AL-RASHID ABU AL-KHAYR IBN AL-TAYYIB (?-after 1270)
A Priest, theologian. Al-Rashid Abu al-Khayr ibn al-Tayyib worked as a priest, physician, and possibly also scribe to a Muslim notable. He was the author of a number of theological and apologetic works, most notably Tiryaq al-‘uqul fi ‘ilm al-usul (The Theriac of Intellects in Fundamental Theology), an explanation of Christian beliefs and practices with responses to questions raised by Muslims. His wide reading is evident in frequent allusions to figures such as Abu Hamid al-Ghazali, Musa ibn Maymun (Maimonides), and Fakhr al-Din al-Razi. Although al-Mu’taman ibn al-‘Assal speaks very highly of al-Rashid in his theological encyclopedia and quotes extensively from his treatise on free will, others (as we learn from Abu al-Barakat ibn Kabar) passed a negative judgment on his apologetic capacity and even his orthodoxy.
Perhaps because of this negative assessment, the genuinely popular Tiryaq often circulated under the names of others, including Ibn Kabar, the Awlad al-‘Assal, or Sawirus ibn al-Muqaffa‘; furthermore, accurate information about al-Rashid’s life—including when he lived—has been difficult to come by. The researches of Wadi Abullif (“Al-Rasid ibn al-Tayyib”) have now established al-Rashid as an important writer of the period between 1240 and 1270, and one who deserves a renewed assessment after new editions of his works have been published and studied.