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 Prodromus ad refutationem Alcorani

(1,007 words)

Author(s): Tottoli, Roberto
‘Introduction to the refutation of the Qur'an’ Ludovico Marracci Date: Approximately 1680 Original Language: Latin Description The  Prodromus ad refutationem Alcorani was published first in Rome in 1691 and subsequently reprinted in identical form as the first volume of Alcorani textus universus in Padua in 1698. The work, under the full title Prodromus ad refutationem Alcorani. In quo per quatuor praecipuas verae Religionis notas Mahumetanae Sectae falsitas ostenditur: Christianae Religionis veritas comprobatur. In quatuor Partes divisus: Auth…

Korah

(868 words)

Author(s): Tottoli, Roberto
A figure living at the time of Moses (q.v.) who is mentioned both in the Bible and the Qurʾān. He is described in q 28:76-82 and briefly mentioned in two other verses. Korah (Ar. Qārūn) is introduced as one of the people of Moses, yet one who treated them unjustly ( q 28:76-82; see justice and injustice; oppression). God accorded him such enormous treasures that “its very keys (mafātiḥahu) were too heavy a burden for a company of men” ( q 28:76) to carry. When people urged him to use his wealth (q.v.) for God's purposes and, with the world to come in mind (see eschatology ), he would answer that the…

Shuʿayb

(905 words)

Author(s): Tottoli, Roberto
Name of a messenger mentioned eleven times in the Qurʾān. His story is dealt with in a few passages ( q 7:85-93; 11:84-95; 26:176-91; 29:36-7) where his vicissitudes with his people are described. According to the Qurʾān, Shuʿayb was sent to Madyan ( q 7:85; 11:84; 29:36; see midian ). He exhorted his people (to whom, it is stated, a sign was sent; cf. q 7:85; 11:88; see signs ) to believe in God (see belief and unbelief ) and he urged them not to cheat people by altering weights and measures (q.v.; q 7:85; 11:84-5; 26:181-2; see also cheating ). He also summoned them not to engage in cor-¶ rupt behavi…

ʿImrān

(525 words)

Author(s): Tottoli, Roberto
The father of Mary (q.v.), mother of Jesus (q.v.). ʿImrān is attested three times in the Qurʾān and Āl ʿImrān is the title of the third sūra. The name occurs incidentally in two passages of the narrative sections (see narratives ) which deal with the story of Mary and her mother, passages in which “the wife of ʿImrān” ( q 3:35) and “Mary, ʿImrān's daughter” ( q 66:12) are mentioned. The third passage, from which the title of the third sūra is taken, mentions “the family of ʿImrān” ( q 3:33) which God chose — along with Adam (see adam and eve ), Noah (q.v.) and the family of Abraham (q.v.) — above all b…

People of the Ditch

(789 words)

Author(s): Tottoli, Roberto
The Qurʾān mentions the mysterious People of the Ditch ( aṣḥāb al-ukhdūd) saying that “slain were the People of the Ditch — the fire abounding in fuel — when they were seated over it and were themselves witnesses of what they did with the believers” ( q 85:4-7). The Qurʾān adds that they were tortured in this way only because they believed in God “to whom belongs the kingdom of the heavens and the earth, and God is witness over everything” ( q 85:8-9). The expression “People of the Ditch” is the single detail of this whole passage that has been subject to differing interpretati…

ʿĀd

(1,239 words)

Author(s): Tottoli, Roberto
An ancient tribe to whom the prophet Hūd (q.v.; q 7:65; 11:50; cf. 46:21) was sent. They are mentioned twenty-four times in the Qurʾān. The ʿĀd are described as a powerful tribe which existed after the people of Noah (q.v.; q 7:69). They were mighty and proud of their strength ( q 41:15; cf. 26:128-9) as well as very tall of stature ( q 7:69). The prophet Hūd was sent to the ʿĀd, but his preaching was largely unsuccessful ( q 7:70-1; 11:53-4; 46:22). Other messengers were also sent to the ʿĀd, but they too were rejected ( q 26:123). Hūd tried to convince his people to invoke God's interventi…

Elisha

(343 words)

