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 Al-taʿlīq ʿalā al-Anājīl al-arbaʿa wa-l-taʿlīq ʿalā al-Tawrāh wa-ʿalā ghayrihā min kutub al-anbiyāʾ

(887 words)

Author(s): Demiri, Lejla
Al-taʿlīq ʿalā al-Anājīl‘Critical commentary on the four Gospels, the Torah and other books of the prophets’, ‘Critical commentary on the Gospels’ Al-Ṭūfī Date: Early 1308 (before April) Original Language: Arabic Description Written for polemical purposes, the Taʿlīq contains al-Ṭūfī’s critical comments and annotations on the Bible. It starts with an untitled introduction in which al-Ṭūfī explains the reason behind his writing such a book on the Christian scripture and the principles he will follow. In the subsequent sections, he …

 Takhjīl man ḥarrafa al-Tawrāh wa-l-Injīl

(1,113 words)

Author(s): Demiri, Lejla
Takhjīl‘The shaming of those who have altered the Torah and the Gospel’, 'Shaming' Al-Jaʿfarī Date: Unknown (but before 1221) Original Language: Arabic Description The Takhjīl is al-Jaʿfarī’s first book in refutation of Jewish and Christian beliefs. As expressed in the prolegomena of his second work, Al-bayān al-wāḍiḥ, al-Jaʿfarī wrote the Takhjīl in the early days of his youth (ed. Triebs, p. 4), and its structure and text served as the basis for his two later books in the field, the Bayān and the Radd. In writing the Takhjīl, al-Jaʿfarī’s intention was first to demonstrate the t…

 Al-intiṣārāt al-Islāmiyya fī kashf shubah al-Naṣrāniyya

(838 words)

Author(s): Demiri, Lejla
Al-intiṣārāt al-Islāmiyya‘Islamic defences in uncovering specious Christian arguments’, ‘Islamic defences’ Al-Ṭūfī Date: Completed in April 1308 and then revised by the author with minor corrections and additions until March 1309 Original Language: Arabic Description After composing the Taʿlīq, the main argument of which is that the doctrines of Christianity are not sanctioned even by its own scripture, al-Ṭūfī’s second step was to write a response to Al-sayf al-murhaf fī l-radd ʿalā l-Muṣḥaf. This materialized in the form of an apology for Islam that intends to pr…

Ibn ʿAwf

(638 words)

Author(s): Demiri, Lejla
Abū l-Ṭāhir Ismāʿīl ibn Makkī ibn Ismāʿīl ibn ʿAwf al-Zuhrī l-Kurashī l-Iskandarānī Date of Birth: 1092 Place of Birth: Unknown; presumably Alexandria Date of Death: October-November 1185 Place of Death: Alexandria Biography Ibn ʿAwf was an important Mālikī jurist in Ayyubid Egypt whose lineage went back to the Companion of the Prophet, ʿAbd al-Raḥmān ibn ʿAwf. He was the stepson of the eminent Andalusī scholar Abū Bakr al-Ṭurṭūshī (d. 1126; q.v.), who had settled in Alexandria. He learnt under al-Ṭurṭūshī law and Hadith (al-S…

 Kitāb al-radd ʿalā l-Naṣārā

(357 words)

Author(s): Demiri, Lejla
‘Refutation of the Christians’ Al-Jaʿfarī Date: Unknown, but not long before 1270 Original Language: Arabic Description The Radd is an abridged version of the Takhjīl written by al-Jaʿfarī himself towards the end of his life (ed. Ḥasanayn, p. 10). Al-Jaʿfarī explains that he wrote this work in response to the Franks ( al-Faranj), who raised various questions that were ‘void of wisdom’ and sent these to the Muslims in order to test them (ed. Ḥasanayn, p. 56). Unlike the Takhjīl, the Radd contains seven chapters: 1. refutation of Christ’s divine sonship; 2. rejection of the In…

Al-sayf al-murhaf fī l-radd ‘alā l-Muṣḥaf

(754 words)

Author(s): Demiri, Lejla
Unknown author Date of Birth: Late 12th-early 13th century Place of Birth: Unknown (probably Egypt) Date of Death: 13th century Place of Death: Unknown (probably Egypt) Biography Al-sayf al-murhaf fī l-radd ʿalā l-Muṣḥaf is referred to by two Muslim authors in their works, Najm al-Dīn al-Ṭūfī (d. 1316) (q.v.) and his contemporary Ghāzī ibn al-Wāsiṭī (d. 1312) (q.v.). Although al-Ṭūfī does not provide any information about the author beyond describing him as ‘one of the Christian scholars’ (al-Ṭūfī, Taʿlīq, ed. Demiri, §§ 3, 25, 52; al-Ṭūfī, Intiṣārāt, ed. Qarnī, i, p. 227), al-Wā…

 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…

 Al-mukhtaṣar fī khabar sayyid al-bashar

(115 words)

