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 Ḥātim al-Rāzī

(1,630 words)

Author(s): Nomoto and David Thomas, Shin
Abū Ḥātim Aḥmad ibn Ḥamdān al-Rāzī Date of Birth: Unknown, mid-9th century Place of Birth: District of Bashāwūy near Rayy Date of Death: 934 Place of Death: Āzarbāyjān Biography Abū Ḥātim was an Ismāʿīlī, and spent his life working for the Ismaʿīlī missionary cause. He was first lieutenant to the dāʿī who led the missionary activity in Rayy, and later succeeded as the leading dāʿī of the region himself. He claimed to be the khalīfa of the hidden Imām, and was one of those who predicted his return in 928. As supporters and opponents of Ismāʿīlism gained control in the …

Abū l-Hudhayl Muḥammad ibn al-Hudhayl ibn ʿUbayd Allāh ibn Makḥūl al-ʿAbdī l-ʿAllāf

(868 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Abū l-Hudhayl al-ʿAllāf Date of Birth: Between 748 and 753 Place of Birth: Basra Date of Death: Between 840 and 850 Place of Death: Baghdad Biography Abū l-Hudhayl is regarded as one of the greatest theologians of early ʿAbbasid times, and the shaper of many of the main doctrines for which the Muʿtazila became known. He was the leader of the Basra school of the Muʿtazila until he moved to the capital in the early 9th century. In both Basra and Baghdad, he knew other leading thinkers, and was often invited by the Caliph a…

Abū l-Ḥusayn al-Baṣrī

(763 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Abū l-Ḥusayn Muḥammad ibn ʿAlī ibn al-Ṭayyib ibn al-Ḥusayn al-Baṣrī Date of Birth: Unknown; late 10th century Place of Birth: Basra Date of Death: 28 October 1044 Place of Death: Baghdad Biography Born in Basra, Abū l-Ḥusayn is known to have studied medicine and philosophy in Baghdad with the Christians Abū l-Faraj ʿAbdallāh ibn al-Ṭayyib (d. 1043) and Abū ʿAlī ibn al-Samḥ (d. 1027). From the latter he took down Aristotle’s Physica in 1004, which means he must have been studying with him earlier than this, pointing to a date of birth sometime before 980. He went on…

Abū l-Ḥusayn al-Baṣrī

(175 words)

Author(s): G.B. Teule, Herman
Biography Abū l-Ḥusayn was an East Syrian (‘Nestorian’) philosopher and physician, and a disciple of Abū l-Faraj ibn al-Ṭayyib (q.v.). He wrote an apologetic work in which he refuted some mashāyikh and Mu‘tazila (see below). [Note: Further study will probably confirm that this Abū l-Ḥusayn al-Baṣrī, who has presumably been thought to be a Christian because he is quoted as opposing certain Muʿtazilī and other Muslim doctrines and is mentioned by a Christian author, is in fact the 11th century Muʿtazilī theologian whose disagreemen…

Abū l-Ḥusayn al-Miṣrī

(555 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Abū l-Ḥusayn Aḥmad ibn Muḥammad al-Miṣrī Date of Birth: Unknown, possibly late 9th or early 10th century Place of Birth: Unknown, possibly Egypt Date of Death: Unknown, mid or late 10th century Place of Death: Unknown, probably Baghdad Biography Nothing is known about Abū l-Ḥusayn al-Miṣrī except what can be gathered from the Jacobite Christian Yaḥyā ibn ʿAdī’s contribution to a polemical correspondence between the two. This comprised three elements: Yaḥyā’s letter to his fellow Jacobite Abū l-Ḥasan al-Qāsim ibn Ḥabīb in refutation o…

Abū ʿĪsā Aḥmad ibn al-Munajjim

(390 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Abū ʿĪsā Aḥmad ibn ʿAlī ibn Yaḥyā l-Munajjim Date of Birth: Unknown, probably mid-9th century Place of Birth: Baghdad Date of Death: Unknown, probably early 10th century Place of Death: Unknown, probably Baghdad Biography Abū ʿĪsā Aḥmad was a member of the illustrious al-Munajjim family, which had served ʿAbbāsid caliphs from the very start of the dynasty. His grandfather, Abū ʿAlī Yaḥyā, had converted from his original Zoroastrianism to Islam at the time of the Caliph al-Maʾmūn, while his father, Abū l-Ḥasan ʿAlī (815/16-888) (…

Abū ʿĪsā Muḥammad ibn Hārūn ibn Muḥammad al-Warrāq

(844 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Abū ʿĪsā l-Warrāq Date of Birth: Unknown, probably late 8th c. Place of Birth: Unknown Date of Death: Unknown, probably soon after 864 Place of Death: Baghdad Biography Nothing is known about Abū ʿĪsā’s personal circumstances, except that he lived in the Islamic capital, where he is associated with scholars active in the early 9th century. He was closely connected with the heterodox thinker Ibn al-Rāwandī, maybe as his teacher, though the relationship deteriorated into hostility leading to Ibn al-Rāwandī insinuating that h…

