Christian-Muslim Relations 600 - 1500

Get access Subject: Middle East and Islamic Studies
General Editor: David Thomas, Alex Mallett
Associate Editors: Juan Pedro Monferrer-Sala, Johannes Pahlitzsch, Barbara Roggema, Mark Swanson, Herman Teule and John Tolan
 
Christian-Muslim Relations, a Bibliographical History Online is a general online history of relations between the faiths. It covers the period from 600 to 1500, when encounters took place through the extended Mediterranean basin and are recorded in Syriac, Arabic, Greek, Latin and other languages. Christian Muslim Relations Online comprises introductory essays on the treatment of Christians in the Qur’an, Qur’an commentaries, biographies of the Prophet, Hadith and Sunni law, and of Muslims in canon law, and the main body of more than two hundred detailed entries on all the works recorded, whether surviving or lost.

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Abbo of Fleury

(1,032 words)

Author(s): Dachowski, Elizabeth
Abbo of Fleury, Abbo Floriacensis, Abbon de Fleury, Abbon de Saint-Benoît-sur-Loire Date of Birth: After about 934 and before about 954 Place of Birth: Orléanais, France Date of Death: 13 November 1004 Place of Death: La Réole, France Biography Abbo of Fleury was born to free but non-noble parents in the Orléanais, probably in the mid-940s. He is described as a puer at the time of his taking the monastic habit under Abbot Wulfaldus of Fleury, 948-63, and he became a priest shortly before 987, so most modern scholars put his birth in the 940s. He entered t…

Abbot Samson

(307 words)

Author(s): Coope, Jessica A.
Biography Samson was abbot of St Zoilus in Cordova, the church and monastery where Eulogius (q.v.) and Paul Alvarus (q.v.) studied under Speraindeo (q.v.). He later became abbot of Pinna Mellaria, also near Cordova and a center of the martyrs' movement of 850-59. In the early 860s he was employed at the emir's court translating letters intended for the Frankish court from Arabic to Latin. For reasons that are unclear, a group of courtiers turned against Samson, accusing him of passing secrets to …

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     …

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 supplements, Leiden, 1937-49 BSOAS             Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies BZ             Byzantinische Zeitschrift CE             A.S. Atiya (ed.), The Coptic encyclopedia, 8 vols, New York, 1991 CSCO             Corpus Scriptorum Christianorum Orientalium DOP…

Abbreviations

(417 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 Delgado and J.M. Puerta Vilchez (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 v…

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. …

ʿAbdallāh al-Asīr

(380 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
ʿAbdallāh the captive Date of Birth: Unknown; possibly early 13th century Place of Birth: Unknown Date of Death: Unknown; possibly late 13th century Place of Death: Unknown; possibly France Biography The figure of ʿAbdallāh al-Asīr is only known from a few references in the Kitāb miftāḥ al-dīn of the Tunisian scholar Abū l-Qasim Muḥammad ibn Sirāj al-Qaysī (q.v.), written about 1308. Al-Qaysī was taken captive by Christians in Spain and held in Lerida, where he participated in debates with Christian monks. He wrote the Kitāb miftāḥ al-dīn at this time and, as part of his argument…

ʿAbdallāh ibn Buluqqin

(358 words)

Author(s): Zomeño, Amalia
Abū Muḥammad ʿAbdallāh ibn Buluqqin (ibn Buluggīn) ibn Bādīs ibn Ḥabūs al-Ṣinhājī Date of Birth: January 1056 Place of Birth: Granada Date of Death: 1095 Place of Death: Agmāt (Maghreb) Biography ʿAbdallāh ibn Buluqqīn was the last Zīrid king of the taifa of Granada (1073-90), succeeding his grandfather Bādīs. His predecessors were of Berber origin, and arrived in al-Andalus during the period of the caliphate, taking power in Granada after its collapse. During his reign, ʿAbdallāh and his vizier had to resist a number of threats to the kingdom and his own position. …

ʿAbdallāh ibn al-Faḍl al-Anṭākī

(1,210 words)

Author(s): Treiger, Alexander
Abū l-Fatḥ ʿAbdallāh ibn al-Faḍl ibn ʿAbdallāh al-muṭrān al-Anṭākī Date of Birth: Unknown; probably about 1000 Place of Birth: Unknown; probably Antioch Date of Death: Unknown; after 1052 (remained active as a translator and theologian until the early 1050s) Place of Death: Unknown; probably Antioch Biography The 11th-century Arab Orthodox (Melkite) translator and theologian ʿAbdallāh ibn al-Faḍl al-Anṭākī is one of the most prolific contributors to the (unfortunately hitherto insufficiently studied) Antiochene Graeco-Arabic translation move…

ʿAbdishoʿ of Nisibis

(1,459 words)

Author(s): G.B. Teule, Herman
ʿAbdishoʿ bar Brikhā, ʿAbdishoʿ Ṣūbāwī; Ebediesus (Sobensis) Date of Birth: Around the middle of the 13th century Place of Birth: Unknown Date of Death: Beginning of November 1318 Place of Death: Probably Nisibis Biography ʿAbdishoʿ belonged to the East-Syrian (‘Nestorian’) community. Little is known about his early years. His surname Bar Brikhā, ‘son of the blessed one’, seems to be an honorific name and not an indication of his family or of the place where he was born or grew up. Though he undoubtedly followed the classical ca…

ʿAbdīshūʿ ibn Bahrīz = Ḥabīb ibn Bahrīz

(550 words)

Author(s): N. Swanson, Mark
ʿAbdīshūʿ ibn Bahrīz Date of Birth: Unknown, mid/later 8th c.? Place of Birth: Unknown Date of Death: Unknown, perhaps shortly before 827 Place of Death: Unknown, perhaps in or near Mosul, where he was metropolitan Biography Abdīshūʿ ibn Bahrīz was an eminent bishop and scholar of the Church of the East, who flourished around the time of the Caliph al-Maʾmūn (r. 813-33) and his Christian physician Jibrīl ibn Bukhtīshūʿ (d. 827). His father’s name (Bahrīz) indicates his Persian ancestry; perhaps Ḥabīb was his given name, and ʿAbdīshūʿ, ‘servant of Jesus’, his name as a cleric. Ibn Bahrīz …

