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Gospel, Muslim conception of

(3,142 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
The Muslim conception of the Gospel (Ar. Injīl) is of a revelation originally given to Jesus for the Christian community but later either corrupted in some way or lost and reconstructed and therefore no longer accessible in its original form. Muslims have adopted a range of attitudes towards the Gospel as Christians hold it, ranging from acceptance, depending on proper interpretation, to wholesale rejection because the text is distorted beyond recovery. The Qurʾān refers to the Injīl (the original, true Gospel) in several places, always as a revelation sent down by God.…
Date: 2020-09-16

Christian religion (premodern Muslim positions)

(2,981 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
The attitudes of Muslims towards Christianity and Christians are strongly influenced by what they find in the Qurʾān. The details that the first generations of Muslims derived from encounters with Christians led them to believe that Christians had lost the pristine purity of their faith and fallen into serious doctrinal errors based on corrupt readings of their scriptures or, more often, corrupt transmission of the scriptural text. It fell to Muslims themselves, as the guardians of revealed truth, to…
Date: 2020-09-16

Ibrāhīm b. Isḥāq al-Ḥarbī

(774 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Abū Isḥāq Ibrāhīm b. Isḥāq b. Ibrāhīm b. Bashīr (or Bishr) b. ʿAbdallāh b. Daysam al-Marwazī al-Ḥarbī (198–285/813–98) was a ḥadīth expert in Baghdad and was known as a man of piety and asceticism. He was a pupil of Aḥmad b. Ḥanbal (the founder of one of the four Sunnī schools of law, d. 241/855) and was sometimes compared with him in respect to his scholarship, piety, and simplicity of life. Al-Ḥarbī explained that his family came from Merv and that his mother was from the Taghlib tribe, which was Christian, and most of his maternal uncles were Christian. This bei…
Date: 2020-09-16

Abū ʿĪsā l-Warrāq

(1,055 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Abū ʿĪsā Muḥammad b. Hārūn b. Muḥammad al-Warrāq was an independent thinker active in the mid-third/ninth century, best known for his writings on major beliefs and for his scepticism about religious claims. He was a native of Baghdad (al-Masʿūdī, 7:236), but further details about his life are scanty. His exact dates are unknown, but an early third/ninth-century floruit is suggested by a report that he spoke with a companion of Hishām b. al-Ḥakam, who died sometime before 200/815 (al-Ashʿarī, 33), and by evidence that he was a contemporary of the early…
Date: 2020-09-16