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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(5 words)

 see animal life Bibliography


(737 words)

Author(s): Hermansen, Marcia
The female reproductive organ, the uterus, by extension, the importance of kinship and blood relationships. The root of the Arabic term for “womb” ( raḥim, riḥm, pl. arḥām), r-ḥ-m, is also the base of raḥma, “compassion,” and the divine names al- raḥmān and al- raḥīm, the merciful and compassionate, each of which signals the feminine associations of the divine quality of mercy (q.v.; see also god and his attributes; arabic language; gender). The use of the term “womb” in the Qurʾān most often refers either to the generative function of the female reproductive organ ( q 2:228; 3:6; 13:8; 22:5;…

Women and the Qurʾān

(11,268 words)

Author(s): Roded, Ruth
Only one woman is actually named in the Qurʾān, but a large number of verses refer to women. A long chapter of the Qurʾān is titled “The Women” ( q 4, Sūrat al-Nisāʾ) and contains a great deal of material relating to gender (q.v.), but numerous verses (q.v.) in other chapters (see sūra ) are also gender-related. These include exhortations (q.v.) addressed to the believing men and the believing women, revelations specific to women or to relations between men and women, and laws pertinent to marriage (see marriage and divorce ), illicit sexual relations (see sex and sexuality ; ¶ adulte…


(4 words)

 see marvels Bibliography


(4 words)

 see trees Bibliography


(6 words)

 see hides and fleece Bibliography


(5 words)

 see speech; oaths Bibliography

Word of God

(4,406 words)

Author(s): Radscheit, Matthias
Divine verbal utterance that bridges the gap between God's transcendence and the created world. That God addresses himself to the world by means of speaking is one of the most influential concepts in the whole monotheistic tradition and is also a central issue for the Qurʾān (see revelation and inspiration; orality; scripture and the qurʾān; south arabia, religions in pre-islamic). There, several verbs describe God as speaking, e.g. nādā, “to call” (ten times), qaṣṣa, “to relate” (thirteen times), or nabbaʾa, “to tell” (twenty-one times); but the most important verbs are qāla, “to sa…


(1,585 words)

Author(s): Mattson, Ingrid
The activities engaged in to earn a living; occupation. Words associated with the root ʿ-m-l are used over one hundred times in the Qurʾān to signify “actions” or “deeds” in the broad sense; only a few times ( q 18:79; 34:12, 13) do they signify “work” in particular. Sh-gh-l twice signifies “occupation,” both in the sense of livelihood and what keeps one busy ( q 36:55 and 48:11). The Qurʾān's repeated emphasis on “good works” ( al- ṣāliḥāt; see good deeds ) while reflecting little interest in the occupations of believers, indicates that shaping a proper moral outlook, rathe…


(2,276 words)

Author(s): Abrahamov, Binyamin
In English, “world” denotes mainly the entire cosmic system whether created by God, by chance, or simply having existed throughout eternity (q.v.). In its more limited sense the world means the earth (q.v.), all its inhabitants and specifically humankind characterized by certain institutions — social, religious and so on. World also conveys the sense of a special time (q.v.), as in “this world” meaning “lifetime” as opposed to “the world to come” (see eschatology ). Some of these meanings appear in the Qurʾān but are expressed by particular words as explained as follows. ¶ ʿĀlam The word ʿā…


(1,873 words)

Author(s): Hawting, G.R.
The veneration of God (or any other being or object regarded as worthy of worship), by the performance of acts and/or the utterance of words that signify attitudes such as adoration, submission, gratitude (see gratitude and ingratitude ), love (q.v.) or fear (q.v.). Arabic does not have a direct semantic parallel to the English word but derivatives of the root ʿ-b-d, conveying ideas of obedience (q.v.), dependence (see also clients and clientage ) and service (see slaves and slavery; servants), are often rendered in English translations of the Qurʾān by “worship.” In a bro…


(7 words)

 see illness and health; suffering Bibliography


(4 words)

 see anger Bibliography


(10 words)

 see joy and misery; oppressed on earth, the Bibliography

Writing and Writing Materials

(941 words)

Author(s): Blair, Sheila S.
Inscribing characters, letters or words for others to read; the instruments (q.v.) used in such inscription. The Qurʾān attests to written materials and the process of writing with a variety of lexemes — both metaphorical and concrete (see metaphor ) — supplying evidence that supplements epigraphic traces of the development of writing in seventh-century Arabia (see orality and writing in arabia; arabic script). Among the most prominent qurʾānic terms for materials used in the writing process are: ink ( midād, q 18:109), parchment ( qirṭās, pl. qirāṭīs, q 6:7, 91), pen ( qalam, pl. aqlām;…


(7 words)

 see sin, major and minor Bibliography