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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Jacob bar Shakkō

(386 words)

Author(s): G.B. Teule, Herman
Jacob bar Shakkō (Arabic, ibn Sakkā) bar ʿEsu bar Markos Date of Birth: Probably second half of the 12th century Place of Birth: Bartella, near Mosul Date of Death: 1241 Place of Death: Mosul Biography Severus (his baptismal name) bar Shakkō was a monk of the monastery of Mar Mattay. Promoted to abbot of Mar Mattay and titular bishop, he took the name of Jacob (Schrier, pp. 216-18). According to Ibrahim, in his introduction to the Arabic translation of the Book of treasures, his name should be read Bar Shabō, but the manuscript evidence does not seem to support this reading. Bar Shakkō studied …

Jacob of Edessa

(502 words)

Author(s): G.B. Teule, Herman
Biography Jacob of Edessa was a Syrian-Orthodox monk and bishop of Edessa. He studied ecclesiastical sciences (Bible, Fathers of the Church) in his native region and became a monk in the monastery of Qenneshrin, a centre of learning on the west bank of the Euphrates, where he studied Greek. He perfected his knowledge of Greek in Alexandria, where he stayed for some time before settling in Edessa. He was appointed bishop of the city in 684, but resigned after four years in protest against the libe…

Jacques de Vitry

(741 words)

Author(s): Tolan, John
Jacobus Vitriacus, James of Vitry, Jakob von Vitry Date of Birth: 1160-70 Place of Birth: Probably Vitry en Perthois Date of Death: 1 May 1240 Place of Death: Rome Biography Jacques was born in the 1160s into a noble family of the Perthois, probably Vitry en Perthois, in Champagne (see M.-G. Grossel’s trans. of Historia orientalis, pp. 7-8). He studied in Paris with preaching masters Jean de Liro and Jean de Nivelles, who in turn had been taught by Peter the Chanter. Jacques proved to be the most effective and prolific preacher trained in this milie…

 Jadhwat al-muqtabis fī ta’rīkh ʿulamā’ al-Andalus

(745 words)

Author(s): El Hour, Rachid
Jadhwat al-muqtabisA firebrand for the seeker of illumination about the history of the scholars of al-Andalus, A firebrand for the seeker of illumination Al-Ḥumaydī Date: After 1056-57 Original Language: Arabic Description Jadhwat al-muqtabis is a biographical dictionary of rulers, scholars and poets of al-Andalus. It includes an historical introduction to al-Andalus from the Muslim conquest up to 1145-46. According to the accounts of its composition, al-Ḥumaydī wrote it from memory alone. He himself says in the introduction that he wrote at the reques…


(273 words)

Author(s): Demiri, Lejla
Abū l-Baqāʾ Taqī al-Dīn Ṣāliḥ ibn al-Ḥusayn ibn Ṭalḥa ibn al-Ḥusayn ibn Muḥammad ibn al-Ḥusayn al-Hāshimī al-Jaʿfarī al-Zaynabī Date of Birth: 1185 Place of Birth: Egypt Date of Death: 1270 Place of Death: Cairo Biography Ṣāliḥ ibn al-Ḥusayn al-Jaʿfarī is described as a scholar, a poet, a man of letters and a jurist (most probably a Shāfiʿī) who for some time served as judge ( qāḍī) and then as governor ( wālī) of the city of Qūṣ in Upper Egypt. Other than the fact that he wrote three anti-Christian polemics, few details of his life are known. Primary Sources of Information Al-Yūnīnī, Dhayl mirʾ…

Jamāl al-Dīn al-Asnawī

(190 words)

Author(s): Mallett, Alex
Jamāl al-Dīn Abū Muḥammad ʿAbd al-Raḥīm ibn al-Ḥasan al-Umawī l-Qurashī l-Asnawī Date of Birth: 1304/5 Place of Birth: Asna Date of Death: September 1370 Place of Death: Cairo Biography Al-Asnawī was a fairly prolific though generally unremarkable writer. He moved from his native town of Asna (Isna) in Upper Egypt to Cairo in 1321/22, where he excelled in his studies, and he soon became a renowned teacher at various mosques in the city. He then moved into the administration of the Mamluk state, where he stayed for some year…

James I of Aragon

(1,006 words)

Author(s): Smith, Damian
Biography James became king at the age of five when his father, Peter II, was defeated and killed at the battle of Muret on 12 September 1213. Brought up at the forbidding Templar fortress at Monzón, the years of his minority saw almost continuous fighting between the higher nobles. James’s first attempt to establish his own authority, a campaign against the Muslims of Peñíscola in 1225, ended in humiliating failure. His next campaigns were against the nobles in Aragon, with whom he came to terms…

