Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān

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(740 words)

Unjust or cruel exercise of authority or power. There is no single word in the Qurʾān that perfectly translates the term “oppression.” An array of words, such as baghy (attested seven times), qahr (ten times), ṭughyān (nine times; cf. Izutsu, Structure, 140-2), ʿudwān (seven times; cf. Izutsu, Structure, 161-4), istiḍʿāf (five times) and the most frequently attested, ẓulm (ca. twenty times; cf. Izutsu, Structure, 152-61), all share an essential semantic aspect of this concept: i.e. exceeding the appropriate limits of behavior in dealing with others, while v…

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Abu Zayd, N., “Oppression”, in: Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān, General Editor: Jane Dammen McAuliffe, Georgetown University, Washington DC. Consulted online on 25 May 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1875-3922_q3_EQSIM_00309>

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