance” ( muwālā, see contracts and alliances; breaking trusts and contracts) and other formations of the Arabic root w-l-y, whose ba…


(766 words)

Author(s): Zahniser, A.H.M.
A personage whom the Qurʾān notes for his wisdom. Only q 31, the sūra bearing his name, mentions this wise man, and it devotes eight of its thirty-four verses ( q 31:12-19) to Luqmān's wisdom (q.v.). At the time of Muḥammad, the Arabs may have known two Luqmāns: one, the son of ʿĀd (q.v.), renowned for intelligence, leadership, knowledge, eloquence and subtlety (Heller, Luḳmān, 811; see knowledge and learning ); the other, Luqmān the Sage (al-ḥakīm), famous for his wise pronouncements and proverbs (see pre-islamic arabia and the qurʾān ). The latter — if these two are not in fact on…


(13 words)

 see virtues and vices, commanding and forbidding; desire; sex and sexuality Bibliography


(4 words)

 see lot Bibliography