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  • Author or Editor: Mohammad Ali Tabataba’i x
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The Iranian Jewish scholar Rabbi Mullā Āqā Bābā (d. 1849), who converted to Twelver Shiʿi Islam in 1822, is known to modern scholars solely through a posthumous lithograph version of his refutation of his former religion, which was published in 1875 under the dual title Manqūl al-Riḍāʾī and Iqāmat al-shuhūd fī radd al-Yahūd (“The sayings transmitted by Riḍāʾī” and “The stand of the witnesses to refute the Jews”). This article aims to shed new light on this book and its author(s) by studying two hitherto unstudied manuscripts of the work, which predate the lithograph version. It also seeks to highlight the role of later editors in transmitting Mullā Āqā Bābā’s writings to subsequent generations under different titles and in variant forms. Through a literary comparison of the manuscripts and the lithograph version, we try to distinguish the urtext from several layers of modifications made by later scribes and editors.

In: Shii Studies Review


Reuven Firestone in his works on the concept of holy war in Islam has criticized the traditional resolution for the problem of disparity between the Qurʾānic verses on war and suggested a new interpretation of the relationship between the verses. This paper aims to reevaluate Firestone’s contribution by taking a closer look at his critique of the traditional theory as well as his alternative suggestion. This study shows that what Firestone attributes to the Muslim tradition is a mistaken projection of some modern views onto the early authorities. The ambivalent stance of Firestone towards the historicity of the early Muslim literature results in a loose hypothesis regarding the formation of the Qurʾānic verses on war which neither meets the traditional specifications, nor satisfies the criteria of the skeptic party of Islamicists.

In: Al-Bayan: Journal of Qur'an and Hadith Studies