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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 ,…

Rāhib

(275 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
(a., pl. ruhbān , rahābīn , rahābina ), a monk. The figure of the monk is known to pre-Islamic poetry and to the Ḳurʾān and Tradition. The pre-Islamic poets refer to the monk in his cell, the light of which the traveller by night sees in the distance and which gives him the idea of shelter. In the Ḳurʾān, the monk and the ḳissīs , sometimes also the aḥbār , are the religious leaders of the Christians. In one place it is said that rabbis and monks live at the expense of other men (sūra IX, 34) and that the Christians have taken as their masters instead of God their aḥbār and their monks as well as al-Mas…

ʿAmr b. al-ʿĀṣ

(962 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
(al-ʿĀṣī) al-sahmī , a contemporary of Muḥammad of Ḳurays̲h̲ite birth. The part which he played in Islāmic history begins with his conversion in the year 8/629-630. At that time he must already have been of middle age, for at his death which took place circa 42/663 he was over ninety years old. He passed for one of the most wily politicians of his time, and we must endorse this verdict. The more clear-sighted inhabitants of Mekka already foresaw shortly after the unsuccessful…

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 expre…

Tasnīm

(319 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
(a.). 1. The name of a fountain in Paradise, occurring in the Ḳurʾān, LXXXIII, 27, where it is said that its water will be drunk by the muḳarrabūn “those who are admitted to the divine presence” and that it will be mixed with the drink of the mass of the inhabitants of Paradise. The commentaries are uncertain whether tasnīm is a proper name— which, according to the Lisān al-ʿArab , is inconsistent with its being a diptote—or a derivative from the root s-n-m, a root conveying the meaning of “being high” (cf. sanām “camel’s hump”). In the latte…

Mawḳif

(236 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
(a.), nomen loci from w-ḳ-f “to stand” hence “place of standing”. Of the technical meanings of the term, three may be mentioned here: (a) The place where the wuḳūf [ q.v.] is held during the pilgrimage, viz. ʿArafāt [ q.v.] and Muzdalifa [ q.v.] or D̲j̲amʿ. In well-known traditions, Muḥammad declares that all ʿ Arafāt and all Muzdalifa is mawḳif (Muslim, Ḥad̲j̲d̲j̲ , trad. 149; Abū Dāwūd, Manāsik , bāb 56, 64, etc.; cf. Wensinck, Handbook of early Muhammadan tradition, s.v. ʿArafa). Snouck Hurgronje ( Het mekkaansche feest , 150 = Verspreide Geschriften , i, 99) has conjectured that these traditions were intended to deprive the hills of ʿArafat and Muzdalifa of their sacred character, which they doubtless possessed in pre-Islamic times. (b) The place where, on the day of resurrection, several scenes of the last judgment will take place; cf. al-G̲h̲azālī,

Sutra

(797 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
(a.), covering, protection, shelter, especially at the ṣalāt , where sutra means the object which the worshipper places in front of himself or lays in the direction of the ḳibla , whereby he shuts himself off in an imaginary area within which he is not disturbed by human or demoniacal influences. “The fictitious fencing off of an open place of prayer, the sutra, seems to have had among other objectives that of warding off demons” (Wellhausen, Reste 2, 158). In one tradition, the man who deliberately penetrates into this imaginary area is actually called a s̲h̲ayṭān (al-Buk̲h̲ārī,

Ḥawḍ

(477 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
, the basin at which on the day of the resurrection Muḥammad will meet his community. This idea is not found in the Ḳurʾān, but in Tradition, which supplies a great variety of details of which the following are the more important. Muḥammad is called the precursor ( faraṭ ) of his community On the day of the resurrection the latter, in the first place the poor who have not known the pleasures of life, will join him near the basin. So far as one can judge, the question is one of admittance: Muḥammad pleads with Allāh for hi…

al-Nasāʾī

(356 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
, Abū ʿAbd al-Raḥmān Aḥmad b. ʿAlī b. S̲h̲uʿayb b. Baḥr b. Sinān , author of one of the six canonical collections of traditions [see Ḥadīt̲h̲ ], b. 215/830, d. 303/915. Very little is known about him. He is said to have made extensive travels in order to hear traditions, to have settled in Egypt, afterwards in Damascus, and to have died in consequence of ill-treatment to which he was exposed at Damascus or, according to others, at Ramla, in consequence of his feelings in favour of ʿAlī and against t…

