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Jāhilīy(y)a (Arab., jāhil, ‘untaught’). The state of ignorance understood to have characterized Arabian society prior to Islam. The jāhil is the ignorant person with (because of lack of the truth) an accompanying wildness or uncouthness. In Islam today there are those who see in W. secularism a new jāhilīya and who anathematize some expressions of Islam itself by this term.