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Matn

(207 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
(a.), a term with various meanings, of which that of text of a ḥadīt̲h̲ [ q.v.] is to be noted. Matn already appears with the sense of “text” in pre-Islamic poetry, and has been used thus in Arabic literature up to the present day. It denotes especially the text of a book as distinguished from its oral explanation or its written or printed commentary. In connection with traditions, matn denotes the content or text itself, in distinction from the chain of traditionists who have handed it down ( isnād [ q.v.]). The choice of this term to designate the body of a ḥadīt̲h̲ led Goldziher to put forwar…

Rasūl

(783 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
(a., pl. rusul ), messenger, apostle. 1. In the religious sense. According to the Ḳurʾān, there is a close relation between the apostle and his people ( umma [ q.v.]). To each umma God sends only one apostle (sūra X, 48, XVI, 38 cf. XXIII, 46, XL, 5). These statements are parallel to those which mention the witness whom God will take from each umma at the Day of Judgment (IV, 45, XXVIII, 75 and cf. the descriptions of the rasūl who will cross the bridge to the other world at the head of his umma: al-Buk̲h̲ārī, Ad̲h̲ān , bāb 129; Riḳāḳ , bāb 52). Muḥammad is sent to a people to whom Allāh has not ye…

Amīr al-Muslimīn

(108 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
, i.e. lord of the Muslims, a title which the Almoravids first assumed, in contra-distinction to Amīr al-Muʾminīn [ q.v.]. The latter title was born by the independent dynasties; the Almoravids, however, recognized the supremacy of the ʿAbbāsids and did not wish to arrogate to themselves this title of the Caliphs. So they established a kind of sub-caliphate with a title of their own. Afterwards the African and Spanish princes bore either the one or the other of these titles, according as they sought after the independent caliphate or recognized any supremacy. (A.J. Wensinck) Bibliography…

K̲h̲id̲h̲lān

(437 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
(a.), nomen actionis from the root k̲h̲-d̲h̲-l , “to leave in the lurch”, a technical term in Islamic theology, applied exclusively to Allāh when He withdraws His grace or help from man. The disputes regarding it first appear in connection with the quarrel over ḳadar [ q.v.]. A starting point is found in Sūra III, 154/160: “but if He abandon you to yourselves ( yak̲h̲d̲h̲ul-kum ), who will help you after Him? Let the faithful therefore trust in God”. On this al-Rāzī observes: “The Companions deduce from this verse that belief is exclusiv…

Samūm

(588 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
(a.), yielding Fr. simoun and Eng. simoom, a hot wind of the desert accompanied by whirlwinds of dust and sand, and set in motion by moving depressions which form within the trade winds or calm zones of the high, subtropical depressions. This wind is especially characteristic of the Sahara, in Egypt, in Arabia and in Mesopotamia. The word occurs in three passages of the Ḳurʾān, where it is, however, not especially applied to the wind. In sūra XV, 27, it is said that the Ḏj̲ānn were created from the fire of Samūm. In LII, 27, the punishment of the Samūm is …

Mīkāl

(994 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
, the archangel Michael [see also malāʾika ], whose name occurs once in the Ḳurʾān, viz. in II, 92: “Whosoever is an enemy to God, or his angels, or his apostles, or to Gabriel or to Michael, verily God is an enemy to the unbelievers.” In explanation of this verse two stories are told. According to the first, the Jews, wishing to test the veracity of the mission of Muḥammad, asked him several questions, to all of which he gave the true answer. Finally, they asked him, who transmit…

Rahbāniyya

(503 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
(a.), monasticism. The term is derived from rāhib [ q.v.] “anchovite, monk”; it occurs in the Ḳurʾān once only, in a complicated passage (sūra LVII, 27) that has given rise to divergent interpretations: “And we put in the hearts of those who followed Jesus, compassion and mercy, and the monastic state ( rahbāniyya ); they instituted the same (we did not prescribe it to them) only out of a desire to please God. Yet they observed not the same as it ought truly to have been observed. And we gave unto such of them as believed, their reward; but many of them have been doers of evil.” According to some of …

Muslim

(261 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
(a.), the active participle of the IVth form of the root s-l-m, designates the person who professes Islam [ q.v.], islāmī being exclusively used today for what is relative to Islam and having, as a corresponding term, the forms in western languages islamic , islamique , islamisch , etc. However, in the 4th/10th century the theologian al-As̲h̲ʿarī [ q.v.] called his heresiographical work Maḳālāt al-Islāmiyyīn in order not to prejudice the question which of the various sects could or could not be called muslim . Whilst forms like mohammedan , mahométan , maomettano ,…

