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ʿAbd al-Raḥmān b. ʿAwf

(2,159 words)

Author(s): Bahramian, Ali | Qasemi, Jawad
ʿAbd al-Raḥmān b. ʿAwf, Abū Muḥammad (d. 32/652), a prominent Companion of the Prophet and a famous figure in early Islam. ¶ He was born ten years after the ‘Year of the Elephant’ ( ʿām al-fīl). He was first known as ʿAbd ʿAmr (Ibn Saʿd, 3/124; al-Balādhurī, 10/30, 37; idem, 10/39, referring to his original name as ʿAbd al-Ḥārith), but after his conversion to Islam he changed his name to ʿAbd al-Raḥmān, either on his own initiative or at the suggestion of the Prophet (Ibn Hishām, 2/283; al-Balādhurī, 10/30; for varied opinions about his name, see also al-Wāqidī, 1/82). ʿAbd al-Raḥmān belonged…

Abū Hurayra

(3,215 words)

Author(s): Bahramian, Ali | Negahban, Farzin
Abū Hurayra, ʿAbd Allāh (or ʿAbd al-Raḥmān) b. ʿĀmir (or Ṣakhr) al-Dawsī (d. 59/679), was one of the famous Companions of the Prophet. In his role as a transmitter of Prophetic ḥadīths he has been a perennial subject of debate and discussion. Abū Hurayra was portrayed in many different ways at various times in history and, despite his renown, some fundamental aspects of his life and personality remain obscure. For example, such are the variant forms of his name and lineage that the name of no other Muslim been recorded in so …


(2,919 words)

Author(s): Bahramian, Ali | Gholami, Rahim
Balʿamī, the name ( nisba) of a number of Khurāsānī scholars and courtiers, two of whom served as viziers to the Sāmānid dynasty. Their lineage can be traced back to an Arab tribesman of the Banū Tamīm: Ibn Mākūlā (7/278) takes the kinship of Abū al-Faḍl Balʿamī back to Zayd Manāt, son of Tamīm, hence the Tamīmī nisba (see al-Dhahabī, Siyar, 15/292). However, since the figures appearing in this genealogy are not recognised by any extant Arab biographical works, the linkage is problematic. According to Ibn Mākūlā, one of the family’s ancestors called Rajā…

Al-Barāʾ b. ʿĀzib

(1,192 words)

Author(s): Bahramian, Ali | Negahban, Farzin
Al-Barāʾ b. ʿĀzib (d. 71 or 72/690 or 691), was a Companion of Prophet Muḥammad. He was one of the Helpers (Anṣār) and from the Banū Ḥārith branch of the Aws tribe of Yathrib (Medina) (Khalīfa, al-Ṭabaqāt, 1/186; al-Bukhārī, 1(2)/117; for his lineage see al-Mizzī, Tahdhīb, 4/34–35). Several kunyas are given for him, the most famous being Abū ʿUmāra (Khalīfa, al-Ṭabaqāt, 1/303; Muslim b. al-Ḥajjāj, 77; Abū Nuʿaym, 3/71; Ibn ʿAbd al-Barr, 1/155). Al-Barāʾ converted to Islam as a very young man before the Prophet’s migration to Medina (Ibn Saʿd, 4/367–368), his father h…


(2,065 words)

Author(s): Bahramian, Ali | Gholami, Rahim
al-Baqīʿ, also known as ‘Baqīʿ al-Gharqad’ is the oldest and most famous cemetery of the Islamic era in Medina. In more recent times it is popularly known as ‘Jannat al-Baqīʿ. According to lexicographers, the name of the cemetery indicates that prior to the advent of Islam, the field in which the burial-ground lay was originally covered with prickly shrubs, called al-gharqad—possibly ¶ the boxthorn or the nitre bush ( Nitraria retusa), and that the word baqīʿ indicates ‘a place in which are roots of various kinds of trees’ (Abū ʿUbayd, 1/265; Yāqūt, 1/703; about this n…

ʿAbd Allāh b. Rawāḥa

(718 words)

