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Qurʾān - Glossary

Many people may be surprised by some of the affirmations made in this glossary. It must be kept in mind, however, that they are either conclusions drawn after in-depth studies or scientific insights sometimes established long ago that have never been refuted, although often they have been suppressed. After thoroughly studying Brother Bruno’s translation and commentary, readers will come to understand these affirmations are neither exaggerated nor outrageous, but fully justified.

The truth shall make you free.” (Jn 8:32)

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  • Aelius Gallus (Gaius)Second prefect of the Roman province of Egypt Roman prefect of Egypt from 26 to 24 b.c. in the reign of Augustus. Aelius Gallus is primarily known for a disastrous expedition he undertook to Arabia Felix (modern day Yemen) by the command of the emperor.
    An account of the expedition to Arabia Felix, which turned out to be a complete failure, is given by the Greek geographer Strabo, as well as by Cassius Dio and Pliny the Elder. Aelius Gallus undertook the expedition from Egypt, with a view to explore the country and its inhabitants, and to conclude treaties of friendship with the people, or to subdue them if they should oppose the Romans.
    When Aelius Gallus set out with his army, he trusted to the guidance of a Nabataean called Syllaeus, who deceived and misled him. Strabo, who derived most of his information about Arabia from his friend Aelius Gallus, wrote a long account of this expedition through the desert. The scorching heat of the sun, bad water, and disease destroyed the greater part of the army; so that the Romans, unable to subdue the Arabs, were forced to retreat. Aelius Gallus returned to Alexandria and was eventually recalled by Augustus for failure to pacify the Kushites.

  • Aggadah (pl. aggadot), halakhah (pl. halakoth), and midrash (pl. midrashim) are rabbinic narrative and interpretive literary technics. Aggadah refers primarily to legends, most of which have their origin in rabbinic commentaries on the biblical text, or in the lives of the sages and heroes of Jewish history. They are exegetical or homiletical in nature. Halakhah, on the other hand, refers to the branch of rabbinic literature that deals with interpreting the religious obligations of Jews to God and neighbour.
    Often these two literary technics are used together, successively. A halakhah is, in fact, the practical, moral, ritual or legal application of the preceding aggadah. Such is the case in the Qurʾān. Each of the sūrahs that Brother Bruno has studied, begins with an aggadic narrative in which the author proposes episodes from sacred history as figures of events that he himself is accomplishing or that he foresees. To do this, he reshapes the biblical text to reflect contemporary events in a suggestive way. The second part of these sūrahs is a halakhic legal interpretation of this aggadah. In constructing his sūrahs in this way, the author of the Qurʾān is perhaps deliberately imitating the epistles of Saint Paul in which a paraenesis follows a dogmatic exposition in a well-balanced construction of two parts of strictly equal importance.
    Midrash refers to ancient rabbinic interpretation of scripture. They are termed midrash aggadah if they provide moral instruction by using various literary genres: stories, parables and legends; or midrash halakhah if their purpose is to explain various legal points.

  • Aigrain (Chanoine René) ◊ Professor and author (1886-1957). He entered the Major Seminary of Poitiers in 1904 and was ordained priest in 1909. He became professor of the History of the Middle Ages at Université catholique d’Angers in 1923, where he taught until 1951. He was appointed Honorary Canon of Poitiers in 1934. From 1922 to 1924, he contributed the article Arabia to the Dictionnaire d’histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques. It is a complete encyclopaedia on the question of Christian origins in Arabia, supported by a rigorous critical analysis of the positive data known at the time. In it, he rightly concluded that “we can no longer deal with the history of Muḥammad by using, as several of his biographers do, the Sīrah as a basis.” Unfortunately, when it came Islam, he abandoned this fruitful point of view, simply reverting to the use of what is considered to be traditional data, immediately adding to the above remark: “This does not mean that we must retain nothing from it [the Sīrah], which would make it absolutely impossible for us to know the life of the Prophet.” This means that even outside the Sīrah there is not one single positive fact that attests to Muḥammad’s historical existence.

  • Al-Nuwayrī Arab historian and jurisconsult in the service of the Mameluke Sultans of Egypt. (1279-1333). Born in An Nuwayrah, Egypt, he left an encyclopaedia entitled Nihayat al-arab fi funûn al-adab (All You Wish to Know about Belles-Lettres), in 30 volumes, covering all aspects of human history, as well as fauna, flora, laws, geography, the art of governing, poetry, recipes of all kinds, humorous stories and the revelation of Islam. He was also the author of Chronicle of Syria and History of the Almohads of Spain and Africa.

  • AlidsThose who claim descent from the caliph Ali and Fatima, respectively the purported son-in-law and daughter of the hypothetical Muḥammad.

  • Amram Gaon ◊ Head of the Talmud Academy († 875). He was a famous Gaon or head of the Jewish Talmud Academy of Sura during the 9th century. His chief work was liturgical. He was the first to arrange a complete liturgy for use in the synagogue. His Prayer Book, Siddur Rab Amram, has exerted great influence upon Jewish religious practise and ceremonial for more than a thousand years, an influence which to some extent is still felt at the present day.

  • AramaicA Semitic language known since the 9th century b.c. as the speech of the Aramaeans and later used extensively in southwest Asia as a commercial and governmental language and adopted as their customary speech by various non-Aramaean peoples including the Jews after the Babylonian exile.

  • Arnaldez (Roger) ◊ Professor of Philosophy, author and orientalist (1911-2006). He authored some thirty works on Islam, medieval philosophy and the thought of Averroes. He began Islamic studies after earning his university degrees as professor of Philosophy. Although profoundly Christian, Arnaldez was a man of dialogue. All his life, he worked in the service of what he called “the spiritual values of a religious humanism.” He was partisan since the 1930s of an ecumenical approach and openness to other religions. He served as consultant to the section for Islam of the Vatican Secretariat for Non-Christians. He was also an active member of the Jewish-Christian Friendship Association of France. Professor at the University of Lyon from 1956 to 1968, then at the University of Paris-Sorbonne until 1978, he was elected in 1986 to the French Academy of Moral and Political Sciences. His international reputation earned him an associate membership in the Royal Academy of Belgium, and a corresponding membership in the Academy of Arabic Language in Cairo. In 1980, Roger Arnaldez, publishing a book under the somewhat enigmatic title of Jesus, Son of Mary, Prophet of Islam, opened a new avenue of research. It was not the hackneyed comparison of the Qurʾānic Jesus with New Testament sources, but the meticulous exploration of the commentaries of the Qurʾān in order to bring out the completely Muslim figure of Christ that they reveal.

  • Ashkenazi (Shmuel)Israeli philologist and author (1922-....). Born Samuel Deutsch, this Israeli philologist was an author of collections and dictionaries of proverbs and abbreviations. He was co-author of Ozar rashe tevot, a thesaurus of Hebrew abbreviations.

  • Axum (Kingdom of) The Axumite kingdom, centred in Northern Ethiopia, in the Tigray region as well as what is now Eritrea, is first mentioned in the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, a description of the coasts of the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean written in the latter half of the 1st century a.d. The author describes the port of Adulis and states that “eight day’s journey inland lay the metropolis of the Axumites, whither was carried all the ivory from beyond the Nile and whence it was exported to Adulis and so to the Roman Empire.” The Axumite kingdom existed from approximately 80 b.c. to 825 a.d. A major transformation of the maritime trading system that linked the Roman Empire and India took place around the start of the 1st century. The Axumite kingdom benefitted from it to such a point that it was able to eliminate the rival and much earlier trading network of the Kingdom of Kush that had long supplied Egypt, and through it, the Roman Empire with African goods via the Nile corridor. The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea explicitly describes how ivory collected in Kushite territory was being exported through the Axumite port of Adulis instead of being taken to Meroë, the capital of Kush. In order to supply African goods, such as ivory, incense, gold, slaves, and exotic animals, the kings of Axum worked to develop and expand an inland trading network. From the late 3rd century on, Axumite rulers also assured their hegemony over trade by minting their own currency that bore legends in Ge’ez and Greek.
    Before their conversion to Christianity, the pagan Axumites practiced a polytheistic religion related to those practiced in southern Arabia. This included the use of the crescent-and-disc symbol. King ʿEzana was converted to Christianity during his regency (325-328) by his tutor, Frumentius (see the articles: ʿEzana and Frumentius in the glossary). This conversion is attested in stone and numismatic inscriptions. Early inscriptions show that King ʿEzana worshiped the gods Mahrem, Beher and Medr. Later inscriptions during his reign are clearly Christian and refer to “the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” On coins, the pagan crescent-and-disc symbol was replaced with the Cross. Later on, unfortunately, the Church of Axum founded by Frumentius followed the Church of Alexandria into the Orthodox schism by rejecting the Fourth Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon (451). It thus became a Miaphysite church; its scriptures and liturgy conserve the ancient Ge’ez language.
    Around 520, King Kaleb sent an expedition to Ḥimyar against the Jewish king Yūsuf Dhū Nuwās who was persecuting the Christian community there. Dhū Nuwās was deposed. For nearly half a century south Arabia would become an Axumite protectorate. Kaleb appointed a Christian Ḥimyarite, Esimiphaios, as his viceroy. This viceroy, however, was deposed around 525 by the Axumite general Abraha with support of Axumites who had settled in Ḥimyar, and withheld tribute to Kaleb. When Kaleb sent an expedition against Abraha, this force defected, killing their commander, and joining Abraha. Another expedition sent against him was defeated, leaving Ḥimyar under Abraha’s rule, although he resumed payment of a tribute, and continued to promote the Christian faith until his death.
    After Abraha’s death, his son Masruq Abraha continued the Axumite vice-royalty in Yemen, paying tribute to Axum. However, his half-brother Ma’d-Karib revolted. After being denied by the Byzantine emperor Justinian, Ma’d-Karib sought help from Khosrow I, the Sassanid Persian Emperor, thus triggering the Axumite-Persian wars. Khosrow sent a small fleet and army under commander Vahrez to depose Masruq. The war culminated with the Siege of Sana’a, capital of Axumite Ḥimyar. After its fall in 570, and Masruq’s death, Ma’d-Karib’s son, Saif, was put on the throne. In 575, the war resumed again, after Saif was killed by Axumites. The Persian general Vahrez led another army and brought Axum rule in Ḥimyar to an end, becoming himself the hereditary governor of Ḥimyar. These wars, with an overall weakening of Axumite authority and over-expenditure in money and manpower, made Axum lose its status as great power. After a second golden age in the early 6th century the empire began to decline in the mid-6th century, eventually ceasing its production of coins in the early 7th century. Around this same time, the Axumite population was forced to go farther inland to the highlands for protection, abandoning Axum as the capital.

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  • Baron (Salo Wittmayer)Polish-born American historian (1895- 1989). Baron was born into an educated and affluent aristocratic Jewish family of Galicia (in present-day Poland). His first language was Polish, but he knew twenty languages, including Yiddish, biblical and modern Hebrew, French and German, and was famous for being able to give scholarly lectures without notes in five different languages. Baron received rabbinical ordination at the Jewish Theological Seminary in Vienna in 1920, and earned three doctorates from the University of Vienna, in philosophy (1917), in political science (1922) and in law (1923). He began his teaching career at the Jewish Teachers College in Vienna in 1926, but was persuaded to move to New York to teach at the Jewish Institute of Religion.
    Baron’s appointment as the Nathan L. Miller Professor of Jewish History, Literature and Institutions at Columbia University (1930-1963) marked the beginning of the scholarly study of Jewish History in American universities. Baron is considered the greatest Jewish historian of the 20th century. He was opposed to the “lachrymose conception of Jewish history,” of the 19th century, although he recognised that “suffering is part of the destiny of the Jews.” His most important work was originally a three-volume overview of Jewish history published in 1937, entitled A Social and Religious History of the Jews. He kept working on it over his lifetime and it eventually grew to 18 volumes Professor Baron strove to integrate the religious dimension of Jewish history into a full picture of Jewish life and to integrate the history of Jews into the wider history of the eras and societies in which they lived.
    After World War II, Baron ran the Jewish Cultural Reconstruction, Inc., an organisation established in 1947 to collect and distribute heirless Jewish property in the American occupied zones of Europe. Hundreds of thousands of books, archives, and ceremonial objects were distributed to libraries and museums, primarily in Israel and the United States. From 1950 to 1968, he directed the Centre of Israel and Jewish Studies at Columbia University.

  • Ben Abd-el-Jalil (Jean Mohammed) Moroccan Catholic priest (1904-1979). Ben Abd-el-Jalil was born into a family of Muslim notables from Fez on April 17, 1904, Mohammed Ben Abd-el-Jalil received a bilingual and Muslim education. He began by learning the Qurʾān at the University of Al Quaraouiyine in Fez, and then accompanied his father on a pilgrimage to Mecca at the age of 9. Between 1922 and 1925, he attended the Gouraud High School while boarding at the Foucault School, run by Franciscan Fathers in Rabat, the capital of the French Protectorate in Morocco. It was at this time that Mohammed developed an interest in the Catholic religion. He obtained his baccalaureate in 1925.
    That same year, he went to Paris for higher studies to obtain a degree in Arabic language and literature. He was also interested in philosophy and theology, frequenting Jacques Maritain, Maurice Blondel, and especially Louis Massignon, who maintained a long friendship and correspondence with him. The celebration of Christmas 1927 was an important step in his conversion, and he asked to be baptised. He was baptised the following year on April 7, in the chapel of the Franciscan College in Fontenay-sous-bois, with the Orientalist Louis Massignon as his godfather. He chose Jean as his Christian name. In 1929, he entered the Franciscan Order, and was ordained a priest in 1935.
    In the 1930s, he published anonymously in the magazine En terre d'Islam, an appeal “proposing to the faithful to devote Fridays to pray for our distant brothers." He also founded a “Friday Prayer League for the conversion of Muslims.”
    In 1936, he was called as a professor at the Institut Catholique de Paris, where he gave a course in Arabic language and literature, as well as a course in Islamology at the chair of History of Religions. He was forced to resign this post in 1964 due to a cancer. He retired to his convent and led a secluded life. He did, however write a report on the current state of Islam for the bishops of France at the Second Vatican Council. He was received by Pope Paul VI in 1966.

  • Benediction (The)The title that Brother Bruno has given to the seven verses of the first Sūrah.

  • BerākhāhThe invocation to the name of God, traditionally called basmala.

  • Biella (Joan Copeland)American researcher (1947-....) Member of the W.F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research, Jerusalem (1982). She authored the Dictionary of Old South Arabic: Sabaean dialect.

  • Blachère (Régis)French orientalist, Arabist and translator of the Qurʾān (1900-1973). He held the Arab Philosophy Chair at the Sorbonne and was the director of the Institute of Islamic Studies (Institut des études islamiques) in Paris. He published a history of Arabic literature (1952), a study on the problem posed by Muḥammad (1952), a translation of the Qurʾān (1950 and a new version in 1957), and an introduction to the Qurʾān (1959). He also co-authored a grammar of classical Arabic with Gaudefroy-Demombynes. Throughout his analysis, Brother Bruno refers to Régis Blachère’s translation of the Qurʾān, along with Denise Masson’s, for they are the only recent translators who show some concern for critical methods. Blachère and Masson will only serve Brother Bruno occasionally to emphasise the inconsistencies and contradictions of the “accepted meaning.” He does not systematically compare his exegesis with theirs. You will come to understand how totally pointless this would be as you advance in Brother Bruno’s commentary.

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  • Caetani (Leone) ◊ Italian orientalist, historian and Member of Parliament (1869-1935). Leone Caetani was born into the ancient aristocratic family of Rome. He studied classical history at La Sapienza University, presenting in 1891, a thesis on a papal legation in Paris. However, he became fascinated with the Orient at an early age and made a number of journeys there. His most important journey took place in 1894 from Egypt to Persia. At La Sapienza, he also attended courses in Arabic language and literature, and in Semitic languages. He soon mastered several oriental languages, including Arabic, Turkish and Persian. He participated in his first international congress of orientalists in London in September 1892. Thanks to the family fortune, he was able to build up a rich library on Arab-Muslim civilisation, including a remarkable collection of photographs of manuscripts.
    He also conceived very early on what was to become his magnum opus: a meticulous analytical history, year by year, of the early days of Islam from the Hijrah in 622 to the death of the Caliph Ali ibn Abi Talib in 661 (year 40 of the Hijrah). Caetani collected as exhaustively as possible all the “historical” material transmitted by ancient authors, and treated it by the critical methods of modern science. The result was the Annali dell’ Islam, a monumental ten volume work, published between 1905 and 1926. Caetani conceived and began this great work alone, but later enlisted the help of collaborators.
    In 1919 he became a full member of the Academy of the Lynceans (of which he had been a correspondent since 1911), but he did not really return to his work on the Annali dell’ Islam, which he had planned to continue until the fall of the Umayyads in 750. In 1924 he created a Fondazione Caetani per gli studi musulmani at the Academy of the Lynceans, to which he bequeathed his splendid orientalist library, and of which he had initially planned to become active president. His notorious opposition to fascism led him to leave Italy for Canada in 1927. He acquired a property in Vernon in the Vancouver hinterland, where he led a secluded and rustic life, interspersed with brief stays in France and England. Having adopted Canadian citizenship, he was stripped of his Italian nationality by the Fascist regime in April 1935, and thereby disbarred from the Academy of the Lynceans a few months before his death.

  • Cazelles (Henri) ◊ Sulpician, Doctor of Law and of Theology (1912-2008). He was ordained priest in 1940 and entered the Society of Saint Sulpice in 1944. He began his teaching career at the Sulpician seminary of Issy-les-Moulineaux. There his most famous student, Father Georges de Nantes, said of him: “He was, and still is today, a well of erudition, an ocean.” Besides Greek and Hebrew, Father Cazelles knew the ancient Egyptian, Sumerian, Akkadian, Assyrian and Hittite languages, as well as classical Arabic. In 1954, he was offered the Chair of the Old Testament at the Faculty of Theology of the Institut catholique de Paris. This is where Brother Bruno attended Father Cazelles Biblical Hebrew courses (1956-1965).

  • Centre national de la recherche scientifique ◊  = National Organisation for Scientific Research. The CNRS is a multidisciplinary research organisation, established by the French government in 1941 and affiliated to the Ministry of Education. It receives state funding and its members, who are highly qualified specialists in their fields, are engaged in research in the areas of science, engineering, humanities and social sciences.

