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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Rabīʿ ibn Zayd

(453 words)

Author(s): Monferrer Sala, Juan Pedro
Recemundo, Recemund Date of Birth: Unknown; early 10th century Place of Birth: Cordova Date of Death: Late 10th century or early 11th century Place of Death: Unknown Biography Rabīʿ ibn Zayd, whose baptismal name was Recemund (Recemundo), was a leader of the Christian communities in al-Andalus. He was a Christian official at the Cordovan court under the Caliph ʿAbd al-Raḥmān III (r. 912-61), and in 955-56 he was chosen to lead an embassy to the Emperor Otto I ( Hūtū) in Germany. This was in response to a mission sent by Otto to Cordova, led by John of Gorze (q.v.). He also…

 Radd Abī l-Qāsim ʿAbdallāh ibn Aḥmad al-Balkhī ʿalā l-Naṣārā fī kitābihi l-musammā Awāʾil al-adilla

(330 words)

Author(s): Monferrer Sala, Juan Pedro
Abū l-Qāsim ʿAbdallāh ibn Aḥmad al-Balkhī's refutation of the Christians in his book entitled 'Fundamentals of the proofs' Ibn Zurʿa Date: 997 Original Language: Arabic Description The work replies to selected arguments that appeared in a lost theological compendium of the early 9th-century Baghdad Muʿtazilī Abū l-Qāsim al-Balkhī (d. 931) (q.v.). They include attacks on the Trinity, the anthropomorphization of God ( tashbīh) through comparing him with creatures, and the prophethood of Muḥammad. By the 10th century, all these topics had become familiar features of deba…

 Al-radd ʿalā ahl al-adyān

(207 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Refutation of the followers of the faiths Abū Zakkār Yaḥyā ibn Nuʿmān Date: early 9th c. Original Language: Arabic Description ʿAlī l-Ṭabarī mentions in his Kitāb al-dīn wa-l-dawla (ed. Mingana, p. 124) that Abū Zakkār's work included the point that no one who converted to Islam did so as a result of witnessing a miracle.  He also refers to 'an uncle of mine who was one of the learned and eloquent men among Christians' (pp. 44-45), surely the same person, arguing with respect to the claim that the Qurʾan's literary qualit…

 Radd ʿalā ahl al-dhimma wa-man tabiʿahum

(497 words)

Author(s): Mallett, Alex
‘Refutation of the dhimmis and those who follow them’ Ghāzī ibn al-Wāsiṭī Date: 1290-93 Original Language: Arabic Description Radd ʿalā ahl al-dhimma wa-man tabiʿahum is a vicious attack on Coptic Christians (and, less often, Jews), which consists almost entirely of anecdotes describing their supposed duplicity. It was one of a number of anti-Christian treatises written in the jihād atmosphere of the Mamluk empire with the aim of inciting popular antagonism against Christians, and a tone of bitterness runs throughout. The main criticism within the piece is that Christians …

 Radd ʿalā kitāb Abī l-Qāsim ʿAbdallāh ibn Aḥmad al-Bāghī

(139 words)

Author(s): G.B. Teule, Herman
Refutation of the work of Abū l-Qāsim ʿAbdallāh ibn Aḥmad al-Bāghī (sic) Abū Ḥakīm (Ḥalīm) Yūsuf al-Buḥayrī Date: 10th or 11th century Original Language: Arabic Description This work ascribed to Abū Ḥakīm is only preserved in the MS referred to in Sbath, Fihris, p. 258. It is probable that it is identical with Ibn Zurʿa’s refutation of the Awāʾil al-adilla composed by Abū l-Qāsim ʿAbdallah ibn Aḥmad al-Balkhī (q.v.). Significance It is not possible to specify the significance of the work. Manuscripts Aleppo, Karkur Saigh Collection (inaccessible MS in a private collection; see Sbath, Fih…

 Al-radd ʿalā lladhīna yaqūlūna inna kalimat Allāh makhlūqa

(187 words)

Author(s): Lamoreaux, John C.
The Refutation of those who say that the Word of God is created Theodore Abū Qurra Date: Late 8th or early 9th c. Original Language: Arabic Description Taking as its starting point the qurʾānic acknowledgment of Christ as the Word of God, this text seeks to explain how this Word was begotten without the physical accouterments of birth and why it is necessary that this Word be eternal like God himself. Significance Theodore's opponents in this text are unnamed. In that they acknowledge Christ to be the Word of God, however, it is clear that they are Muslims. The text…

 Al-radd ʿalā lladhīna yaqūlūna inna l-Naṣārā yuʾminū bi-ilāh ḍaʿīf idh yaqūlūna inna al-Masīḥ ilāh wa-innahu luṭima wa-ḍuriba wa-ṣuliba wa-māta wa-qāma

(245 words)

