Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān

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Unlike in the Bible, there are no direct references to the sword (commonly known in Arabic as al-sayf) in the Qurʾān. However, various Islamic exegetical works, traditions, Ṣūfī texts, and folk stories (ḥikāyāt) suggest a connection between the sword and particular verses of the Qurʾān (see Daneshgar). As such, Muslims have, for instance, often embellished their swords and other weapons with Qurʾānic verses, such as Q 61:13 (Daneshgar).

The most direct reference to a sharp blade, of any kind, is found in Q 12:31, in which Zulaykhā shows off Yūsuf’s (Joseph’s) beauty to five (or a di…

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Daneshgar, Majid, “Sword”, in: Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān, General Editor: Jane Dammen McAuliffe, Georgetown University, Washington DC. Consulted online on 21 October 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1875-3922_q3_EQCOM_051595>
First published online: 2018

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