ʿAbd al-Jabbār

(1,365 words)

Author(s): Reynolds, Gabriel Said
Abū l-Ḥasan ʿAbd al-Jabbār ibn Aḥmad ibn ʿAbd al-Jabbār ibn Aḥmad ibn al-Khalīl ibn ʿAbdallāh, al-Qāḍī l-Hamadhānī l-Asadābādī Date of Birth: About 937 Place of Birth: Asadābād, southwest of Hamadhān Date of Death: January-February 1025 Place of Death: Rayy Biography ʿAbd al-Jabbār, commonly referred to in Islamic sources as Qāḍī l-Quḍāt due to his position as chief justice in Rayy under the Būyid emirs Muʾayyid al-Dawla (r. 977-84) and Fakhr al-Dawla (r. 984-97), was the leading figure of the Muʿtazila, and in particular of the Bahsh…

ʿAbd al-Kāfī ibn Abī Yaʿqūb

(342 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Abū ʿAmmār ʿAbd al-Kāfī ibn Abī Yaʿqūb Yūsuf ibn Ismāʿīl ibn Yūsuf ibn Muḥammad al-Tanāwutī al-Wārglānī Date of Birth: Unknown Place of Birth: Tanāwut near Wārglān (Ouargla in present-day Algeria) Date of Death: Unknown; before 1174 Place of Death: Wārglān Biography ʿAbd al-Kāfī ibn Abī Yaʿqūb was born in a village of the Sahara oasis of Wārglān sometime in the later 11th or early 12th century. He studied there before moving to Tunis, where he continued to study for some years before returning home. In Wārglān his reputation for learning attracted students a…

ʿAbd al-Masīḥ al-Isrāʾīlī al-Raqqī

(289 words)

Author(s): N. Swanson, Mark
Biography The author’s name indicates that he was a Jew (‘al-Isrāʾīlī’) from al-Raqqa in Syria (‘al-Raqqī’), who converted to Christianity and took the name ʿAbd al-Masīḥ, ‘Servant of Christ’. The extended title of his Kitāb al-istidlāl indicates that the person instrumental in his conversion was the Christian physician [Abū l-Fatḥ] Manṣūr ibn Sahlān [ibn Muqashshir], who served for many years in the Fatimid court in Cairo and died around 1004, while in the service of the Caliph al-Ḥākim (996-1021). Samir inclines to the opinion …

ʿAbd al-Wāḥid al-Marrākushī

(264 words)

Author(s): Boloix-Gallardo, Bárbara
Muḥyī l-Dīn Abū Muḥammad ʿAbd al-Wāḥid ibn ʿAlī l-Tamīmī l-Marrākushī Date of Birth: 9 July 1185 Place of Birth: Marrakesh Date of Death: Unknown; probably mid-13th century Place of Death: Unknown Biography ʿAbd al-Wāḥid al-Marrākushī was born in Marrakesh, a town he calls ‘the first land that my skin touched’, in 1185, at the beginning of the reign of the Almohad Caliph Abū Yūsuf Yaʿqūb. At a very early age (he was only nine) he went to Fez, a center of science and cultural life, to study the Qur’an and Arabic language. Altho…

Abner of Burgos/Alfonso of Valladolid

(1,660 words)

Author(s): Szpiech, Ryan
Master (Maese, Maestro) Alfonso Date of Birth: Approximately 1260-70 Place of Birth: Unknown, but probably Burgos Date of Death: Approximately 1345-47 Place of Death: Unknown, but probably Valladolid Biography Little is known about the early life of Abner of Burgos, but on the basis of information in his Moreh tsedeḳ (‘Teacher of righteousness’, now extant only in Castilian as Mostrador de justicia), it is estimated that he was born into the Jewish community in or around Burgos sometime between 1260 and 1270. Judging by his works, it is assumed he receive…

Abū l-ʿAbbās ʿAbdallāh ibn Hārūn al-Maʾmūn

(416 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
The Caliph al-Maʾmūn Date of Birth: 786 Place of Birth: Baghdad Date of Death: 833 Place of Death: Tarsus Biography As his name indicates, ʿAbdallāh ibn Hārūn was the son of the Caliph Hārūn al-Rashīd. Declared second heir after his brother al-Amīn, he established himself as governor of Khurāsān during his brother's caliphate. In 810, tensions between the two erupted into open hostility, and by 813 power had moved away from al-Amīn; he was executed, and al-Maʾmūn was acknowledged as caliph. His control over the empire was finally assured when he left Khurāsān and entered Baghdad in 819. Al-M…

Abū l-ʿAbbās al-Īrānshahrī

(744 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Al-Īrānshahrī Date of Birth: Unknown Place of Birth: Nīshāpūr Date of Death: Late 9th c. Place of Death: Unknown, possibly Nīshāpūr Biography Very little is known about this figure, even his full name ( Encyclopaedia Iranica and Aminrazavi 1999 give it as Abū l-ʿAbbās Muḥammad ibn Muḥammad al-Īrānshahrī but do not cite a source), though the few surviving fragments of information suggest he was anything but orthodox. He came from Nīshāpūr, also known as Īrānshahr, and is mentioned by al-Bīrūnī as witnessing a solar eclipse there in 873 (Pines, Doctrine, pp. 193-94 n. 1). Al-Bīrūnī al…

Abū l-ʿAbbās ʿĪsā ibn Zayd ibn Abī Malik

(179 words)

Author(s): N. Swanson, Mark
Abū l-ʿAbbās ʿĪsā ibn Zayd Date of Birth: Unknown, early/mid-9th c.? Place of Birth: Unknown (probably Iraq) Date of Death: Unknown, end of 9th c.? Place of Death: Unknown (probably Iraq, perhaps in or near al-Anbār or Baghdad) Biography Very little is known about this East-Syrian author. The monk Ḥanūn ibn Yūḥannā ibn al-Ṣalt, who outlived him, praised his piety, intellect and generosity, recounted a conversation that Abū l-ʿAbbās had once held with the Catholicos John III bar Narsai (in office 884-92), and related that he himself h…

