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Arabic

(4 words)

Author(s): Roggema, Barbara
Barbara Roggema
Date: 2019-03-25

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…

 To Mār Naṣr, Letter 35

(443 words)

Author(s): Roggema, Barbara
To Mār Naṣr, Letter 35 Timothy (Ṭīmāteʾōs), East-Syrian patriarch Date: Unknown, probably between 785 and 789 Original Language: Syriac Description This letter is concerned with the accurate expression of two fundamental Christian doctrines. In the first part, Timothy explains that Christians believe in one God, who is eternally living and rational. While his living eternally implies He has a Spirit who proceeds from Him eternally, His being rational eternally implies the possession of a Word begotten outside of ti…

 Al-burhān

(1,425 words)

Author(s): Roggema, Barbara
The Proof Abū l-Ḥasan ʿAlī ibn Yaḥyā ibn al-Munajjim Date: Before 873 Original Language: Arabic Description This work belongs to the genre of ‘proofs of prophethood’ treatises (of which several were written in the 9th century) by way of an invitation to Islam, sent to Ḥunayn ibn Isḥāq (q.v.) and Qusṭā ibn Lūqā. It is one of the earliest texts to focus heavily on the inimitability of the Qur’ān in the context of the theological-apologetic search for an absolute proof of Muḥammad’s prophethood. The author structured his proof arou…

Unknown author

(52 words)

Author(s): Roggema, Barbara
The Confession which Kaʿb al-Aḥbār handed down to the Ishmaelites 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 Tawditā d-ashlem l-Ishmaʿlāyē Kaʿb sāprā – dukhrāneh l-lūttā Barbara Roggema

 Tashʿitā d-rabban Sargīs

(1,313 words)

Author(s): Roggema, Barbara
The story of Rabban Sergius, The Legend of Sergius BaḥīrāThe Baḥīrā legend Unknown author Date: Unknown, probably early 9th c. Original Language: Syriac Description This ‘story’ is a Syriac polemical legend that seeks to explain the rise of Islam from a Christian perspective. It purports to reveal the influence of a Christian monk on Muḥammad during his early life and the beginning of his mission as prophet, and it exploits the story found in the Muslim biographies of Muḥammad (e.g. Ibn Isḥāq’s Sīra) about a monk called Baḥīrā who recognized Muḥammad as the true and final prophet. The legen…

 Majlis dhakara[hu] Īliyya muṭrān Naṣībīn ḥaḍarahu Isrāʾīl al-Kaskarī

(1,031 words)

Author(s): Roggema, Barbara
A disputation reported by Elijah, Metropolitan of Nisibis, which Israel of Kashkar attended, The Debate between Israel of Kashkar and al-Sarakhsī Unknown author Date: Unknown, probably 2nd half of 9th c. Original Language: Arabic Description This text purports to be a report of a religious debate that took place between the East-Syrian bishop Israel of Kashkar (d. 872, q.v.) and Aḥmad ibn al-Ṭayyib al-Sarakhsī, student of the famous Muslim philosopher and polymath Abū Yūsuf al-Kindī (q.v.). The latter is said to have been the ins…

Unknown author

(64 words)

Author(s): Roggema, Barbara
The Disputation between a monk of Bēt Ḥālēand an Arab notable Date of Birth: Unknown Place of Birth: Unknown Date of Death: Unknown, probably 8th c. Place of Death: Unknown, probably Iraq Biography -- Primary Sources of Information -- Secondary Sources of Information -- Works on Christian-Muslim Relations Drāshā da-hwā l-ḥad men Ṭayyāyē ʿam iḥidāyā ḥad b-ʿumrā d-Bēt Ḥālē Barbara Roggema

 Kitāb dalīl al-ḥāʾir

(113 words)

Author(s): Roggema, Barbara
Guide for the confused Yūḥannā ibn al-Ṣalt Date: Unknown, 2nd half of 9th c.? Original Language: Arabic Description An apologetic exposé of the Christian religion, according to Sbath, Fihris i, p. 7. Significance The work may have been contained arguments in defense of Christianity that were specifically designed to respond to the challenge of Islamic doctrine, but this cannot be determined until a manuscript can be accessed. Manuscripts MS Cairo - Ṣalīb (inaccessible MS in the private collection of ʿAbd al-Masīḥ Ṣalīb al-Masʿūdī, cf. Sbath, Fihris i, p. 7) Editions & Translations -- St…

Unknown author

(50 words)

