Christian-Muslim Relations 600 - 1500

Purchase 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.

Subscriptions: see


(719 words)

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

 Al-tabyīn baʿd al-shakk

(78 words)

Author(s): Awad, Wadi
'Demonstration after doubt’ Yūḥannā ibn Sawīrus Date: Unknown; after 1189 Original Language: Arabic Description This lost work is known only from the colophon of MS Vat Ar. 117. From the title it seems that it was theological and apologetic in character. Significance Nothing can be said without more information about the work’s contents. Manuscripts - Editions & Translations - Studies - Keywords Chronological Category: 1100-1200 Genre & Source Type: Apologies Christians: Copts Wadi Awad

 Tabyīn ghalaṭ Muḥammad ibn Hārūn al-maʿrūf bi-Abī ʿĪsā l-Warrāq ʿammā dhakarahu fī kitābihi fī l-Radd ʿalā l-thalāth firaq min al-Naṣārā

(882 words)

Author(s): Platti, Emilio
Demonstration of the error of Muḥammad ibn Hārūn known as Abū ʿĪsā l-Warrāq in what he mentioned in his book ‘Refutation of the three Christians denominations’ Yaḥyā ibn ʿAdī Date: Unknown Original Language: Arabic Description This is the most extensive of Yaḥyā ibn ʿAdī’s works. Just as in his refutation of al-Kindī’s demonstration against the Trinity, he quotes, probably exhaustively, from Abū ʿĪsā l-Warrāq’s Refutation of the three Christian sects (see D. Thomas, Anti-Christian polemic in early Islam. Abū ʿĪsā al-Warrāq’s ‘Against the Trinity’, Cambridge, 1992, and Early Muslim…

 Tadhkira fῑ l-irshād ilā ṣawm al-Naṣārā wa-l-aʿyād

(146 words)

Author(s): Strohmaier, Gotthard
Note of guidance about the fasts and feasts of the Christians Al-Bīrūnī Date: Unknown; before 1048 Original Language: Arabic Description The work has not survived, and the title is only known from al-Bīrūnī's own bibliography, which he attached to the list of the works of al-Rāzī; see al-Bīrūnī, Risāla fī fihrist kutub Muḥammad ibn Zakariyāʾ al-Rāzī, ed. M. Mohaghegh, Tehran, 1985, p. 32, no. 53. Significance It can be assumed that the contents did not significantly add to the information contained in the Chronology and the Mas῾ūdic Canon. Manuscripts - Editions & Translations - Studies -…

 Tafnīd al-Qurʾān

(163 words)

Author(s): N. Swanson, Mark
Shurrāyā d-QurānRefutation of the Qurʾān Abū Nūḥ ʿAbd al-Masīḥ ibn al-Ṣalt al-Anbārī Date: Unknown, late 8th or early 9th c. Original Language: Arabic Description We know nothing about the contents of this treatise other than what we might expect from its title. While Sbath reports the existence of an Arabic 'Refutation of the Qurʾān', the Catalogue of ʿAbdīshūʿ of Nisibis lists Shurrāyā d-Qurān, 'Refutation of the Qurʾān', without indicating that the work was originally in Arabic. This leaves open the possibility that the work was composed in Syriac and then translated into Arabic. Sig…

 Tafṣīl al-zamān wa-maṣāliḥ al-abdān

(631 words)

Author(s): Monferrer Sala, Juan Pedro
Division of seasons and benefits of bodies Rabīʿ ibn Zayd Date: About 961 or soon after Original Language: Arabic Description Rabīʿ ibn Zayd’s Kitāb tafṣīl al-zamān wa-maṣāliḥ al-abdān (also known as Kitāb al-azmān), which was evidently a liturgical calendar, is extant only as a series of quotations in the Kitāb al-anwāʾ of ʿArīb ibn Saʿīd al-Kātib (d. 980) (q.v.). This work is preserved in an Arabic version written in Hebrew letters, and also in a Latin translation, the Liber anoe. This translation contains more saints’ names than the Arabic. Many of the passages about Ch…

 Tafsīr al-amāna al-kabīr

(192 words)

