Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān

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Camphor [Supplement 2016]
(1,050 words)

The white aromatic substance camphor (Ar. kāfūr), obtained by distilling the wood of trees indigenous to (South-)East Asia, is mentioned once in the Qurʾān (Q 76:5), where it is described as flavouring a drink in Paradise.

The Arabic word kāfūr denotes the camphor tree Cinnamomum camphora, of the family Lauraceae, which is indigenous to China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam, as well as the white translucent substance (monoterpene) obtained by distilling its wood. Camphor also occurs in the essential oil of Dryobalanops aromatic, of the family Dipterocarpaceae, which grows …

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Hanne Schönig, “Camphor [Supplement 2016]”, in: Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān, General Editor: Jane Dammen McAuliffe, Georgetown University, Washington DC. Consulted online on 06 August 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1875-3922_q3_EQCOM_050490>
First published online: 2016

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