Author(s): Roggema, Barbara
Pseudo-Leo III’s first letter to ʿUmar II Date of Birth: Unknown, 8th c.? Place of Birth: Unknown Date of Death: Unknown, 8th c.? Place of Death: Unknown Biography -- Primary Sources of Information -- Secondary Sources of Information -- Works on Christian-Muslim Relations Title unknown Barbara Roggema

Unknown author

(51 words)

Author(s): Roggema, Barbara
Pseudo-ʿUmar II’s letter to Leo III Date of Birth: Unknown, 8th c.? Place of Birth: Unknown Date of Death: Unknown, 8th/9th c.? Place of Death: Unknown, probably Syria Biography -- Primary Sources of Information -- Secondary Sources of Information -- Works on Christian-Muslim Relations Title uncertain Barbara Roggema

 Risālat Abī l-Rabīʿ Muḥammad ibn al-Layth allatī katabahā li-l-Rashīd ilā Qusṭanṭīn malik al-Rūm

(1,610 words)

Author(s): Roggema, Barbara
The Letter of Abū l-Rabīʿ Muḥammad ibn al-Layth which he wrote for al-Rashīd to the Byzantine emperor Constantine Abū l-Rabīʿ Muḥammad ibn al-Layth Date: c. 796 Original Language: Arabic Description The Risāla has come down to us through Ibn Abī Ṭāhir Ṭayfūr (d. 893), who included it in volume 12 of his al-Manthūr wa-l-manẓūm, and its authenticity has not been questioned by modern scholars. It can be dated with some precision to between 790 and 797. At the time of Hārūn al-Rashīd’s accession in 786, the Empress Irene ruled the Byzantine empire on …

Unknown author

(53 words)

Author(s): Roggema, Barbara
The Affair of the death of Muḥammad Date of Birth: Unknown, perhaps 8th/9th c. Place of Birth: Unknown Date of Death: Unknown, perhaps 8th/9th c. Place of Death: Unknown Biography -- Primary Sources of Information -- Secondary Sources of Information -- Works on Christian-Muslim Relations ʿEltā d-mawteh d-Muḥammad Barbara Roggema

 ʿEltā d-mawteh d-Muḥammad

(481 words)

Author(s): Roggema, Barbara
The affair of the death of Muḥammad Unknown author Date: Unknown, perhaps 8th/9th c. Original Language: Syriac Description This short polemical tale is to be found as an appendix to the East-Syrian recension of the Legend of Sergius Baḥīrā (q.v.). It relates how the Jew Kaʿb al-Aḥbār told Muḥammad's followers that their prophet was the Paraclete promised by Christ and that on the third day after his death he would rise up and go to heaven, to Christ who sent him. It explains that history proved Kaʿb wrong: when Muḥammad died, his fo…

 Title uncertain

(1,728 words)

Author(s): Roggema, Barbara
The Letter of ʿUmar ibn ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz to Leo, King of the Christian infidelsThe Letter of ʿUmar II to Leo III Unknown author Date: Unknown, probably mid/late 8th c. Original Language: Arabic Description Several Eastern Christian and Muslim sources from the 9th and 10th centuries make mention of the fact that the Umayyad Caliph ʿUmar ibn ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz (r. 717-20) corresponded with the Byzantine emperor Leo III (r. 717-41) about religion (Kaplony, Konstantinopel und Damascus, pp. 207-37). The Armenian History of Ghewond (q.v.) contains a fairly long refutation of Islam which…

 Drāshā da-hwā l-ḥad men Ṭayyāyē ʿam iḥidāyā ḥad b-ʿumrā d-Bēt Ḥālē

(2,002 words)

Author(s): Roggema, Barbara
The Disputation that took place between one of the Arabs and a certain monk from the monastery of Bēt ḤālēThe Disputation between a monk of Bēt Ḥālē and an Arab notable (with slight variants) Unknown author Date: Probably 720s Original Language: Syriac Description This East-Syrian religious disputation between a monk and an Arab, which covers only 8 folios in the accessible manuscript, is one of the oldest surviving examples of the disputation genre of Christian apologetics vis-à-vis Islam. It is presented as a report of a live encounter and cast in the format of ‘question-and-answer’. Th…

Unknown author

(53 words)

Author(s): Roggema, Barbara
The Debate between Israel of Kashkar and al-Sarakhsī 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 Majlis dhakara[hu] Īliyya muṭrān Naṣībīn ḥaḍarahu Isrāʾīl al-Kaskarī Barbara Roggema