Abū Isḥāq Ibrāhīm ibn Isḥāq ibn Ibrāhīm ibn Bishr al-Ḥarbī

(211 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Ibrāhīm ibn Isḥāq al-Ḥarbī Date of Birth: 811 Place of Birth: Merv Date of Death: 898 Place of Death: Baghdad Biography Al-Khāṭib al-Baghdādī and Ibn al-Qifṭī report al-Ḥarbī recalling that most of his maternal uncles were Christians. He moved from his home town to Baghdad, and there he was a student of Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal. Like his teacher, he was an opponent of Muʿtazilī doctrines, particularly the created-ness of the Qurʾān. He was known as a philologist and collector of Hadith, and in his personal life as a man of piety and forbearance. Among al-Ḥarbī’s works are 24 collections of ḥadī…

Abū Isḥāq Ibrāhīm ibn Sayyār ibn Hānī l-Naẓẓām

(518 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Al-Naẓẓām Date of Birth: Latter part of 8th c. Place of Birth: Basra Date of Death: 836 or 845 Place of Death: Baghdad Biography Al-Naẓẓām was born in Basra and lived there until 818, when he was called to Baghdad by al-Maʾmūn. In Basra he is said to have studied under Hishām ibn al-Ḥakam, Abū l-Hudhayl (q.v.) and Ḍirār ibn ʿAmr (q.v.). He in turn was teacher of al-Jāḥiẓ, who regarded him as the most impressive theological and legal scholar of his day, and also probably of Muḥammad ibn Shabīb. Little is known about his…

Abū Isḥāq Ibrāhīm ibn Yaʿqūb ibn Isḥāq al-Saʿdī al-Jūzajānī

(295 words)

Author(s): Roggema, Barbara
Al-Jūzajānī Date of Birth: Unknown, probably early 9th c. Place of Birth: Khurāsān Date of Death: 870 or 873 Place of Death: Damascus Biography Al-Jūzajānī was originally from Khurāsān and traveled widely in the Muslim world before settling in Damascus. He is primarily known as a scholar and transmitter of ḥadīth, from Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal among others. Some of his works and the traditions he cited in them are known through ḥadīth collectors of subsequent generations and also through the works of Muḥammad ibn Jarīr al-Ṭabarī, who used al-Jūzajānī as a source. Al-Ṭabarī…

Abū Jaʿfar Muḥammad ibn ʿAbdallāh al-Iskāfī

(403 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Al-Iskāfī Date of Birth: Unknown, probably mid-8th c. Place of Birth: Iskāf Date of Death: 854 Place of Death: Baghdad Biography Al-Iskāfī’s name goes back to the town of Iskāf, between Baghdad and Wāsiṭ. His family originated in Samarqand. He was a Baghdad Muʿtazilī, and a follower of Jaʿfar ibn Ḥarb (d. 850), who encouraged him in his studies contrary to his parents’ wishes. He was greatly admired by the Caliph al-Muʿtaṣim (maybe for the ingenuity that is exemplified in his arguments against Christianity, as is sh…

Abū l-Khayr ʿĪsā ibn Hibat Allāh

(73 words)

Author(s): N. Swanson, Mark
Biography Virtually nothing is known about this author, identified by Sbath ( Fihris, Supplément, p. 9) as a 9th-century scholar and member of the East-Syrian community. Primary Sources of Information -- Secondary Sources of Information B. Landron, Chrétiens et musulmans en Irak, Paris, 1994, p. 88 Graf, GCAL ii, p. 119 Sbath, Fihris, Supplément, p. 9 Works on Christian-Muslim Relations Kitāb al-hidāya Kitāb al-kifāya Mark N. Swanson

Abū l-Maʿālī

(200 words)

Author(s): Mallett, Alex
Abū l-Maʿālī Muḥammad ibn ʿUbayd Allāh Date of Birth: Unknown; probably mid-11th century Place of Birth: Unknown; probably Iran or further east Date of Death: Unknown; probably early 12th century Place of Death: Unknown; possibly Ghazna Biography What little we know of Abū l-Maʿālī is gained from snippets in the introduction to his Bayān al-adyān, as there is no mention of him in biographical or bibliographical dictionaries. He seems to have been a civil servant in the court of Ghazna, and he was well educated, although we know of only one work by …

Abū Marwān ʿAbd al-Malik ibn Ḥabīb ibn Sulaymān ibn Hārūn/Marwān ibn Julhuma ibn ʿAbbās ibn Mirdās al-Sulamī

(518 words)

