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Abū Ḥanīfa

(13,741 words)

Author(s): Pakatchi, Ahmad | Umar, Suheyl
Abū Ḥanīfa, al-Nuʿmān b. Thābit (80–150/699–767), renowned Kūfan jurist ( faqīh), theologian ( mutakallim) and eponymous founder of the Ḥanafiyya, one of the four Sunni schools of jurisprudence. The followers of his school refer to him as al-Imām al-aʿẓam (the greatest imam) and Sirāj al-aʾimma (lamp of the imams). Abū Ḥanīfa's background The sources agree that he was born into a Muslim family in Kūfa, but disagree about the conversion of his forefathers to ¶ Islam. According to the earliest sources, including Abū Ḥanīfa's biography, his family was in a client relation…

Abū ʿAmmār

(1,215 words)

Author(s): Pakatchi, Ahmad | Negahban, Farzin
Abū ʿAmmār, ʿAbd al-Kāfī b. Abī Yaʿqūb Yūsuf b. Ismāʿīl b. Yūsuf b. Muḥammad al-Tanāwatī (d. before 570/1175), ¶ was an Ibāḍī-Wahbī theologian and jurist from Warjlān (Wargla). The date of his death is not specified in the sources, but given that he was a pupil of Abū Zakariyyāʾ al-Warjalānī (al-Darjīnī, 2/489), who died towards the end of the 5th/early 12th century, and that Abū Yaʿqūb al-Warjalānī (d. 570/1175) also referred to his death in a l-Dalīl wa al-burhān (1/63), Abū ʿAmmār must have died sometime in the middle of the 6th/12th century. Abū ʿAmmār's lineage goes back to the Ber…


(1,444 words)

Author(s): Pakatchi, Ahmad | Asatryan, Mushegh
al-Bazanṭī, Abū Jaʿfar Aḥmad b. Muḥammad b. Abī Naṣr (152–221/769–836), an early Kūfan Imāmī scholar, a companion of Mūsā al-Kāẓim, ʿAlī al-Riḍā, and Muḥammad al-Jawād al-Taqī, respectively 7th, 8th and 9th in the line of Twelver Shiʿi Imams. It is reported that his family were clients of the al-Sakūn tribe, and it seems that they were held in high regard by the Imāmīs of Kūfa, including prominent individuals such as al-Bazanṭī’s cousin Ismāʿīl b. Mihrān (al-Ṭūsī, al-Fihrist, 43; idem, al-Ghayba, 71; al-Najāshī, 26, 75, 290; cf. al-Kashshī, 589). According to extant rijālī sources, al…

Abū Saʿīd al-Kadumī

(1,592 words)

Author(s): Pakatchi, Ahmad | Gholami, Rahim
Abū Saʿīd al-Kadumī, Muḥammad b. Saʿīd b. Muḥammad, was an Ibāḍī scholar in Oman during the 4th/10th century. His ¶ name is derived from Kadum, a region in the north of the province of Bahlā, and his native village was al-ʿĀriḍ, where his tomb is now found (Abū Saʿīd, al-Istiqāma, 2/99; al-ʿIbrī, 3). He lived in Nizwā for some time, and had relatives living there as well (al-Kindī, Muḥammad, 5/253). None of the extant accounts say when he was born or when he died. However, from information on his relations with Saʿīd b. ʿAbd Allāh b. Muḥammad …

ʿAbd al-Ghanī al-Maqdisī

(2,018 words)

Author(s): Pakatchi, Ahmad | Gholami, Rahim
ʿAbd al-Ghanī al-Maqdisī, Taqī al-Dīn Abū Muḥammad b. ʿAbd al-Wāḥid b. ʿAlī (c. 541–600/1146–1204), was a Ḥanbalī muḥaddith (traditionist) and faqīh (jurist). He was born in Jammāʿīl near Nablus (al-Dhahabī, Siyar, 21/444), but moved with his family to Damascus when very young, where he was brought up and where he spent the rest of his life. As was the custom with muḥaddithūn, after starting his study of ḥadīths in Damascus, ʿAbd al-Ghanī undertook a series of journeys to expand his learning, and left Damascus on many occasions in order to hear ḥadīths. His first trip to Baghdad was i…

