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Ibn Ḥazm

(983 words)

Author(s): Monferrer Sala, Juan Pedro
Abū Muḥammad ʿAlī ibn Aḥmad ibn Saʿīd ibn Ḥazm Date of Birth: 994 Place of Birth: Cordova Date of Death: 1064 Place of Death: Manta Līsham (Niebla, Huelva) Biography Ibn Ḥazm of Cordova, one of the best-known authors of al-Andalus, was famous as a theologian, philosopher, and jurist. He was probably descended from a Christian convert to Islam, and could trace his genealogy back to a Persian mawlā of Yazīd ibn Abī Sufyān. His father was vizier at the Umayyad court under the royal chamberlain al-Manṣūr ibn Abī ʿĀmir (d. 1002) and his son al-Muẓaffar (d. 1008). He…

Abū Zayd Ḥunayn ibn Isḥāq al-ʿIbādī

(1,499 words)

Author(s): Monferrer Sala, Juan Pedro
Ḥunayn ibn Isḥāq Date of Birth: 809 Place of Birth: al-Ḥīra Date of Death: 873 Place of Death: Baghdad Biography As can be inferred from his nisba, al-ʿIbādī, Ḥunayn’s father belonged to the Arab Christian community of the ʿIbād in the southern Iraqī town of al-Ḥīra, the provincial capital of the Lakhmids. Ḥunayn started the practice of medicine with his father, who was a druggist. He learned Syriac in al-Ḥīra and was ordained deacon ( shammās) of the East Syrian church in that city. He moved to Gundishāpūr, where he learned Persian. Then he went to Baghdad and studied…

 Maqāla fī l-tawḥīd wa-l-tathlīth

(99 words)

Author(s): Monferrer Sala, Juan Pedro
Treatise on the Unity of God and the Trinity Al-Yabrūdī Date: First half of the 11th century Original Language: Arabic Description The work is not extant, and is known only from P. Sbath, F ihris, Supplemente, p. 32. Its title suggests that it was probably a polemical comparison between the Muslim and Christian perceptions of God. Significance It is not possible to comment on this. Manuscripts Inaccessible MS once in a private collection in Aleppo; see Sbath, Fihris, Supplemente, p. 32 Editions & Translations - Studies - Keywords Chronological Category: 1000-1100 Juan Pedro Monferrer …

 Llibre de la çuna e xara dels Moros

(411 words)

Author(s): Monferrer Sala, Juan Pedro
Book of the tradition and law of the Moors Llibre de la çuna e xara dels Moros Date: Uncertain; late 14th century Original Language: Catalan Description This text, the only Catalan work of its kind that is currently known, is a translation from an unknown Arabic original into Catalan made in Valencia at the end the 14th century. As its title, which is known from the start of the index page, suggests, it is concerned with major Islamic religious and legal regulations ( sunna and sharīʿa), and it includes references that reflect Mālikī legal opinions. Although the index has 366 he…

 Taʾrīkh al-Siʿīrd

(537 words)

Author(s): Monferrer Sala, Juan Pedro
The Chronicle of Seʿert The Chronicle of Se'ert Date: Before 1023 Original Language: Arabic Description This work is a universal history. It is divided into two parts, the first narrating the events of the years 251 to 422, and the second dealing with the period 484 up to 650, at which point the MS containing this part breaks off. The remainder of the Chronicle may have followed events up to the 11th century. The author, who is anonymous, was evidently a Nestorian priest who must have finished writing before the year 1023 (see Youssif, Chroniqueurs, p. 280). The Chronicle is based on a numbe…

Ibn Albar al-Qūṭī

(491 words)

Author(s): Monferrer Sala, Juan Pedro
Biography We have very little information about the exact identity of this Arabized Christian author. All we know about him is that he was the qāḍī of the Christian community in Cordova and one of the most outstanding intellects of all Christian priests. He was probably born in Cordova in the 9th century and probably died there in the 10th century. Two suggestions have been made about the identity of Ḥafṣ ibn Albar al-Qūṭī: first, that he was the well-known Paul Alvarus (q.v.), one of the leaders of the Christian community in Cordova in the mid-9th century; and second, from information gi…

 Tafsīr al-amāna al-kabīr

(192 words)

Author(s): Monferrer Sala, Juan Pedro
Commentary on the Creed Elias of Nisibis Date: Before 1046 Original Language: Arabic Description This work is divided into 19 parts ( fuṣūṣ) corresponding to the elements into which Elias divides the Creed. Each is given in Syriac, together with what is an Arabic paraphrase ( tafsīr) followed by a commentary ( taʾwīl). Significance It is clear that Elias writes about the Trinity and Incarnation with the views of Muslims, as well as Jacobites and Melkites, in mind. Manuscripts MS Vat - Ar. 143, fols 127r-148v (12th-13th century; missing some folios) MS Beirut, Bibliothèque orientale – …

