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-Radd ʿalā l-thalāth firaq min al-Naṣārā, (longer version)

(480 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
The refutation of the three Christian sects Abū ʿĪsā Muḥammad ibn Hārūn ibn Muḥammad al-Warrāq Date: Unknown, but probably mid-9th c. Original Language: Arabic Description The Radd is preserved in Yaḥyā ibn ʿAdī’s Tabyīn ghalaṭ Muḥammad ibn Hārūn, where it is quoted extensively and probably exhaustively in the course of the Christian’s response to its arguments. It contains a descriptive introduction to Christian beliefs about the Trinity and Incarnation, together with detailed refutations of the two doctrines as expressed by the Melkites, East Syrians and Syrian Orthodox. These refutations are based entirely upon the kind of immediate common-sense logic that both Muslims and Christians woul…

 Al-Radd ʿalā l-thalāth firaq min al-Naṣārā (medium version)

(235 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
The refutation of the three Christian sects Abū ʿĪsā Muḥammad ibn Hārūn ibn Muḥammad al-Warrāq Date: Unknown Original Language: Arabic Description It was presumably a summary of the longer version of the Radd. The work has not survived, and is only known from Ibn al-Nadīm's list ( Fihrist, p. 216) where it is referred to as Kitāb al-radd ʽalā l-Naṣārā l-awsaṭ, 'The refutation of the Christians, medium version'.   There is a slim possibility that traces of it are to be seen in Abū Bakr al-Bāqillānī's Kitāb al-tamhīd, 'Introduction', where the Ashʿarī theologian is clearly following…

 Al-radd ʿalā l-Yahūd wa l-Muslimīn alladhīna yattahimūna l-Naṣārā bi-ʿibādat al-aṣnām li-sujūdihim li-l-ṣalīb wa-ikrāmihim ṣuwar al-Masīḥ wa-l-Sayyida wa-l-qiddīsīn

(760 words)

Author(s): G.B. Teule, Herman
'Refutation of the Jews and the Muslims who accuse the Christians of worshipping idols since they venerate the cross and honor the images of Christ, our Lady and the saints’ Ishoʿyahb bar Malkon Date: First half of the 13th century Original Language: Arabic Description This work discusses objections by Jews and Muslims to the veneration of the cross and icons. In view of the fact that so many of the references are of interest only to a Christian readership, the aim of this treatise was probably to help Christians …

 Al-radd al-jamīl li-ilāhiyyat ʿĪsā bi-ṣarīḥ al-Injīl

(766 words)

Al-radd al-jamīlThe fitting refutation of the divinity of Jesus through what is evident in the Gospel Pseudo-Ghazālī Date: Unknown; before c. 1250 Original Language: Arabic Description Al-radd al-jamīl is a substantial refutation of the divinity of Jesus (63 pages in Chidiac’s edition, and 45 pages in Beaumont and El Kaisy-Freimuth’s edition), based on one of the most thorough analyses of Gospel texts that is known from a Muslim author.The main arguments of the Radd are concerned with the proper meaning of a series of verses from the Gospels, and the contradictions in the Christological teachings of the main Christian sects for a detailed outline, see Beaumont and El Kaisy-Freimuth, A fitting refutation, pp. 33-42). After an introduction in which he shows the weakness of Christian beliefs about Jesus and their blind faith in philosophical principles, the author turns to six Gospel texts which appear to attribute divinity to Jesus. He compares these with other bibli…

 Radd al-Muṭīʿ ʿalā risāla malik al-Rūm

(603 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Al-Muṭīʿ’s refutation of the Byzantine emperor’s letter Al-Qaffāl al-Shāshī Date: 966 Original Language: Arabic Description This work is a response to the polemical poem sent in the name of the Byzantine Emperor Nicephorus Phocas (r. 963-69) to the Caliph al-Muṭīʿ in 966 (see the entry on Nicephorus Phocas’ representative; there was also another response by the Andalusī theologian Ibn Ḥazm [q.v.]), following a series of Byzantine victories in the mid-10th century, which are named there. It is written in the same ṭawīl meter as that poem, as convention demanded, and it seeks …

