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 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

Al-Sakhāwī

(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…

Contents

(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…

Al-Zāhidī

(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-…

Ibn Khallād

(217 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Abū ʿAlī Muḥammad ibn Khallād al-Baṣrī Date of Birth: Unknown; possibly early 10th century Place of Birth: Basra Date of Death: Unknown; mid-10th century Place of Death: Unknown; maybe Baghdad Biography Born in Basra, Ibn Khallād was a student of Abū Hāshim al-Jubbāʾī (d. 933) (q.v.), and followed his master when he moved to Baghdad in later life. He was remembered as one of Abū Hāshim’s best students and was in turn the teacher of Abū ʿAbdallāh al-Baṣrī (d. 980) (q.v.) and Abū Isḥāq ibn ʿAyyāsh (d. 996), who were the teacher…

 Kitāb fī l-radd ʿalā l-Yahūd wa-l-Naṣārā

(160 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Refutation of the Jews and Christians Abū l-ʿAbbās ʿAbdallāh ibn Hārūn al-Maʾmūn Date: before 833 Original Language: Arabic Description The work is listed by Ibn al-Murtaḍā, Kitāb ṭabaqāt al-Muʿtazila, ed. S. Diwald-Wilzer, Beirut, 1988, p. 123, who says that the caliph wrote 'many books', but names only this and a work against the Manicheans.   Van Ess ( TG iii, p. 202) dismisses it and other works against non-Muslims attributed to al-Maʾmūn as part of the legend that was built up around him as a great defender of Islam. Significance It would have been one of the earliest known Musl…

 Kitāb al-radd ʿalā l-Naṣārā wa-dhikhr majāmiʿihim

(141 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
‘A refutation of the Christians and an account of their groups’ Al-Qifṭī Date: Unknown; before 1248 Original Language: Arabic Description The work has not survived, and is known only through the mention by al-Ṣafadī, Al-wāfī bi-l-wafayāt, p. 340. Its contents and intention can only be guessed at, though its title indicates that, in addition to arguments against Christianity, it also contained accounts of Christian sects – possibly Copts as well as the Melkites, Jacobites and Nestorians – that al-Qifṭī would have got to know about in the course of his life. Significance It is not possib…

 Al-ghunya fī l-kalām; Kitāb al-ghunya fī uṣūl al-dīn

(759 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
The indispensable, on theology; The indispensable, on the principles of religion Abū l-Qāsim al-Anṣārī Date: After 1094 Original Language: Arabic Description Al-ghunya fī l-kalām is a substantial theological treatise in three parts, only the first of which has so far been published. This is more than 350 pages long. It’s subject is the existence and nature of God and, following the precedent of earlier works of this kind, it begins with an epistemological introduction, and then a proof of the contingency of the world …

 Jawāb risālat ahl jazīrat Qubruṣ

(999 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
‘Reply to the letter of the people of Cyprus’ Ibn Abī Ṭālib al-Dimashqī Date: June 1321 Original Language: Arabic Description This long work is a reply to the anonymous letter that was sent in the name of the people of Cyprus to demonstrate how Christianity is supported and authenticated by the Qur’an (see ‘The letter from the People of Cyprus’); this is an extensively edited version of Paul of Antioch’s Letter to a Muslim friend (q.v.), written by Paul about a century earlier. In 1316, a version of this letter was sent from Cyprus to the theologian Ibn Taymiyya (q.v.…

 Kitāb yaḥtawī ʿalā ʿashara kutub fī l-radd ʿalā ahl al-milal

(130 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
A book comprising ten books on the refutation of the people of the religions Abū ʿAmr Ḍirār ibn ʿAmr al-Ghaṭafānī l-Kūfī Date: mid to late 8th c. Original Language: Arabic Description The work is lost, and is known only from Ibn al-Nadīm, Fihrist, p. 215, where his reference is probably a description of the work rather than the exact title. It would have been one of the earliest works against other religions known to Muslims at the time, presumably including Christianity. Significance It may have been substantial (though the significance of the term 'book' here must remain un…

Abbreviations

(584 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
ʿAbd al-Jabbār, Tathbīt                 ʿAbd al-Jabbār, Tathbīt dalāʾil al-nubuwwa, ed. ʿA.-K. ʿUthmān, 2 vols, Beirut, 1966 Assemani, BO                 J.S. Assemani, Bibliotheca Orientalis Clementino-Vaticana, 4 vols in 3, Rome, 1719-28 (repr. Hildesheim, 1975) ‘Bibliographie’             R. Caspar et al., ‘Bibliographie du dialogue islamo-chrétien’, Islamochristiana 1 (1975) 124-81; 2 (1976) 187-249; 3 (1977) 255-86; 4 (1978) 247-67; 5 (1979) 299-317; 6 (1980) 259-99; 7 (1981) 299-307; 10 (1984) 273-92; 13 (1987) 173-80; 15 (1989) 169-74 Biblioteca de al-Andalus     …

Ibn ʿAbd al-Rafīʿ

(111 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Abū Isḥāq Ibrāhīm ibn Ḥasan ibn ʿAbd al-Rafīʿ Date of Birth: 1239 Place of Birth: Unknown; presumably North Africa Date of Death: 1333 Place of Death: Tunis Biography Ibn ʿAbd al-Rafīʿ was a Mālikī jurist and chief qāḍī of Tunis, distinguishing himself by the length of his career in the judiciary. Among his works were Mufīd al-ḥukkām (‘Instructions for judges’), and Ikhtiṣār ajwibat Ibn Rushd (‘Abridgement of the responses of Ibn Rushd’), presumably on the philosopher’s legal opinions. Primary Sources of Information Abū ʿAbdallāh al-Zarkashī, Taʾrīkh al-dawlatayn, Tunis, 1872, p. 57 S…

 Kitāb al-bad’ wa-l-ta’rīkh

(720 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Creation and history Al-Maqdisī Date: About 966 Original Language: Arabic Description The work is divided into 22 chapters: 1-4 on sources of knowledge, and proofs of God and prophethood; 5-10 on the creation, Adam and the end of time; 10-14 on descriptions of the world and events before the coming of Muḥammad; and 15-22 on the life of Muḥammad, Muslim sects and Islamic history to the mid-10th century. In the opening chapters, al-Maqdisī shows that he is fully aware of different teachings within and outside Islam about the points that he makes, and he mentions t…

Abū ʿAmr Ḍirār ibn ʿAmr al-Ghaṭafānī l-Kūfī

(689 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Ḍirār ibn ʿAmr Date of Birth: unknown, c. 730 Place of Birth: possibly Kūfa Date of Death: unknown, c. 800 Place of Death: possibly Basra Biography Ḍirār does not figure prominently in biographical works, and little is known for certain about his life. He is associated with scholars who flourished in the late 8th century and is identified among the participants in a debate before Yaḥyā l-Barmakī in the reign of Hārūn al-Rashīd. His date of death can therefore be given roughly as 800, and since he is said to have lived to about 70, he was probably …

Al-Qaḥṭabī

(400 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Aḥmad ibn Muḥammad al-Qaḥṭabī Date of Birth: Unknown Place of Birth: Unknown Date of Death: Before 940 Place of Death: Unknown Biography The author of a refutation of Christianity that is virtually unknown is himself almost completely unknown. Ibn al-Nadīm links an al-Qaḥṭabī with a certain Ibn al-Baṭrīq, saying that the latter translated a work of the Greek physician Alexander of Tralles for him ( Fihrist, p. 352), and he also lists the Christian sects that appeared in al-Qaḥṭabī’s refutation of Christianity (p. 405). In addition to this, Abū Manṣūr al-Baghd…