Muṭlaḳ

(386 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A .J.
(a.), part. pass. IV from ṭ-l-ḳ, “to loose the bond ( ḳaid) of an animal, so as to let it free” (e.g. Muslim, Ḏj̲ihād, trad. 46; Abū Dāwūd, Ḏj̲ihād, bāb 100). The term is also applied ¶ to the loosening of the bowstring (Buk̲h̲ārī, Ḏj̲ihād, b. 170), of the garments, the hair etc. Thence the common meaning absolute, as opposed to restricted ( muḳaiyad), and further the accusative muṭlaḳan “absolutely”. The use of the term is so widely diffused, that a few examples only can be given. In grammar the term mafʿūl muṭlaḳ denotes the absolute object (cognate accusative), i. e. the objectivate…

Zaid b. T̲h̲ābit

(429 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A. J.
b. al-Ḍaḥḥāk b. Zaid b. Lawd̲h̲ān b. ʿAmr b. ʿAbd Manāf (or ʿAwf) b. G̲h̲anm b. Mālik b. al-Nad̲j̲d̲j̲īr al-Anṣārī al-Ḵh̲azrad̲j̲ī, one of the Companions of Muḥammad, best known through his part in the editing of the Ḳurʾān. His father was killed in the battle of Buʿāt̲h̲ [q. v.], five years before the hid̲j̲ra, when Zaid was six years old. His ¶ mother was al-Nawār, daughter of Mālik b. Muʿāwiya b. ʿAdī, also of a Madīnd̲j̲ad̲j̲ family. It is said that the boy knew already a number of Sūras when Muḥammad settled in al-Madīna. At any rate he became his secretary, who rec…

al-Masd̲j̲id al-Aḳṣā

(475 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A. J.
, the mosque built on the site of the Temple in Jerusalem. The name means “the remotest sanctuary” and is first found in the Ḳurʾān, Sūra xvii. 1: “Praise ʿilm who made his servant journey in the night from the holy place to the remotest sanctuary, which we have surrounded with blessings to show him of our signs”. As was explained in the article isrāʾ [q. v.], the older exegesis refers this verse to the journey to heaven [cf. miʿrād̲j̲] and sees in the name al-Masd̲j̲id al-Aḳṣā a reference to some heavenly place (cf. Sidrat al-Muntahā, Sūra liii. 14). This explanation had however in time to g…

ʿIzrāʾīl

(1,116 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A. J.
(in European literature one also finds ʿAzrāʾīl), the name of the angel of death, one of the four archangels (next to Ḏj̲ibrīl, Mīk̲h̲āʾīl, Isrāfīl). The name is perhaps a corruption of which is given by Eisenmenger, Entdecktes Judenthum, ii. 333, as the name of the prince of Hell. Like Isrāfīl, whose office of trumpet-blower at the last judgment is sometimes given to him, he is of cosmic magnitude; if the water of all the seas and rivers were poured on his head, not a drop would reach the earth. He has a seat ( sarīr) of light in the fourth or seventh heaven, on which one of his feet re…

Sad̲j̲d̲j̲āda

(1,785 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A. J.
(a., plural sad̲j̲id̲j̲id, sad̲j̲ād̲j̲īd, sawād̲j̲id), the carpet on which the ṣalāt is performed. The word is found neither in the Ḳorʾān nor in the canonical Ḥadīt̲h̲; the article itself, however, was known at quite an early period, as may be seen from the traditions about to be mentioned. In the Ḥadīt̲h̲ we are often told how Muḥammad and his followers performed the ṣalāt on the floor of the mosque in Medīna after a heavy shower of rain with the result that their noses and heads came in contact with the mud (e. g. al-Buk̲h̲ārī, Ad̲h̲ān, bāb 135, 151; Muslim, Ṣiyām, trad. 214—216, 218 etc.)…

