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Barrier

(951 words)

Author(s): Zaki, Mona M.
An obstacle; anything that hinders approach or attack. Both ḥijāb and barzakh (q.v.) are used to denote “barrier” in the Qurʾān. Under this general category of barrier, Ibn al-Jawzī (d. 597/1200) in two cases understands the word ḥijāb to mean a concrete division: he interprets “between the two is a ḥijāb” ( baynahum ḥijābun, q 7:46) as a bridge ( sūr) between heaven (q.v.) and hell (q.v.); while he considers the ḥijāb that obstructs Solomon's (q.v.) view ( tawārat bi-l-ḥijāb, q 38:32) to be a mountain ( Nuzha, 246). Other qurʾānic citations of ḥijāb are used to connote a covering ( satr), such…

Barzakh

(2,283 words)

Author(s): Zaki, Mona M.
The term barzakh occurs three times in the Qurʾān; in q 25:53 and 55:20, barzakh is a partition between two seas, a barrier that could be an allusion to a cosmic myth (see barrier; cosmology in the qurʾān). The third reference, which is the focus of this article, occurs in q 23:100: “And behind them is a barrier until the day they are raised.” This verse applies the concept of partition to the eschatological scene and death (see eschatology; death and the dead). A. Jeffery ( For. vocab., 77) suggests Persian as a possible source for this loan word — farsakh, parasang, a measure of land that fit…