Historiographical Studies - Helda

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Historiographical Studies - Helda

APPENDIX: GLOSSARY OF ARABIC TERMS

akhbārī – “Collector of historical material (akhbār); historian.”

ʿan – “On the authority of,” a term appearing in the isnāds.

ʿarḍ – “Presenting,” a mode of transmission of texts, synonymous with qirāʾa in the early

period. The student presented (ʿarḍ) or read aloud (qirāʾa) in front of the teacher a text that he

had received from the teacher, usually through lectures (samāʿ).

dawla – Literally “turn,” this term usually means, in the early period, the ʿAbbāsid revolution

(747–750 CE).

fulān – “So-and-so, someone.”

ḥadīth, pl. aḥādīth – “Report; narrative; story.” Often ḥadīth means a narrative about the

Prophet Muḥammad, but it can also be synonymous with khabar.

ism – One’s given name.

isnād, pl. asānīd – “Chain of transmission,” indicating from whom an authority has received

the information. Sometimes different modes of transmissions can also be perceived from the

expressions used in the isnād.

khabar, pl. akhbār – “Piece of information; report; narrative.” A general term for a single unit

of narrative, whether historical or literary. A khabar can sometimes, albeit rarely, mean a

ḥadīth, tradition of the Prophet. 192

192 Juynboll 1984: 265, n. 3.

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