James of Voragine

(591 words)

Author(s): Mula, Stefano
Biography James of Voragine was probably born in Genoa around 1228-29 and his name attests familial ancestry relating to the nearby town of Varagine, today Varazze. There is no evidence that he was born in Varazze, however, and James refers to himself as coming from Genoa. The more common ‘Voragine’, attested since the 14th century, is probably no more than a corruption of the original name. Nothing is known about his early life, and James himself gives the first reliable date when he recalls entering the Dominican order as an adolescent in 1244. …

János Thuróczy

(591 words)

Author(s): Ayton, Andrew
Biography János Thuróczy was born into a modestly-endowed lesser noble family whose land lay predominantly in the county of Turóc in northern Hungary. The date of his birth is unknown, but from what is recorded of his life (he appears for the first time in the sources in 1459) it was probably around 1435. Nothing is known of his youth or education, though we may suggest that he learned Latin at a church school, that he had no Greek and that he did not attend a university. That he should embark up…

 Jāvidān-nāma-yi kabīr

(2,408 words)

Cavidan, Jāwidān, Jāvdān, Jāvidān-nāma, Jāwidān-nāma‘The great book of eternity’ Faḍl Allāh Astarābādī Date: Before 1394 Original Language: Persian DescriptionThe Jāvidān-nāma-yi kabīr is the most important of Faḍl Allāh Astarābādī’s works. Its central doctrinal line is a theory of the original divine Word through which the universe was created. All stages of evolution of the universe and of humankind, from their creation to their final disappearance at the end of time, are described as the stages of the progressiv…

 Jawāb ʿan kitāb malik al-Rūm

(359 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Reply to the letter of the Byzantine emperor Abū l-Ḥasan ibn al-Munajjim Date: About 935 Original Language: Arabic Description Elsewhere in the Tathbīt (p. 343), ʿAbd al-Jabbār refers to a reply which Abū al-Ḥasan wrote to a letter ( kitāb) from the Byzantine emperor. In his letter, which was written after the Byzantine capture of Melitene in 935, the emperor rejoiced at the misfortunes brought on the Islamic state by the Carmathians, and especially their attacks on Mecca and murder of pilgrims. This emperor would have been Constanti…

 Jawāb ʿan kitāb malik al-Rūm

(508 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Reply to the letter of the Byzantine emperor ʿAlī ibn ʿĪsā al-Jarrāḥ Date: Unknown, about 935 Original Language: Arabic Description ʿAbd al-Jabbār says that the emperor’s letter was sent after the Byzantine capture of Melitene, which took place in 934. It would thus have been composed for Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus (r. 911-59). It must have been taken to Baghdad in the mid 930s, and ʿAlī ibn ʿĪsā would have sent his reply, which was accompanied by another from Abū l-Ḥasan Aḥmad ibn Yaḥyā ibn ʿAlī ibn al-Munajjim (d. 939) (q.v.), soon afterwards. ʿAlī evidently composed this in an …

 Jawāb ʿan masāʾil saʾalahā ʿanhā sāʾil fī l-aqānīm al-thalātha

(400 words)

Author(s): Platti, Emilio
Jawāb ʿan masāʾil fī l-aqānīm al-thalāthaReply to questions put forward by someone on the three hypostases, Reply to questions on the three hypostases Yaḥyā ibn ʿAdī Date: Unknown Original Language: Arabic Description This treatise consists of two questions put forward by an anonymous person ( al-sāʾil), and the answers given by Yaḥyā. In fact, Ibn ʿAdī quotes not only the two questions but also some longer remarks made by the questioner. This could be a sign that the text quoted was originally part of a longer and coherent polemical text.…

 Jawāb ʿan masʾala saʾala ʿanhā mukhālifū l-Naṣārā fī naqḍ(ihim) awṣāfahum al-Masīḥ min jihat al-taʾannus

(663 words)

Author(s): Platti, Emilio
Reply to a question asked by the adversaries of the Christians, criticizing the attributes given by them to Christ with regard to the Incarnation Yaḥyā ibn ʿAdī Date: Unknown Original Language: Arabic Description According to the incipit of this ‘Reply’, the question asked by ‘adversaries’ of the Christians ( mukhālifū l-Naṣārā) was transmitted to Yaḥyā ibn ʿAdī (correcting Périer’s ed.: awṣala ilayya ṣadīqunā… masʾalatan…) by one of his friends, Abū Zakariyyā Yaḥyā ibn Yūnis. Yaḥyā analyzes and answers their question in different parts of his refutation. In the first…

 Jawāb al-Nāshiʾ al-Akbar

(384 words)