Abū ʿAbdallāh al-Baṣrī

(545 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Abū ʿAbdallāh al-Ḥusayn ibn ʿAlī ibn Ibrāhīm al-Baṣrī, al-Khāghidhī, al-Juʿal Date of Birth: Unknown, probably early 10th century (dates ranging from 902 to 921 are given) Place of Birth: Basra Date of Death: 19 June, 980 Place of Death: Baghdad Biography Abū ʿAbdallāh was born in Basra sometime early in the 10th century. In his youth he came under the influence of Abū Hāshim al-Jubbāʾī (d. 934) (q.v.), the leader of the Basra school of the Muʿtazila, and Abū Hāshim’s pupil Ibn Khallād (q.v.), who was his own teacher in Muʿtazilī theology. He mo…

Abū ʿAbdallāh al-Khwārazmī

(232 words)

Author(s): Bosworth, Edmund
Abū ʿAbdallāh Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad ibn Yūsuf al-Kātib al-Khwārazmī Date of Birth: Unknown Place of Birth: Unknown Date of Death: Unknown (Ḥajjī Khalīfa gives 387/997); he was active in the latter part of the 10th century Place of Death: Unknown Biography Al-Khwārazmī was almost certainly a member of the bureaucracy that served the emirs of the Sāmānid dynasty of Transoxiana and Khurāsān in their capital Bukhārā, since his only known work is dedicated to Abū l-Ḥasan al-ʿUtbī, vizier of Nūḥ II ibn Manṣūr (r. 976-97). He is not to be confus…

Abū ʿAbdallāh Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad al-Umawī l-Sufyānī l-ʿUtbī l-Qurṭubī

(391 words)

Author(s): Monferrer Sala, Juan Pedro
Al-ʿUtbī l-Qurṭubī Date of Birth: 9th c. Place of Birth: Cordova Date of Death: 868/869 Place of Death: Cordova Biography Al-ʿUtbī was born and lived in Cordova, the city in which he followed his legal career. He was a renowned Mālikī scholar ( faqīh), well versed in Islamic law ( fiqh) and legal questions ( masāʾil), and labeled by his biographers as min ahl al-jihād wa-l-khayr, ‘one of the excellent people struggling for the faith’. His most influential work was al-Mustakhraja min al-asmi ʿ a (‘The selection from what is heard’), also known as al-ʿUtbiyyaPrimary Sources of Information Ib…

Abū ʿAbdallāh Muḥammad ibn Waḍḍāḥ ibn Bazīʿ al-Umawī l-Marwānī l-Qurṭubī

(1,062 words)

Author(s): Fierro, Maribel
Ibn Waḍḍāḥ Date of Birth: 815 Place of Birth: Cordova Date of Death: 3 February 900 Place of Death: Cordova Biography Ibn Waḍḍāh’̣s grandfather Bazīʿ was a slave soldier, probably a Christian from Oviedo, manumitted by the Cordovan Umayyad emir ʿAbd al-Raḥmān I (r. 756-88). Ibn Waḍḍāḥ’s non-Arab origin did not prevent him from entering the world of Islamic scholarship, but it did make him the object of derision on the part of an Arab colleague for his alleged defective knowledge of Arabic. Ibn Waḍḍāḥ was the first member of his family to devote himself to the pen and not to …

Abū ʿAlī l-Jubbāʾī

(793 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Abū ʿAlī Muḥammad ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhāb ibn Salām al-Jubbāʾī Date of Birth: 849-50 Place of Birth: Jubbā in Khūzistān Date of Death: 915-16 Place of Death: Basra Biography Abū ʿAlī l-Jubbāʾī was regarded as the leader of the Basra Muʿtazila in the latter part of the 9th century and the beginning of the 10th century. His teachings added nuance and detail to thinking that had gone before, and while he is not known for any particular innovative theory of his own, he had lasting influence upon theology in the 10th century and later among both the Muʿtazila and their opponents, although he …

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 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…

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 …

Abū l-Aṣbagh ʿIsā ibn Sahl ibn ʿAbdallāh al-Asadī al-Jayyānī

(331 words)

Author(s): Serrano Ruano, Delfina
Ibn Sahl Date of Birth: 1022-23 Place of Birth: Wādī ʿAbd Allāh (Jaen) Date of Death: 4 February 1093 Place of Death: Granada Biography Ibn Sahl is one of the most remarkable authorities of the Andalusī Mālikī school. His composition of a collection of legal cases entitled Al-aḥkām al-kubrā (‘Major legal judgements’) became an essential reference for Mālikī doctrine and legal practice. He performed several judicial functions, and taught Islamic jurisprudence to numerous Mālikī jurists who were active in the Almoravid period. In the years befo…

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…

Abū Bakr Muḥammad ibn ʿAbdallāh ibn Shabīb al-Basṛ ī

(368 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Muḥammad ibn Shabīb Date of Birth: Unknown, probably late 8th c. Place of Birth: Unknown Date of Death: Unknown, mid-9th c. Place of Death: Unknown Biography Ibn Shabīb was probably born in Basra, but is often mentioned in connection with events in Baghdad. It is generally agreed that he was a student of Ibrāhīm al-Naẓẓām (q.v.), and so he must have known al-Jāḥiẓ (q.v.), who was another of al-Naẓẓām’s students. Since al-Naẓẓām was called from Basra to Baghdad in 818, Ibn Shabīb must have studied under him befor…

Abū Dāwūd Sulaymān ibn al-Ashʿath al-Sijistānī

(217 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Abū Dāwūd al-Sijistānī Date of Birth: 817 Place of Birth: Sijistān (eastern Iran) Date of Death: 889 Place of Death: Basra Biography Abū Dāwūd is best known as the compiler of the Kitāb al-sunan, one of the six Sunnī canonical collections of ḥadīth. He came from the province of Sijistān in eastern Iran, and after much traveling settled in Basra, where he came to be deeply respected for his learning in his subject.  Among his pupils was the ḥadīth compiler Abū ʿĪsā Muḥammad al-Tirmidhī, whose collection was also accepted as one of the canonical siḥāḥ sitta. Primary Sources of Information Al-Kha…

