Christian-Muslim Relations 600 - 1500

Get access Subject: Middle East and Islamic Studies
General Editor: David Thomas, Alex Mallett
Associate Editors: Juan Pedro Monferrer-Sala, Johannes Pahlitzsch, Barbara Roggema, Mark Swanson, Herman Teule and John Tolan
Christian-Muslim Relations, a Bibliographical History Online is a general online history of relations between the faiths. It covers the period from 600 to 1500, when encounters took place through the extended Mediterranean basin and are recorded in Syriac, Arabic, Greek, Latin and other languages. Christian Muslim Relations Online comprises introductory essays on the treatment of Christians in the Qur’an, Qur’an commentaries, biographies of the Prophet, Hadith and Sunni law, and of Muslims in canon law, and the main body of more than two hundred detailed entries on all the works recorded, whether surviving or lost.

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Abū ʿAbdallāh al-Khwārazmī

(232 words)

Author(s): Bosworth, Edmund
Abū ʿAbdallāh Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad ibn Yūsuf al-Kātib al-Khwārazmī Date of Birth: Unknown Place of Birth: Unknown Date of Death: Unknown (Ḥajjī Khalīfa gives 387/997); he was active in the latter part of the 10th century Place of Death: Unknown Biography Al-Khwārazmī was almost certainly a member of the bureaucracy that served the emirs of the Sāmānid dynasty of Transoxiana and Khurāsān in their capital Bukhārā, since his only known work is dedicated to Abū l-Ḥasan al-ʿUtbī, vizier of Nūḥ II ibn Manṣūr (r. 976-97). He is not to be confus…

Abū ʿAbdallāh Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad al-Umawī l-Sufyānī l-ʿUtbī l-Qurṭubī

(391 words)

Author(s): Monferrer Sala, Juan Pedro
Al-ʿUtbī l-Qurṭubī Date of Birth: 9th c. Place of Birth: Cordova Date of Death: 868/869 Place of Death: Cordova Biography Al-ʿUtbī was born and lived in Cordova, the city in which he followed his legal career. He was a renowned Mālikī scholar ( faqīh), well versed in Islamic law ( fiqh) and legal questions ( masāʾil), and labeled by his biographers as min ahl al-jihād wa-l-khayr, ‘one of the excellent people struggling for the faith’. His most influential work was al-Mustakhraja min al-asmi ʿ a (‘The selection from what is heard’), also known as al-ʿUtbiyyaPrimary Sources of Information Ib…

Abū ʿAbdallāh Muḥammad ibn Waḍḍāḥ ibn Bazīʿ al-Umawī l-Marwānī l-Qurṭubī

(1,062 words)

Author(s): Fierro, Maribel
Ibn Waḍḍāḥ Date of Birth: 815 Place of Birth: Cordova Date of Death: 3 February 900 Place of Death: Cordova Biography Ibn Waḍḍāh’̣s grandfather Bazīʿ was a slave soldier, probably a Christian from Oviedo, manumitted by the Cordovan Umayyad emir ʿAbd al-Raḥmān I (r. 756-88). Ibn Waḍḍāḥ’s non-Arab origin did not prevent him from entering the world of Islamic scholarship, but it did make him the object of derision on the part of an Arab colleague for his alleged defective knowledge of Arabic. Ibn Waḍḍāḥ was the first member of his family to devote himself to the pen and not to …

Abū ʿAlī l-Jubbāʾī

(793 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Abū ʿAlī Muḥammad ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhāb ibn Salām al-Jubbāʾī Date of Birth: 849-50 Place of Birth: Jubbā in Khūzistān Date of Death: 915-16 Place of Death: Basra Biography Abū ʿAlī l-Jubbāʾī was regarded as the leader of the Basra Muʿtazila in the latter part of the 9th century and the beginning of the 10th century. His teachings added nuance and detail to thinking that had gone before, and while he is not known for any particular innovative theory of his own, he had lasting influence upon theology in the 10th century and later among both the Muʿtazila and their opponents, although he …

