Encyclopaedia of Islam

The Encyclopaedia of Islam (EI) is an encyclopaedia of the academic discipline of Islamic studies published by Brill. It is considered to be the standard reference work in the field of Islamic studies.[1] The first edition was published in 1913–1938, the second in 1954–2005, and the third was begun in 2007.

Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition


According to Brill, the EI includes "articles on distinguished Muslims of every age and land, on tribes and dynasties, on the crafts and sciences, on political and religious institutions, on the geography, ethnography, flora and fauna of the various countries and on the history, topography and monuments of the major towns and cities. In its geographical and historical scope it encompasses the old Arabo-Islamic empire, the Islamic countries of Iran, Central Asia, the Indian sub-continent and Indonesia, the Ottoman Empire and all other Islamic countries".[2]


EI is considered to be the standard reference work in the field of Islamic studies.[1] Each article was written by a recognized specialist on the relevant topic. However, unsurprisingly for a work spanning 40 years until completion, not every one of them reflects recent research.

The most important, authoritative reference work in English on Islam and Islamic subjects. Includes long, signed articles, with bibliographies. Special emphasis is given in this (EI2) edition to economic and social topics, but it remains the standard encyclopedic reference on the Islamic religion in English.[3]

The most important and comprehensive reference tool for Islamic studies is the Encyclopaedia of Islam, an immense effort to deal with every aspect of Islamic civilization, conceived in the widest sense, from its origins down to the present day... EI is no anonymous digest of received wisdom. Most of the articles are signed, and while some are hardly more than dictionary entries, others are true research pieces – in many cases the best available treatment of their subject.[4]

This reference work is of fundamental importance on topics dealing with the geography, ethnography and biography of Muslim peoples.[5]


The first edition (EI1) was modeled on the Pauly-Wissowa Encyclopaedia of the Ancient World. EI1 was created under the aegis of the International Union of Academies, and coordinated by Leiden University. It was published by Brill in four volumes plus supplement from 1913 to 1938 in English, German, and French editions.

An abridged version was published in 1953 as the Shorter Encyclopaedia of Islam (SEI), covering mainly law and religion. Excerpts of the SEI have been translated and published in Turkish, Arabic, and Urdu.

The second edition of Encyclopaedia of Islam (EI2) was begun in 1954 and completed in 2005 (several indexes to be published until 2007); it is published by the Dutch company Brill and is available in English and French. Since 1999, (EI2) has been available in electronic form, in both CD-ROM and web-accessible versions. Besides a great expansion in content, the second edition of EI differs from the first mainly in incorporating the work of scholars of Muslim and Middle Eastern background among its many hundreds of contributors:

EI1 and SEI were produced almost entirely by European scholars, and they represent a specifically European interpretation of Islamic civilization. The point is not that this interpretation is "wrong", but that the questions addressed in these volumes often differ sharply from those which Muslims have traditionally asked about themselves. EI2 is a somewhat different matter. It began in much the same way as its predecessor, but a growing proportion of the articles now come from scholars of Muslim background. The persons do not represent the traditional learning of Qom and al-Azhar, to be sure; they have been trained in Western-style universities, and they share the methodology if not always the cultural values and attitudes of their Western colleagues. Even so, the change in tone is perceptible and significant.[4]

Publication of the Third Edition of EI (EI3) started in 2007. It is available online, printed "Parts" appearing four times per year. The editorial team consists of twenty 'Sectional Editors' and five 'Executive Editors' (i.e. editors-in-chief). The Executive Editors are Kate Fleet, Gudrun Krämer (Free University, Berlin), Everett Rowson (New York University), John Nawas (Catholic University of Leuven), and Denis Matringe (EHESS, CNRS). The scope of EI3 includes comprehensive coverage of Islam in the twentieth century; expansion of geographical focus to include all areas where Islam has been or is a prominent or dominant aspect of society; attention to Muslim minorities all over the world; and full attention to social science as well as humanistic perspectives.[6][7]

