Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition

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Kāfir
(1,956 words)

(a.), originally “obliterating, covering”, then, “concealingbenefits received” = “ungrateful”; this meaning is found even in the old Arab poetry and in the Ḳurʾān, Sūra XXVI, 18. In the Ḳurʾān the word is used with reference to God: “concealing God’s blessings” = “ungrateful to God”, see Sūra XVI, 57 and XXX, 33: “That they are ungrateful for our gifts”; cf. also Sūra XVI, 85. The next development— probably under the influence of the Syriac and Aramaic where the corresponding development took pl…

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Björkman, W., “Kāfir”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Consulted online on 18 April 2021 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1573-3912_islam_SIM_3775>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004161214, 1960-2007



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