Author(s): Bahramian, Ali | Qasemi, Jawad
ʿAbd Allāh b. Rawāḥa (d. 8/629), a Companion of the Prophet. ʿAbd Allāh, with the kunya of Abū Muḥammad, Abū ʿAmr or Abū Rawāḥa, was one of the ¶ Helpers (Anṣār) (and was from the Banū al-Ḥārith branch of the Khazraj tribe (al-Wāqidī, 1/165, 2/439; Ibn ʿAbd al-Barr, 3/898; al-Dhahabī, 1/230–231; Ibn Ḥajar, Tahdhīb, 5/212). In addition to participating in the pledge of ʿAqaba (Ibn ʿAbd al-Barr, 3/898), he was also regarded as one of the twelve nuqabāʾ (leaders) among the Anṣār (Ibn Hishām, 2/86; al-Balādhurī, Ansāb, 1/244, 252; see also Ibn Abī al-ʿĀṣim, 3/397). After emigrating f…

ʿAmr b. al-ʿĀṣ

(5,656 words)

Author(s): Bahramian, Ali | Negahban, Farzin
ʿAmr b. al-ʿĀṣ, Abū ʿAbd Allāh (d. the eve of ʿĪd al-Fiṭr 43/6 January 664), was one of the most famous political figures of the first half of the first Islamic century. His kunya is also recorded as Abū Muḥammad. He was from the Banū Sahm branch of the Quraysh, hence his nisba al-Sahmī (al-Sadūsī, 87; Ibn al-Kalbī, Jamhara, 100, 104; al-Zubayrī, 400, 408–409; Ibn ʿAbd al-Barr, 3/1184). His father, al-ʿĀṣ b. Wāʾil, was considered an important member of the Quraysh and is mentioned in connection with certain events before the advent of Islam (Ibn Ḥabīb, al-Muḥabbar, 170; idem, al-Munammaq, 172…

ʿAbd Allāh b. Ubayy

(1,281 words)

Author(s): Bahramian, Ali | Negahban, Farzin
ʿAbd Allāh b. Ubayy, Abū Ḥubāb (d. Dhū al-Qaʿda 9/February 631), was a leading member of the tribe of Khazraj, from the town of Medina (Yathrib), who attained notoriety as a hypocrite ( munāfiq) after the advent of Islam. He was from the Banū Awf branch of the tribe of Khazraj (Ibn al-Kalbī, 1/414, 417). The name of his paternal grandmother, Salūl, usually appears after that of his father's in his lineage (Ibn Hishām, 2/89; Ibn Saʿd, 3/540; al-Balādhurī, Futūḥ, 92). Some time before the Prophet's migration ( hijra) to Medina, ʿAbd Allāh b. Ubayy was regarded as one of the leaders o…

Abū Salama al-Khallāl

(4,180 words)

Author(s): Bahramian, Ali | Umar, Suheyl
Abū Salama al-Khallāl, Ḥafṣ (or Aḥmad: Abū Hilāl, 2/98) b. Sulaymān (or Ḥafṣ b. Ghiyāth b. Sulaymān: al-Ṣābī, 129), known as Wazīr Āl Muḥammad (d. Rajab 132/February 750), was one of the major ʿAbbāsid missionaries ( dāʿīs) and ¶ played a significant part in the overthrow of the Umayyad caliphate. No details are known about Abū Salama's life prior to his association with ʿAbbāsid missionary activity. Some sources describe him as a client ( mawlā) of the Banū Sabīʿ, a branch of the Banū Hamdān (al-Balādhurī, 3/118; al-Ṭabarī, 7/418, 421; Ibn Khallikān, 2/195), while ot…


(4,397 words)

Author(s): Bahramian, Ali | Negahban, Farzin
Afshīn (d. Shaʿbān 226/June 841) was a famous Persian general during the reigns of the ʿAbbāsid caliphs al-Maʾmūn and al-Muʿtaṣim. In the majority of sources he is referred to by the name ‘Khaydhar’, and Abū Tammām mentions him by this name in a poem written immediately after his capture and death (2/198, 202; al-Ṭabarī, 9/11; Abū al-Faraj al-Iṣfahānī, 8/250; al-Masʿūdī, al-Tanbīh, 169). In other sources he is called Ḥaydar (Khalīfa b. Khayyāṭ, 2/787; al-Balādhurī, 211; al-Dīnawarī, 403). Certain later authors clearly marked the name as Khaydhar to preve…