K̲h̲abar

(270 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
(a.), plural ak̲h̲bār , ak̲h̲ābir , report, piece of information. The word is not used in any special context in the Ḳurʾān. In the ḥadīt̲h̲ it occurs among other passages in the tradition which describes how the d̲j̲inn by eavesdropping obtain information from heaven ( k̲h̲abar min a…

Ḥawārī

(459 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
, apostle. The word is borrowed from Ethiopie, in which language ḥawāryā has the same meaning (see Nöldeke, Beiträge z . sem . Sprachwissenschaft , 48). The suggested derivations from Arabic, attributing to it the meaning “one who wears white clothing” etc., are incorrect. Tradition delights to endow the earliest Islamic pioneers with foreign bynames which were familiar to the “people of the Book”. Abū Bakr is called al-Ṣiddīḳ , ʿUmar al-Fārūḳ , al-Zubayr b. al-ʿAwwām al-Ḥawārī Moreover, the collective term al-Ḥawāriyyūn occurs, denoting twelve persons who at the time of the “second ʿAḳaba” aie said to have been named by Muḥammad (or those present) as naḳībs

Niyya

(829 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
(a.), intention. The acts prescribed by the Islamic s̲h̲arīʿa , obligatory or not, require to be preceded by a declaration by the performer, that he intends to perform such an act. This declaration, pronounced ¶ audibly or mentally, is called niyya . Without it, the act would be bāṭil [ q.v.]. The niyya is required before the performance of the ʿibādāt , such as washing, bathing, prayer, alms, fasting, retreat, pilgrimage, sacrifice. “Ceremonial acts without niyya are not valid”, says al-G̲h̲a…

Isrāfīl

(385 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
, the name of an archangel, which is probably to be traced to the Hebrew Serāfīm as is ¶ indicated by the variants Sarāfīl and Sarāfīn ( Tād̲j̲ al-ʿArūs , vii, 375) The change of liquids is not unusual in such eudings. His size is astounding; while his feet are under the seventh earth, his head reaches up to the pillars of the divine throne. He has four wings: one in the west, one in the east, one with which he covers his body and one as a protection against the majesty of God. He is covered with hair,…

S̲h̲aʿbān

(578 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
, name of the eighth month of the Islamic lunar year. In classical ḥadīt̲h̲ it has already its place after Rad̲j̲ab Muḍar. In Indian Islam it has the name of S̲h̲ab-i barāt (see below), the Atchehnese call it Kandūri bu and among the Tigrē tribes of Eritrea it is called Maddagēn , i.e. who follows upon Rad̲j̲ab. In early Arabia, the month of S̲h̲aʿbān (the name may mean “interval”) seems to have corresponded, as to its significance, to Ramaḍān. According to the ḥadīt̲h̲, Muḥammad …

ʿUt̲h̲mān b. Maẓʿūn

(405 words)

Author(s): Wensinck, A.J.
b. Ḥabīb, Abu ’l-Sāʾib , of the Ḳurays̲h̲ clan of D̲j̲umaḥ, one of the earliest Companions of Muḥammad, the thirteenth man to adopt Islam and brother-in-law of the second caliph ʿUmar b. al-K̲h̲aṭṭāb. He took part in the hid̲j̲ra to Abyssinia, returned, like some other refugees, on the false news of a reconciliation between Muḥammad and his pagan enemies, and became for some time the client of al-Walīd b. al-Mug̲h̲īra. Soon he renounced this privilege, because he preferred to bear his share in the insults offered to his co-religionists ¶ in Mecca. On a quarrel between ʿUt̲h̲mān and the poet Labīd, see Ibn His̲h̲ām, 343-4. ʿUt̲h̲mān took part in the hid̲j̲ra to Medina, where he found lodging with Umm al-Aʿlā. When Muḥammad formed pairs of “brothers” between the Muhād̲j̲irūn and Anṣār [see muʾāk̲h̲āt ], …

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” i…
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