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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Al-Qāḍī ʿIyāḍ

(471 words)

Author(s): Serrano Ruano, Delfina
Abū l-Faḍl ʿIyāḍ ibn Mūsā ibn ʿIyāḍ al-Yaḥṣubī al-Sabtī Date of Birth: 1083 Place of Birth: Ceuta Date of Death: 1149 Place of Death: Marrakesh Biography Al-Qāḍī ʿIyāḍ was one of the most significant religious personalities of Islamic Spain. He excelled in the fields of prophetic tradition and Islamic jurisprudence, and also wrote on history and literature ( adab). After he composed the Kitāb al-shifā’ bi-taʿrīf ḥuqūq al-Muṣṭafā (‘The cure by the acknowledgement of the rights of the chosen one’), his reputation went beyond the confines of his homeland through the whole Islamic world. He …

Al-Qaffāl al-Shāshī

(298 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Abū Bakr Muḥammad ibn ʿAlī ibn Ismāʿīl al-Qaffāl al-Kabīr al-Shāshī Date of Birth: 903-4 Place of Birth: Tashkent (Shāsh) Date of Death: August 976 Place of Death: Tashkent Biography Abū Bakr al-Qaffāl was regarded as one of the leading exponents of Shāfiʿī jurisprudence of his day, and was known for his erudition in a range of scholarly disciplines. He travelled widely from his native Shāsh in search of knowledge, and as a young man he was a student of the great historian al-Ṭabarī (d. 923) (q.v.). After abandoning Muʿtazi…


(400 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Aḥmad ibn Muḥammad al-Qaḥṭabī Date of Birth: Unknown Place of Birth: Unknown Date of Death: Before 940 Place of Death: Unknown Biography The author of a refutation of Christianity that is virtually unknown is himself almost completely unknown. Ibn al-Nadīm links an al-Qaḥṭabī with a certain Ibn al-Baṭrīq, saying that the latter translated a work of the Greek physician Alexander of Tralles for him ( Fihrist, p. 352), and he also lists the Christian sects that appeared in al-Qaḥṭabī’s refutation of Christianity (p. 405). In addition to this, Abū Manṣūr al-Baghd…

 Qallīl men mamllā d-mār(y) Yūḥannā estọnāyā d-bēt mār(y) Zʿurā qaddishā d-ba-Srug

(472 words)

Author(s): Suermann, Harald
Part of the discourse of Mār John the Stylite of Mār Zʿurā in Sarug John the Stylite of Mār Zʿurā at Sarug Date: Unknown, maybe mid-8th c. Original Language: Syriac Description This text contains a disputation between John and an anonymous antagonist on Christology and God's foreknowledge. Although the antagonist is not explicitly identified as a Muslim, it is suggested indirectly, since he addresses the Jews in the third person.   The first part deals with the doctrines of the Incarnation and the Trinity, which are explained on the basis of biblical arguments. The…


(544 words)

Author(s): El Kaisy-Friemuth, Maha
Shihāb al-Dīn Abū l-ʿAbbās Aḥmad ibn Idrīs al-Ṣanhājī Date of Birth: 1228 Place of Birth: Bahfashīm, Egypt Date of Death: 1285 Place of Death: Cairo Biography Abū l-ʿAbbās Aḥmad al-Qarāfī was born in Upper Egypt, from Berber origins. He received his first education in his native village, then moved to Cairo at the age of 15, acquiring the name al-Qarāfī from the al-Qarāfa district where he lived. He rose to become one of the leading scholars of the Mālikī school in Egypt, though he also specialized in a range of other disciplines, including logic, kalām, tafsīr, medicine, mathematics and …


(422 words)

Author(s): Echevarria, Ana
Canon laws Vincentius Date: Approximately 1048-50 Original Language: Arabic Description This collection of canon laws is a parallel compilation to the Latin canon laws of the Visigothic church in the Iberian Peninsula from 600 to 700. It is divided into ten books ( maṣāḥif) containing canons selected from an index, known as the Excerpta, appropriate to the needs of Christians living under Muslim rule. The structure of each canon mirrors that of the Muslim tradition: first the source ( isnād), then the body of the canon ( matn). The contents of the collection range from issues about…

 Qawl ʿalā Ṭarābulus ʿalā mā jarā fīhā min al-Islām

(585 words)