ʿAbd Allāh b. Muṭīʿ

(1,264 words)

Author(s): Bahramian, Ali | Negahban, Farzin
ʿAbd Allāh b. Muṭīʿ (d. 73/692) was a famous supporter of ʿAbd Allāh b. al-Zubayr (q.v.), and for a while governed Kūfa as his representative. He was from the Banū ʿAdī branch of the Quraysh (Ibn al-Kalbī, 108; al-Balādhurī, 10/480; Ibn Qudāma al-Maqdisī, 436). His father, whose name was initially al-ʿĀṣ and then changed by ¶ the Prophet to Muṭīʿ, embraced Islam after the conquest of Mecca and died during the caliphate of ʿUthmān (Ibn Saʿd, 5/450; al-Balādhurī, 10/480; Ibn Ḥazm, 158). ʿAbd Allāh's uncle Masʿūd b. al-Aswad was one of the Prophet's Com…

ʿAdī b. Ḥātim

(4,036 words)

Author(s): Bahramian, Ali | Negahban, Farzin
ʿAdī b. Ḥātim, Abū al-Ṭarīf ʿAdī b. Ḥātim (d. ca. 67/686), was the son of Ḥātim al-Ṭāʾī and a well-known Companion of the Prophet and ʿAlī b. Abī Ṭālib. ¶ His genealogy is traced to the Banū Thuʿal branch of the Ṭayy (Ṭayyiʾ) clan (Ibn Saʿd, 6/22; Ibn Ḥazm, 402; for his lineage see al-Khaṭīb, 1/202; Abū Nuʿaym, 4/35). While some mention him with the kunya Abū Wahb (see Ibn ʿAsākir, 40/66; Ibn al-Athīr, 4/8), historical reports give him the kunya Abū al-Ṭarīf (see for example Naṣr b. Muzāḥim, 359; al-Yaʿqūbī, 2/228, 276; al-Ṭabarī, 6/63). ʿAdī b. Ḥātim plays a small part in the stories and…

Bashīr b. Saʿd

(696 words)

Author(s): Bahramian, Ali | Abbas, Najam
Bashīr b. Saʿd, Abū Nuʿmān (d. 12/633), a member of the Banū Mālik clan of Khazraj, was a Companion of the Prophet Muḥammad, from the Anṣār (the ‘Helpers’) (Ibn Hishām, 2/101; Khalīfa, 1/210–211; Ibn Haẓm, 363–364). Bashīr pledged allegiance to the Prophet at the second pledge of ʿAqaba along with a group from Yathrib (Medina) (Ibn Hishām, 2/101; al-Balādhurī, Ansāb, 1/244, Ibn ʿAbd al-Barr, 1/172). He took part in various battles, including Badr and Uḥud (Ibn Hishām, 2/368; Ibn ʿAbd al-Barr, 1/172; Ibn al-Athīr, 1/195). Bashīr b. Saʿd was despatched by the Prophet as leader of …

Akhbār al-Dawla al-ʿAbbāsiyya

(3,251 words)

Author(s): Bahramian, Ali | Umar, Suheyl
Akhbār al-Dawla al-ʿAbbāsiyya, the title given to an anonymous historical work in Arabic, probably written in the first half of the 4th/10th century, its importance is due to its unique accounts of the ʿAbbāsid daʿwa (propaganda or mission). Discovered in 1955 by Professor Ḥusayn Amīn (Daniel, ‘The Anonymous’, p. 419), ¶ it was edited by ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz al-Dūrī and ʿAbd al-Jabbār al-Muṭṭalibī and published in Beirut in 1971; it is undoubtedly one of the most significant extant early sources on the ʿAbbāsids. Its publication in 1971 shed light on m…

Abū Lahab

(1,179 words)