Abū ʿAlī ʿUmar al-Hāshimī

(81 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Abū ʿAlī ʿUmar ibn Muḥammad ibn Ibrāhīm al-Hāshimī Date of Birth: Unknown; late 13th century Place of Birth: Unknown Date of Death: 1330 Place of Death: Tunis Biography Abū ʿAlī ʿUmar al-Hāshimī was qāḍī l-ankiḥa, responsible for the administration of marriage law, in early 14th-century Tunis. Primary Sources of Information Abū ʿAbdallāh al-Zarkashī, Taʾrīkh al-dawlatayn, Tunis, 1872, p. 56 Secondary Sources of Information - Works on Christian-Muslim Relations Idrāk al-ṣawāb fī ankiḥat ahl al-kitāb David Thomas

Abū ʿAmr (Abū Yaḥyā) Ḥafṣ al-Fard

(485 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Ḥafṣ al-Fard Date of Birth: Unknown, mid-8th c. Place of Birth: Possibly Egypt Date of Death: Unknown, mid-9th c. Place of Death: Possibly Egypt Biography Ḥafṣ al-Fard was probably born in Egypt, and is linked with Egypt at certain points in his life. He traveled to Iraq as a young man, and studied in Basra under Abū l-Hudhayl al-ʿAllāf (d. between 840 and 850) (q.v.) and others. He also became known to a number of leading scholars, including Abū ʿUthmān al-Jāḥiẓ (q.v.), who mentions him in his Kitāb al-ḥayawān. He was regarded as Abū l-Hudhayl’s intellectual equal, but at some poi…

Abū ʿAmr Ḍirār ibn ʿAmr al-Ghaṭafānī l-Kūfī

(689 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Ḍirār ibn ʿAmr Date of Birth: unknown, c. 730 Place of Birth: possibly Kūfa Date of Death: unknown, c. 800 Place of Death: possibly Basra Biography Ḍirār does not figure prominently in biographical works, and little is known for certain about his life. He is associated with scholars who flourished in the late 8th century and is identified among the participants in a debate before Yaḥyā l-Barmakī in the reign of Hārūn al-Rashīd. His date of death can therefore be given roughly as 800, and since he is said to have lived to about 70, he was probably …

Abū l-Aṣbagh ʿIsā ibn Sahl ibn ʿAbdallāh al-Asadī al-Jayyānī

(331 words)

Author(s): Serrano Ruano, Delfina
Ibn Sahl Date of Birth: 1022-23 Place of Birth: Wādī ʿAbd Allāh (Jaen) Date of Death: 4 February 1093 Place of Death: Granada Biography Ibn Sahl is one of the most remarkable authorities of the Andalusī Mālikī school. His composition of a collection of legal cases entitled Al-aḥkām al-kubrā (‘Major legal judgements’) became an essential reference for Mālikī doctrine and legal practice. He performed several judicial functions, and taught Islamic jurisprudence to numerous Mālikī jurists who were active in the Almoravid period. In the years befo…

Abū Bakr ʿAbdallāh ibn Muḥammad ibn ʿUbayd ibn Abī l-Dunyā

(280 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Ibn Abī l-Dunyā Date of Birth: 823 Place of Birth: Baghdad Date of Death: 894-95 Place of Death: Baghdad Biography Ibn Abī l-Dunyā was known as a literary scholar and ascetic. He was tutor to the future caliphs al-Muʿtaḍid (r. 892-902) and al-Muqtafī (r. 902-908) as well as other ʿAbbasid princes, and was known for his pious life. He spoke out strongly in favor of upright living and against what he saw as moral evils.   He is credited with more than 100 works, among which Kitāb dhamm al-dunyā, 'Reproach of the world', and Kitāb al-taqwā, 'Piety', indicate the kind of interest that might l…

Abū Bakr Muḥammad ibn ʿAbdallāh ibn Shabīb al-Basṛ ī

(368 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Muḥammad ibn Shabīb Date of Birth: Unknown, probably late 8th c. Place of Birth: Unknown Date of Death: Unknown, mid-9th c. Place of Death: Unknown Biography Ibn Shabīb was probably born in Basra, but is often mentioned in connection with events in Baghdad. It is generally agreed that he was a student of Ibrāhīm al-Naẓẓām (q.v.), and so he must have known al-Jāḥiẓ (q.v.), who was another of al-Naẓẓām’s students. Since al-Naẓẓām was called from Basra to Baghdad in 818, Ibn Shabīb must have studied under him befor…

