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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. …
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