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Ḥadīth in the Christian Arabic Kalām of Būluṣ Ibn Rajāʾ (c. 1000)

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image of Intellectual History of the Islamicate World

‭The Coptic saint and theologian Būluṣ b. Rajāʾ (b. c. 955; d. c. 1010) wrote a work entitled Kitāb al-Wāḍiḥ in which he employed kalām-style interrogation to defend Christianity and critique Islamic truth claims. As a Muslim convert to the Coptic Church in Fatimid Egypt, Ibn Rajāʾ was familiar with the Islamic ḥadīth tradition and made use of them in his religious arguments. This article examines the biography of Ibn Rajāʾ, the contents of Kitāb al-Wāḍiḥ in Ms. Paris BNF Syriac 203, and its audience. The article investigates how Ibn Rajāʾ employed oral traditions in his work, concluding that he was attracted to ḥadīths as supporting evidence for his polemics while he was also disenchanted with their lack of reliability in his apologetics.‬

Affiliations: 1: University of Illinois Springfield


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