Abū l-Faḍl ʿAlī ibn Rabban al-Naṣrānī

(163 words)

Author(s): N. Swanson, Mark
Biography According to the (now inaccessible) manuscript of his refutation of Islam, Abū l-Faḍl ʿAlī ibn Rabban al-Naṣrānī (‘the Christian’) served as secretary to the great East-Syrian (‘Nestorian’) Catholicos Timothy (q.v.), who was in office from 780 to 823. His name ‘Ibn Rabban’ (‘son of our master’) indicates that his father was a recognized teacher of the community. Landron ( Chrétiens et musulmans en Irak, p. 60) has considered the possibility of identifying him with the well-known convert to Islam and Muslim apologist ʿAlī ibn Rabban al-Ṭabarī (q.v.)…

Abū l-Faraj al-Iṣbahānī

(480 words)

Author(s): Kilpatrick, Hilary
Abū l-Faraj ʿAlī ibn al-Ḥusayn ibn Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad ibn al-Haytham al-Umawī al-Iṣbahānī (al-Iṣfahānī) Date of Birth: 897 Place of Birth: Probably Baghdad Date of Death: About 973-74 Place of Death: Probably Baghdad or Basra Biography A man of letters, historian, musicologist and poet, Abū l-Faraj al-Iṣbahānī (both al-Iṣbahānī and al-Iṣfahānī are found in the sources) was a descendant of the Umayyads and belonged to a family of higher civil servants. After studying in Kūfa and Baghdad with renowned scholars, including the histori…

Abū l-Faraj Saʿīd ibn ʿAlī l-Anbārī

(158 words)

Author(s): N. Swanson, Mark
Abū l-Faraj Saʿīd ibn ʿAlīl-Anbārī Date of Birth: Unknown, early/mid 9th c.? Place of Birth: Probably in or near the town of al-Anbār Date of Death: Unknown, late 9th c.? Place of Death: Unknown, perhaps in or near the town of al-Anbār Biography Virtually nothing is known of this author. According to Sbath ( Fihris, Supplément, p. 10), he was a scholar who belonged to the East-Syrian community and who lived in the 9th century. His nisba, al-Anbārī, suggests both a place of origin (the town of al-Anbār) as well as a possible connection with the al-Anbārī family of schola…

Abū l-Faraj Yaḥyā ibn Saʿīd ibn Yaḥyā

(763 words)

Author(s): N. Swanson, Mark
Biography This entry introduces the author of three apologetic treatises, as reported in Sbath, Fihris, Supplement, p. 10: Abū l-Faraj Yaḥyā ibn Saʿīd ibn Yaḥyā al-ṭabīb al-Malakī al-Anṭākī, ‘the Melkite physician of Antioch’. This figure has been convincingly identified with the Yaḥyā ibn Saʿīd ibn Yaḥyā to whom Ibn Abī Uṣaybiʿa devotes an entry ( ʿUyūn al-anbāʾ, ed. Müller, i, p. 239): a fine physician of Antioch who the renowned Christian physician Ibn Buṭlān knew personally and about whom he wrote (in 1063) with the greatest respect for his piety and scholarship fī zamāninā, ‘in our…

Abū Ḥakīm (Ḥalīm) Yūsuf al-Buḥayrī

(117 words)

Author(s): G.B. Teule, Herman
Biography Abū Ḥakīm belonged to the East Syrian (‘Nestorian’) community. In 996-97, he entertained a lively correspondence with the West Syrian (‘Jacobite’) translator, philosopher and theologian Abū ʿAlī ʿĪsā ibn Isḥāq ibn Zurʿa (q.v.) on various biblical and internal Christian theological issues. Primary Sources of Information The text of Ibn Zurʿa’s answer (with the name of the addressee and the dates of the correspondence) is preserved in several manuscripts, listed by Graf (GCAL ii, pp. 253-54). Secondary Sources of Information B. Landron, Chretiens et Musulmans, Paris, 19…

Abū l-Ḥasan ʿAlī ibn Sahl Rabban al-Ṭabarī

(776 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
ʿAlī l-Ṭabarī Date of Birth: c. 780 Place of Birth: Merv Date of Death: c. 860 Place of Death: Samarra or Baghdad Biography ʿAlī l-Ṭabarī was the son of a physician whose pre-eminence earned him the Syriac title Rabban, ‘our master’. This has often been mistaken for a Jewish title, but the evidence of ʿAlī’s works, and the fact that in his Kitāb al-dīn wa-l-dawla (ed. Mingana, p. 124) he refers to his father’s brother Abū Zakkār Yaḥyā ibn Nuʿmān (q.v.) as a Christian scholar, identify him clearly as from a Christian family. ʿAlī says that his father worked in Merv, and he was presumably…

Abū l-Ḥasan ʿAlī ibn Yaḥyā ibn al-Munajjim

(455 words)

Author(s): Roggema, Barbara
ʿAlī ibn Yaḥyā ibnal-Munajjim Date of Birth: 815/6 Place of Birth: Baghdad Date of Death: 888 Place of Death: Samarra Biography Abū l-Ḥasan ʿAlī ibn Yaḥyā ibn al-Munajjim came from a Persian family of renowned astrologers. His grandfather was Abū Manṣūr Abān, who was employed as an astrologer by the ʿAbbasid Caliph al-Manṣūr, while his father, Abū ʿAlī Yaḥyā, worked as an astrologer for the ʿAbbasid Caliph al-Maʾmūn (q.v.) and converted from Zoroastrianism to Islam under the influence of his patron. For the next two…

Abū l-Ḥasan ibn al-Munajjim

(303 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Abū l-Ḥasan Aḥmad ibn Yaḥyā ibn ʿAlī ibn Yaḥyā ibn Abī Manṣūr ibn al-Munajjim al-Nadīm Date of Birth: 875 Place of Birth: Probably Baghdad Date of Death: 939 Place of Death: Probably Baghdad Biography Abū l-Ḥasan Aḥmad ibn Yaḥyā was the son of Abū Aḥmad Yaḥyā ibn ʿAlī ibn al-Munajjim (855-912/13) and the grandson of Abū l-Ḥasan ʿAlī ibn Yaḥyā (815-88) (q.v.), who may both have taken part in written exchanges with the Christians Ḥunayn ibn Isḥāq (q.v.) and Qusṭā ibn Lūqā (q.v.). Ibn al-Nadīm remarks on Abū l-Ḥasan Aḥmad’s refinement (which would be expected from a companion of …

