Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān

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Caravan
(888 words)

A company of travelers on a journey through a desert or hostile region; also, the vehicles which transport the company. The most prominent qurʾānic word denoting a “caravan” is ʿīr, which occurs three times in q 12, “ Joseph” (Sūrat Yūsuf; q 12:70, 82, 94). Arabic lexicographers say that originally this term denoted camels, asses or mules that carried provisions of corn but that it was later applied to any caravan (see camel ). Some say, however, that in the Qurʾān it signifies asses not camels (Lane, q.v. ʿīr) which does not comply with the biblical version of the story of Joseph (q.v.) where …

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Rubin, Uri, “Caravan”, in: Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān, General Editor: Jane Dammen McAuliffe, Georgetown University, Washington DC. Consulted online on 20 September 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1875-3922_q3_EQSIM_00073>



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