  • CNRS  see Centre national de la recherche scientifique

  • Constantius II (Flavius Julius Constantius)Roman emperor from 337 to 361 (317-361). Constantius was a son of Constantine the Great, who elevated him to the imperial rank of caesar in 324 and after whose death Constantius became augustus together with his brothers, Constantine II and Constans in 337. The brothers divided the empire among themselves, with Constantius receiving Greece, Thrace, the Asian provinces and Egypt in the east. In 353, Constantius became the sole ruler of the empire after the death of his brothers during civil wars and usurpations. His reign saw constant warfare on the borders against the Persian Sassanian Empire and Germanic peoples. His religious policies inflamed domestic conflicts that would continue after his death. Constantius banned pagan sacrifices by closing their temples. During his reign he attempted to mould the Christian Church to follow his compromise Semi-Arian position, convening several councils. The most notable of these were the Council of Rimini (359) and Seleucia (360) which, however, were not reckoned ecumenical. Constantius is not remembered as a restorer of unity, but as a heretic who arbitrarily imposed his will on the Church.
    Constantius realising that he could not possibly handle all too threats faced by the Empire, elevated Julian, his last remaining male relative, to the rank of caesar in 355. In 360, however, Julian claimed the rank of augustus, leading to war between the two after Constantius’ attempts to persuade Julian to resign the title of augustus and be satisfied with that of caesar failed. At the time Constantius was in the East dealing with a new Sassanid threat. A temporary respite in hostilities allowed Constantius to turn his full attention to facing Julian. Constantius gathered his forces and set off west. However, by the time he reached Mopsuestia in Cilicia, it was clear that he was fatally ill and would not survive to face Julian. Realising his death was near, Constantius had himself baptised by Euzoius, the Semi-Arian bishop of Antioch, and then declared that Julian was his rightful successor. Constantius II died of fever on November 3, 361.

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  • Dalman (Gustaf Hermann)German Lutheran theologian, philologist and orientalist (1855-1941). Born Gustaf Armin Marx, he did extensive field work in Palestine before the First World War, collecting inscriptions, poetry, and proverbs. He also collected physical articles illustrating the life of the indigenous farmers and herders of the country. He pioneered the study of biblical and early post-biblical Aramaic, publishing an authoritative grammar (1894) and dictionary (1901), as well as other works. The theologian and translator Franz Delitzsch, who translated the New Testament into Hebrew, entrusted to Dalman the work of revising the Hebrew text.

  • Daniélou (Jean) ◊ French Jesuit priest, renowned theologian (1905-1974). He was created cardinal by Paul VI in 1970. Son of an anticlerical politician and a foundress of Catholic educational institutions for girls, Jean Daniélou studied literature and philosophy at the Sorbonne. In 1929, he entered the Jesuits and devoted his life to teaching. After studying theology at the Catholic Faculty of Lyon, he was ordained priest in 1938. He founded the collection “Sources chrétiennes” in collaboration with Henri de Lubac. After reading Brother Bruno’s scientific dissertations on the results of his historical research on pre-Islamic Arabia and on the Arab Conquest, he encouraged him to publish them.

  • de Sola Pool (David)Jewish scholar, author, and civic leader (1885-1970). He was the chief Sephardic rabbi in the United States and a recognised world leader of Judaism. He studied at the University of London. He held a doctorate in ancient languages from the University of Heidelberg. Born in London, de Sola Pool was invited in 1907 to become the rabbi of the oldest Jewish congregation in the United States, located in New York City. His book The Kaddish (1909) remains a definitive and well-regarded work on the origins of the Kaddish prayer.

  • Demombynes – see Gaudefroy-Demombynes

  • Dussaud (René) ◊ Orientalist, archaeologist (1868-1958). Professor of Anthropology, curator at the department of oriental antiquities at the Louvre Museum, teacher at the Collège de France. An engineer by training, he quickly turned to the study of the Near East by following the teaching of Charles Clermont-Ganneau, holder of the chair on epigraphy and Semitic antiquities at the Collège de France. Clermont-Ganneau encouraged him to undertake trips which, from 1895 to 1901, led him to visit the whole of Lebanon and western Syria. From his explorations, he brought back copies of numerous Nabataean, Greek and Latin inscriptions, materials for his works in collaboration with Frédéric Macler and the basis for his monumental work on the historical topography of Syria (1927). He also brought back photographs that were among the first to have been taken in interior Syria. Dussaud’s interest in the pre-Islamic Arab world continued throughout his life. He was also one of the first to analyse the different civilisations of the eastern Mediterranean in the 2nd millennium and to recognise their affinities.
    He played a decisive role in the creation of an antiquities service in the countries of the Levant placed under the mandate of France after the First World War; he encouraged the opening of major excavation sites and followed their development and publication. For example, the discovery, in 1929, of a library of clay tablets at Ras Shamrah (on the northern Syrian coast), containing texts in the Mesopotamian language, Akkadian, deciphered since the 19th century, and others written in an alphabetical script in a language then unknown. These tablets from this 2nd millennium site revealed the ancient name of the city, Ugarit; thousands of administrative, legal, historical, ritual and mythological texts gave voice to the Levantine civilisations that were known only through the Bible and the Homeric poems. Dussaud established the relationship between the intellectual culture of Ugarit and that of the Old Testament.

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  • Ezana of Axum First Christian ruler of the Kingdom of Axum (c. 320-c. 360 a.d.). ʿEzana of Axum (other possible transliterations: Aeizanes, Aezana or Aizan) was ruler of the Kingdom of Axum (c. 325-c. 356 a.d.) an ancient kingdom centred in what is now northern Ethiopia and Eritrea. Although the name ʿEzana is unknown in the King Lists of Axum, it is attested on coins and in the inscriptions on several stelae and obelisks that he had erected to record his military campaigns. A well-known inscription presents him, as “king of the Axumites and of the Ḥimyarites and of Ḏū Raydān and of the Ethiopians and of the Sabaeans,” indicating that at the time of his reign the Axum Empire extended over a large part of the southern Arabian peninsula.
    ʿEzana’s education was entrusted by the widowed queen, his mother, to one of his father’s former slaves, the Syrian Christian Frumentius (see article in Glossary). ʿEzana thus became the first monarch of the Kingdom of Axum to embrace Christianity. When the prince came of age, Frumentius travelled to Alexandria, Egypt, where he requested Saint Athanasius, Patriarch of Alexandria, to send a bishop and some priests as missionaries to Axum to help in the conversion of the kingdom. Saint Athanasius found no one better than Frumentius himself, so he consecrated him as the first bishop of Axum. ʿEzana’s conversion is attested in two inscriptions, the earlier one refers to him adoring pagan gods, in the later one he is said to worship the “God of Heaven.” It is also attested by numismatics. During ʿEzana’s reign the pagan motif with disc and crescent on Axumite coins was replaced by the cross and a motto in Greek “May this please the people,” which expresses the sovereigns concern for his subjects.

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  • Frumentius Catholic missionary and the first bishop of Axum [present-day Ethiopia] (died c. 383). Frumentius was a Syro-Phoenician Greek born in Tyre [present-day Lebanon]. According to an account given by Frumentius’ brother Edesius, the two boys, while accompanying an uncle on a voyage to Ethiopia, after the local people at one of the harbours of the Red Sea where their ship stopped had massacred all those aboard, sparing only the two boys, they were taken as slaves to the King of Axum. Frumentius and Edesius soon gained the favour of the king, who raised them to positions of trust. Shortly before his death, the king freed them. The widowed queen, however, prevailed upon them to remain at the court and assist her in the education of the young heir, ʿEzana, and in the administration of the kingdom during the prince’s minority. They remained and used their influence to spread Christianity. First they encouraged the Christian merchants present in the country to practise their faith openly.
    When the prince came of age, Frumentius travelled to Alexandria, Egypt, where he requested Athanasius, Patriarch of Alexandria, to send a bishop and some priests as missionaries to Axum. By Athanasius’ own account, he believed Frumentius to be the most suitable person for the mission and consecrated him as bishop. Frumentius returned to Ethiopia, where he erected his episcopal see at Axum, then converted and baptised King ʿEzana, who built many churches and spread Christianity throughout Ethiopia. Frumentius established the first monastery of Ethiopia. In about 356, the Emperor Constantius II wrote to King ʿEzana and his brother Saizana, requesting them to replace Frumentius as bishop with Theophilus of Dibus, dubbed “the Indian,” who supported the Arian position, as did the emperor. Frumentius had been appointed by Athanasius, a leading opponent of Arianism. The king refused the request. Ethiopian traditions credit Frumentius with the first Ge’ez translation of the New Testament.

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  • Gaudefroy-Demombynes (Maurice) ◊ French Arabist, specialist in Islam and the history of religions (1862–1957). He was a professor at the École nationale des langues orientales vivantes (today INALCO). His best known works are his historical and religious studies on the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca and Muslim institutions. He also translated into French in an annotated edition the story of the Arab travel writer and explorer Ibn Jubair (1145–1217). His book written after Arab authors on Syria at the time of the Mamluk is also a seminal work. Gaudefroy-Demombynes clearly realised that two extreme attitudes were possible for European scholars: either to accept the Sīrah, the only documentary material available to them, as it had been put together in the Muslim world through the evolutions of the Tradition and piety or to accept “only those things, the veracity of which could be established, that is to say, almost nothing.” Unfortunately, Gaudefroy-Demombynes adopted the first solution, even if it meant “appearing naïve in the eyes of certain people.” In order to justify his choice, he had to play down the significance of Father Lammens’ criticism of the Sīrah.

  • Gesenius (Heinrich Friedrich Wilhelm)German Hebrew philologist and orientalist (1786-1842). He pioneered the comparative method in the analysis of Chaldean, Hebrew and Aramaic. As he was steeped in rationalism, he abandoned the religious considerations that had prevailed until then in the study of the Semitic languages. Among other things, he wrote a Hebrew Grammar (Lexicon hebraïcum et chaldaïcum, edit. Leipzig, 1847) and a commented translation of the Book of Isaiah. His Hebrew-German lexicon served as the basis for the Brown-Driver-Briggs dictionary.

  • Glaser (Eduard) ◊ Jewish Austrian Arabist and archaeologist (1855-1908). He is considered the most important scholar to have studied Yemen being one of the first Europeans to explore South Arabia. He collected thousands of inscriptions in Yemen.
    While working as a private tutor in Prague, Glaser began studying mathematics, physics, astronomy, geology, geography, geodesy and Arabic at the Polytechnic in Prague until 1875. Glaser successfully concluded his studies in Arabic, in Vienna, and enrolled thereafter in an astronomy class. An important turning point in his academic education came in 1880, when Glaser enrolled in the classes of David Heinrich Müller, the founder of South Arabian studies in Austria, for the study of Sabaean grammar. Müller suggested to him that he travel to Yemen, for the purpose of copying down Sabaean inscriptions. A scholarship from the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres in Paris enabled him to make his first trip to Yemen (1882-1884). He returned there on three other occasions (1885-1886, 1887-1888, and 1892-1894).
    In addition to his knowledge of Latin, Greek and most of the major European languages, Glaser was proficient in both classical and colloquial Arabic. He saw Yemen as the ideal place for finding basic similarities between the rites of the indigenous peoples and those of the ancient Israelites. He also hoped to identify the geographical names mentioned in the Bible. Glaser was an expert in the Sabaean scripts. Furthermore, his knowledge of Abyssinian history and its language propelled him to examine the connexions between Abyssinia (present-day Ethiopia) and Yemen in ancient times.
    Glaser’s good relations with the Turkish governors of Yemen, allowed him to realise his scientific plans and endeavours. He was able to travel throughout many areas inaccessible to foreigners and was thereby able to copy down hundreds of inscriptions, both in Sabaic and in Arabic.
    Unlike Joseph Halévy, who concentrated only on the Yemen’s past, Glaser observed and documented everything he saw in Yemen. He carried out research on the topography, the geology and geography, prepared cartographic maps, took astronomical notes and collected data on meteorology, climate and economic trade, as well as on the nation’s crafts.
    From 1895 until his death, Glaser lived in Munich. He dedicated most of his time to preparing his scientific material for publication. Despite his great contribution to science Glaser never succeeded in acquiring a suitable academic position and he remained an outsider in the academic circles of Austria, Germany and France. Only about half of Glaser’s 990 copies and imprints of Sabaean inscriptions have been published, and only a small portion of his 17 volumes of diaries, 24 manuscripts and his scientific findings have been studied.

  • Goldziher (Ignác)Jewish Hungarian orientalist (1850-1921). He is considered one of the founders of modern Islamic studies in Europe. Goldziher’s major work is his careful investigation of pre-Islamic and Islamic law, Muhammedanische Studien published in 1890. In it, he showed how the ḥadīṯs reflect the legal and doctrinal controversies of the two centuries after the death of Muḥammad rather than the words of Muḥammad himself. The Jesuit scholar, Father Lammens, based his own works on these “insightful studies of Professor Goldziher” who had thus brought to light “the profoundly tendentious nature of the [Muslim] Tradition.” Goldziler’s diary has been published in German under the title Tagebuch. In it, we find surprising reflections concerning his journey through the Middle East in 1873: “In those weeks, I truly entered into the spirit of Islam to such an extent that ultimately I became inwardly convinced that I myself was a Muslim, and judiciously discovered that this was the only religion which, even in its doctrinal and official formulation, can satisfy philosophic minds. My ideal was to elevate Judaism to a similar rational level. Islam, as my experience taught me, is the only religion, in which superstitious and heathen ingredients are not frowned upon by rationalism, but by orthodox doctrine.” In Cairo, Goldziher even went so far as to pray as a Muslim: “In the midst of the thousands of the pious, I rubbed my forehead against the floor of the mosque. Never in my life was I more devout, more truly devout, than on that exalted Friday.” Despite this, Goldziher remained a devout Jew all his life.

  • Grosjean (Jean) ◊ French poet, writer and translator (1912-2006). In 1933 he entered the Saint-Sulpice Seminary. After his military service in Lebanon (1936-37,) he was ordained a priest. Mobilised and made prisoner during World War II, his first poetry book was published the year after the war. In 1950, he abandoned the priesthood and married. His translation of the Qurʾān was published in 1979. Brother Bruno considers it a notable regression because he totally disregards the historical and critical method. Brother Bruno is therefore astonished by the approval his translation received from the Islamic Research Institute of Al-Azhar.

  • Guarded TabletAccording to the Islamic tradition, the Qurʾān was passed on to Muḥammad, such as it is kept in heaven from all eternity, on the Guarded Tablet (Q 85:22), the heavenly architype, revealed by ʾAllāh, in the precise, literal form that has been passed down to the present day.

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  • Ḥadīṯ (ḥadīṯ)The ḥadīṯ (lower-case ḥ) are the narrative records of what are purported to be the sayings or customs of Muḥammad and his companions. The Ḥadīṯ (upper-case Ḥ) is the collective body of the ḥadīṯ. Father Lammens positively demonstrates that the ḥadīṯ are nothing but pure inventions embroidered on the framework of the Qurʾānic text. The Ḥadīṯ elaborates its legends, merely inventing names for the actors depicted therein and spinning out the primitive theme.

  • Halévy (Joseph) ◊ Naturalised French Jewish orientalist (1827-1917) born in Edirne (Ottoman Empire). In 1867-1868 Joseph Halévy was entrusted with a research mission to Ethiopia by the Alliance Israélite Universelle. On this occasion, he was the first Western Jew to come into contact with the Falashas, a community of Ethiopian Jews, and to have brought back a detailed description of their way of life.
    Linguist, archaeologist and geographer, Halévy was a professor of Ethiopian and Sabean languages at the École pratique des hautes études in Paris (1879-1917). He founded the Semetic and Ancient History Review. His most important work was carried out in Yemen for the Academy of Inscriptions and Belles-Lettres. He travelled throughout this country in 1869 and 1870 in search of the Sabean inscriptions. The result was a survey of 800 inscriptions of which 686 are in Sabaic, which allowed a first approach to this ancient civilisation. He was the first to propose a partial deciphering of the Sabean language.
    In the specifically Jewish field, the most remarkable of Halevy’s works is to be read in his ‘Biblical Research.’ In it he analyses the first twenty-five chapters of Genesis in the light of the recently discovered Assyro-Babylonian documents, and he believed that he had found therein an old Semitic myth almost completely Assyro-Babylonian, though considerably transformed by the spirit of prophetic monotheism. However, the narratives of Abraham and his descendants were considered by him to be fundamentally historical, though considerably embellished, and the work of a single author. Halévy’s scientific activity was very diverse, and his writings on oriental philology and archaeology earned him a worldwide reputation.

  • Hapax legomenonA word or form occurring only once in a document or corpus.

  • Henninger (Joseph) ◊ German orientalist and Catholic priest, member of the Steyler missionaries [Divine Word Society (SVD)] (1906-1991). After having completed his theological studies at the Pontificia Universitas Gregoriana in Rome in 1934, he went to Vienna, where he attended lectures on Ethnology, Prehistory and Physical Anthropology. In 1934 Henninger became a member of the Anthropos Institute, and he became the assistant editor of its journal in 1936, a position he held until 1949. When Austria became part of the Third Reich in 1938, the Anthropos Institute and its journal moved to Fribourg, Switzerland. He began lecturing at the University in Fribourg and became professor there in 1954. He became associate professor at the University in Bonn in 1964. Ten years later, Henninger took up a professorship at the Philosophical-Theological Faculty in St. Augustin, where he lectured throughout the following years. The regional focus of his work lay on Arabian countries in Northern and Eastern Africa, while the field of his interest included Semitic cultures as well as theories on sacrifice and research on Islam.

  • HijrahThe Hijrah, “emigration,” is the purported flight of Muḥammad and his faithful followers from Mecca to Medina in 622. This year is traditionally given as the date of Islam’s birth.

  • Hirschberg (Joachim Wilhelm)Israeli specialist of the history of the Jews in Islamic countries. (1903-1976) Born in Tarnopol (administered at that time by the Austro-Hungarian Empire), he studied in Vienna at the University and the Rabbinical Seminary. From 1927 to 1939, he was rabbi in Czestochowa, then in 1943, he emigrated to Palestine. He was a research fellow at the Hebrew University from 1947 to 1956 and from 1960 was professor of history at Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, where he headed the Institute for Research on the History of the Jews in Eastern Countries. Hirschberg wrote extensively on the history of Jews in Islamic lands, his major work being a two-volume history of the Jews in North Africa.

  • Hirschfeld (Hartwig)Jewish, Prussian-born, British orientalist, bibliographer, and educator (1854-1934). Hirschfeld studied Oriental languages and philosophy and the University of Berlin. He received his doctorate from the University of Strasburg in 1878. He obtained a travelling scholarship in 1882 which enabled him to study Arabic and Hebrew at Paris. Hirschfeld immigrated to England in 1889, where he became professor of Biblical exegesis, Semitic languages, and philosophy at the Montefiore College. In 1901, he was invited to examine the Arabic fragments in the Taylor-Schechter collection. That same year, he was appointed librarian and professor of Semitic languages at Jews’ College, a position he occupied until 1929. At the same time, he became a lecturer in Semitic epigraphy at University College London in 1903, a lecturer in Ethiopic in 1906, and full professor and Goldsmid Lecturer in Hebrew there in 1924. His particular scholarly interest lay in Arabic Jewish literature and in the relationship between Jewish and Arab cultures. He is best known for his editions of Judah Halevi’s Kuzari, which he published in its original Judeo-Arabic and his studies on the Cairo Geniza. Hirschfeld also contributed articles to numerous periodicals.

  • Homeritae Term used by classical authors to designate the Ḥimyarites, the inhabitants of the Kingdom of Ḥimyar.