Author(s): Monferrer Sala, Juan Pedro
Ibn Ḥabīb Date of Birth: c. 790 Place of Birth: A village near Granada Date of Death: 852-53 Place of Death: Cordova Biography ʿAbd al-Malik ibn Ḥabīb was born in kūrat Ilbīra, a small village near Granada, where he may have started his studies. He was a druggist ( ʿaṭṭār) like his father, and he had a brother whom he defended against a charge of blasphemy before the judge of Ilbīra. He fathered two sons and a daughter. At some point Ibn Ḥabīb moved to Cordova, where he studied ḥadīth and fiqh with three scholars. When he was 33, he spent three years studying in the Middl…

Abū Marwān ʿAbd al-Malik ibn Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad al-Bājī

(440 words)

Author(s): Rodríguez-Gómez, María Dolores
ʿAbd al-Malik Ibn Ṣāḥib al-Ṣalāt Date of Birth: Between 1126 and 1136 Place of Birth: Beja Date of Death: After 1198 Place of Death: Unknown Biography As his nisba al-Bājī reveals, this Andalusī historian, secretary ( kātib) and poet was born in Beja in the Portuguese province of the Algarve. Most of the information about his life comes from his own chronicle, Al-mann bi-l-imāma. From this, it can known that he was at first reluctant to accept the rule of the Almohads, because he did not at first respond when he was called into their service in 1162, though…

Abū Muḥammad ʿAbdallāh ibn Qutayba

(359 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Ibn Qutayba Date of Birth: 828 Place of Birth: Kūfa Date of Death: 889 Place of Death: Baghdad Biography Ibn Qutayba was educated in conservative intellectual circles, and he identified himself as a follower of Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal. His ideas found favour with the Caliph al-Mutawakkil, and from about 851 he held the post of qāḍī under the patronage of the vizier al-Fatḥ ibn Khāqān. He lost this post when the latter fell from favor in 870, and after that mainly devoted himself to writing. He wrote on a range of topics, mainly adab, for which he was primarily known, and religious matters. His adab works…

Abū Muḥammad al-Nawbakhtī

(470 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Abū Muḥammad al-Ḥasan ibn Mūsā l-Nawbakhtī Date of Birth: Unknown; probably mid or late 9th century Place of Birth: Baghdad Date of Death: Early 10th century; possibly between 912 and 923 Place of Death: Probably Baghdad Biography The Nawbahktī family was known for its close association with the Abbasid dynasty throughout the 8th and 9th centuries, and for its support of Shīʿī doctrines and beliefs. Abū Muḥammad al-Ḥasan himself was a prominent Shīʿī intellectual in the latter part of the 9th and early 10th centuries, and was remembered for his sympathies with Muʿtazilī princi…

Abū Muḥammad al-Qāsim ibn Ibrāhīm ibn Ismāʿīl ibn Ibrāhīm ibn al-Ḥasan ibn al-Ḥasan ibn ʿAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib al-Rassī

(637 words)

Author(s): Madelung, Wilferd
Al-Qāsim ibn Ibrāhīm Date of Birth: Unknown, c. 785 Place of Birth: Medina Date of Death: 860 Place of Death: Jabal al-Rass (near Medina) Biography Al-Qāsim was educated in Zaydī Shīʿī Islam by his ʿAlid family and in Medinan ḥadīth by a nephew of Mālik ibn Anas, the founder of the legal school of Medina. His elder brother Muḥammad headed a revolt in Kūfa, claiming the Zaydī imamate, and was killed in 814. Al-Qāsim was in Egypt at that time, where he studied the Jewish and Christian scriptures and Christian theological …

Abū l-Mundhir Hishām ibn Muḥammad ibn al-Sāʾib al-Kalbī

(544 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Ibn al-Kalbī Date of Birth: Approx. 737 Place of Birth: Kūfa Date of Death: 819 or 821 Place of Death: Kūfa Biography Ibn al-Kalbī prided himself on being a student of his own father, Muḥammad ibn al-Sāʾib ibn Bishr al-Kalbī. Since the latter died in 763, and his son must have studied with him long enough to assimilate all the knowledge he attributes to his father, a reasonable date of birth for Ibn al-Kalbī would be 737 (Atallah, p. XIX). The date of his death is variously given as 819 and 821. Born and brought up in Kūfa, at some point in his mature life he moved to Baghdad, where he…

Abū Mūsā ʿĪsā ibn Ṣubayḥ al-Murdār

(423 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Al-Murdār Date of Birth: Unknown Place of Birth: Unknown Date of Death: 841 Place of Death: Baghdad Biography One of the early Baghdad Muʿtazila, al-Murdār was a pupil and supporter of Bishr ibn al-Muʿtamir, so presumably slightly younger than the founder of the school. He was known for his asceticism (he left his wealth to the poor), and was compared among the Muʿtazila to a monk among the Christians. None of al-Murdār’s 33 works listed by Ibn al-Nadīm survives (Van Ess, TG v, pp. 331-32). He wrote works on some of the main issues debated in his school (among them Kitāb al-tawḥīd, ‘Divine unit…
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