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Garden

(3,307 words)

Author(s): Afsaruddin, Asma
A fertile tract of land for the cultivation of flowers, herbs, vegetables or fruits. In Arabic, the term janna refers to “garden” in general; with the definite article al-, it refers particularly to paradise (q.v.), the celestial abode promised to the righteous in the next world (see reward and punishment ). As a single word al-janna is the most frequently used term in the Qurʾān to designate paradise (e.g. q 2:214; 7:43; 19:63). It is also found in phrases such as jannat (or jannāt) ʿadn, “garden(s) of Eden” ( q 13:23; 16:31; 18:31; 61:12; etc.), jannat al-khuld, “garden of perpetuity” ( q 25:…

Islamic Biographical Dictionaries: 11th to 15th Century

(3,783 words)

Author(s): Afsaruddin, Asma
Biographical dictionaries are valuable repositories of historical and cultural information about different groups of individuals from different eras. They contain references to those individuals who distinguished themselves in some way, on account of their personal accomplishments and aptitudes and/or their ascription to specific social classes or occupational categories. Happily for us, many of these works contain a special section devoted to remarkable women of earlier as well as of their cont…

ʿĀʾisha bt. Ṭalḥa

(470 words)

Author(s): Afsaruddin, Asma
ʿĀʾisha bt. Ṭalḥa (d. c.110/728) was the daughter of the well-known Companion of the prophet Muḥammad, Ṭalḥa b. ʿUbaydallāh al-Taymī and Umm Kulthūm, the daughter of Abū Bakr. Thus she was also the niece of her famous namesake, ʿĀʾisha bt. Abī Bakr (d. 58/678), the wife of the Prophet. ʿĀʾisha married three times: first her cousin ʿAbdallāh b. ʿAbd al-Raḥmān b. Abī Bakr; then, after he died, Muṣʿab b. al-Zubayr; then, on Muṣʿab's death in 72/691, ʿUmar b. ʿUbaydallāh b. Maʿmar al-Taymī (Ibn Saʿd, …
Date: 2019-08-29

Authority, religious

(2,967 words)

Author(s): Afsaruddin, Asma
Religious authority in Islamic thought, both Sunnī and Shīʿī, is based primarily on the possession of ʿilm (knowledge) of religious matters, and, to a certain extent, knowledge of relevant worldly affairs, combined with irreproachable personal piety. The authority of the prophet Muḥammad, as well as that of other prophets, was based on the divinely transmitted knowledge they received as God’s emissaries, knowledge that is not available to ordinary human beings. The term waḥy (“divine revelation”) denotes the infallible knowledge of divine provenance conferred only u…
Date: 2019-08-29

Abū Dharr al-Ghifārī

(722 words)

Author(s): Afsaruddin, Asma
Abū Dharr al-Ghifārī (d. 32/652), whose given name was Jundub, was one of the prominent Companions of the Prophet. Ibn Saʿd (4:219) traces his name to his natal tribe, the Banū Ghifār, as follows: Jundub b. Junāda b. Kuʿayb b. Ṣuʿayr b. al-Waqʿa b. Ḥarām b. Sufyān b. ʿUbayd b. Ḥarām b. Ghifār. Others said his name was Burayr b. Junāda or Burayr b. Jundab; many other variants and names are listed. He was among the earliest converts to Islam. Abū Dharr himself is said to have taken pride in being th…
Date: 2019-08-29

ʿĀʾisha bt. Abī Bakr

(2,823 words)

Author(s): Afsaruddin, Asma
ʿĀʾisha bt. Abī Bakr (d. 58/678), wife of the prophet Muḥammad and daughter of Abū Bakr (d. 13/634), the first caliph, is arguably the most famous woman of early Islam and also its most controversial. 1. Her life and importance She was born in Mecca around 614 C.E. to Abū Bakr b. Abī Quḥāfā, from the Banū Taym, and Umm Rūmān bt. ʿUmayr b. ʿĀmir, from the Banū Kināna. ʿĀʾisha is deemed to have been the nineteenth person to embrace Islam. ʿĀʾisha entered the prophet Muḥammad’s home as his wife about three years before the hijra (migration) to Medina, when she was around six or seven years o…
Date: 2019-08-29

Asmāʾ bt. Abī Bakr

(516 words)

Author(s): Afsaruddin, Asma
Asmāʾ bt. Abī Bakr (d. 73/693) was the daughter of the first caliph Abū Bakr b. Abī Quḥāfa and his wife Qutayla bt. ʿAbd al-ʿUzzā, and the elder half-sister of ʿĀʾisha bt. Abī Bakr (d. 58/678), the wife of the Prophet. Asmāʾ accepted Islam early on, in Mecca and personally gave her allegiance to the prophet Muḥammad. She earned her famous sobriquet Dhāt al-niṭāqayn (“She of the Two Sashes”) during the hijra, when the Prophet and Abū Bakr hid in a cave while being pursued by the pagan Meccans on their way to Medina. A courageous Asmāʾ was sent with provisions to the…
Date: 2019-08-29

Abū ʿAmr b. al-ʿAlāʾ

(1,818 words)

Author(s): Afsaruddin, Asma
Abū ʿAmr b. al- ʿ Alāʾ b. al-ʿUryan b. ʿAbd Allāh b. al-Ḥusayn al-Tamīmī al-Māzinī al-Baṣrī (d. c. 154–6/770–2) was a celebrated qāriʾ, or Qurʾān reciter, whose reading ( qirāʾa) is regarded as one of the seven authoritative ones. His kunya appears to have been his given name, as maintained by Ibn Khallikān ( Wafayāt, 3:467), although others indicated it was either Zabbān or Rayyān or some other name (e.g., Ibn al-Jazarī, Ghāyat al-nihāya, 1:289). He was born between 65–70/684–9 in Mecca according to most scholars, although a minority lists his birthplace as Kāzarūn …
Date: 2019-08-29

Reciters of the Qurʾān

(4,440 words)

Author(s): Melchert, Christopher | Afsaruddin, Asma
Those entrusted with the oral recitation of qurʾānic passages, or the entire text. The term “reciter” (Ar. sing. qāriʾ and muqriʾ) in its basic, general signification refers to one who reads or recites. With reference to reciters of the Qurʾān, the plural qurrāʾ is much more common than muqriʾūn. In a broad sense, the term qurrāʾ is used in various sources to refer both to professional reciters, namely those who accepted payment for their recitation and were often employed by the state, and to pious, non-professional ones who did not seek to make a …