Author(s): Monferrer Sala, Juan Pedro
Commentary on the Creed Elias of Nisibis Date: Before 1046 Original Language: Arabic Description This work is divided into 19 parts ( fuṣūṣ) corresponding to the elements into which Elias divides the Creed. Each is given in Syriac, together with what is an Arabic paraphrase ( tafsīr) followed by a commentary ( taʾwīl). Significance It is clear that Elias writes about the Trinity and Incarnation with the views of Muslims, as well as Jacobites and Melkites, in mind. Manuscripts MS Vat - Ar. 143, fols 127r-148v (12th-13th century; missing some folios) MS Beirut, Bibliothèque orientale – …

 Tafsīr al-Ruʾyā

(456 words)

Author(s): N. Swanson, Mark
Commentary on the Apocalypse Ibn Kātib Qayṣar Date: 1266-67 Original Language: Arabic Description Ibn Kātib Qayṣar’s Commentary on the Apocalypse is a book-length work of considerable erudition. As Davis (‘Introducing an Arabic commentary’, p. 83) points out, the author is interested in the etymology of words; is fond of systematic classification; pays attention to historical context; and regularly cites earlier commentators, especially Hippolytus of Rome. (For a list of cited authors, see Graf, GCAL ii, p. 383.) Davis points out the author’s sensitivity with regard …

 Tafsīr Sifr al-Takwīn; Tafsīr Sifr al-Khurūj; Tafsīr Sifr al-Aḥbār

(1,532 words)

Author(s): N. Swanson, Mark
Commentaries on Genesis, Exodus, and Leviticus; Commentary on the Pentateuch Marqus ibn al-Qunbar Date: Unknown, between 1174 and 1208 Original Language: Arabic Description The Commentary on the Pentateuch poses a thicket of difficulties to the student: there are five books of commentary (although full commentaries, as opposed to brief glosses, have only been preserved for the first three) in four recensions (at least for the Genesis commentary), with varying attributions of authorship. While there are modern editions of …

 Tajrīd sayf al-himma li-istikhrāj mā fī dhimmat al-dhimma

(1,503 words)

Author(s): Yarbrough, Luke
‘Drawing the sword of ambition to extract what is owed by the dhimmīs’ Al-Nābulusī Date: Approximately 1240-41 Original Language: Arabic Description The Tajrīd sayf al-himma was written shortly after the Ayyubid sovereign al-Malik al-Ṣāliḥ had promulgated a decree re-imposing a number of social and legal disabilities on non-Muslims (c. 1239-40). Al-Nābulusī addressed his work to this ruler, whom he sought to persuade that the anti- dhimmī decree should be followed by an initiative to cleanse the bureaucracy of non-Muslim officials, particularly Copts. More sp…

 Takhjīl ahl al-Injīl wa-l-nahj al-ṣaḥīḥ fī radd ʿalā man baddala dīn ʿĪsā ibn Maryam al-Masīḥ

(706 words)

Author(s): Hoover, Jon
Al-takhjīl li-man baddala l-Tawrāt wa-l-Injīl; Al-takhjīl li-man ḥarrafa l-Tawrāt wa-l-Injīl‘The shaming of the followers of the Gospel and the correct way to refute those who have changed the religion of Jesus, son of Mary, the Christ’, ‘The shaming of those who have altered the Torah and the Gospel', 'The shaming of those who have corrupted the Torah and the Gospel' Ibn Taymiyya Date: Unknown; possibly before 1316 Original Language: Arabic Description Takhjīl ahl al-Injīl exists independently in two known manuscripts, one at the Bodleian Library in Oxford and anoth…

 Takhjīl man ḥarrafa al-Tawrāh wa-l-Injīl

(1,113 words)

Author(s): Demiri, Lejla
Takhjīl‘The shaming of those who have altered the Torah and the Gospel’, 'Shaming' Al-Jaʿfarī Date: Unknown (but before 1221) Original Language: Arabic Description The Takhjīl is al-Jaʿfarī’s first book in refutation of Jewish and Christian beliefs. As expressed in the prolegomena of his second work, Al-bayān al-wāḍiḥ, al-Jaʿfarī wrote the Takhjīl in the early days of his youth (ed. Triebs, p. 4), and its structure and text served as the basis for his two later books in the field, the Bayān and the Radd. In writing the Takhjīl, al-Jaʿfarī’s intention was first to demonstrate the t…

 Al-takmila li-Kitāb al-Ṣila

(629 words)