 Syāmā ʿal haymānutā

(333 words)

Author(s): Roggema, Barbara
Treatise on faith Job of Edessa, Job ‘the Spotted’, Ayyub Urhāyā, Ayyūb al-Ruhāwī ‘al-Abrash’ Date: Unknown, probably before 817 Original Language: Syriac Description This is another lost apologetic treatise to which Job refers in the Book of treasures (Mingana, p. 458, trans. p. 279). He mentions that it treated various aspects of the Christian faith, such as the unitarian and trinitarian nature of God, the necessity of baptism, the eucharist, worship to the east, i.e. apologetic topics of crucial importance to Christians in the M…

 Amārāt al-nubuwwa

(176 words)

Author(s): Roggema, Barbara
Tokens of prophethood Abū Isḥāq Ibrāhīm ibn Yaʿqūb ibn Isḥāq al-Saʿdī al-Jūzajānī Date: Before 873 Original Language: Arabic Description The contents of the work can only be known after examination of the surviving fragment in Damascus (Sezgin, GAS i, p. 135). Like other works of this genre, it may have contained stories about Muḥammad's life which showed divine support for his mission, notably his miracles and prophetic foreknowledge of events, and called for Jews and Christians to acknowledge that Islam abrogated their religions.…

 Pamet’ i Žitie blaženago učitelja našego Kostantina Filosofa prěvago nastav’nika sloven’sku jezyku

(1,516 words)

Author(s): Roggema, Barbara
Vita ConstantiniMemory and life of our blessed teacher Constantine the Philosopher, the first educator of the Slavonic peopleThe Life of Constantine-Cyril Unknown author Date: Between 873 and 880 Original Language: Old Church Slavonic Description The Life of Constantine-Cyril describes the life of the Christian missionary to the Slavs who became known as St Cyril. Born in 826/27 in Thessaloniki, Constantine was ordained in Constantinople, where he became widely known for his erudition. The greatest achievement for which he is rem…

 Tawditā d-ashlem l-Ishmaʿlāyē Kaʿb sāprā – dukhrāneh l-lūttā

(647 words)

Author(s): Roggema, Barbara
The Confession which Kaʿb the scribe – cursed be his memory – handed down to the Ishmaelites Unknown author Date: Unknown, 8th/9th c.? Original Language: Syriac Description This brief and somewhat cryptic piece of anti-Muslim polemic is to be found as an appendix to the East-Syrian recension of the Legend of Sergius Baḥīrā (q.v.). It describes how the ‘Sons of Ishmael’ had an idol called al-Kabar, who was the devil (‘Iblīs’), and how the worship of this idol resembles the demonic polytheistic and dualistic worship of the Persians, the Ephesians,…

 Untitled

(722 words)

Author(s): Roggema, Barbara
Untitled story no. 19 in ‘The Chapters of the miracles’ in the appendix to the Georgian version of John Moschus’ Spiritual meadow Unknown author Date: mid 7th c.? Original Language: Greek Description This brief didactic story is found in an appendix to the Georgian translation of John Moschus’ Spiritual meadow, among 30 short stories all believed to have been composed in Greek, then translated into Arabic and later into Georgian. Some of them, including this one, have only survived in Georgian. Others, which also survive in their Greek origina…

 To Mār Naṣr, Letter 36

(558 words)

Author(s): Roggema, Barbara
To Mār Naṣr, Letter 36 Timothy (Ṭīmāteʾōs), East-Syrian patriarch Date: Unknown, after Letter 35, probably between 785 and 789 Original Language: Syriac Description Like Letter 35, this is addressed to the Christian Naṣr and is again apologetic in nature. Timothy explains that it is written against those who denigrate the majesty of Christ. He does not only mean Muslims here, but also Jews, Manicheans, Arians and Marcionites. Hurst has noted that Timothy's approach is somewhat different from that employed in his apolo…

 C’amebaj c’midisa mikaelisi romeli iq’o lavrasac’midi mamisa čuenisa sabajssa

(1,433 words)

Author(s): Roggema, Barbara
The Martyrdom of Saint Michael who was in the great lavra of our holy father Saba Unknown author Date: 9th c. or 10th c. Original Language: Arabic Description The Martyrdom is said to have been narrated to the unnamed author by a certain Basil of Mār Saba, which is perhaps an allusion to the Basil who was hegoumenos of the monastery at the turn of the 9th century, according to Stephen Manṣūr (q.v.). Basil supposedly heard the story about Michael’s martyrdom from Theodore Abū Qurra (q.v.), when he visited him in his cell. Theodore relates to him how the Umayyad Caliph ʿAbd al-Malik, on a…