Abū Jaʿfar Yazīd b. al-Qaʿqāʿ

(1,975 words)

Author(s): Pakatchi, Ahmad | Qasemi, Jawad
Abū Jaʿfar Yazīd b. al-Qaʿqāʿ (d. 130/748), was one of the tābiʿūn (the generation after the Companions of the Prophet), and one of the ‘Ten Readers’ ¶ ( al-qurrāʾ al-ʿashara), deemed authoritative in the science of qirāʾa (reading/recitation). According to unidentified reports in the later sources, he was also referred to as Jundab b. Fīrūz and Fīrūz b. al-Qaʿqāʿ (Ibn Khallikān, 6/274; al-Mizzī, 21/173). He was manumitted by ʿAbd Allāh b. ʿAyyāsh b. Abī Rabīʿa al-Makhzūmī (Ibn Saʿd, 151; Khalīfa, al- Ṭabaqāt, 2/654), and seems to have been of Arab origin. The sources yield little abo…

ʿAṭāʾ al-Khurāsānī

(1,408 words)

Author(s): Pakatchi, Ahmad | Negahban, Farzin
ʿAṭāʾ al-Khurāsānī (50–135/670–752) was a Persian jurist ( faqīh) and exegete ( mufassir) of the Qurʾān as well as a ‘follower of the Followers’ ( tābiʿ al-tābiʿīn). The name and kunya of his father have been recorded in different ways, the best known of which is Abū Muslim. While most sources state that he was from Balkh (Aḥmad b. Ḥanbal, 3/148; al-Bukhārī, al-Taʾrīkh, 6/474; Ibn Abī Ḥātim, 3(1)/334), Jūzjān is also mentioned as his place of origin (Aḥmad b. Ḥanbal, 3/365; cf. al-Khaṭīb, 1/154). He was a Persian and originally a client ( mawlā) of al-Muhallab b. Abī Ṣufrā (al-Bukhārī, al-Taʾr…


(3,568 words)

Author(s): Pakatchi, Ahmad | Qasemi, Jawad
Aḥmad, one of the most distinguished names for the Prophet, which also appears in the Qurʾān. Grammatically, it is the elative form derived from the trilateral root ḥ-m-d, and is understood as the comparative or superlative of either the passive maḥmūd, meaning ‘more worthy, most wor-¶ thy of praise’, or the active ḥāmid, meaning ‘praising to a higher or the highest degree’ (for a further discussion of the elative in Arabic grammar see Girod, passim). Although the latter meaning is considered preferable according to the rules of Arabic morphology…

Abū al-Mufaḍḍal al-Shaybānī

(2,122 words)

Author(s): Pakatchi, Ahmad | Qasemi, Jawad
Abū al-Mufaḍḍal al-Shaybānī, Muḥammad b. ʿAbd Allāh b. Muḥammad b. ʿUbayd Allāh (297–387/910–997), was a Shiʿi traditionist from Iraq. In the sources his lineage is traced back to Dhuhl b. Shaybān (al-Najāshī, 396; al-Khaṭīb, 1/466–467). He was originally from Kūfa (al-Najāshī, 396; al-Khaṭīb, 1/466–467) but went to Baghdad before he was seven years old (al-Ṭūsī, al-Amālī, 2/221). According to his own account, he first attended a formal session of ‘hearing’ ( istimāʿ) the narration of Prophetic traditions in 306/918 (al-Khaṭīb, 5/468; al-Ṭūsī, al-Amālī, 2/124); and until at l…


(3,125 words)

Author(s): Pakatchi, Ahmad | Negahban, Farzin
Al-Aʿmash, Abū Muḥammad Sulaymān b. Mihrān al-Asadī (60–148/680–765), was a prominent Kūfan traditionist of Persian extraction. Al-Aʿmash’s family came from Dabāśwand (Danbāwand, Damāwand) in Ṭabaristān. According to some reports he was born in Dabāwand, while others have stated that his father migrated to Iraq and that al-Aʿmash was born in Kūfa. His father, Mihrān, is said to have been taken prisoner following the battles in the north of Persia: after his arrival in Iraq, he was granted freedom by one of the …