 Kitāb al-radd ʿalā Yūshaʿ Bukht maṭrān Fārs

(193 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Refutation of Īshōʿbokht, metropolitan of Fars Ḥumayd ibn Saʿīd ibn Bakhtiyār Date: Mid-9th c. Original Language: Arabic Description The work is mentioned by Ibn al-Nadīm, Fihrist, p. 220 (margin, which reads the last words of the title as Maṭr Ibn Fāris, though Fück, ‘Neue Materialien zum Fihrist’, ZDMG 90 (1936) 298-321, p. 308, emends this to ‘metropolitan of Fars’). The Christian’s name suggests he was an East Syrian. Fück identifies him as Īshōʿbokht of Rēwardashīr (as does G. Monnot, Islam et religions, Paris, 1986, p. 77), although Van Ess ( TG iv, pp. 132-33) argues that sinc…

 Kitāb al-munqidh min al-taqlīd wa-l-murshid ilā l-tawḥīd

(1,055 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
‘Deliverance from imitation and guidance to divine unity’ Al-Ḥimmaṣī Date: 1185 Original Language: Arabic Description This work is a compendium of Muʿtazilī theology. It is known by a number of titles, Kitāb al-munqidh min al-taqlīd wa-l-murshid ilā l-tawḥīd, Kitāb al-murshid ilā l-tawḥīd wa-l-munqidh min al-taqlīd and Al-taʿlīq al-ʿirāqī (prompting Muḥammad Bāqir al-Khwānsārī to suggest that it is a commentary on a work by al-Ḥimmaṣī’s contemporary Abū l-Faḍl al-ʿIrāqī l-Qazwīnī l-Ṭāwūsī). It was evidently regarded as important among al-Ḥim…

 Radd ʿalā l-Naṣārā

(750 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Refutation of the Christians Abū ʿAlī l-Jubbāʾī Date: Unknown; before 915-16 Original Language: Arabic Description The work has not survived, and its original title, if different from that given above, is not known. ʿAbd al-Jabbār mentions in the Tathbīt p. 198 that Abū ʿAlī wrote a work against the Christians, but says nothing more about it. It is quite likely that the anti-Christian arguments he quotes from Abū ʿAlī by name in the Mughnī, although without identifying any source, are from this work. According to the sequence of fragments preserved by ʿAbd al-Jabbār, the refut…

Abū Muḥammad ʿAbdallāh ibn Qutayba

(359 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Ibn Qutayba Date of Birth: 828 Place of Birth: Kūfa Date of Death: 889 Place of Death: Baghdad Biography Ibn Qutayba was educated in conservative intellectual circles, and he identified himself as a follower of Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal. His ideas found favour with the Caliph al-Mutawakkil, and from about 851 he held the post of qāḍī under the patronage of the vizier al-Fatḥ ibn Khāqān. He lost this post when the latter fell from favor in 870, and after that mainly devoted himself to writing. He wrote on a range of topics, mainly adab, for which he was primarily known, and religious matters. His adab works…

 Taʿlīq Sharḥ al-uṣūl al-khamsa

(468 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Comments on the Commentary on the five principles Mānkdīm Shashdīw Date: Unknown; between about 990 and 1034 Original Language: Arabic Description The Taʿlīq Sharḥ al-uṣūl al-khamsa is a commentary on ʿAbd al-Jabbār’s (q.v.) lost Sharḥ al-uṣūl al-khamsa (q.v.), which the latter dictated between 970 and 990 as a commentary on his own extant Kitāb al-uṣūl al-khamsa. Comparison between the Taʿlīq and ʿAbd al-Jabbār’s original work shows extensive additions and amplifications - ʿAbd al-Jabbār’s bare reference in a single sentence to the doctrine of the Trin…

Contents

(43 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Foreword Abbreviations John Tolan, Introduction David Thomas, Muslim regard for Christians and Christianity Nicholas Drocourt, Christian–Muslim diplomatic relations. An overview of the main sources and themes of encounter (600–1000) Works on Christian-Muslim relations 900-1050 Index of names Index of works David Thomas

Khabar al-Yahūd wa-l-Naṣārā

(207 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Biography The author of this account about a meeting between the Fatimid Caliph al-Ḥākim and a deputation of Christians and Jews was evidently a Druze. The account itself identifies him as Ḥamza ibn ʿAlī ibn Aḥmad, the upholder of al-Ḥākim’s divinity and founder of the Druze sect, who died sometime after al-Ḥākim’s disappearance in 1021. The 18th-century Orientalist J.M. Venture de Paradis (translated by Ruffin, Appendix, pp. 110-11) relates how he obtained a MS found in a Druze village, which contained, among other things,  an account of a dialogue between a…

Abū l-Qāsim al-Balkhī

(466 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Abū l-Qāsim ʿAbdallāh ibn Aḥmad ibn Maḥmūd al-Balkhī, al-Kaʿbī Date of Birth: Mid-9th century Place of Birth: Balkh Date of Death: 931 Place of Death: Balkh Biography Born in Balkh in Khurāsān, al-Balkhī traced his ancestry back to the tribe of Kaʿb. He studied in Baghdad under the grammarian Mubarrad (d. 898) and the Muʿtazilī Abū l-Ḥusayn al-Khayyāṭ (d. 913), and remained in the capital long enough to attract the attention of notable scholars, who reacted to a number of his works. But he spent his mature years back in h…

 Kitāb al-ḥujja fī ithbāt al-nabī ʿalayhi l-salām

(127 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
The Proof in confirmation of the Prophet, peace be upon him Abū Sahl Bishr ibn al-Muʿtamir ibn Bishr al-Hilālī Date: early 9th c. Original Language: Arabic Description The work, which was written in verse, is mentioned by Ibn al-Nadīm, Fihrist, p. 185. It was one of the earliest examples of the 'proofs of prophethood' genre, and it may have listed and commented on biblical proof verses and also refuted arguments from Christians. Significance It presumably employed similar arguments to those in contemporary works, and may have fed later works of this kind. Manuscripts - Editions & Transla…

 Kitāb al-dīn wa-l-dawla

(793 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
The Book of religion and empire’ Abū l-Ḥasan ʿAlī ibn Sahl Rabban al-Ṭabarī Date: c. 855 Original Language: Arabic Description From the time it was first published the authenticity of this work has been disputed, most vehemently by M. Bouyges. But Sepmeijer, Thomas, and Adang have shown that it is undoubtedly ancient and attributable to ʿAlī l-Ṭabarī, and questions of its authorship should be regarded as settled.   It is a defense of the prophetic status of Muḥammad, based on a range of arguments including his and his Companions' virtues, his miracles, and above…

 Jawāb ʿan kitāb malik al-Rūm

(359 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Reply to the letter of the Byzantine emperor Abū l-Ḥasan ibn al-Munajjim Date: About 935 Original Language: Arabic Description Elsewhere in the Tathbīt (p. 343), ʿAbd al-Jabbār refers to a reply which Abū al-Ḥasan wrote to a letter ( kitāb) from the Byzantine emperor. In his letter, which was written after the Byzantine capture of Melitene in 935, the emperor rejoiced at the misfortunes brought on the Islamic state by the Carmathians, and especially their attacks on Mecca and murder of pilgrims. This emperor would have been Constanti…