Author(s): Awad, Wadi
'Response to al-Nāshiʾ al-Akbar' Al-Ṣafī ibn al-ʿAssāl Date: Unknown, perhaps before 1235 Original Language: Arabic Description This work is also known by the titles Jawāb ʿAbdallāh al-Nāshiʾ fī l-Maqālāt (so al-Muʾtaman and Abū l-Barakāt), Al-radd ʿalā Kitāb al-maqālāt li-l-Nāshiʾ, and Ijābat al-Nāshiʾ. In his introduction, al-Ṣafī states that he had read al-Nāshiʾ’s (q.v.) work in a copy by Yaḥyā ibn ʿAdī (q.v.), and that he had made a summary. When he returned the book to its owner, the latter asked him to respond to al-Nāshiʾ’s att…

 Jawāb al-qāḍī Abū l-Walīd al-Bājī ilā risālat rāhib Faransā ilā al-Muslimīn

(616 words)

Author(s): Zomeño, Amalia
The Qāḍī Abū l-Walīd al-Bājī’s reply to the Monk of France’s letter to the Muslims Al-Bājī Date: Uncertain; before 1081 Original Language: Arabic Description Although its title says that this was a letter sent by an anonymous Monk of France to al-Muqtadir, king of Saragossa, and al-Bājī’s reply, it is more likely to have been entirely composed by al-Bājī himself in the form of a written dialogue or exchange of correspondence. While the monk’s letter is short and straightforward, al-Bājī’s reply is a more elaborate theological treatise. In the letter, the monk invites al-Muqtadir t…

 Jawāb, 'Response', to the Risāla, 'Treatise', or Burhān, 'Proof', of Ibn al-Munajjim

(815 words)

Author(s): N. Swanson, Mark
Response Qusṭā ibn Lūqā Date: Possibly 910-20 Original Language: Arabic Description Qusṭā ibn Lūqā’s Jawāb (‘Response’) to Al-burhān (‘The proof’) of [ʿAlī ibn Yaḥyā?] ibn al-Munajjim (q.v.) is a booklet-length (55 pages in its PO edition), point-by-point refutation of Ibn al-Munajjim’s attempt to construct an irrefutable Aristotelian demonstration ( burhān muṭlaq or burhān handasī) for the prophethood of Muḥammad. Qusṭā, while expressing his reluctance to respond to Ibn al-Munajjim’s surprising venture, goes right to the point: Ibn al-Munajjim’s …

 Jawāb al-Riḍā ʿan suʾāl Abī Qurra ṣāḥib al-jāthlīq

(390 words)

Author(s): Bertaina, David
Al-Riḍā’s reply to the question of Abū Qurra, companion of the patriarch Ṣafwān ibn Yaḥyā Abū Muḥammad al-Bajalī Date: 817-825 Original Language: Arabic Description The original title, if there was one, and the length of the full work are unknown. Mentioned as a ḥadīth attributed to Ṣafwān ibn Yaḥyā, this page-long text is preserved in the ʿUyūn akhbār al-Riḍā by Ibn Bābawayh al-Qummī (d. 991/2). The content includes a short discussion between the Imām ʿAlī al-Riḍā (d. 818) and a friend of the patriarch, a Christian named John (Yuḥannā) Abū Qurra. Abū Qurra asks Ṣafwān to introduce hi…

 Jawāb risālat ahl jazīrat Qubruṣ

(999 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
‘Reply to the letter of the people of Cyprus’ Ibn Abī Ṭālib al-Dimashqī Date: June 1321 Original Language: Arabic Description This long work is a reply to the anonymous letter that was sent in the name of the people of Cyprus to demonstrate how Christianity is supported and authenticated by the Qur’an (see ‘The letter from the People of Cyprus’); this is an extensively edited version of Paul of Antioch’s Letter to a Muslim friend (q.v.), written by Paul about a century earlier. In 1316, a version of this letter was sent from Cyprus to the theologian Ibn Taymiyya (q.v.…

 Al-jawāb al-ṣaḥīḥ li-man baddala dīn al-Masīḥ

(4,360 words)

Author(s): Hoover, Jon
Bayān al-jawāb al-ṣaḥīḥ li-man baddala dīn al-Masīḥ‘The correct answer to those who have changed the religion of Christ’ Ibn Taymiyya Date: 1316 or shortly thereafter Original Language: Arabic Description Ibn Taymiyya’s Jawāb al-ṣaḥīḥ is a long refutation of the Christian Letter from the people of Cyprus (q.v.), which is a revised version of the Letter to a Muslim friend written by Paul of Antioch, Melkite Bishop of Sidon (q.v.), sometime in the late 1100s or early 1200s. Ibn Taymiyya received the Letter from the people of Cyprus in 1316 and probably completed his Jawāb well before 1321…
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