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Ethics in Ṣūfism

(2,108 words)

Author(s): Heck, Paul L.
Ethics in Ṣūfism generally involves awareness of the universal presence of God. This, in turn, encourages lack of self-regard, resulting in selfless behaviour towards others, beyond the actions prescribed by law (sharīʿa). The topic of ethics in Ṣūfism forms one part of a spiritual system that includes rules of comportment (adab) as well as the stages (maqāmāt) and stations (aḥwāl) of the spiritual journey (sulūk). Ethics as defined in the manuals of Ṣūfism always affected the wider society, working to shape, for instance, altruistic chivalry ( futūwa) in classical Islam. The moral l…
Date: 2020-02-11


(1,329 words)

Author(s): Heck, Paul L.
A promise made to God to undertake an act of piety (q.v.). It differs from an oath (q.v.) which is not a promise to do something but a solemn declaration of truth (hence, its essential role as a form of juridical evidence; see witnessing and testifying ) performed by an act of swearing (often but not necessarily by God; but for overlap in juristic discourse on oaths and vows, see Calder, Ḥinth, esp. 220-6). A vow, which in Islam can only be made to God (for vows in pre-Islamic Arabia and non-religious vows after Islam, see Pedersen, Nadhr; see pre-islamic arabia and the qurʾān ), may or may not in…

Poll Tax

(2,015 words)

Author(s): Heck, Paul L.
A tax per head, usually levied on every adult male of a given age. The Arabic term, jizya, used for the poll tax levied on non-Muslims, specifically the People of the Book (q.v.) living under Muslim rule ( ahl al-kitāb, also identified eventually as “protected people,” ahl al-dhimma), does ¶ have a qurʾānic origin ( q 9:29: … ḥattā yuʿṭū l-jizyata ʿan yadin wa-hum ṣāghirūn, i.e. “…until they pay the jizya from their wealth [lit. from hand], submissively”). There is no evidence in the Qurʾān, however, of a tax per head (ʿalā l- raʾs) as assumed by later jurists (e.g. Mālik, Muwaṭṭaʾ, 187-9; Abū …


(4,840 words)

Author(s): Heck, Paul L.
Extraction of a part of communal wealth for its social redistribution and for its use in maintaining governing authority (q.v.), its various institutions, and public works. The Qurʾān offers no trace of the fiscal system first developed under ʿUmar b. al-Khaṭṭāb (r. 2-12/634-44), in substance a reformulation of Byzantine and Sasanian models (see Jeffery, For. vocab. and relevant ei 2 articles — e.g. Cahen, Djizya; Zysow, ¶ Zakāt; Cahen, Kharādj — for discussion of the foreign origins of taxation terminology in the Qurʾān; see also foreign vocabulary ). That fiscal system was a pro…

Politics and the Qurʾān

(16,863 words)

Author(s): Heck, Paul L.
This article will discuss the use of the Qurʾān to justify or contest rule. Three areas will be considered: (1) quasi-political themes in the Qurʾān; (2) the politicization of the Qurʾān in early Islam; and (3) the possibility and limitations of human rule alongside or in addition to the Qurʾān as divine communication. Some preliminaries: As an institution governing a territory, administering its peoples and resources and legislating a socio-political order, the state as organ of rule came into being in early Islam not from qurʾānic directive but …


(1,036 words)

Author(s): Heck, Paul L.
A roll of paper or parchment for writing a document. The Qurʾān refers to scrolls ( ṣuḥuf and zubur — see also psalms ; for the different terminology for writing as vehicle of divine command, see Ghedira, Ṣaḥīfa, and Madigan, Qurʾān's self-image, 131-2) as written documents (and thus conflated to kutub, e.g. q 98:1-2; see book ) that contain God's edicts (cf. Schoeler, Writing), especially his judgments against former nations (see Ṭabarī, Tafsīr, ad q 20:133; see judgment; generations; history and the qurʾān). The idea of scrolls is thus meant to be a clear sign ( bayyina) to Muḥammad's au…