A Muslim Theologian in the Sectarian Milieu: Abd al-Jabbar by Gabriel Reynolds

By Gabriel Reynolds

In 385 AH/AD 995 the Qadi 'Abd al-Jabbar, renowned for his Mu'tazili theological writings, wrote the affirmation of the Proofs of Prophecy, a piece that features a artistic polemic opposed to Christianity. 'Abd al-Jabbar reinterprets the Bible, Church background (especially the lives of Paul and Constantine) and Christian perform to argue that Christians replaced the Islamic faith of Jesus. the current paintings starts with an exam of the debatable concept that this polemic was once borrowed from an unknown Judaeo-Christian staff. the writer argues that 'Abd al-Jabbar's polemic is best understood as a reaction to his specific milieu and the on-going inter-religious debates of the medieval Islamic global. via studying the lifestyles and considered 'Abd al-Jabbar, besides the Islamic, Christian and Jewish antecedants to his polemic, the writer uncovers the intimate dating among sectarian controversy and the improvement of an Islamic doctrine on Christianity.

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5 Ibn al-Athìr relates that Mas'ùd “crucified many of the Bà†iniyya and banished the Mu'tazila to Khuràsàn. He burned the books of the philosophers, the Mu'tazila and the astronomers, filling up about one hundred loads with their books” (8:170). Gardìzì provides the following account: “Thus they brought news to the prince Ma˙mùd (may God have mercy on him) that in the city of Rayy and its surroundings there were many people from the Bà†iniyya and the Qaràmi†a. He commanded that those accused of being from that school be brought forward and stoned.

Louvain-Paris: Peeters, 1986), especially 1:177ff. Cf. al-Mas'ùdì, Murùj al-dhahab, ed. Mufìd Mu˙ammad Qamì˙a, 4 vols. ), 3:120. the historical context of 'abd al-jabbàr’s CRITIQUE 23 pillar in the mosque. ” Thus the movement received its name: Mu'tazila. 17 H. M. Watt, meanwhile, 17 Shahrastànì’s narrative became canonical in western scholarship partly due to the fact that it is in one of the first historical works to be published and translated into both English and German (W. Cureton, Kitâb al-milal wan-ni˙al.

This ambivalent attitude is perhaps characteristic for the Jewish Christians, many of whom may have ostensibly belonged to a recognized Christian Church” (p. 24). Speaking about 'Abd al-Jabbàr’s reference to a Syriac work, Pines comments: “It is true that in the context these words seem to apply in the first place to Nestorian texts; but there is a distinct possibility that they also applied to Jewish Christian writings which may have been preserved by the Nestorians. Indeed some of the latter may have been crypto-Jewish Christians” (p.

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