Author(s): Tottoli, Roberto
A prophet who is mentioned in two verses in the Qurʾān. In the first ( q 6:86), Elisha (al-Yasaʿ) is cited together with Ishmael (q.v.), Jonah (q.v.) and Lot (q.v.), where it is said that they were elevated above the rest of creation (wa-kullan faḍḍalnā ʿalā l-ʿālamīna). Elisha is mentioned in a second verse ( q 38:48), along with Ishmael and Dhū l-Kifl (q.v.), where it is said that “all are among the excellent” (wa-kullun mina l- akhyāri). The Qurʾān does not contain any details about his life and limits itself to mentioning his name together with those of other prophets (see prophets …

Men of the Cave

(1,041 words)

Author(s): Tottoli, Roberto
Name given to the protagonists of a long qurʾānic passage containing a version of the story of the seven sleepers of Ephesus. The Qurʾān states that the Men of the Cave ( aṣḥāb al-kahf) and of al-Raqīm (see below) were among God's signs, and says they were youths who took refuge in a cave (q.v.) and invoked God's mercy (q.v.; q 18:9-10). God made them and their dog (q.v.) fall into a deep sleep (q.v.) for many years and then woke them from their slumber. The Qurʾān explains that they were pious youths fleeing from the idolatry (see idolatry and idolaters ) of their people and that they found re…

Rass

(900 words)

Author(s): Tottoli, Roberto
Term mentioned twice in the Qurʾān in connection with the expression aṣḥāb al-rass, “the people of al-Rass”: “We have prepared for the evildoers a painful chastisement. And ʿĀd (q.v.), Thamūd (q.v.) and the people of al-Rass, and between that, ¶ many generations” ( q 25:37-8); “The people of Noah (q.v.) and the people of al- Rass, and Thamūd and Pharaoh (q.v.), and ʿĀd and the brothers of Lot (q.v.) cried lies before them…” ( q 50:12). Although there are no other elements that help clarify who the people of al-Rass were, the fact that they are mentioned alongside othe…

Sleep

(988 words)

Author(s): Tottoli, Roberto
Natural and temporary periodic reduction of sensation and consciousness. Sleep ( nawm) is mentioned a number of times in the Qurʾān. According to q 25:47, “It is he [God] who appointed the night for you to be a garment and sleep for a rest, and day he appointed for a rising” (see day and night ). Sleep in the night is deemed to rest the body after a day's work and thus it is a gift from God almighty (see grace; gift and gift-giving). The concept had found expression already in q 78:9-11, “and we appointed your sleep for a rest and we appointed night for a garment and we appointed day for a livelihood” (see …

Bowing and Prostration

(815 words)

Author(s): Tottoli, Roberto
Bowing, an inclination of the head or a bending of the body in reverence; prostration, reclining with the face on the ground in humble adoration (q.v.). The two fundamental gestures of the ritual prayer, bowing ( rukūʿ) and the more frequent prostration (sujūd) are mentioned numerous times in the Qurʾān. Many qurʾānic passages that refer to bowing ( q 2:43; 5:55; 77:48) and prostration ( q 4:102; 15:98; 25:64; 26:219; 50:40; 76:26; 96:19) allude to prayer (q.v.) and devotion in general. Other verses mention the two gestures together ( q 2:125; 3:43; 9:112; 22:26; 22:77; 48:29), again evid…

Ezekiel

(428 words)

Author(s): Tottoli, Roberto
Biblical prophet who figures in Islamic tradition. Ezekiel is not mentioned in the Qurʾān but exegetical literature claims a qurʾānic allusion to him at q 2:243 as follows: “Have you not considered those who went forth from their homes in the thousands for fear of death (see death and the dead )? God said to them, ‘Die!’ Then he gave them life (q.v.).” Qurʾānic exegesis and extra-canonical traditions of various origins have given a vivid description of the events to which this verse alludes, in connection with the story of the vision of the dry bones (cf. Ezek 37:1-14). According to some re…

Ṣāliḥ

(981 words)

Author(s): Tottoli, Roberto
A messenger (q.v.) sent to the people of Thamūd (q.v.), named nine times in the Qurʾān. His story is dealt with in a number of passages ( q 7:73-9; 11:61-8; 26:141-59; 27:45-53; 54:23-31; 91:11-5), and in other verses mention is made of the people of Thamūd and their fate. The Qurʾān does not contain a complete narrative of the story of this messenger and the events that led his people to punishment and destruction, but it does mention (and occasionally repeats some details of) his mission among his people. Particular attention is given to the…

Raqīm

(928 words)

