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Encyclopedia > Encyclopaedia of Islam

The Encyclopaedia of Islam (EI) is the standard encyclopaedia of the academic discipline of Islamic studies. It embraces 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. 1913 advertisement for Encyclopædia Britannica. ... This is a list of academic disciplines (and academic fields). ... Islamic Studies is the academic discipline which focuses on Islamic issues. ...

It is an encyclopedia about the Islamic world, not a Muslim or an Islamic encyclopedia. Topics mostly deal with the pre-modern period, but some entries are contemporary.



EI is considered by academics 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, but unsurprisingly for a work spanning 40 years until completion, the underlying assumptions vary radically with the age of the article

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.[2]

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. [3]


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 appeared with Brill in four volumes plus supplement from 1913 to 1938 in English, German, and French editions. Pauly-Wissowa is the name commonly used for the Realencyclopädie der classischen Altertumswissenschaft, 1894ff, a German encyclopedia of classical scholarship. ... Leiden University, located in the city of Leiden, is the oldest university in the Netherlands. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ...

An abridged version was published in 1953 as the Shorter Encyclopaedia of Islam (SEI) and covers 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: Founded in 1683 in Leiden, the Netherlands, Brill (known as E. J. Brill, Koninklijke Brill, Brill Academic Publishers) is an international academic publisher and is listed on Euronext, Amsterdam. ... A map showing countries commonly considered to be part of the Middle East The Middle East is a region comprising the lands around the southern and eastern parts of the Mediterranean Sea, a territory that extends from the eastern Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf. ...

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. [3] Qom (Persian: قم, also known as Qum or Kom) is a city in Iran and the Qom (River) flows through the town. ... Al-Azhar University in Cairo Egypt Al-Azhar University (Arabic: الأزهر الشريف; al-Azhar al-Shareef, the Noble al-Azhar), is connected to the mosque in Cairo named to honor Fatima Az-Zahraa, the daughter of the prophet Muhammad, from whom the Fatimid Dynasty claimed descent. ...

Publication of the Third Edition of EI (EI3) is scheduled to start in 2007. It will be available online, print publications appearing in the form of the EI3 Quarterly. The editorial team consists of twenty 'Sectional Editors' and five 'Executive Editors' (i.e. editors-in-chief). The Executive Editors are Gudrun Krämer (Free University, Berlin), Everett Rowson (NYU), John Nawas (Catholic University of Leuven), Marc Gaborieau (EHESS, CNRS) 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.[1]

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, 4 vols. and Suppl., Leiden: Late E.J. Brill and London: Luzac, 1913-38.
    • 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., 1936.
    • Vol.4. S-Z, M. Th. Houtsma, A. J. Wensinck, H. A. R. Gibb, eds., 1934.
      • 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)
  • M. Th. Houtsma et al., eds., E.J. Brill's first encyclopaedia of Islam, 1913-1936, Leiden: E. J. Brill, 8 vols. with Supllement (vol. 9), 1991. 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)
  • يصدرها باللغة العربية احمد الشنتناوي ، ابراهيم زكي خرشيد ، عبد الحمید يونس، دائرة المعارف الاسلامية : اصدر بالالما نية والانكليزية والفرنسية واعتمد في الترجمة العربية على الاصلين الانكليزي 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

  • Edited by P.J. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel and W.P. Heinrichs et al., Encyclopædia of Islam, 2nd Edition., 12 vols. with indexes and etc., Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1960-2005
    • Vol. 1, A-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., 1979. 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, William C. Brice ed., 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)


  1. ^ Reviews at Brill (click "Reviews" link. (Javascript)). Retrieved on 2006-09-25.
  2. ^ Yale University Library Research guide. Retrieved on 2006-09-25.
  3. ^ a b R. Stephen Humphreys (1991). Islamic History: A Framework for Inquiry. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-00856-6. , pg 4

For the Manfred Mann album, see 2006 (album). ... September 25 is the 268th day of the year (269th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For the Manfred Mann album, see 2006 (album). ... September 25 is the 268th day of the year (269th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

External links

  • Encyclopaedia of Islam at Brill.
    • EI Online Demo Page

See also



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