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Muslim-Christian Polemic during the Crusades

The Letter from the People of Cyprus and Ibn Abī Ṭālib al-Dimashqī’s Response

Edited by Rifaat Ebied and Thomas David

This volume comprises an edition and English translation of the response in Arabic made by the fourteenth century scholar Ibn Abī Ṭālib al-Dimashqī to a Letter sent to him by anonymous Christians from Cyprus. The Christian letter was also sent to al-Dimashqī’s contemporary Ibn Taymiyya, and this response is thus a parallel to Ibn Taymiyya’s Al-jawāb al-ṣaḥīḥ.
In their Letter the Christians subtly suggest that the Qur’an supports Christian doctrines. Al-Dimashqī replies with a comprehensive series of elaborate and wide-ranging arguments that incorporate not only themes familiar from earlier polemical works but also his own original points. His response is thus an important source of information about the development of Muslim interfaith attitudes, and a significant example of polemic in the later medieval period.
The edition presents the two parts of this correspondence in parallel Arabic and English versions, together with an extensive introduction, textual notes and commentary.
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Edited by Rifaat Ebied and David Thomas

Acknowledged as a leading medical expert in his day, and secretary to a succession of caliphs in the mid-ninth century, the Nestorian Christian ʿAlī ibn Rabban al-Ṭabarī converted to Islam around the age of 70. He then wrote Radd ʿalā l-Naṣārā, a recantation of his former faith, and Kitāb al-dīn wa-l-dawla, a defence of the Prophet Muḥammad based substantially on biblical proof-texts. The range of arguments he produced against the soundness of his former faith in these two works influenced sections of Islamic scholarship for many centuries.
These new editions and translations of his works are based on all the available evidence for the texts, accompanied by extensive introductions and studies of their place in Islamic thought.



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Rifaat Ebied and David Thomas

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Rifaat Ebied and David Thomas

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Rifaat Ebied and David Thomas

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Rifaat Ebied and David Thomas