Towards a New Edition of al-Ṣafī Ibn al-ʿAssāl’s Apologetic Works

in Intellectual History of the Islamicate World
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‭Al-Ṣafī Ibn al-ʿAssāl is well known as a canonist, but much less so as an apologist. He is the author of three major apologies and a shorter one and wrote epitomes of various apologetic works by earlier Christian writers. Following a brief outline of al-Ṣafī’s life, I shall inroduce his apologetic treatises and the works they aim to refute. For each text I will point to the earliest manuscripts and available editions and give a short outline of its contents. The article closes with a short overview on the reception of al-Ṣafī’s apologetic works and a sample edition of a short extract from his K. al-Ṣaḥāʾiḥ fī Jawāb al-naṣāʾiḥ.‬

Towards a New Edition of al-Ṣafī Ibn al-ʿAssāl’s Apologetic Works

in Intellectual History of the Islamicate World




‭AwadDirāsa pp. 75–123.


‭Awad“Al-Ṣafī ibn al-ʿAssāl” pp. 544–546.


‭Awad“Al-Ṣafī ibn al-ʿAssāl” pp. 542–544. K. al-Ṣaḥāʾiḥ is extant in two main manuscript families represented by Mss. Vatican BAV Arabic 33 dating from 1305 and Ms. Munich Bayerische Staatsbibliothek Cod. Arab. 948. Other manuscripts depend on these two copies. The unreliable edition by Marqus Jirjis (Cairo 1927) is based on a recent manuscript copy in the library of the monk ʿAbd al-Masīḥ Ṣalīb al-Baramūsī al-Masʿūdī. Some sections of the Ṣaḥāʾiḥ have been edited by Father Samir together with a French translation in Samir “L’accord des religions monothéistes” pp. 83–87 (ed. and trans. of part of chap. 10) and pp. 6f. (ed. of a part of chap. 2) and idem “La réponse d’al-Ṣafī Ibn al-ʿAssāl” (various extracts).‬


‭Al-Ṣafīal-Ṣaḥāʾiḥ p. 7.


‭Al-Ṣafīal-Ṣaḥāʾiḥ p. 88.


‭Al-Ṣafīal-Ṣaḥāʾiḥ p. 85 (al-Risāla al-Aḍḥawiyya).‬


‭Al-Ṣafīal-Ṣaḥāʾiḥ p. 20.


‭Al-Ṣafīal-Ṣaḥāʾiḥ p. 63.


‭Al-Ṣafīal-Ṣaḥāʾiḥ pp. 83–87.


‭Al-Ṣafīal-Ṣaḥāʾiḥ pp. 10–12 19. Schwarb The Reception of Maimonides pp. 16f. with n. 68.‬


‭Ed. Awad vol. 2 pp. 142–150; Italian trans. vol. 2 pp. 113–120.‬


‭See WadiDirāsa p. 186. Al-Ṣafī is explicitly mentioned in fourteen chapters and quoted in seven others. With the exception of Nahj al-Sabīl al-Muʾtaman quotes from all of al-Ṣafī’s apologetic works.‬


‭See Abū l-BarakātMisbāḥ pp. 9 10 16–20.


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