  • Horovitz (Josef)German Orientalist (1874-1931). This son of a prominent orthodox rabbi was educated in Frankfurt and later studied at the University of Berlin with Edward Sachau, where he also began to teach. In 1905-1906, he travelled through Turkey, Egypt, Palestine, and Syria, on commission to find Arabic manuscripts. From 1907 to 1914, he lived in India, where he taught Arabic at the Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College in Aligar. He also served as the curator of Islamic inscriptions for the Indian government. Due to his German nationality, he lost these positions at the beginning of the First World War.
    In 1914, he was appointed to profess Semitic languages at the University of Frankfurt, where he would teach until his death. His range included early Islamic history, early Arabic poetry, Qur’anic studies, and Islam in India. Horovitz produced an amazing number of outstanding students during his rather brief tenure at Frankfurt, and his influence upon all of them was strong. He was a very reserved man, but when set talking he was an inexhaustible source of knowledge about the East, past and present, and a paragon of philological exactitude. In the 1920s, as a member of the board of trustees of Hebrew University in Jerusalem from its inception, Horovitz created the department of Oriental studies, became its director in absentia, and initiated its collective project, the concordance of early Arabic poetry. At first Horovitz devoted himself to the study of Arabic historical literature and then to early Arabic poetry. His major work was a commentary on the Qurʾān, which he did not complete. He was not a fervent Zionist, and his political sympathies lay with Brit Shalom, the intellectual movement, comprised largely of German Jews, that abjured a Jewish state. Nevertheless, he gave crucial scholarly legitimacy to a fledgling organisation in Jerusalem, which would later provide a haven for many of the Jewish refugee scholars fleeing Nazi Germany.
    Horovitz is best known for his study: The Earliest Biographies of the Prophet and Their Authors, published in 1927 It is the first comprehensive work on the early accounts of Muhammad’s life making full use of the available sources. It traces the emergence and growth of the Sīrah tradition from the generation of Muslims following the Prophet’s death down to the biographical dictionary of Ibn Sa’d in the 9 century, and thus covers many of the most important developments in the formative stage of Arab-Islamic tradition. Horovitz examined relations between Islam and Judaism in his Jewish Proper Names and Derivatives in the Qurʾān.

  • Hruby (Father Kurt) ◊ (1921-1992) was born in Krems, Austria. His mother, of Jewish origin, converted to Catholicism in order to marry. Kurt was therefore baptised. At the time of the Anschluss in 1938, he escaped the Nazi persecution by leaving with his mother for Palestine. There he was a pioneer of Elijahv’s Qibbûs in the Jordan Valley, where he followed the rabbinical academic cursus or yeshiva. At the age of twenty, however, he decided to enter the seminary. In 1948, he returned to Europe, to Louvain, where he did his theology studies. He was ordained priest on March 18, 1956. Incardinated in the diocese of Liege, he taught at the Institut Catholique de Paris, which he joined in 1961. It was there that Brother Bruno met him. When he entered the Carmelite Seminary in 1956, Brother Bruno had already received from his master Father de Nantes the obedience of undertaking the scientific translation of the Qurʾān. He therefore assiduously attended Father Hruby’s course on rabbinical language and tradition, searching for the sources of the language of the Qurʾān. This is how he began to collect literary and philological contacts capable of explaining not only the ideas present in the Qurʾān, but also the origin of the Qurʾānic language, still absolutely unknown.
    From 1964, the development of the Catholic Counter-Reformation movement established by our founder, Father de Nantes, took priority and absorbed all our energy. However, Brother Bruno continued nevertheless to examine the text of the Qurʾān, collecting significant similarities of vocabulary between it and the rabbinical tradition. It was not until 1980 that Father de Nantes decided to proceed with the publication of the translation and systematic commentary of the Qurʾān. It is then that Brother Bruno resumed contact with Father. Hruby. He received him, was lavish with his encouragement, devoting whole days to answering Brother’s questions and providing him with every desirable learned reference. Brother Bruno submitted to him the proofs of the first volume of our translation of the Qurʾān before having it printed. Father Hruby wrote to him: “You know that in the interest of the cause, I would not hide from you any possible reservations, but there are none to make. Quite the contrary: what I have read so far seems to me to be solid, balanced, well presented and sufficiently irenical for no accusations based on assumptions to be made against you. You know, alas, the mentality of most people: they are less interested in the value of things than in where they come from… Still, one must not be too concerned about that; everyone is entitled to wear his “badge” proudly! Of course, I am not an Arabic scholar and therefore have no competence in that field. But it is also true that generations of professional Arabic scholars have failed to advance by so much as an inch in the fundamental question, which is that of the origins of the Qurʾān. And it is high time for this wall of silence to be breached. Not living in the “Land of Islam” and having no interest in gaining a “satisfecit” from the El-Azhar, you are sufficiently independent to be able to say things without pulling punches.” In 1992, Father Hruby wrote to Brother Bruno, “To hear that you are back working on the Qurʾān again is the best news of all. In this field you are doing a work that will last, the importance of which will, I am sure, be fully appreciated one day. The world of Islam is in a state of ferment, and the true nature of its foundation document, constantly referred to here, there and everywhere, is still cloaked in the darkest obscurity.”

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  • Jamme (Albert)Belgian orientalist, specialist in Semitic languages, epigraphist (1916-2004). Priest in the Community of the White Fathers (Missionaries of Africa). After secondary school, at the Saint Joseph College in Chimay, he entered the White Fathers (Missionaries of Africa) in Glimes (1934) to study philosophy. Then, he made his novitiate in Algeria, at Maison Carrée (1936). He took his oath in Heverlee (1940) and was ordained priest (1941). After his studies in Louvain, he went to deepen his knowledge for two years at the École Biblique de Jérusalem, then at the Institut des Belles Lettres Arabes (IBLA) in Tunis (1948). After further studies in Louvain (Doctorate of Theology and graduate in Orientalist Studies), he left for Rome (1952). After graduating in Sacred Scripture, Religious Sciences and Education, he was appointed Research Professor at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. (1953-1999).

  • Jarden (Dov) ◊ Byelorussian-born Jewish mathematician and linguist (1911-1986). Specialist in Medieval Hebraic literature, he was professor at the University of Haifa, Israel. He was co-author of Ozar rashe tevot, a thesaurus of Hebrew abbreviations.

     

  • Jastrow (Otto ) ◊ German Professor Ordinarius for Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures (1942-....). He taught at two German universities (Heidelberg and Erlangen-Nürnberg) before taking office at Tallinn University in 2008. Over the decades he has conducted linguistic field work in a number of Middle Eastern countries, i.e., Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Israel. He speaks Arabic (several dialects), Turkish, Hebrew and Aramaic. He is author of 12 books and up to 100 articles. His main subjects of research are Neo-Aramaic languages and Arabic Dialectology. He holds a Ph.D. in Semitics and Islamology from the Saarbrücken University, and a Habilitation from the Erlangen University.

  • Jeffery (Arthur) ◊ Australian Methodist minister and renowned scholar of Middle Eastern languages and manuscripts (1892-1959). He taught at the School of Oriental Studies in Cairo (1921-1938), then from 1938 until his death jointly at Columbia University and Union Theological Seminary in New York City. He is the author of extensive historical studies of Middle Eastern manuscripts. His important works include Materials for the history of the text of the Qur’an: the old codices and The Foreign Vocabulary of the Qur’ān (1938), which traces the origins of 318 foreign (non-Arabic) words found in the Qur’ān.

  • Jomier (Jacques) ◊ French Dominican and orientalist (1914-2008). He graduated from the Dominican Faculty of Saulchoir with a degree in Theology and a doctorate in Literature. In 1932, he entered the Dominican Order, and was ordained priest in 1939. Later on he was sent to the Dominican priory in Cairo. It had been founded in 1928 to be an extension in Egypt of the École Biblique de Jérusalem, devoted to the study of archaeology in Egypt in connection with Biblical studies. Unfortunately, international events blocked the project. In 1953, Father Jomier became one of the three founders of the Dominican Institute of Oriental Studies (IDEO) dedicated to Islamic studies aimed at “making Islam better known and appreciated in its religious and spiritual dimensions.”

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  • Kasimirski (Albert Felix Ignace) ou Biberstein (Albin de) ◊ Polish-born Catholic orientalist (1808-1887). He studied oriental languages at the University of Warsaw and Berlin. He fled to France in 1830 after the Tsar Nicolas I crushed the Polish Insurrection in which he had taken part. He became attaché at the French Mission of Persia and in 1851 entered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Entrusted with revising the second translation of the Qur’ān into French [that of Claude-Étienne Savary (1783)], he ended up publishing his own translation: Le Koran, traduction nouvelle faite sur le texte arabe, 1840, Paris, Charpentier, 511pp. He also published a Dictionnaire arabe-français, containing all the roots of the Arabic language and their derivatives, Paris, Maisonneuve et Cie, 2 volumes, 1860.

  • Kugener (Marc-Antoine)Belgian orientalist, historian of religions, and Latinist (1873-1941). He studied brilliantly at the University of Liège and in 1895 was awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy and Letters with the highest distinction. In 1896, Kugener received a travel grant and used it for a long stay in Paris, where he attended courses in the history of religions and oriental languages at the École pratique des Hautes Études, the Collège de France and the Institut Catholique. He then spent the summer of 1897 in Bonn. He returned to Paris the following academic year. From then on he turned his attention entirely to orientalism and the study of the end of paganism in the East. In 1903, the University of Brussels distinguished the young scholar and appointed him lecturer for Greek and Latin palaeography and epigraphy, as well as for Hebrew and Syriac.
    In 1905, he participated in the XIVth Congress of Orientalists in Algiers, where his authority as a scholar was definitively established due to his publications in the Patrologie Orientale. His scholarly work was interrupted by World War I. At the end of the war, he resumed his university teaching. After a term as Dean of the Faculty, Kugener was able to return to normal scientific activity. He was one of the founders of the new Latin studies journal Latomus (1937). Illness, however, was already undermining him. His was exhausted by his heavy workload. The University granted a long leave of absence, but death suddenly struck him down in 1941.
    Kugener’s scientific output was not extremely abundant. Scrupulous, methodical and conscientious, sometimes to the point of excess, Kugener spent years in patient and meticulous research. It was his perpetual self-doubt, his desire to deliver only a perfect work, that prevented Kugener from completing many of his studies and they remain in a state which precludes their publication. He did, however, produce some important works that left a mark on the field of orientalism.

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  • Lammens (Henri) ◊ Prominent Flemish Belgian-born Jesuit and orientalist (1862–1937). Professor at Saint Joseph’s University in Beirut, Lebanon, he was the first to venture applying the rules of the modern historical and critical method to the Qurʾān. Father Lammens based his work on the Professor Ignác Goldziher concerning the historical value of the Tradition. He adopted Goldziher’s viewpoint and pursued the inquiry. Lammens’ conclusions are firm and represent a considerable advance over Goldziher’s. The latter had shown the profoundly “tendentious character” of the Tradition. Father Lammens showed its “apocryphal” nature. He positively demonstrated that the ḥadīṯs are nothing but pure inventions, that the so-called ‘eyewitnesses,’ the authorities of the Ḥadīṯ, are fictitious. Thus, the Sīrah has no historical basis other than the Qurʾān, of which it is nothing more than an imaginary elaboration: “Since the Tradition arises from the affirmations recorded in the Qurʾān,” Father Lammens stated, “it does not provide a verification or complementary information, but an apocryphal elaboration.” He was therefore able to conclude that “the Sīrah remains to be written, just as the historical Muḥammad remains to be discovered.” To do this he advocated rejecting the ‘Tradition’ in its totality, replacing its fanciful exegesis by a scientific exegesis. Although he recommended this, he never carried out this work. When Father Lammens passed away, the Jesuits of Beirut put his works under seal, and since then it has been a law of Islamology to ignore his discoveries.

  • Ledit (Charles-Jean) ◊ Priest of the Diocese of Troyes, France (1908-....). Ordained in 1931, he served as chaplain of the boys’ high school in Troyes, of the University Parish and of the Saint-Vincent-de-Paul conferences. He received the French Academy’s Teissonnière Award for Mahomet, Israël et le Christ (1957). He was named a Canon of Troyes Cathedral in 1964. From 1960 to 1972, he was an Associate Member of the Academic Society of Aube

  • Le Déaut (Roger) ◊ French religious of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit, professor and author (1923-2000). After brilliant studies, first in France and then in Rome, in literature, linguistics and Holy Scripture, he was assigned to the French Seminary in Rome where he was professor of liturgy. He devoted himself above all to studying Sacred Scripture. His master’s degree in the field of Aramaic philology and literature soon led him to be appointed professor at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome (1964 to 1994) where he was professor of Aramaic and Targumic language and literature. Father Le Déaut specialised in the study of ancient Judaism. His major works are his doctoral thesis, “La nuit pascale,” [essay on the meaning of the Jewish Passover from the Targum of Exodus XII] (1963), the translation of the Targum of the Chronicles (1971) and, in the collection “Sources chrétiennes,” the translation, in 4 volumes, of the entire “Targum of the Pentateuch,” (1978-81) He also made numerous contributions to several scholarly journals.

  • Lidzbarski (Mark) German philologist and epigraphist specialising in Semitic scripts (1868–1928). Lidzbarski was born in Russian Poland and received a strict Hassidic Jewish education. At 14, he ran away from home and went to Posen in Prussian Poland, where he studied at a gymnasium (a European secondary school that prepares students for university). At the University of Berlin, he studied Semitic philology, living in difficult conditions. While there, he converted to Evangelical Christianity and changed his forename to Mark. In February 1896, he obtained his doctorate in Middle Eastern studies at the University of Kiel and began lecturing there in Oriental languages; then, in 1907, at the University of Greifswald; and finally, in 1917, at the University of Goettingen as successor of Enno Littmann. He was a corresponding member of the Goettingen Society of Sciences and Humanities from 1912 to 1918, when he became a full member. Lidzbarski was a scholar of high repute in several branches of Semitic studies. He may be considered the founder of Semitic epigraphy; several of his articles and books still may be consulted with great profit.

  • Littmann (Enno)German orientalist (1875-1958). For his 15th birthday present, Littmann asked for a book to self-study Arabic. He showed so much interest in this study that his father’s present to him the following Christmas was 20 grammar books of oriental languages. This is how he entered the field of oriental studies. He finally mastered around 20 languages, modern and ancient.
    Littmann studied theology, classical and oriental languages at the universities of Berlin, Greifswald and Halle. In 1898-99 he continued his study of Oriental languages at the University of Strasbourg. In the following years, he participated in two archaeological expeditions to Palestine and Syria. Then, in 1905-06, he led the German Axum Expedition. Its work represents a monumental collection of linguistic and ethnological material that remains the basis of Ethiopian archaeology and epigraphy. In 1906 he succeeded Theodor Nöldeke as Chair of Oriental languages at the University of Strasbourg. Later he was professor of Oriental languages at the universities of Göttingen, Bonn and Tübingen.
    Though Littmann had actively contributed to many diverse spheres of oriental scholarship, he principally excelled in the field of Ethiopian studies. It was the Semitic Tigre language of Northern, Eastern and Western lowlands of Eritrea that engaged his attention first and foremost.

  • Loth (Otto ◊ German philologist, Arabist and orientalist (1844-1881). As the son of the councillor of the Royal Court of Saxony, he attended the princely school of Saint-Affre in Meissen. From 1863 to 1866, he studied Oriental philology at the University of Leipzig. In 1866, he presented his doctoral thesis: “On Abdallah ibn el Mutazz’s life and works.” From 1870 to 1872 Loth studied Arabic manuscripts in England, then in Tabari, Constantinople and Egypt. Upon his returning to Saxony, he was appointed professor at the University of Leibzig. In the years 1874-1880, Loth was in charge of the editorial staff of the magazine “Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft” (German Oriental Society). In 1881, Loth suggested to Theodor Nöldeke that the mysterious letters might have a distinct connection with the Jewish Kabbalah.

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  • Macler (Frédéric)Historian (1869-1938). He was professor of Armenian at the École des langues orientales vivantes (School of Modern Oriental Languages). He collaborated with Professor René Dussaud in publishing the discoveries of the scientific missions in central Syria.

  • Marmorstein (Arthur ) ◊ Hungarian-born rabbi, scholar, and teacher (1882–1946). Marmorstein descended from a long line of Hungarian rabbis known not only for their Talmudic learning but also for their familiarity with secular literature. He studied at the yeshivah of Pressburg and the rabbinic seminaries of Budapest and Berlin. After visiting libraries for some time in England, Italy, and France, transcribing manuscripts, Marmorstein served for six years as rabbi at Jamnitz (Jemnice), Czechoslovakia. From 1912 until his death he taught at Jews’ College, London. Marmorstein’s scholarship embraced many subjects. His initial training at the universities was in Semitics, with special emphasis on Assyriology. He was particularly fascinated by the aggadic sections of the Talmud and by liturgy. Though Marmorstein contributed to many areas of Jewish scholarship, he is noteworthy for his studies in rabbinic theology, the subject of his two important volumes Doctrine of Merits in Old Rabbinic Literature (1920) and Old Rabbinic Doctrine of God [The Names and attributes of God] (1927); both were reprinted in one volume with an introduction by R.J. Zwi Werblowsky (1968). Other important essays on rabbinic theology by Marmorstein were collected and published under the title Studies in Jewish Theology (1950). Marmorstein’s work is characterized by painstaking detail in the collection of sources, which are important for the study of rabbinic religion.

  • Masoretic text (MT) ◊ The Hebrew text of the Bible, fixed by the rabbis of Yabne (end of 1st century a.d.), vocalised by the rabbis of Iraq and of Palestine called “ Masoretes ” (men of the tradition), in the 6th century a.d.

  • Massignon (Louis) ◊ French orientalist and Islamologue (1883-1962). He was a professor at the Collège de France (a higher education and research establishment), and at the École des hautes études. His father was a rationalist, his mother a practicing Christian. He progressively became an atheist. He was led to studying Morocco and wrote to Father Charles de Foucauld on this subject. He corresponded with him until Father de Foucauld’s martyrdom in 1916. Massignon later distorted the figure of this saint by detaching him from his nationalist context and depicting him as a pure mystic. He is known for his studies of Islamic mysticism and is considered a promoter of interfaith dialogue between Islam and the Catholic Church.

  • Masson (Denise) ◊ French Islamic scholar and translator of the Qurʾān (1901-1994). She was nicknamed the Lady of Marrakech because she resided in this Moroccan city. Her translation of the Qurʾān was published in the Bibliothèque de la Pléiade, 1967. It includes an introduction on the prophet Muḥammad and on the text Qurʾānic itself. Unfortunately her translation is entirely based on the Sīrah. Throughout his analysis, Brother Bruno refers to Denise Masson’s translation of the Qurʾān, along with Régis Blachère’s, for they are the only recent translators who show some concern for critical methods. Masson and Blachère will only serve Brother Bruno occasionally to emphasise the inconsistencies and contradictions of the “accepted meaning.” He does not systematically compare his exegesis with theirs. You will come to understand how totally pointless this would be as you advance in Brother Bruno’s commentary.

