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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(9 words)

 see virtues and vices, commanding and forbidding Bibliography


(4 words)

 see caliph Bibliography


(645 words)

Author(s): Gordon, Matthew S.
Success, often in the face of military aggression. The principal meanings of “victory” in the Qurʾān are conveyed by derivatives of the verbal roots f-t-ḥ, n-ṣ-r, f-w-z, and gh-l-b. Particularly in the case of fatḥ, a specific military meaning can pertain to the defeat of one's foes in battle (see expeditions and battles; fighting; enemies) and, by extension, conquest, as in the opening verses of q 48, entitled “Victory” (Sūrat al-Fatḥ), and referring to the conquest of Mecca in 8/630 by the Prophet and the early Muslims. More often than not reference to aspects of an es…


(781 words)

Author(s): Wagtendonk, K.
Wakefulness at night for religious observance. There are a number of places in the Qurʾān where night prayer (q.v.) is mentioned. The term which came to be used for it in Islam is tahajjud, the verbal noun (maṣdar) of tahajjada. In one place in the Qurʾān the imperative of this verb is used: “And in a part of the night, perform a vigil (tahajjad) with it ( bihi, i.e. with the Qurʾān) voluntarily ( nāfilatan, q 17:79). In q 3:113 we ¶ find a reference to the People of the Book (q.v.) who perform this rite: “They are not all alike; among the People of the Book is a steadfast community (ummatun qāʾimatun) th…


(6 words)

 see agriculture and vegetation Bibliography


(6 words)

 see sacred and profane Bibliography


(925 words)

Author(s): Arkoun, M.
Aggression; use of physical coercion against others. How does the concept of violence emerge from the qurʾānic corpus? To answer this question simply identifying the qurʾānic vocabulary concerning violence is not enough. One needs to identify, if possible, the social, political and religious status of violence, without, of course, permitting oneself to make the usual extrapolations from synchronic analysis to diachronic extrapolation or, conversely, devising an Islamic doctrine of violence (see ethics and the qurʾān; politics and the qurʾān; virtues and vices, comm…


(5 words)

 see houris; chastity Bibliography


(1,764 words)

Author(s): Johnston, David
Moral excellence. Qurʾānic terminology has no exact equivalent to “virtue” or to the Greek word areté but it deals with how moral excellence is taught, the noble ideals of the righteous person and the virtues of a God-fearing society (for virtue in the sense of sexual propriety, see modesty; chastity). Ethical reflection as such, including the question of what constitutes a ¶ virtuous act, was taken up by Muslim thinkers over time in a variety of genres (see ethics and the qurʾān ). Yet the Qurʾān's message is steeped in moral categories: “God poured out his favor on the beli…

Virtues and Vices, Commanding and Forbidding

(4,474 words)

Author(s): Cook, Michael
Forms of the phrase al- amr bi-l-maʿrūf wa-l-nahy ʿani l-munkar, literally “commanding right and forbidding wrong” (hereafter usually abbreviated as “forbidding wrong”) appear eight times in the Qurʾān. Just what is intended in the relevant qurʾānic passages is somewhat unclear, and the exegetes interpret them in more than one way. By far the most widespread interpretation relates them to the duty of the individual Muslim to forbid wrong as developed in classical Islamic thought (see good and evil; sin, major and minor; boundaries and precepts; ethics and the qurʾān). The qurʾānic a…


(873 words)

Author(s): Buturovic, Amila
The perception of reality through the eyes, or — for immaterial realities or future events — also the “mind's eye.” Two main semantic fields converge in the notion of ¶ “visions”: one is oneiric, referring to dreams ( ruʾyā; see dreams and sleep ) and the other is sensory, meaning the actual faculty of sight ( baṣar, pl. abṣār). In both cases divine action plays a central role (see revelation and inspiration ). When associated with dreams, visions appear as processes forced upon humans by divine stimulation. Most prominent of these are: the dream of Abraham (q.v.) that involves the sacrif…

Vision and Blindness

(1,683 words)

Author(s): Kugle, S.
Ability, or lack thereof, to perceive physical objects and, when used metaphorically, ideas and concepts. Witnessing the unseen The Qurʾān divides existence into this world (q.v.) and the next, followed by a second division into the seen ( shāhid) and the unseen ( ghayb), as in q 59:22, “He is God, besides whom there is no god, the one who knows the unseen and the seen” (see hidden and the hidden ). The two dichotomies overlap in an important way. ¶ The next world is entirely unseen but this world consists of elements seen and elements unseen. God is not visible (see god and his attributes ), as in q 7…


(653 words)

Author(s): Jaques, R. Kevin
Traveling to another place and staying there for a period of time. The terms that usually come to mind when considering the concept of visiting are derived from the root z-w-r. These terms occur in ḥadīth literature (see ḥadīth and the qurʾān ) in reference to visiting graves (see burial ), usually in order to pray for the deceased (see Wensinck, Handbook, 89-90; see death and the dead; prayer formulas). In popular parlance, ziyāra came to be identified with spiritual practices (see ṣūfism and the qurʾān ) involving the visitation of saints' tombs (see saint ) so that pilgrims could acqui…