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Gold [Supplement 2016]

(1,017 words)

Author(s): Hanne Schönig
The precious metal gold (Ar. dhahab) is a symbol of wealth and hence also of power and authority. It is worthless and pointless in this world, but is one of the pleasures and luxuries with which the believers will be rewarded in Paradise. Dhahab is mentioned eight times in the Qurʾān (3:14, 91; 9:34; 18:31; 22:23; 35:33; 43:53, 71).Islamic regulations demand the restriction of the use of gold and other precious materials in this world, despite the fact that, along with their desires (shahawāt) for “women, children […], horses of mark, cattle, and tillage,” people also long for…
Date: 2016-11-17

Camphor [Supplement 2016]

(1,050 words)

Author(s): Hanne Schönig
The white aromatic substance camphor (Ar. kāfūr), obtained by distilling the wood of trees indigenous to (South-)East Asia, is mentioned once in the Qurʾān (Q 76:5), where it is described as flavouring a drink in Paradise.The Arabic word kāfūr denotes the camphor tree Cinnamomum camphora, of the family Lauraceae, which is indigenous to China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam, as well as the white translucent substance (monoterpene) obtained by distilling its wood. Camphor also occurs in the essential oil of Dryobalanops aromatic, of the family Dipterocarpaceae, which grows …
Date: 2016-11-17