By Jacques Waardenburg
Due to the fact its inception, Islam and its civilization were in non-stop relationships with different religions, cultures, and civilizations, together with not just various kinds of Christianity and Judaism inside and out the center East, Zoroastrianism and Manicheism, Hinduism or even Buddhism, but additionally tribal religions in West and East Africa, in South Russia and in significant Asia, together with Tibet. The essays gathered right here learn the numerous texts that experience come right down to us approximately those cultures and their religions, from Muslim theologians and jurists, tourists and historians, and males of letters and of tradition.
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Extra info for Muslim Perceptions of Other Religions: A Historical Survey
128. 8. Jacques Waardenburg, “Koranisches Religionsgespräch,” in Liber Amicorum: Studies in Honour of Professor Dr. C. J. Bleeker (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1969), pp. 208–253. Compare, for instance, Ernest Hamilton, “The Qur anic dialogue with Jews and Christians,” Chicago Theological Seminary Register, vol. 80 (1990), pp. 24–38. 9. Muhammad’s contacts with polytheists, Jews, and Christians elsewhere, inside or outside Arabia, are not considered here. Also his possible contacts with Zoroastrians and Manicheans are left out of consideration.
A Broader Explanation The command of war against the Christians in S. 9:1– 37 should be seen in a broader context. It is linked with a similar command against the Jews, with the argument that neither of them were true monotheists. It is also linked with the general command proclaimed in March 631 to wage war against all Arabs who had remained pagans. In other words, the unbelief of the ahl al-kitab in the new din and their unwillingness to submit to it, is equated with the unbelief of the pagan Arabs.
There were also limitations of a different sort which arose out of the predominant life and world views of the time. Such views were both “Islamic”— that is, nourished by the Qur an and the Sunna which were further elaborated intellectually—and “medieval” in a broad sense of the word. I would not like to propose that such views were imposed by Islam as such, but rather that they were due to medieval people’s interpretation of Islam, which was variable depending on the milieu, time, and place. On the whole, any Muslim interest in non-Muslims, their ideas and practices, seems to have been practical rather than inquisitive.
Muslim Perceptions of Other Religions: A Historical Survey by Jacques Waardenburg