Abū Dāwūd Sulaymān ibn al-Ashʿath al-Sijistānī

(217 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Abū Dāwūd al-Sijistānī Date of Birth: 817 Place of Birth: Sijistān (eastern Iran) Date of Death: 889 Place of Death: Basra Biography Abū Dāwūd is best known as the compiler of the Kitāb al-sunan, one of the six Sunnī canonical collections of ḥadīth. He came from the province of Sijistān in eastern Iran, and after much traveling settled in Basra, where he came to be deeply respected for his learning in his subject.  Among his pupils was the ḥadīth compiler Abū ʿĪsā Muḥammad al-Tirmidhī, whose collection was also accepted as one of the canonical siḥāḥ sitta. Primary Sources of Information Al-Kha…

Abū l-Faḍl ʿAlī ibn Rabban al-Naṣrānī

(163 words)

Author(s): N. Swanson, Mark
Biography According to the (now inaccessible) manuscript of his refutation of Islam, Abū l-Faḍl ʿAlī ibn Rabban al-Naṣrānī (‘the Christian’) served as secretary to the great East-Syrian (‘Nestorian’) Catholicos Timothy (q.v.), who was in office from 780 to 823. His name ‘Ibn Rabban’ (‘son of our master’) indicates that his father was a recognized teacher of the community. Landron ( Chrétiens et musulmans en Irak, p. 60) has considered the possibility of identifying him with the well-known convert to Islam and Muslim apologist ʿAlī ibn Rabban al-Ṭabarī (q.v.)…

Abū l-Faraj al-Iṣbahānī

(480 words)

Author(s): Kilpatrick, Hilary
Abū l-Faraj ʿAlī ibn al-Ḥusayn ibn Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad ibn al-Haytham al-Umawī al-Iṣbahānī (al-Iṣfahānī) Date of Birth: 897 Place of Birth: Probably Baghdad Date of Death: About 973-74 Place of Death: Probably Baghdad or Basra Biography A man of letters, historian, musicologist and poet, Abū l-Faraj al-Iṣbahānī (both al-Iṣbahānī and al-Iṣfahānī are found in the sources) was a descendant of the Umayyads and belonged to a family of higher civil servants. After studying in Kūfa and Baghdad with renowned scholars, including the histori…

Abū l-Faraj Saʿīd ibn ʿAlī l-Anbārī

(158 words)

Author(s): N. Swanson, Mark
Abū l-Faraj Saʿīd ibn ʿAlīl-Anbārī Date of Birth: Unknown, early/mid 9th c.? Place of Birth: Probably in or near the town of al-Anbār Date of Death: Unknown, late 9th c.? Place of Death: Unknown, perhaps in or near the town of al-Anbār Biography Virtually nothing is known of this author. According to Sbath ( Fihris, Supplément, p. 10), he was a scholar who belonged to the East-Syrian community and who lived in the 9th century. His nisba, al-Anbārī, suggests both a place of origin (the town of al-Anbār) as well as a possible connection with the al-Anbārī family of schola…

Abū l-Faraj Yaḥyā ibn Saʿīd ibn Yaḥyā

(763 words)

Author(s): N. Swanson, Mark
Biography This entry introduces the author of three apologetic treatises, as reported in Sbath, Fihris, Supplement, p. 10: Abū l-Faraj Yaḥyā ibn Saʿīd ibn Yaḥyā al-ṭabīb al-Malakī al-Anṭākī, ‘the Melkite physician of Antioch’. This figure has been convincingly identified with the Yaḥyā ibn Saʿīd ibn Yaḥyā to whom Ibn Abī Uṣaybiʿa devotes an entry ( ʿUyūn al-anbāʾ, ed. Müller, i, p. 239): a fine physician of Antioch who the renowned Christian physician Ibn Buṭlān knew personally and about whom he wrote (in 1063) with the greatest respect for his piety and scholarship fī zamāninā, ‘in our…