Author(s): Bahramian, Ali | Negahban, Farzin
Abū Lahab, ʿAbd al-ʿUzzā b. ʿAbd al-Muṭṭalib b. Hāshim b. ʿAbd Manāf (d. 2/623), was the Prophet Muḥammad's uncle and one of his staunchest opponents. He was originally named Abū ʿUtba, but his father changed his name to Abū Lahab (lit. ‘Father of Flame’) because of his beautiful face and rosy cheeks (al-Kalbī, 28; Ibn Saʿd, 1/93). His mother Lubnā was the daughter of Hājar bint ʿAbd Manāf, who belonged to the tribe of Khuzāʿa (al-Kalbī, 28; Ibn Saʿd, 1/93; Ibn Hishām, 1/115, 118). There is no precise information about Abū Lahab's life before the advent of Islam. He was probabl…

Abū ʿIkrima

(1,414 words)

Author(s): Bahramian, Ali | Lahouti, Hassan
Abū ʿIkrima, Ziyād b. Dirham (d. 107/725), was one of the earliest members of the ʿAbbāsid daʿwa, or mission, an important factor in the overthrow of the Umayyad dynasty. The author of Akhbār al-dawla al-ʿAbbāsiyya (p. 191) calls him al-Hamdānī, while al-Ṭabarī (7/49 quoting al-Madāʾinī), says he was one of the clients of the Banū Hamdān. But al-Balādhurī (ed. al-Maḥmūdī, 3/274; ed. al-Dūrī, 3/114), says he was known as a client of the Quraysh. He is also called Abū Muḥammad al-Ṣādiq and Māhān (al-Balādhurī, ed. al-Dūrī, 3/116; al-Ṭabarī, 6/562). In other sources he is given the laqab ‘al-…

Abū al-ʿAbbās al-Saffāḥ

(5,851 words)

Author(s): Bahramian, Ali | Bernjian, Farhoud
Abū al-ʿAbbās al-Saffāḥ, ʿAbd Allāh b. Muḥammad b. ʿAlī b. ʿAbd Allāh b. ʿAbbās b. ʿAbd al-Muṭṭalib (104–13 Dhū al-Ḥijja 136/722–9 June 754) was the first ʿAbbāsid caliph. An examination of the factors which led to the collapse of the Umayyad caliphate and an analysis of the general circumstances of that period are essential for an understanding of the personality, life and caliphate of Abū al-ʿAbbās al-Saffāḥ. Yet, despite the availability of substantial source material, the task of describing the precise conditions which…

Abū al-Jārūd

(2,324 words)

Author(s): Bahramian, Ali | Zand, Roxane
Abū al-Jārūd was an important politico-religious figure of the first half of the 2nd/8th century, who has been described as one of the companions of the Shiʿi imams Muḥammad al-Bāqir and Jaʿfar al-Ṣādiq and the founder of the Jārūdiyya sect. Out of the unusually large volume of sources that contain references to him, only a handful can be considered useful, as evidence of his personality or providing an account of his life, and the confusion of him with other individuals has only served to further obscure his persona. In the majority of sources, his name ap-pears as Ziyād b. Mundhi…

Bukayr b. Māhān

(3,142 words)

Author(s): Bahramian, Ali | Gholami, Rahim
, Abū Hāshim (d. 126/744), a great dāʿī of the Shiʿi anti-Umayyad movement. The Shiʿi anti-Umayyad daʿwa was led by a network of individuals who worked in secrecy, therefore accounts about this organisation and about the person of Bukayr b. Māhān, who until his death was its most prominent dāʿī, are shrouded in obscurity. Al-Ṭabarī, who probably took his account from Abū al-Ḥasan al-Madāʾinī, provides scant but significant information about this period of the daʿwa up to the death of Bukayr (e.g. see 7/49–50). Other authors and historians of the 3rd/9th century, such …

Abū Ṭālib (ʿImrān) b. ʿAbd al-Muṭṭalib

(3,566 words)

Author(s): Bahramian, Ali | Negahban, Farzin
Abū Ṭālib (ʿImrān) b. ʿAbd al-Muṭṭalib (d. ten years after the advent of Islam, December 619 or January 620) was the father of Imam ʿAlī and the paternal uncle of the Prophet Muḥammad. He was a defender of the Prophet in the early years following the advent of the prophetic mission ( biʿtha). Most of what the extant narratives say about Abū Ṭālib's life has been a constant subject of debate and controversy. A major part of the dispute arises from the fact that Abū Ṭālib, as the father of ʿAlī and as the great forefather of all the Ṭālibids, was gi…
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