1st edition, EI1

  • M. Th. Houtsma; et al. (eds.). The Encyclopædia of Islam: A Dictionary of the Geography, Ethnography and Biography of the Muhammadan Peoples. Leiden: E.J. Brill. 1913–38. 4 vols. and Suppl.
    • Vol.1. A–D, M. Th. Houtsma, T. W. Arnold, R. Basset eds., 1913.
    • Vol.2. E–K, M. Th. Houtsma, A. J. Wensinck, T. W. Arnold eds., 1927.
    • Vol.3. L–R, M. Th. Houtsma, A. J. Wensinck, E. Levi-Provençal eds., 1934.
    • Vol.4. S–Z, M. Th. Houtsma, A. J. Wensinck, H. A. R. Gibb, eds., 1936.
      • Reprint S, T-Z, Supplement
      • Suppl. No.1. Ab-Djughrafiya, 1934.
      • Suppl. No.2. Djughrafiya-Kassala, 1936.
      • Suppl. No.3. Kassala-Musha'sha', 1937.
      • Suppl. No.4. Musha'sha'-Taghlib, 1937.
      • Suppl. No.5. Taghlib-Ziryab, 1938.
  • M. Th. Houtsma, R. Basset et T. W. Arnold, eds., Encyclopédie de l'Islam: Dictionnaire géographique, ethnographique et biographique des peuples musulmans. Publié avec le concours des principaux orientalistes, 4 vols. avec Suppl., Leyde: Brill et Paris: Picard, 1913–1938. (French)
  • M. Th. Houtsma, R. Basset und T. W. Arnold, herausgegeben von, Enzyklopaedie des Islām : Geographisches, ethnographisches und biographisches Wörterbuch der muhammedanischen Völker, 5 vols., Leiden: Brill und Leipzig : O. Harrassowitz, 1913–1938. (German) – vol. 1, vol. 3, vol. 4
  • M. Th. Houtsma et al., eds., E.J. Brill's first encyclopaedia of Islam, 1913–1936, Leiden: E. J. Brill, 8 vols. with Supplement (vol. 9), 1993. ISBN 90-04-09796-1


  • H. A. R. Gibb and J. H. Kramers eds. on behalf of the Royal Netherlands Academy, Shorter Encyclopäedia of Islam, Leiden: Brill, 1953. ISBN 90-04-00681-8
  • M. Th. Houtsma et al. eds., İslâm Ansiklopedisi : İslâm âlemi coğrafya, etnografya ve biyografya lûgati, 13 in 15 vols., İstanbul: Maarif Matbaası, 1940–1988. (Turkish)
  • أحمد الشنتناوي، إبراهيم زكي خورشيد، عبد الحميد يونس، دائرة المعارف الإسلامية: اصدر بالألمانية والإنجليزية والفرنسية واعتمد في الترجمة العربية على الأصلين الإنجليزي والفرنسي، الطبعة ٢، القاهرة: دار الشعب، -۱۹٦۹‎ (Arabic)
  • محمود ‌الحسن عارف، مختصر اردو دائرۀ معارف اسلامیه، لاهور: دانشگاه پنجاب، ۲۵ ج.ها، ۱۹۵۹-۱۹۹۳‎ (Urdu)

2nd edition, EI2

Encyclopaedia of Islam (2nd ed.)
  • Edited by P. J. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C. E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W. P. Heinrichs et al., Encyclopædia of Islam, 2nd Edition., 12 vols. with indexes, etc., Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1960–2005
    • Vol. 1, A – l–B, Edited by an Editorial Committee Consisting of H. A. R. Gibb, J. H. Kramers, E. Lévi-Provençal, J. Schacht, Assisted by S. M. Stern (pp. 1–320); – B. Lewis, Ch. Pellat and J. Schacht, Assisted by C. Dumont and R. M. Savory (pp. 321–1359). 1960. ISBN 90-04-08114-3
    • Vol. 2, C–G, Edited by B. Lewis, Ch. Pellat and J. Schacht. Assisted by J. Burton-Page, C. Dumont and V.L. Ménage., 1965. ISBN 90-04-07026-5
    • Vol. 3, H–Iram Edited by B. Lewis, V.L. Ménage, Ch. Pellat and J. Schacht, Assisted by C. Dumont, E. van Donzel and G.R. Hawting eds., 1971. ISBN 90-04-08118-6
    • Vol. 4, Iran–Kha, Edited by E. van Donzel, B. Lewis and Ch. Pellat, Assisted by C. Dumont, G.R. Hawting and M. Paterson (pp. 1–256); – C. E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, B. Lewis and Ch. Pellat, Assisted by C. Dumont and M. Paterson (pp. 257–768); – Assisted by F. Th. Dijkema, M., 1978. ISBN 90-04-05745-5
    • Vol. 5, Khe–Mahi, Edited by C. E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, B. Lewis and Ch. Pellat, Assisted by F.Th. Dijkema and S. Nurit., 1986. ISBN 90-04-07819-3
    • Vol. 6, Mahk–Mid, Edited by C. E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel and Ch. Pellat, Assisted by F.Th. Dijkema and S. Nurit. With B. Lewis (pp. 1–512) and W.P. Heinrichs (pp. 513–1044)., 1991. ISBN 90-04-08112-7
    • Vol. 7, Mif–Naz, Edited by C. E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs and Ch. Pellat, Assisted by F.Th. Dijkema (pp. 1–384), P. J. Bearman (pp. 385–1058) and Mme S. Nurit, 1993. ISBN 90-04-09419-9
    • Vol. 8, Ned–Sam, Edited by C. E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W. P. Heinrichs and G. Lecomte, Assisted by P.J. Bearman and Mme S. Nurit., 1995. ISBN 90-04-09834-8
    • Vol. 9, San–Sze, Edited by C. E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W. P. Heinrichs and the late G. Lecomte, 1997. ISBN 90-04-10422-4
    • Vol. 10, Tā'–U[..], Edited by P. J. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C. E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel and W. P. Heinrichs, 2000. ISBN 90-04-11211-1
    • Vol. 11, V–Z, Edited by P. J. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C. E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel and W. P. Heinrichs, 2002. ISBN 90-04-12756-9
    • Vol. 12, Supplement, Edited by P. J. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel and W. P. Heinrichs, 2004. ISBN 90-04-13974-5
    • Glossary and index of terms to v. 1–9, 1999. ISBN 90-04-11635-4
    • Index of proper names v. 1–10, 2002. ISBN 90-04-12107-2
    • Index of subjects, fasc. 1, compiled by P. J. Bearman, 2005. ISBN 90-04-14361-0
    • Glossary and index of terms to v. 1–12, 2006. ISBN 90-04-15610-0
    • An Historical Atlas of Islam, ed., William C. Brice, 1981. ISBN 90-04-06116-9
  • E. van Donzel, Islamic desk reference: compiled from The Encyclopaedia of Islam, Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1994. ISBN 90-04-09738-4 (an abridged selection)