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…

Abū Ḥātim al-Rāzī

(1,630 words)

Author(s): Nomoto and David Thomas, Shin
Abū Ḥātim Aḥmad ibn Ḥamdān al-Rāzī Date of Birth: Unknown, mid-9th century Place of Birth: District of Bashāwūy near Rayy Date of Death: 934 Place of Death: Āzarbāyjān Biography Abū Ḥātim was an Ismāʿīlī, and spent his life working for the Ismaʿīlī missionary cause. He was first lieutenant to the dāʿī who led the missionary activity in Rayy, and later succeeded as the leading dāʿī of the region himself. He claimed to be the khalīfa of the hidden Imām, and was one of those who predicted his return in 928. As supporters and opponents of Ismāʿīlism gained control in the …

Abū l-Hudhayl Muḥammad ibn al-Hudhayl ibn ʿUbayd Allāh ibn Makḥūl al-ʿAbdī l-ʿAllāf

(868 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Abū l-Hudhayl al-ʿAllāf Date of Birth: Between 748 and 753 Place of Birth: Basra Date of Death: Between 840 and 850 Place of Death: Baghdad Biography Abū l-Hudhayl is regarded as one of the greatest theologians of early ʿAbbasid times, and the shaper of many of the main doctrines for which the Muʿtazila became known. He was the leader of the Basra school of the Muʿtazila until he moved to the capital in the early 9th century. In both Basra and Baghdad, he knew other leading thinkers, and was often invited by the Caliph a…

Abū l-Ḥusayn al-Baṣrī

(175 words)

Author(s): G.B. Teule, Herman
Biography Abū l-Ḥusayn was an East Syrian (‘Nestorian’) philosopher and physician, and a disciple of Abū l-Faraj ibn al-Ṭayyib (q.v.). He wrote an apologetic work in which he refuted some mashāyikh and Mu‘tazila (see below). [Note: Further study will probably confirm that this Abū l-Ḥusayn al-Baṣrī, who has presumably been thought to be a Christian because he is quoted as opposing certain Muʿtazilī and other Muslim doctrines and is mentioned by a Christian author, is in fact the 11th century Muʿtazilī theologian whose disagreemen…

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…

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…

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) (…

Abū ʿĪsā Muḥammad ibn Hārūn ibn Muḥammad al-Warrāq

(844 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Abū ʿĪsā l-Warrāq Date of Birth: Unknown, probably late 8th c. Place of Birth: Unknown Date of Death: Unknown, probably soon after 864 Place of Death: Baghdad Biography Nothing is known about Abū ʿĪsā’s personal circumstances, except that he lived in the Islamic capital, where he is associated with scholars active in the early 9th century. He was closely connected with the heterodox thinker Ibn al-Rāwandī, maybe as his teacher, though the relationship deteriorated into hostility leading to Ibn al-Rāwandī insinuating that h…

Abū Isḥāq Ibrāhīm ibn Isḥāq ibn Ibrāhīm ibn Bishr al-Ḥarbī

(211 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Ibrāhīm ibn Isḥāq al-Ḥarbī Date of Birth: 811 Place of Birth: Merv Date of Death: 898 Place of Death: Baghdad Biography Al-Khāṭib al-Baghdādī and Ibn al-Qifṭī report al-Ḥarbī recalling that most of his maternal uncles were Christians. He moved from his home town to Baghdad, and there he was a student of Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal. Like his teacher, he was an opponent of Muʿtazilī doctrines, particularly the created-ness of the Qurʾān. He was known as a philologist and collector of Hadith, and in his personal life as a man of piety and forbearance. Among al-Ḥarbī’s works are 24 collections of ḥadī…

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…

Abū Isḥāq Ibrāhīm ibn Yaʿqūb ibn Isḥāq al-Saʿdī al-Jūzajānī

(295 words)

Author(s): Roggema, Barbara
Al-Jūzajānī Date of Birth: Unknown, probably early 9th c. Place of Birth: Khurāsān Date of Death: 870 or 873 Place of Death: Damascus Biography Al-Jūzajānī was originally from Khurāsān and traveled widely in the Muslim world before settling in Damascus. He is primarily known as a scholar and transmitter of ḥadīth, from Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal among others. Some of his works and the traditions he cited in them are known through ḥadīth collectors of subsequent generations and also through the works of Muḥammad ibn Jarīr al-Ṭabarī, who used al-Jūzajānī as a source. Al-Ṭabarī…

Abū Jaʿfar Muḥammad ibn ʿAbdallāh al-Iskāfī

(403 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Al-Iskāfī Date of Birth: Unknown, probably mid-8th c. Place of Birth: Iskāf Date of Death: 854 Place of Death: Baghdad Biography Al-Iskāfī’s name goes back to the town of Iskāf, between Baghdad and Wāsiṭ. His family originated in Samarqand. He was a Baghdad Muʿtazilī, and a follower of Jaʿfar ibn Ḥarb (d. 850), who encouraged him in his studies contrary to his parents’ wishes. He was greatly admired by the Caliph al-Muʿtaṣim (maybe for the ingenuity that is exemplified in his arguments against Christianity, as is sh…

Abū l-Khayr ʿĪsā ibn Hibat Allāh

(73 words)

Author(s): N. Swanson, Mark
Biography Virtually nothing is known about this author, identified by Sbath ( Fihris, Supplément, p. 9) as a 9th-century scholar and member of the East-Syrian community. Primary Sources of Information -- Secondary Sources of Information B. Landron, Chrétiens et musulmans en Irak, Paris, 1994, p. 88 Graf, GCAL ii, p. 119 Sbath, Fihris, Supplément, p. 9 Works on Christian-Muslim Relations Kitāb al-hidāya Kitāb al-kifāya Mark N. Swanson

Abū l-Maʿālī

(200 words)

