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Maintenance and Upkeep

(501 words)

Author(s): Melchert, Christopher
Preservation and repair of property, or, more commonly in the Qurʾān, the care for one's dependents. In Islamic law, nafaqa indicates the obligation to maintain one's dependents (see guardianship ). The Qurʾān uses nafaqa of expenditures in general, even those against Islam at q 8:36. It is enjoined by q 2:215-6 for the benefit of parents (q.v.), relatives (see kinship ), orphans (q.v.), the poor (see poverty and the poor ) and wayfarers (see journey ; similarly q 17:26; 30:38). Repeated injunctions to do good to one's parents (wa-bi-l- wālidayn iḥsānan) have also been taken to requi…

Ibn Abī l-Zinād

(397 words)

Author(s): Melchert, Christopher
Abū Muḥammad ʿAbd al-Raḥmān b. ʿAbdallāh b. Dhakwān al-Qurashī ( mawlā, client), called Ibn Abī l-Zinād, was a Medinan ḥadīth transmitter who appears in all of the Six Books, although his reputation for accuracy was mixed. He was born in Medina in 100/718–9 and died in Baghdad in 174/790–1 (by most reports), or 175/791–2. His father Abū l-Zinād (d. 130/748?) was a notable Medinan jurisprudent. Ibn Abī l-Zinād was imprisoned and received seventeen lashes over a quarrel with a certain Medinese qāḍī. The sources do not tell us when this happened, but the qāḍī in question was appointed in 1…
Date: 2019-08-29

al-Fasawī, Yaʿqūb

(708 words)

Author(s): Melchert, Christopher
Abū Yūsuf Yaʿqūb b. Sufyān b. Jawwān (Jawān, Juwān?) al-Fasawī (c.190-277?/806-90?) was a Persian traditionist, appearing in two of the Six Books (the best-regarded Sunnī collections of ḥadīth). His nisba refers to Fasā, a city in the province of Fars (al-Samʿānī, al-Ansāb, s.v. Fasawī). He was born in about 190/806. Some of his Kufan and Basran shaykhs (authorities) died as early as 213/828, so he must have begun to travel in quest of ḥadīth at least by then. He also collected ḥadīth in Mecca, Egypt, Syria, Baghdad, and Mesopotamia. He was back in Fars by 237/851–2 and rea…
Date: 2019-08-29

al-Bukhārī

(2,702 words)

Author(s): Melchert, Christopher
Abū ʿAbdallāh Muḥammad b. Ismāʿīl b. Ibrāhīm b. al-Mughīra b. Bardizba al-Juʿfī al-Bukhārī, a highly regarded Sunnī ḥadīth collector, was born in Bukhara, on 13 Shawwāl 194/20 July 810, and died in Khartank, near Samarqand, on 1 Shawwāl 256/1 September 870. His nisba “Juʿfī” refers to the governor of Bukhara, Yamānī al-Juʿfī, patron of al-Bukhārī’s great-grandfather al-Mughīra, the first Muslim in the family line. Al-Bukhārī studied in Khurāsān and Transoxania until the age of sixteen. In 210/825–6, he made the pilgrimage to Mecca and travelled widely in search of ḥadīth over the ne…
Date: 2019-08-29

Ibn Māja

(800 words)

Author(s): Melchert, Christopher
Abū ʿAbdallāh Muḥammad b. Yazīd Ibn Māja al-Qazwīnī, a renowned Sunnī ḥadīth collector, was born in Qazvīn in 209/824–5 and died there, by most reports, on about 22 Ramaḍān 273/20 February 887 (alternatively, 275/888–9). “Māja” or “Mājah” was said to be a Persian nickname (laqab) of his father; its meaning is obscure. The family were clients of the Arab tribe Rabīʿa. One brother, al-Ḥasan, is remembered as passing through Baghdad on the pilgrimage and relating ḥadīth there in about 280/893–4. Two other brothers and a son are remembered as overseeing his funeral and bur…
Date: 2019-08-29

Dawud b. Khalaf

(1,053 words)

Author(s): Melchert, Christopher
Abū Sulaymān Dāwūd b. ʿAlī b. Khalaf al-Iṣfahānī al-Ẓāhirī (d. 270/884) was an important Muslim jurisprudent. His grandfather seems to have been a client of the ʿAbbāsid caliph al-Mahdī (r. 158–69/775–85). Dāwūd was born in Kufa but grew up in Baghdad and was active primarily there. The sources give various years for his birth: 200/815–6, 201/816–17, 202/817–8, and 208/823–4. He was called “al-Iṣfahānī” because his family (or his mother alone) was originally from a village near Isfahan. His father worked as a scribe for the Ḥanafī qāḍī ʿAbdallāh b. Khālid in Isfahan, under the ca…
Date: 2019-08-29

Abū Dāwūd al-Sijistānī

(1,117 words)