3rd edition, EI3

  • Edited by Kate Fleet, Gudrun Krämer, Denis Matringe, John Nawas and Everett Rowson, Encyclopædia of Islam, 3rd Edition., available online, printed "Parts" appearing four times per year, Leiden: E. J. Brill, 2007–. ISSN 1873-9830

Urdu translation

The Urdu Encyclopaedia of Islam is the project of translating the Encyclpedia of Islam into Urdu. It was started in the 1950s at University of the Punjab, as a project led by Muhammad Shafi.[8] The editorial board worked on translating the Leiden Encyclopaedia into Urdu, amending, correcting, and adding to the Leiden text themselves.[9] The original plan for publication, as laid out by Shafi and others, was for the Encyclopaedia (which was to be entitled Urdu Da’ira Ma’arif-i-Islamiya) to span between 20 and 22 volumes, with roughly a hundred illustrations per volume, published at a rate of four volumes per year.[10] At the time of Shafi's death in 1963, one volume of the encyclopaedia had been published (in February 1954), and a second volume was in press.[9][11] Because of Shafi's death, and lack of funding, work on the Encyclopaedia stalled until 1971, when a grant from the Asia Foundation enabled it to resume.[12] Volumes 10 and 12 were completed by 1973.[13] By 1985, 21 out of a planned 25 volumes had been published.[14]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Encyclopaedia of Islam". Brill Publishers. Retrieved 2016-01-11. It is the standard international reference for all fields of 'Islam' (Es ist das internationale Standardwerk für alle Bereiche 'des Islams'. Martin Greskowiak, Orientalistische Literaturzeitung, 1990).
  2. ^ "Encyclopaedia of Islam". Brill Publishers. Retrieved 2016-01-11.
  3. ^ "Yale University Library Research Guide: Islam". Yale University. Archived from the original on August 16, 2007. Retrieved 2008-04-02.
  4. ^ a b Humphreys, R. Stephen (1991). Islamic History: A Framework for Inquiry. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. p. 4. ISBN 0-691-00856-6.
  5. ^ Elton L. Daniel, "Encyclopedia of Islam" in Encyclopaedia Iranica
  6. ^ "Encyclopaedia of Islam Three". Brill Publishers. Retrieved 2008-04-02. Serial. ISSN 1873-9830.
  7. ^ "IE3 Preview" (PDF). Brill Publishers. Spring 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 11, 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-02.
  8. ^ Abdur Rauf (1975). "The Urdu Encyclopaedia of Islam". Islamic culture & civilization in Pakistan. Ferozsons. p. 139. Shigeo Minowa and Amadio Antonio Arboleda, ed. (1973). "Urdu Encyclopaedia of Islam". Scholarly publishing in Asia: proceedings. University of Tokyo Press. pp. 70 et seq."Encyclopaedia of Islam Pakistan's Venture". Asia: Asian quarterly of culture and synthesis. 4. Imprimerie d'Extrême-Orient. 1954. p. 633. "Department of Urdu Encyclopaedia of Islam at the University of the Punjab".
  9. ^ a b Islamic studies. 2. Central Institute of Islamic Research (Pakistan). 1963. p. 141.
  10. ^ UNESCO bulletin for libraries. 8. United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. 1954. p. 62.
  11. ^ Journal of the Pakistan Historical Society. 11–12. Pakistan Historical Society. 1963. p. 264.
  12. ^ Islamic Culture Board (1971). "Urdu Encyclopaedia of Islam". Islamic Culture: The Hyderabad Quarterly Review. 36. Deccan. p. 79.
  13. ^ Year Book. Pakistan Education Division. 1973. p. 22.
  14. ^ World Muslim Conference (1985). "Urdu Encyclopaedia of Islam". The Muslim World. 23. Motamar al-Alam al-Islami; World Muslim Congress. p. 32.