Author(s): Mallett, Alex
Abū l-Maʿālī Muḥammad ibn ʿUbayd Allāh Date of Birth: Unknown; probably mid-11th century Place of Birth: Unknown; probably Iran or further east Date of Death: Unknown; probably early 12th century Place of Death: Unknown; possibly Ghazna Biography What little we know of Abū l-Maʿālī is gained from snippets in the introduction to his Bayān al-adyān, as there is no mention of him in biographical or bibliographical dictionaries. He seems to have been a civil servant in the court of Ghazna, and he was well educated, although we know of only one work by …

Abū Marwān ʿAbd al-Malik ibn Ḥabīb ibn Sulaymān ibn Hārūn/Marwān ibn Julhuma ibn ʿAbbās ibn Mirdās al-Sulamī

(518 words)

Author(s): Monferrer Sala, Juan Pedro
Ibn Ḥabīb Date of Birth: c. 790 Place of Birth: A village near Granada Date of Death: 852-53 Place of Death: Cordova Biography ʿAbd al-Malik ibn Ḥabīb was born in kūrat Ilbīra, a small village near Granada, where he may have started his studies. He was a druggist ( ʿaṭṭār) like his father, and he had a brother whom he defended against a charge of blasphemy before the judge of Ilbīra. He fathered two sons and a daughter. At some point Ibn Ḥabīb moved to Cordova, where he studied ḥadīth and fiqh with three scholars. When he was 33, he spent three years studying in the Middl…

Abū Marwān ʿAbd al-Malik ibn Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad al-Bājī

(440 words)

Author(s): Rodríguez-Gómez, María Dolores
ʿAbd al-Malik Ibn Ṣāḥib al-Ṣalāt Date of Birth: Between 1126 and 1136 Place of Birth: Beja Date of Death: After 1198 Place of Death: Unknown Biography As his nisba al-Bājī reveals, this Andalusī historian, secretary ( kātib) and poet was born in Beja in the Portuguese province of the Algarve. Most of the information about his life comes from his own chronicle, Al-mann bi-l-imāma. From this, it can known that he was at first reluctant to accept the rule of the Almohads, because he did not at first respond when he was called into their service in 1162, though…

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…

Abū Muḥammad al-Nawbakhtī

(470 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Abū Muḥammad al-Ḥasan ibn Mūsā l-Nawbakhtī Date of Birth: Unknown; probably mid or late 9th century Place of Birth: Baghdad Date of Death: Early 10th century; possibly between 912 and 923 Place of Death: Probably Baghdad Biography The Nawbahktī family was known for its close association with the Abbasid dynasty throughout the 8th and 9th centuries, and for its support of Shīʿī doctrines and beliefs. Abū Muḥammad al-Ḥasan himself was a prominent Shīʿī intellectual in the latter part of the 9th and early 10th centuries, and was remembered for his sympathies with Muʿtazilī princi…

Abū Muḥammad al-Qāsim ibn Ibrāhīm ibn Ismāʿīl ibn Ibrāhīm ibn al-Ḥasan ibn al-Ḥasan ibn ʿAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib al-Rassī

(637 words)

Author(s): Madelung, Wilferd
Al-Qāsim ibn Ibrāhīm Date of Birth: Unknown, c. 785 Place of Birth: Medina Date of Death: 860 Place of Death: Jabal al-Rass (near Medina) Biography Al-Qāsim was educated in Zaydī Shīʿī Islam by his ʿAlid family and in Medinan ḥadīth by a nephew of Mālik ibn Anas, the founder of the legal school of Medina. His elder brother Muḥammad headed a revolt in Kūfa, claiming the Zaydī imamate, and was killed in 814. Al-Qāsim was in Egypt at that time, where he studied the Jewish and Christian scriptures and Christian theological …

Abū l-Mundhir Hishām ibn Muḥammad ibn al-Sāʾib al-Kalbī

(544 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Ibn al-Kalbī Date of Birth: Approx. 737 Place of Birth: Kūfa Date of Death: 819 or 821 Place of Death: Kūfa Biography Ibn al-Kalbī prided himself on being a student of his own father, Muḥammad ibn al-Sāʾib ibn Bishr al-Kalbī. Since the latter died in 763, and his son must have studied with him long enough to assimilate all the knowledge he attributes to his father, a reasonable date of birth for Ibn al-Kalbī would be 737 (Atallah, p. XIX). The date of his death is variously given as 819 and 821. Born and brought up in Kūfa, at some point in his mature life he moved to Baghdad, where he…

Abū Mūsā ʿĪsā ibn Ṣubayḥ al-Murdār

(423 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Al-Murdār Date of Birth: Unknown Place of Birth: Unknown Date of Death: 841 Place of Death: Baghdad Biography One of the early Baghdad Muʿtazila, al-Murdār was a pupil and supporter of Bishr ibn al-Muʿtamir, so presumably slightly younger than the founder of the school. He was known for his asceticism (he left his wealth to the poor), and was compared among the Muʿtazila to a monk among the Christians. None of al-Murdār’s 33 works listed by Ibn al-Nadīm survives (Van Ess, TG v, pp. 331-32). He wrote works on some of the main issues debated in his school (among them Kitāb al-tawḥīd, ‘Divine unit…

Abū Nūḥ ʿAbd al-Masīḥ ibn al-Ṣalt al-Anbārī

(635 words)

Author(s): N. Swanson, Mark
Abū Nūḥ al-Anbārī Date of Birth: c. 730 Place of Birth: Probably in or near al-Anbār Date of Death: Unknown; he was active in the 780s Place of Death: Unknown, perhaps in or near al-Anbār or Baghdad Biography As Cabrol has pointed out in her excellent summary of what is known about Abū Nūḥ al-Anbārī (‘Une famille’, pp. 297-302), his biography is closely interwoven with that of his fellow student and friend who later became the Catholicos Timothy I (q.v.) (728-823, catholicos from 780). They were schooled together in ecclesiastical s…

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…

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…

Abū l-Rabīʿ Muḥammad ibn al-Layth

(643 words)