  • Montet (Édouard ) ◊ An orientalist and Doctor of Theology, and Professor of Eastern Languages (1856-1934). He was Rector of the Faculty of Theology at the University of Genève. He made a very literal translation of the Qurʾān “placing the sūrahs in their context. Régis Blachère recognised that he owed Montet a debt of gratitude.

  • Moubarac (Father Youakim) ◊ Lebanese Maronite priest, philosopher and renowned theologian (1924-1995). After studies at the Inter-rite seminary of Ghazir, and at Saint Joseph’s Seminary in Beirut, the young Youakim was sent to France by his superiors in 1945. At the end of his studies at the Saint-Sulpice Seminary of Paris, he was ordained priest of the Maronite rite in 1947. The Maronite Patriarchate authorised him to continue his studies at the Institut catholique de Paris. In 1959, he began his academic career by teaching classical Arabic at the Institut catholique. This is where Brother Bruno attended his courses.

  • MuḥammadThe “Prophet Muḥammad,” is a character, a creation ex nihilo of Arabic literature. This creation appeared 140 years after the presumed death of the hypothetical character. This scientific truth established in the early 20th century by Father Lammens, forgotten since then, was never refuted because it is irrefutable. The traditional biography of Muḥammad, the Sīrah, is itself nothing more than a collection of ḥadīṯ. Father Lammens positively demonstrated that these are pure inventions embroidered on the framework of the Qurʾānic text. Chanoine René Aigrain concluded: “In these conditions, we can no longer deal with the history of Muḥammad by using, as several of his biographers do, the Sīrah as a basis.” Even outside the Sīrah there is not one single positive fact that attests to at least Muḥammad’s historical existence.

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  • Nöldeke (Theodor ) ◊ German orientalist (1836-1930). He studied in Göttingen, Vienna, Leiden and Berlin. Along with Ignaz Goldziher, he is considered the founder of modern Islamic studies in Europe. In 1859 his history of the Qurʾān won for him the prize of the French Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, and in the following year he rewrote it in German (Geschichte des Qorâns). Nöldeke admitted: “In the end, I renounce exploring the mystery of the historical personality of Muḥammad.” Nöldeke is best known for his reordering of the 114 Sūrahs of the Qurʾān to match what he considered to be their true historical occurrence. Nöldeke based this work on the sequence of revelation with the development of content and the origination of new linguistic styles. The Nöldeke Chronology divides the Sūrahs of the Qurʾān are into four groupings: the First Meccan Period, the Second Meccan Period, the Third Meccan Period, the Medinese Period. Nöldeke considered this arrangement to be more coherent and comprehensive. Despite this attempt made by Noldëke, and later on by Schwally, Blachère, etc., Brother Bruno believes that there is no reason to give the “Sūrahs” an order different from the one found in the accepted “vulgate.”

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  • obscurityThe author of the Qurʾān speaks of “those who have faith in the obscurity” (first occurrence: Q 2:3). The term designates “the obscurity” of the cloud in which Yahweh came to Moses on Mount Sinai. The author, however, does not mention the cloud. He uses the term “obscurity” to signifying the divine mystery that is the object of the faith of those who neither saw nor heard the thunder and lightning of Mount Sinai.

  • Opening (The)This title was given to the seven verses of the first Sūrah by the commentators. They hesitated, inventing up to twenty-five different titles, and finally choosing the most insignificant one!

  • Ozar rashe tevot ◊ A thesaurus of Hebrew abbreviations co-authored by Shmuel Ashkenazi and Dov Jarden, Jerusalem: Rubin Mass, 1966 1 vol.

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  • Paraenesis ◊ An exhortatory composition giving advice, counsel.

  • Paraenetical style ◊ An exhortatory style intended to incite and encourage, often used in wisdom writings.

  • Philostorgius  ◊ Historian of the Anomoean (or Eunomian) sect (368-c. 439). This sect was an extreme division of Arians in the 4th and 5th centuries. Anomoeanism questioned the Trinitarian doctrine of the relationship between God the Father and Christ. Anomoean doctrine held that “the Son is in all things unlike the Father, as well in will as in substance.” Very little is known about Philostorgius’ life. He was born in Cappadocia and lived in Constantinople from the age of twenty. He is said to have come from an Arian family, and in Constantinople soon attached himself to Eunomius, one of the principal propagators of the heresy, who received much praise from Philostorgius in his work. Philostorgius wrote a history of the Arian controversy titled Church History. His original appeared between 425 and 433, and formed twelve volumes bound in two books. The original had been lost. The 9th century historian Photius, however, found a copy in his library in Constantinople and wrote an epitome of it. Others also borrowed from Philostorgius, and so, despite the disappearance of the original text, it is possible to form some idea of what it contained by reviewing the epitome and other references. This reconstruction of what might have been in the text was first published, in German, by the Belgian philologist Joseph Bidez in 1913. Philostorgius also wrote a treatise against Porphyry, which has also been lost.

  • Pirenne (Jacqueline) ◊ Archaeologist. She received a degree in philosophy (Paris, 1939), then in oriental philology and history (Louvain, 1951). In 1957, she joined the CNRS [see Centre national de la recherche scientifique = National Organisation for Scientific Research]. Pirenne is the author of Corpus des inscriptions et des antiquités Sud-Arabes, published by the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres (Louvain, Belgium, 1977), comprising Volume I, Section 1: Inscriptions, Section 2: Antiquities; and Volume II: Systematic General Bibliography.

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  • QuraishThe Quraish are an Arab people. According to Muslim tradition, the hypothetical Muḥammad, was a member of this group. From the 5th century, it was distinguished by a religious preeminence associated with its hereditary provision of the pre-Islamic custodians of the Kaaba at Mecca. Adjective: Quraishite.

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  • Rodinson (Maxime)Linguist, sociologist, ethnologist and philosopher (1915-2004). Rodinson was born in Paris into a family of Russian-Polish immigrants who had settled in France at the end of the 19th century. Although he spent his childhood in a family climate – that of the Ashkenazi milieu of Central European Yiddish-speaking Jews –, his parents were irreligious internationalists who instilled in their child the ideas of the Enlightenment and secular and republican values. His proletarian parents were active in the Socialist Party, then in the new Communist Party in 1920.
    Rodison received an ordinary primary education. At 14 years of age, he began working as a messenger to earn a living. At the same time he undertook to study alone in order to take the competitive entrance examination for the École des langues orientales, which he passed in 1932. He plunged into academic work with meticulous passion and a rigour. The learning of Arabic, Hebrew and Aramaic testifies to his interest in Semitic languages and in comparative linguistics (he approached some thirty languages), but it was Ge’ez, the ancient Ethiopian language, which became his specialty.
    Mobilised at the beginning of the Second World War, he asked to be sent to Syria to put into practice what he had learned at the School of Oriental Languages. From Syria, he was soon sent to Lebanon. After being demobilised, he managed to find various jobs. He eventually returned to France after is application to the French Institute of Damascus was not accepted, because of his membership in the Communist Party.
    Upon his return to France, he found a job at the National Library, where he was assigned to the Department of Oriental Prints. In 1955, he began a career as an academic at the École Pratique des Hautes Études, where he taught Ge’ez and the historical ethnography of the Near East for more than forty years.
    His work includes nearly a thousand articles for scientific publications as well as for the press, and numerous works accessible to a wide audience. His books can be grouped into three categories, those devoted to the Arab-Islamic world, those dealing with the Jewish people and Israel, and general works.
    At the instigation of a friend, he wrote a biography of Muḥammad, applying to this work the methodological approach of the social sciences. Published in 1961, the book that made him known to the general public.

  • Ronsard (Pierre de) ◊ French poet (1524-1585). He is a major figure in the poetic literature of the Renaissance. Over a period of more than thirty years, he authored a vast body of work, focusing as much on official as on lyrical poetry. Imitating ancient authors, Ronsard first used the forms of the ode and the hymn, considered major forms, but he increasingly favoured the sonnet. Ronsard contributed to the broad expansion of the field of poetry, giving it a richer language through the creation of neologisms and the introduction of popular language into literary French, and establishing rules of versification that have endured for several centuries.

  • Ryckmans (Gonzague) ◊ Belgian priest, Arabist and professor (1887-1969). He taught at the Catholic University of Leuven, where he had begun his studies in philosophy and from which he obtained his first doctorate in 1908. From 1908 to 1911, he continued his studies in theology and pastoral ministry at the Major Seminary at Mechlin. From there, he was sent to the École biblique de Jérusalem in 1911, in order to specialise in the field of biblical exegesis, history of the Ancient East and Oriental Languages. Upon return to Belgium in July 1914, he participated in the trench warfare as stretcher-bearer and chaplain. He was gassed while administering the Sacrament of Extreme Unction to wounded soldiers. In 1919, after the war, he obtained his doctorate in Semitic languages. The publication of his thesis put him in contact with Father J.B. Chabot who convinced him to spend a year in Paris where he met all the great French orientalists and became familiar with the Corpus Inscriptionum Semiticarum. From 1920 to 1930, he was professor of exegesis at the Major Seminary of Mechlin. In 1930, he obtained a professoriate at the Catholic University of Leuven and was entrusted with the courses of Hebrew, Aramaic, Akkadian, and comparative grammar of Semitic languages. In 1936, he became secretary of the newly founded Orientalist Institute, while acting as secretariat for the review Le Muséon. His scientific activity led him essentially in three directions: the publication of epigraphical texts, the creation of work instruments and the drafting of various synthesis, both philological and historical.

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  • Schrieke (Bertram Johannes Otto)Dutch anthropologist and sociologist (1890-1945). Schrieke studied at the University of Leiden, where he obtained a doctor’s degree in “languages and literature of the East Indian archipelago.” At Leiden he was the pupil of eminent Islamologists and Arabists; and of other orientalists. Schrieke then studied sociology at the University of Amsterdam, where he attended lectures in which he was influenced by the theories of Max Weber.
    Schrieke was not a theorist. Rather he took exception to existing theories as being too one-sided or too narrow. He held the view that “a culture forms an organic whole, which cannot be split up into different parts as if these components had no relation to each other.
    As demonstrated by his lifelong work in the social and economic aspects of the history of Indonesia, at that time a Dutch colony, Schrieke’s forte lay in maintaining a critical attitude toward the generally accepted approaches to these subjects, which relied on archaeology and colonial history.
    In his doctoral thesis, (1916), he analysed the text of a manuscript, written in Javanese and ascribed to a legendary Muslim saint. His study of this manuscript, as well as of the early history of the Portuguese and Dutch trade contacts with Indonesia and of the published material on the voyages of Chinese and Arabs in the previous centuries, enabled him to revise the existing theory that the Islamisation of the archipelago had come about pacifically. He came to the conclusion that Islamisation, hitherto considered to be primarily the product of trade relations, had been equally influenced by political conflicts and military struggles. Schrieke suggested that it is “impossible to understand the spread of Islam in the archipelago unless one takes into account the antagonism between the Muslim traders and the Portuguese.
    During the 1920s, when Schrieke was acting as adviser on native and Arab affairs to the Netherlands Indies government, he was called upon to conduct an inquiry into the communist uprisings on the west coast of Sumatra in 1926. In order to explain the success of the communists’ tactics, Schrieke incorporated in his report facts relating to the historical background and structure of society. He was thus able to point to the factors in this transitional period which had helped to foster the antigovernment attitude of the population. Here again his natural approach was to gather any relevant data, including the seemingly unimportant and the controversial.
    As director of the Netherlands Indies Department of Education from 1929 to 1933, Schrieke stressed the need for a sociological approach to educational problems. He defended the existing diversified educational system, adapted as it was to serve the needs of a heterogeneous population.
    When he was professor of sociology in the law school at Batavia, from 1924 to 1929, and later at the University of Amsterdam, from 1936 to 1945, Schrieke’s exerted influence in sociology and history. He fostered surveys of research on both Indonesia and the Netherlands Caribbean territories. Schrieke died suddenly in London in September 1945 while attending a United Nations conference as a Netherlands government delegate on Indonesian affairs.

  • Schwally (Friedrich Zacharias) ◊ German orientalist (1863-1919). He was a student of Theodor Nöldeke. This encounter with Nöldeke would later have great significance for Schwally’s career as an orientalist. Schwally is best known for his Second Edition of Nöldeke’s History of the Qurʾān. When the aged Theodor Nöldeke was approached by his publisher in 1898 to do a new enlarged second edition of his history of the Qurʾān (Geschichte des Qorâns), he entrusted Schwally with this task and gave him full responsibility for the resulting text as being Schwally’s own. Volume One was published in 1909. The two remaining volumes were published after Schwally’s premature death in February 1919. Many orientalists consider this as the definitive text in the field. Schwally adopted Nöldeke’s Chronology that reorganises the order of the sūrahs of the Qurʾān are into four groupings. Brother Bruno believes that there is no reason to give the sūrahs an order different from the one found in the accepted “vulgate.”

  • Septuagint (LXX) ◊ The Greek translation of the Pentateuch, established from the 3rd century a.d. by the Jews of Alexandria working on Hebrew manuscripts that have since disappeared. According to a legend written in a letter by the Pseudo-Aristæus, this translation was supposedly made at the request of the King of Egypt Ptolemy-Philadephus by seventy-two Israelite doctors, whence its name “ septuagint,” which should really designate only the Pentateuch. It fact, it was extended to the whole of the Greek Bible existing at the time of Christ and used by the early Christian Church, quoted by the Apostles and by the Fathers of the Church until the fifth century of our era.

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  • Ṭabarī (Abū Jaʿfar Muḥammad ibn Jarīr al-) ◊ Influential Persian, scholar, compiler, and exegete of the Qurʾān (839-923). Ṭabarī was born in Amol, Tabaristan (modern Mazandaran, Province of Iran, some 20 km south of the Caspian Sea). He spent most of his life in Baghdad and composed all his works in Arabic. He was a professor of law and Ḥadīṯ. He is best known for his knowledge of Qurʾānic exegesis and Islamic jurisprudence He authored enormous compendiums. His major works were the Qurʾān Commentary (Tafsir al-Tabari) and the History of Prophets and Kings (Taʾrīkh al-Rusūl wa al-Mulūk).

  • TannaitesName given to the founding masters of the rabbinical tradition, authors of the Mishna.

  • Theophilus of DibusAetian (an extreme division of Arianism) bishop (died 364 a.d.). Dubbed “the Indian” Theophilus fell alternately in and out of favour with the court of the Roman emperor Constantius II. His origin is obscure and accounts for his surname. He came to the court of Constantine I as a young man and was ordained a deacon under the Arian bishop Eusebius of Nicomedia. He was later exiled because Constantius believed him to be a supporter of his rebellious cousin Gallus. He was exiled a second time for his support of the disfavoured theologian Aëtius whose Anomoean doctrine was an offshoot of Arianism.
    Theophilus was ordained a bishop and around 354, Emperor Constantius II sent Theophilus on a mission to south Asia via Arabia, where he is said to have converted the Ḥimyarites and built three churches in southwest Arabia. He is also said to have found Christians in India, whence his surname, but it is assumed that the ancient geographer sometimes gave this name to the Arabian Peninsula. In about 356, the Emperor Constantius II wrote to ʿEzana of the Kingdom of Axum requesting him to replace the then Bishop of Axum, Frumentius, with Theophilus, who supported the Arian position, as did the Emperor. This request was ultimately turned down.
    On his return to the empire Theophilus settled at Antioch. One of the churches that Theophilus had founded in Arabia during the 4th century was built at Zafar, Yemen and likely destroyed in 523 by the King of Ḥimyar Dhū Nuwās, who had shifted the state religion from Christianity to Judaism. Later in 525, Theophilus’ church was restored by the Christian King Kaleb of Axum following his successful invasion on Ḥimyar.

  • Théry (Gabriel Father (Hanna Zakarias) ◊ French Dominican, historian, theologian et author, and professor (1891-1959). He must be considered the founder of “the scientific exegesis” of the Qurʾān. Doctor of Theology, professor at Saulchoir and at the Institut catholique de Paris, he was also consultor for the Vatican Historic Section of The Congregation of Rites. He was a reputed medievalist in the scientific research community. In 1926, he co-founded with Étienne Gilson the Archives d’Histoire Doctrinale et Littéraire du Moyen Âge (ahdlma). In 1955, he self-published under the pseudonym Hanna Zakarias the first two volumes of his work, De Moïse à Muḥammad. A third volume was published posthumously in 1963. His forth volume remains unpublished. It was Father Théry's brilliant contribution to have understood that it was necessary to begin by comparing the Qurʾān to the Bible. He succeeded in solving the very difficult question of the literary genres of the sūrahs of the Qurʾān. He distinguished three series of texts: a Prayer of Praise, Sūrah I; a dogmatic book of which only fragments remain, which he called the Corab; finally a history book, a true chronicle, which he called the Book of the Acts of Islam.” His monumental work became known to a great extent through the reviews that Father de Nantes wrote on it to stimulate a debate. He wrote: “Hanna Zakarias had the freedom of mind to read the Qurʾān as a document of the past and to seek to explain it by the simplest laws of the historical method.” The inspired intuition that occurred to Father Théry was that the author of the Qurʾān used the Hebrew language to give a religious vocabulary to the Arabs.

  • TorahThe Old Testament begins with a collection of five books, which the Greeks named the Pentateuch. The Jews give the name of Torah, “Law” to this collection, which they have divided into fifty-four liturgical portions

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  • UthmānIn Arabic, Uthmān ibn affān. Father Henri Lammens’ studies led him to conclude that the “Prophet Muḥammad,” is a character, a creation ex nihilo of Arabic literature that appeared 140 years after the presumed death of the hypothetical character. The same must be concluded therefore for the Caliph Uthmān who is purported to have compiled the texts of the Qurʾān as we know it today.

  • Uthmān Qurʾān ◊ The Uthmān Qurʾān is the name given to the final compilation of the texts that form the Qurʾān as we know it today, which is the object of Brother Bruno’s translation and systematic analysis.

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  • Weil (Gustav)German orientalist, philologist and historian (1808-1889). He was born in Sulzbuig, Baden, to a rabbinical family. Like his forebears, he was to have been a rabbi, and he studied Talmud under his grandfather at the Talmudic School in Met. He, however, abandoned this at the first opportunity, entering the University of Heidelberg at the age of twenty. There he studied philology and history, as well as Arabic. In 1830 he went to Paris to study under Silvestre de Sacy, and from there he accompanied the French forces which occupied Algeria, as a correspondent for an Augsburg newspaper. In 1831 he proceeded to Cairo, where he spent more than four years teaching French at the new Egyptian medical school. In Egypt he perfected his Arabic and acquired Turkish and Persian.
    After some months in Istanbul, he returned to the University of Heidelberg, where he served as a librarian for almost twenty-five years. In 1843, Weil published a life of Muhammad entitled Mohammed der Prophet. It was the first Western biography of Muhammad that was free from prejudice and polemic. It was based on a profound yet critical knowledge of the Arabic sources. For the first time, he gave the European reader an opportunity to see Muḥammad as the Muslims saw him. Weil achieved this through an exacting and exhausting use of manuscripts then available in Europe. Although trained in philology, Weil came to regard himself as a historian of Islam. From 1846 to 1862, Weil published the first complete history of the Egyptian and Spanish caliphates, written according to the demands of European criticism and composed from the original sources. Weil reproduced the narrative style of his Arabic sources, resulting in an account that was neither dramatic nor analytical.  In 1861, Weil was given a professorship at the university.
    Gustav Weil’s contribution to the foundation of early Islamic studies is not always given recognition. For instance, Theodor Nöldeke’s prize-winning dissertation on the Qurʾān owes a substantial debt to Weil’s earlier work on the topic, yet it is Nöldeke, rather than he, who is remembered as the great father of Qurʾānic studies.