External links

Abu Mansur al-Maturidi

Abū Manṣūr Muḥammad b. Muḥammad b. Maḥmūd al-Samarḳandī (853–944 CE; Arabic: أبو منصور محمد بن محمد بن محمود الماتریدي السمرقندي الحنفي‎), often referred to as Abū Manṣūr al-Māturīdī for short, or reverently as Imam Māturīdī by Sunni Muslims, was a Sunni Hanafi jurist, theologian, and scriptural exegete from ninth-century Samarkand who became the eponymous codifier of one of the principal orthodox schools of Sunni theology, the Maturidi school, which became the dominant theological school for Sunni Muslims in Central Asia and later enjoyed a preeminent status as the school of choice for both the Ottoman Empire and the Mughal Empire.In contrast to Ashʿarī (d. 936), the founder of one of the other major orthodox Sunni theological schools, Maturidi adhered to the doctrine of Abū Ḥanīfa (d. 772) as transmitted and elaborated by the Hanafi theologians of Balkh and Transoxania. It was this theology which Maturidi systematized and used to refute not only the opinions of the Mutazilites, the Karrāmites, and other heterodox groups, but also non-Muslim theologies such as those of Chalcedonian Christianity, Miaphysitism, Manichaeanism, Marcionism, and Bardaisanism.

Ali Hujwiri

Abu ’l-Ḥasan ʿAlī b. ʿUthmān b. ʿAlī al-Ghaznawī al-Jullābī al-Hujwīrī (c. 1009-1072/77), known as ʿAlī al-Hujwīrī or al-Hujwīrī (also spelt Hajweri, Hajveri, or Hajvery) for short, or reverentially as Shaykh Syed ʿAlī al-Hujwīrī or as Dātā Ganj Bakhsh by Muslims of the Indian subcontinent, was an 11th-century Ghaznian-Persian Sunni Muslim mystic, theologian, and preacher who became famous for composing the Kashf al-maḥjūb (Unveiling of the Hidden), which is considered the "earliest formal treatise" on Sufism in Persian. Ali Hujwiri is believed to have contributed "significantly" to the spread of Islam in South Asia through his preaching, with one historian describing him as "one of the most important figures to have spread Islam in the Indian subcontinent."In the present day, Ali Hujwiri is venerated as the patron saint of Lahore, Pakistan by the traditional Sunni Muslims of the area. He is, moreover, one of the most widely venerated saints in the entire Indian subcontinent, and his tomb-shrine in Lahore, popularly known as Data Darbar, is one of the most frequented shrines in South Asia. At present, it is Pakistan's largest shrine "in numbers of annual visitors and in the size of the shrine complex," and, having been nationalized in 1960, is managed today by the Department of Awqaf and Religious Affairs of the Punjab. The mystic himself, meanwhile, continues to remain a "household name" in the daily Islam of both India and Pakistan. In 2016, the Government of Pakistan declared 21 November to be a public holiday for the commemoration of the commencement of Ali Hujwiri's three-day death anniversary.

Charles Pellat

Charles Pellat (28 September 1914 – 28 October 1992) was a French Arabist. He was a member of the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, and an editor of the Encyclopaedia of Islam.

Dhul-Nun al-Misri

Dhūl-Nūn Abū l-Fayḍ Thawbān b. Ibrāhīm al-Miṣrī (Arabic: ذو النون المصري‎; d. Giza, in 245/859 or 248/862), often referred to as Dhūl-Nūn al-Miṣrī or Zūl-Nūn al-Miṣrī for short, was an early Egyptian Muslim mystic and ascetic of Nubian origin. Born in Upper Egypt in 796, Dhul-Nun is said to have made some study of the scholastic disciplines of alchemy, medicine, and Greek philosophy in his early life, before coming under the mentorship of the mystic Saʿdūn of Cairo, who is described in traditional accounts of Dhul-Nun's life as both "his teacher and spiritual director." Celebrated for his legendary wisdom both in his own life and by later Islamic thinkers, Dhul-Nun has been venerated in traditional Sunni Islam as one of the greatest saints of the early era of Sufism.