 Al-fuṣūl

(596 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Chapters Al-Ashʿarī Date: Unknown, probably between about 900 and 932 Original Language: Arabic Description The work has not survived. Ibn ʿAsākir ( Tabyīn, p. 128, McCarthy, Theology, pp. 211-12) describes its contents as follows: ‘A refutation of the atheists and those who are outside the religion of Islam, such as the philosophers, the naturalists, the materialists, the assimilators and those who teach about the eternity of destiny, according to the differences of their views and the varieties of their positions; then…

 Awāʾil al-adilla fī uṣūl al-dīn

(789 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Fundamentals of the proofs for the principles of religion Abū l-Qāsim al-Balkhī Date: Unknown; before 931 Original Language: Arabic Description The Awāʾil al-adilla appears to have been a compendium of Muslim doctrines according to Muʿtazilī principles, and it was evidently a significant work. It attracted refutations from al-Ashʿarī (q.v.), al-Māturīdī (q.v.), Ibn Fūrak, and others, while the historian Abū Naṣr al-Muṭahhar ibn Ṭāhir (or al-Muṭahhar) al-Maqdisī (q.v.) praises its argument for the existence of a Creator ( Kitāb al-badʾ wa-l-taʾrīkh, 6 parts in 2 vols, Cairo…

Al-Musabbiḥī

(297 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
ʿIzz al-Mulk Abū ʿAbdallāh (or ʿUbayd Allāh) Muḥammad ibn Abī l-Qāsim ʿUbayd Allāh Ismāʿīl ibn ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz al-Ḥarrānī al-Musabbiḥī al-Kātib Date of Birth: 977 Place of Birth: Fusṭāṭ Date of Death: April-May 1030 Place of Death: Fusṭāṭ Biography Al-Musabbiḥī is mainly known as a historian of Fatimid Egypt, thanks to the surviving section of his Akhbār Miṣr (‘Accounts of Egypt’). He saw military service under the Fatimid dynasty, and rose to the position of governor, for which he received the title amīr. Although he was probably a Sunnī (though Daftary, p. 23, suggests he ma…

 Kitāb ʿalā l-Naṣārā

(77 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Against the Christians Abū ʿAmr (Abū Yaḥyā) Ḥafṣ al-Fard Date: Unknown Original Language: Arabic Description The work is mentioned by Ibn al-Nadīm, Fihrist, p. 230. It presumably contained arguments like those in similar works written in this period. Significance It may have contributed arguments to later Muslim refutations. Manuscripts -- Editions & Translations -- Studies -- Keywords Chronological Category: 800-900 Dynasty/Ruling elite: Abbasids Genre & Source Type: Kalam, Refutations Muslims: Murjiis David Thomas

 Radd ʿalā l-Naṣārā

(621 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Refutation of the Christians Abū Yūsuf Yaʿqūb ibn Isḥāq al-Kindī Date: Mid-9th c. Original Language: Arabic Description The work survives as quotations in the refutation made by the 10th-century Syrian Orthodox Yaḥyā ibn ʿAdī, who refers to al-Kindī’s Maqāla fī l-radd ʿalā l-Naṣārā, ‘Treatise on the refutation of the Christians’. While Yaḥyā has undoubtedly reproduced what he thought were the main points, he may well have omitted other parts. G. Endress, The works of Yaḥyā ibn ʿAdī, p. 100, suggests the Radd was originally part of a longer work, the Risāla fī iftirāq al-milal fī l-ta…

Abū ʿAmr (Abū Yaḥyā) Ḥafṣ al-Fard

(485 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Ḥafṣ al-Fard Date of Birth: Unknown, mid-8th c. Place of Birth: Possibly Egypt Date of Death: Unknown, mid-9th c. Place of Death: Possibly Egypt Biography Ḥafṣ al-Fard was probably born in Egypt, and is linked with Egypt at certain points in his life. He traveled to Iraq as a young man, and studied in Basra under Abū l-Hudhayl al-ʿAllāf (d. between 840 and 850) (q.v.) and others. He also became known to a number of leading scholars, including Abū ʿUthmān al-Jāḥiẓ (q.v.), who mentions him in his Kitāb al-ḥayawān. He was regarded as Abū l-Hudhayl’s intellectual equal, but at some poi…

Al-Ruhāwī

(217 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Abū Muḥammad ʿAbd al-Qādir ibn ʿAbdallāh Date of Birth: 1141 Place of Birth: Al-Ruhā (Edessa) Date of Death: 1215 Place of Death: Ḥarrān Biography Abū Muḥammad ʿAbd al-Qādir al-Ruhāwī would have known about Christianity from his earliest years, and may well have known some Christians closely. His home town of al-Ruhā had retained a substantial Christian population through all the centuries of Muslim rule, and its churches were a feature that travelers noted with admiration. Since 1098 it had been the crusader county of…

 Naqḍ al-tathlīth ʿalā Yaḥyā ibn ʿAdī

(281 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Criticism of the Trinity, against Yaḥyā ibn ʿAdī Al-Rummānī Date: Unknown, but if after Yaḥyā’s death between 974 and 994 Original Language: Arabic Description It is entirely possible that al-Rummānī knew Yaḥyā ibn ʿAdī (q.v.) personally. They were both teachers of Abū Ḥayyān al-Tawḥīdī, and they must have encountered each other at the various assemblies they frequented in the capital. But nothing is known about the contents of this work, and it has not survived. It is mentioned by al-Tawḥīdī ( Al-muqābasāt, ed. M. Tawfīq al-Ḥusayn, Baghdad, 1970, no. 30, p. 150). Given al-Rummānī’s pr…

Foreword

(1,894 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Christian-Muslim Relations, a Bibliographical History 1 ( CMR1 to give it its acronym) is the first part of a general history of relations between Christians and Muslims as this is recorded in written sources. This history is intended to cover the whole span from the early seventh century to the present, and will include all continents. CMR1 takes in the first nine hundred years from 600 to 1500, while CMR2, CMR3 and the other histories will take in the five hundred years from 1500 to 2000 and after. While CMR1 covers the area of what may conveniently, if rather loosely, be called t…

 [Dalāʾil al-nubuwwa]

(143 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Proofs of prophethood Abū Isḥāq Ibrāhīm ibn Isḥāq ibn Ibrāhīm ibn Bishr al-Ḥarbī Date: before 898 Original Language: Arabic Description A work about proofs of prophethood is mentioned by Ḥājjī Khalīfa, Kashf al-ẓunūn ʿan asmā l-kutub wa-l-funūn, 7 vols, ed. G. Flügel, Leipzig, 1835-58, iii, p. 237, though nothing else is known about it. It would probably have been a typical example of the genre, and it may have listed and commented on biblical proof verses and also refuted arguments from Christians. Significance It presumably employed similar arguments to those in contemporary…

ʿAlī ibn ʿĪsā al-Jarrāḥ

(760 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Abū l-Ḥasan ʿAlī ibn ʿĪsā ibn Dāwūd ibn al-Jarrāḥ Date of Birth: 11 August 859 Place of Birth: Unknown, possible Dayr Qunnā, south-east of Baghdad Date of Death: 1 August 946 Place of Death: Dayr Qunnā or Baghdad Biography ʿAbd al-Jabbār ( Tathbīt dalā’il al-nubuwwa, ed. ʿA.-K. ʿUthmān, 2 vols, Beirut, 1966, p. 343) names the author of a reply to a letter from the Byzantine emperor as ʿĪsā ibn Dāwūd ibn al-Jarrāḥ. This would appear to identify him as the father of ʿAlī ibn ʿĪsā, ‘the good vizier’, but the circumstances in which ʿAbd al-Ja…