Abū Ḥakīm (Ḥalīm) Yūsuf al-Buḥayrī

(117 words)

Author(s): G.B. Teule, Herman
Biography Abū Ḥakīm belonged to the East Syrian (‘Nestorian’) community. In 996-97, he entertained a lively correspondence with the West Syrian (‘Jacobite’) translator, philosopher and theologian Abū ʿAlī ʿĪsā ibn Isḥāq ibn Zurʿa (q.v.) on various biblical and internal Christian theological issues. Primary Sources of Information The text of Ibn Zurʿa’s answer (with the name of the addressee and the dates of the correspondence) is preserved in several manuscripts, listed by Graf (GCAL ii, pp. 253-54). Secondary Sources of Information B. Landron, Chretiens et Musulmans, Paris, 19…

Abū l-Ḥasan ʿAlī ibn Sahl Rabban al-Ṭabarī

(776 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
ʿAlī l-Ṭabarī Date of Birth: c. 780 Place of Birth: Merv Date of Death: c. 860 Place of Death: Samarra or Baghdad Biography ʿAlī l-Ṭabarī was the son of a physician whose pre-eminence earned him the Syriac title Rabban, ‘our master’. This has often been mistaken for a Jewish title, but the evidence of ʿAlī’s works, and the fact that in his Kitāb al-dīn wa-l-dawla (ed. Mingana, p. 124) he refers to his father’s brother Abū Zakkār Yaḥyā ibn Nuʿmān (q.v.) as a Christian scholar, identify him clearly as from a Christian family. ʿAlī says that his father worked in Merv, and he was presumably…

Abū l-Ḥasan ʿAlī ibn Yaḥyā ibn al-Munajjim

(455 words)

Author(s): Roggema, Barbara
ʿAlī ibn Yaḥyā ibnal-Munajjim Date of Birth: 815/6 Place of Birth: Baghdad Date of Death: 888 Place of Death: Samarra Biography Abū l-Ḥasan ʿAlī ibn Yaḥyā ibn al-Munajjim came from a Persian family of renowned astrologers. His grandfather was Abū Manṣūr Abān, who was employed as an astrologer by the ʿAbbasid Caliph al-Manṣūr, while his father, Abū ʿAlī Yaḥyā, worked as an astrologer for the ʿAbbasid Caliph al-Maʾmūn (q.v.) and converted from Zoroastrianism to Islam under the influence of his patron. For the next two…

Abū l-Ḥasan ibn al-Munajjim

(303 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Abū l-Ḥasan Aḥmad ibn Yaḥyā ibn ʿAlī ibn Yaḥyā ibn Abī Manṣūr ibn al-Munajjim al-Nadīm Date of Birth: 875 Place of Birth: Probably Baghdad Date of Death: 939 Place of Death: Probably Baghdad Biography Abū l-Ḥasan Aḥmad ibn Yaḥyā was the son of Abū Aḥmad Yaḥyā ibn ʿAlī ibn al-Munajjim (855-912/13) and the grandson of Abū l-Ḥasan ʿAlī ibn Yaḥyā (815-88) (q.v.), who may both have taken part in written exchanges with the Christians Ḥunayn ibn Isḥāq (q.v.) and Qusṭā ibn Lūqā (q.v.). Ibn al-Nadīm remarks on Abū l-Ḥasan Aḥmad’s refinement (which would be expected from a companion of …

Abū Hāshim al-Jubbāʾī

(822 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Abū Hāshim ʿAbd al-Salām ibn Muḥammad ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhāb al-Jubbāʾī Date of Birth: 861 (or less probably 890) Place of Birth: Basra Date of Death: 933 Place of Death: Baghdad Biography Abū Hāshim was the son of the leading late 9th-century Basra Muʿtazilī Abū ʿAlī l-Jubbāʾī (q.v.) and, together with Abū l-Ḥasan al-Ashʾarī (q.v.), one of his pupils. He also studied under the philologist al-Mubarrad (d. 898; this makes it improbable that he was born in 890). He was the best known among the Basra Muʿtazila in the generation following Abū…
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