The Light of Islam


This article discusses information about Christians and Christianity in the pre-Islamic period (until 622 AD), as reflected in medieval Arab-Muslim sources. The sources considered in the article are the works of Abu Hanifa al-Dinaveri, at-Tabari and al-Ya’qubi to a varying degree present information on the history of Christianity. The article examines the contribution of each of the above authors to the coverage of events and legends related to Christianity. All three authors traditionally precede their historical works with the Old Testament stories of the prophets and kings. Comparison of information from these authors with Christian sources is of particular interest to religious scholars and theologians and can be singled out as a separate research topic. This article examines the question of the degree of knowledge of the history of Christianity by early Muslim historians. As a confirmation of the interest of Muslim historians to the history of Christianity, the article provides a translation of the chapter “Christianity Accepted Emperors of Rome” from the first volume of the Kitab at-Ta’rih al-Ya’qubi