Emeri Johannes van Donzel

Emeri Johannes van Donzel (Nieuwstadt, 5 July 1925 − Wassenaar, 29 October 2017) was a Dutch historian of the Middle East, with particular interests in Ethiopia and the interaction between the Islamic world and Christianity.He served as director of The Netherlands Institute for the Near East, and editor-in-chief of the Encyclopaedia of Islam. He received the Akademiepenning of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, an honorary doctorate from the University of Hamburg, and the medal of an Officer in the Order of Oranje-Nassau.


Enderûn (Ottoman Turkish: اندرون‎, from Persian andarûn, "inside") was the term used in the Ottoman Empire to designate the "Interior Service" of the Imperial Court, concerned with the private service of the Ottoman Sultans, as opposed to the state-administrative "Exterior Service" (Birûn). Its name derives from the location of the Sultan's apartments in the inner courts of the Topkapi Palace; its head was the Kapi Agha.The Inner Service was divided into four departments. In descending order of importance, these were the Privy Chamber (Hass Oda), the Treasury (Hazine), the Privy Larder (Kilar-ı Hass), and the Great and Little Chambers (Büyük ve Küçük Odalar). Among the responsibilities of the Inner Service was also the running of the palace school, where selected young Christian boys, gathered through the devşirme system (from the 17th century, however, Muslim boys were also admitted) were trained for the highest state offices. These boys served then as pages in the Inner Service, and were known as içoğlanı ("lads of the interior").The Inner Service was also notable for its employment of deaf-mutes (dilsiz), at least from the time of Mehmed II, to the end of the empire. They acted as guards and attendants, and due to their particular nature were often entrusted with highly confidential assignments, including executions. Their number varied but they were never numerous; they had their own uniforms, their own heads (başdilsiz), and although many were literate, they also communicated in their own special sign language.

Hasan al-Basri

Abū Saʿīd b. Abi ’l-Ḥasan Yasār al-Baṣrī, often referred to as Ḥasan of Basra (Arabic: حسن البصري, Ḥasan al-Baṣrī; 642 - 15 October 728) for short, or reverentially as Imam Ḥasan al-Baṣrī in Sunni Islam, was an early Muslim preacher, ascetic, theologian, exegete, scholar, judge, and mystic. Born in Medina in 642, Hasan belonged to the third generation of Muslims, all of whom would subsequently be referred to as the tābiʿūn in Sunni Islamic piety. In fact, Hasan rose to become one of "the most celebrated" of the tābiʿūn, enjoying an "acclaimed scholarly career and an even more remarkable posthumous legacy in Islamic scholarship."Hasan, revered for his austerity and support for "renunciation" (zuhd), preached against worldliness and materialism during the early days of the Umayyad Caliphate, with his passionate sermons casting a "deep impression on his contemporaries." His close relationships with several of the most prominent companions of the prophet Muhammad only strengthened his standing as a teacher and scholar of the Islamic sciences. The particular disciplines in which he is said to have excelled included exegesis (tafsīr) of the Quran, whence his "name is invariably encountered in" classical and medieval commentaries on the scripture, as well as theology and mysticism. Regarding the last of these, it is important to note that Hasan became a tremendously important figure in the development of , with his name occurring "in many mystical silsilas (chains of teachers and their disciples) going back to Muḥammad" in the writings of Sunni mystics from the ninth-century onwards. In the words of one scholar, Hasan stands as the "great patriarch" of early Sufism.As scholars have noted, very few of Hasan's original writings survive, with his proverbs and maxims on various subjects having been transmitted primarily through oral tradition by his numerous disciples. While fragments of his famed sermons do survive in the works of later authors, the only complete manuscripts we have bearing his name are apocryphal works such as the Risālat al-qadar ilā ʿAbd al-Malik (Epistle to ʿAbd al-Malik against the Predestinarians), a pseudopigraphical text from the ninth or early-tenth century, and another letter "of an ascetic and hortatory character" addressed to Umar II (d. 720), which is likewise deemed spurious.Traditionally, Hasan has been commemorated as an outstanding figure by all the Sunni schools of thought, and was frequently designated as one the well respected of the early Islamic community in later writings by such important Sunni thinkers as Abu Talib al-Makki (d. 996), Abu Nu`aym (d. 1038), Ali Hujwiri (d. 1077), Ibn al-Jawzi (d. 1201), and Attar of Nishapur (d. 1221). In his famed Ḳūt al-ḳulūb, the most important work of Basran Sunni, Abu Talib al-Makki says of Hasan: "Ḥasan is our Imām in this doctrine which we represent. We walk in his footsteps and we follow his ways and from his lamp we have our light" (wa ’l-Ḥasanu raḥimahu ’llāhu imāmunā fī hād̲h̲a ’l-ʿilmi ’llad̲h̲ī natakallamu bih , at̲h̲arahu naḳfū wa sabīlahū natbaʿu wa min mis̲h̲kātihi nastaḍīʾ).


