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Samawʾal al-Maghribī, al-

(987 words)

Author(s): Sabine Schmidtke
Abū Naṣr al-Samawʾal ibn Yaḥyā al-Maghribī (d. 1175), a renowned mathematician and physician, was the son of Judah ibn Abūn (Abū ʾl-Baqā Yaḥyā ibn ʿAbbās al-Maghribī), a rabbi and poet from Fez who moved to Baghdad prior to al-Samawʾal’s birth, and of Hannah, the learned daughter of Isḥāq ibn Ibrāhīm al-Baṣrī al-Lāwī (the Levite). As a child, Samawʾal was taught Hebrew writing, the Hebrew Bible, and the commentary literature by his father. From the age of thirteen, he was trained as a mathematician and physician…

Ibn Kammūna, Saʿd                                                 

(2,387 words)

Author(s): Sabine Schmidtke
1. Life Saʿd ibn Manṣūr ibn Saʿd ibn al-Ḥasan ibn Hibat Allāh Ibn Kammūna al-Baghdādī was a Jewish philosopher who presumably held an administrative office in the Il-Khanid state.  He was presumably born in Baghdad and spent most, if not all, of his life there. Nothing is known about his early life and education, and much of his biography can only hypothetically be reconstructed. Born into a Jewish family, he must have received a thorough education in both Jewish and Islamic letters, as is evident from the …

Polemics (Muslim-Jewish)

(5,419 words)

Author(s): Camilla Adang | Sabine Schmidtke
    1.   The Qurʾān and Its Exegesis The Muslim polemic against Judaism and its adherents is a phenomenon as old as Islam, and the Qurʾān was its very first source. Its sūras, especially the ones from the period of Muḥammad’s preaching in Medina (622–632 C.E.), proffer the following arguments among others: unlike the Christians, the Jews are hostile to the Prophet and the Muslims; the cumbersome Jewish laws, especially the dietary laws, were a punishment from God for the Jews’ disobedience, but are now lifted by the new dispe…