Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān

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Age of Ignorance [Supplement 2016]
(2,049 words)

This phrase is a common translation of the Arabic word jāhiliyya, which is used by Muslims to refer to the historical period in west-central Arabia covering the centuries immediately prior to the mission of Muḥammad, a period characterised by ignorance of the divine truth. To the original audience of the Qurʾān, however, it almost certainly referred primarily to the moral condition of the individuals who, and the society that, opposed the mission of the Prophet (see opposition to Muḥammad), and only secondarily, if at all, to a defined historical epoch. It is also possibl…

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William E. Shepard, “Age of Ignorance [Supplement 2016]”, in: Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān, General Editor: Jane Dammen McAuliffe, Georgetown University, Washington DC. Consulted online on 13 October 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1875-3922_q3_EQCOM_050487>
First published online: 2016



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