Author(s): Roggema, Barbara
Ibn al-Layth Date of Birth: 1st half of 8th c. Place of Birth: Unknown Date of Death: c. 819 Place of Death: Unknown, possibly Kūfa Biography Ibn al-Layth is called by Ibn al-Nadīm an ‘orator’ ( khaṭīb), ‘jurist’ ( faqīh), apologist/theologian ( mutakallim), ‘epistolographer’ ( mutarassil), and ‘secretary’ ( kātib). According to one of Ibn al-Nadīm’s sources, he was of Persian background, ultimately a descendent of king Darius. Another of his sources calls him a mawlā of the Umayyads. He held high positions under the ʿAbbasid caliphs al-Mahdī, al-Hādī and Hārūn al-Rashīd a…

Abū Sahl Bishr ibn al-Muʿtamir ibn Bishr al-Hilālī

(567 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Bishr ibn al-Muʿtamir Date of Birth: c. 750 Place of Birth: Kūfa or Baghdad Date of Death: 825 Place of Death: Baghdad Biography Bishr ibn al-Muʿtamir was the founder of the Baghdad school of the Muʿtazila, and the main author of its distinctive doctrines. Unusually for his day, he wrote a number of theological works in verse. His place of birth is uncertain, though in his youth he studied in Basra under pupils of Wāṣil ibn ʿAtāʾ. When he settled in Baghdad he was imprisoned for a time by Hārūn al-Rashīd, maybe for suspected Rāfiḍī sympathies assumed …

Abū Sulaymān al-Sijistānī

(556 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Abū Sulaymān Muḥammad ibn Ṭāhir ibn Bahrām al-Manṭiqī al-Sijistānī Date of Birth: Unknown; about 912 Place of Birth: Sijistān Date of Death: Uncertain; about 985 Place of Death: Baghdad Biography Abū Sulaymān was born in the Persian province of Sijistān sometime in the early 10th century. From the little that is known about him, it seems that his first experiences of learning were in the provincial royal court, but as a young man he travelled to Baghdad where he studied under the Christian Yaḥyā ibn ʿAdī (q.v.) and, according to some acco…

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…

Abū Yaʿlā ibn al-Farrāʾ

(494 words)

Author(s): Yarbrough, Luke
Abū Yaʿlā Muḥammad ibn al-Ḥusayn ibn Muḥammad ibn Khalaf ibn Aḥmad ibn al-Farrāʾ Date of Birth: 27 or 28 April 990 Place of Birth: Iraq? Date of Death: 14 August 1066 Place of Death: Baghdad Biography Abū Yaʿlā is one of the great historical authorities of the Ḥanbalī madhhab of Sunnī law, to whose adherents he has often been known simply as ‘the qadi’. Born into a scholarly family – his father had been a Ḥanafī jurist and notary – he was trained in Ḥanbalism by the renowned jurist Ibn Ḥāmid (d. 1012). As his reputation for intelligence and d…

Abū Yaʿqūb al-Sijistānī

(406 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Abū Yaʿqūb al-Sijzī Date of Birth: Unknown Place of Birth: Sijistān Date of Death: Unknown, after 971 Place of Death: Sijistān Biography Personal information about Abū Yaʿqūb al-Sijistānī (or al-Sijzī) is very scanty. He was an Iranian and belonged to the Ismāʿīlī Shīʿā, of which he was a leading dāʿī and theologian in the mid-10th century. It is known that he became involved in a feud between leading Ismāʿīlīs in the earlier decades of the century, when he wrote a refutation of Abū Ḥātim al-Rāzī (d. 934) (q.v.), who had questioned a work of his fr…

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…

Abū Yūsuf Yaʿqūb ibn Isḥāq al-Kindī

(357 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Al-Kindī Date of Birth: c. 800 Place of Birth: Kūfa or Basra Date of Death: c. 870 Place of Death: Baghdad Biography Al-Kindī traced his ancestry back to the Kinda tribe of Arabia and a Companion of the Prophet Muḥammad. Although born in the south of Iraq - his father was governor of Kūfa - he was educated in Baghdad, and entered the caliphal service while still young. He rose to prominence under al-Muʿtaṣim as tutor to the caliph's son, and he addressed many of his works to one or other of these. He lost favor under…

Abū Zakkār Yaḥyā ibn Nuʿmān

(414 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Biography Nothing certain is known about Abū Zakkār Yaḥyā ibn Nuʿmān apart from what is briefly mentioned by ʿAlī l-Ṭabarī (q.v.) in Kitāb al-dīn wa-l-dawla. ʿAlī says that Abū Zakkār was his paternal uncle and a Christian, and that he was known in Iraq and Khurāsān for his intellectual acumen and had a following of disciples (ed. Mingana, pp. 124, 129). Since ʿAlī was originally from Marw, that must also have been Abū Zakkār’s original home, though there is no way of knowing whether he remained there. Like his nephew, he must have belonged to the Church of the East. ʿAlī himself died in about…

Abū Zayd Ḥunayn ibn Isḥāq al-ʿIbādī

(1,499 words)

Author(s): Monferrer Sala, Juan Pedro
Ḥunayn ibn Isḥāq Date of Birth: 809 Place of Birth: al-Ḥīra Date of Death: 873 Place of Death: Baghdad Biography As can be inferred from his nisba, al-ʿIbādī, Ḥunayn’s father belonged to the Arab Christian community of the ʿIbād in the southern Iraqī town of al-Ḥīra, the provincial capital of the Lakhmids. Ḥunayn started the practice of medicine with his father, who was a druggist. He learned Syriac in al-Ḥīra and was ordained deacon ( shammās) of the East Syrian church in that city. He moved to Gundishāpūr, where he learned Persian. Then he went to Baghdad and studied…

 A chronicle fragment

(300 words)

Author(s): Monferrer Sala, Juan Pedro
A chronicle fragment A chronicle fragment Date: 10th or 11th century Original Language: Arabic Description The fragmentary 14th-century copy of this chronicle, a mere 18 folios long, relates the first 18 years (912-929) of the reign of the Spanish Umayyad Caliph ʿAbd al-Raḥmān III (912-61), the period during which the muwallad (convert from Christianity) ʿUmar ibn Ḥafṣūn and his sons led an uprising. The rebels took possession of the fortress in Bobastro (Malaga), and made it their capital. They abandoned their new faith and returned to Christianity. The account seems to be origin…

