Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān

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Serpent
(508 words)

In the Qurʾān the serpent is an animal associated with magic, sorcery, and the power of the spiritual realm. While Qurʾānic verses explicitly refer to the serpent three times, these also reflect a belief that serpents and snakes have a strong connection with jinn and their movement in the unseen world.

The three appearances of the serpent in the Qurʾān are in relation to the story of Moses. The masculine singular thuʿbān appears when Pharoah asks for a sign from Moses. In response Moses throws his rod, and it transforms into a white serpent. In Q 7:106-8, a detailed description o…

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Nerina Rustomji, “Serpent”, in: Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān, General Editor: Jane Dammen McAuliffe, Georgetown University, Washington DC. Consulted online on 19 August 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1875-3922_q3_EQCOM_050485>
First published online: 2015



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