Muslim regard for Christians and Christianity, 900-1200

(5,394 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Muslim attitudes towards Christians who lived within the increasingly fragmented Islamic world remained governed by the so-called Pact of ʿUmar, though it is unclear how far its stipulations were applied beyond the exaction of the jizya. 1  The evidence of such texts as the 11th-century Khabar al-Yahūd wa-l-Naṣārā (q.v.), in which the Fatimid Caliph al-Ḥākim retires from his meeting with the heads of the main client faiths to consult the sources about the treatment of d himmīs, and of Muḥammad ibn ʿAbd al-Raḥmān al-Kātib’s Al-durr al-thamīn (q.v.) from the later 12th century, which t…

 Radd ʿalā l-Naṣārā

(278 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Refutation of the Christians Abū Jaʿfar Muḥammad ibn ʿAbdallāh al-Iskāfī Date: 1st half of the 9th c. Original Language: Arabic Description This work, of which the title ‘Refutation of the Christians’ is unlikely to be original, is lost. According to ʿAbd al-Jabbār ( Tathbīt dalāʾil al-nubuwwa, ed. ʿA.-K. ʿUthmān, 2 vols, Beirut, 1966, i, p. 148; cf. p. 198), it may, together with a number of other works, have referred to the popular Christian belief that God took Mary in the way that a man takes a woman as wife. It may also have contained two arguments quoted from al-Iskāfī by Abū a…

Abbreviations

(450 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
BHG            Bibliotheca Hagiographica Graeca ‘Bibliographie’             R. Caspar et al., ‘Bibliographie du dialogue islamo-chrétien’, Islamochristiana 1 (1975) 124-81; 2 (1976) 187-249; 3 (1977)  255-86; 4 (1978) 247-67; 5 (1979) 299-317; 6 (1980) 259-99; 7 (1981) 299-307; 10 (1984) 273-92; 13 (1987) 173-80; 15 (1989)                 169-74 Biblioteca de al-Andalus             J. Lirola and J.M. Puerta (eds), Biblioteca de al-Andalus, Almería, 2004-6 BL             British Library BNF             Bibliothèque nationale de France Brockelmann, GAL             C. …

Abū ʿUthmān ʿAmr ibn Baḥr al-Fuqaymī l-Jāḥiẓ

(413 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Al-Jāḥiẓ Date of Birth: c. 776 Place of Birth: Basra Date of Death: 869 Place of Death: Basra Biography Al-Jāḥiẓ was born and brought up in Basra, and there learnt the Arabic language and literary skills for which he became celebrated. In kalām he was a student of Ibrāhīm al-Naẓẓām, though he did not always agree with his master’s views. Even while still a student in the early 800s, al-Jāḥiẓ wrote works that brought him to the attention of the Caliph al-Maʾmūn. He spent long periods in Baghdad and Samarra, though he always returned to his home town. He made a living by his li…

 Kitāb al-maʿūna fī l-uṣūl

(381 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Assistance, on the principles Ibn al-Ikhshīd Date: Before 938 Original Language: Arabic Description The work has not survived. Since it was never finished, it may have been begun towards the end of Ibn al-Ikhshīd’s life. According to later reports, it was on the principles of Muʿtazilī theology (see Mourad, p. 84), though it also contained an examination of Christian doctrines, possibly among those of other faiths. This examination was evidently very accomplished, since ʿAbd al-Jabbār singles it out from other refutations of Christianity as a qiṭʿa ḥasana, ‘fine piece’ ( Tathbīt, p. …

Al-Nāshiʾ al-Akbar

(351 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Abū l-ʿAbbas ʿAbdallāh ibn Muḥammad al-Anbārī, Ibn Shirshīr Date of Birth: Unknown Place of Birth: Anbār, near Baghdad Date of Death: 906 Place of Death: Egypt Biography Little is known about al-Nāshiʾ al-Akbar’s life, except that he lived in Baghdad until about 893 and was employed as a government official, and that he moved to Egypt, where he remained until his death. Al-Nāshiʾ was remembered for his singular theological views about God’s radical distinctiveness from creation, according to which humans cannot share in any real sense characteristics posse…

 Kitāb al-ārāʾ wa-l-diyānāt

(479 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Opinions and confessions Abū Muḥammad al-Nawbakhtī Date: Unknown; probably early 10th century Original Language: Arabic Description This work, which Ibn al-Nadīm (p. 225) says al-Nawbakhtī did not finish, has not survived. It is known through quotations contained in later works, particularly al-Masʿūdī and Ibn al-Jawzī (see Iqbāl, Khāndān-i Nawbakhtī, p. 139, and D. Thomas, Anti-Christian polemic in early Islam, Cambridge, 1992, p. 42, for references). These show that it covered a wide range of beliefs and doctrines, referring to such groups as the Gre…

Abū l-Ḥusayn al-Miṣrī

(555 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Abū l-Ḥusayn Aḥmad ibn Muḥammad al-Miṣrī Date of Birth: Unknown, possibly late 9th or early 10th century Place of Birth: Unknown, possibly Egypt Date of Death: Unknown, mid or late 10th century Place of Death: Unknown, probably Baghdad Biography Nothing is known about Abū l-Ḥusayn al-Miṣrī except what can be gathered from the Jacobite Christian Yaḥyā ibn ʿAdī’s contribution to a polemical correspondence between the two. This comprised three elements: Yaḥyā’s letter to his fellow Jacobite Abū l-Ḥasan al-Qāsim ibn Ḥabīb in refutation o…

Al-Qifṭī

(273 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Jamāl al-Dīn Abū l-Ḥasan ʿAlī ibn Yūsuf ibn Ibrāhīm al-Shaybānī l-Qifṭī Date of Birth: 1172 Place of Birth: Qifṭ, Upper Egypt Date of Death: 1248 Place of Death: Aleppo Biography Al-Qifṭī spent his early years in Cairo and then Jerusalem. In 1201, following the death of Ṣalāḥ al-Dīn and the disturbances in the city, he moved to Aleppo and continued the studies he had begun years earlier. His evident abilities brought him to the ruler’s attention, and he entered public service as the head of finances, and finally from 1236 until his death as vizier to al-Malik al-ʿAzīz. He managed to keep up …

Al-Rummānī

(451 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Abū l-Ḥasan ʿAlī ibn ʿĪsā ibn ʿAlī ibn ʿAbdallāh al-Rummānī, al-Ikhshīdī Date of Birth: 909 Place of Birth: Baghdad Date of Death: 994 Place of Death: Baghdad Biography Abū l-Ḥasan al-Rummānī moved at the centre of Baghdad intellectual and cultural life in the 10th century. He was an expert in jurisprudence, and served as judge in an area of the capital, though he was recognized above all for his knowledge of Arabic language. As a young man, he witnessed the famous debate held in 932 on the merits of logic and grammar between the Christi…