Author(s): Al-Jallad, Nader
‘The completion of the Continuation’ Ibn al-Abbār Date: 1253 Original Language: Arabic Description Al-takmila li-Kitāb al-Ṣila is considered one of the most valuable sources of information about al-Andalus, especially during the first century of Islamic rule. It provides biographies of at least 34 scholars not found in any other source. The book was written following the Andalusian tradition of biographical works. It is a continuation of Ibn Bashkuwāl’s Kitāb al-Ṣila (q.v.), itself a continuation of Ibn al-Faraḍī’s Taʾrīkh ʿulamāʾ al-Andalus. In fact, it can be considered …

 Talbīs Iblīs

(785 words)

Author(s): Mallett, Alex
The devil’s deception Ibn al-Jawzī Date: Late 1190s Original Language: Arabic Description This work is a lengthy discussion about the numerous ways in which Ibn al-Jawzī believes Satan deceives the members of various sects, those who practice rituals, and various types of people, including the intelligent, the ignorant, observant Muslims, Shīʿīs, and followers of other religions. The number of people covered is deliberately so wide in order to ensure that no-one is omitted – that Satan deceives everybody. H…

 Tālī Kitāb wafayāt al-aʿyān

(502 words)

Author(s): N. Swanson, Mark
'The continuation of "Obituaries of prominent people"' Ibn al-Ṣuqāʿī Date: 1325-26 Original Language: Arabic Description Ibn al-Ṣuqāʿī’s Tālī is a work very familiar in form to students of medieval Arabic literature: the biographical dictionary. One of the monuments of this genre is the Kitāb wafayāt al-aʿyān (‘Obituaries of prominent people’) of Ibn Khallikān (d. 1282); Ibn al-Suqāʿī made a condensed version of this work (now lost) and added his Tālī or ‘Continuation’. This Tālī originally consisted of 300 notices arranged alphabetically by name, treating selected p…

 Al-taʿlīq ʿalā al-Anājīl al-arbaʿa wa-l-taʿlīq ʿalā al-Tawrāh wa-ʿalā ghayrihā min kutub al-anbiyāʾ

(887 words)

Author(s): Demiri, Lejla
Al-taʿlīq ʿalā al-Anājīl‘Critical commentary on the four Gospels, the Torah and other books of the prophets’, ‘Critical commentary on the Gospels’ Al-Ṭūfī Date: Early 1308 (before April) Original Language: Arabic Description Written for polemical purposes, the Taʿlīq contains al-Ṭūfī’s critical comments and annotations on the Bible. It starts with an untitled introduction in which al-Ṭūfī explains the reason behind his writing such a book on the Christian scripture and the principles he will follow. In the subsequent sections, he …

 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…

 Tanbīh al-ghāfilīn al-ḥayārā, ʿalā mā warada min al-nahy ʿan al-tashbīh bi-l-Naṣārā

(287 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
‘Warning to those who are confused and neglectful, on the prohibition handed down against resembling Christians’ Aḥmad ibn Abī Bakr Date: 1428 Original Language: Arabic Description This short work, less than 10 folios long, is concerned to emphasize the distinctions between Muslims and Christians, and to remind Muslims who appear too lax in following the teachings that prohibit over-familiarity and copying, particularly with regard to religious observances and festivals. Aḥmad adduces verses from the Qur’an and Hadiths, and he also cites earlier scholars, among t…

 Taʿrīf al-tabdīl fī taḥrīf al-Injīl

(139 words)

Author(s): Yarbrough, Luke
'Intimation about substitution concerning falsification of the Gospel' Ibn al-Durayhim Date: Between about 1330 and 1360 Original Language: Arabic Description All that is known of this work is its title. It was evidently written to assert the well-known doctrine of taḥrīf, the deliberate falsification of pre-qur’anic scripture, in this case of the Gospel by Christians. The term tabdīl suggests that it may have laid special emphasis on the notion that the Christians had substituted some words and phrases for others, though taḥrīf and tabdīl are often used interchangeably. Significan…


(948 words)

Author(s): Thomas, David
Ta’rīkhHistory Al-Yaʿqūbī Date: 872 or soon after Original Language: Arabic Description The Taʾrīkh is a universal history with a structure similar to the works of al-Ṭabarī (q.v.), al-Masʿūdī (q.v.) and later historians. It is the earliest such work that is accessible, and it has been claimed as the first work of this kind. It begins with an account of the creation of the world (now lost), then in the first part traces the history from Adam to the coming of Islam, and in the second part traces Islamic history to the mid-9th century, ending at the year of the downfall of the Ṭāhirids.…
▲   Back to top   ▲