Muslim-Jewish Relations in the Duties of Hearts: A.S. Yahuda and His Study of Judaism

In: Jewish-Muslim Relations in Past and Present
Author: Saeko Yazaki

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This chapter examines the scholarship of A.S. Yahuda through an exploration of his analysis of Muslim-Jewish relations in al-Hidāya ilā farāʾiḍ al-qulūb (“The Right Guidance to the Religious Duties of Hearts”), and the language of the Pentateuch. In 1912 Yahuda, a scholar of the Bible and Semitics, published an Arabic edition of al-Hidāya, a popular work on Jewish ethics and spirituality originally written in Judaeo-Arabic. His edition presented the first complete Arabic-script version of this text, along with a detailed analysis of the Islamic influence on al-Hidāya. Through an examination of the way in which Yahuda studied al-Hidāya and Hebrew-Egyptian relations in the Pentateuch, this chapter attempts to contextualise Yahuda’s scholarship within the ethos of Wissenschaft des Judentums. It suggests that his understanding of Jewish literary creativity, while orientated towards the Wissenschaft, is also the product of his strong sense of belonging to the “Jews of the East”.