Christian-Muslim Relations 600 - 1500

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 Risāla fī faḍīlat al-ʿafāf
(287 words)

Epistle on the merit of chastity

Elias of Nisibis

Date: Before 1046

Original Language: Arabic


This treatise is a rejoinder to the 9th-century Muʿtazilī al-Jāḥiẓ’s (d. 869) (q.v.) endorsement of the pleasures of the flesh. It is divided into two parts, the first containing an exposition of the Muslim’s nine arguments in favor of fleshly pleasures, and the second refutations of these, together with examples of chaste men that support Elias’ arguments.



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Monferrer Sala, Juan Pedro, “ Risāla fī faḍīlat al-ʿafāf”, in: Christian-Muslim Relations 600 - 1500, General Editor David Thomas. Consulted online on 18 October 2019 <>
First published online: 2010

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