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abd al-w

id b. zayd

The only work attributed to Abd

al-Qdir is his translation of the Qur n
into Urdu. His brother Raf al-Dn had
completed, around 1201/1786, a first
word-by-word rendering in the Urdu
language. Abd al-Qdir wrote a literary
translation entitled Mzi -i Qu rn (Exposition of the Qur n), a chronogram for
1205/17901, in a simple language easily accessible to a large popular audience,
with clear, brief notes in the margins. This
text marks the beginning of the production, by reformers, of books in the vernacular languages of India, which were
later collectively known as Wahhb
literature and were widely disseminated
through printingfirst typography, and
later lithographybeginning in the early
1820s. Abd al-Qdirs translation was first
published in Calcutta in 1829, through
the efforts of a disciple of Sayyid A mad
Barelw, Sayyid Abdallh, who revised it,
printed it between the lines of the Arabic
text, and made additions to the marginalia. This was the first publication of a
translation of the Qur n in a vernacular
Indian language, and, most remarkably,
the first printing of its Arabic text by Muslims in an Eastern country.
Abd al-Qdir Dihlaw, Mzi -i Qur n, ed.
Sayyid Abdallh, Calcutta 1829; Garcin de
Tassy, Chrestomathie hindustani (urdu et dakhni)
lusage des lves de lcole royale et spciale des
langues orientales vivantes (Paris 1847), 2235
( Abd al-Qdirs translation of sra 12,
Ysuf ).
Garcin de Tassy, Mzi -i Qur n, cest--dire
lExposition du Coran (le Coran en arabe,
accompagn dune traduction interlinaire
en hindoustani, Calcutta 1829, Journal des
savants (Paris, July 1834), 43542; Garcin

de Tassy, Histoire de la littrature hindouie et
hindoustanie (Paris 187012; repr. New York
1968), 1:769 s.v. Abd ulcadir, 1:817 s.v.
Abdullah; Khwja Ahmad Frq, Urd
main wahhb adab, Delhi 1969; Harlan
O. Pearson, Islamic reform and revivalism
in nineteenth century India. The Tariqa-i
Muhammadiyyah (Ph.D. diss., Duke University 1979), 15560; Saiyid Athar Abbas
Rizvi, Shh Abd al- Azz. Puritanism, sectarianism, polemics and jihd (Canberra 1982), 946,
1035 and passim; Marc Gaborieau, Late
Persian, Early Urdu. The case of Wahhabi literature (18181857), in Franoise
Nalini Delvoye (ed.), Confluence of cultures.
French contributions to Indo-Persian studies (Delhi
1994), 17096; Marc Gaborieau, Traductions, impressions et usages du Coran dans
le sous-continent indien (17861975), RHR
218/1 (2001), 97111; Marc Gaborieau, Le
Mahdi incompris. Sayyid Ahmad Barelw (1786
1831) et le millnarisme en Inde (Paris 2010),
3945, 703, 9496, 1527 and passim.
Marc Gaborieau

Abd al-W id b. Zayd

Abd al-W id b. Zayd (d. c.133/
750) was a disciple of al- asan al-Ba r
(21109/642728, a deeply pious and
ascetic Muslim), who was one of the most
important religious figures in early Islam.
Abd al-W id b. Zayd gained special
prominence for his public sermons, which
emphasised humility and scrupulous conduct, including eating habits. A professional preacher (q ), who was famous for
his eloquence, he painted vivid pictures of
Judgement Day, calling upon his listeners
to prepare themselves for a face-to-face
encounter with God. Each persons righteousness and record of good works, he
argued, would determine how clear this
otherworldly beatific vision will be. Some
of his statements imply that the righteous
might actually experience the delights of
Paradise already in this life, as a reward

abd al-w

for their sincere and disinterested worship

of God. According to Abd al-W id, God
imparts to His righteous friends (awliy ,
sing. wal ) the internal, secret knowledge ( ilm al-b in) of Himself and of the
world, which He conceals from the rest
of his creatures, including the angels. This
sacred trust elevates Gods friends above
other mortals, to occupy a position just
below the prophets. Later f theorists
juxtaposed this internal knowledge with
the so-called external knowledge ( ilm
al- hir), that is, the traditional Islamic sciences such as the Qur n and its commentary, the Prophetic tradition ( adth), and
jurisprudence ( fiqh). It appears that Abd
al-W id considered external knowledge
inferior to the internalan assertion that
many Muslim scholars probably found
Abd al-W id belonged to the category
of ascetics whom the sources describe as
weepers. These were pious individuals who wept profusely over their sins
or out of fear of God (khashyat Allh) and
uncertainty about the divine verdict to be
passed on them on Judgement Day. On
a more personal level, weeping could be
caused by the ascetics feeling of weakness
and humility before God and by compassion for those who have strayed from the
right path or for the dead who are no longer able to improve their fate in the hereafter. Through constant mourning, these
beggars of the spirit ( fuqar il llh, literally needy of God) hoped to secure
Gods pleasure and remission of their
sins. Their weeping has a striking parallel
in the early Christian concept of gratia lacrimarum, which characterised many Coptic
and Syrian monks, such as Shenute (Shenoudi, d. 466 C.E.), Ephraem the Syrian (d. 373), John of Ephesus (d. c.586),
and Isaac of Nineveh (d. c.700). It is thus

