Rahmanism

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Raḥmānism (from Old South Arabian rḥmn-n “the Merciful”) refers to one or more monotheistic religions which ousted the polytheistic Old South Arabian religion from the 4th century AD. Since the sole indication of Raḥmānism is the mention of a monotheistic God, it is difficult to establish whether Raḥmānism is an homogenous religion or whether it can be identified with another monotheistic religion. From the second half of the fourth century the “Merciful” (Old South Arabian rḥmn-n, where the -n is the definite article) and “the Lord of Heaven and Earth" are increasingly invoked.[1] A number of inscriptions as well as archaeologically synagogues show, that Judaism had played an important role in South Arabia since the 4th Century, but it is not clear whether all the Raḥmānist inscriptions of this time should be construed as Jewish; at the same time it is conceivable that Raḥmānism also involved an autochthonous monotheistic religion in its own right. Distinct references to Christians in South Arabia are found at the beginning of the 6th century when a Christian community in the city of Najrān fell victim to a doubtless politically motivated pogrom initiated by the Jewish king Yūsuf Asʾar Yathʾar.[2] The slaughter is probably alluded to in the Quranic reference to the 'People of the Ditch (Aṣḥābu Ukhdūd),[3] which describes a group of people being thrust into a ditch of fire because of their faith. Apart from being the word for 'ditch' Ukhdūd is also the name of a place just south-west of modern Najrān.[4] As a result of this the Christian Aksumite Kingdom marched into South Arabia and enforced Christianity as the official religion, which was then supplanted by Islam in 632. Christian communities are documented right up till the 13th century in Najrān and till the 16th century in Soqotra.[5] Christian communities are documented; Jewish communities persist until today.

See also[edit]

Hanif

Bibliography[edit]

  • A. F. L. Beeston: Studies in the History of Arabia. Vol. II, Pre-Islamic Arabia. Proceedings of the 2nd International Symposium on Studies of Arabia, 13th-19th April 1979. Riyad 1984, P 149 ff.
  • Christian Robin: Himyar et Israël. In: Académie des inscriptions et belles lettres (Hrsg): Comptes-rendus des séances de l'année 2004. 148/2, Paris 2004, Pp. 831–901.
  • Walter W. Müller: Art. Himyar. In: Reallexikon für Antike und Christentum. Vol. 15, Stuttgart 1991, ISBN 3-7772-5006-6, Sp. 303–331 (umfangreiche Darstellung des südarabischen Christentums).
  • A.F.L. Beeston, M.A. Ghul, W.W. Müller, J. Ryckmans: Sabaic Dictionary / Dictionnaire sabéen /al-Muʿjam as-Sabaʾī (Englisch-Französisch-Arabisch) Louvain-la-Neuve, 1982

References[edit]

  1. ^ A.F.L. Beeston, M.A. Ghul, W.W. Müller, J. Ryckmans: Sabaic Dictionary / Dictionnaire sabéen /al-Muʿjam as-Sabaʾī (Englisch-Französisch-Arabisch) Louvain-la-Neuve, 1982
  2. ^ Christian Robin: Himyar et Israël. In: Académie des inscriptions et belles lettres (Hrsg): Comptes-rendus des séances de l'année 2004. 148/2, Paris 2004, Pp. 831–901.
  3. ^ Quran. Chapter *5: 4-7.
  4. ^ See, for example, Saudi Tourism
  5. ^ Christian Robin: Himyar et Israël. In: Académie des inscriptions et belles lettres (Hrsg): Comptes-rendus des séances de l'année 2004. 148/2, Paris 2004, Pp. 831–901.