Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān

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Idols and Images
(2,125 words)

Physical representations — usually of deities or supernatural powers; also, any false god. Various words in the Qurʾān are understood by the commentators (see exegesis of the qurʾān: classical and medieval ), sometimes not unanimously, as referring to, or in some way connected with, such representations. The most obvious are two of the most common Arabic words for idols, awthān (sing. wathan) and aṣnām (sing. ṣanam), both of which occur in the Qurʾān only in their plural forms. The words ṭāghūt and jibt are often understood to refer to idols in general or to a particular idol…

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Hawting, Gerald R., “Idols and Images”, in: Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān, General Editor: Jane Dammen McAuliffe, Georgetown University, Washington DC. Consulted online on 08 July 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1875-3922_q3_EQSIM_00207>

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