Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān

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(719 words)

The putrefying flesh of a carcass. The Arabic term is mayta, from the verbal root meaning “to die.” Hence the word is used in an adjectival sense as in q 36:33: “The dead earth(al-arḍ al- mayta) is a sign for them. We have brought it to life [i.e. by means of rain]…” In all other qurʾānic instances, the term refers specifically to carrion, one of the Islamic food taboos supported also in prophetic traditions (see food and drink; forbidden).

E. Lane's definition of mayta includes both animals which have died a natural death (explicitly mayta, as in q 2:173; 5:3; 6:139, 145; 16:115) and those kil…

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Waines, David, “Carrion”, in: Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān, General Editor: Jane Dammen McAuliffe, Georgetown University, Washington DC. Consulted online on 24 February 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1875-3922_q3_EQSIM_00074>

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