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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(683 words)

Author(s): Yarbrough, Luke
ʿAlāʾ al-Dīn Abū ʿAmr ʿUthmān ibn Ibrāhīm ibn Khālid ibn Muḥammad ibn Muslim al-Qurashī l-Nābulusī Date of Birth: 26 or 27 December 1192 Place of Birth: Cairo Date of Death: 17 April 1262 Place of Death: Cairo Biography Abū ʿAmr ʿUthmān ibn Ibrāhīm al-Nābulusī  (a few authors suggest Fakhr al-Dīn and/or add al-Ṣafadī), as his name suggests, had family origins in Palestine, though he seems to have lived most of his life in Egypt. His father ʿAlam al-Dīn was a Shāfiʿī qāḍī, but his maternal grandfather was the Damascene Ḥanbalī jurisprudent and preacher Zayn al-Dīn ʿAlī ibn Ib…

 Nahj al-sabīl fī jawāb Takhjīl muḥarrifī al-Injīl

(487 words)

'The procedure along the way in response to The shaming of those who alter the Gospel' Al-Ṣafī ibn al-ʿAssāl Date: Perhaps 1243 Original Language: Arabic DescriptionThis work has sometimes been thought to be part of Al-ṣaḥāʾiḥ, though it is a separate response to a different anti-Christian polemic. This was a summarized version (possibly made by Shihāb al-Dīn al-Qarāfī, d. 1285 [q.v.]) of a work by an author who is called al-faqīh (ed. Jirjis, pp. 60, 76, 86, 100, 108, 121), and Taqī l-Dīn (ibid., p. 107), and is said to be a judge who was a bookseller (ibid., p. …

 Al-nahj al-sadīd wa-l-durr al-farīd fīmā baʿd Tārīkh Ibn al-ʿAmīd

(765 words)

Author(s): Moawad, Samuel
'The correct procedure and singular pearl in what comes after the History of Ibn al-ʿAmīd' Al-Mufaḍḍal ibn Abī l-Faḍāʾil Date: 24 September 1358 Original Language: Arabic Description Al-Mufaḍḍal’s historical work, as its title reveals, is a continuation of al-Makīn ibn al-ʿAmīd (the elder)’s Al-majmūʿ al-mubārak. It deals with the history of Egypt and Syria in the period from the sultanate of al-Ẓāhir Baybars beginning in 1260 to the death of al-Malik al-Nāṣir in 1341, with some additional events up to 1348. For the most part, al-Mufaḍḍal arranges his history by year, as was…

 Al-Naqḍ ʿalā man uḍīfa ilā l-Yaʿqūbiyya... wa-ʿalā bāqī ṣunūf al-Naṣārā

(212 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
The invalidation of those who are related to the Jacobites ... and of other Christian groups Abū ʿĪsā Muḥammad ibn Hārūn ibn Muḥammad al-Warrāq Date: Unknown Original Language: Arabic Description At the end of the Radd (see Thomas, Early Muslim polemic, pp. 276-77), Abū ʿĪsā declares that he plans a separate work in which he will refute the monophysite sects of the Julianists and Eutychians, together with other sects such as the Maronites, Sabellians, Gregorians, Macedonians, Apollinarians, Arians, Eunomians, Photinians and followers …

 Naqḍ al-tathlīth ʿalā Yaḥyā ibn ʿAdī

(281 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Criticism of the Trinity, against Yaḥyā ibn ʿAdī Al-Rummānī Date: Unknown, but if after Yaḥyā’s death between 974 and 994 Original Language: Arabic Description It is entirely possible that al-Rummānī knew Yaḥyā ibn ʿAdī (q.v.) personally. They were both teachers of Abū Ḥayyān al-Tawḥīdī, and they must have encountered each other at the various assemblies they frequented in the capital. But nothing is known about the contents of this work, and it has not survived. It is mentioned by al-Tawḥīdī ( Al-muqābasāt, ed. M. Tawfīq al-Ḥusayn, Baghdad, 1970, no. 30, p. 150). Given al-Rummānī’s pr…

Narratio de Imagine Edessena

(120 words)

Author(s): Guscin, Mark
Unknown Author Date of Birth: Unknown; probably late 9th century Place of Birth: Unknown Date of Death: Unknown; probably latter part of the 10th century Place of Death: Unknown Biography Although this work has been attributed to Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus, the real author is unknown. He was probably a cleric close to the court writing on behalf of the emperor. Primary Sources of Information - Secondary Sources of Information - Works on Christian-Muslim Relations Kōnstantinou en Christō basilei aiōniō basileōs Rōmaiōn diēgēsis apo diaphorōn athroistheis…

Al-Nāshiʾ al-Akbar

(351 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Abū l-ʿAbbas ʿAbdallāh ibn Muḥammad al-Anbārī, Ibn Shirshīr Date of Birth: Unknown Place of Birth: Anbār, near Baghdad Date of Death: 906 Place of Death: Egypt Biography Little is known about al-Nāshiʾ al-Akbar’s life, except that he lived in Baghdad until about 893 and was employed as a government official, and that he moved to Egypt, where he remained until his death. Al-Nāshiʾ was remembered for his singular theological views about God’s radical distinctiveness from creation, according to which humans cannot share in any real sense characteristics posse…

