Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān

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Power and Impotence
(1,859 words)

Ability to act or the possession of controlling influence over others; the lack of either of these capacities. In the Qurʾān, the notion of power revolves around two principal foci: (a) the possession of control, authority and influence over others; (b) the capacity to act, to create, to destroy, to fight, to win and to impose one's will. The lack of these qualities results in impotence. These various connotations of the English word “power” are conveyed in the Qurʾān and qurʾānic commentaries by such Arabic terms as sulṭān, mulk, qahr, ʿizza, nufūdh, quwwa, ghalaba, istiṭāʿa, ṭāqa, baʾs,

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Knysh, Alexander D., “Power and Impotence”, in: Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān, General Editor: Jane Dammen McAuliffe, Georgetown University, Washington DC. Consulted online on 28 May 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1875-3922_q3_EQSIM_00337>

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