ISRAELITE (Ar. Isrāʾīliyyāt, "Israelite" tales), name of a type of Muslim literature which deals with two different subjects: (1) stories from the Bible, legends, and other tales as they have been handed down in Jewish literature in the name of figures from the biblical world, scholars, and rabbis, and which are found in the Talmud and Midrashim. The objective of this material in the works of Arab historians, Koran exegetes, and the legends of the prophets is to explain Muhammad's words when their meaning is obscure or opposed to the Bible. The Isrāʾīliyyāt thus served as a channel for the absorption of many legends in the treasury of the historical tales of Islam. The traditionists were generally Jews who had converted to Islam or scholars of Jewish origin. The most famous of these were Kaʿb al-Aḥbār and wahb ibn munabbih . Beginning at an early date, this fact aroused suspicion and the opposition of the orthodox circles of Islam who sought at least to conceal the identity of the traditionists. (2) The second principal subject of Isrāʾīliyyāt is the lives and deeds of the mystics of Islam, the ancient men of piety who flourished during the period known as that of the Banū Isrāʾīl ("the people of Israel"). -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Goldziher, in: REJ. 44 (1902), 65; S.D. Goitein, in: Tarbiz, 6 (1935), 89–101, 510–22. (Haïm Z'ew Hirschberg)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • israélite — [ israelit ] n. et adj. • 1458; de Israël 1 ♦ Descendant d Israël, autre nom de Jacob dans la Bible. 2 ♦ Vieilli Personne qui appartient à la communauté, à la religion juive. ⇒ hébreu, juif. REM. Ce nom peut avoir des connotations antisémites… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Israelite — Is ra*el*ite, n. [L. Isra[ e]lites, Gr. ?, fr. ?, ?, Israel, Heb. Yisr[=a][=e]l, i. e., champion of God; s[=a]r[=a]h to fight + [=e]l God.] A descendant of Israel, or Jacob; a Hebrew; a Jew …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Israelite — (n.) late 14c., from L. israelita, from Gk. Israelites, from Israel (see ISRAEL (Cf. Israel)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • Israelite — ► NOUN ▪ a member of the ancient Hebrew nation. ► ADJECTIVE ▪ relating to the Israelites …   English terms dictionary

  • Israelite — [iz′rē əlit′ikiz′rē ə līt΄, iz′rāə līt΄; iz′rə līt΄] n. [ME < LL(Ec) Israelita < Gr Israēlitēs] a member of the people of ancient Israel or their descendants; Hebrew adj. of ancient Israel or the Israelites: also Israelitish [iz′rē… …   English World dictionary

  • Israélite — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Le terme « israélite » est souvent utilisé comme synonyme de juif. Mais cela exige quelques éclaircissements. Il peut désigner : les… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • israélite — (i sra é li t ) s. m. 1°   Nom des hommes appartenant au peuple d Israël.    Fig. C est un bon Israélite, c est un vrai Israélite sans déguisement et sans artifice, c est un homme franc et sincère : phrase proverbiale qui est la parole même de… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • Israelite — /iz ree euh luyt , ray /, n. 1. a descendant of Jacob, esp. a member of the Hebrew people who inhabited the ancient kingdom of Israel. 2. one of a group considered by its members or by others as God s chosen people. adj. 3. of or pertaining to… …   Universalium

  • ISRAÉLITE — s. m. On ne met pas ici ce mot comme un nom de nation, mais parce qu il entre dans cette phrase, C est un bon Israélite, C est un homme simple et plein de candeur.  Il s emploie quelquefois adjectivement en parlant De certaines choses qui… …   Dictionnaire de l'Academie Francaise, 7eme edition (1835)

  • Israëlite — Judaïsme  Cet article traite de la religion des Juifs. Pour un aperçu de ceux ci dans leur ensemble, voir Juifs …   Wikipédia en Français

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