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(802 words)

Author(s): Goddard, Hugh
The practice of using water for religious purification, while a ritual feature in a number of religions, is often most closely identified with Christianity. There is one possible reference in the Qurʾān to baptism, q 2:138: “The baptism ( ṣibgha) of God and who is better than God in terms of baptizing (ṣibghatan)?” The term ṣibgha, however, usually refers to “color” or “dye” and it is not absolutely clear how the word has come to be understood as a reference to baptism. English translations of the Qurʾān reflect this ambiguity, with G. Sale, J.M. Rodwell, A.J. Arberry, K. Cragg and ʿA. Yūsuf ʿ…