in Islam, the period preceding the revelation of the Qur'an to the Prophet Muhammad. In Arabic the word means "ignorance," or "barbarism," and indicates a negative Muslim evaluation of pre-Islamic life and culture in Arabia as compared to the teachings and practices of Islam. The term has a positive connotation only in literature; pre-Islamic Arabic poetry is esteemed by Muslims for its precise and rich vocabulary, sophisticated metrical structures, and fully developed systems of rhyme and thematic sequence

Learn more about jahiliyah with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source
Explore Dictionary.com
Previous Definition: jahel
Next Definition: jahrzeit
Words Near: jahiliyah
More from Thesaurus.com
Synonyms and Antonyms for jahiliyah
More from Reference.com
Search for articles containing jahiliyah
More from Dictionary.com Translator
Dictionary.com Word FAQs

Dictionary.com presents 366 FAQs, incorporating some of the frequently asked questions from the past with newer queries.

Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature