AL-ISRA’ILI (late 10th c.)

An Apologist. According to the title of his Book of Induction (), ‘Abd al-Masih was a of al-Raqqah who was led to Christianity by the famous physician Mansur ibn Sahlan (d. ca. 1004), who flourished under the early Fatimid caliphs. A precis (by Samir Khalil, “‘Abd al-Masih”) of ‘Abd al-Masih’s unpublished book suggests that it is a of for the truth of the faith (in particular, the doctrines of the Trinity, the Incarnation, and the Crucifixion of Christ), much of it gathered from earlier Arabic literature from outside Egypt.

The range from the standard “proofs” for the true religion through prophecies and miracles to sophisticated apologetic exploitation of notions found in the (relatively recent) Arabic translations of Greek philosophical and mathematical works. As ‘ becomes better known, he will undoubtedly gain in stature as a pioneer of Arabic Christian apologetic literature in Egypt.

GAWDAT GABRA