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Ismāʿīl Qazvīnī

(766 words)

Author(s): Dennis Halft
Ismāʿīl Qazvīnī was a Muslim polemicist against Judaism and the Hebrew Scriptures who lived in Iran/Persia during the eighteenth century.  The son of Jewish parents, he claims that he discovered “the truth of the religion of Islam” (Pers. ḥaqqiyyat-i dīn-i Islām) as a youth while studying the books of the biblical prophets. Following his conversion to Imāmī (Twelver Shīʿī) Islam at an unspecified age, Ismāʿīl compiled, in Yazd, at the request of some Shīʿī co-religionists, what appears to be his only known work in Persian, the anti-Jewish tract Anbāʾ al-anbiyāʾ (Tidings of the Proph…

Saʿīd ibn Ḥasan al-Iskandarī (al-Iskandarānī)

(796 words)

Author(s): Dennis Halft
Saʿīd ibn Ḥasan was a Muslim polemicist against Judaism and the Bible who lived in the late thirteenth and first half of the fourteenth century. He was born into a Jewish family in Alexandria and was taught the Hebrew Scriptures in childhood by his father. By his own account, both his father and he were “Jewish scholars” ( min ʿulamāʾ banī Isrāʾīl). Saʿīd accepted Islam in his hometown in the second half of May 1298, at a time when a certain Ibn al-Muwaffaq was a preacher in the local mosque. After his conversion, Saʿīd took up residence in Damascus. He p…