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-khabar ʿan al-bashar

(1,202 words)

Author(s): Bauden, Frédéric
‘The history of humankind’ Al-Maqrīzī Date: Started shortly after 1433, completed in 1442 Original Language: Arabic Description Al-khabar ʿan al-bashar is the last major work al-Maqrīzī compiled. He devoted the last years of his life to it after he had completed another major work, his biography of the Prophet ( Imtāʿ al-asmā ʿ). Conceived as an introduction ( madkhal) to this latter work, Al-khabar consists of a history of mankind. It starts with the creation of the world, a geographical account of the earth divided into seven zones, and remarks about chro…

 Khabar ʿan iḥrāq kanīsat al-sayyida Mart Maryam al-kāthūlīkī bi-madīnat Dimashq wa-kharāb bāqī l-kanāʾis wa-ikhrāj al-kahana minhā ʿurāh wa-nahb mā kāna bihā wa-mā kāna min al-maṣāyib al-ʿaẓīma allatī aṣābat jamīʿ Naṣārā madīnat Dimashq

(2,278 words)

Author(s): Treiger, Alexander
An account of the burning of the Cathedral of Our Lady St Mary in Damascus, the destruction of other churches, the expulsion of priests robbed of their vestments [lit. ‘naked’], the plunder of church property, and the terrible calamities that befell all the Christians of Damascus, Destruction of the Cathedral of Our Lady Mart Maryam in Damascus Unknown author Date: Unknown (probably before 1300; see discussion below) Original Language: Arabic Description The anonymous text Destruction of the Cathedral of Our Lady Mart Maryam in Damascus occupies three folios in the only survivi…

 Khabar Dāniyāl al-nabī, lammā aẓharahū li-abīnā Athanāsiyūs baṭriyark al-Iskandariyya, Maymar li-l-qiddīs Athanāsiūs al-baṭriyark, wa-mimmā aʿlamahū bihi Dāniyāl al-nabī fī l-manām

(2,523 words)

Author(s): van Lent, Jos
The message of Daniel the prophet, when he revealed it to our father Athanasius, patriarch of Alexandria (in MS Sinai, Monastery of St Catherine – Ar. 495); The homily of St Athanasius the patriarch and what the prophet Daniel let him know in a dream (in MS Paris, BNF – Ar. 153)The prophecy of Daniel to Athanasius, The second (Arabic) apocalypse of Athanasius, PA ar. II, ApocAth II The prophecy of Daniel to Athanasius Date: Probably between 1095 and 1101 Original Language: Arabic Description This historical apocalypse is only partially edited and is still little known among sch…

Khabar al-Yahūd wa-l-Naṣārā

(207 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Biography The author of this account about a meeting between the Fatimid Caliph al-Ḥākim and a deputation of Christians and Jews was evidently a Druze. The account itself identifies him as Ḥamza ibn ʿAlī ibn Aḥmad, the upholder of al-Ḥākim’s divinity and founder of the Druze sect, who died sometime after al-Ḥākim’s disappearance in 1021. The 18th-century Orientalist J.M. Venture de Paradis (translated by Ruffin, Appendix, pp. 110-11) relates how he obtained a MS found in a Druze village, which contained, among other things,  an account of a dialogue between a…

 Khabar al-Yahūd wa-l-Naṣārā

(617 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
The report of the Jews and Christians Khabar al-Yahūd wa-l-Naṣārā Date: Unknown; possibly early to mid-11th century Original Language: Arabic Description The report relates how a deputation of Jews and Christians in Cairo, headed by their religious leaders, approach the Caliph al-Ḥākim bi-Amr Allāh (r. 996-1021) during one of his habitual nocturnal walks in the cemetery of Qarāfa near his palace. They complain to him about the persecutions they are suffering and particularly the harsh ways in which their religious b…

 Khach’azgeats’ nahatakn ew k’ajayaght’ vkayn K’ristosi

(312 words)

Author(s): Thomson, Robert W.
The cross-bearing athlete of God and brave martyr of Christ, The Martyrdom of David of Dwin Unknown author Date: 8th or 9th c. Original Language: Armenian Description David (Dawitʿ) was an Arab or Persian originally called Surhan, who settled in Armenia in the 660s. He was converted to Christianity and baptized by Catholicos Anastas (661-67). Arrested by the Muslim governor, he refused to revert to Islam and was crucified on 23 Areg. The year is uncertain: 703 or 705. The Synaxarion (G. Bayan, Le synaxaire arménien, Patrologia Orientalis 5-21, 1909-30) notes his commemoration on 3…

