The motif of the abrogation of the Mosaic law in medieval Islamic polemic with Judaism
Zdrojový dokument: Religio. 2012, roč. 20, č. 2, s. -217
ISSN1210-3640 (print)2336-4475 (online)
Licence: Neurčená licence
The aim of the present study is to outline the Muslim attitude to the abrogation of the Mosaic law as portrayed in the works of four leading medieval Muslim scholars, al-Bāqillānī, Ibn Ḥazm, Samaw̕al-Maghribī, and al-Qarāfī. The Jews rejected abrogation (naskh) and any suggestion of a new dispensation, be it through Jesus or Muhammad, on the basis of the argument of God's omniscience and the immutability of His decree, which is not liable to sudden change. The notion of a new dispensation is based on such a sudden change (badā') in God's will, and thus contradicts the idea of God's omniscience. The contra arguments of Muslim authors revolve around the premise that precepts of the Mosaic law are commands to perform certain acts for a definite period, and when that defined period has passed, the command may turn into its opposite. To prove this they put forward arguments based on both the Hebrew Bible and rational grounds. It is clear from the proposed arguments for abrogation and change in divine will that they are based on a standard set of arguments from an old polemical tradition going back to Jewish scholars such as al-Qirqisānī and especially Sa ̔adya Ga ̕on. The latter responded to arguments advanced by Ḥīwī al-Balkhī, a Jewish sceptic, who lived in the second half of the ninth century CE and allegedly wrote a polemical work in rhyme against the Hebrew Bible, listing 200 questions and problematic passages. His arguments for abrogation and change in divine will mostly correspond to those introduced by the studied Muslim authors. The need to respond to Ibn Ḥazm's and Samaw'al al-Maghribī's arguments was felt even several centuries later, as we can infer from the works of two Jewish authors from the 13th century, Sa'd ibn Kammūna and Abraham ibn Adret. Their direct response contains the old stock of polemical themes shared by Jewish, Christian, and Muslim authors living in Islamic countries.
- Tato studie vznikla s podporou grantu Grantové agentury České republiky č. P405/12/0773 "David Gans, pražský renesanční historik".