Author(s): Tottoli, Roberto
Name mentioned at the beginning of the qurʾānic version of the story of the Seven Sleepers (see men of the cave ), where the Qurʾān states: “Or do you think the Men of the Cave and al-Raqīm were among our signs (q.v.) a wonder?” ( q 18:9). The isolated mention in this passage with no other specification or occurrences of the term prompted an abundance of exegetical explanations and interpretations. One tradition mentioned in some commentaries attests that al-Raqīm was one of the four words in the Qurʾān that Ibn ʿAbbās (d. ca. 68/688; see companions of the prophet; ḥadīth and the qurʾān) could n…

Elijah

(727 words)

Author(s): Tottoli, Roberto
A messenger (q.v.) and prophet who is mentioned three times in the Qurʾān. In the first instance the name of Elijah (Ilyās) is cited along with those of Zechariah (q.v.), John (see john the baptist ) and Jesus (q.v.) with the statement that “all were of the righteous” ( q 6:85). The name of Elijah is next mentioned at the beginning of a passage ( q 37:123-32) that recounts his vicissitudes in the manner of ¶ other qurʾānic punishment stories (q.v.) involving the prophets and their peoples (see prophets and prophethood ). There Elijah is identified as one of the messengers, the one who c…

Elisha

(677 words)

Author(s): Tottoli, Roberto
Elisha (Ar. al-Yasaʿ) is considered a prophet in Muslim tradition and is mentioned twice in the Qurʾān among the upright and just men, in verses that also mention other prophetic figures. In Q 6:84, David and Solomon, Job and Joseph, and Moses and Aaron are mentioned among the descendants of Isaac and Jacob, and in Q 6:85–6, it is stated that “Zacharias and John, Jesus and Elias, all were upright men, and Ishmael, Elisha, Jonah, and Lot.” In a second passage (Q 38:48), Elisha is mentioned, along…
Date: 2019-08-29

Hagar

(986 words)

Author(s): Tottoli, Roberto
Hagar (Ar. Hājar) was the Egyptian servant girl of Abraham (Ar. Ibrāhīm) who gave birth to Ishmael (Ar., Ismāʿīl). Although the Qurʾān makes no reference to her, later traditions mention Hagar by her name or as the “Mother of Ishmael” (Umm Ismāʿīl), or in a general connection with Ishmael. According to the Islamic narratives, Hagar was given as a gift by the king of Egypt, and Sarah allowed Abraham to take Hagar (al-Thaʿlabī, 79–80). After the birth of Ishmael, however, Sarah became jealous and …
Date: 2019-08-29

Flood

(1,767 words)

Author(s): Tottoli, Roberto
The events of the life of Noah, his family, and his people leading up to the Flood and what took place during and just after it are mentioned in ten Qurʾānic passages. God ordered Noah to build the Ark ( al-fulk, Q 11:38, al-safīna, Q 29:15), and his people passed by and laughed at him (Q 11:37–9). The Ark is described as “a well planket vessel well caulked” (Q 54:13) and as a “fully-laden ship” (Q 26:119). So, when the fate of Noah’s people was sealed, the gushing forth of the oven ( tannūr, Q 11:40, 23:27) was the sign of the beginning of the Flood. Noah received instruction from God …
Date: 2019-08-29

Adam

(2,798 words)

Author(s): Tottoli, Roberto
Adam, according to Muslim tradition, was the first man and the first prophet of humankind. His name is mentioned in several passages in the Qurʾān and also in the expression “the sons of Adam” ( banū Ādam, Q 7:26, passim), a phrase that defines humankind, but he is not named in the Qurʾānic passages describing the creation of man from mud or clay. While the Qurʾān does not identify Adam explicitly as a prophet, and his name does not appear in those verses that list the prophets, other sources, such as the sayings of the prophet Muḥammad and the later traditions, include him among the prophets. The e…
Date: 2019-08-29

Daniel

(1,361 words)

Author(s): Tottoli, Roberto
Daniel (Dāniyāl) is not included among the pre-Islamic patriarchs and prophets that are mentioned or alluded to in the Qurʾān. Later religious, historical, and geographical literature does, however, preserve various confusing reports about at least two characters named Daniel, one resembling the sage mentioned in Ezekiel 14:14, the other living during the captivity of the Israelites. Early reports say that Daniel the Elder (al-akbar) lived after Noah and before Abraham and that he could predict events astrologically, for which reason a Book of divination (Kitāb al-jafr) was ascr…
Date: 2019-08-29
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