Contents

(48 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Foreword Abbreviations John Tolan, Introduction Marcus Bull, The Western narratives of the First Crusade David M. Freidenreich, Christians in early and classical Shīʿī law David M. Freidenreich, Muslims in Western canon law, 1000-1500 Works on Christian-Muslim relations 1050-1200 Index of names Index of works David Thomas

Al-Ṭabarī

(719 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Abū Jaʿfar Muḥammad ibn Jarīr ibn Yazīd al-Ṭabarī Date of Birth: Uncertain; probably 839 Place of Birth: Āmul, Ṭabaristān Date of Death: 17 February 923 Place of Death: Baghdad Biography Al-Ṭabarī’s unusual intellectual abilities were evident from a young age. As early as his mid-teens he began his travels in search of learning, and visited scholars in Rayy, Basra and Kūfa as well as further afield in Syria, Palestine and Egypt. In about 870 he settled in Baghdad, where he followed legal studies under the Shāfiʿī expert al-R…

Abū Yūsuf Yaʿqūb ibn Ibrāhīm ibn Ḥabīb al-Anṣārī l-Kūfī

(425 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Abū Yūsuf Yaʿqūb Date of Birth: Unknown, approx. 740 Place of Birth: Kūfa Date of Death: 798 Place of Death: Baghdad Biography Abū Yūsuf's origins are obscure, though it is known that he studied under leading legal experts of his day, including Abū Ḥanīfa and Mālik ibn Anas. Since the former died in 767, it is plausible to suppose that Abū Yūsuf was born 20 to 30 years earlier in order to have been old enough to be his student. He was made qāḍī in Baghdad under one of the early ʿAbbasid caliphs, and he came to the notice of Hārūn al-Rashīd (r. 786-809), whose high regard is indicated by the title of qāḍī l…

 Kitāb ʿalā Abī Qurra l-Naṣrānī

(155 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Against (Theodore) Abū Qurra the Christian Abū Mūsā ʿĪsā ibn Ṣubayḥ al-Murdār Date: Early 9th century Original Language: Arabic Description The work is mentioned by Ibn al-Nadīm, Fihrist, p. 207. It was a refutation of one or more works of Theodore Abū Qurra (q.v.), the leading early 9th c. Melkite theologian and bishop of Ḥarrān. If it was written after Abū Qurra's death, it would have appeared in the decade leading up to 841. Significance It shows the cogency and accessibility of Abū Qurra's arguments and responses to points made by Muslims, and may have served to pu…

 Bayān madhhab al-Naṣārā

(212 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
An explanation of the doctrine of the Christians Al-Ashʿarī Date: Unknown, between 932 and 935 Original Language: Arabic Description The work is lost, and its original title is unknown. All that is known is this brief description of it in a list of al-Ashʿarī’s late works by Ibn Fūrak, which Ibn ʿAsākir incorporated into his list ( Tabyīn, p. 135; McCarthy, Theology, p. 227, no. 84). As the reference indicates, it set out what were in all likelihood the main Christian teachings of the Trinity and Incarnation, possibly going into details about the differen…

 Risāla ilā baʿḍ aṣdiqā’ihi alladhīna bi-Ṣaydā min al-Muslimīn

(1,222 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
‘Letter to one of his Muslim friends from Sidon’; ‘Letter to a Muslim friend’ Paul of Antioch Date: Uncertain; about 1200 Original Language: Arabic Description Paul’s Letter to a Muslim friend is one of the most accomplished and disconcerting works from the history of Christian-Muslim relations that is known. Although it is quite short, comprising 24 pages in Khoury’s edition, and it has the appearance of being friendly and reasonable, beneath its irenic surface it reveals a logic that threatens to subvert the whole basis of Islam. In response to a request from an unnamed friend, …

 Kitāb rafʿ ʿĪsā, ʿalayhi al-salām

(238 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
The raising on high of Jesus, peace be upon him Abū l-Mundhir Hishām ibn Muḥammad ibn al-Sāʾib al-Kalbī Date: Before 819 or 821 Original Language: Arabic Description The work is not extant. It would have been concerned with Q 4:157-58, where it is stated that Jesus was not killed or crucified but that ‘God raised him up to himself’, rafaʿahu Allāh ilayhi. Like the works among which it is listed by Ibn al-Nadīm, Fihrist, p. 109, e.g. Kitāb Adam wa-wuldihi, ‘Adam and his children’, Kitāb ʿĀd al-ūlā wa-l-akhīra, ‘ʿĀd, the beginning and the end’, and Kitāb aṣḥāb al-kahf, ‘The companions of the …

Radd ʿalā l-Naṣārā

(98 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Unknown author Date of Birth: Unknown; mid or late 12th century Place of Birth: Unknown Date of Death: Unknown; mid-13th century Place of Death: Unknown; probably North Africa Biography Nothing is known about this author apart from the details divulged by the work associated with him – that he was active in Ifrīqiya in the mid-13th century. Primary Sources of Information - Secondary Sources of Information M. de Epalza, ‘Notes pour une histoire des polémiques anti-chrétiennes dans l’Occident musulman’, Arabica 18 (1971) 99-106, p. 105 Works on Christian-Muslim Relations [Ra…

 Kitāb fī l-nubuwwa

(264 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
About prophethood Abū l-Hudhayl Muḥammad ibn al-Hudhayl ibn ʿUbayd Allāh ibn Makḥūl al-ʿAbdī l-ʿAllāf Date: Early 9th century Original Language: Arabic Description The work is lost. It is mentioned only in passing by ʿAbd al-Jabbār (Tathbīt, ed. ʿA.K. ʿUthmān, Beirut, 1966, p. 511), together with works of this kind from other authors, including al-Jāḥiẓ (q.v.) and Muḥammad ibn Shabīb (q.v.), in the context of a discussion about miracles of Muḥammad. ʿAbd al-Jabbār refers simply to ‘their books which they composed…

 Al-Sharḥ

(237 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
The explanation Ibn Khallād Date: Unknown; before about 950 Original Language: Arabic Description The work is lost. It was a commentary on Ibn Khallād’s own Kitāb al-uṣūl and, according to ʿAbd al-Jabbār in his Tathbīt (p. 198), like that earlier work it contained polemic ( al-masāʾil lahum wa-l-radd ʿalayhim) against the Christians. The Sharḥ was presumably noteworthy to the later Muʿtazilī because it contained more elaborate versions of the arguments from the work on which it was a commentary, and maybe also additional arguments borrowed from ot…

Abū Isḥāq Ibrāhīm ibn Sayyār ibn Hānī l-Naẓẓām

(518 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Al-Naẓẓām Date of Birth: Latter part of 8th c. Place of Birth: Basra Date of Death: 836 or 845 Place of Death: Baghdad Biography Al-Naẓẓām was born in Basra and lived there until 818, when he was called to Baghdad by al-Maʾmūn. In Basra he is said to have studied under Hishām ibn al-Ḥakam, Abū l-Hudhayl (q.v.) and Ḍirār ibn ʿAmr (q.v.). He in turn was teacher of al-Jāḥiẓ, who regarded him as the most impressive theological and legal scholar of his day, and also probably of Muḥammad ibn Shabīb. Little is known about his…

