Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān

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Ignorance
(1,366 words)

Lack of knowledge (see knowledge and learning ). The words ignorance, ignorant, etc., usually translate Arabic words derived from the root j-h-l, which appear twenty-four times in the Qurʾān. One of these words, jāhiliyya, is discussed in the article age of ignorance. The present article discusses the others and also briefly considers other roots that convey ideas related to ignorance.

The classical Arabic dictionaries define j-h-l mainly in contrast to ʿ-l-m, knowledge, but Goldziher, Izutsu and others have argued that in pre-Islamic literature j-h-l almost always refers to e…

Cite this page
Shepard, William E., “Ignorance”, in: Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān, General Editor: Jane Dammen McAuliffe, Georgetown University, Washington DC. Consulted online on 14 October 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1875-3922_q3_EQSIM_00210>



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