Al-Khaṭīb al-Iskandarī

(219 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Burhān al-Dīn Abū l-Faḍā’il Jaʿfar ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhāb ibn ʿAbd al-Qawī l-Khaṭīb al-Iskandarī Date of Birth: Mid or late 12th century Place of Birth: Presumably Egypt Date of Death: Uncertain; mid-13th century Place of Death: Presumably Cairo Biography Nothing is known about this author apart from the little he reveals in his refutation of Christianity. He says that he wrote the work at the prompting of the Ayyūbid Sultan al-Malik al-Kāmil (r. 1218-37), and explains that the sultan encouraged him to engage in writing, so he chose apo…

 Khayr al-bishar bi-khayr al-bashar

(1,018 words)

Author(s): Demiri, Lejla
The best of tidings concerning the best of mankind Ibn Ẓafar Date: 1163 Original Language: Arabic Description The work, written in Syria under Zengid rule in 1163 (ed. Choukri and Abouri, p. 96), is dedicated to Ibn Ẓafar’s patron, Ṣafī l-Dīn, ‘a generous raʾīs (chief)’, who might have been a notable figure in the court of Nūr al-Dīn Maḥmūd ibn Zengī (r. 1146-74). In the latest edition, it is approximately 190 pages long (ed. Choukri and Abouri, pp. 69-261). As the title suggests, its main intention is to present historical proofs that present the evidence for the coming o…


(249 words)

Author(s): Monferrer Sala, Juan Pedro
Abū Jaʿfar Aḥmad ibn ʿAbd al-Ṣamad ibn Abī ʿUbayda (ʿAbīda) al-Khazrajī al-Ṣāʿidī al-Anṣārī al-Qurṭubī Date of Birth: 1125-26 Place of Birth: Possibly Cordova Date of Death: 1187 Place of Death: Fes Biography As his nisba al-Qurṭubī indicates, al-Khazrajī appears to have been born in Cordova. He died in Fes, after living in Granada and Bijāya. He received a complete education in the Islamic sciences, especially Prophetic traditions, and he studied with the most learned scholars of his day. In his turn, he taught many students, who transmitted traditions from him. Among the scant deta…

 Khulāṣat muʿtaqad al-milla l-masīḥiyya wa-l-radd ʿalā ṭāʾifatay al-Islām wa-l-Yahūdiyya min mawḍūʿātihim wa-uṣūl madhhabihim

(250 words)

Author(s): Awad, Wadi
Al-radd ʿalā l-Muslimīn wa-l-Yahūd'Summary of the belief of the Christian religion and reply to the two communities of Islam and Judaism, from their writings and the fundamentals of their teaching', 'Refutation of the Muslims and the Jews' Al-Rashīd Abū l-Khayr ibn al-Ṭayyib Date: Probably after 1265 Original Language: Arabic Description This work was probably written after 1265, since it is not listed by al-Muʾtaman ibn al-ʿAssāl (q.v.). At the beginning, Abū l-Khayr explains that he is writing it in response to objections to Christianity rais…

Khulāṣat al-naẓar

(168 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Biography The only information about this author comes from the Khulāṣat al-naẓar itself. As its editors Schmidtke and Ansari point out ( Khulāṣat, pp. xi-xv), he mentions a number of earlier theologians, the latest being Sadīd al-Dīn al-Ḥimmaṣī (d. after 1204) (q.v.), and while there is strong evidence of the influence of the Muʿtazilī Abū l-Ḥusayn al-Baṣrī (d. 1044) (q.v.), there is no sign of later influences, such as Naṣīr al-Dīn al-Ṭuṣī (d. 1274) and other later 13th-century Shīʿīs, whose works show the influence of philosophical terminology and method. So it is lik…

 Khulāṣat al-naẓar

(686 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
‘Abridgement of speculative theology’ Khulāṣat al-naẓar Date: Unknown; early 13th century Original Language: Arabic Description Khulāṣat al-naẓar is a work of systematic theology. As its title indicates, it is a digest of much longer theological works such as ʿAbd al-Jabbār’s voluminous Mughnī and Muḥīṭ bi-l-taklīf (q.v.), which its structure and contents clearly, and sometimes directly, recall, and in all likelihood more directly of the lost works of Abū l-Ḥusayn al-Baṣrī. Closer study will no doubt show how it preserves the outlines of …


(423 words)

Author(s): Serrano Ruano, Delfina
Abū ʿAbdallāh Muḥammad ibn Ḥārith ibn Asad al-Khushanī Date of Birth: Latter 9th century Place of Birth: Uncertain; probably Qayrawān Date of Death: 971 Place of Death: Cordova Biography Jurist, poet and renowned author of biographical dictionaries of scholars, al-Khushanī first studied in Qayrawān with Aḥmad ibn Naṣr and Aḥmad ibn Ziyād. Sometime after 923, he travelled to Tunis and Egypt. In 924, he moved to al-Andalus with his father, and finally settled in Cordova. There he continued his studies, and entered the circle close to the future al-Ḥakam II. He acted as ṣāḥib al-mawārith (‘…


(458 words)

