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Burial

(1,270 words)

Author(s): Campo, Juan Eduardo
The interment of the body after death and accompanying practices involving the preparation of the body, its transportation to a cemetery, mourning, and erection of tombstones and mortuary buildings. In Islam, burial and its attendant preparations are the method prescribed for disposing of the dead. Islamic burial rituals ( janāʾiz) normally require four elements: washing the body, shrouding, funeral prayers, and prompt burial with the face oriented towards the Kaʿba (q.v.) in Mecca. They are discussed most fully in Islamic legal literature ( fiqh) and in modern ethnographies. …

House, Domestic and Divine

(2,538 words)

Author(s): Campo, Juan Eduardo
Structure for human occupation; also an edifice dedicated to God. The house ( bayt, dār, sakan, ghurfa, maʾwā, mathwā, maskin) is a key symbol in Islam. Its semantic field extends from ordinary dwellings and kin groups (see kinship; family), to palaces, mosques and shrines, regions of the world and realms in the hereafter (see eschatology ). Drawing upon the heritage of house symbolism developed in the ancient Near Eastern civilizations and the Bible, the Qurʾān established the basic lexicon for Muslim domestic space and its meanings and it has served as a first-ord…

Furniture and Furnishings

(1,035 words)

Author(s): Campo, Juan Eduardo
Movable articles and adornments within a house. Furniture and furnishings ( matāʿ and athāth) in the Qurʾān are most com-¶ monly used as tropes for discussing the ephemeral nature of existence in the mundane world and for the pleasures and pains of life in the hereafter (see eschatology; reward and punishment). Two of the most widely esteemed passages in the Qurʾān, however, the Throne Verse ( q 2:255) and the Light Verse ( q 24:35), use terms for specific furnishings ( kursī, “throne,” and miṣbāḥ, “lamp”) to help convey ideas about the majesty and mystery of the godhead (see god and…

Cave

(1,211 words)

Author(s): Campo, Juan Eduardo
A hollow space in a mountain or hill. The term cave ( kahf, ghār, maghārāt) is used in the Qurʾān to designate a place of refuge for the faithful or a locus of intimate contact with God. Kahf occurs six times ( q 18:9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 25). Ghār and maghārāt (sing. maghāra) each occur once ( q 9:40, 57); lexicographers consider these latter terms to be synonymous with kahf or to be designations for small caves. “The Cave” (Sūrat al-Kahf) is the title of q 18, which consists of 110 verses. It refers to the story of the Companions of the Cave (vv. 9-26), an Arabic version of widely-…