Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān

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(1,423 words)

One who foretells or interprets events. The Arabic term kāhin, related to Hebrew kohen (“priest”), designates a soothsayer, seer or diviner. It appears twice in the Qurʾān, reflecting one of several accusations di- rected at the prophet Muḥammad: that he was a madman (see insanity ), poet (see poetry and poets ) or soothsayer or that he was instructed by someone else ( muʿallam; see informants ). The text emphatically rejects such slurs:

Therefore warn (humankind), for, by the grace of God, you are neither a soothsayer nor a madman” ( q 52:29; see warner ). But nay! I swear by all that you s…

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Stewart, Devin J., “Soothsayer”, in: Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān, General Editor: Jane Dammen McAuliffe, Georgetown University, Washington DC. Consulted online on 26 October 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1875-3922_q3_EQSIM_00397>

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