Islam () is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion teaching that there is only one God (Allah), and that Muhammad is the messenger of God. It is the world's second-largest religion with over 1.8 billion followers or 24% of the world's population, most commonly known as Muslims. Muslims make up a majority of the population in 50 countries. Islam teaches that God is merciful, all-powerful, unique and has guided humankind through prophets, revealed scriptures and natural signs. The primary scriptures of Islam are the Quran, viewed by Muslims as the verbatim word of God, and the teachings and normative example (called the sunnah, composed of accounts called hadith) of Muhammad (c. 570 – 8 June 632 CE).

Muslims believe that Islam is the complete and universal version of a primordial faith that was revealed many times before through prophets including Adam, Abraham, Moses and Jesus. Muslims consider the Quran in its Arabic to be the unaltered and final revelation of God. Like other Abrahamic religions, Islam also teaches a final judgment with the righteous rewarded paradise and unrighteous punished in hell. Religious concepts and practices include the Five Pillars of Islam, which are obligatory acts of worship, and following Islamic law (sharia), which touches on virtually every aspect of life and society, from banking and welfare to women and the environment. The cities of Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem are home to the three holiest sites in Islam.Aside from the theological narrative, Islam is historically believed to have originated in the early 7th century CE in Mecca, and by the 8th century the Umayyad Islamic Caliphate extended from Iberia in the west to the Indus River in the east. The Islamic Golden Age refers to the period traditionally dated from the 8th century to the 13th century, during the Abbasid Caliphate, when much of the historically Muslim world was experiencing a scientific, economic and cultural flourishing. The expansion of the Muslim world involved various caliphates, such as the Ottoman Empire, traders and conversion to Islam by missionary activities (dawah).Most Muslims are of one of two denominations; Sunni (85–90%) or Shia (10–15%). About 13% of Muslims live in Indonesia, the largest Muslim-majority country, 31% of Muslims live in South Asia, the largest population of Muslims in the world, 20% in the Middle East–North Africa, where it is the dominant religion, and 15% in Sub-Saharan Africa. Sizeable Muslim communities are also found in the Americas, the Caucasus, Central Asia, China, Europe, Mainland Southeast Asia, the Philippines, and Russia. Islam is the fastest-growing major religion in the world.


The Malāmatiyya (ملامتية) or Malamatis were a Muslim mystic group active in 9th century Greater Khorasan. Their root word of their name is the Arabic word malāmah (ملامة) "blame". The Malamatiyya believed in the value of self-blame, that piety should be a private matter and that being held in good esteem would lead to worldly attachment. They concealed their knowledge and made sure their faults would be known, reminding them of their imperfection. The Malamati is one for whom the doctrine of "spiritual states" is fraught with subtle deceptions of the most despicable kind; he despises personal piety, not because he is focused on the perceptions or reactions of people, but as a consistent involuntary witness of his own "pious hypocrisy"."Malamati" can also refer to a method of teaching within Sufism based on taking blame.

Malik Deenar

Malik Deenar (Arabic: مالك دينار‎, translit. Mālik b. Dīnār, Malayalam: മാലിക് ദീനാര്‍) (died 748 CE) is one of the first known Muslims to have come to India in order to propagate Islam in South Asia. Even though historians do not agree on the exact place of his death, it is widely accepted that he died at Kasaragod and that his relics were buried at the Malik Deenar Juma Mosque in Thalangara, Kasaragod. Belonging to the generation of the tabi'i, Malik is called a reliable traditionalist in Sunni sources, and is said to have transmitted from such authorities as Malik ibn Anas and Ibn Sirin. He was the son of a Persian slave from Kabul who became a disciple of Hasan al-Basri. He died just before the epidemic of plague which caused considerable ravages in Basra in 748-49 CE, with various traditions placing his death either at 744-45 or 747-48 CE.

Mathnawi (poetic form)

Mathnawi (Arabic: مثنوي‎ mathnawī) or masnavi (Persian: مثنوی‎) is the name of a poem written in rhyming couplets, or more specifically, "a poem based on independent, internally rhyming lines". Most mathnawī followed a meter of eleven, or occasionally ten, syllables, but had no limit in their length. The mathnawi consists of an indefinite number of couplets, with the rhyme scheme aa/bb/cc.