 To the priests and faithful of Basra and Hūballaṭ, Letter 34

(649 words)

Author(s): Roggema, Barbara
To the priests and faithful of Baṣra and Hūballaṭ, Letter 34 Timothy (Ṭīmāteʾōs), East-Syrian patriarch Date: Unknown, probably between 785 and 789 Original Language: Syriac Description This letter is intended to set out how the title ‘servant of God’ should be properly understood when applied to Christ. It begins with an explanation of how the fact that Christ ‘took the form of a servant’ (cf. Philippians 2:7) has only a metaphorical meaning, and how the term ‘servant’ can never be applied to either his divinity or his …

Job of Edessa, Job ‘the Spotted’, Ayyub Urhāyā, Ayyūb al-Ruhāwī ‘al-Abrash’

(847 words)

Author(s): Roggema, Barbara
Job of Edessa Date of Birth: Unknown, probably c. 760 Place of Birth: Probably Edessa Date of Death: Unknown, after 832 Place of Death: Unknown Biography Job of Edessa was a philosopher, physician and translator in Baghdad during the caliphate of al-Maʾmūn. His association with the ʿAbbasid court is evidenced by the fact that he was one of al-Maʾmūn’s physicians, at least according to a late source (Yāqūt, Irshād). At the opening of his Book of treasures, he is called ‘chief physician’ ( resh asawātā). Job’s translation activity was predominantly in the field of medicine; the fa…

Unknown author

(137 words)

Author(s): Roggema, Barbara
The Life of Constantine-Cyril Date of Birth: Unknown, probably 9th c. Place of Birth: Unknown Date of Death: Unknown, 9th or 10th c. Place of Death: Unknown Biography Constantine was called Cyril in his later life, and he and his brother Methodius are known as the 'apostles of the southern Slavs'. His Life was written not long after his death in 869, and the fact that the author was familiar with the details of his youth and used a high literary style has led some scholars to identify him as his brother Methodius. This is plausible, although it cannot be stated with any certainty. Primary Sources …

Unknown author

(50 words)

Author(s): Roggema, Barbara
The affair of the Qurʾān Date of Birth: Unknown, perhaps 8th/9th c. Place of Birth: Unknown Date of Death: Unknown, perhaps 8th/9th c. Place of Death: Unknown Biography -- Primary Sources of Information -- Secondary Sources of Information -- Works on Christian-Muslim Relations ʿEltā d-Quran Barbara Roggema

 Kayfiyyat idrāk ḥaqīqat al-diyāna

(1,608 words)

Author(s): Roggema, Barbara
Kitāb ilā ʿAlī ibn Yaḥyā jawāb kitābihi fīmā daʿāhu ilayhi min dīn al-islāmHow to discern the truth of a religion (with variations)A work written to ʿAlī ibn Yaḥyā [ibn al-Munajjim] in response to the work in which he invited him to the religion of Islam Abū Zayd Ḥunayn ibn Isḥāq al-ʿIbādī Date: Unknown Original Language: Arabic Description This text is another of the few works by Ḥunayn that deal exclusively with religion, constituting a defense of Christianity in response to pressure to convert to Islam. The work is known in two different recensions…

 Syāmā ḥad b-yad ʿesrā sulughismē kyānāyē da-mḥawwēn ʿal mshiḥā d-Alāhā hu w-barnāshā  

(432 words)

Author(s): Roggema, Barbara
Treatise containing ten syllogisms taken from the nature of things, which prove that Christ is both God and man, Treatise to prove that Christ is both God and man Job of Edessa, Job ‘the Spotted’, Ayyub Urhāyā, Ayyūb al-Ruhāwī ‘al-Abrash’ Date: Unknown, probably before 817 Original Language: Syriac Description This treatise is only known through a later work of Job of Edessa, the Book of treasures, in which he briefly explains its content and purpose, as follows: ‘Our aim has generally been in all our works to demonstrate our statements from the nature of thi…

Unknown author

(46 words)

Author(s): Roggema, Barbara
Anonymous Refutation of the Christians 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 Kitāb al-radd ʿalā l-Naṣārā Barbara Roggema

 To Sergius, Letter 40

(927 words)

