The Proofs of Prophecy


This book is the record of a debate that took place in the early tenth century between the famous Ismaili missionary Abū Hatim al-Rāzī and the even more celebrated Abū Bakr al-Razi , a physician and philosopher who was known to medieval Europe as “Rhazes.” These two were towering figures of premodern Islamic thought, and their debate over the dogmatic lines between Sunni and Shi’i theological positions serves to illuminate some of the most intellectually exciting topics of medieval Islamic culture. Abū Hatim, in particular, marshals evidence for his position from the Quran, the hadith, and pre-Islamic Arabic poetry as well as from the Jewish and Christian scriptures. This fresh, vivid debate still holds excitement for modern readers who are interested not merely in medieval Islam but in Christian thought as well.

About the Author

Tarif Khalidi


Tarif Khalidi

Table of Contents

  • Foreword to the Series
  • Notes on Conventions
  • Acknowledgments
  • Translator's Introduction
  • Chapter One: An account of what transpired between me and the heretic
  • Chapter Two: Concerning the Five Eternals and the debate over imitation and independent investigation
  • Chapter Three: Concerning his argument that the five are eternal, with no other eternal except them, and the debate about time and space
  • Chapter Four: That the world is created
  • Chapter One: [On reason, religion, and imitation]
  • Chapter Two: Returning to the subject of rational investigation and inquiry
  • Chapter Three: A discussion of the phrase "profound reflection"
  • Chapter Four: A discussion of contradiction
  • Chapter Five: That when believers in religious law are asked for proof, they become abusive
  • Chapter Six: His saying, "They are deceived by the imposing beards of these jackasses"
  • Chapter Seven: His statement that the truth is buried very deep and falls totally silent
  • Chapter Eight: His statement concerning feeble-minded men and women
  • Chapter One: Regarding his statement, "We shall now examine the speech of these people and its contradictory nature"
  • Chapter Two: The Prophet's demeanor and virtues
  • Chapter Three: Concerning the speech of prophets and their laws
  • Chapter Four: Concerning parable and meaning
  • Chapter Five: Concerning what the heretic stated that is in the Torah
  • Chapter One: A brief discussion regarding differences among so-called philosophers and the contradictions in their speech
  • Chapter Two: Conflict among philosophers regarding principles
  • Chapter Three: A summary of divergences among views of philosophers
  • Chapter Four: Which of the two groups is more deceitful?
  • Chapter Five: There is no divergence among prophets regarding principles
  • Chapter Six: All religious laws are true, but falsehood has been mixed with them
  • Chapter One: Further views of the heretic
  • Chapter Two: On oppression and victory
  • Chapter Three: The difference between miracles and signs
  • Chapter Four: The mention of the signs of Muḥammad in revealed books
  • Chapter Five: The signs of Muḥammad in Islam
  • On the matter of the Qur'ān
  • Chapter One: Prophets as originators of the sciences and testators of philosophers
  • Chapter Two: The origin of the stars and of astronomical observations
  • Chapter Three: The origin of the science of pharmacology
  • Chapter Four: Every knowledge stems from the First Sage
  • Notes to the English Text
  • Glossary and Index
  • Index of Scripture Verses
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Publication Information

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  • Language: , ,
  • ISBN 10: 0-8425-2787-7
  • ISBN 13: 978-0-8425-2787-3
  • Page Count: 530
  • Price: $ 49.95
  • Sub Site: Middle Eastern Texts Initiative
  • Imprint:

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