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(6,621 words)

Author(s): Busse, Heribert
Abraham (Ibrāhīm al-Khalīl) is a figure of primary importance in Islam. He is mentioned in the Qurʾān in 245 verses scattered over twenty-five sūras and holds a special position in Islamic tradition, which regards him as the first Muslim, a prophet second only to Muḥammad, the builder of the Kaʿba, and the founder of the ḥajj. The account of his life given in the Qurʾān is incomplete and has been supplemented by Islamic tradition as recorded in ḥadīth, tafsīr, qiṣaṣ al-anbiyāʾ, and the histories, as well as related literature drawing largely on Jewish and Christian sources. 1. Abraham in Ur Ac…
Date: 2020-12-18


(601 words)

Author(s): Busse, Heribert
Abraham's antagonist. Nimrod was, as is told in the Bible, the first potentate on earth. His empire included Babel and the surrounding countries ( Gen 10:8-12). According to Islamic tradition, Abraham (q.v.) was his contemporary. Although Nimrod (Ar. Namrūd) is not named in the Qurʾān, he is, according to the exegetical literature ( tafsīr, see exegesis of the qurʾān: classical and medieval ), the qurʾānic tyrant who pretends to be able to give life (q.v.) and death (see death and the dead ), a claim which Abraham successfully refutes (q 2:258). Nimrod is also said to have been the …


(870 words)

Author(s): Busse, Heribert
The prophet sent to the people of Sodom as mentioned in both the Bible and the Qurʾān. In the latter, he is attested twenty-seven times. Among the qurʾānic stories of divine punishment (see punishment stories; chastisement and punishment), that of Lot (Lūṭ) and Sodom is second in terms of quantity to that of Noah (q.v.) and the flood. As in the Bible, it continues, in q 11:69-83, 15:57-77, and q 29:31-5, the story of the three angels (see angel ) who visited Abraham (q.v.), announcing the birth of Isaac (q.v.), and of Abraham's ¶ dispute with them on the fate of Sodom ( Gen 18-9). More frequently…

Dhū l-Kifl

(1,059 words)

Author(s): Busse, Heribert
An enigmatic figure, whose name appears in the Qurʾān in two places: “And [remember] Ismāʿīl (see ishmael ) and Idrīs (q.v.) and Dhū l-Kifl, all of them were patient” (q 21:85); “And call to mind Ismāʿīl and Alyasaʿ and Dhū l-Kifl and all of the best” (q 38:48). In some exegetical works, it is held that Dhū l-Kifl was a prophet since he is mentioned alongside other prophets (see prophets and prophethood ). Most exegetes, however, deny his prophethood, confining themselves to repeating the qurʾānic statement that he belonged to ¶ those who were patient and the best. A person named Dhū l-Kifl is u…

Cain and Abel

(1,604 words)

Author(s): Busse, Heribert
The sons of Adam and Eve (q.v.). The qurʾānic account of Cain and Abel (q 5:27-32) closely follows the narrative in the Bible ( Gen 4:1-16; see scripture and the qurʾān ). Each of the two sons of Adam and Eve — whose names are not mentioned in the Qurʾān — offers a sacrifice (q.v.): Only Abel's was accepted while Cain's was rejected because he was not God-fearing. Upon Cain's threat to murder Abel, the latter remained passive, wishing only that Cain be held responsible for the sins of both ( innī urīdu an tabūʾa bi-ithmī wa-ithmika,q 5:29) and punished accordingly (see chastisement and punishment )…


(3,007 words)

Author(s): Busse, Heribert
The holy city sacred to Judaism, Christianity and Islam, Jerusalem (Īliyāʾ, bayt al-maqdis, Ūrīshalayim, al-Quds) is not mentioned by name in the Qurʾān. As Islam is, however, deeply rooted in Judaism and Christianity (see jews and judaism; christians and christianity), many stories with a biblical background are undoubtedly situated in Jerusalem and some of these stories have been included in the holy book of the Muslims (see narratives ). Further, one must bear in mind that the designation bayt al-maqdis (lit. “house of the holy,” from Heb. Bēt ha-miqdāsh, the Temple), has three …


(1,604 words)

Author(s): Busse, Heribert
One of the prophets mentioned in both the Bible and the Qurʾān (see prophets and prophethood ). Jonah (Yūnus b. Mittai, Heb. Jōnā ben Amittai) is named ¶ five times in the Qurʾān: q 4:163 lists him together with Abraham (q.v.), Jesus (q.v.) and other prophets who have received revelations (see revelation and inspiration ); as rightly-guided he is cited together with Zechariah (q.v.), Jesus and other prophets in q 6:85-86; his people (qawm Yūnus) were, according to q 10:98, the only ones who escaped divine punishment because they had repented (see punishment stories; repentance and penance)…


(589 words)

Author(s): Busse, Heribert
[German Version] Arabic ḫalīfa (“successor” or “deputy”), the leader of the Islamic community (Arab. umma) among the Sunnis (Sunna/Sunnis), and to a degree also among the Shiaites (Šīaa/Shiaites; see also →Islam: II). As prophet (Prophets and prophecy: V), Mu˙ammad could have no successor, for he was the last prophet, the “seal” of the prophets; he could, however, be succeeded as the leader of the community. After the four “rightly-guided caliphs” ( al-ḫulafā' ar-rāšidūn) Abū Bakr, aUmar, aUtmān and aAlī, the Umayyads came to power in Damascus (III) in 661, f…


(8,314 words)

Author(s): Otto, Eckart | Hezser, Catherine | Dan, Joseph | Küchler, Max | Bieberstein, Klaus | Et al.
[German Version] I. Old Testament – II. Judaism – III. New Testament – IV. Early Church – V. Patriarchates – VI. Islam – VII. Religious and Political Situation Today – VIII. Archaeology I. Old Testament Jerusalem (ירושׁלם/ yerûšālēm, MT yerûšālayim) was founded c. 1800 bce as a fortified town in the central Palestinian uplands at a strategic point for transportation between northern and southern Palestine. Outside the Bible, the name appears from the 18th century on in the Egyptian execration texts and the Amarna letters (as Akkad. uruu-ru-sa-lim). It derives from the verb yrh I…


(9,630 words)

Author(s): Maier, Bernhard | Berlejung, Angelika | Steimle, Christopher | Bieberstein, Klaus | Zellentin, Holger | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies The English word temple derives from Latin templum. In the technical vocabulary of religious studies, it is more specialized than sanctuary, shrine, cult site, or place of worship. The usage of the originally Latin term beyond the sphere of classical antiquity is well established, particularly for structures that appear comparable in regard to their architectural form (monumentality, stone construction) or religious function (dwelling place of a god or goddess). But this usage does not reflect a precise defi-¶ nition it is based primarily …


(8,167 words)

Author(s): Maier, Bernhard | Berlejung, Angelika | Steimle, Christopher | Bieberstein, Klaus | Zellentin, Holger | Et al.
[English Version] I. Religionswissenschaftlich Das dt. Wort »T.« geht über mhd. »tempel« (mask. und ntr.) zurück auf ahd. »tempal« (ntr.), eine Entlehnung aus dem lat. Wort »templum«. Als Begriff der religionswiss. Fachsprache steht das Wort neben den allgemeineren Benennungen »Heiligtum« und »Kultstätte«. Dabei hat sich die Verwendung der urspr. lat. Bez. über den Bereich der griech.-röm. Antike hinaus v.a. für solche Anlagen durchgesetzt, die im Hinblick auf ihre bauliche Gestalt (Monumentalität,…