Muslim writers on Judaism and the Hebrew Bible: from Ibn Rabban to Ibn Hazm

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Examines the way in which the Jewish religion and its scriptures were viewed by Ibn Hazm (11th century) and eight of his predecessors, representing different genres of Islamic literature, in order to establish whether, in his writings against Judaism, Ibn Hazm was following a tradition or departing from one. Looks at three issues frequently debated between Muslims and Jews: the abrogation of the Law, the proofs of Muhammad's prophethood, and the alleged misinterpretation of the contents of the Bible by the Jews ("tahrif"). Ibn Hazm was the only one who used biblical quotations to demonstrate that the Torah and the other books of the Bible were forgeries. Suggests that Ibn Hazm was highly influenced by the Karaites, to whom he owed many of his arguments against mainstream Judaism. Ibn Hazm's vituperative language has led some scholars to consider him a virtual antisemite. However, this assessment needs to be qualified: he attacked Christians just as vehemently as he did the Jews; his verbal abuse was a rhetorical device; and he did not discourage contacts between Muslims and dhimmis, especially with a view to converting the latter to Islam.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLeiden
PublisherE.J. Brill
Number of pages320
ISBN (Print)9004100342, 9789004100343
StatePublished - 1996

Publication series

NameIslamic philosophy, theology, and science
PublisherE.J. Brill

ULI Keywords

  • uli
  • Arabic literature -- History and criticism
  • Arabic literature -- Jewish authors -- History and criticism
  • Islam -- History
  • Islam -- Relations -- Judaism
  • Judaism -- Relations -- Islam


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