id b. zayd

hardly surprising that Abd al-W ids

pietistic exhortations refer occasionally to
those Christian monks whose deep disdain
for this world and its sinful inhabitants
he found praiseworthy and encouraged
his followers to emulate. Like the Christian monks, they should keep themselves
entirely apart from the world by forming
a close-knit community united in the common desire to travel on the path to God.
It was apparently with this goal in
mind that Abd al-W id founded the
first f cloister (duwayra), on the island
of Abbdn at the mouth of the Sha
al- Arab. Whether Abd al-W id was
indeed its founder or simply an occasional
resident, Abbdn did become a leading training centre for Muslim ascetics.
It was visited by heroes of later f literature, such as Ab Sulaymn al-Drn
(d. 215/830), Bishr al- f (d. 227/841),
Sar al-Saqa (d. 253/867), and Sahl alTustar (d. 283/896), as well as the great
Qur n commentator Muqtil b. Sulaymn
(d. 150/767 or 159/775), whose exegetical work was important in the birth of the
mystical language of Islam.
Abd al-W id left many disciples, some
of whom distinguished themselves as ascetics. Among them was A mad al- ujaym
(d. late second/eighth century), who is
credited with the establishment of the first
ascetic lodge in Basra. Funded by a waqf
(a charitable endowment), it housed many
of the disciples of al- asan al-Ba r and
Abd al-W id in Basra, assuring the continuity of their teaching.

Ab Nu aym al-I fahn, ilyat al-awliy , 10

vols. (Cairo 19328), 6:1558; F. Meier,
Bakka , EI2; Bernd Radtke (ed.), Adab almuluk. Ein Handbuch zur islamischen Mystikaus
dem 4./10. Jahrhundert (Beirut and Stuttgart
1991), 345 (Arabic text); Margaret Smith,

abdall h b. mu ammad b. abd al-ra m n

Studies in early mysticism in the Near and Middle
East (Oxford 1995), 25, 1267.
Alexander Knysh

Abdallh b. Ja sh
Abdallh b. Ja sh (d. 3/625) was
a leader among the early Muslims who
migrated with the prophet Mu ammad
to Medina in the year 1/622. His sister
Zaynab, who married the Prophet in the
year 5/626 after her divorce from his
adopted son Zayd b. ritha, was also
part of this group. Abdallh b. Ja sh
belonged to the Ban Asad b. Khuzayma
and was a confederate ( alf ) of the Ban
Umayya of Quraysh. His mother was
Umayma bt. Abd al-Mu alib, the aunt
of the Prophet. Abdallhs two brothers, Ubaydallh and Ab A mad, took
part in the migration of early Muslims to
Abyssinia, where Ubaydallh remained
and converted to Christianity. Abdallh
returned to Mecca and joined the migration to Medina (hijra). He led the raid at
Nakhla in 2/624, which was the Muslims
first attack on a Meccan caravan, and the
same year fought at Badr, where the Muslims won a decisive victory. Abdallh b.
Ja sh was martyred the following year at
the battle of U ud, when he was between
forty and fifty years of age. Abdallh b.
Ja sh is often associated in Arabic historical texts with the precedent of the taking
of booty for the community of believers
(khums, ghanma, or fay ).

Ab Hill al- Askar, al-Awa il, ed. Mu ammad

al-Mi r and Wald Qa b (Damascus
1975), 1:175; Ibn Ab Shayba, al-Kitb
al-mu annaf f l-a dth wa-l-thr, ed. mir
al- Umar al-A am. (Bombay 197983),
14:123; Izz al-Dn Ibn al-Athr, Usd

al-ghba f ma rifat al- a ba (Cairo 186870),
3:131; Ibn anbal, al-Musnad, ed. A mad
Mu ammad Shkir (Cairo 194989), 3:70.
Ibn Sa d, Kitb al- abaqt al-kabr, ed. Eduard Sachau (Leiden 190440), 3/1:624;
al-Ya qb, al-Ta rkh, ed. M. Th. Houtsma
(Leiden 1883, repr. 1969), 2:6971.
Katherine Lang
W. Montgomery Watt

Abdallh b. Mu ammad b.
Abd al-Ra mn
Abdallh b. Mu ammad b. Abd
al-Ra mn (r. 275300/888912) was
the seventh Umayyad amr of al-Andalus.
His reign was a struggle for survival in the
face of threats that, very early on, put in
danger both his throne and the continued
existence of the Umayyad dynasty in alAndalus. He was designated amr in afar
275/June 888, after the sudden death of
his brother al-Mundhir, who had been
engaged in combat with the rebel Umar
b. af n (d. 305/918). Abdallhs reign
coincided with rebel uprisings in all corners of the Iberian Peninsula and with
conspiracieseither real or imagined
at the court in Crdoba and at the very
heart of the Umayyad family. Abdallh
put an end to all these plots against him
with a firm, cruel hand, ordering the death
of several Umayyads who might have
posed a threat to him, including his sons
Mu ammad, assassinated in 277/891 by
his brother Mu arrif, and Mu arrif himself
in 282/895. The rumour that Abdallh
had been the instigator of his brother
al-Mundhirs poisoningan accusation
that does not seem unwarranted in view
of his later behaviourundermined the
legitimacy of his rule, which, during some
periods, did not extend beyond the limits
of Crdoba itself.