Aelius Gallus (Gaius)Second prefect of the Roman province of Egypt Roman prefect of Egypt from 26 to 24 b.c. in the reign of Augustus. Aelius Gallus is primarily known for a disastrous expedition he undertook to Arabia Felix (modern day Yemen) by the command of the emperor.
An account of the expedition to Arabia Felix, which turned out to be a complete failure, is given by the Greek geographer Strabo, as well as by Cassius Dio and Pliny the Elder. Aelius Gallus undertook the expedition from Egypt, with a view to explore the country and its inhabitants, and to conclude treaties of friendship with the people, or to subdue them if they should oppose the Romans.
When Aelius Gallus set out with his army, he trusted to the guidance of a Nabataean called Syllaeus, who deceived and misled him. Strabo, who derived most of his information about Arabia from his friend Aelius Gallus, wrote a long account of this expedition through the desert. The scorching heat of the sun, bad water, and disease destroyed the greater part of the army; so that the Romans, unable to subdue the Arabs, were forced to retreat. Aelius Gallus returned to Alexandria and was eventually recalled by Augustus for failure to pacify the Kushites.

Aggadah (pl. aggadot), halakhah (pl. halakoth), and midrash (pl. midrashim) are rabbinic narrative and interpretive literary technics. Aggadah refers primarily to legends, most of which have their origin in rabbinic commentaries on the biblical text, or in the lives of the sages and heroes of Jewish history. They are exegetical or homiletical in nature. Halakhah, on the other hand, refers to the branch of rabbinic literature that deals with interpreting the religious obligations of Jews to God and neighbour.
Often these two literary technics are used together, successively. A halakhah is, in fact, the practical, moral, ritual or legal application of the preceding aggadah. Such is the case in the Qurʾān. Each of the sūrahs that Brother Bruno has studied, begins with an aggadic narrative in which the author proposes episodes from sacred history as figures of events that he himself is accomplishing or that he foresees. To do this, he reshapes the biblical text to reflect contemporary events in a suggestive way. The second part of these sūrahs is a halakhic legal interpretation of this aggadah. In constructing his sūrahs in this way, the author of the Qurʾān is perhaps deliberately imitating the epistles of Saint Paul in which a paraenesis follows a dogmatic exposition in a well-balanced construction of two parts of strictly equal importance.
Midrash refers to ancient rabbinic interpretation of scripture. They are termed midrash aggadah if they provide moral instruction by using various literary genres: stories, parables and legends; or midrash halakhah if their purpose is to explain various legal points.

Aigrain (Chanoine René) ◊ Professor and author (1886-1957). He entered the Major Seminary of Poitiers in 1904 and was ordained priest in 1909. He became professor of the History of the Middle Ages at Université catholique d’Angers in 1923, where he taught until 1951. He was appointed Honorary Canon of Poitiers in 1934. From 1922 to 1924, he contributed the article Arabia to the Dictionnaire d’histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques. It is a complete encyclopaedia on the question of Christian origins in Arabia, supported by a rigorous critical analysis of the positive data known at the time. In it, he rightly concluded that “we can no longer deal with the history of Muḥammad by using, as several of his biographers do, the Sīrah as a basis.” Unfortunately, when it came Islam, he abandoned this fruitful point of view, simply reverting to the use of what is considered to be traditional data, immediately adding to the above remark: “This does not mean that we must retain nothing from it [the Sīrah], which would make it absolutely impossible for us to know the life of the Prophet.” This means that even outside the Sīrah there is not one single positive fact that attests to Muḥammad’s historical existence.

Al-Nuwayrī Arab historian and jurisconsult in the service of the Mameluke Sultans of Egypt. (1279-1333). Born in An Nuwayrah, Egypt, he left an encyclopaedia entitled Nihayat al-arab fi funûn al-adab (All You Wish to Know about Belles-Lettres), in 30 volumes, covering all aspects of human history, as well as fauna, flora, laws, geography, the art of governing, poetry, recipes of all kinds, humorous stories and the revelation of Islam. He was also the author of Chronicle of Syria and History of the Almohads of Spain and Africa.

AlidsThose who claim descent from the caliph Ali and Fatima, respectively the purported son-in-law and daughter of the hypothetical Muḥammad.

Amram Gaon ◊ Head of the Talmud Academy († 875). He was a famous Gaon or head of the Jewish Talmud Academy of Sura during the 9th century. His chief work was liturgical. He was the first to arrange a complete liturgy for use in the synagogue. His Prayer Book, Siddur Rab Amram, has exerted great influence upon Jewish religious practise and ceremonial for more than a thousand years, an influence which to some extent is still felt at the present day.

AramaicA Semitic language known since the 9th century b.c. as the speech of the Aramaeans and later used extensively in southwest Asia as a commercial and governmental language and adopted as their customary speech by various non-Aramaean peoples including the Jews after the Babylonian exile.

Arnaldez (Roger) ◊ Professor of Philosophy, author and orientalist (1911-2006). He authored some thirty works on Islam, medieval philosophy and the thought of Averroes. He began Islamic studies after earning his university degrees as professor of Philosophy. Although profoundly Christian, Arnaldez was a man of dialogue. All his life, he worked in the service of what he called “the spiritual values of a religious humanism.” He was partisan since the 1930s of an ecumenical approach and openness to other religions. He served as consultant to the section for Islam of the Vatican Secretariat for Non-Christians. He was also an active member of the Jewish-Christian Friendship Association of France. Professor at the University of Lyon from 1956 to 1968, then at the University of Paris-Sorbonne until 1978, he was elected in 1986 to the French Academy of Moral and Political Sciences. His international reputation earned him an associate membership in the Royal Academy of Belgium, and a corresponding membership in the Academy of Arabic Language in Cairo. In 1980, Roger Arnaldez, publishing a book under the somewhat enigmatic title of Jesus, Son of Mary, Prophet of Islam, opened a new avenue of research. It was not the hackneyed comparison of the Qurʾānic Jesus with New Testament sources, but the meticulous exploration of the commentaries of the Qurʾān in order to bring out the completely Muslim figure of Christ that they reveal.

Ashkenazi (Shmuel)Israeli philologist and author (1922-....). Born Samuel Deutsch, this Israeli philologist was an author of collections and dictionaries of proverbs and abbreviations. He was co-author of Ozar rashe tevot, a thesaurus of Hebrew abbreviations.

Axum (Kingdom of) The Axumite kingdom, centred in Northern Ethiopia, in the Tigray region as well as what is now Eritrea, is first mentioned in the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, a description of the coasts of the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean written in the latter half of the 1st century a.d. The author describes the port of Adulis and states that “eight day’s journey inland lay the metropolis of the Axumites, whither was carried all the ivory from beyond the Nile and whence it was exported to Adulis and so to the Roman Empire.” The Axumite kingdom existed from approximately 80 b.c. to 825 a.d. A major transformation of the maritime trading system that linked the Roman Empire and India took place around the start of the 1st century. The Axumite kingdom benefitted from it to such a point that it was able to eliminate the rival and much earlier trading network of the Kingdom of Kush that had long supplied Egypt, and through it, the Roman Empire with African goods via the Nile corridor. The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea explicitly describes how ivory collected in Kushite territory was being exported through the Axumite port of Adulis instead of being taken to Meroë, the capital of Kush. In order to supply African goods, such as ivory, incense, gold, slaves, and exotic animals, the kings of Axum worked to develop and expand an inland trading network. From the late 3rd century on, Axumite rulers also assured their hegemony over trade by minting their own currency that bore legends in Ge’ez and Greek.
Before their conversion to Christianity, the pagan Axumites practiced a polytheistic religion related to those practiced in southern Arabia. This included the use of the crescent-and-disc symbol. King ʿEzana was converted to Christianity during his regency (325-328) by his tutor, Frumentius (see the articles: ʿEzana and Frumentius in the glossary). This conversion is attested in stone and numismatic inscriptions. Early inscriptions show that King ʿEzana worshiped the gods Mahrem, Beher and Medr. Later inscriptions during his reign are clearly Christian and refer to “the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” On coins, the pagan crescent-and-disc symbol was replaced with the Cross. Later on, unfortunately, the Church of Axum founded by Frumentius followed the Church of Alexandria into the Orthodox schism by rejecting the Fourth Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon (451). It thus became a Miaphysite church; its scriptures and liturgy conserve the ancient Ge’ez language.
Around 520, King Kaleb sent an expedition to Ḥimyar against the Jewish king Yūsuf Dhū Nuwās who was persecuting the Christian community there. Dhū Nuwās was deposed. For nearly half a century south Arabia would become an Axumite protectorate. Kaleb appointed a Christian Ḥimyarite, Esimiphaios, as his viceroy. This viceroy, however, was deposed around 525 by the Axumite general Abraha with support of Axumites who had settled in Ḥimyar, and withheld tribute to Kaleb. When Kaleb sent an expedition against Abraha, this force defected, killing their commander, and joining Abraha. Another expedition sent against him was defeated, leaving Ḥimyar under Abraha’s rule, although he resumed payment of a tribute, and continued to promote the Christian faith until his death.
After Abraha’s death, his son Masruq Abraha continued the Axumite vice-royalty in Yemen, paying tribute to Axum. However, his half-brother Ma’d-Karib revolted. After being denied by the Byzantine emperor Justinian, Ma’d-Karib sought help from Khosrow I, the Sassanid Persian Emperor, thus triggering the Axumite-Persian wars. Khosrow sent a small fleet and army under commander Vahrez to depose Masruq. The war culminated with the Siege of Sana’a, capital of Axumite Ḥimyar. After its fall in 570, and Masruq’s death, Ma’d-Karib’s son, Saif, was put on the throne. In 575, the war resumed again, after Saif was killed by Axumites. The Persian general Vahrez led another army and brought Axum rule in Ḥimyar to an end, becoming himself the hereditary governor of Ḥimyar. These wars, with an overall weakening of Axumite authority and over-expenditure in money and manpower, made Axum lose its status as great power. After a second golden age in the early 6th century the empire began to decline in the mid-6th century, eventually ceasing its production of coins in the early 7th century. Around this same time, the Axumite population was forced to go farther inland to the highlands for protection, abandoning Axum as the capital.

Baron (Salo Wittmayer)Polish-born American historian (1895- 1989). Baron was born into an educated and affluent aristocratic Jewish family of Galicia (in present-day Poland). His first language was Polish, but he knew twenty languages, including Yiddish, biblical and modern Hebrew, French and German, and was famous for being able to give scholarly lectures without notes in five different languages. Baron received rabbinical ordination at the Jewish Theological Seminary in Vienna in 1920, and earned three doctorates from the University of Vienna, in philosophy (1917), in political science (1922) and in law (1923). He began his teaching career at the Jewish Teachers College in Vienna in 1926, but was persuaded to move to New York to teach at the Jewish Institute of Religion.
Baron’s appointment as the Nathan L. Miller Professor of Jewish History, Literature and Institutions at Columbia University (1930-1963) marked the beginning of the scholarly study of Jewish History in American universities. Baron is considered the greatest Jewish historian of the 20th century. He was opposed to the “lachrymose conception of Jewish history,” of the 19th century, although he recognised that “suffering is part of the destiny of the Jews.” His most important work was originally a three-volume overview of Jewish history published in 1937, entitled A Social and Religious History of the Jews. He kept working on it over his lifetime and it eventually grew to 18 volumes Professor Baron strove to integrate the religious dimension of Jewish history into a full picture of Jewish life and to integrate the history of Jews into the wider history of the eras and societies in which they lived.
After World War II, Baron ran the Jewish Cultural Reconstruction, Inc., an organisation established in 1947 to collect and distribute heirless Jewish property in the American occupied zones of Europe. Hundreds of thousands of books, archives, and ceremonial objects were distributed to libraries and museums, primarily in Israel and the United States. From 1950 to 1968, he directed the Centre of Israel and Jewish Studies at Columbia University.

Ben Abd-el-Jalil (Jean Mohammed) Moroccan Catholic priest (1904-1979). Ben Abd-el-Jalil was born into a family of Muslim notables from Fez on April 17, 1904, Mohammed Ben Abd-el-Jalil received a bilingual and Muslim education. He began by learning the Qurʾān at the University of Al Quaraouiyine in Fez, and then accompanied his father on a pilgrimage to Mecca at the age of 9. Between 1922 and 1925, he attended the Gouraud High School while boarding at the Foucault School, run by Franciscan Fathers in Rabat, the capital of the French Protectorate in Morocco. It was at this time that Mohammed developed an interest in the Catholic religion. He obtained his baccalaureate in 1925.
That same year, he went to Paris for higher studies to obtain a degree in Arabic language and literature. He was also interested in philosophy and theology, frequenting Jacques Maritain, Maurice Blondel, and especially Louis Massignon, who maintained a long friendship and correspondence with him. The celebration of Christmas 1927 was an important step in his conversion, and he asked to be baptised. He was baptised the following year on April 7, in the chapel of the Franciscan College in Fontenay-sous-bois, with the Orientalist Louis Massignon as his godfather. He chose Jean as his Christian name. In 1929, he entered the Franciscan Order, and was ordained a priest in 1935.
In the 1930s, he published anonymously in the magazine En terre d'Islam, an appeal “proposing to the faithful to devote Fridays to pray for our distant brothers." He also founded a “Friday Prayer League for the conversion of Muslims.”
In 1936, he was called as a professor at the Institut Catholique de Paris, where he gave a course in Arabic language and literature, as well as a course in Islamology at the chair of History of Religions. He was forced to resign this post in 1964 due to a cancer. He retired to his convent and led a secluded life. He did, however write a report on the current state of Islam for the bishops of France at the Second Vatican Council. He was received by Pope Paul VI in 1966.

Benediction (The)The title that Brother Bruno has given to the seven verses of the first Sūrah.

BerākhāhThe invocation to the name of God, traditionally called basmala.

Biella (Joan Copeland)American researcher (1947-....) Member of the W.F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research, Jerusalem (1982). She authored the Dictionary of Old South Arabic: Sabaean dialect.

Blachère (Régis)French orientalist, Arabist and translator of the Qurʾān (1900-1973). He held the Arab Philosophy Chair at the Sorbonne and was the director of the Institute of Islamic Studies (Institut des études islamiques) in Paris. He published a history of Arabic literature (1952), a study on the problem posed by Muḥammad (1952), a translation of the Qurʾān (1950 and a new version in 1957), and an introduction to the Qurʾān (1959). He also co-authored a grammar of classical Arabic with Gaudefroy-Demombynes. Throughout his analysis, Brother Bruno refers to Régis Blachère’s translation of the Qurʾān, along with Denise Masson’s, for they are the only recent translators who show some concern for critical methods. Blachère and Masson will only serve Brother Bruno occasionally to emphasise the inconsistencies and contradictions of the “accepted meaning.” He does not systematically compare his exegesis with theirs. You will come to understand how totally pointless this would be as you advance in Brother Bruno’s commentary.

Caetani (Leone) ◊ Italian orientalist, historian and Member of Parliament (1869-1935). Leone Caetani was born into the ancient aristocratic family of Rome. He studied classical history at La Sapienza University, presenting in 1891, a thesis on a papal legation in Paris. However, he became fascinated with the Orient at an early age and made a number of journeys there. His most important journey took place in 1894 from Egypt to Persia. At La Sapienza, he also attended courses in Arabic language and literature, and in Semitic languages. He soon mastered several oriental languages, including Arabic, Turkish and Persian. He participated in his first international congress of orientalists in London in September 1892. Thanks to the family fortune, he was able to build up a rich library on Arab-Muslim civilisation, including a remarkable collection of photographs of manuscripts.
He also conceived very early on what was to become his magnum opus: a meticulous analytical history, year by year, of the early days of Islam from the Hijrah in 622 to the death of the Caliph Ali ibn Abi Talib in 661 (year 40 of the Hijrah). Caetani collected as exhaustively as possible all the “historical” material transmitted by ancient authors, and treated it by the critical methods of modern science. The result was the Annali dell’ Islam, a monumental ten volume work, published between 1905 and 1926. Caetani conceived and began this great work alone, but later enlisted the help of collaborators.
In 1919 he became a full member of the Academy of the Lynceans (of which he had been a correspondent since 1911), but he did not really return to his work on the Annali dell’ Islam, which he had planned to continue until the fall of the Umayyads in 750. In 1924 he created a Fondazione Caetani per gli studi musulmani at the Academy of the Lynceans, to which he bequeathed his splendid orientalist library, and of which he had initially planned to become active president. His notorious opposition to fascism led him to leave Italy for Canada in 1927. He acquired a property in Vernon in the Vancouver hinterland, where he led a secluded and rustic life, interspersed with brief stays in France and England. Having adopted Canadian citizenship, he was stripped of his Italian nationality by the Fascist regime in April 1935, and thereby disbarred from the Academy of the Lynceans a few months before his death.

Cazelles (Henri) ◊ Sulpician, Doctor of Law and of Theology (1912-2008). He was ordained priest in 1940 and entered the Society of Saint Sulpice in 1944. He began his teaching career at the Sulpician seminary of Issy-les-Moulineaux. There his most famous student, Father Georges de Nantes, said of him: “He was, and still is today, a well of erudition, an ocean.” Besides Greek and Hebrew, Father Cazelles knew the ancient Egyptian, Sumerian, Akkadian, Assyrian and Hittite languages, as well as classical Arabic. In 1954, he was offered the Chair of the Old Testament at the Faculty of Theology of the Institut catholique de Paris. This is where Brother Bruno attended Father Cazelles Biblical Hebrew courses (1956-1965).

Centre national de la recherche scientifique ◊  = National Organisation for Scientific Research. The CNRS is a multidisciplinary research organisation, established by the French government in 1941 and affiliated to the Ministry of Education. It receives state funding and its members, who are highly qualified specialists in their fields, are engaged in research in the areas of science, engineering, humanities and social sciences.

