Search

Your search for 'dc_creator:( "Knysh, Alexander D." ) OR dc_contributor:( "Knysh, Alexander D." )' returned 13 results. Modify search

Sort Results by Relevance | Newest titles first | Oldest titles first

Power and Impotence

(1,859 words)

Author(s): Knysh, Alexander D.
Ability to act or the possession of controlling influence over others; the lack of either of these capacities. In the Qurʾān, the notion of power revolves around two principal foci: (a) the possession of control, authority and influence over others; (b) the capacity to act, to create, to destroy, to fight, to win and to impose one's will. The lack of these qualities results in impotence. These various connotations of the English word “power” are conveyed in the Qurʾān and qurʾānic commentaries by such Arabic terms as sulṭān, mulk, qahr, ʿizza, nufūdh, quwwa, ghalaba, istiṭāʿa, ṭāqa, baʾs,

Possession and Possessions

(2,215 words)

Author(s): Knysh, Alexander D.
Ownership, the act of holding something or someone as property; the enjoyment or acquisition of the right to exercise control over something, and the objects thus controlled. In the Qurʾān, the idea of possession is frequently conveyed by the verb malaka, “to possess, to have, to own, to exercise sovereignty over,” and its nominative derivatives, such as mulk/ malakūt, “property, dominion, fiefdom,” and, by extension, “sovereignty”; mālik, “owner, possessor”; and malik, “sovereign, ruler, king” (see kings and rulers ). Similar meanings are associated with the word rabb, “lord (q.…

Courage

(2,693 words)

Author(s): Knysh, Alexander D.
That quality of mind which enables one to meet danger and difficulties with resolve. ¶ Although this notion is often invoked in the Qurʾān, especially in verses that describe the struggle of the Muslim community against their Meccan and pagan Arab foes (see opposition to muḥammad; arabs), it is usually expressed indirectly or descriptively. The words shajāʿa, ḥamāsa and basāla that commonly designate “courage,” “bravery” or “valor” in pre-Islamic poetry and tribal lore are conspicuously absent from the qurʾānic text (see pre-islamic arabia and the qurʾān ). Qurʾānic terms such as baʾs…

Ṣūfism and the Qurʾān

(13,570 words)

Author(s): Knysh, Alexander D.
Taṣawwuf, Islamic mysticism, is an ascetic-mystical trend in Islam characterized by a distinct life-style, values, ritual practices, doctrines and institutions. Ṣūfism emerged as a distinct ascetic and mystical trend in Islamic piety under the early ʿAbbāsids at about the same time as similar movements in Syria, Iran and central Asia which, though designated by different names, shared the same world-renouncing, inward-looking and esoteric attitude. By the fourth/tenth century, the Iraq-based trend in Islamic ascetic (see asceticism) and mystical piety (q.v.) known as “…

Bā Makhrama, ʿUmar

(1,223 words)

Author(s): Knysh, Alexander D.
ʿUmar b. ʿAbdallāh Bā Makhrama (884–952/1479–1546), a popular Ṣūfī poet of South Arabia, was born in Ḥaḍramawt into a family of the Ḥaḍramī mashāʾikh (local families acknowledged as religious authorities) of the Saybān tribe, who traced their lineage back to the Ḥimyarite nobility of the pre-Islamic South Arabian kingdoms. On coming of age, he travelled to Aden to join his father, Abū l-Ṭayyib ʿAbdallāh, a renowned Shāfiʿī scholar, who had served briefly as the city's chief qāḍī under the Ṭāhirid sultan ʿAlī b. Ṭāhir (r. 864–83/1460–78; al-Saqqāf, 1:130), but the young …
Date: 2019-11-11

ʿAbbādān (Ābādān)

(1,408 words)

Author(s): Knysh, Alexander D.
ʿAbbādān (modern-day Ābādān) is an island and city in the Shaṭṭ al-ʿArab, in the province of Khūzistān, in southwestern Iran. Located thirty-three miles (fifty-three kilometres) from the head of the Persian Gulf, it constitutes part of the combined delta of the Kārūn, Tigris, and Euphrates rivers, along with their numerous tributaries. The island is forty-two miles long (sixty-eight kilometres) and ranges from two to twelve miles wide (three to nineteen kilometres), although it must have been much…
Date: 2019-11-11

ʿAwlaqī

(1,177 words)

Author(s): Knysh, Alexander D.
ʿAwlaqī (pl. ʿAwāliq) is a South Arabian tribal confederation and its territory, located in the present-day Republic of Yemen, in an area that stretches approximately one hundred kilometres along the Indian Ocean coastline and extends inland to where it abuts the desert territory of Ramlat al-Sabʿatayn. In the late 1960s, under the Socialist government, the former ʿAwlaqī lands, which consisted of the Lower ʿAwlaqī Sultanate (with its “capital” in Aḥwar), the Upper ʿAwlaqī Sultanate (Niṣāb), and…
Date: 2019-11-11