Abū ʿAmr b. al-ʿAlāʾ

(3,460 words)

Author(s): Pakatchi, Ahmad | Teimuri, Fatemeh
Abū ʿAmr b. al-ʿAlāʾ, Zabbān b. al-ʿAlāʾ b. ʿAmmār b. ʿUryān (68–154/687–771), was one of the ‘seven readers’ ( al-qurrāʾ al-sabʿa), a man of letters and a chronicler, who came from Baṣra. His name is given in more than twenty versions due to discrepancies in the sources and to misspellings (al-Andarābī, 84; al-Suyūṭī, 2/418). According to reliable sources, he was descended from the tribe of Māzin (Ibn Mujāhid, 80, 81). It is also said that of the ‘seven readers’, only Abū ʿAmr b. al-ʿAlāʾ and Ibn Mujāhid had Arab …

Abū Khālid al-Wāsiṭī

(4,111 words)

Author(s): Pakatchi, Ahmad | Negahban, Farzin
Abū Khālid al-Wāsiṭī, ʿAmr b. Khālid al-Qurashī (d. after 145/762) was one of Zayd b. ʿAlī's closest companions as ¶ well as the compiler of the oldest compendia of Zaydī jurisprudence and Prophetic traditions. His family were among the first inhabitants of Wāsiṭ, a town that was founded no later than 83/702. He himself took up residence in Kūfa in a house near the Simāk mosque (al-Kashshī, 232). His connection with the tribe of Quraysh came about through being a mawlā (client) of the Banū Hāshim clan (al-Bukhārī, al-Taʾrīkh, 3(2)/328; Ibn Abī al-Rijāl, 3/fol. 97a). The attribution…

Āyāt al-aḥkām

(1,796 words)

Author(s): Pakatchi, Ahmad | Harris, Russell
Āyāt al-aḥkām: ‘verses of the rules’, is a phrase applied those verses of the Qurʾān from which legal rulings are derived. It was well known amongst later jurists that the number of āyāt al-aḥkām is five hundred (e.g. see al-ʿAllāma al-Ḥillī, 242; al-Miqdād al-Suyūrī, 1/5); when the jurists refer to ‘the Book’ as their foremost evidence and legal support regarding legislation they are referring to these verses. The difference between āyāt al-aḥkām and the other transmitted proofs is that they are deemed to be of definitive provenance ( qaṭʿiyat al-ṣudūr), but the literal meaning of …

Abū al-Ḥasan al-Bisyawī

(1,472 words)

Author(s): Pakatchi, Ahmad | Rezaee, Maryam
Abū al-Ḥasan al-Bisyawī, ʿAlī b. Muḥammad b. ʿAlī, was an Ibāḍī scholar who lived in the 4th/10th century in Oman. His nisba ‘al-Bisyāwī’ or ‘al-Bisyānī’ refers to Bisyā, one of the regions of Bahlā in Oman (al-ʿIbrī, 3). Neither the date of his birth nor the date of his death is given in the sources. However, it can be reckoned that he was born in the second quarter of the 4th/10th century, and that he died in the first quarter of the 5th/11th century. His father, Muḥammad b. ʿAlī, was also a learned man and Abū al-Ḥasan probably got his first taste of knowledge from him (Abū al-Ḥasan, Mukhtaṣar, 347…

ʿAbd Allāh b. ʿUmar

(3,017 words)

Author(s): Pakatchi, Ahmad | Lahouti, Hassan
ʿAbd Allāh b. ʿUmar, Abū ʿAbd al-Raḥmān (ca. 11 before hijra–73/611–692), was a son of ʿUmar b. al-Khaṭṭāb, and a famous Companion of the Prophet. He embraced Islam as a child and was 10 years old, or perhaps younger, when he accompanied his father on the hijra to Medina. He was 15 when he took part in the battle of Khandaq (‘the Trench’). From then on he was present at important events, such as the battle of Muʾta, the Bayʿat al-riḍwān (‘the oath of good pleasure’, see Q 48:18) and the conquest of Mecca (al-Wāqidī, 2/453, 488 et passim; Ibn Saʿd, 4/142–143; Ibn ʿAbd al-Bar…

