Encyclopaedia of Islam First Edition Online

The Encyclopaedia of Islam First Edition was originally published between 1913 and 1936. The demand for an encyclopaedic work on Islam was created by the increasing (colonial) interest in Muslims and Islamic cultures during the nineteenth century. The scope of this still unique reference work is philology, history, theology and law until early 20th century. Such famous scholars as Houtsma, Wensinck, Gibb, Snouck Hurgronje, and Lévi-Provençal were involved in this scholarly endeavour.

Features and Benefits
- 9000 alphabetically arranged articles
- the first highly international collaboration of scholars in this field
- the start of a renowned academic tradition
- historically important as a reflection of the scholarly discourses of its time

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The increasing interest in Islam and Islamic culture during the last century and the early part of this century created a demand for an encyclopedic work on Islam. For the first time in history a truly international team of scholars began work on a single project. This resulted in the Encyclopaedia of IslamA Dictionary of the Geography, Ethnography and Biography of the Muhammadan Peoples, which was published between 1913 and 1936 in three editions in English, German and French. The Encyclopaedia of Islam remains to this day the only complete encyclopedic work on Islam.

Due to their tremendous success these editions soon went out of print and became valuable collectors’ items. Some years later we decided to start a New Edition*. Volume 1 appeared in 1960, and we are now halfway to completion. In view of the broad scope of the New Edition and the many years still needed to complete it, we have decided to make the First Edition available again through the present facsimile edition in order to meet the immediate needs of scholars, students of Islam, librarians, and even governments, in fact of anyone interested in Islam and its rich culture.

This reprint is designed to fill a gap. It is a true mine of information, much of which is not yet available in the New Edition. The value of the First Edition (as well as of the New Edition) is recognized world-wide and remains undisputed. In more than 9,000 alphabetically arranged articles, varying in length from 50 to 50,000 words, the whole range of Islamic culture, from religion and literature to the lives of famous Muslims, is treated by some of the world’s most famous scholars of the twentieth century.



* Encyclopaedia of Islam. New Edition. E. J. Brill, Leiden, 1960 ff. DIRECTIONS FOR USE

The Encyclopaedia of Islam was originally published in four large volumes and one supplementary volume. For easy use the Publishers have decided to divide each single volume in half while maintaining the original pagination. Each original volume was individually paginated. Volumes 1 and 2 of this edition form volume 1 of the original, volumes 3 and 4 form volume 2 of the original and so forth. Each new volume begins with a new entry. The supplementary volume remains unchanged.

From an interview with Orhan Pamuk by the New York Times (November 8, 2012): "Q: Which book would you take to a desert island? A: "...the first edition of Encyclopaedia of Islam (1913-1936). My imagination works best with facts — especially if they are a bit dated. After 10 years they should pick me up from the desert island to publish the novels I wrote there". For the full interview, please click here.
"...retains its place as the most complete and comprehensive work in the field." - Ellen Broidy, in: American Reference Books Annual, 1988
"...bleibt das Standardwerk für alle Bibliotheken, Professoren und wohlhabenden Laien..." - Volker S. Stahr, in: Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 1994