 Shifāʾ al-ghalīl fī bayān mā waqaʿa fī l-Tawrāt wa-l-Injīl min al-tabdīl

(570 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Assuaging thirst in explanation of the alterations that have occurred in the Torah and Gospel Al-Juwāynī Date: Unknown, probably in the years before 1058 Original Language: Arabic Description The Shifāʾ itself gives no hint about the circumstances of its composition, though M. Allard suggests that a likely place would have been Baghdad, where debates between Muslims, Jews and Christians were frequent, and that the date would have been sometime between 1048, when al-Juwaynī probably arrived in Baghdad (Walker and Eissa, A guide to conclusive proofs, p. xxiii, narrow this down to…

Abbreviations

(335 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
‘Bibliographie’             R. Caspar et al., ‘Bibliographie du dialogue islamo-chrétien’, Islamochristiana 1 (1975) 124-81; 2 (1976) 187-249; 3 (1977) 255-86; 4 (1978) 247-67; 5 (1979) 299-317; 6 (1980) 259-99; 7 (1981) 299-307; 10 (1984) 273-92; 13 (1987) 173-80; 15 (1989) 169-74 Biblioteca de al-Andalus             J. Lirola and J.M. Puerta (eds), Biblioteca de al-Andalus, Almería, 2004-6 BL             British Library BNF             Bibliothèque Nationale de France Brockelmann, GAL             C. Brockelmann, Geschichte der arabischen Literatur, 2 vols and 3 supp…

Abū Bakr ʿAbdallāh ibn Muḥammad ibn ʿUbayd ibn Abī l-Dunyā

(280 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Ibn Abī l-Dunyā Date of Birth: 823 Place of Birth: Baghdad Date of Death: 894-95 Place of Death: Baghdad Biography Ibn Abī l-Dunyā was known as a literary scholar and ascetic. He was tutor to the future caliphs al-Muʿtaḍid (r. 892-902) and al-Muqtafī (r. 902-908) as well as other ʿAbbasid princes, and was known for his pious life. He spoke out strongly in favor of upright living and against what he saw as moral evils.   He is credited with more than 100 works, among which Kitāb dhamm al-dunyā, 'Reproach of the world', and Kitāb al-taqwā, 'Piety', indicate the kind of interest that might l…

Ibn Mattawayh

(314 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Abū Muḥammad al-Ḥasan ibn Aḥmad ibn Mattawayh Date of Birth: Unknown Place of Birth: Unknown Date of Death: Unknown, possibly mid 11th century Place of Death: Rayy Biography Little is known about Ibn Mattawayh’s life, except that he was a student of ʿAbd al-Jabbār (d. 1025) (q.v.) in Rayy, and disseminated his master’s teachings. His position towards the end in lists of ʿAbd al-Jabbār’s students suggests he was one of the youngest, but there does not appear to be ancient support for the date of his death, given as 1075 by Houben in his edition of the Majmūʿ, and as 1076 by ʿUthmān (on these…

 Kitāb ʿalā l-Naṣārā fī l-naʿīm wa-l-akl wa-l-shurb fī l-ākhira wa ʿalā jamīʿ man qāla bi-ḍiddi dhālika

(172 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Against the Christians on felicity and eating and drinking in the hereafter, and against whoever teaches in opposition to this Ḥumayd ibn Saʿīd ibn Bakhtiyār Date: Mid-9th c. Original Language: Arabic Description The work is mentioned by Ibn al-Nadīm, Fihrist, p. 220 (margin). It was evidently a defense of the Islamic view of paradise as a place of sensory pleasures in response to Christian attacks, such as can be found in the near-contemporary Syriac Legend of Sergius Baḥīrā (q.v.) and the Book of Treasures by Job of Edessa (q.v.), in which it is argued on grounds of physical…

 Al-Radd ʿalā l-Naṣārā

(1,241 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Refutation of the Christians Abū ʿUthmān ʿAmr ibn Baḥr al-Fuqaymī l-Jāḥiẓ Date: mid-9th c., possibly before 847 Original Language: Arabic Description This work is usually referred to by later authors as simply al-Radd ʿalā l-Naṣārā. Al-Jāḥiẓ himself once refers to it as kitābunā ʿalā l-Naṣārā ( Kitāb al-ḥayawān, ed. Hārūn, iv, p. 28), but he also refers to kitābī ʿalā l-Naṣārā wa-l-Yahūd ( Kitāb al-ḥayawān, i, p. 9). These both appear to be descriptions rather than titles, and the latter can plausibly be taken as an account of the scathing criticisms of both…

 Maqāla fī baʿth nubuwwa Muḥammad min al-Tawrāt wa-l-falsafa

(256 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Treatise on the dispatch of the prophetic mission of Muḥammad from the Torah and philosophy ʿAlī ibn Riḍwān Date: Unknown; before about 1060 Original Language: Arabic Description The work is lost, and is known only from Ibn Abī Usaybiʿa’s list of ʿAlī’s works ( ʿUyūn al-anbaʾ, p. 567). Its title indicates that it was an apology for the prophethood of Muḥammad, and thus an example of dalāʾil al-nubuwwa works, though with the particular feature of philosophical arguments in addition to the traditional biblical proof-texts. Since the latter came only from the Tora…

 Kitāb al-tamhīd;

(961 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Kitāb al-tamhīd fī l-radd ‘alā l-Mulḥida wa-l-Mu‘aṭṭila wa-l-Rāfiḍa wa-l-Khawārij wa-l-Mu‘tazila; Kitāb fīhi tamhīd al-dalā’il wa-talkhīṣ al-awā’il; Kitāb tamhīd al-awā’il wa-talkhīṣ al-dalā’il The Introduction Al-Bāqillānī Date: Before 975 Original Language: Arabic Description At the beginning of the work al-Bāqillānī indicates that he wrote the Kitāb al-tamhīd at the request of an amīr, though he does not name him. Abū Faḍl ʿĪyāḍ says that this was ʿAḍūḍ al-Dawla, and that al-Bāqillānī wrote the work for the amīr’s son, who was his tutee (in Tamhīd, ed. al-Khuḍayrī and …

 Al-radd ʿalā l-mutanaṣṣir

(178 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
‘Refutation of the convert to Christianity’ Ibn ʿAbd al-Rafīʿ Date: Unknown; before 1333 Original Language: Arabic Description The work has not survived, and is only known from a passing reference in the 16th-century author al-Zarkashī’s Taʾrīkh al-dawlatayn, p. 57 (in the 1966 edition, p. 70, the title is given as Al-radd ʿalā l-muntaṣir, ‘Refutation of the victorious one’, though this is presumably a misprint). Who this convert was, and whether he was an individual or a representative of a whole group of former Muslims, cannot be ascertained. The book may …

Ibn al-Rifʿa

(156 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Najm al-Dīn Abū l-ʿAbbās Aḥmad ibn Muḥammad ibn al-Rifʿa Date of Birth: 1247 Place of Birth: Cairo Date of Death: 1310 Place of Death: Cairo Biography Ibn al-Rifʿa was a leading Shāfiʿī jurist in Mamluk Cairo, acknowledged for his unrivalled learning in Hadith and fiqh by, among others, his student Taqī l-Dīn al-Subkī (q.v.), father of the historian of the Shāfiʿī law school, Tāj al-Dīn al-Subkī. He is known mainly for his commentaries on earlier law codes. Primary Sources of Information Al-Subkī, Ṭabaqāt al-Shāfiʿiyya, 6 vols in 3, Cairo, 1906, v, p. 178 Ibn Ḥajar al-Asqalānī, Al-durar al…

