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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: 2020-12-18

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: 2020-12-18

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: 2020-12-18

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: 2020-12-18

Abbreviations and Foreword

(1,441 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
  FOREWORD David Thomas Christian-Muslim relations. A bibliographical History 6 ( CMR 6) continues the history of relations between Christians and Muslims as recorded in original sources in the period 1500-1600, following the same general approach as the earlier volumes in the series.  CMR 6 focuses on works from the 16th century in the countries of Western Europe, and shows that, while many of the preoccupations that dominated the Middle Ages were still prominent, particularly issues of political and religious relations between Christianity…

Front Matter

(1,818 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
CONTENTS   Foreword List of illustrations List of maps Abbreviations   Luis Bernabé Pons, Introduction:  Empires, wars, and languages. Islam and Christianity in 17th-century western and southern Europe Manuel Lomas, Trade and religious dogma José Maria Perceval, Attraction and repulsion of the other. The case of Muslim descendants in the Spanish kingdoms   Works on Christian-Muslim relations 1600-1700 Iberia France Italian states German states Central Europe   Index of names   Index of titles   FOREWORD David Thomas Christian-Muslim relations. A bibliographical history vo…

 Al-muntaqā min kitāb al-ruhbān

(254 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Selections from The Book of Monks Abū Bakr ʿAbdallāh ibn Muḥammad ibn ʿUbayd ibn Abī l-Dunyā Date: Before 894 Original Language: Arabic Description The surviving text comprises 24 selections, each reported in the name of an individual, including Wahb ibn Munabbih (d. 728 or 732), all of them brief, and many containing aphoristic comments or answers to questions by monks. A number are framed on recognizable sayings of Jesus. Ibn Abī l-Dunyā selected them from an earlier unknown work on monks. The exact nature of this work, and of Ibn Abī l-Dunyā’s work in which th…

Sayf ibn ʿUmar

(142 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Biography Nothing is known about the life of Sayf ibn ʿUmar al-Tamīmī, except that he is associated with southern Iraq, and was a writer of historical works. These were used as a main source by Abū Jaʿfar al-Ṭabarī for his Taʾrīkh al-rusul wa-l-mulūk, although their accuracy and objectivity were doubted from early times. Primary Sources of Information Ibn al-Nadīm, Fihrist, p. 106 Secondary Sources of Information E. Landau-Tasseron, ‘Sayf ibn ʿUmar in medieval and modern scholarship’, Der Islam 67, (1990), 1-26 M. Hinds, ‘Sayf b. ʿUmar’s sources on Arabia’, in Studies on the history …

 Al-burhān fī maʿrifat ʿaqāʾid ahl al-adyān

(547 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
‘The proof, on awareness of the beliefs of the followers of the faiths’ Al-Saksakī Date: Unknown; before 1284 Original Language: Arabic Description Al-burhān fī maʿrifat ʿaqāʾid ahl al-adyān is a brief descriptive account of religious groups and sects inside and outside Islam. At a mere 95 pages of text in al-ʿAmūsh’s edition, its descriptions are very brief and to the point. Within Islam, the book describes sects of the Khawārij, the Murjiʾa, the Muʿtazila and the Rāfiḍa (Shīʿa), numbering 73 in all, and outside it describes seven groups: the Barāhima, D…

Ḥumayd ibn Saʿīd ibn Bakhtiyār

(282 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Ḥumayd ibn Bakhtiyār Date of Birth: Unknown Place of Birth: Unknown Date of Death: Unknown, possibly mid-9th c. Place of Death: Unknown Biography Ibn al-Nadīm lists Ḥumayd ibn Saʿīd among theologians who may have been Muʿtazilī or Murji'ī. Since many of these died in the early 10th century, Ḥumayd would appear to have died at the same time. However, Van Ess ( TG iv, p. 132) identifies him as the Ḥumayd ibn Saʿīd ibn Ḥumayd ibn Baḥr who is mentioned by Abū l-Faraj al-Iṣfahānī as being imprisoned under the Caliph al-Wāthiq (842-47), which means that he may have lived half a century earlier than the F…

 Kitāb al-Shāmil fī uṣūl al-dīn

(824 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
The complete book on the principles of religion Al-Juwāynī Date: Uncertain; before 1085, and possibly after 1063 Original Language: Arabic Description Al-Shāmil fī uṣūl al-dīn is presented as an exposition of al-Bāqillānī’s (q.v.) commentary on al-Ashʿarī’s (q.v.) Kitāb al-luma ʿ, though its relationship with its predecessors, and particularly the Luma ʿ, is loose. It is, in fact, a systematic theology in its own right, one of the fullest known from the Ashʿarī school. Its date is not known, though it must pre-date the Irshād, which is a summary of it. Allard, Attributs divins, pp. 379…

 ʿUyūn al-munāẓarāt

(487 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
‘Choice disputes’ Al-Sakūnī Date: Unknown; before 1317 Original Language: Arabic Description ʿUyūn al-munāẓarāt is a history of disagreements in matters of religion, comprising 160 sections (in the printed edition divided into 416 numbered sub-sections, used as references here), from the first dispute between the angels and Iblīs over God’s command to venerate Adam, and continuing up to the author’s own time. It is concerned mainly with disagreements among Muslims themselves, but it also includes the views …

