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Ḥamza b. ʿAbd al-Muṭṭalib

(728 words)

Author(s): Leemhuis, Frederik
Paternal uncle of the Prophet (half-brother of the Prophet's father), as well as his foster brother (Muslim, Ṣaḥīḥ, K. al-Riḍāʿ, 14; Ṭabarī, Taʾrīkh, i, 970; id. History, v, 172; see fosterage ). One of the great heroes of the earliest period of Islam. Ḥamza appears to have had a close relationship with the Prophet; he accompanied him when he went to ask Khadīja's (q.v.) father for her hand and, apparently out of solidarity with his foster brother, gave Abū Jahl a serious beating when the latter had gravely abused the Prophet. On this occasion, Ḥamza announced his adheren…


(593 words)

Author(s): Leemhuis, Frederik
A term occurring twice in the Qurʾān ( q 83:19 and 18) that Western scholars have considered to be derived from the Hebrew ʿelyōn, “the highest” (Paret, ʿIlliyyūn). Many ¶ medieval and post-medieval Muslim commentators understand the term to connote the inscribed book where the deeds of the pious are listed (see record of human actions; heavenly book; preserved tablet). All the early commentaries, however, appear to interpret ʿilliyyūn as the name of a place high in heaven (see heaven and sky ). Suggestions about the specifics of where or what it is include: paradise (q.v.), …

Readings of the Qurʾān

(6,725 words)

Author(s): Leemhuis, Frederik
A term generally used to denote the qirāʾāt, the different ways of reciting the Qurʾān. Variant readings are an important aspect of Qurʾān recitation (see recitation of the qurʾān; reciters of the qurʾān), ¶ but qirāʾāt refer to more than that. Other elements — such as differences concerning length of syllables, when to assimilate consonants to following ones, and where to pause or insert verse endings — form an integral part of the different qirāʾāt systems. Reports about different ways of reciting or reading the Qurʾān were transmitted from the beginning of Islam. Tra…


(2,038 words)

Author(s): Leemhuis, Frederik
Revelation of things to come, especially at the end of times, and a religiously-motivated form of eschatology (q.v.) with an emphasis upon the cosmic events which will occur at the end of the world. Since most of the apocalyptic events mentioned in the Qurʾān are connected with the resurrection (q.v.) of the dead, they are called by Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī (d. 606/1210) “the portents of the day of resurrection” ( muqaddimāt yawm al-qiyāma, Tafsīr, ad q 39:68). In the Qurʾān As a prophetic, revealed message, the Qurʾān is to a large extent apocalyptic yet there are parts of it that carry this theme ¶…