Author(s): Roggema, Barbara
To Sergius, Letter 40 Timothy (Ṭīmāteʾōs), East-Syrian patriarch Date: Probably 782-3 Original Language: Syriac Description This letter, which is one of Timothy’s earliest, reports a debate on religion at the court of the caliph between Timothy and an unnamed notable well-versed in the philosophy of Aristotle. The latter is called mlilā, which is the Syriac rendering of mutakallim, and, although it is not stated explicitly that he is a Muslim, it is clear that he represents the Muslim mutakallimūn. After a brief introduction in which Timothy, like his contemporary Theodor…

Unknown author

(128 words)

Author(s): Roggema, Barbara
The Chapter of the miracles, 19 Date of Birth: Unknown, probably early 7th c. Place of Birth: Unknown, probably Palestine Date of Death: Unknown, probably late 7th c. Place of Death: Unknown, probably Palestine Biography Although the author of this story is unknown, another story within the same cluster of short narratives refers to Michael, priest of ‘our lavra of Mār Saba’. On the basis of this, Flusin, pp. 18-19, has raised the possibility that the whole collection was produced in this famous monastic community to the east of …

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…

 Egartā d-Mār(y) Yoḥannan patṛ iyarkā metṭụ l mamllā d-mallel ʿam amirā da-Mhaggrāyē,

(1,069 words)

Author(s): Roggema, Barbara
TheLetter of Patriarch John about his disputation with an emir of the Mhaggrāyē Unknown author Date: Unknown, between c. 640 and 874 Original Language: Syriac Description This letter purports to be a report in the form of a letter of a disputation between a Syrian Orthodox patriarch named John (Yoḥannan) and an anonymous emir (army commander/governor). The emir interrogates the patriarch on topics such as the integrity of the Bible, the divinity of Christ and the Christian sources of law. The answers given by the patriarch bear strong resemblance to themes and arguments fo…

Unknown author

(53 words)

Author(s): Roggema, Barbara
The Disputation of John and the Emir 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 Egartā d-Mār(y) Yoḥannan patṛ iyarkā metṭụ l mamllā d-mallel ʿam amirā da-Mhaggrāyē, Barbara Roggema

 Ktābā d-simātā

(1,094 words)

Author(s): Roggema, Barbara
Book of treasures Job of Edessa, Job ‘the Spotted’, Ayyub Urhāyā, Ayyūb al-Ruhāwī ‘al-Abrash’ Date: Probably c. 817 Original Language: Syriac Description This extensive work, which covers almost 300 pages in Mingana’s translation, comprises a detailed analysis of a wide range of natural phenomena which aims at detecting how the principle characteristics of the elements shape the natural world. The fact that Job states that he hopes to finish the book despite the war that was raging (p. 154), has led Mingana to assume…

 Title unknown

(571 words)

Author(s): Roggema, Barbara
Pseudo-Leo III’s first letter to ʿUmar II Unknown author Date: Unknown, probably 8th c. Original Language: Arabic Description Parts of the polemical exchanges that circulated in the form of letters written in the name of the Byzantine emperor Leo III and the Umayyad Caliph ʿUmar II have survived in three different texts. These texts form a Muslim refutation of Christianity that survives in Arabic and Aljamiado, and a Christian reply with an elaborate attack on Islam and a defense of Christianity that survives in …

 Kitāb al-burhān

(123 words)

Author(s): Roggema, Barbara
The Proof Yūḥannā ibn al-Ṣalt Date: Unknown, 2nd half 9th c.? Original Language: Arabic Description This work is a refutation of Islam, according to Sbath, Fihris, i, p. 7. Significance Since the work is inaccessible, the precise contents cannot be known, but in all likelihood it followed the trend of 9th-century Arabic Christian treatises against Islam. It is not cited in later works and we may therefore conclude that it had no significant impact on later Christian apologists. Manuscripts MS Cairo - Ṣalīb (inaccessible MS in the private collection of ʿAbd al-Masīḥ Ṣalīb a…

 Kitāb al-radd ʿalā l-Naṣārā

(710 words)

Author(s): Roggema, Barbara
The Refutation of the Christians Unknown author Date: Unknown, perhaps 8th or 9th c. Original Language: Arabic Description This anonymous Refutation of the Christians is only known indirectly through the Melkite apology for Christianity entitled Masāʾil wa-ajwiba ʿaqliyya wa-ilāhiyya or ‘Questions and answers, rational and divine’ (q.v.), which is to be found in MS Sinai – Ar. 434, fols 171r-181v. At the opening of this treatise, the author says that he wrote it in response to three critical questions about Christianity put to him b…