 Radd al-Naṣārā

(101 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
‘Refutation of the Christians’ Al-Dimyāṭī

 [Radd al-Naṣārā]

(179 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Refutation of the Christians ‘The polemicist from the West’ Date: Unknown, possibly 12th century Original Language: Arabic Description Nothing is known about the work, except the title (or maybe only the genre) as given by Ḥajjī Khalīfa. It can be assumed that it included arguments of a relatively traditional kind, against Christian doctrines and scriptural falsification, and also possibly defenses of the prophethood of Muḥammad. Significance

 Radd al-Naṣārā

(97 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
‘Refutation of the Christians’ Al-Ruhāwī Date: Unknown; before 1215 Original Language: Arabic Description The work is mentioned by Ḥajjī Khalīfa ( Kashf al-ẓunūn, ed. G. Flügel, Lexicon bibliographicum et encyclopaedicum, 7 vols, London, 1835-58, iii, p. 353), though not by any earlier biographer. It has not survived, and its contents cannot be known. Significance It is not possible to say with any certainty what the significance of the work was. …


(124 words)

Author(s): Henriet, P.
Biography The name Raguel does not appear in the text of the Passio, though at the beginning of MS El Escorial b-l-4, which is dated to the beginning of the 11th cen…

Ralph of Caen

(387 words)

Author(s): Packard, Barbara
Raoul de Caen, Radulfo Cadomensi Date of Birth: About 1080 Place of Birth: Caen, Normandy Date of Death: Unknown; after 1118 Place of Death: Unknown Biography Ralph of Caen probably came from a prominent Norman family. He was likely tutored by Arnulf of Chocques, who was later to become patriarch of Jerusalem. It is not known whether he completed his studies and training for the priesthood before Arnulf’s departure for the Holy Land in 1096, but he was an ordained priest at least by 1106. That year, Bohemond of Taranto, …

Ramon Llull

(1,303 words)

Author(s): Hames, Harvey
Biography Ramon Llull was born in Majorca in the years following its conquest in 1229 by King James I of the Crown of Aragon. The king's expedition was probably funded in part by Llull’s father, who received lands in Palma and elsewhere on the island as a reward. The young Ramon received an education commensurate with his class, and he became the steward of the future king, James II of Majorca. He married Blanca Picany around 1257 and they had two children, Domènec and Magdalena. According to the Vita coaetanea (a selective autobiography dictated by Llull in 1311 in Paris to some Carthusian monks of Vauvert), while he was engaged in writing some love poetry, probably in 1263, he had a series of visions of Christ on …

Ramon Martí

(1,427 words)

Author(s): Burman, Thomas E.
Biography It appears that Ramon Martí entered the Dominican order between 1234 and 1238, and was probably educated at the Domincan studium. He was assigned by the order to study Arabic in 1250, and we know that he was in Barcelona in 1264 and in Tunis in the summer of 1269. He was put in charge of organizing a school to teach Hebrew in Barcelona in 1281, and he died in Barcelona a few years later. Beyond these few facts we know almost nothing of his life.  Martí was the greatest linguist in the Dominican order and probably in all Latin Christendom during his lifetime.  He knew H…


(232 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Abū Zakariyyā Yaḥyā ibn Ibrāhīm ibn ʿUmar al-Raqilī Date of Birth: Unknown; probably mid-14th century Place of Birth: Unknown Date of Death: 1405 Place of Death: Unknown Biography Little is known about Abū Zakariyyā Yaḥyā l-Raqilī, whose laqab is also given as al-Raqīlī and al-Rāqilī. He came either from Spain or Morocco, and probably not long before 1360 converted from Judaism to Islam. In typical manner, he then wrote against his former coreligionists. Al-Raqilī is best known for his rejection of Judaism, Taʿyīd al-milla (‘Confirmation of the community’), which he wrote in 1…