Author(s): Demiri, Lejla
An abridgment of the news regarding the master of mankind Ibn Ẓafar Date: Unknown; probably after 1163 Original Language: Arabic Description As the title suggests, this must have been a summary of Khayr al-bishar. No sources mention it apart from Brockelmann, GAL S i, pp. 595-96. Significance - Manuscripts MS Mosul – 106, 90, 6 (see Brockelmann, GAL S i, pp. 595-96) Editions & Translations - Studies - Keywords Chronological Category: 1100-1200 Thematic Region: Mecca Related Historical People: Muhammad Dynasty/Ruling elite: Zengids Genre & Source Type: Proofs of Prophethood Theme: Bib…


(1,313 words)

Author(s): Demiri, Lejla
Abū l-Rabīʿ Najm al-Dīn Sulaymān ibn ʿAbd al-Qawī ibn ʿAbd al-Karīm ibn Saʿīd al-Ṭūfī l-Ṣarṣarī l-Baghdādī Date of Birth: 1271 or soon after, and not later than 1280 Place of Birth: Ṭūfā, near Baghdad Date of Death: 1316 Place of Death: Hebron Biography Najm al-Dīn Sulaymān al-Ṭūfī was a Ḥanbalī jurist, theologian, poet and man of letters. He was born in the decade following 1271 in a village called Ṭūfā, a district of Ṣarṣar near Baghdad. He studied various Islamic disciplines, first in his village, and then in Ṣarṣar and Baghdad (1292)…

 Al-naṣīḥa l-imāniyya fī faḍīḥat al-milla l-Naṣrāniyya

(920 words)

Author(s): Demiri, Lejla
Faithful counsel concerning the ignominy of the Christian religion Naṣr ibn Yaḥyā Date: Unknown; mid or late 12th century Original Language: Arabic Description The work is an example of a convert’s assessment and critique of his former religion, penned as an act of gratitude to God for granting him the opportunity to find the true path. The book comprises four chapters covering various topics concerning Muslim-Christian relations, entitled respectively: on the Christian sects and doctrines; Christian claims, incoherencies in theology, and differences…

Ibn Ẓafar

(1,118 words)

Author(s): Demiri, Lejla
Abū ʿAbdallāh Muḥammad ibn Abī Muḥammad ibn Muḥammad ibn Ẓafar Ḥujjat al-Dīn al-Ṣiqillī al-Makkī Date of Birth: May 1104 Place of Birth: Sicily Date of Death: 1172 or soon after, but not later than 1202 Place of Death: Hama Biography According to the majority of biographers, Ibn Ẓafar was born in Sicily under Norman rule but grew up in Mecca, though some authors identify Mecca as his birthplace (al-Fāsī, Al- ʿiqd, p. 345; Ibn Ḥajar, Lisān al-mīzān, p. 372; al-Suyūṭī, Bughyat, p. 142; al-Dāwūdī, Ṭabaqāt, p. 167).  He travelled to Egypt, Mahdiyya (present day Tunisia), Sicily, ba…

Abū l-Faḍl al-Suʿūdī al-Mālikī

(503 words)

Author(s): Demiri, Lejla
Abū l-Faḍl (ibn Muḥammad) al-Suʿūdī (and/or al-Masʿūdī) al-Mālikī Date of Birth: Unknown Place of Birth: Unknown Date of Death: After April 1536 Place of Death: Unknown; presumably Egypt Biography Abū l-Faḍl al-Suʿūdī was a theologian, Mālikī jurist and poet. In some sources, he is called al-Suʿūdī (Ḥajjī Khalīfa, Kashf al-ẓunūn, vol. 1, p. 379; Kaḥḥāla, Muʿjam al-muʾallifīn, vol. 8, p. 68), while in some others his name appears as al-Masʿūdī (Sarkīs, Muʿjam al-maṭbū ʿāt, vol. 2, p. 1745). In the extant manuscripts of his works, he is almost always identified as al-Su ʿūdī, suggesting…

 Jawāb suʾāl warada min ṭaraf Bitrik al-Naṣārā

(327 words)

Author(s): Demiri, Lejla
‘Response to the question raised by the Patriarch of the Christians’ ʿAbd al-Ghanī ibn Ismāʿīl ibn ʿAbd al-Ghanī ibn Ismāʿīl l-Nābulusī Date: 1712 Original Language: Arabic DescriptionThis is al-Nābulusī’s response to the three theological questions on the essence of God and his attributes raised by the Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch Athanasius Dabbās (d. 1724). Although he does not name his addressee, the interlocutor is identified as the Patriarch by Bakri Aladdin, who has edited and published the text (Aladdin, ‘Deux  fatwā-s’, p. 8; citations that follow refer to this ed…

 Al-muntakhab al-jalīl min Takhjīl man ḥarrafa l-Injīl

(1,228 words)

Author(s): Demiri, Lejla
‘A splendid selection from The shaming of those who have altered the Gospel’ Abū l-Faḍl (ibn Muḥammad) al-Suʿūdī (and/or al-Masʿūdī) al-Mālikī Date: April 1536 Original Language: Arabic Description As indicated by the title and further explained in the introduction of the work (ed. al-Badrī, p. 19), this is a polemical treatise against Christians based on Abū l-Faḍl’s selected extracts from Ṣāliḥ ibn al-Ḥusayn al-Jaʿfarī’s Takhjīl man ḥarrafa l-Tawrāt wa-l-Injīl, ‘The shaming of those who have altered the Torah and the Gospel’. The Muntakhab consists of an introduction, ten c…