 Risāla fī maʿānin saʾalahu ʿanhā baʿḍ ikhwānihi

(230 words)

Author(s): Monferrer Sala, Juan Pedro
Epistle on the meanings about which one of his brothers asked him Ibn Zurʿa Date: 989 Original Language: Arabic Description This letter or treatise, which is addressed to a Muslim friend, is concerned with God's essential attributes of knowledge and power, as well as his active attributes ( ṣifāt al-fiʿl) and the transcendent mystery of God. Significance As in his other works, Ibn Zurʿa readily resorts to the use of theological and philosophical analogies to explain the Christian concept of the Godhead. Manuscripts MS Vat - Ar. 127, fols 5r-15r MS Aleppo, Fondation Georges et Mathild…

 Kitāb al-burhān ʿalā ṣaḥīḥ al-īmān

(232 words)

Author(s): Monferrer Sala, Juan Pedro
The demonstration of the correctness of the faith Elias of Nisibis Date: Before 1046 Original Language: Arabic Description This theological treaty is divided into four parts, subdivided into ten chapters. Part 1 is addressed to non-Christians, of which the first chapter addresses Muslims (fols 131r-134r), and the second chapter addresses mainly Jews, but is also concerned with Muslims. Significance In ch. 1 of part 1 Elias demonstrates that Christians believe in one God by citing New Testament passages, and also by showing that the three persons can be …

 Maqāla fī maʿnā kalimatān kiyān wa-ilāh

(228 words)

Author(s): Monferrer Sala, Juan Pedro
Treatise on the meaning of the two terms kiyān and ilāh Elias of Nisibis Date: Before 1046 Original Language: Arabic Description This tract focuses on two theological and linguistic items. The first is the triune and single nature of God in relation to the term kiyān, ‘being’ or ‘existence’, with an appendix on the meaning of the term jawhar. The second is the meaning of the term ilāh, which Elias argues has only one significance in Muslim usage, but for Jews and Christians has multiple significances, since the terms ilāh and Allāh are used for beings other than God, such as Moses in Exodus 4:6. Si…

Al-Imām al-Qurṭubī

(423 words)

Author(s): Monferrer Sala, Juan Pedro
Abū l-ʿAbbās Aḥmad ibn ʿUmar ibn Ibrāhīm ibn ʿUmar al-Anṣārī l-Qurṭubī Date of Birth: 1182 Place of Birth: Cordova Date of Death: 1258 Place of Death: Alexandria Biography Al-Imām al-Qurṭubī was a Mālikī jurist and also an expert traditionist and faqīh uṣūlī. Born in Cordova, he travelled with his father through al-Andalus and then to the Middle East, visiting Ceuta, Fes, Tilimsan, Tunis, Alexandria and Cairo, and eventually Mecca for the ḥajj. During this riḥla he studied fiqh, Hadith, grammar and rhetoric with scholars in a number of towns. Among his works are Al-mufhim li-mā ashkala …

 Risāla fī faḍīlat al-ʿafāf

(287 words)

Author(s): Monferrer Sala, Juan Pedro
Epistle on the merit of chastity Elias of Nisibis Date: Before 1046 Original Language: Arabic Description 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. Significance Elias shows that al-Jāḥiẓ’s arguments defy both reason ( ʿaql) and revelation ( sharʿ). The fact that he tak…

 Risāla fī ḥudūth al-ʿālam wa-waḥdāniyyat al-Khāliq wa-tathlīth al-aqānīm

(385 words)

Author(s): Monferrer Sala, Juan Pedro
Epistle on the temporality of the world, and the oneness of the Creator and threeness of the hypostases Elias of Nisibis Date: Before 1046 Original Language: Arabic Description The epistle is divided into three parts: on the existence of God (this is the longest), God’s oneness, and God’s Trinitarian nature. God’s existence is explained on the basis of indications of his activities in the natural order, and signs of his wisdom evident in various human circumstances. God’s oneness is explained by analogy with the human intellect ( al-ʿaql), by his power in the world, and by referen…

 Kitāb al-taʾrīkh

(430 words)

Author(s): Monferrer Sala, Juan Pedro
History Abū Marwān ʿAbd al-Malik ibn Ḥabīb ibn Sulaymān ibn Hārūn/Marwān ibn Julhuma ibn ʿAbbās ibn Mirdās al-Sulamī Date: 1st half of 9th c., redacted in 2nd half of 9th c. Original Language: Arabic Description The version of the Kitāb al-taʾrīkh which has come down to us is a recension made by Ibn Ḥabīb's pupil Yūsuf ibn Yaḥyā l-Maghāmī in the years 888-91. Together with Ibn Raʾs Ghanama's History, the Kitāb al-taʾrīkh is one of only two world histories written in al-Andalus known to have survived. The work deals with a succession of topics: the creation of the world and the st…