CNRS  see Centre national de la recherche scientifique

Constantius II (Flavius Julius Constantius)Roman emperor from 337 to 361 (317-361). Constantius was a son of Constantine the Great, who elevated him to the imperial rank of caesar in 324 and after whose death Constantius became augustus together with his brothers, Constantine II and Constans in 337. The brothers divided the empire among themselves, with Constantius receiving Greece, Thrace, the Asian provinces and Egypt in the east. In 353, Constantius became the sole ruler of the empire after the death of his brothers during civil wars and usurpations. His reign saw constant warfare on the borders against the Persian Sassanian Empire and Germanic peoples. His religious policies inflamed domestic conflicts that would continue after his death. Constantius banned pagan sacrifices by closing their temples. During his reign he attempted to mould the Christian Church to follow his compromise Semi-Arian position, convening several councils. The most notable of these were the Council of Rimini (359) and Seleucia (360) which, however, were not reckoned ecumenical. Constantius is not remembered as a restorer of unity, but as a heretic who arbitrarily imposed his will on the Church.
Constantius realising that he could not possibly handle all too threats faced by the Empire, elevated Julian, his last remaining male relative, to the rank of caesar in 355. In 360, however, Julian claimed the rank of augustus, leading to war between the two after Constantius’ attempts to persuade Julian to resign the title of augustus and be satisfied with that of caesar failed. At the time Constantius was in the East dealing with a new Sassanid threat. A temporary respite in hostilities allowed Constantius to turn his full attention to facing Julian. Constantius gathered his forces and set off west. However, by the time he reached Mopsuestia in Cilicia, it was clear that he was fatally ill and would not survive to face Julian. Realising his death was near, Constantius had himself baptised by Euzoius, the Semi-Arian bishop of Antioch, and then declared that Julian was his rightful successor. Constantius II died of fever on November 3, 361.

Dalman (Gustaf Hermann)German Lutheran theologian, philologist and orientalist (1855-1941). Born Gustaf Armin Marx, he did extensive field work in Palestine before the First World War, collecting inscriptions, poetry, and proverbs. He also collected physical articles illustrating the life of the indigenous farmers and herders of the country. He pioneered the study of biblical and early post-biblical Aramaic, publishing an authoritative grammar (1894) and dictionary (1901), as well as other works. The theologian and translator Franz Delitzsch, who translated the New Testament into Hebrew, entrusted to Dalman the work of revising the Hebrew text.

Daniélou (Jean) ◊ French Jesuit priest, renowned theologian (1905-1974). He was created cardinal by Paul VI in 1970. Son of an anticlerical politician and a foundress of Catholic educational institutions for girls, Jean Daniélou studied literature and philosophy at the Sorbonne. In 1929, he entered the Jesuits and devoted his life to teaching. After studying theology at the Catholic Faculty of Lyon, he was ordained priest in 1938. He founded the collection “Sources chrétiennes” in collaboration with Henri de Lubac. After reading Brother Bruno’s scientific dissertations on the results of his historical research on pre-Islamic Arabia and on the Arab Conquest, he encouraged him to publish them.

de Sola Pool (David)Jewish scholar, author, and civic leader (1885-1970). He was the chief Sephardic rabbi in the United States and a recognised world leader of Judaism. He studied at the University of London. He held a doctorate in ancient languages from the University of Heidelberg. Born in London, de Sola Pool was invited in 1907 to become the rabbi of the oldest Jewish congregation in the United States, located in New York City. His book The Kaddish (1909) remains a definitive and well-regarded work on the origins of the Kaddish prayer.

Demombynes – see Gaudefroy-Demombynes

Dussaud (René) ◊ Orientalist, archaeologist (1868-1958). Professor of Anthropology, curator at the department of oriental antiquities at the Louvre Museum, teacher at the Collège de France. An engineer by training, he quickly turned to the study of the Near East by following the teaching of Charles Clermont-Ganneau, holder of the chair on epigraphy and Semitic antiquities at the Collège de France. Clermont-Ganneau encouraged him to undertake trips which, from 1895 to 1901, led him to visit the whole of Lebanon and western Syria. From his explorations, he brought back copies of numerous Nabataean, Greek and Latin inscriptions, materials for his works in collaboration with Frédéric Macler and the basis for his monumental work on the historical topography of Syria (1927). He also brought back photographs that were among the first to have been taken in interior Syria. Dussaud’s interest in the pre-Islamic Arab world continued throughout his life. He was also one of the first to analyse the different civilisations of the eastern Mediterranean in the 2nd millennium and to recognise their affinities.
He played a decisive role in the creation of an antiquities service in the countries of the Levant placed under the mandate of France after the First World War; he encouraged the opening of major excavation sites and followed their development and publication. For example, the discovery, in 1929, of a library of clay tablets at Ras Shamrah (on the northern Syrian coast), containing texts in the Mesopotamian language, Akkadian, deciphered since the 19th century, and others written in an alphabetical script in a language then unknown. These tablets from this 2nd millennium site revealed the ancient name of the city, Ugarit; thousands of administrative, legal, historical, ritual and mythological texts gave voice to the Levantine civilisations that were known only through the Bible and the Homeric poems. Dussaud established the relationship between the intellectual culture of Ugarit and that of the Old Testament.

Ezana of Axum First Christian ruler of the Kingdom of Axum (c. 320-c. 360 a.d.). ʿEzana of Axum (other possible transliterations: Aeizanes, Aezana or Aizan) was ruler of the Kingdom of Axum (c. 325-c. 356 a.d.) an ancient kingdom centred in what is now northern Ethiopia and Eritrea. Although the name ʿEzana is unknown in the King Lists of Axum, it is attested on coins and in the inscriptions on several stelae and obelisks that he had erected to record his military campaigns. A well-known inscription presents him, as “king of the Axumites and of the Ḥimyarites and of Ḏū Raydān and of the Ethiopians and of the Sabaeans,” indicating that at the time of his reign the Axum Empire extended over a large part of the southern Arabian peninsula.
ʿEzana’s education was entrusted by the widowed queen, his mother, to one of his father’s former slaves, the Syrian Christian Frumentius (see article in Glossary). ʿEzana thus became the first monarch of the Kingdom of Axum to embrace Christianity. When the prince came of age, Frumentius travelled to Alexandria, Egypt, where he requested Saint Athanasius, Patriarch of Alexandria, to send a bishop and some priests as missionaries to Axum to help in the conversion of the kingdom. Saint Athanasius found no one better than Frumentius himself, so he consecrated him as the first bishop of Axum. ʿEzana’s conversion is attested in two inscriptions, the earlier one refers to him adoring pagan gods, in the later one he is said to worship the “God of Heaven.” It is also attested by numismatics. During ʿEzana’s reign the pagan motif with disc and crescent on Axumite coins was replaced by the cross and a motto in Greek “May this please the people,” which expresses the sovereigns concern for his subjects.

Frumentius Catholic missionary and the first bishop of Axum [present-day Ethiopia] (died c. 383). Frumentius was a Syro-Phoenician Greek born in Tyre [present-day Lebanon]. According to an account given by Frumentius’ brother Edesius, the two boys, while accompanying an uncle on a voyage to Ethiopia, after the local people at one of the harbours of the Red Sea where their ship stopped had massacred all those aboard, sparing only the two boys, they were taken as slaves to the King of Axum. Frumentius and Edesius soon gained the favour of the king, who raised them to positions of trust. Shortly before his death, the king freed them. The widowed queen, however, prevailed upon them to remain at the court and assist her in the education of the young heir, ʿEzana, and in the administration of the kingdom during the prince’s minority. They remained and used their influence to spread Christianity. First they encouraged the Christian merchants present in the country to practise their faith openly.
When the prince came of age, Frumentius travelled to Alexandria, Egypt, where he requested Athanasius, Patriarch of Alexandria, to send a bishop and some priests as missionaries to Axum. By Athanasius’ own account, he believed Frumentius to be the most suitable person for the mission and consecrated him as bishop. Frumentius returned to Ethiopia, where he erected his episcopal see at Axum, then converted and baptised King ʿEzana, who built many churches and spread Christianity throughout Ethiopia. Frumentius established the first monastery of Ethiopia. In about 356, the Emperor Constantius II wrote to King ʿEzana and his brother Saizana, requesting them to replace Frumentius as bishop with Theophilus of Dibus, dubbed “the Indian,” who supported the Arian position, as did the emperor. Frumentius had been appointed by Athanasius, a leading opponent of Arianism. The king refused the request. Ethiopian traditions credit Frumentius with the first Ge’ez translation of the New Testament.

Gaudefroy-Demombynes (Maurice) ◊ French Arabist, specialist in Islam and the history of religions (1862–1957). He was a professor at the École nationale des langues orientales vivantes (today INALCO). His best known works are his historical and religious studies on the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca and Muslim institutions. He also translated into French in an annotated edition the story of the Arab travel writer and explorer Ibn Jubair (1145–1217). His book written after Arab authors on Syria at the time of the Mamluk is also a seminal work. Gaudefroy-Demombynes clearly realised that two extreme attitudes were possible for European scholars: either to accept the Sīrah, the only documentary material available to them, as it had been put together in the Muslim world through the evolutions of the Tradition and piety or to accept “only those things, the veracity of which could be established, that is to say, almost nothing.” Unfortunately, Gaudefroy-Demombynes adopted the first solution, even if it meant “appearing naïve in the eyes of certain people.” In order to justify his choice, he had to play down the significance of Father Lammens’ criticism of the Sīrah.

Gesenius (Heinrich Friedrich Wilhelm)German Hebrew philologist and orientalist (1786-1842). He pioneered the comparative method in the analysis of Chaldean, Hebrew and Aramaic. As he was steeped in rationalism, he abandoned the religious considerations that had prevailed until then in the study of the Semitic languages. Among other things, he wrote a Hebrew Grammar (Lexicon hebraïcum et chaldaïcum, edit. Leipzig, 1847) and a commented translation of the Book of Isaiah. His Hebrew-German lexicon served as the basis for the Brown-Driver-Briggs dictionary.

Glaser (Eduard) ◊ Jewish Austrian Arabist and archaeologist (1855-1908). He is considered the most important scholar to have studied Yemen being one of the first Europeans to explore South Arabia. He collected thousands of inscriptions in Yemen.
While working as a private tutor in Prague, Glaser began studying mathematics, physics, astronomy, geology, geography, geodesy and Arabic at the Polytechnic in Prague until 1875. Glaser successfully concluded his studies in Arabic, in Vienna, and enrolled thereafter in an astronomy class. An important turning point in his academic education came in 1880, when Glaser enrolled in the classes of David Heinrich Müller, the founder of South Arabian studies in Austria, for the study of Sabaean grammar. Müller suggested to him that he travel to Yemen, for the purpose of copying down Sabaean inscriptions. A scholarship from the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres in Paris enabled him to make his first trip to Yemen (1882-1884). He returned there on three other occasions (1885-1886, 1887-1888, and 1892-1894).
In addition to his knowledge of Latin, Greek and most of the major European languages, Glaser was proficient in both classical and colloquial Arabic. He saw Yemen as the ideal place for finding basic similarities between the rites of the indigenous peoples and those of the ancient Israelites. He also hoped to identify the geographical names mentioned in the Bible. Glaser was an expert in the Sabaean scripts. Furthermore, his knowledge of Abyssinian history and its language propelled him to examine the connexions between Abyssinia (present-day Ethiopia) and Yemen in ancient times.
Glaser’s good relations with the Turkish governors of Yemen, allowed him to realise his scientific plans and endeavours. He was able to travel throughout many areas inaccessible to foreigners and was thereby able to copy down hundreds of inscriptions, both in Sabaic and in Arabic.
Unlike Joseph Halévy, who concentrated only on the Yemen’s past, Glaser observed and documented everything he saw in Yemen. He carried out research on the topography, the geology and geography, prepared cartographic maps, took astronomical notes and collected data on meteorology, climate and economic trade, as well as on the nation’s crafts.
From 1895 until his death, Glaser lived in Munich. He dedicated most of his time to preparing his scientific material for publication. Despite his great contribution to science Glaser never succeeded in acquiring a suitable academic position and he remained an outsider in the academic circles of Austria, Germany and France. Only about half of Glaser’s 990 copies and imprints of Sabaean inscriptions have been published, and only a small portion of his 17 volumes of diaries, 24 manuscripts and his scientific findings have been studied.

Goldziher (Ignác)Jewish Hungarian orientalist (1850-1921). He is considered one of the founders of modern Islamic studies in Europe. Goldziher’s major work is his careful investigation of pre-Islamic and Islamic law, Muhammedanische Studien published in 1890. In it, he showed how the ḥadīṯs reflect the legal and doctrinal controversies of the two centuries after the death of Muḥammad rather than the words of Muḥammad himself. The Jesuit scholar, Father Lammens, based his own works on these “insightful studies of Professor Goldziher” who had thus brought to light “the profoundly tendentious nature of the [Muslim] Tradition.” Goldziler’s diary has been published in German under the title Tagebuch. In it, we find surprising reflections concerning his journey through the Middle East in 1873: “In those weeks, I truly entered into the spirit of Islam to such an extent that ultimately I became inwardly convinced that I myself was a Muslim, and judiciously discovered that this was the only religion which, even in its doctrinal and official formulation, can satisfy philosophic minds. My ideal was to elevate Judaism to a similar rational level. Islam, as my experience taught me, is the only religion, in which superstitious and heathen ingredients are not frowned upon by rationalism, but by orthodox doctrine.” In Cairo, Goldziher even went so far as to pray as a Muslim: “In the midst of the thousands of the pious, I rubbed my forehead against the floor of the mosque. Never in my life was I more devout, more truly devout, than on that exalted Friday.” Despite this, Goldziher remained a devout Jew all his life.

Grosjean (Jean) ◊ French poet, writer and translator (1912-2006). In 1933 he entered the Saint-Sulpice Seminary. After his military service in Lebanon (1936-37,) he was ordained a priest. Mobilised and made prisoner during World War II, his first poetry book was published the year after the war. In 1950, he abandoned the priesthood and married. His translation of the Qurʾān was published in 1979. Brother Bruno considers it a notable regression because he totally disregards the historical and critical method. Brother Bruno is therefore astonished by the approval his translation received from the Islamic Research Institute of Al-Azhar.

Guarded TabletAccording to the Islamic tradition, the Qurʾān was passed on to Muḥammad, such as it is kept in heaven from all eternity, on the Guarded Tablet (Q 85:22), the heavenly architype, revealed by ʾAllāh, in the precise, literal form that has been passed down to the present day.

Ḥadīṯ (ḥadīṯ)The ḥadīṯ (lower-case ḥ) are the narrative records of what are purported to be the sayings or customs of Muḥammad and his companions. The Ḥadīṯ (upper-case Ḥ) is the collective body of the ḥadīṯ. Father Lammens positively demonstrates that the ḥadīṯ are nothing but pure inventions embroidered on the framework of the Qurʾānic text. The Ḥadīṯ elaborates its legends, merely inventing names for the actors depicted therein and spinning out the primitive theme.

Halévy (Joseph) ◊ Naturalised French Jewish orientalist (1827-1917) born in Edirne (Ottoman Empire). In 1867-1868 Joseph Halévy was entrusted with a research mission to Ethiopia by the Alliance Israélite Universelle. On this occasion, he was the first Western Jew to come into contact with the Falashas, a community of Ethiopian Jews, and to have brought back a detailed description of their way of life.
Linguist, archaeologist and geographer, Halévy was a professor of Ethiopian and Sabean languages at the École pratique des hautes études in Paris (1879-1917). He founded the Semetic and Ancient History Review. His most important work was carried out in Yemen for the Academy of Inscriptions and Belles-Lettres. He travelled throughout this country in 1869 and 1870 in search of the Sabean inscriptions. The result was a survey of 800 inscriptions of which 686 are in Sabaic, which allowed a first approach to this ancient civilisation. He was the first to propose a partial deciphering of the Sabean language.
In the specifically Jewish field, the most remarkable of Halevy’s works is to be read in his ‘Biblical Research.’ In it he analyses the first twenty-five chapters of Genesis in the light of the recently discovered Assyro-Babylonian documents, and he believed that he had found therein an old Semitic myth almost completely Assyro-Babylonian, though considerably transformed by the spirit of prophetic monotheism. However, the narratives of Abraham and his descendants were considered by him to be fundamentally historical, though considerably embellished, and the work of a single author. Halévy’s scientific activity was very diverse, and his writings on oriental philology and archaeology earned him a worldwide reputation.

Hapax legomenonA word or form occurring only once in a document or corpus.

Henninger (Joseph) ◊ German orientalist and Catholic priest, member of the Steyler missionaries [Divine Word Society (SVD)] (1906-1991). After having completed his theological studies at the Pontificia Universitas Gregoriana in Rome in 1934, he went to Vienna, where he attended lectures on Ethnology, Prehistory and Physical Anthropology. In 1934 Henninger became a member of the Anthropos Institute, and he became the assistant editor of its journal in 1936, a position he held until 1949. When Austria became part of the Third Reich in 1938, the Anthropos Institute and its journal moved to Fribourg, Switzerland. He began lecturing at the University in Fribourg and became professor there in 1954. He became associate professor at the University in Bonn in 1964. Ten years later, Henninger took up a professorship at the Philosophical-Theological Faculty in St. Augustin, where he lectured throughout the following years. The regional focus of his work lay on Arabian countries in Northern and Eastern Africa, while the field of his interest included Semitic cultures as well as theories on sacrifice and research on Islam.

HijrahThe Hijrah, “emigration,” is the purported flight of Muḥammad and his faithful followers from Mecca to Medina in 622. This year is traditionally given as the date of Islam’s birth.

Hirschberg (Joachim Wilhelm)Israeli specialist of the history of the Jews in Islamic countries. (1903-1976) Born in Tarnopol (administered at that time by the Austro-Hungarian Empire), he studied in Vienna at the University and the Rabbinical Seminary. From 1927 to 1939, he was rabbi in Czestochowa, then in 1943, he emigrated to Palestine. He was a research fellow at the Hebrew University from 1947 to 1956 and from 1960 was professor of history at Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, where he headed the Institute for Research on the History of the Jews in Eastern Countries. Hirschberg wrote extensively on the history of Jews in Islamic lands, his major work being a two-volume history of the Jews in North Africa.

Hirschfeld (Hartwig)Jewish, Prussian-born, British orientalist, bibliographer, and educator (1854-1934). Hirschfeld studied Oriental languages and philosophy and the University of Berlin. He received his doctorate from the University of Strasburg in 1878. He obtained a travelling scholarship in 1882 which enabled him to study Arabic and Hebrew at Paris. Hirschfeld immigrated to England in 1889, where he became professor of Biblical exegesis, Semitic languages, and philosophy at the Montefiore College. In 1901, he was invited to examine the Arabic fragments in the Taylor-Schechter collection. That same year, he was appointed librarian and professor of Semitic languages at Jews’ College, a position he occupied until 1929. At the same time, he became a lecturer in Semitic epigraphy at University College London in 1903, a lecturer in Ethiopic in 1906, and full professor and Goldsmid Lecturer in Hebrew there in 1924. His particular scholarly interest lay in Arabic Jewish literature and in the relationship between Jewish and Arab cultures. He is best known for his editions of Judah Halevi’s Kuzari, which he published in its original Judeo-Arabic and his studies on the Cairo Geniza. Hirschfeld also contributed articles to numerous periodicals.

Homeritae Term used by classical authors to designate the Ḥimyarites, the inhabitants of the Kingdom of Ḥimyar.

