A curious and delicate correspondence: the Burhān of Ibn al-Munajjim and the Jawāb of Ḥunayn ibn Isḥāq

An important collection of ninth-century apologetic texts in Arabic consists in the Burhān of one Ibn al-Munajjim, in which he attempts to construct a proof of Muhammad's prophethood, and separate responses by the Christian scholars Ḥunayn ibn Isḥāq and Qusṭā ibn Lūqā. Although Zilio-Grandi and...

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Published in:Islam and Christian-Muslim relations
Main Author: Swanson, Mark N.
Format: Electronic/Print Article
Language:English
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Published: [2011]
In:Islam and Christian-Muslim relations
Year: 2011, Volume: 22, Issue: 2, Pages: 173-183
Further subjects:B Qusṭā ibn Lūqā
B Abbasids
B al-Mutawakkil
B Apologetic
B ‘true religion'
B Abū al-Ḥasan ʿAlī ibn Yaḥyā ibn al-Munajjim; Ḥunayn ibn Isḥāq
B proof / demonstration
B prophethood of Muhammad
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Summary:An important collection of ninth-century apologetic texts in Arabic consists in the Burhān of one Ibn al-Munajjim, in which he attempts to construct a proof of Muhammad's prophethood, and separate responses by the Christian scholars Ḥunayn ibn Isḥāq and Qusṭā ibn Lūqā. Although Zilio-Grandi and Samir's recent monograph Una corrispondenza islamo-cristiana sull'origine divina dell'Islam (Turin, 2003) focuses exclusively on the Ibn al-Munajjim-Qusṭā exchange, the present article argues that, in the form in which the texts have been preserved, Ibn al-Munajjim's Burhān is addressed to Ḥunayn, who responds to it directly. An analysis of Ḥunayn's Jawāb (a) explicates his strategy in responding to the Burhān, and (b) suggests that the Jawāb is a carefully constructed unity (rather than a few paragraphs of personal response with an appended ‘true religion' apology). The article concludes that interreligious apologetic could be a delicate and potentially dangerous matter for Christian scholars at the Abbasid court of al-Mutawakkil and his successors.
ISSN:0959-6410
Contains:Enthalten in: Islam and Christian-Muslim relations
Persistent identifiers:DOI: 10.1080/09596410.2011.560431