 Kitāb al-futūḥ al-kabīr wa-l-ridda

(292 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Kitāb al-ridda wa-l-futūḥThe Great book of conquests and apostasy wars Sayf ibn ʿUmar Date: Possibly late 8th c. Original Language: Arabic Description In the section on the assassination of the Caliph ʿUthmān, the work contains a brief account, on the authority of Ibn ʿAbbās, of the way in which Paul corrupted Christian doctrines by persuading three of his followers, Yaʿqūb, Nasṭūr and Malkūn, of the divinity of Jesus, and sending them into disagreement over the nature of God. Only al-Muʾmin, 'the believer', resisted…

Saʿīd ibn Ḥasan al-Iskandarānī

(252 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Biography Saʿīd ibn Ḥasan was originally a Jew of the Alexandrian community. He converted to Islam in May 1298 as a result of a dramatic recovery from illness (Weston, ‘The Kitāb masālik an-naẓar’, pp. 379-80). He grew intolerant of Judaism and Christianity, and joined in the calls being made at various levels of Egyptian society for all synagogues and churches to be closed, and for those built since the coming of Islam to be destroyed. The evidence from Masālik al-naẓar is that Saʿīd had no particularly thorough education, not even in his former faith, and he was no exper…

 Risāla fī aʿlām al-nubuwwa

(228 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Letter on the signs of prophethood Abū l-ʿAbbās ʿAbdallāh ibn Hārūn al-Maʾmūn Date: before 833 Original Language: Arabic Description The work is listed by Ibn al-Nadīm, Fihrist, p. 129. The 13th-century Shīʿī scholar Abū l-Qāsim ʿAlī ibn Mūsā ibn Ṭāwūs (d. 1266) mentions in his al-Ṭarā ʾ if fī ma ʿ rifat madhāhib al-ṭawā ʾ if, Qom, [1400] 1979, p. 424, what must be the same work with the title Kitāb a ʿ lām al-rasūl, and says that in a library in Baghdad he had examined a copy of it made in 865 (see E. Kohlberg, A medieval Muslim scholar at work: Ibn Ṭāwūs and his library, Leiden, 1992, p. 106). It was o…

Abū ʿĪsā Aḥmad ibn al-Munajjim

(390 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Abū ʿĪsā Aḥmad ibn ʿAlī ibn Yaḥyā l-Munajjim Date of Birth: Unknown, probably mid-9th century Place of Birth: Baghdad Date of Death: Unknown, probably early 10th century Place of Death: Unknown, probably Baghdad Biography Abū ʿĪsā Aḥmad was a member of the illustrious al-Munajjim family, which had served ʿAbbāsid caliphs from the very start of the dynasty. His grandfather, Abū ʿAlī Yaḥyā, had converted from his original Zoroastrianism to Islam at the time of the Caliph al-Maʾmūn, while his father, Abū l-Ḥasan ʿAlī (815/16-888) (…

 Adillat al-waḥdāniyya fī l-radd ʿalā l-milla l-Naṣrāniyya

(588 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
‘Proofs of divine unity in refutation of the Christian community’ Al-Khaṭīb al-Iskandarī Date: Between 1218 and 1237 Original Language: Arabic Description The work has not been edited or even studied closely since the time of Fritsch. This description must, therefore, rely on what he says (pp. 18-20). After an introduction in which al-Iskandarī explains the circumstances in which he wrote, the work is divided into four parts. In the first, where Christian mouthpieces are employed, he sets out the main Christian topics he intends to refute: t…

 Kitāb al-uṣūl

(557 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Principles Ibn Khallād Date: Unknown; before about 950 Original Language: Arabic Description The work has not survived in its original form, and may well have been left unfinished by Ibn Khallād, to be completed by ʿAbd al-Jabbār; see D. Gimaret, ‘Les uṣūl al-ḫamsa’, p. 69. As Gimaret (pp. 68-73) shows, some idea of its contents can be gained from the Ziyādāt sharḥ al-uṣūl, a composite of at least three commentaries that were made on it successively by ʿAbd al-Jabbār, the Zaydī Imām Abū Ṭālib Yaḥyā ibn al-Ḥusayn al-Nāṭiq bi-l-ḥaqq (d. 1033), and a certain …

Abū l-Ḥusayn al-Baṣrī

(763 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Abū l-Ḥusayn Muḥammad ibn ʿAlī ibn al-Ṭayyib ibn al-Ḥusayn al-Baṣrī Date of Birth: Unknown; late 10th century Place of Birth: Basra Date of Death: 28 October 1044 Place of Death: Baghdad Biography Born in Basra, Abū l-Ḥusayn is known to have studied medicine and philosophy in Baghdad with the Christians Abū l-Faraj ʿAbdallāh ibn al-Ṭayyib (d. 1043) and Abū ʿAlī ibn al-Samḥ (d. 1027). From the latter he took down Aristotle’s Physica in 1004, which means he must have been studying with him earlier than this, pointing to a date of birth sometime before 980. He went on…

Foreword

(1,423 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Christian-Muslim Relations, a Bibliographical History 3 ( CMR 3) is the third volume of a general history of relations between Christians and Muslims as this is recorded in written sources.  Volume 1 covers the years 600 to 900, volume 2 carries the history from 1050 to 1200, this volume continues from 1050 to 1200, and volume 4 takes it further from 1200 to 1500.  It is hoped to continue the history through the five hundred years from 1500 to 2000 in further volumes in the series.  This and the other …

 Radd al-Muṭīʿ ʿalā risāla malik al-Rūm

(603 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Al-Muṭīʿ’s refutation of the Byzantine emperor’s letter Al-Qaffāl al-Shāshī Date: 966 Original Language: Arabic Description This work is a response to the polemical poem sent in the name of the Byzantine Emperor Nicephorus Phocas (r. 963-69) to the Caliph al-Muṭīʿ in 966 (see the entry on Nicephorus Phocas’ representative; there was also another response by the Andalusī theologian Ibn Ḥazm [q.v.]), following a series of Byzantine victories in the mid-10th century, which are named there. It is written in the same ṭawīl meter as that poem, as convention demanded, and it seeks …

ʿAlī ibn Riḍwān

(482 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Abū l-Ḥasan ʿAlī ibn Riḍwān ibn ʿAlī ibn Jaʿfar al-Miṣrī Date of Birth: 998 Place of Birth: Cairo Date of Death: 1061 or later in the 1060s Place of Death: Cairo Biography ʿAlī ibn Riḍwān gave extensive details about his life and character in an autobiography, which was used by Ibn Abī ʿUṣaybiʿa. He was born into a poor family and, because he could not afford teachers, he taught himself about medicine from books. Despite this disadvantageous start, his reputation grew and he attracted a following of students. He was appointed …

Abū ʿAlī ʿUmar al-Hāshimī

(81 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Abū ʿAlī ʿUmar ibn Muḥammad ibn Ibrāhīm al-Hāshimī Date of Birth: Unknown; late 13th century Place of Birth: Unknown Date of Death: 1330 Place of Death: Tunis Biography Abū ʿAlī ʿUmar al-Hāshimī was qāḍī l-ankiḥa, responsible for the administration of marriage law, in early 14th-century Tunis. Primary Sources of Information Abū ʿAbdallāh al-Zarkashī, Taʾrīkh al-dawlatayn, Tunis, 1872, p. 56 Secondary Sources of Information - Works on Christian-Muslim Relations Idrāk al-ṣawāb fī ankiḥat ahl al-kitāb David Thomas