Author(s): N. Swanson, Mark
‘Discourse on Tripoli concerning what was brought about there by Islam’ Sulaymān al-Ashlūḥī Date: After 27 April 1289 Original Language: Arabic Description This relatively short zajaliyya or strophic poem (67 lines in Jabre-Mouawad’s edition) expresses the poet’s sorrow after the fall of the city of Tripoli to the Mamluks in 1289. Its various titles all reflect this: Qawl ʿalā Ṭarābulus ʿalā mā jarā fīhā min al-Islām, ‘Discourse on Tripoli and what was brought about there by Islam’ (Vat Syr. 231); Madīḥat Ṭarābulus, ‘In praise of Tripoli’ (MS Anayssi, Guidi’s edition); Qaṣīda ʿalā kh…

 Qawl Anbā Shinūda raʾīs al-mutawaḥḥidīn, waʿẓ wa-taʿlīm li-awlādihi l-ruhbān; Nubuwwat abīnā l-qiddīs Anbā Shinūda

(3,318 words)

Author(s): van Lent, Jos
‘The saying of Abba Shenute, head of the recluses, an admonition and an instruction to his children the monks’; ‘The prophecy of our holy father Abba Shenute’; ‘The apocalypse of Shenute’; ‘The second (Arabic) apocalypse of Shenute’; ‘The prophecies and exhortations of Shenute’; ‘ApocShen II’; ‘ShenII’ The prophecies and exhortations of Pseudo-Shenute Date: The original version may have been composed around 1325-30; slightly reworked at least once c. 1400 Original Language: Arabic Description This early Mamluk-period work, which records an apocalyptic sermon purporte…

 Al-qawl fī masʾalat ʿĪsā kalimat Allāh wa-l-Qurʾān kalām Allāh

(410 words)

Author(s): Hoover, Jon
‘What is said about the issue of Jesus being the Word of God and the Qurʾan being the Word of God’ Ibn Taymiyya Date: Unknown Original Language: Arabic Description The only known source of information for this fatwa is an edition published in Egypt by an anonymous editor. There is no reason to doubt the fatwa’s authenticity as the writing is characteristically Taymiyyan. The text runs to 44 pages in the printed edition. The fatwa is in response to an inquiry about a Muslim and a Christian who are debating the Word. The Christian observes that the Qur’an calls both Jesus the Word of God ( kalimat All…

Al-qawl al-mukhtār fī l-manʿ ʿan takhyīr al-kuffār

(120 words)

Author(s): Yarbrough, Luke
Unknown author Date of Birth: Approximately 1250-1300 Place of Birth: Unknown Date of Death: Unknown Place of Death: Unknown Biography The author is unknown. Thorough study of the work, which has not yet been undertaken, may provide clues or even a positive identification. Preliminary indications are that he was a learned jurist of the early or middle 14th century who, though a Ḥanbalī, was keen to cite authorities from across the madhhab spectrum. Primary Sources of Information The only hints about the author’s personal circumstances are likely to be found in the work itself. Secondary …

 Al-qawl al-mukhtār fī l-manʿ ʿan takhyīr al-kuffār

(1,219 words)

Author(s): Yarbrough, Luke
‘The selected saying concerning the prohibition on preferring infidels’, ‘The selected saying’ Al-qawl al-mukhtār fī l-manʿ ʿan takhyīr al-kuffār Date: Uncertain; 14th century, possibly before 1341 Original Language: Arabic Description Al-qawl al-mukhtār has scarcely been studied in either the Islamic or Western scholarly traditions; this description and the details it contains are thus provisional. At 76 lithographed manuscript pages of approximately 27 lines per page, it is a substantial work. Its topical coverage extends t…

 Qawl mukhtaṣar fī l-ubuwwa wa-l-bunuwwa

(227 words)

Author(s): G.B. Teule, Herman
A brief account of fatherhood and sonship Makkīkhā ibn Sulaymān al-Qankānī Date: About 1100 Original Language: Arabic Description This lost work, which is known only from the Asfār al-asrār, was probably about the relationship between God and Jesus Christ, a long-recognized point of friction between Muslims and Christians in their perceptions of God and how he relates to creatures. Significance It is not possible to say anything about the significance of the work, beyond the fact that it continues a long tradition of debates over a key point of differenc…


(750 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Muhammad al-Qaysi Date of Birth: Unknown; mid-13th century Place of Birth: Unknown; possibly Tunis Date of Death: Unknown; shortly after 1310 Place of Death: Probably Tunis Biography Almost everything that is known about the figure of Muḥammad al-Qaysī is derived from the Arabic text and Aljamiado adaptations of his work, Kitāb miftāḥ al-dīn. This has been extensively researched by van Koningsveld and Wiegers, and what is said here relies heavily upon their findings. The Arabic text of al-Qaysī’s work is intimately connected with events that took place in the early 14th century in no…