Horovitz (Josef)German Orientalist (1874-1931). This son of a prominent orthodox rabbi was educated in Frankfurt and later studied at the University of Berlin with Edward Sachau, where he also began to teach. In 1905-1906, he travelled through Turkey, Egypt, Palestine, and Syria, on commission to find Arabic manuscripts. From 1907 to 1914, he lived in India, where he taught Arabic at the Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College in Aligar. He also served as the curator of Islamic inscriptions for the Indian government. Due to his German nationality, he lost these positions at the beginning of the First World War.
In 1914, he was appointed to profess Semitic languages at the University of Frankfurt, where he would teach until his death. His range included early Islamic history, early Arabic poetry, Qur’anic studies, and Islam in India. Horovitz produced an amazing number of outstanding students during his rather brief tenure at Frankfurt, and his influence upon all of them was strong. He was a very reserved man, but when set talking he was an inexhaustible source of knowledge about the East, past and present, and a paragon of philological exactitude. In the 1920s, as a member of the board of trustees of Hebrew University in Jerusalem from its inception, Horovitz created the department of Oriental studies, became its director in absentia, and initiated its collective project, the concordance of early Arabic poetry. At first Horovitz devoted himself to the study of Arabic historical literature and then to early Arabic poetry. His major work was a commentary on the Qurʾān, which he did not complete. He was not a fervent Zionist, and his political sympathies lay with Brit Shalom, the intellectual movement, comprised largely of German Jews, that abjured a Jewish state. Nevertheless, he gave crucial scholarly legitimacy to a fledgling organisation in Jerusalem, which would later provide a haven for many of the Jewish refugee scholars fleeing Nazi Germany.
Horovitz is best known for his study: The Earliest Biographies of the Prophet and Their Authors, published in 1927 It is the first comprehensive work on the early accounts of Muhammad’s life making full use of the available sources. It traces the emergence and growth of the Sīrah tradition from the generation of Muslims following the Prophet’s death down to the biographical dictionary of Ibn Sa’d in the 9 century, and thus covers many of the most important developments in the formative stage of Arab-Islamic tradition. Horovitz examined relations between Islam and Judaism in his Jewish Proper Names and Derivatives in the Qurʾān.

Hruby (Father Kurt) ◊ (1921-1992) was born in Krems, Austria. His mother, of Jewish origin, converted to Catholicism in order to marry. Kurt was therefore baptised. At the time of the Anschluss in 1938, he escaped the Nazi persecution by leaving with his mother for Palestine. There he was a pioneer of Elijahv’s Qibbûs in the Jordan Valley, where he followed the rabbinical academic cursus or yeshiva. At the age of twenty, however, he decided to enter the seminary. In 1948, he returned to Europe, to Louvain, where he did his theology studies. He was ordained priest on March 18, 1956. Incardinated in the diocese of Liege, he taught at the Institut Catholique de Paris, which he joined in 1961. It was there that Brother Bruno met him. When he entered the Carmelite Seminary in 1956, Brother Bruno had already received from his master Father de Nantes the obedience of undertaking the scientific translation of the Qurʾān. He therefore assiduously attended Father Hruby’s course on rabbinical language and tradition, searching for the sources of the language of the Qurʾān. This is how he began to collect literary and philological contacts capable of explaining not only the ideas present in the Qurʾān, but also the origin of the Qurʾānic language, still absolutely unknown.
From 1964, the development of the Catholic Counter-Reformation movement established by our founder, Father de Nantes, took priority and absorbed all our energy. However, Brother Bruno continued nevertheless to examine the text of the Qurʾān, collecting significant similarities of vocabulary between it and the rabbinical tradition. It was not until 1980 that Father de Nantes decided to proceed with the publication of the translation and systematic commentary of the Qurʾān. It is then that Brother Bruno resumed contact with Father. Hruby. He received him, was lavish with his encouragement, devoting whole days to answering Brother’s questions and providing him with every desirable learned reference. Brother Bruno submitted to him the proofs of the first volume of our translation of the Qurʾān before having it printed. Father Hruby wrote to him: “You know that in the interest of the cause, I would not hide from you any possible reservations, but there are none to make. Quite the contrary: what I have read so far seems to me to be solid, balanced, well presented and sufficiently irenical for no accusations based on assumptions to be made against you. You know, alas, the mentality of most people: they are less interested in the value of things than in where they come from… Still, one must not be too concerned about that; everyone is entitled to wear his “badge” proudly! Of course, I am not an Arabic scholar and therefore have no competence in that field. But it is also true that generations of professional Arabic scholars have failed to advance by so much as an inch in the fundamental question, which is that of the origins of the Qurʾān. And it is high time for this wall of silence to be breached. Not living in the “Land of Islam” and having no interest in gaining a “satisfecit” from the El-Azhar, you are sufficiently independent to be able to say things without pulling punches.” In 1992, Father Hruby wrote to Brother Bruno, “To hear that you are back working on the Qurʾān again is the best news of all. In this field you are doing a work that will last, the importance of which will, I am sure, be fully appreciated one day. The world of Islam is in a state of ferment, and the true nature of its foundation document, constantly referred to here, there and everywhere, is still cloaked in the darkest obscurity.”

Jamme (Albert)Belgian orientalist, specialist in Semitic languages, epigraphist (1916-2004). Priest in the Community of the White Fathers (Missionaries of Africa). After secondary school, at the Saint Joseph College in Chimay, he entered the White Fathers (Missionaries of Africa) in Glimes (1934) to study philosophy. Then, he made his novitiate in Algeria, at Maison Carrée (1936). He took his oath in Heverlee (1940) and was ordained priest (1941). After his studies in Louvain, he went to deepen his knowledge for two years at the École Biblique de Jérusalem, then at the Institut des Belles Lettres Arabes (IBLA) in Tunis (1948). After further studies in Louvain (Doctorate of Theology and graduate in Orientalist Studies), he left for Rome (1952). After graduating in Sacred Scripture, Religious Sciences and Education, he was appointed Research Professor at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. (1953-1999).

Jarden (Dov) ◊ Byelorussian-born Jewish mathematician and linguist (1911-1986). Specialist in Medieval Hebraic literature, he was professor at the University of Haifa, Israel. He was co-author of Ozar rashe tevot, a thesaurus of Hebrew abbreviations.

 

Jastrow (Otto ) ◊ German Professor Ordinarius for Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures (1942-....). He taught at two German universities (Heidelberg and Erlangen-Nürnberg) before taking office at Tallinn University in 2008. Over the decades he has conducted linguistic field work in a number of Middle Eastern countries, i.e., Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Israel. He speaks Arabic (several dialects), Turkish, Hebrew and Aramaic. He is author of 12 books and up to 100 articles. His main subjects of research are Neo-Aramaic languages and Arabic Dialectology. He holds a Ph.D. in Semitics and Islamology from the Saarbrücken University, and a Habilitation from the Erlangen University.

Jeffery (Arthur) ◊ Australian Methodist minister and renowned scholar of Middle Eastern languages and manuscripts (1892-1959). He taught at the School of Oriental Studies in Cairo (1921-1938), then from 1938 until his death jointly at Columbia University and Union Theological Seminary in New York City. He is the author of extensive historical studies of Middle Eastern manuscripts. His important works include Materials for the history of the text of the Qur’an: the old codices and The Foreign Vocabulary of the Qur’ān (1938), which traces the origins of 318 foreign (non-Arabic) words found in the Qur’ān.

Jomier (Jacques) ◊ French Dominican and orientalist (1914-2008). He graduated from the Dominican Faculty of Saulchoir with a degree in Theology and a doctorate in Literature. In 1932, he entered the Dominican Order, and was ordained priest in 1939. Later on he was sent to the Dominican priory in Cairo. It had been founded in 1928 to be an extension in Egypt of the École Biblique de Jérusalem, devoted to the study of archaeology in Egypt in connection with Biblical studies. Unfortunately, international events blocked the project. In 1953, Father Jomier became one of the three founders of the Dominican Institute of Oriental Studies (IDEO) dedicated to Islamic studies aimed at “making Islam better known and appreciated in its religious and spiritual dimensions.”

Kasimirski (Albert Felix Ignace) ou Biberstein (Albin de) ◊ Polish-born Catholic orientalist (1808-1887). He studied oriental languages at the University of Warsaw and Berlin. He fled to France in 1830 after the Tsar Nicolas I crushed the Polish Insurrection in which he had taken part. He became attaché at the French Mission of Persia and in 1851 entered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Entrusted with revising the second translation of the Qur’ān into French [that of Claude-Étienne Savary (1783)], he ended up publishing his own translation: Le Koran, traduction nouvelle faite sur le texte arabe, 1840, Paris, Charpentier, 511pp. He also published a Dictionnaire arabe-français, containing all the roots of the Arabic language and their derivatives, Paris, Maisonneuve et Cie, 2 volumes, 1860.

Kugener (Marc-Antoine)Belgian orientalist, historian of religions, and Latinist (1873-1941). He studied brilliantly at the University of Liège and in 1895 was awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy and Letters with the highest distinction. In 1896, Kugener received a travel grant and used it for a long stay in Paris, where he attended courses in the history of religions and oriental languages at the École pratique des Hautes Études, the Collège de France and the Institut Catholique. He then spent the summer of 1897 in Bonn. He returned to Paris the following academic year. From then on he turned his attention entirely to orientalism and the study of the end of paganism in the East. In 1903, the University of Brussels distinguished the young scholar and appointed him lecturer for Greek and Latin palaeography and epigraphy, as well as for Hebrew and Syriac.
In 1905, he participated in the XIVth Congress of Orientalists in Algiers, where his authority as a scholar was definitively established due to his publications in the Patrologie Orientale. His scholarly work was interrupted by World War I. At the end of the war, he resumed his university teaching. After a term as Dean of the Faculty, Kugener was able to return to normal scientific activity. He was one of the founders of the new Latin studies journal Latomus (1937). Illness, however, was already undermining him. His was exhausted by his heavy workload. The University granted a long leave of absence, but death suddenly struck him down in 1941.
Kugener’s scientific output was not extremely abundant. Scrupulous, methodical and conscientious, sometimes to the point of excess, Kugener spent years in patient and meticulous research. It was his perpetual self-doubt, his desire to deliver only a perfect work, that prevented Kugener from completing many of his studies and they remain in a state which precludes their publication. He did, however, produce some important works that left a mark on the field of orientalism.

Lammens (Henri) ◊ Prominent Flemish Belgian-born Jesuit and orientalist (1862–1937). Professor at Saint Joseph’s University in Beirut, Lebanon, he was the first to venture applying the rules of the modern historical and critical method to the Qurʾān. Father Lammens based his work on the Professor Ignác Goldziher concerning the historical value of the Tradition. He adopted Goldziher’s viewpoint and pursued the inquiry. Lammens’ conclusions are firm and represent a considerable advance over Goldziher’s. The latter had shown the profoundly “tendentious character” of the Tradition. Father Lammens showed its “apocryphal” nature. He positively demonstrated that the ḥadīṯs are nothing but pure inventions, that the so-called ‘eyewitnesses,’ the authorities of the Ḥadīṯ, are fictitious. Thus, the Sīrah has no historical basis other than the Qurʾān, of which it is nothing more than an imaginary elaboration: “Since the Tradition arises from the affirmations recorded in the Qurʾān,” Father Lammens stated, “it does not provide a verification or complementary information, but an apocryphal elaboration.” He was therefore able to conclude that “the Sīrah remains to be written, just as the historical Muḥammad remains to be discovered.” To do this he advocated rejecting the ‘Tradition’ in its totality, replacing its fanciful exegesis by a scientific exegesis. Although he recommended this, he never carried out this work. When Father Lammens passed away, the Jesuits of Beirut put his works under seal, and since then it has been a law of Islamology to ignore his discoveries.

Ledit (Charles-Jean) ◊ Priest of the Diocese of Troyes, France (1908-....). Ordained in 1931, he served as chaplain of the boys’ high school in Troyes, of the University Parish and of the Saint-Vincent-de-Paul conferences. He received the French Academy’s Teissonnière Award for Mahomet, Israël et le Christ (1957). He was named a Canon of Troyes Cathedral in 1964. From 1960 to 1972, he was an Associate Member of the Academic Society of Aube

Le Déaut (Roger) ◊ French religious of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit, professor and author (1923-2000). After brilliant studies, first in France and then in Rome, in literature, linguistics and Holy Scripture, he was assigned to the French Seminary in Rome where he was professor of liturgy. He devoted himself above all to studying Sacred Scripture. His master’s degree in the field of Aramaic philology and literature soon led him to be appointed professor at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome (1964 to 1994) where he was professor of Aramaic and Targumic language and literature. Father Le Déaut specialised in the study of ancient Judaism. His major works are his doctoral thesis, “La nuit pascale,” [essay on the meaning of the Jewish Passover from the Targum of Exodus XII] (1963), the translation of the Targum of the Chronicles (1971) and, in the collection “Sources chrétiennes,” the translation, in 4 volumes, of the entire “Targum of the Pentateuch,” (1978-81) He also made numerous contributions to several scholarly journals.

Lidzbarski (Mark) German philologist and epigraphist specialising in Semitic scripts (1868–1928). Lidzbarski was born in Russian Poland and received a strict Hassidic Jewish education. At 14, he ran away from home and went to Posen in Prussian Poland, where he studied at a gymnasium (a European secondary school that prepares students for university). At the University of Berlin, he studied Semitic philology, living in difficult conditions. While there, he converted to Evangelical Christianity and changed his forename to Mark. In February 1896, he obtained his doctorate in Middle Eastern studies at the University of Kiel and began lecturing there in Oriental languages; then, in 1907, at the University of Greifswald; and finally, in 1917, at the University of Goettingen as successor of Enno Littmann. He was a corresponding member of the Goettingen Society of Sciences and Humanities from 1912 to 1918, when he became a full member. Lidzbarski was a scholar of high repute in several branches of Semitic studies. He may be considered the founder of Semitic epigraphy; several of his articles and books still may be consulted with great profit.

Littmann (Enno)German orientalist (1875-1958). For his 15th birthday present, Littmann asked for a book to self-study Arabic. He showed so much interest in this study that his father’s present to him the following Christmas was 20 grammar books of oriental languages. This is how he entered the field of oriental studies. He finally mastered around 20 languages, modern and ancient.
Littmann studied theology, classical and oriental languages at the universities of Berlin, Greifswald and Halle. In 1898-99 he continued his study of Oriental languages at the University of Strasbourg. In the following years, he participated in two archaeological expeditions to Palestine and Syria. Then, in 1905-06, he led the German Axum Expedition. Its work represents a monumental collection of linguistic and ethnological material that remains the basis of Ethiopian archaeology and epigraphy. In 1906 he succeeded Theodor Nöldeke as Chair of Oriental languages at the University of Strasbourg. Later he was professor of Oriental languages at the universities of Göttingen, Bonn and Tübingen.
Though Littmann had actively contributed to many diverse spheres of oriental scholarship, he principally excelled in the field of Ethiopian studies. It was the Semitic Tigre language of Northern, Eastern and Western lowlands of Eritrea that engaged his attention first and foremost.

Loth (Otto ◊ German philologist, Arabist and orientalist (1844-1881). As the son of the councillor of the Royal Court of Saxony, he attended the princely school of Saint-Affre in Meissen. From 1863 to 1866, he studied Oriental philology at the University of Leipzig. In 1866, he presented his doctoral thesis: “On Abdallah ibn el Mutazz’s life and works.” From 1870 to 1872 Loth studied Arabic manuscripts in England, then in Tabari, Constantinople and Egypt. Upon his returning to Saxony, he was appointed professor at the University of Leibzig. In the years 1874-1880, Loth was in charge of the editorial staff of the magazine “Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft” (German Oriental Society). In 1881, Loth suggested to Theodor Nöldeke that the mysterious letters might have a distinct connection with the Jewish Kabbalah.

Macler (Frédéric)Historian (1869-1938). He was professor of Armenian at the École des langues orientales vivantes (School of Modern Oriental Languages). He collaborated with Professor René Dussaud in publishing the discoveries of the scientific missions in central Syria.

Marmorstein (Arthur ) ◊ Hungarian-born rabbi, scholar, and teacher (1882–1946). Marmorstein descended from a long line of Hungarian rabbis known not only for their Talmudic learning but also for their familiarity with secular literature. He studied at the yeshivah of Pressburg and the rabbinic seminaries of Budapest and Berlin. After visiting libraries for some time in England, Italy, and France, transcribing manuscripts, Marmorstein served for six years as rabbi at Jamnitz (Jemnice), Czechoslovakia. From 1912 until his death he taught at Jews’ College, London. Marmorstein’s scholarship embraced many subjects. His initial training at the universities was in Semitics, with special emphasis on Assyriology. He was particularly fascinated by the aggadic sections of the Talmud and by liturgy. Though Marmorstein contributed to many areas of Jewish scholarship, he is noteworthy for his studies in rabbinic theology, the subject of his two important volumes Doctrine of Merits in Old Rabbinic Literature (1920) and Old Rabbinic Doctrine of God [The Names and attributes of God] (1927); both were reprinted in one volume with an introduction by R.J. Zwi Werblowsky (1968). Other important essays on rabbinic theology by Marmorstein were collected and published under the title Studies in Jewish Theology (1950). Marmorstein’s work is characterized by painstaking detail in the collection of sources, which are important for the study of rabbinic religion.

Masoretic text (MT) ◊ The Hebrew text of the Bible, fixed by the rabbis of Yabne (end of 1st century a.d.), vocalised by the rabbis of Iraq and of Palestine called “ Masoretes ” (men of the tradition), in the 6th century a.d.

Massignon (Louis) ◊ French orientalist and Islamologue (1883-1962). He was a professor at the Collège de France (a higher education and research establishment), and at the École des hautes études. His father was a rationalist, his mother a practicing Christian. He progressively became an atheist. He was led to studying Morocco and wrote to Father Charles de Foucauld on this subject. He corresponded with him until Father de Foucauld’s martyrdom in 1916. Massignon later distorted the figure of this saint by detaching him from his nationalist context and depicting him as a pure mystic. He is known for his studies of Islamic mysticism and is considered a promoter of interfaith dialogue between Islam and the Catholic Church.

Masson (Denise) ◊ French Islamic scholar and translator of the Qurʾān (1901-1994). She was nicknamed the Lady of Marrakech because she resided in this Moroccan city. Her translation of the Qurʾān was published in the Bibliothèque de la Pléiade, 1967. It includes an introduction on the prophet Muḥammad and on the text Qurʾānic itself. Unfortunately her translation is entirely based on the Sīrah. Throughout his analysis, Brother Bruno refers to Denise Masson’s translation of the Qurʾān, along with Régis Blachère’s, for they are the only recent translators who show some concern for critical methods. Masson and Blachère will only serve Brother Bruno occasionally to emphasise the inconsistencies and contradictions of the “accepted meaning.” He does not systematically compare his exegesis with theirs. You will come to understand how totally pointless this would be as you advance in Brother Bruno’s commentary.

Montet (Édouard ) ◊ An orientalist and Doctor of Theology, and Professor of Eastern Languages (1856-1934). He was Rector of the Faculty of Theology at the University of Genève. He made a very literal translation of the Qurʾān “placing the sūrahs in their context. Régis Blachère recognised that he owed Montet a debt of gratitude.