Abū al-Ṣalāḥ al-Ḥalabī

(3,455 words)

Author(s): Pakatchi, Ahmad | Umar, Suheyl
Abū al-Ṣalāḥ al-Ḥalabī, al-Taqī b. Najm b. ʿUbayd Allāh (374–447/984–1055), was a Shiʿi faqīh (jurist) and mutakallim (theologian) from al-Shām. He was born in Aleppo (Ḥalab) and he seems to have received his education there. According to Ibn Abī Ṭayy, he made three journeys to Iraq and studied under the scholars of that land. However, since he makes no mention of the presence of al-Shaykh al-Mufīd, one may conclude that his travels took place after al-Shaykh al-Mufīd's death in 413/1022 (see al-Dhahabī, 11/404). According to al-Ṭūsī ( Rijāl, 457) Abū al-Ṣalāḥ went to Baghdad to s…

ʿAbd al-Raḥmān b. Mahdī

(1,348 words)

Author(s): Pakatchi, Ahmad | Lahouti, Hassan
ʿAbd al-Raḥmān b. Mahdī, Abū Saʿīd al-ʿAnbarī (135–198/752–814), was a muḥaddith (traditionist) and faqīh (jurist) from Baṣra. From his early youth he studied ¶ ḥadīth under such great scholars as Ḥammād b. Zayd, Ḥammād b. Salama, Sufyān al-Thawrī and Shuʿba b. al-Ḥajjāj, both in his hometown of Baṣra and in Kūfa. He then went to the Ḥijāz, and during a period in Medina he learnt from the great masters ( shaykhs) of that region such as ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz b. al-Mājishūn and attended the circle of Mālik b. Anas for a while. He also had scholarly dialogues and exchanges o…

Dahr (in the Qurʾān)

(1,670 words)

Author(s): Pakatchi, Ahmad | Esots, Janis
a conception of ‘time’, which survives from the pre-Islamic period; both the Qurʾān and the ḥadīth criticise religious faith in dahr, conceived as a kind of cosmic force or inevitable fatality. The verbal noun of its triliteral root d-h-r in Arabic refers to descending or falling, in a pejorative sense (although it is not used in this sense in the Qurʾān). The passive participle, madhūr, means ‘calamity-stricken’ or ‘afflicted by a disaster’. The primary meaning of the word dahr as it occurs in the Qurʾān (Q 76:1, ‘Hath there come upon man any period of time in which he w…

ʿAbd Allāh b. al-Kawwāʾ

(2,046 words)

Author(s): Pakatchi, Ahmad | Gholami, Rahim
ʿAbd Allāh b. al-Kawwāʾ, Abū ʿAmr (d. after 44/664) was a prominent leader of the Khārijīs during the formative stage of the Khārijī movement. Al-Kawwāʾ (which means a cowardly or weak-hearted person) was the laqab or title of his father ʿAmr b. Nuʿmān, who was a genealogist, a skill inherited from his forefathers, and which he then handed down to his descendants, the Banū Kawwāʾ (al-Jāḥiẓ, 1/185; Ibn al-Nadīm, 102). ʿAbd Allāh b. al-Kawwāʾ was himself a Kūfan, from the Banū Yashkur, a branch of the tribe of Bakr b. Wāʾil (Ibn a…

ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz b. Abī Rawwād

(1,556 words)

Author(s): Pakatchi, Ahmad | Gholami, Rahim
ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz b. Abī Rawwād, Abū ʿAbd al-Raḥmān (d. 159/776), a famous Meccan scholar in the fields of ḥadīth and ethics ( akhlāq). His father's name is recorded as ‘Maymūn’ or ‘Ayman’. He was a client ( mawlā) of Mughīra b. al-Muhallab, one of the Azdī notables of the Umayyad period. ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz grew up in a family of traditionists and in addition to his father, other members of his clan were eager to acquire knowledge (Ibn Saʿd, 5/493; Ibn Zabr, 159; Ibn Mākūlā, 4/105). Taking into consideration what is said about his lifespan …
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