Unknown author

(43 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Ḥadīth Wāṣil al-Dimashqī Date of Birth: Unknown Place of Birth: Unknown Date of Death: Unknown Place of Death: Unknown Biography - Primary Sources of Information - Secondary Sources of Information - Works on Christian-Muslim Relations Ḥadīth Wāṣil al-Dimashqī David Thomas


(374 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Shams al-Dīn Abū l-Khayr Muḥammad ibn ʿAbd al-Raḥmān al-Sakhāwī Date of Birth: 1427/28 Place of Birth: Cairo Date of Death: 1497 Place of Death: Medina Biography Al-Sakhāwī was active in scholarly circles in Cairo in the late 15th century. His family originated in the village of Sakhā in the Nile Delta, and had migrated to the capital in the late 14th century. He studied under Ibn Ḥajar al-ʿAsqalānī (d. 1449), together with Abū l-Ḥasan Ibrāhīm al-Biqāʿī (d. 1480; q.v.), whose enemy and unrelenting critic he was to become. Al-Sakhāwī specialized in the qur’anic sciences, and was…

Ibn Bābawayh

(620 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Abū Jaʿfar Muḥammad ibn ʿAlī ibn Ḥusayn ibn Bābawayh al-Qummī, Ibn Bābūya, al-Shaykh al-Ṣadūq Date of Birth: Unknown; possibly 923 Place of Birth: Unknown, maybe Khurāsān Date of Death: 991-92 Place of Death: Rayy Biography     Although he is regarded as one of the major Shīʿī theologians and muḥaddiths, few details about Ibn Bābawayh’s life are known. Ibn al-Nadīm says that he was the son of an acknowledged Shīʿī authority, which would explain his own learning and that of his two brothers. In the 960s and 970s he lived in Baghdad and Kufa, a…


(76 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Foreword Abbreviations Herman G.B. Teule, Introduction: Constantinople and Granada. Christian-Muslim interaction 1350-1516 Daniel G. König, Arabic-Islamic perceptions of Europe in the Middle Ages Klaus-Peter Todt, Islam and Muslims in Byzantine historiography of the 10th-15th centuries Juan Pedro Monferrer Sala, Somewhere in the ‘History of Spain’. People, languages and texts in the Iberian Peninsula (13th-15th centuries) Works on Christian-Muslim relations 1350-1500 Addenda and corrigenda to CMR 1-4 Index of names Index of titles David Thomas

 Kitāb al-Ḥīra

(178 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Ḥīra: Ibn al-Nadīm, Fihrist, p. 109, and Yāqūt, Irshād, vii, p. 253, list this separately from the preceding work. Abū l-Mundhir Hishām ibn Muḥammad ibn al-Sāʾib al-Kalbī Date: Before 819 or 821 Original Language: Arabic Description If this was indeed a separate work from the Kitāb al-Ḥīra wa-tasmīyat al-biyaʿ wa-l-diyārāt wa-nasab al-ʿIbād, and not the result of later confusion in listing, one work may possibly have been something like an epitome of the other. Whatever the relationship, this must have been close to the other work in contents.   Together with Ibn al-Kalbī's other wo…

 Dalā'il al-nubuwwa

(290 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Proofs of prophethood Al-Bāhilī l-Baṣrī Date: Unknown; before about 915 Original Language: Arabic Description Almost nothing is known about this work, not even its proper title. It is not listed among al-Bāhilī’s works by Ibn al-Nadīm, and the only reference is given by ʿAbd al-Jabbār, Tathbīt, p. 511, who mentions it together with other works about the miracles of Muḥammad that are not referred to in the Qurʾān. From what ʿAbd al-Jabbār says about these works, it appears that this one, like the others mentioned with it, made the point that even though the mirac…


(179 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Najm al-Dīn Abū l-Rajā Mukhtār ibn Maḥmūd al-Zāhidī l-Ghazmīnī Date of Birth: Unknown; late 12th or early 13th century Place of Birth: Ghazmīn, Khwārazm Date of Death: 1260 Place of Death: Unknown; presumably Khwārazm Biography Al-Zāhidī was known as a Ḥanafī jurist who was active mainly in Central Asia. He began his studies in his home region, and continued these for some time in Baghdad and also in ‘ bilād al-Rūm’. He was evidently committed to discussions with Christians, because he says in Al-risāla l-nāṣiriyya that he participated in debate with Christian scholars in his n…

Ṣāʿid al-Andalusī

(428 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Abū l-Qāsim Ṣāʿid ibn Aḥmad ibn ʿAbd al-Raḥmān al-Taghlibī al-Andalusī Date of Birth: 1029 Place of Birth: Almeria Date of Death: 1070 Place of Death: Toledo Biography Ṣāʿid ibn Aḥmad al-Andalusī was born in Almeria and received his first education there. His family later settled in Cordova, where he continued his studies. Ibn Bashkuwāl says that he was a pupil of Ibn Ḥazm, and the two men certainly knew each other. In 1046, he went to Toledo for further study under such reputed teachers as Ibn Khamīs, al-Waqqāshī and al-…
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