Author(s): Lamoreaux, John C.
The Refutation of those who say that Christians believe in a weak God, in that they say that Christ is God and that he was slapped, struck, crucified, died and rose (again) Theodore Abū Qurra Date: Late 8th or early 9th c. Original Language: Arabic Description This treatise seeks to answer the objection described in its title. Theodore argues that God is possessed of four attributes, justice, goodness, might, and wisdom; that it is because of these four attributes that he allowed his Son to suffer death on the cross; and that only thus could human beings be freed from slavery to the devil. Signifi…

 Radd ʿalā l-Muslimīn

(144 words)

Author(s): G.B. Teule, Herman
'Refutation of the Muslims' Ishoʿyahb bar Malkon Date: First half of the 13th century Original Language: Arabic Description The work exists in a manuscript preserved in a private collection, though this is not accessible, so no description can be given. It is not inconceivable that the work is the same as the treatise described above on the veneration of icons addressed to both Muslims and Jews, since, according to Sbath’s very brief comments, the same collection also contains a refutation of the Jews. Significance Nothing can be said about this. Manuscripts The only MS of this text i…

 Al-radd ʿalā l-mutanaṣṣir

(425 words)

Author(s): Demiri, Lejla
Refutation of the convert to Christianity Ibn ʿAwf Date: Unknown; before 1185 Original Language: Arabic Description This work, which bears the same title as a work ascribed to another Mālikī jurisprudent, the Tunisian Ibn ʿAbd al-Rafīʿ (d. 1333; q.v.).has not survived, though from a handful of references elsewhere it appears that Ibn ʿAwf wrote it in response to an anti-Muslim polemic entitled Al-fāḍiḥ (‘Exposing disgrace’), in which the author, who had presumably abandoned Islam for Christianity, exposed inconsistencies within Muḥammad’s legal dispensation ( sharīʿa Muḥammadi…

 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 …

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…

 Al-radd ʿalā al-Naṣārā

(298 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Refutation of the Christians Al-Qaḥṭabī Date: Unknown; before about 940 Original Language: Arabic Description All that has survived from this work is a list of the names of 60 Christian sects, as given by Ibn al-Nadīm ( Fihrist, p. 405), who also supplies its generic title. It is unclear whether al-Qaḥṭabī  went on to describe each sect, in the way that al-Nāshiʾ al-Akbar (q.v.) does in his work from the same period, or whether he merely listed the names as part of a general description of Christianity that may have focused on teachings or some major sects. Van Ess ( Häresiographie, pp. 81-83)…

 [Radd ʿalā l-Naṣārā]

(200 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
‘Refutation of the Christians’ Radd ʿalā l-Naṣārā Date: 1230 Original Language: Arabic Description Information about this putative work comes entirely from de Epalza, who mentions that he has been informed about a MS in the Library of the Royal Palace at Rabat that contains a refutation that was apparently written in Jerba in 1230. (Enquiries about this MS have not so far led to any identification.) The island of Jerba, off the southern Tunisian coast, was taken by the Muslims from the Byzantines in the 7th century. It was captured by the Normans in 1135, but was regained by the…

 Al-radd ʿalā al-Naṣārā

(239 words)

Author(s): El Hour, Rachid
Refutation of the Christians Al-Yaḥṣubī Date: Before about 1120 Original Language: Arabic Description The work has not survived. Meier, ‘Ṭāhir aṣ-Ṣadafī vergessene Schrift’, offers some information about the circumstances in which it was written, though without mentioning sources. It appears that, in a battle against the Christian forces of the north, al-Yaḥṣubī fell from his horse and was captured, but he was then saved by fellow Muslims through God’s miraculous intervention. When his Jewish personal secret…

 Al-Radd ʿalā l-Naṣārā

(444 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Refutation of the Christians Abū l-Ḥasan ʿAlī ibn Sahl Rabban al-Ṭabarī Date: c. 850 Original Language: Arabic Description The work is not complete, though parts of its later sections are quoted by the 10th-century Christian convert to Islam al-Ḥasan ibn Ayyūb, whose work is preserved in Ibn Taymiyya, al-Jawāb al-ṣaḥīḥ, and by the 13th-century Copt al-Ṣafī ibn al-ʿAssāl (see Samir, 'Réponse').  It was written to mark ʿAlī l-Ṭabarī's conversion to Islam, and contains his basic objections to Christianity in a series of sections devoted to comparisons betwee…

 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…

 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…

 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…

 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…

 Al-Radd ʿalā l-thalāth firaq min al-Naṣārā

(158 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
The refutation of the three Christian sects Abū ʿĪsā Muḥammad ibn Hārūn ibn Muḥammad al-Warrāq Date: Unknown Original Language: Arabic Description It was presumably a summary of either of the longer versions of the Radd. The work has not survived, and is only known from Ibn al-Nadīm's list, ( Fihrist, p. 216) where it is referred to as Kitāb al-radd ʿalā l-Naṣārā l-aṣghar, 'The refutation of the Christians, shorter version'.   As with the medium version of the Radd, there is a slim possibility that traces of it are to be seen in Abū Bakr al-Bāqillānī's Kitāb al-tamhīd, 'Introduction'. Signifi…
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