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Clay

(1,233 words)

Author(s): Robinson, Neal
An earthy material, plastic when moist but hard when baked or fired. There are twelve references to clay ( ṭīn); four to “resounding” clay ( ṣalṣāl); three to petrified clay ( sijjīl); and one to baked clay or earthenware ( fakhkhār ). Whereas ṣalṣāl is pure Arabic, ṭīn and fakhkhār are probably Syriac loan words and sijjīl is almost certainly Persian (see foreign vocabulary ). Etymology Arabic lexicographers derive ṭīn from the verb ṭāna, “to plaster with clay” (said of a roof or wall) or “to seal with clay” (said of ¶ a written document). However, this verb, which is not found in th…

Jesus

(9,179 words)

Author(s): Robinson, Neal
The first-century Jewish teacher and wonder worker believed by Christians to be the Son of God, he is named in the Qurʾān as one of the prophets before Muḥammad who came with a scripture (see book; christians and christianity; prophets and prophethood). The qurʾānic form of Jesus' name is ʿĪsā. It is attested twenty-five times, often in the form ʿĪsā b. Maryam, Jesus son of Mary. The Qurʾān asserts that he was a prophet and gives him the unique title “the Messiah” (see anointing ). It affirms his virginal conception (see mary; holy spirit); cites miracles which he ¶ performed by divine permis…

Crucifixion

(1,397 words)

Author(s): Robinson, Neal
Nailing or binding the hands and feet of a criminal to a cross of execution. The verb ṣalaba, “to crucify,” occurs six times in the Qurʾān: twice in the root form and four times in the second verbal form. It is probably a Syriac loan word (see foreign vocabulary ). Etymology and meaning The verb “to crucify” (ṣalaba), which occurs in the active voice at q 4:157 and in the passive at q 12:41, is a denominal verb from the noun ṣalīb, meaning a cross. This noun does not occur in the Qurʾān, although found in early poetry (see poetry and poets ). It is probably derived from ṣelībā, the word for cross in S…

Antichrist

(3,106 words)

Author(s): Robinson, Neal
In the Islamic tradition, an evil figure who will lead people astray (q.v.) in the last days and whose advent will be one of the signs of the approaching “hour.” The Antichrist (al-Dajjāl, al-Masīḥ al-Dajjāl) is not mentioned in the Qurʾān, but he figures in numerous ḥadīth that are cited by the classical commentators. Although many Jews expected an eschatological conflict between God's agents and the forces of evil (see eschatology ), the belief that those forces would be concentrated in a specific individual called the Antichrist seems first to have arisen in Chr…

Apostle

(758 words)

Author(s): Robinson, Neal S.
“Apostle” is generally employed by Christians exclusively as a title for members of Jesus' inner group of twelve disciples and for Paul, although its use in the New Testament is less restricted. In the Qurʾān, there are four references to the ḥawāriyyūn, an Ethiopic loan word meaning “apostles.” From the context it is clear that they are Jesus' companions. 1. Christian usage The English word “apostle” is derived, via Latin, from the Greek apostolos, which means literally “one who is sent.” As generally used by Christians, it is a title reserved for members of Jesus' …
Date: 2019-08-29