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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 Breviario Sunní

(1,197 words)

Author(s): Wiegers, Gerard
Kitāb (or Libro) Segoviano; Suma de los mandamientos y devedamientos de la santa ley y sunnaSuma de los mandamientos y devedamientos de la santa ley y sunna‘The Segovian book’; ‘Summa of the commands and interdictions of the Holy Law and Sunna’ Içe de Gebir Date: 1462 Original Language: Castilian Description Breviario Sunní is the name given by the author himself (as mentioned in its preface). At the very beginning, the title Suma de los mandamientos y devedamientos de la santa ley y sunna (‘Summa of the commands and interdictions of the Holy Law and Sunna’) appears. In the 16th century it w…

Būlus al-Būshī

(1,399 words)

Author(s): N. Swanson, Mark
Paul of Bush Date of Birth: Approximately 1170s Place of Birth: Perhaps Būsh, Middle Egypt Date of Death: Approximately 1250 Place of Death: Unknown; perhaps Miṣr (Old Cairo) Biography We know surprisingly little about the life of one of the greatest Coptic Orthodox theologians of the 13th century, the monk, priest, and (from 1240) bishop, Būlus al-Būshī. His name indicates that he (or his family) came from the Middle Egyptian town of Būsh, just north of Beni Suef. He became a monk, although we do not know precisely where. A manuscript note describes Būlus as a rafīq, ‘companion’, of Dāʾūd…

Būluṣ ibn Rajāʾ

(1,057 words)

Author(s): N. Swanson, Mark
Al-Wāḍiḥ ibn Rajāʾ Date of Birth: Around the 950s Place of Birth: Probably in the vicinity of Cairo Date of Death: End of 10th or beginning of 11th century Place of Death: Sandafā, Egypt Biography In the part of the History of the patriarchs of Alexandria written by Mīkhāʾīl al-Damrāwī, bishop of Tinnīs (q.v.), most of the Life of the Coptic Patriarch Philotheus, the 63rd patriarch (r. 979-1003), is in fact devoted to an account of the conversion and life of one Ibn Rajāʾ, a young Muslim who became a monk, priest, and Christian apologist. Mīkhāʾīl tells his …

Burchard of Mount Sion

(119 words)

Author(s): Tolan, John
Burchardus de Monte Sion, Brocardus Date of Birth: Probably mid-13th century Place of Birth: Uncertain; probably in the German Empire Date of Death: Probably late 13th century Place of Death: Unknown Biography Little is known about Burchard, other than what can be gleaned from his Descriptio Terrae Sanctae, which says that he was a Dominican friar associated with the convent of Magdeburg.  He travelled to the Holy Land sometime between 1274 and 1284, spending some time in the Convent of Mt Sion, and subsequently wrote a description of his travels. Primary Sources of Information Descripti…

Burchard of Strasbourg

(286 words)

Author(s): Tolan, John
Burkardus, Burchard von Straßburg, Gerardus Argentinensem vicedominum Date of Birth: Uncertain; probably 2nd quarter of 12th century Place of Birth: Cologne Date of Death: Uncertain; probably late 12th century or early 13th century (after 1194) Place of Death: Unknown, probably Strasbourg Biography The author of the Itinerarium is probably Burkardus, native of Cologne, a churchman in the entourage of Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa. Several of his letters survive, one of which relates the author’s diplomatic embassies to Aquileia, Salzburg a…


(1,425 words)

Author(s): Roggema, Barbara
The Proof Abū l-Ḥasan ʿAlī ibn Yaḥyā ibn al-Munajjim Date: Before 873 Original Language: Arabic Description This work belongs to the genre of ‘proofs of prophethood’ treatises (of which several were written in the 9th century) by way of an invitation to Islam, sent to Ḥunayn ibn Isḥāq (q.v.) and Qusṭā ibn Lūqā. It is one of the earliest texts to focus heavily on the inimitability of the Qur’ān in the context of the theological-apologetic search for an absolute proof of Muḥammad’s prophethood. The author structured his proof arou…

 Al-burhān fī maʿrifat ʿaqāʾid ahl al-adyān

(547 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
‘The proof, on awareness of the beliefs of the followers of the faiths’ Al-Saksakī Date: Unknown; before 1284 Original Language: Arabic Description Al-burhān fī maʿrifat ʿaqāʾid ahl al-adyān is a brief descriptive account of religious groups and sects inside and outside Islam. At a mere 95 pages of text in al-ʿAmūsh’s edition, its descriptions are very brief and to the point. Within Islam, the book describes sects of the Khawārij, the Murjiʾa, the Muʿtazila and the Rāfiḍa (Shīʿa), numbering 73 in all, and outside it describes seven groups: the Barāhima, D…


(332 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Abū ʿAbdallāh Muḥammad ibn Saʿīd al-Dalāṣī Date of Birth: 1212 Place of Birth: Būṣīr or Dalāṣ, Upper Egypt Date of Death: 1296 Place of Death: Cairo Biography Al-Būṣīrī is best known for the Burda, his celebrated poem in praise of the Prophet Muḥammad, which has claims to be the most famous religious poem in Arabic. He wrote many other poems throughout his life, and attracted dislike as well as admiration for the telling criticisms and comments he included in them. Born in Upper Egypt, al-Būṣīrī spent most of his life in Cairo, after a period in Bilbays on the Nile Delta. H…

Buṭrus al-Sadamantī

(638 words)

Author(s): Awad, Wadi
Buṭrus al-Sadamantī l-Armanī; Peter of Sadamant the Armenian Date of Birth: Unknown; first quarter of the 13th century Place of Birth: Unknown; presumably Sadamant Date of Death: Unknown; second half of the 13th century, after 1260 Place of Death: A monastery in Wādī l-Naṭrūn or Sadamant Biography Buṭrus was a monk and priest, and was considered a holy man. The only known date in his life is 1260 (Cheikho and Atiya place him in the 11th century, though Atiya attests that one of his writings dates to 1260), when he wrote a work dedicated to h…

Buṭrus Sawīrus al-Jamīl

(524 words)

Author(s): Awad, Wadi
Biography Louis Cheikho (and Kāmil Nakhla after him) counts Buṭrus among 14th-century authors, though this is unlikely since he is mentioned by Abū l-Barakāt, who died in 1324. Graf places him among 13th-century authors, which is confirmed by his writings. Among the chronological indications for Buṭrus’ life are the following. He says that he writes more than 300 years after the first great schism of the Eastern Church in the time of Photius (d. c. 891), which gives a date in the 13th century. And there are other more precise indicati…

Buṭrus al-Shammās ibn Nasṭās al-Bayt Raʾsī

(182 words)

Author(s): N. Swanson, Mark
Peter of Bayt Raʾs Date of Birth: Probably 9th c. Place of Birth: Unknown, possibly Bayt Raʾs (Capitolias in Transjordan) Date of Death: Probably 9th c., not later than 10th Place of Death: Unknown, possibly Bayt Raʾs (Capitolias in Transjordan) Biography A marginal note in the oldest manuscript of al-Burhān identifies its author as ‘the deacon Peter, son of Anastasius, of Bayt Raʾs’ (MS Sinai ar. 75 (not later than early 10th c.), fol. 102b), although it should be observed that notices in the two 13th-c. manuscripts offer variants on this name and make Peter a bishop. One may think of a 9th-c. …