Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān

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Ignorance [Supplement 2016]
(1,344 words)

Ignorance indicates a lack of knowledge (see knowledge and learning). The English words ignorance, ignorant, etc., are usually used to 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 other words, 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 …

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William E. Shepard, “Ignorance [Supplement 2016]”, in: Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān, General Editor: Jane Dammen McAuliffe, Georgetown University, Washington DC. Consulted online on 30 May 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1875-3922_q3_EQCOM_050493>
First published online: 2016

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