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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(3,548 words)

Author(s): Hawting, G.R.
Solemn assertions or promises. In English the word “oath” has various related senses. One usually involves using the name of God, or of some other revered or dreaded being, object or place, in order to give force and solemnity to an utterance (an assertion, promise, denial, curse, etc.). Oaths of this type, where a statement includes a phrase such as “by God,” “by the stars when they set,” “by this land,” etc., are common in the Qurʾān. Many such oaths occur in sūras traditionally regarded as ha…


(1,400 words)

Author(s): Blankinship, Khalid Yahya
Act or fact of complying with the demands of one in authority (q.v.). The idea of obedience, with its concomitant concepts of legitimate authority and power to command, occurs with considerable frequency in the Qurʾān. Though several different Arabic expressions convey the idea of obedience, derivatives of the root ṭ-w-ʿ, especially the verb aṭāʿa/yuṭīʿu, predominate, as exemplified in the longest sustained passage on obedience ( q 24:47-56). While ¶ aṭāʿa/yuṭīʿu normally means, “to obey,” it sometimes bears the less insistent meaning of “to heed” ( q 3:168). The verb ittabaʿa/yatta…


(4 words)

 see curse Bibliography


(6 words)

 see insolence and obstinacy Bibliography

Occasions of Revelation

(2,469 words)

Author(s): Rippin, Andrew
Reports, transmitted generally from the Companions of Muḥammad (see companions of the prophet ), detailing the cause, time and place of the revelation of a portion (usually a verse; see verses ) of the Qurʾān. Underlying the material transmitted as “occasions of revelation” ( asbāb al-nuzūl) are certain understandings about the process of qurʾānic revelation (see revelation and inspiration ). The Qurʾān is understood to have been revealed piece by piece over the period of some twenty-two years of Muḥammad's preaching career. Muslim exegetes (see exegesis of the qurʾān: …


(4 words)

 see water Bibliography

Odors and Smells

(778 words)

Author(s): Marín, Manuela
Aromas — both pleasant and unpleasant — detected with the olfactory sense. In contrast to the many references to the senses of hearing and sight (see seeing and hearing ), smell is rarely mentioned in the Qurʾān. Two words from the root r-w-ḥ are used in this respect: rīḥ and rayḥān. The former appears nearly always with the meaning of “wind” (see air and wind ), but on one occasion ( q 12:94) it is said that Joseph's (q.v.) father (see jacob ) perceives his son's scent (rīḥ) in the shirt brought to him by his brothers (see brother and brotherhood ). As for the latter word, it occurs in q 55:12, in the …


(5 words)

 see family; generations Bibliography


(1,084 words)

Author(s): Rubin, Uri
One of the names of the Qurʾān (q.v.) or of parts of it. The Arabic form mathānī is the plural of mathnā or mathnāt, and is a derivative of the root th-n-y, which signifies repetition, duplication. In q 39:23, the form mathānī occurs within the following description of the Qurʾān: “God has sent down the fairest discourse as a book (q.v.), similar in its oft-repeated ( mutashābihan mathāniya), whereat shiver the skins of those who fear (q.v.) their lord (q.v.)….” The most prevalent explanation is that the scripture has been called mathānī because its various themes — religious duties, …