 Al-naṣīḥa l-imāniyya fī faḍīḥat al-milla l-Naṣrāniyya

(920 words)

Author(s): Demiri, Lejla
Faithful counsel concerning the ignominy of the Christian religion Naṣr ibn Yaḥyā Date: Unknown; mid or late 12th century Original Language: Arabic Description The work is an example of a convert’s assessment and critique of his former religion, penned as an act of gratitude to God for granting him the opportunity to find the true path. The book comprises four chapters covering various topics concerning Muslim-Christian relations, entitled respectively: on the Christian sects and doctrines; Christian claims, incoherencies in theology, and differences…

Naṣr ibn Yaḥyā

(486 words)

Author(s): Demiri, Lejla
Naṣr ibn Yaḥyā ibn ʿῙsā ibn Saʿīd al-Mutaṭabbib al-Muhtadī Date of Birth: Unknown; late 11th or early 12th century Place of Birth: Basra Date of Death: September 1193 or possibly 1163 Place of Death: Basra Biography In the opening of Al-naṣīḥa al-īmāniyya the author refers to himself as Naṣr ibn Yaḥyā ibn ʿῙsā ibn Saʿīd al-Mutaṭabbib (p. 48). The work also reveals that he was a Christian doctor who later converted to Islam. In classical biographical dictionaries, however, one can detect hardly any information about a Christian doctor c…


(1,399 words)

Author(s): Frederiks, Martha
‘The voyages of Cadamosto’ Alvise da Ca’ da Mosto Date: Probably between 1463 and 1468 (based on cartographic evidence) Original Language: Italian Description Though it is unclear when exactly Ca’ da Mosto wrote his Navigazioni,  it is generally assumed that he wrote the text after he had settled back in Venice, probably between 1463 and 1468. Parts of the text may have been composed earlier, since there are indications that he perhaps used the logbook of his voyages as the basis for what he wrote (Crone, ‘Introduction’, p. xxxiii). Navigazioni has been transmitted in four different…

 Nawādir al-mufassirīn wa-taḥrīf al-mukhālifīn

(155 words)

Author(s): N. Swanson, Mark
The choice passages of the exegetes and the corruption of the opponents Būluṣ ibn Rajāʾ Date: Possibly late 10th century Original Language: Arabic Description P. Sbath ( Fihris i, p. 11, no. 45) describes this work as a refutation of Islam. In both this work and the previous one, according to Mīkhāʾīl al-Damrāwī, the author ‘defeated [the opponents] from their [own] religion’ (Atiya et al., History, p. 110, lines 5-7). Significance This work could be quite interesting if it mines Islamic tafsīr works available to al-Wāḍiḥ, as its title suggests.  We must hope that a copy can be found. Manuscr…

Naẓīf ibn Yumn

(573 words)

Author(s): N. Swanson, Mark
Biography Abū ʿAlī Naẓīf ibn Yumn is variously identified in the primary sources as al-mutaṭabbib (the medical practitioner), al-qass al-Rūmī (the Melkite priest), and al-Baghdādī (from Baghdad). While there is evidence that he practiced medicine for a time in Shirāz (see Nasrallah, ‘Naẓīf’, p. 306), sometime after 870 he made his way to Baghdad, where he became a physician to the great Būyid emir ʿAḍud al-Dawla (r. 879-83) and was appointed to the staff of the ʿAḍudī hospital. A translator from Greek to Arabic as well…

 Naẓm al-durar fī tanāsub al-āyāt wa-l-suwar

(975 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
‘The string of pearls, on the harmonious relationship of verses and chapters’ Al-Biqāʿī Date: 1456-77 Original Language: Arabic Description Al-Biqāʿī began Naẓm al-durar in 1456. At the end of the last volume, he explains that he published it in serial form over 14 years and then took another ten years to polish it before its final publication (Saleh, In defense of the Bible, pp. 21-22). It marks a decisive shift in exegesis of the Qur’an, for not only does it seek to demonstrate that each sūra is a coherent literary unit that gives the verses within it their individual meaning,…

 Naẓm al-jawhar wa-l-durar, fī l-radd ʿalā l-qawl bi-l-qaḍāʾ wa-l-qadar

(206 words)

Author(s): N. Swanson, Mark
The string of jewels and pearls, in refutation of the doctrine of divine determination Sāwīrus ibn al-Muqaffaʿ Date: Unknown Original Language: Arabic Description MZ no. 8, HP no. 6. The work is lost (unless it is to be identified with a work of similar title in MS Beirut, Oriental Library – 589, pp. 1-234; but that work is attributed to al-Shaykh al-Makīn). It appears to have been a defense of human free will and responsibility, over against the deterministic tendencies of some Islamic discourse. (A brief statement of Sāwīrus’ view on this matter may be found in Kitāb miṣbāḥ al-ʿaql, ch. 9; …