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Gurbetnâme-i Sultan Cem

(563 words)

Author(s): Demiri, Lejla
Biography No information is available about the identity of the author of Gurbetnâme-i Sultan Cem (‘The book of exile of Prince Cem’), which shows close similarities with an earlier work, Vâkıât-ı Sultan Cem (‘The events in the life of Prince Cem’), though it also differs significantly. The Vâkıât is believed to have been written by one of the close companions of the Ottoman prince Cem Sultan, a member of his entourage who accompanied him during his long years of exile in Europe. The author of the Vâkıât kept his identity hidden and preferred to remain anonymous. Some historian…

 Gurbetnâme-i Sultan Cem

(4,116 words)

Author(s): Demiri, Lejla
Gurbetnâme‘The book of exile of Prince Cem’, ‘The book of exile’ Gurbetnâme-i Sultan Cem Date: Unknown (presumably sometime in the 1520s, and no later than the 1540s) Original Language: Ottoman Turkish Description The  Gurbetnâme-i Sultan Cem, ‘The book of exile of Prince Cem’, is a biography of the Ottoman prince, Cem Sultan, also known in Europe as Sultan Zizim. He was the son of Sultan Mehmed II the Conqueror (r. 1444–6 and 1451–81), and brother of Sultan Bayezid II (r. 1481-1512). His adventurous life turned him into a legend…

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…

 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…

 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…

 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…

Naṣr ibn Yaḥyā

(486 words)

Author(s): Demiri, Lejla
Naṣr ibn Yaḥyā ibn ʿῙsā ibn Saʿīd al-Mutaṭabbib al-Muhtadī Date of Birth: Unknown; late 11th or early 12th century Place of Birth: Basra Date of Death: September 1193 or possibly 1163 Place of Death: Basra Biography In the opening of Al-naṣīḥa al-īmāniyya the author refers to himself as Naṣr ibn Yaḥyā ibn ʿῙsā ibn Saʿīd al-Mutaṭabbib (p. 48). The work also reveals that he was a Christian doctor who later converted to Islam. In classical biographical dictionaries, however, one can detect hardly any information about a Christian doctor c…

 Al-radd ʿalā l-mutanaṣṣir

(425 words)

Author(s): Demiri, Lejla
Refutation of the convert to Christianity Ibn ʿAwf Date: Unknown; before 1185 Original Language: Arabic Description This work, which bears the same title as a work ascribed to another Mālikī jurisprudent, the Tunisian Ibn ʿAbd al-Rafīʿ (d. 1333; q.v.).has not survived, though from a handful of references elsewhere it appears that Ibn ʿAwf wrote it in response to an anti-Muslim polemic entitled Al-fāḍiḥ (‘Exposing disgrace’), in which the author, who had presumably abandoned Islam for Christianity, exposed inconsistencies within Muḥammad’s legal dispensation ( sharīʿa Muḥammadi…

 Al-sayf al-murhaf fī l-radd ʿalā l-Muṣḥaf

(629 words)

Author(s): Demiri, Lejla
Al-sayf al-murhaf‘The whetted sword in refutation of the Scripture’ Al-sayf al-murhaf fī l-radd ‘alā l-Muṣḥaf Date: 13th century Original Language: Arabic Description Regarding the quality of ‘truthfulness’, the author presents instances, mainly related to the qur’anic tales of the prophets, which, in his view, contradict those of the Bible, such as the stories of Mary (ed. Qarnī, i, pp. 300-1), Zachariah (ed. Qarnī, i, pp. 305-6; ed. Demiri, §§ 218-20, 491), Joseph (ed. Qarnī, i, pp. 312-24; ed. Demiri, §§ 217, 550,…

 A‘lām al-nubuwwa

(149 words)

Author(s): Demiri, Lejla
Signs of prophethood Ibn Ẓafar Date: Unknown; probably 1163 (see Ibn Ẓafar, Khayr al-bishar, p. 96) Original Language: Arabic Description As implied by the title, this is most probably identical to Ibn Ẓafar’s Khayr al-bishar and is perhaps an alternative title. The fact that no reference to this work exists in any of the biographical sources supports this possibility. The only references to it are in Kashf al-ẓunūn (i, p. 126) and Hadiyyat al-ʿārifīn (ii, p. 96). Significance If it was a separate work, it would have been another contribution to the same genre as Khayr al-bishar. Manuscript…
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