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4 ʿAmmār al-Baṣrī (d.c. 840)

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Chapter Summary

The few available details of ʿAmmār al-Baṣrī's life and activity are now fairly well known. Originally placed somewhere between the tenth and thirteenth centuries, there is now strong evidence to suggest that ʿAmmār actually lived during the early ninth century, thus being a contemporary of both Theodore Abū Qurra and Abū Rāʾiṭa. A reference found in one of ʿAmmār's works to "a king of our time who left his kingdom with all of his soldiers for the Roman lands in pursuit of a woman in a citadel", seems to refer to an expedition carried out by the Caliph al-Muʿtaṣim in 838. From the very outset of his discussion of the Trinity in his Kitāb al-burhān, 'Book of Proof', ʿAmmār gives a telling description of a Muslim belief about God, who, "they say is living and speaking yet lifeless; He has no life and no word".

Keywords: Kitāb al-burhān; ʿAmmār al-Baṣrī; Book of proof; God; Muslim belief



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