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Christians and Christianity in ḥadīth works before 900

(3,637 words)

Author(s): Cook, David
The h ̣adīth literature presents Christianity as a dangerous theological opponent to Islam. However, the attitude towards Christians is far more nuanced. It ranges from the outright hostility and warfare described in the apocalyptic literature to the awe and respect towards the monastic community (cf. Q 5:81-2) that is to be found in the ascetic literature. For the most part, Christians are in the background (compared with Jews) because the personal contact between the Prophet Muḥammad and individual Christians was comparatively limited. Thus, while a great many literary h ̣ adīth a…