Mathnawī have been written in Persian, Arabic, Turkish, Kurdish and Urdu cultures. Certain Persian mat̲h̲nawī, such as Rumi’s Masnavi-e Ma’navi, have had special religious significance in Sufism.


The Otaibah (Arabic: عتيبة‎, also spelled Otaiba, Utaybah) is a tribe originating in Saudi Arabia. Many members of the Saudi royal family descend maternally from the tribe, which is distributed throughout Saudi Arabia and the Middle East. The Otaibah are descended from the Bedouin. They trace back to the Mudar family and belong to the Qays ʿAylān confederacy via its previous name, Hawazin.Research of the lineage of northern tribes may began with Adnan (instead of Ishmael), as passed on by oral tradition. He is the common ancestor of the modern Otaibah, Annazah, Tamim, Abd al-Qays, and Quraysh tribes. Although Adnan is at the head of the tribal genealogy, genealogists and poets typically refer to two of his descendants: his son Ma'ad (a later collective term for all north Arabian tribes) and his grandson Nizar, ancestor of Rabi'ah and Mudar.Mudar, the son of Nizar, fathered ʿAylān al-Nās (the ancestor of Hawazin and Otaibah). The Hawazin is another tribe related to the Otaibah.The tribe's common ancestors are Otaibah, Guzayah, Banu Jusham, Muʿāwiya, Bakr, Hawāzin, Manṣūr, ʿIkrima, K̲h̲aṣafa, Qays ʿAylān, Mudir, Nijzar, Ma'ad and Adnan of the Ishmaelites. The tribe, five or six hundred years old, is primarily found in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.

Rawadid dynasty

Rawwadid or Ravvadid (also Revend or Revendi) or Banū Rawwād (955–1071), was a Muslim ruling family centered in historic Azerbaijan (also known as Iranian Azerbaijan) between the late 8th and early 13th centuries.Originally of Azdi Arab descent, the Rawadids ruled Tabriz and northeastern Azerbaijan in the late 8th and early 9th centuries. The family became Kurdicized by the early 10th century and became centered on Tabriz and Maragheh. In the second half of the 10th century and much of the 11th century, these Kurdicized descendants controlled much of Azerbaijan as well as parts of Armenia.

Roger Savory

Roger Savory is a British-born Professor Emeritus at the University of Toronto who is an Iranologist and specialist on the Safavids. His numerous writings on Safavid political, military history, administration, bureaucracy, and diplomacy-translated into several language have had a great impact in understanding this period.


The Salghurids of Fars (Persian: اتابکان فارس 'Atābakān-e Fārs' or سلغُریان 'Salghoriān'), were a dynasty of Turkmen origin that ruled Fars, first as vassals of the Seljuqs then for the Khwarazm Shahs in the 13th century. The Salghurids were established by Sunqur in 1148, who had profited from the rebellions during the reign of Seljuq sultan Mas'ud b. Muhammad. Later the Salghurids were able to solidify their position in southern Persia to the point of campaigning against Kurds and involving themselves in the succession of the Kirman Seljuqs, holding Seljuq sultan Malik-Shah III's son Mahmud as a possible claimant to the Seljuq throne. They captured Isfahan in 1203-4, and later occupied Bahrain taken from the Uyunid dynasty in 1235.Under Sa'd I b. Zangi, the Salghurids experienced a significant prosperity, which was marred by his acknowledging the Khwarazm Shahs as his overlord. Saadi Shirazi, the Persian poet, dedicated his Bostan and Gulistan to Sa'd I and Sa'd II. Following Sa'd I's death, his brother Zangi b. Mawdud took power in 1161. Dekele/Tekele followed his father, Zangi, only after eliminating Sonqur's son Toghril.During the 13th century, the Salghurids patronized a cultural and intellectual atmosphere which included, Kadi al-Baydawi, Qutb al-Din al-Shirazi, Saadi Shirazi and the historian Wassaf.During the closing years of Aku Bakr and Sa'd II, Fars fell under the dominion of Mongol empire and later the Ilkhanate of Hulegu. Under the Mongols, Abu Bakr was given the title of Qutlugh Khan. Later Salghurids were powerless figureheads, until the daughter of Sa'd II, Abish Khatun was given the title of Atabegate of Fars. She was the sole ruler of Fars for one year whereupon she married, Mengu Temur, eleventh son of Hulegu. Following their deaths, Fars was ruled directly by the Ilkhanate.


