Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān

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Abyssinia (al-Ḥabash or al-Ḥabasha) does not appear in the Qurʾān, although the Christian Abyssinian state of Axum exerted a powerful influence on Arabia in the sixth century. Separated from the Yemen by only the narrow Bab al-Mandab Strait, Abyssinia controlled southern Arabia for some time and Christianity spread in the region. One sūra is ordinarily interpreted to allude to an Abyssinian military incursion that reached Mecca and it is said that some of the early Meccan converts to Islam took refuge in Abyssinia. Ethiopic languages influenced the dialects of southern Arabia and…

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Firestone, Reuven, “Abyssinia”, in: Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān, General Editor: Jane Dammen McAuliffe, Georgetown University, Washington DC. Consulted online on 25 February 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1875-3922_q3_EQSIM_00007>

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