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 inventive 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 off with an exam of the arguable thought that this polemic was once borrowed from an unknown Judaeo-Christian crew. the writer argues that 'Abd al-Jabbar's polemic is healthier understood as a reaction to his specific milieu and the on-going inter-religious debates of the medieval Islamic international. via reading the existence and regarded 'Abd al-Jabbar, in addition to 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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Abd al-Karìm 'Uthmàn (Cairo: Maktabat al-Wahba, 1965), 291–8; al-Majmù" fì l-mu˙ì† bi-l-taklìf, ed. J. J. (vol. J. J. and D. Gimaret (vol. 2) and J. Peters (vol. 3), 3 vols. (Beirut: Dàr al-Mashriq, 1965–1999), 1:222ff. The Shar˙ is actually the work of 'Abd al-Jabbàr’s student Shashdìw Mànkdìm (A˙mad b. Abì Hàshim al-Qazwìnì, d. 425/1034), although it is largely a record of 'Abd al-Jabbàr’s opinions. 8 By discussing that context in the present chapter, moreover, I will address not only how he wrote the Critique, but also why he wrote it.

He wrote against such groups (Refutation of Adherents of the Dualists, Ibn al-Nadìm, 306) and 'Abd al-Jabbàr remembers NaΩΩàm for his devotion to the strictest doctrine of taw˙ìd (Fa∂l al-i'tizàl, 264). See also C. Pellat, “Deux curieux Mu'tazilites: A˙mad b. Óàbi† et Fa∂l al-Óadathì,” Mélanges de l’Université St. Joseph 31 (1984), 483–4; van Ess, “al-NaΩΩàm,” 1057. 56 Abù l-Hudhayl wrote several treatises against NaΩΩàm. Nyberg, “Abù l-Hudhayl al-'Allàf,” 128. It is also reported that, in the midst of a heated argument, Abù l-Hudhayl spat in NaΩΩàm’s face.

Van Ess, TG, 2:729–35, especially 730. The Zaydì al-Qàsim b. Ibràhìm al-Rassì (d. 246/860), author of a famous anti-Christian polemic, reports that Óafß engaged in a formal religious debate with a Coptic Christian. See van Ess, TG, 2:734. 50 Works entitled Radd 'alà l-naßàrà are attributed to both of them. G. Monnot maintains that Îiràr was the first to write a specifically anti-Christian work. See his “Les doctrines des chrétiens dans le ‘Moghni’ de 'Abd al-Jabbàr,” Mélanges de l’Institut dominicain d’études orientales 16 (1983), 14.

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