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Medieval Exegesis and Religious DifferenceCommentary, Conflict, and Community in the Premodern Mediterranean$
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Ryan Szpiech

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780823264629

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823264629.001.0001

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Ibn al-Maḥrūmah’s Notes on Ibn Kammūnah’s Examination of the Three Religions

Ibn al-Maḥrūmah’s Notes on Ibn Kammūnah’s Examination of the Three Religions

The Issue of the Abrogation of Mosaic Law

Chapter:
(p.40) 2 Ibn al-Maḥrūmah’s Notes on Ibn Kammūnah’s Examination of the Three Religions
Source:
Medieval Exegesis and Religious Difference
Author(s):

Sidney Griffith

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823264629.003.0002

This chapter treats the notes (al-ḥawāshī) written by one Ibn al-Maḥrūmah in the fourteenth century, written as glosses to the Tanqīḥ al-abḥāth li-l-milal al-thalāth (An Overview of Investigations into the Views of the Three Faiths) by thirteenth-century Baghdādī Jew Ibn Kammūnah. This well-known latter text was a comparison of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, probably written in response to the anti-Jewish polemic Ifḥām al-yahūd (Silencing the Jews) by the twelfth-century convert from Judaism to Islam Samawʾal al-Maghribī. In his notes, written only for the sections on Judaism and Christianity, Ibn al-Maḥrūmah discusses in detail the Islamic notion of abrogation, focusing in particular on the abrogation of the sharīʿah (Law) of Moses. By adopting Islamic views of Judaism such as those espoused by Samawʾal al-Maghribī and by attacking and rejecting Ibn Kammūnah’s arguments, Ibn al-Maḥrūmah is able to make use of the Muslim belief in the abrogation of Mosaic law as an implicit support for Christian claims of supersession. Griffith argues that Ibn al-Maḥrūmah’s discussion shows signs of an “Islamicization of Christian apologetics,” which makes use of Islamic beliefs and anti-Jewish polemic (based largely on exegetical arguments) to support his own views on Judaism.

Keywords:   Ibn al-Maḥrūmah, Ibn Kammūnah, Samawʾal al-Maghribī, Christian-Muslim polemics, Jewish-Muslim polemics, abrogation, Mosaic law

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