Author(s): Fierro, Maribel
Sermon Mundhir ibn Saʿīd al-Ballūṭī Date: Probably 948-49 (or perhaps 945-46) Original Language: Arabic Description An emissary from the Byzantine emperor arrived in Cordova and the Caliph ʿAbd al-Raḥmān III asked his heir al-Ḥakam to select someone who excelled in oratory to deliver a welcome speech. He chose the Baghdādī grammarian Abū ʿAlī al-Qālī, but this expert was unable to perform in the manner required by the occasion. At this, Mundhir saved the situation by delivering an excellent (and largely lost) khuṭba that left everybody, including the Christian emissary, amaz…

al-Kindī, ʿAbd al-Masīḥ ibn Isḥāq (pseudonym)

(681 words)

Author(s): Bottini, Laura
The Apology of al-Kindī Date of Birth: Unknown, probably late 8th or beginning of 9th c. Place of Birth: Unknown Date of Death: Unknown, probably 9th c. Place of Death: Unknown Biography Nothing is known about the life of the author. Even his name, cited for the first time in its entirety by al-Bīrūnī in his Kitāb al-āthār al-bāqiya together with the name of his interlocutor, ʿAbdallāh ibn Ismāʿīl al-Hāshimī, seems to be a pseudonym, invented to serve as a counterpart to the name of the Muslim adversary, to encapsulate onomastically the religious antag…

King Matthias of Hungary

(820 words)

Author(s): Barany, Attila
Matthias Hunyadi, Matthias Corvinus, Corvinus Mátyás Date of Birth: 23 February 1443 Place of Birth: Kolozsvár, Hungary, present-day Cluj, Romania Date of Death: 6 April 1490 Place of Death: Vienna Biography Matthias Corvinus was king of Hungary from 1458 to 1490. In contrast with his father, John Hunyadi, he is often accused of neglecting the Turkish threat for the quest for grandeur, relegating defense against the Ottomans to the background and wasting energy in pointless conquests elsewhere. He did not lead large-scale cru…

Kirakos Ganjakec‘i or Arewelc‘i

(565 words)

Author(s): Cowe, S. Peter
Biography Kirakos is one of the most important Armenian historians of the 13th century. He was born in the region of Ganja and received his early formation at the monastic school of Nor Getik under the eminent savant Vanakan Vardapet. After 1215, he continued his education in Xoranašat Monastery, relocating to Lorut in 1225. In his history, he informs us he was taken captive by the Mongols in spring 1236, and gained a rudimentary knowledge of their language before escaping back to the monastery of Nor Getik…

Kīrillus al-Lādhiqī

(93 words)

Author(s): N. Swanson, Mark
Biography Kīrillus al-Lādhiqī had the ecclesiastical rank of deacon ( shammās). According to Sbath ( Fihris, supp., pp. 28-29), he was a ‘Greek Orthodox’ (or Melkite) cleric of the 15th century. Sbath goes on to list the titles of two apologetic works of his found in a manuscript of 1513; see below. Primary Sources of Information Secondary Sources of Information Graf, GCAL ii, p. 89 Sbath, Fihris, supplément, pp. 28-29 Works on Christian-Muslim Relations Maqāla fī intishār al-Injīl wa-l-Naṣrāniyya fī l-ʿālam Maqāla fī irtifāʿ al-ṣalīb al-karīm wa-intiṣārihi ʿalā l-ʿālam Mark N. Swan…

 Kitāb ʿalā Abī Qurra l-Naṣrānī

(155 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Against (Theodore) Abū Qurra the Christian Abū Mūsā ʿĪsā ibn Ṣubayḥ al-Murdār Date: Early 9th century Original Language: Arabic Description The work is mentioned by Ibn al-Nadīm, Fihrist, p. 207. It was a refutation of one or more works of Theodore Abū Qurra (q.v.), the leading early 9th c. Melkite theologian and bishop of Ḥarrān. If it was written after Abū Qurra's death, it would have appeared in the decade leading up to 841. Significance It shows the cogency and accessibility of Abū Qurra's arguments and responses to points made by Muslims, and may have served to pu…

 Kitāb ʿalā ʿAmmār al-Naṣrānī fī l-radd ʿalā l-Naṣārā

(348 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Against ʿAmmār the Christian in refutation of the Christians Abū l-Hudhayl Muḥammad ibn al-Hudhayl ibn ʿUbayd Allāh ibn Makḥūl al-ʿAbdī l-ʿAllāf Date: Early 9th century Original Language: Arabic Description The work is lost, but it is mentioned by Ibn al-Nadīm, Fihrist, p. 204. It was almost certainly directed in particular against the Nestorian author ʿAmmār al-Baṣrī (q.v.), two of whose works are extant and who shows in them clear knowledge of doctrines like those of Abū l-Hudhayl (and Ḍirār ibn ʿAmr) about the attributes of God. Si…
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