Yūḥannā ibn al-Ṣalt

(253 words)

Author(s): Roggema, Barbara
Biography Virtually nothing is known about this author. Graf ( GCAL ii, p. 150) raises the possibility that he is the father of the East-Syrian Catholicos and scholar Ḥanūn ibn Yūḥannā ibn al-Ṣalt ( GCAL ii, pp. 150-51), which seems likely. If this is right, we may assume that since Ḥanūn was active in the late 9th and early 10th century, Yūḥannā lived in the second half of the 9th century and was also belonged to the Church of the East. The titles of four works of his are known to us only through Paul Sbath, who found them in the private manuscript collection of ʿAbd al-Mas…

 Kitāb al-hudā

(119 words)

Author(s): Roggema, Barbara
Guidance Yūḥannā ibn al-Ṣalt Date: Unknown, 2nd half of 9th c.? Original Language: Arabic Description The work is described by Sbath ( Fihris, i, p. 7) as an exposé of Christian doctrine and ethics. Considering the title, it probably had an apologetic purpose. Significance The work may have contained arguments in defense of Christianity that were specifically designed in response to the challenge of Islamic doctrine, but this cannot be determined until manuscripts become accessible. Manuscripts MS Cairo - Ṣalīb (inaccessible MS in the private collection of ʿAbd al-Masīḥ…

 ʿEltā d-Quran

(462 words)

Author(s): Roggema, Barbara
The affair of the Qurʾān Unknown author Date: Unknown, probably 8th or 9th c. Original Language: Syriac Description This short polemical tale, which is to be found as an appendix to the East-Syrian recension of the Legend of Sergius Baḥīrā (q.v.), deals with the alleged corruption of the text of the Qurʾān during the first century of Islam. It begins with a description of how the Jew Kaʿb al-Aḥbār inserted his beliefs into the scripture originally written by the Syrian monk Sergius Baḥīrā, particularly beliefs about the lex talionis and divorce laws. He also allegedly spread the be…

Unknown author

(93 words)

Author(s): Roggema, Barbara
The Martyrdom of Michael of Mār Saba Date of Birth: Unknown, probably 8th or 9th c. Place of Birth: Unknown Date of Death: Unknown, probably 9th or 10th c. Place of Death: Unknown Biography The author of this Martyrdom does not reveal his identity, but was probably connected with the Monastery of Mār Saba, whose founder and later followers are highly praised in the epilogue. Primary Sources of Information -- Secondary Sources of Information -- Works on Christian-Muslim Relations C’amebaj c’midisa mikaelisi romeli iq’o lavrasac’midi mamisa čuenisa sabajssa Barbara Roggema

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…

Unknown author

(53 words)

Author(s): Roggema, Barbara
The Legend of Sergius Baḥīrā Date of Birth: Unknown, 8th c.? Place of Birth: Unknown, probably Iraq Date of Death: Unknown, 9th c.? Place of Death: Unknown, probably Iraq Biography -- Primary Sources of Information -- Secondary Sources of Information -- Works on Christian-Muslim Relations Tashʿitā d-rabban Sargīs Barbara Roggema

Ibn al-Maḥrūma

(543 words)

Author(s): Roggema, Barbara
Abū l-Ḥasan b. Ibrāhīm b. Yaʿqūb Makhtūmā al-Khabbāz Ibn al-Maḥrūma al-Mārdīnī was an eighth/fourteenth-century West Syrian (Miaphysite, “Jacobite”) scholar. His name reveals that he was from the town of Mardin in Northern Mesopotamia. He is primarily known for his Muslim-influenced critique of the Tanqīḥ al-abḥāth lil-milal al-thalāth (“The examination of the inquiries into the three faiths”) by the Jewish philosopher Ibn Kammūna (d. 683/1284). This work, written in 679/1280, is a meticulous comparison of the apologetic arguments of Judais…
Date: 2019-05-08

Baḥīrā

(928 words)

Author(s): Roggema, Barbara
Baḥīrā was a monk featured in several “attestation stories” in sīra (biography) literature, that is, stories in which Muḥammad is recognised as a prophet before the actual beginning of his mission. According to the well known version of Ibn Isḥāq (d. 144/761–2?) and many later versions, this monk—whose name derives from the Syriac word bḥīrā, “tested (by God) and approved”—lived in Boṣrā, in southern Syria, and had learnt from a certain book that a new prophet was to appear. When Muḥammad travelled to Syria at a young age, the monk recognised him a…
Date: 2019-05-08
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