Muhammad b. Ahmad b. Abi Sahl Abu Bakr al-Sarakhsi (Persian: محمد بن احمد بن ابي سهل ابو بكر السرخسي‎) was a Persian jurist, or Islamic scholar of the Hanafi school. He was traditionally known as Shams al-A'imma (شمس الأئمة, "the sun of the leaders").

Thierry Bianquis

Thierry Bianquis (1935 – 2 September 2014) was a French Orientalist and Arabist. His main interest was the medieval Islamic Middle East, most notably the Fatimid era of Egypt and Syria, which was the subject of his dissertation.

Born in Broummana, Lebanon, in 1935, he spent his childhood in the country before coming to France for his higher education. He was a resident of the Institut Français d'Etudes Arabes de Damas at Damascus in 1967–1975, and served as its director in 1975–1981, as well as a member of the Institut Français d'Archéologie Orientale at Cairo in 1971–1975. In 1991, he was elected professor of Islamic history and civilisation at Université Lumière Lyon 2. Alongside his own voluminous publications, he served as an editor of the second edition of the Encyclopaedia of Islam, and was one of the main authors of The Cambridge history of Egypt: Islamic Egypt (641-1517).


Walī (Arabic: ولي‎, plural ʾawliyāʾ أولياء) is an Arabic word whose literal meanings include "custodian", "protector", "helper", and "friend". In the vernacular, it is most commonly used by Muslims to indicate an Islamic saint, otherwise referred to by the more literal "friend of God". In the traditional Islamic understanding of saints, the saint is portrayed as someone "marked by [special] divine favor ... [and] holiness", and who is specifically "chosen by God and endowed with exceptional gifts, such as the ability to work miracles". The doctrine of saints was articulated by Islamic scholars very early on in Muslim history, and particular verses of the Quran and certain hadith were interpreted by early Muslim thinkers as "documentary evidence" of the existence of saints. Graves of saints around the Muslim world became centers of pilgrimage — especially after 1200 CE — for masses of Muslims seeking their barakah (blessing).Since the first Muslim hagiographies were written during the period when the Islamic mystical trend of Sufism began its rapid expansion, many of the figures who later came to be regarded as the major saints in orthodox Sunni Islam were the early Sufi mystics, like Hasan of Basra (d. 728), Farqad Sabakhi (d. 729), Dawud Tai (d. 777–781), Rabi'a al-'Adawiyya (d. 801), Maruf Karkhi (d. 815), and Junayd of Baghdad (d. 910). From the twelfth to the fourteenth century, "the general veneration of saints, among both people and sovereigns, reached its definitive form with the organization of Sufism ... into orders or brotherhoods". In the common expressions of Islamic piety of this period, the saint was understood to be "a contemplative whose state of spiritual perfection ... [found] permanent expression in the teaching bequeathed to his disciples". In many prominent Sunni Islamic creeds of the time, such as the famous Creed of Tahawi (c. 900) and the Creed of Nasafi (c. 1000), a belief in the existence and miracles of saints was presented as "a requirement" for being an orthodox Muslim believer.Aside from the Sufis, the preeminent saints in traditional Islamic piety are the Companions of Muhammad, their Successors, and the third generation after the Prophet, often called "the Successors of the Successors". Additionally, the prophets of Islam are also believed to be saints by definition, although they are rarely referred to as such, in order to prevent confusion between them and ordinary saints; as the prophets are exalted by Muslims as the greatest of all humanity, it is a general tenet of Sunni belief that a single prophet is greater than all the regular saints put together. In short, it is believed that "every prophet is a saint, but not every saint is a prophet".In the modern world, the traditional Sunni and Shia idea of saints has been challenged by movements such as Salafism, Wahhabism, and Islamic modernism, all three of which have, to a greater or lesser degree, "formed a front against the veneration and theory of saints." As has been noted by scholars, the development of these movements has indirectly led to a trend amongst some mainstream Muslims to resist "acknowledging the existence of Muslim saints altogether or ... [to view] their presence and veneration as unacceptable deviations". However, despite the presence of these opposing streams of thought, the classical doctrine of saint-veneration continues to thrive in many parts of the Islamic world today, playing a vital role in daily expressions of piety among vast segments of Muslim populations in Muslim countries like Pakistan, Egypt, Turkey, Senegal, Iraq, Iran, Algeria, Tunisia, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Morocco, as well as in countries with substantive Islamic populations like India, China, Russia, and the Balkans.

Wolfhart Heinrichs

Wolfhart P. Heinrichs (3 October 1941 – 23 January 2014) was a German-born scholar of Arabic. He was James Richard Jewett Professor of Arabic at Harvard University, and a co-editor of the second edition of the Encyclopaedia of Islam. He taught Classical Arabic language and literature, particularly Arabic literary theory and criticism.

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