Abū ʿAbdallāh Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad al-Umawī l-Sufyānī l-ʿUtbī l-Qurṭubī

(391 words)

Author(s): Monferrer Sala, Juan Pedro
Al-ʿUtbī l-Qurṭubī Date of Birth: 9th c. Place of Birth: Cordova Date of Death: 868/869 Place of Death: Cordova Biography Al-ʿUtbī was born and lived in Cordova, the city in which he followed his legal career. He was a renowned Mālikī scholar ( faqīh), well versed in Islamic law ( fiqh) and legal questions ( masāʾil), and labeled by his biographers as min ahl al-jihād wa-l-khayr, ‘one of the excellent people struggling for the faith’. His most influential work was al-Mustakhraja min al-asmi ʿ a (‘The selection from what is heard’), also known as al-ʿUtbiyyaPrimary Sources of Information Ib…

Somewhere in the ‘History of Spain’: People, languages and texts in the Iberian Peninsula (13th-15th centuries)

(5,812 words)

Author(s): Monferrer Sala, Juan Pedro
Background The powerful 12th-century resurgence that was prompted by a series of social, political and religious changes, with its roots in the cultural renaissance that swept Europe under Charlemagne, led to a watershed in the intellectual life of Western Europe. The new order was enhanced in large measure by the translation of numerous works of classical antiquity into Latin via Arabic, and also by the translation of texts by Muslim Arab scholars. Their most immediate impact was felt in Italy and…

Al-Bājī

(260 words)

Author(s): Monferrer Sala, Juan Pedro
ʿAlāʾ al-Dīn Abū l-Ḥasan ʿAlī ibn Muḥammad ibn ʿAbd al-Raḥmān ibn al-Khaṭṭāb Date of Birth: 1234 Place of Birth: Uncertain; possibly Badajoz Date of Death: February 1315 Place of Death: Cairo Biography ʿAlāʾ al-Dīn al-Bājī was known mainly as a Shāfiʿī jurist of Maghribī origins. He studied in Damascus, and served as faqīh and walī l-quḍāʾ in al-Karak during the time of Baybars I, al-Malik al-Ẓāhir (r. 1260-77). He later taught in Cairo, where he also featured in political life. His best known works are: Kashf al-ḥaqāʾiq (‘Disclosure of the truths’) on logic, Ghāyat al-sūl fī ʿilm al-uṣūl (…

 Tuḥfat al-adīb fī l-radd ʿalā ahl al-ṣalīb

(517 words)

Author(s): Monferrer Sala, Juan Pedro
‘The cultured man’s gift, in refutation of the people of the Cross’ Fray Anselmo Turmeda Date: Before 1420 Original Language: Arabic Description The work is divided into three sections: the first contains an autobiography, the second a history of Tunisian rulers of Turmeda’s time, and the third is a long refutation of Christianity. This contains a number of classical arguments, including: Islam as the true religion and Christianity as aberrant; corruption of scripture; Jesus as human and not divine; the real identity of the Paraclete. Significance Turmeda’s work is most significa…

 A chronicle fragment

(300 words)

Author(s): Monferrer Sala, Juan Pedro
A chronicle fragment A chronicle fragment Date: 10th or 11th century Original Language: Arabic Description The fragmentary 14th-century copy of this chronicle, a mere 18 folios long, relates the first 18 years (912-929) of the reign of the Spanish Umayyad Caliph ʿAbd al-Raḥmān III (912-61), the period during which the muwallad (convert from Christianity) ʿUmar ibn Ḥafṣūn and his sons led an uprising. The rebels took possession of the fortress in Bobastro (Malaga), and made it their capital. They abandoned their new faith and returned to Christianity. The account seems to be origin…

 Maqāla fī naʿīm al-ākhira

(153 words)

Author(s): Monferrer Sala, Juan Pedro
Treatise on the bliss of the afterlife Elias of Nisibis Date: Before 1046 Original Language: Arabic Description This work, which comprises an introduction, three answers to two objections, and a conclusion, emphasizes that, according to Christian teachings, there are no physical or sensual pleasures in the afterlife. Significance Elias’ arguments show how Christians felt compelled to respond to Muslim views about the nature of existence in the afterlife, and also how they looked down on these views.  Manuscripts MS Cairo, Coptic Patriarchate – Theology 83 (Simaika 370, Gr…
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