Moubarac (Father Youakim) ◊ Lebanese Maronite priest, philosopher and renowned theologian (1924-1995). After studies at the Inter-rite seminary of Ghazir, and at Saint Joseph’s Seminary in Beirut, the young Youakim was sent to France by his superiors in 1945. At the end of his studies at the Saint-Sulpice Seminary of Paris, he was ordained priest of the Maronite rite in 1947. The Maronite Patriarchate authorised him to continue his studies at the Institut catholique de Paris. In 1959, he began his academic career by teaching classical Arabic at the Institut catholique. This is where Brother Bruno attended his courses.

MuḥammadThe “Prophet Muḥammad,” is a character, a creation ex nihilo of Arabic literature. This creation appeared 140 years after the presumed death of the hypothetical character. This scientific truth established in the early 20th century by Father Lammens, forgotten since then, was never refuted because it is irrefutable. The traditional biography of Muḥammad, the Sīrah, is itself nothing more than a collection of ḥadīṯ. Father Lammens positively demonstrated that these are pure inventions embroidered on the framework of the Qurʾānic text. Chanoine René Aigrain concluded: “In these conditions, we can no longer deal with the history of Muḥammad by using, as several of his biographers do, the Sīrah as a basis.” Even outside the Sīrah there is not one single positive fact that attests to at least Muḥammad’s historical existence.

Nöldeke (Theodor ) ◊ German orientalist (1836-1930). He studied in Göttingen, Vienna, Leiden and Berlin. Along with Ignaz Goldziher, he is considered the founder of modern Islamic studies in Europe. In 1859 his history of the Qurʾān won for him the prize of the French Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, and in the following year he rewrote it in German (Geschichte des Qorâns). Nöldeke admitted: “In the end, I renounce exploring the mystery of the historical personality of Muḥammad.” Nöldeke is best known for his reordering of the 114 Sūrahs of the Qurʾān to match what he considered to be their true historical occurrence. Nöldeke based this work on the sequence of revelation with the development of content and the origination of new linguistic styles. The Nöldeke Chronology divides the Sūrahs of the Qurʾān are into four groupings: the First Meccan Period, the Second Meccan Period, the Third Meccan Period, the Medinese Period. Nöldeke considered this arrangement to be more coherent and comprehensive. Despite this attempt made by Noldëke, and later on by Schwally, Blachère, etc., Brother Bruno believes that there is no reason to give the “Sūrahs” an order different from the one found in the accepted “vulgate.”

obscurityThe author of the Qurʾān speaks of “those who have faith in the obscurity” (first occurrence: Q 2:3). The term designates “the obscurity” of the cloud in which Yahweh came to Moses on Mount Sinai. The author, however, does not mention the cloud. He uses the term “obscurity” to signifying the divine mystery that is the object of the faith of those who neither saw nor heard the thunder and lightning of Mount Sinai.

Opening (The)This title was given to the seven verses of the first Sūrah by the commentators. They hesitated, inventing up to twenty-five different titles, and finally choosing the most insignificant one!

Ozar rashe tevot ◊ A thesaurus of Hebrew abbreviations co-authored by Shmuel Ashkenazi and Dov Jarden, Jerusalem: Rubin Mass, 1966 1 vol.

Paraenesis ◊ An exhortatory composition giving advice, counsel.

Paraenetical style ◊ An exhortatory style intended to incite and encourage, often used in wisdom writings.

Philostorgius  ◊ Historian of the Anomoean (or Eunomian) sect (368-c. 439). This sect was an extreme division of Arians in the 4th and 5th centuries. Anomoeanism questioned the Trinitarian doctrine of the relationship between God the Father and Christ. Anomoean doctrine held that “the Son is in all things unlike the Father, as well in will as in substance.” Very little is known about Philostorgius’ life. He was born in Cappadocia and lived in Constantinople from the age of twenty. He is said to have come from an Arian family, and in Constantinople soon attached himself to Eunomius, one of the principal propagators of the heresy, who received much praise from Philostorgius in his work. Philostorgius wrote a history of the Arian controversy titled Church History. His original appeared between 425 and 433, and formed twelve volumes bound in two books. The original had been lost. The 9th century historian Photius, however, found a copy in his library in Constantinople and wrote an epitome of it. Others also borrowed from Philostorgius, and so, despite the disappearance of the original text, it is possible to form some idea of what it contained by reviewing the epitome and other references. This reconstruction of what might have been in the text was first published, in German, by the Belgian philologist Joseph Bidez in 1913. Philostorgius also wrote a treatise against Porphyry, which has also been lost.

Pirenne (Jacqueline) ◊ Archaeologist. She received a degree in philosophy (Paris, 1939), then in oriental philology and history (Louvain, 1951). In 1957, she joined the CNRS [see Centre national de la recherche scientifique = National Organisation for Scientific Research]. Pirenne is the author of Corpus des inscriptions et des antiquités Sud-Arabes, published by the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres (Louvain, Belgium, 1977), comprising Volume I, Section 1: Inscriptions, Section 2: Antiquities; and Volume II: Systematic General Bibliography.

QuraishThe Quraish are an Arab people. According to Muslim tradition, the hypothetical Muḥammad, was a member of this group. From the 5th century, it was distinguished by a religious preeminence associated with its hereditary provision of the pre-Islamic custodians of the Kaaba at Mecca. Adjective: Quraishite.

Rodinson (Maxime)Linguist, sociologist, ethnologist and philosopher (1915-2004). Rodinson was born in Paris into a family of Russian-Polish immigrants who had settled in France at the end of the 19th century. Although he spent his childhood in a family climate – that of the Ashkenazi milieu of Central European Yiddish-speaking Jews –, his parents were irreligious internationalists who instilled in their child the ideas of the Enlightenment and secular and republican values. His proletarian parents were active in the Socialist Party, then in the new Communist Party in 1920.
Rodison received an ordinary primary education. At 14 years of age, he began working as a messenger to earn a living. At the same time he undertook to study alone in order to take the competitive entrance examination for the École des langues orientales, which he passed in 1932. He plunged into academic work with meticulous passion and a rigour. The learning of Arabic, Hebrew and Aramaic testifies to his interest in Semitic languages and in comparative linguistics (he approached some thirty languages), but it was Ge’ez, the ancient Ethiopian language, which became his specialty.
Mobilised at the beginning of the Second World War, he asked to be sent to Syria to put into practice what he had learned at the School of Oriental Languages. From Syria, he was soon sent to Lebanon. After being demobilised, he managed to find various jobs. He eventually returned to France after is application to the French Institute of Damascus was not accepted, because of his membership in the Communist Party.
Upon his return to France, he found a job at the National Library, where he was assigned to the Department of Oriental Prints. In 1955, he began a career as an academic at the École Pratique des Hautes Études, where he taught Ge’ez and the historical ethnography of the Near East for more than forty years.
His work includes nearly a thousand articles for scientific publications as well as for the press, and numerous works accessible to a wide audience. His books can be grouped into three categories, those devoted to the Arab-Islamic world, those dealing with the Jewish people and Israel, and general works.
At the instigation of a friend, he wrote a biography of Muḥammad, applying to this work the methodological approach of the social sciences. Published in 1961, the book that made him known to the general public.

Ronsard (Pierre de) ◊ French poet (1524-1585). He is a major figure in the poetic literature of the Renaissance. Over a period of more than thirty years, he authored a vast body of work, focusing as much on official as on lyrical poetry. Imitating ancient authors, Ronsard first used the forms of the ode and the hymn, considered major forms, but he increasingly favoured the sonnet. Ronsard contributed to the broad expansion of the field of poetry, giving it a richer language through the creation of neologisms and the introduction of popular language into literary French, and establishing rules of versification that have endured for several centuries.

Ryckmans (Gonzague) ◊ Belgian priest, Arabist and professor (1887-1969). He taught at the Catholic University of Leuven, where he had begun his studies in philosophy and from which he obtained his first doctorate in 1908. From 1908 to 1911, he continued his studies in theology and pastoral ministry at the Major Seminary at Mechlin. From there, he was sent to the École biblique de Jérusalem in 1911, in order to specialise in the field of biblical exegesis, history of the Ancient East and Oriental Languages. Upon return to Belgium in July 1914, he participated in the trench warfare as stretcher-bearer and chaplain. He was gassed while administering the Sacrament of Extreme Unction to wounded soldiers. In 1919, after the war, he obtained his doctorate in Semitic languages. The publication of his thesis put him in contact with Father J.B. Chabot who convinced him to spend a year in Paris where he met all the great French orientalists and became familiar with the Corpus Inscriptionum Semiticarum. From 1920 to 1930, he was professor of exegesis at the Major Seminary of Mechlin. In 1930, he obtained a professoriate at the Catholic University of Leuven and was entrusted with the courses of Hebrew, Aramaic, Akkadian, and comparative grammar of Semitic languages. In 1936, he became secretary of the newly founded Orientalist Institute, while acting as secretariat for the review Le Muséon. His scientific activity led him essentially in three directions: the publication of epigraphical texts, the creation of work instruments and the drafting of various synthesis, both philological and historical.

Schrieke (Bertram Johannes Otto)Dutch anthropologist and sociologist (1890-1945). Schrieke studied at the University of Leiden, where he obtained a doctor’s degree in “languages and literature of the East Indian archipelago.” At Leiden he was the pupil of eminent Islamologists and Arabists; and of other orientalists. Schrieke then studied sociology at the University of Amsterdam, where he attended lectures in which he was influenced by the theories of Max Weber.
Schrieke was not a theorist. Rather he took exception to existing theories as being too one-sided or too narrow. He held the view that “a culture forms an organic whole, which cannot be split up into different parts as if these components had no relation to each other.
As demonstrated by his lifelong work in the social and economic aspects of the history of Indonesia, at that time a Dutch colony, Schrieke’s forte lay in maintaining a critical attitude toward the generally accepted approaches to these subjects, which relied on archaeology and colonial history.
In his doctoral thesis, (1916), he analysed the text of a manuscript, written in Javanese and ascribed to a legendary Muslim saint. His study of this manuscript, as well as of the early history of the Portuguese and Dutch trade contacts with Indonesia and of the published material on the voyages of Chinese and Arabs in the previous centuries, enabled him to revise the existing theory that the Islamisation of the archipelago had come about pacifically. He came to the conclusion that Islamisation, hitherto considered to be primarily the product of trade relations, had been equally influenced by political conflicts and military struggles. Schrieke suggested that it is “impossible to understand the spread of Islam in the archipelago unless one takes into account the antagonism between the Muslim traders and the Portuguese.
During the 1920s, when Schrieke was acting as adviser on native and Arab affairs to the Netherlands Indies government, he was called upon to conduct an inquiry into the communist uprisings on the west coast of Sumatra in 1926. In order to explain the success of the communists’ tactics, Schrieke incorporated in his report facts relating to the historical background and structure of society. He was thus able to point to the factors in this transitional period which had helped to foster the antigovernment attitude of the population. Here again his natural approach was to gather any relevant data, including the seemingly unimportant and the controversial.
As director of the Netherlands Indies Department of Education from 1929 to 1933, Schrieke stressed the need for a sociological approach to educational problems. He defended the existing diversified educational system, adapted as it was to serve the needs of a heterogeneous population.
When he was professor of sociology in the law school at Batavia, from 1924 to 1929, and later at the University of Amsterdam, from 1936 to 1945, Schrieke’s exerted influence in sociology and history. He fostered surveys of research on both Indonesia and the Netherlands Caribbean territories. Schrieke died suddenly in London in September 1945 while attending a United Nations conference as a Netherlands government delegate on Indonesian affairs.

Schwally (Friedrich Zacharias) ◊ German orientalist (1863-1919). He was a student of Theodor Nöldeke. This encounter with Nöldeke would later have great significance for Schwally’s career as an orientalist. Schwally is best known for his Second Edition of Nöldeke’s History of the Qurʾān. When the aged Theodor Nöldeke was approached by his publisher in 1898 to do a new enlarged second edition of his history of the Qurʾān (Geschichte des Qorâns), he entrusted Schwally with this task and gave him full responsibility for the resulting text as being Schwally’s own. Volume One was published in 1909. The two remaining volumes were published after Schwally’s premature death in February 1919. Many orientalists consider this as the definitive text in the field. Schwally adopted Nöldeke’s Chronology that reorganises the order of the sūrahs of the Qurʾān are into four groupings. Brother Bruno believes that there is no reason to give the sūrahs an order different from the one found in the accepted “vulgate.”

Septuagint (LXX) ◊ The Greek translation of the Pentateuch, established from the 3rd century a.d. by the Jews of Alexandria working on Hebrew manuscripts that have since disappeared. According to a legend written in a letter by the Pseudo-Aristæus, this translation was supposedly made at the request of the King of Egypt Ptolemy-Philadephus by seventy-two Israelite doctors, whence its name “ septuagint,” which should really designate only the Pentateuch. It fact, it was extended to the whole of the Greek Bible existing at the time of Christ and used by the early Christian Church, quoted by the Apostles and by the Fathers of the Church until the fifth century of our era.

Ṭabarī (Abū Jaʿfar Muḥammad ibn Jarīr al-) ◊ Influential Persian, scholar, compiler, and exegete of the Qurʾān (839-923). Ṭabarī was born in Amol, Tabaristan (modern Mazandaran, Province of Iran, some 20 km south of the Caspian Sea). He spent most of his life in Baghdad and composed all his works in Arabic. He was a professor of law and Ḥadīṯ. He is best known for his knowledge of Qurʾānic exegesis and Islamic jurisprudence He authored enormous compendiums. His major works were the Qurʾān Commentary (Tafsir al-Tabari) and the History of Prophets and Kings (Taʾrīkh al-Rusūl wa al-Mulūk).

TannaitesName given to the founding masters of the rabbinical tradition, authors of the Mishna.

Theophilus of DibusAetian (an extreme division of Arianism) bishop (died 364 a.d.). Dubbed “the Indian” Theophilus fell alternately in and out of favour with the court of the Roman emperor Constantius II. His origin is obscure and accounts for his surname. He came to the court of Constantine I as a young man and was ordained a deacon under the Arian bishop Eusebius of Nicomedia. He was later exiled because Constantius believed him to be a supporter of his rebellious cousin Gallus. He was exiled a second time for his support of the disfavoured theologian Aëtius whose Anomoean doctrine was an offshoot of Arianism.
Theophilus was ordained a bishop and around 354, Emperor Constantius II sent Theophilus on a mission to south Asia via Arabia, where he is said to have converted the Ḥimyarites and built three churches in southwest Arabia. He is also said to have found Christians in India, whence his surname, but it is assumed that the ancient geographer sometimes gave this name to the Arabian Peninsula. In about 356, the Emperor Constantius II wrote to ʿEzana of the Kingdom of Axum requesting him to replace the then Bishop of Axum, Frumentius, with Theophilus, who supported the Arian position, as did the Emperor. This request was ultimately turned down.
On his return to the empire Theophilus settled at Antioch. One of the churches that Theophilus had founded in Arabia during the 4th century was built at Zafar, Yemen and likely destroyed in 523 by the King of Ḥimyar Dhū Nuwās, who had shifted the state religion from Christianity to Judaism. Later in 525, Theophilus’ church was restored by the Christian King Kaleb of Axum following his successful invasion on Ḥimyar.

Théry (Gabriel Father (Hanna Zakarias) ◊ French Dominican, historian, theologian et author, and professor (1891-1959). He must be considered the founder of “the scientific exegesis” of the Qurʾān. Doctor of Theology, professor at Saulchoir and at the Institut catholique de Paris, he was also consultor for the Vatican Historic Section of The Congregation of Rites. He was a reputed medievalist in the scientific research community. In 1926, he co-founded with Étienne Gilson the Archives d’Histoire Doctrinale et Littéraire du Moyen Âge (ahdlma). In 1955, he self-published under the pseudonym Hanna Zakarias the first two volumes of his work, De Moïse à Muḥammad. A third volume was published posthumously in 1963. His forth volume remains unpublished. It was Father Théry's brilliant contribution to have understood that it was necessary to begin by comparing the Qurʾān to the Bible. He succeeded in solving the very difficult question of the literary genres of the sūrahs of the Qurʾān. He distinguished three series of texts: a Prayer of Praise, Sūrah I; a dogmatic book of which only fragments remain, which he called the Corab; finally a history book, a true chronicle, which he called the Book of the Acts of Islam.” His monumental work became known to a great extent through the reviews that Father de Nantes wrote on it to stimulate a debate. He wrote: “Hanna Zakarias had the freedom of mind to read the Qurʾān as a document of the past and to seek to explain it by the simplest laws of the historical method.” The inspired intuition that occurred to Father Théry was that the author of the Qurʾān used the Hebrew language to give a religious vocabulary to the Arabs.

TorahThe Old Testament begins with a collection of five books, which the Greeks named the Pentateuch. The Jews give the name of Torah, “Law” to this collection, which they have divided into fifty-four liturgical portions

UthmānIn Arabic, Uthmān ibn affān. Father Henri Lammens’ studies led him to conclude that the “Prophet Muḥammad,” is a character, a creation ex nihilo of Arabic literature that appeared 140 years after the presumed death of the hypothetical character. The same must be concluded therefore for the Caliph Uthmān who is purported to have compiled the texts of the Qurʾān as we know it today.

Uthmān Qurʾān ◊ The Uthmān Qurʾān is the name given to the final compilation of the texts that form the Qurʾān as we know it today, which is the object of Brother Bruno’s translation and systematic analysis.

Weil (Gustav)German orientalist, philologist and historian (1808-1889). He was born in Sulzbuig, Baden, to a rabbinical family. Like his forebears, he was to have been a rabbi, and he studied Talmud under his grandfather at the Talmudic School in Met. He, however, abandoned this at the first opportunity, entering the University of Heidelberg at the age of twenty. There he studied philology and history, as well as Arabic. In 1830 he went to Paris to study under Silvestre de Sacy, and from there he accompanied the French forces which occupied Algeria, as a correspondent for an Augsburg newspaper. In 1831 he proceeded to Cairo, where he spent more than four years teaching French at the new Egyptian medical school. In Egypt he perfected his Arabic and acquired Turkish and Persian.
After some months in Istanbul, he returned to the University of Heidelberg, where he served as a librarian for almost twenty-five years. In 1843, Weil published a life of Muhammad entitled Mohammed der Prophet. It was the first Western biography of Muhammad that was free from prejudice and polemic. It was based on a profound yet critical knowledge of the Arabic sources. For the first time, he gave the European reader an opportunity to see Muḥammad as the Muslims saw him. Weil achieved this through an exacting and exhausting use of manuscripts then available in Europe. Although trained in philology, Weil came to regard himself as a historian of Islam. From 1846 to 1862, Weil published the first complete history of the Egyptian and Spanish caliphates, written according to the demands of European criticism and composed from the original sources. Weil reproduced the narrative style of his Arabic sources, resulting in an account that was neither dramatic nor analytical.  In 1861, Weil was given a professorship at the university.
Gustav Weil’s contribution to the foundation of early Islamic studies is not always given recognition. For instance, Theodor Nöldeke’s prize-winning dissertation on the Qurʾān owes a substantial debt to Weil’s earlier work on the topic, yet it is Nöldeke, rather than he, who is remembered as the great father of Qurʾānic studies.