 Risāla fī jawāb suʾāl warada ʿalaynā min al-Quds al-sharīf fī mā yuʾkhadhu min ahl al-kufr min al-ʿawāʾid min al-shamʿ wa-l-sukkar wa-l-jūkh wa-ghayrihi wa-bayān ḥukmihi

(445 words)

Author(s): Demiri, Lejla
‘Treatise in response to the question reaching us from Jerusalem the noble concerning the special tax revenues from non-Muslims on wax, sugar, broadcloth and other goods, and an explanation of its legal status’ ʿAbd al-Ghanī ibn Ismāʿīl ibn ʿAbd al-Ghanī ibn Ismāʿīl l-Nābulusī Date: 1702 Original Language: Arabic DescriptionThis work is al-Nābulusī’s response to the question raised by some Muslim residents of Jerusalem concerning certain taxes ( ʿawāʾid) on wax, sugar and broadcloth that were collected from non-Muslims monthly, yearly or every third year, the r…

ʿAbd al-Ghanī l-Nābulusī

(1,288 words)

Author(s): Demiri, Lejla
ʿAbd al-Ghanī ibn Ismāʿīl ibn ʿAbd al-Ghanī ibn Ismāʿīl l-Nābulusī Date of Birth: 1641 Place of Birth: Damascus Date of Death: 1731 Place of Death: Damascus BiographyAn eminent theologian, jurist, poet, Sufi, and great commentator on Ibn ʿArabī’s (d. 1240) mystical thought, ʿAbd al-Ghanī l-Nābulusī was one of the most illustrious intellectual figures of the 17th- and 18th-century Arab lands of the Ottoman Empire. He served as judge in al-Maydān (south of Damascus), and then as mufti of Damascus for a short period of time. He held a teaching post at th…

 Fatḥ al-ʿayn wa-kashf al-ghayn ʿan al-farq bayna l-basmalatayn wa-īḍāḥ maʿnā l-tasmiyatayn

(1,267 words)

Author(s): Demiri, Lejla
‘Opening the eye and removing the cloud on the difference between the two basmalas, and expounding the meaning of the two ways of naming God’ ʿAbd al-Ghanī ibn Ismāʿīl ibn ʿAbd al-Ghanī ibn Ismāʿīl l-Nābulusī Date: 1720 Original Language: Arabic DescriptionThis short text was written in response to a question on whether the  basmala of the Gospel (In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit) was the same as the  basmala of the Qur’an (In the name of God, the Most Merciful, the Compassionate). In his response, al-Nābulusī first lays out his theology, empha…

 Risāla fī l-jawāb ʿan suʾāl li-baʿḍ ahl al-dhimma

(211 words)

Author(s): Demiri, Lejla
‘Treatise in response to the question of one of the dhimmīs’ ʿAbd al-Ghanī ibn Ismāʿīl ibn ʿAbd al-Ghanī ibn Ismāʿīl l-Nābulusī Date: Undated; presumably 1725-6 or earlier Original Language: Arabic DescriptionThis is a short (three-folio) treatise written in response to an unnamed Christian scholar who apparently raised some questions concerning divine names and attributes. Al-Nābulusī accuses his addressee of being ignorant in knowing his Lord, the Creator. Although we are not told what he was asked about exactly, al-Nābulu…

 Al-kashf wa-l-bayān ʿan asrār al-adyān fī Kitāb al-insān al-kāmil wa-kāmil al-insān

(936 words)

Author(s): Demiri, Lejla
‘Uncovering and explaining the secrets of religions in the Book of the perfect human being and the perfection of the human being’ ʿAbd al-Ghanī ibn Ismāʿīl ibn ʿAbd al-Ghanī ibn Ismāʿīl l-Nābulusī Date: 1708 Original Language: Arabic DescriptionThis treatise on religious plurality is written in the form of a commentary on the controversial section of ʿAbd al-Karīm al-Jīlī’s (d. 1408 or 1428)  Al-insān al-kāmil (‘The perfect human being’). In his chapter ‘on the secrets of other religions and acts of worship’, al-Jīlī reflected on how all people ultimately w…

 Kitāb al-ʿashr al-masāʾil al-musammā Bayān al-wāḍiḥ al-mashhūd min faḍāʾiḥ al-Naṣārā wa-l-Yahūd

(453 words)

Author(s): Demiri, Lejla
Al-ʿashr al-masāʾil‘The book of the ten questions, entitled The exposition of the clear and attested ignominy of the Christians and Jews ’, ‘The ten questions’ Al-Jaʿfarī Date: 1221 or soon after Original Language: Arabic Description The Bayān is al-Jaʿfarī’s shorter version of the Takhjīl. According to the information given in the introduction, al-Jaʿfarī was asked to write a response to a list of theological questions that was sent in year 1221 by the Emperor of Nicea (Byzantine emperor in exile) Theodorus Lascaris I (d. 1222) to the A…
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