A chronicle fragment

(53 words)

Author(s): Monferrer Sala, Juan Pedro
Unknown author Date of Birth: Unknown; 10th or 11th century Place of Birth: Unknown Date of Death: Unknown; 10th or 11th century Place of Death: Unknown Biography - Primary Sources of Information - Secondary Sources of Information - Works on Christian-Muslim Relations A chronicle fragment Juan Pedro Monferrer Sala

 Adbreviatio de gestis imperatorum

(415 words)

Author(s): Tolan, John
Abbreviated history of the emperors William of Malmesbury Date: 1129 Original Language: Latin Description This manuscript, a good part of it in William’s own hand, contains William’s digest of Roman imperial history, essentially an annotation, and in many cases a reworking, of chronicles from Dares to Hugh of Fleury (q.v.). It relates Roman history from the sack of Troy to the medieval empire, concluding with regnal lists of Byzantine and Ottonian emperors and French kings. William recopies Hugh of Fleury’s brief biography of Muḥammad, and says that ‘Muameth’ is the ‘…

Adelphus

(72 words)

Author(s): Tolan, John
Biography Nothing is known about Adelphus beyond what can be surmised from the text with which he is connected.  He claims to have heard the call of the muezzin and to have spoken with Greeks about Islam; it is possible that he accompanied the troops of the First Crusade. Primary Sources of Information Vita machometi (see below) Secondary Sources of Information - Works on Christian-Muslim Relations Vita Machometi John Tolan

Ademar of Chabannes

(758 words)

Author(s): Frassetto, Michael
Biography Ademar was born in 989 to a well-connected family of the lesser nobility of the Limousin in Aquitaine. As a boy, he was professed a monk at the monastery of St Cybard in Angoulême, where he began his education and first revealed his talents in the arts of the scriptorium. He continued his education at St Martial of Limoges, studying under the tutelage of his uncle Roger and, in the year 1010, experienced a vision of Christ in the night sky and witnessed numerous other prodigies. Returning to St Cybard, Ademar continued his career in the scriptorium and sought advancement…

 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…

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

(462 words)

Author(s): El Kaisy-Friemuth, Maha
‘Proofs of divine oneness in refutation of Christianity’ Al-Qarāfī Date: Before 1238 Original Language: Arabic Description This book was ostensibly presented to the Ayyūbid Sultan al-Malik al-Kāmil (d. 1238), who was known as a patron of education and learning. The prologue explains that, when its author saw scholars competing for the ruler’s favor, he thought of a book …

 Adilla ukhar ʿalā ṣiḥḥat al-Injīl

(309 words)

Author(s): G.B. Teule, Herman
'Other proofs for the truth of the Gospel' Ishoʿyahb bar Malkon Date: First half of the 13th century Original Language: Arabic Description Again without mentioning Muslims, Bar Malkon gives nine additional arguments to establish the truth of the Gospel: the teachings of the Gospel correspond to what is good and right; the Gospel fits the rational soul and incites it to accept the essence of the Creator; it is also consistent with the delight of the perceiving soul, which is the knowledge of things divine; the Gospel …

Adomnán of Iona, Adamnan, Adomnanus, Adamnanus

(125 words)

Author(s): Tolan, John
Adomnán of Iona Date of Birth: c. 625 Place of Birth: County Donegal, Ireland Date of Death: 704 Place of Death: Iona Abbey, Scotland Biography Adomnán was an Irish monk, who in 679 became the Abbot of Iona, the foremost Irish monastery in Scotland. He is best known as the author of a life of Saint Columba, founder of Iona, and of a treatise of law, the Cain Adomnan. Primary Sources of Information Bede, Ecclesiastical history of the English people, ed. J. McClure and R. Collins, Oxford, 1994 Betha Adamnain: Life of Saint Adamnan, ed. and trans. M. Herbert and P.Ó Riain, Dublin, 1988 Secondary Sources of Information   Works on Christian-Muslim Relations De locis sanctis John Tolan

ʿAfīf ibn al-Makīn ibn Muʾammal

(431 words)

Author(s): N. Swanson, Mark
Biography Nothing is known about the author of a ‘concise treatise inclusive of the Christian denominations’ in 15 chapters, apart from what can be gathered from the text itself. That he was remembered as a scholar and person of considerable standing in his community may be seen from the way the text identifies him: ‘ al-shaykh al-raʾīs al-fāḍil al-faylasūf wa-l-ʿālim   … ʿAfīf ibn al-shaykh al-Makīn ibn Muʾammal’. That he was a Melkite Christian is clear from the text. Nasrallah suggests that his concern with the ‘heresy’ of the Maronites indicates that he was…

Against Muḥammad

(91 words)

Author(s): Niehoff-Panagiotidis, Johannes
Unknown author Date of Birth: Unknown; 10th or 11th century Place of Birth: Unknown Date of Death: Unknown; 11th century Place of Death: Unknown Biography Nothing is known about this author, except that he had wide access to Greek works on Islam and used them judiciously. Primary Sources of Information Kata Mōamed, PG 104, cols 1447-58 Secondary Sources of Information A.-T. Khoury, Les théologiens byzantins et l´islam. Textes et auteurs (VIIIe – XIIIe s.), 2nd ed., Louvain, 1969, pp. 194-99 Works on Christian-Muslim Relations Kata Mōamed Johannes Niehoff-Panagiotidis

Aghushtīn

(165 words)

Author(s): Burman, Thomas E.
Biography This author appears to have been a Mozarabic 1priest or bishop living in al-Andalus, perhaps in the 12th century. He was certainly not Augustine of Hippo, as the treatise which preserves portions of his only known work assumes.  Primary Sources of Information This author’s only known work, Muṣḥaf al-ʿālam al-kāʾin, is preserved in the refutation of Christianity by a certain al-Imām al-Qurṭubī (q.v.), Al-iʿlām bi-mā fī dīn al-Naṣārā min al-fasād wa-awhām wa-iẓhār maḥāsin dīn al-Islām.  All that is known about the author appears in the sections of this work whe…
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