Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān

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Bedouin
(2,953 words)

The Arabic term for “desert-dweller” ( badawī) is a derivation from the root b-d-w. Arabic lexicographers use the term badw/badawī as an antonym for “sedentary people” ( ḥāḍir), and the expression “people became Bedouin” ( badā l-qawm badwan) means that they went out to the desert (Ibn Sīda in Lisān al- ʿArab, xiv, 67). The cognate term bādiya refers to the sand-desert as opposed to the settled lands. The terms badw, badawī or the active participle bādī signify one who pursues a certain way of life, i.e. people of the desert or nomads as distinct from settled people. Bādī is used twice in th…

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Pietruschka, Ute, “Bedouin”, in: Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān, General Editor: Jane Dammen McAuliffe, Georgetown University, Washington DC. Consulted online on 22 September 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1875-3922_q3_EQSIM_00046>



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