Author(s): Melchert, Christopher
Abū Dāwūd Sulaymān b. al-Ashʿath b. Isḥāq b. Bashīr b. Shaddād b. ʿAmr b. ʿImrān (or ʿĀmir) al-Azdī al-Sijistānī (202–75/817 or 818–89) is known mainly as a collector of Prophetic ḥadīth, his Sunan early winning third place among the Six Books most highly regarded by Sunnī Muslims. Born to a wealthy family in the region of Sijistān, south of Khurāsān, he went to Baghdad in quest of ḥadīth in 220/835. Over the next fifteen years, he also travelled to Basra, Mecca, Kufa, Syria, the Jazīra, and the Byzantine frontier. He spent the years 235–42/850–6, approximately, collecting ḥadīth in Khurās…
Date: 2019-08-29

Abū l-Dardāʾ

(463 words)

Author(s): Melchert, Christopher
Abū l-Dardāʾ ʿUwaymir b. Zayd (Thaʿlaba or ʿĀmir or Yazīd) b. Qays al-Anṣārī, (d. early 30s/650s?) was a Companion of the prophet Muḥammad and a famous ascetic. He was born, in Medina, probably around 600, and died in Damascus. He belonged to the Khazraj tribe, more precisely the Ḥārith b. al-Khazraj branch. His subdivision within this branch is called ʿAdi b. Kaʿb. He is said to have been one of the last of the anṣār (Companions of the Prophet from the Yathrib oasis) to convert and so participated in the battle of Uḥud (3 or 4/624–5) but not Badr (2/623). He moved to…
Date: 2019-08-29

al-Barbahārī

(1,063 words)

Author(s): Melchert, Christopher
Abū Muḥammad al-Ḥasan b. ʿAlī b. Khalaf al-Barbahārī (c. 253–329/c. 867–941) was a popular religious leader famous mainly in connection with rioting in Baghdad in the 320s/930s in defence of propriety and orthodoxy as defined by the Ḥanbalī school of law. He was blamed for the rioting and was repeatedly driven into hiding. He was born perhaps in Basra and died in Baghdad in Rajab 329/April 941. The nisba “Barbahārī” means an importer of medicinal herbs from India (al-Samʿānī, al-Ansāb, s.n.), but we do not know when last our al-Barbahārī's family was involved in that trade…
Date: 2019-08-29

Asceticism

(5,161 words)

Author(s): Melchert, Christopher
Asceticism refers first to deliberate austerity as part of a life of devotion. It is a conventional translation of the Arabic zuhd, which usually means renunciation of, or at least unconcern with, the world. This article focuses chiefly on the ascetics (Ar. zuhhād, nussāk) of the second/eighth century, widely regarded as forebears of the Ṣūfīs of the later third/ninth century and after. Moderate asceticism remained an important part of ideal religious deportment among Ṣūfīs and non-Ṣūfīs alike until modern times. 1. Practices As for austerity, many early exemplars of piety we…
Date: 2019-08-29

Farqad al-Sabakhī

(484 words)

Author(s): Melchert, Christopher
Abū Yaʿqūb Farqad b. Yaʿqūb al-Sabakhī, a Basran renunciant ( zāhid, one who renounces the world for spiritual reasons), was apparently born to a Christian family in Armenia but moved to Basra, where he supported himself as a weaver and died in 131/748–9 or earlier. His nisba, al-Sabakhī, refers to the sabkhas (salt flats) to which he would retreat. He is regularly called a worshipper (ʿābid), implying that he devoted much time to supererogatory ritual prayer. Stories about him and his reported sayings are mostly encouragements to austerity. For example, some…
Date: 2019-08-29

Reciters of the Qurʾān

(4,440 words)

Author(s): Melchert, Christopher | Afsaruddin, Asma
Those entrusted with the oral recitation of qurʾānic passages, or the entire text. The term “reciter” (Ar. sing. qāriʾ and muqriʾ) in its basic, general signification refers to one who reads or recites. With reference to reciters of the Qurʾān, the plural qurrāʾ is much more common than muqriʾūn. In a broad sense, the term qurrāʾ is used in various sources to refer both to professional reciters, namely those who accepted payment for their recitation and were often employed by the state, and to pious, non-professional ones who did not seek to make a …

Mosque

(2,677 words)

Author(s): Melchert, Christopher | Gonnella, Julia
[German Version] I. History of Religions – II. Art History I. History of Religions The location of public worship, from Arabic masǧid, “place of prostration.” Unlike synagōgē (Synagogue: I) and ekklēsia (Church: I, 1) the word does not refer to the congregation itself (Arab. ǧamāʿa). In the Qurʾān, masǧid refers to sanctuaries of various forms, and a well-known hadith (Islam: II, 2) report declares that God has given the whole Earth to be a masǧid for the Muslims, by contrast with Christians, Jews, and others, whose worship is restricted to special buildings. ¶ Soon, however, masǧid als…