 Rasāʾīl Ikhwān al-Ṣafāʾ wa khillān al-wafāʾ

(1,654 words)

Author(s): Ali-de-Unzaga, Omar
The Epistles of the Brethren of Purity and Friends of Loyalty Ikhwān al-Ṣafāʾ Date: About 956 Original Language: Arabic Description The work is divided into 52 epistles ( rasāʾil), arranged into four sections (propaedeutical sciences, including mathematics, logic, music and ethics; natural sciences; sciences of the soul and the intellect; theological sciences). They total 1,900 pages in the 1957 Beirut edition. The Epistles are arguably one of the most interesting works in Arabic-Islamic culture regarding Christianity. The attitude towards Christianity of…

Al-Rashīd Abū l-Khayr ibn al-Ṭayyib

(669 words)

Author(s): Awad, Wadi
Biography According to al-Muʾtaman ibn al-ʿAssāl (q.v.) and Abū l-Barakāt ibn Kabar (q.v.), as well as some manuscripts of his own works, al-Rashīd Abū l-Khayr ibn al-Ṭayyib was a priest and a physician ( mutaṭabbib), though he is not mentioned in the History of the patriarchs or the Ṭabaqāt al-aṭibbāʾ. His dates are not known, though he lived after al-Ghazālī (d. 1111) (q.v.), Maimonides (d. 1204), Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī (d. 1210) (q.v.) and al-Ṣafī ibn al-ʿAssāl (d. after 1265) (q.v.), and since he is known as a contemporary (

 Rawḍat al-farīd wa-salwat al-waḥīd

(1,318 words)

Author(s): N. Swanson, Mark
'The garden of the hermit and the consolation of the solitary' Simʿān ibn Kal…

Raymond of Aguilers

(270 words)

Author(s): Packard, Barbara
Biography Raymond of Aguilers was chaplain to Count Raymond IV of Toulouse (also known as Raymond of St Giles). He accompanied Count Raymond on the First Crusade (1095-99) and co-authored an account of the expedition with a Provençal knight, Pons of Balazun, until Pons was killed at the siege of Arqa (February-May 1099). Raymond addressed his work to the bishop of Viviers and stated that he aimed to correct false stories circulated by cowards and deserters from the army. Much of Raymond’s narrati…

Raymond of Penyafort

(1,017 words)

Author(s): Tolan, John
Ramon de Penyafort, Ramón de Peñaforte Date of Birth: About 1180 Place of Birth: Probably Penyafort, Catalonia Date of Death: 6 January 1275 Place of Death: Barcelona Biography Raymond studied law in Bologna in the 1210s and then taught there as master. He joined the Dominican order in the 1220s. In November 1229, Pope Gregory IX called on him to preach the crusade for James I’s conquest of Mallorca in southern France, including Arles and Narbonne (

 [Refutation of Christianity]

(513 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
- ʿAbdallāh al-Asīr Date: Unknown; possibly mid or late 13th century Original Language: Arabic Description Neither the title of the work nor its full contents have survived. All that is known is that it was written, in Arabic, against Christianity, and probably in response to hostile questions from a monk. It only survives as extracts in al-Qaysī’s early 14th-century Kitāb miftāḥ al-dīn. In the third, largely autobiographical part of his original Arabic work, al-Qaysī describes how he was compelled to take part in a religious debate with a monk. In the course of this, the monk asks h…


(1,667 words)

Author(s): Guéret-Laferté, Michèle
Itinerarium de mirabilibus orientalium Tartarorum; De rebus mirabilibus in variis partibus mundi; Odorichus de rebus incognitos; Libro delle nuove e strane e meravigliose cose; Les merveilles de la Terre d'Outremer; Incipiunt hic multe et diverse hystorie beati Odorici fratris Minoris de ritibus et condicionibus huius mundi et de martirio iv fratrum Minorum'Account'; 'The travels of friar Odoric of Pordenone'…
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