Abū Hāshim al-Ṣūfī

(790 words)

Author(s): Knysh, Alexander D.
Abū Hāshim al-Ṣūfī (fl. second half of the second/eighth century) is an obscure figure who is said to have been the first person to be called a Ṣūfī. He is also credited with the construction of the first Ṣūfī lodge, or cloister in Ramla, Palestine. Accounts of his life and activities are few and often confused, to the extent that is impossible to determine with certainty when and where they took place. While ʿAbdallāh al-Anṣārī, a famous scholar and Ṣūfī from Herat (d. 481/1089), considered him a…
Date: 2019-11-11

ʿAlawī, Muḥammad b. ʿAlī

(1,400 words)

Author(s): Knysh, Alexander D.
Muḥammad b. ʿAlī b. Muḥammad ʿAlawī (574–653/1178–1255, sometimes referred to as Muḥammad Bā ʿAlawī), is also known as “the Great Master” (al-Ustādh al-Aʿẓam) or “the Foremost Scholar” (al-Faqīh al-Muqaddam), the latter being the honorific by which he is known in his native land even today. He came from the family of the Bā ʿAlawī sayyids of Ḥaḍramawt and is widely regarded by them and their followers as the founding father of the ʿAlawiyya Ṣūfī brotherhood of South Arabia and South/Southeast Asia. Named for his grandfather Muḥammad b. ʿAlī Ṣāḥib Mirbāṭ, whom Ḥaḍramī sayyids credit wit…
Date: 2019-11-11

Aḥmad b. Abī l-Ḥawārī

(952 words)

Author(s): Knysh, Alexander D.
Aḥmad b. Abī l-Ḥawārī (d. 230/845 or 244/860) was an early ascetic and mystic from Syria, the principal disciple and loyal follower of the renowned Syrian mystic Abū Sulaymān al-Dārānī (d. 215/830). Although his biographers have consistently associated him with Syria and Damascus, he was a well-travelled person, who spent considerable time in Iraq and accompanied Abū Sulaymān on his pilgrimages to Arabia's holy cities. Aḥmad b. Abī l-Ḥawārī belonged to a Syrian family acclaimedfor its asceticism and righteousness. His father is described in the sources as a man of “scrupulous piety” (w…
Date: 2019-11-11

Aḥmad b. ʿĀṣim al-Anṭākī

(917 words)

Author(s): Knysh, Alexander D.
Aḥmad b. ʿĀṣim al-Anṭākī (d. between 220/835 and 239/853) was a Syrian mystic, who is credited with several works on mystical psychology and introspection. His nisba indicates that he had his roots in Antioch; we know little else about his background. He associated himself with the foremost Syrian ascetic and mystic of the age, Abū Sulaymān al-Dārānī (d. 215/830), as a companion or, more likely, as a disciple. He is said to have met another celebrated ascetic and moralist of Samarqandī origin, Fuḍayl b. ʿIyāḍ (d. 187/80…
Date: 2019-11-11

al-Aʿrābī, Abū Saʿīd

(483 words)

Author(s): Knysh, Alexander D.
Abū Saʿīd Aḥmad b. Muḥammad b. al-Aʿrābī (d. 341/952) was a Ṣūfī master who is credited with the authorship of what may be the first collection of Ṣūfī biographies and dicta, entitled Ṭabaqāt al-nussāk (“The generations (or classes) of the devout”), which is no longer extant. A native of Basra who spent most of his life in Mecca, where he died, Abū Saʿīd studied under the foremost Ṣūfī masters of Baghdad in his time—al-Junayd (d. 297/910), Abū l-Ḥusayn al-Nūrī (d. 295/907), ʿAmr b. ʿUthmān al-Makkī (d. 291/903 or 297/909, a dis…
Date: 2019-11-11

ʿAbd al-Wāḥid b. Zayd

(731 words)

Author(s): Knysh, Alexander D.
ʿAbd al-Wāḥid b. Zayd (d. c.133/750) was a disciple of al-Ḥasan al-Baṣrī (21–109/642–728, a deeply pious and ascetic Muslim), who was one of the most important religious figures in early Islam. ʿAbd al-Wāḥid b. Zayd gained special prominence for his public sermons, which emphasised humility and scrupulous conduct, including eating habits. A professional preacher (qāṣṣ), who was famous for his eloquence, he painted vivid pictures of Judgement Day, calling upon his listeners to prepare themselves for a face-to-face encounter with God. Each person’s r…
Date: 2019-11-11