Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition

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D̲h̲irāʿ
(1,013 words)

, originally the part of the arm from the elbow to the tip of the middle finger, then the measure of the cubit, and at the same time the name given to the instrument for measuring it. The legal cubit is four handsbreadths ( ḳabḍa = index finger, middle finger, ring finger, and little finger put together), each of six fingerbreadths ( aṣbaʿ = middle joint of the middle finger) each the width of six barley corns ( s̲h̲aʿīra ) laid side by side. A considerable number of different cubits were in common use in Islam. Roughly speaking they can be grouped around the following fo…

Cite this page
Hinz, W., “D̲h̲irāʿ”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Consulted online on 26 June 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1573-3912_islam_SIM_1825>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004161214, 1960-2007



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