Abū Hāshim al-Jubbāʾī

(822 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Abū Hāshim ʿAbd al-Salām ibn Muḥammad ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhāb al-Jubbāʾī Date of Birth: 861 (or less probably 890) Place of Birth: Basra Date of Death: 933 Place of Death: Baghdad Biography Abū Hāshim was the son of the leading late 9th-century Basra Muʿtazilī Abū ʿAlī l-Jubbāʾī (q.v.) and, together with Abū l-Ḥasan al-Ashʾarī (q.v.), one of his pupils. He also studied under the philologist al-Mubarrad (d. 898; this makes it improbable that he was born in 890). He was the best known among the Basra Muʿtazila in the generation following Abū…

 Al-Risālat al-ʿasaliyya

(196 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
The “honey-coloured” letter’ Abū ʿUthmān ʿAmr ibn Baḥr al-Fuqaymī l-Jāḥiẓ Date: mid-9th c., possibly after 847 Original Language: Arabic Description ʿAbd al-Jabbār, Tathbīt, i, p. 198, knows of this as a separate work from the Radd, but it is not mentioned elsewhere, and it has not survived. Significance Its title may include a play upon the yellow waist-band that Christians and other dhimmīs were required to wear (though the alternative vocalization ʿasliyya would denote 'reviling'). Such a title would have suited a letter written in cooperation with the caliph's …

 [Refutation of Christianity]

(513 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
- ʿAbdallāh al-Asīr Date: Unknown; possibly mid or late 13th century Original Language: Arabic Description Neither the title of the work nor its full contents have survived. All that is known is that it was written, in Arabic, against Christianity, and probably in response to hostile questions from a monk. It only survives as extracts in al-Qaysī’s early 14th-century Kitāb miftāḥ al-dīn. In the third, largely autobiographical part of his original Arabic work, al-Qaysī describes how he was compelled to take part in a religious debate with a monk. In the cou…

Al-Biqāʿī

(600 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Burhān al-Dīn Abū l-Ḥasan Ibrāhīm ibn ʿUmar ibn al-Ḥasan al-Rubāṭ al-Biqāʿī Date of Birth: 1406/7 Place of Birth: Khirbit Rūḥa, Lebanon Date of Death: 1480 Place of Death: Damascus Biography Al-Biqāʿī was born in a small village in the Lebanese mountains. Following a feud in 1418, in which some of his closest male relatives, including his father, were killed, his mother fled with him to Damascus. There he started his education, which he continued in Jerusalem, Alexandria and Cairo. In the Mamluk capital, where he arrived in …

 Risāla fī l-radd ʿalā l-Naṣārā

(526 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Letter of refutation against the Christians Ibn Jazla Date: Unknown, but soon after 1074 Original Language: Arabic Description The letter is lost. According to a description given by Ibn Khallikān ( Wafayāt, v, p. 310), who says he had read it and thought it an excellent work, the letter contained praise of Islam and criticism of both Christianity and Judaism. In particular, it presented evidence for the truth of Islam, and predictions from the Torah and Gospel for the sending of Muḥammad, which Jews and Christians hid and refused to bring to light. Arguments of this kind, apparently ba…

 Unknown title; Radd Abī l-Ḥusayn Aḥmad Muḥammad al-maʿrūf bi-Ramaq al-Miṣrī ʿalā mā qāla Abū Zakariyyā Yaḥyā ibn ʿAdī fī raddihi ʿalā l-Nasṭūriyya

(652 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
The refutation of Abū l-Ḥusayn Aḥmad Muḥammad, known as Ramaq (?) the Egyptian, against what was said by Abū Zakariyyā Yaḥyā ibn ʿAdī in his refutation of the Nestorians Abū l-Ḥusayn al-Miṣrī Date: Soon after 965-66 Original Language: Arabic Description Abū l-Ḥusayn’s refutation was occasioned by a letter written by Yaḥyā ibn ʿAdī in response to a request from his fellow Jacobite Abū l-Ḥasan al-Qāsim ibn Ḥabīb, who had asked Yaḥyā to write about the Christological differences between the Nestorians and Jacobites. The refutation follow…

 Kitāb al-risāla fī l-kharāj ilā l-Rashīd

(1,465 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Kitāb al-kharājThe Letter on property tax to al-Rashīd, Property tax Abū Yūsuf Yaʿqūb ibn Ibrāhīm ibn Ḥabīb al-Anṣārī l-Kūfī Date: Between 786 and 798, though Calder disputes Abū Yūsuf’s authorship and dates it to the mid-9th century Original Language: Arabic Description Since the work was ostensibly written for Hārūn al-Rashīd, it must have been completed between 786, when the caliph succeeded, and 798 when Abū Yūsuf died. If the introduction is at all accurate, it was a practical response to al-Rashīd’s request for advice about taxat…

Al-Bāhilī l-Baṣrī

(222 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Abū ʿUmar Muḥammad ibn ʿUmar ibn Saʿīd al-Bāhilī al-Baṣrī Date of Birth: Unknown, early 9th century Place of Birth: Basra Date of Death: About 915 Place of Death: Baghdad Biography Al-Bāhilī spent the first part of his life in his native Basra, where he gained a reputation as a skilled theologian. He was a student and close associate of Abū ʿAlī l-Jubbāʾī (q.v.); Ibn al-Murtaḍā reports ʿAbd al-Jabbār recounting how the two were inseparable, and Ibn al-Nadīm says that they attended public sessions together. He also served as …

Khulāṣat al-naẓar

(168 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Biography The only information about this author comes from the Khulāṣat al-naẓar itself. As its editors Schmidtke and Ansari point out ( Khulāṣat, pp. xi-xv), he mentions a number of earlier theologians, the latest being Sadīd al-Dīn al-Ḥimmaṣī (d. after 1204) (q.v.), and while there is strong evidence of the influence of the Muʿtazilī Abū l-Ḥusayn al-Baṣrī (d. 1044) (q.v.), there is no sign of later influences, such as Naṣīr al-Dīn al-Ṭuṣī (d. 1274) and other later 13th-century Shīʿīs, whose works show the influence of philosophical terminology and method. So it is lik…

Abū l-Qāsim al-Anṣārī

(236 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Abū l-Qāsim Salmān ibn Nāṣir al-Anṣārī l-Naysābūrī Date of Birth: About 1040 Place of Birth: Arghiyān near Nīshāpūr Date of Death: 1118 Place of Death: Unknown; presumably in or near Nīshāpūr Biography Born near Nīshāpūr, Abū l-Qāsim al-Anṣārī studied in Khurasān with some of the leading scholars of his day, including Abū l-Qāsim al-Qushayrī (d. 1072), under whom he studied taṣawwuf, and Abū l-Maʿālī l-Juwaynī (d. 1085; q.v.), from whom he learned Ashʿarī kalām and to whose Irshād and Al-shāmil fī uṣūl al-dīn his own theological writings are indebted. He would have studied un…

 Fatwā

(382 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Legal opinion Al-Ṭabarī Date: Unknown; before 923 Original Language: Arabic Description An opinion given in the name of al-Ṭabarī on the status of non-Muslims in areas under Muslim control is preserved in a treatise written in 1353 by the scholar Taqī l-Dīn al-Subkī. There must be some measure of uncertainty over the authenticity of this opinion, first because al-Subkī declares that he does not know which work it originally came from, and second because its character differs from al-Ṭabarī’s known works, f…
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