Firʿawn

(1,457 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A. J.
(Plur. Farāʿina), Pharaoh. The word is explained by the commentaries on Sūra ii. 46 of the Ḳorʾān as a laḳab or ʿalam of the Amalakite kings, like Kisrā and Ḳaiṣar of the Kings of the Persians and Romans. The verb tafarʿana means “to be arrogant and tyrannous”, hence the Ḳorʾānic Firʿawn is called al-Ḏj̲abbār “the tyrant” by al-Yaʿḳūbī (ed. Houtsma), i. 31. A number of Firʿawns are mentioned in Arabic literature; their number is very differently given. In the Ḳorʾān, however, Firʿawn is always the kfng with whom Mūsā and Hārūn had to deal; the word is here clearly understood as a proper name. The …

al-Awzāʿī

(254 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A. J.
, ʿAbd al-Raḥmān b. ʿAmr Abū ʿAmr, a jurist born in Baʿalbekk 88 (757). Later he lived in Damascus and Bairūt. Nothing else is known abut his life, his good character and asceticism are emphasized; he died in his bath in the year 157 (774) and was buried in the Ḳibla of the mosque in Bairūt. — Al-Awzāʿī during his life-time was a star of the first magnitude. He is said to have been the Imām of Syria and even the Mag̲h̲rib and Spain are said to have followed his Mad̲h̲hab. His influence soon declined in favour of that of Abū Ḥanīfa and of Mālik. Hardly any data about hi…

Aʿs̲h̲ā Hamdān

(194 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A. J.
, properly ʿAbd al-Raḥmān b. ʿAbd Allāh, Arab poet, who lived in Kūfa in the second half of the i. (vii.) cent. He was married to a sister of the theologian al-S̲h̲aʿbī, and he, again, had married a sister of al-Aʿs̲h̲ā. The role which he played under ʿAbd al-Raḥmān b. al-As̲h̲ʿat̲h̲ is best known. He took part in his campaign against the Turks and was taken captive but escaped with the aid of a Turkish woman whose passions were enflamed for him. When Ibn al-As̲h̲ʿat̲h̲ turned against al-Ḥad̲j̲d…

Kānūn

(172 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A. J.
, the name of a month, which is found as early as in inscriptions from Palmyra (see S. A. Cook, A Glossary of the Aramaic Inscriptions, s. v.) and corresponds to Marḥes̲h̲wān. It later appears among the Syriac names of the months (see Payne Smith, Thesaurus Syrd., s.v.) as K. ḳed̲ēm or ḳad̲māyā and K. ḥrāy or ḥrāyā. Here the two K. are the ninth and tenth months respectively. Al-Bīrūnī, Kitāb al-Āt̲h̲ār al-bāḳiya, ed. Sachau, p. 60, transcribes the Syriac forms exactly as K. ḳadīm and K. ḥrāy. In Arabic terminology they are called K. al-awwal and K. al-āk̲h̲ir, In the Ḥadīt̲h̲ the former app…

al-Nasafī

(411 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A. J.
, nisba [cf. nasaf] of several eminent persons of whom the following may be mentioned: I. Abu ’l-Muʿīn Maimūn b. Muḥammad b. Muḥammad ... b. Makḥūl ... al-Ḥanafī al-Makḥūlī (d. 508 = 1114), one of the mutakallimūn [q. v.] whose scholastic position is between that of the early period as represented by ʿAbd al-Ḳāhir al-Bag̲h̲dādī [q. v.], who is still endeavouring to find a convenient arrangement and an adequate formulation of the contents of kalām, and the younger mutakallims who have at hand the necessary formulas for ready use. Of his works the following are known to me: 1. Tamhīd li-Ḳawāʿid…

K̲h̲uṭba

(2,038 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
(a.), sermon, address by the k̲h̲aṭīb [ q.v.]. The k̲h̲uṭba has a fixed place in Islamic ritual, viz. in the Friday-service, in the celebration of the two festivals, in services held at particular occasions such as an eclipse or excessive drought. On the Friday it precedes the ṣalāt , in all the other services the ṣalāt comes first. A short description of the rules for the k̲h̲uṭba according to al-S̲h̲īrāzī ( Tanbīh , ed. Juynboll, 40), one of the early S̲h̲āfiʿī doctors [ q.v.], may be given here. (a.) One of the conditions for the validity of the Friday service is that it must be…

Ṣabr

(2,521 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
(a.), usually rendered "patience, endurance". The significance of this conception can hardly be conveyed in a West European language by a single word, as may be seen from the following. According to the Arabic lexicographers, the root ṣ-b-r , of which ṣabr is the nomen actionis, means to restrain or bind; thence ḳatalahu ṣabr an “to bind and then slay someone”. The slayer and the slain in this case are called ṣābir and maṣbūr respectively. The expression is applied, for example, to martyrs and prisoners of war put to death; in the Ḥadīt̲h̲ often to animals that— c…
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