Duncan Black MacDonald

Duncan Black MacDonald (1863-1943) was an American Orientalist. He studied Semitic languages at Glasgow and then Berlin, before teaching at the Hartford Theological Seminary in the United States starting in 1893, founding the first school in the U.S. devoted to Christian missionary work among the Muslims of the Middle East. Waardenburg, Jean-Jacques 'L'islam Dans Le Miroir De L'occident. [in French] Paris: Mouton & Co, 1963. pp.132-135; section II, III.B.4; III.C.4. See also Bijlefeld, W. A. . "A Century of Arabic and Islamic Studies at Hartford Seminary." [In English]. Muslim World 83/2 (1993: 103-17.

His main scholarly interest was Muslim theology, which led him to the study of the One Thousand and One Nights, as he believed that the Nights stories reflected the Muslim popular piety.

MacDonald was the second Western scholar to investigate the manuscripts of the Nights, after Hermann Zotenberg, and he began to publish his results in 1908. The Arabic MSS of Ali Baba he discovered at the Bodleian Library was later found to be counterfeited. But he did successfully prove that the ‘Tunisian MSS’ which Maximilian Habicht claimed to find and use for his Breslau Nights edition was a fake. MacDonald planned to prepare a critical edition of the three-volume Bibliothèque nationale MSS, which Antoine Galland used for his French Nights translation. However, nothing came out of it, and such a critical edition was produced by Muhsin Mahdi only in 1984.

MacDonald also did important work on Arab magic and superstition, and Muslim-Christian relations. The Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations at the Hartford Theological Seminary is named after him.


Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves

Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves (Arabic: علي بابا والأربعون لصا‎) is a folk tale included in many versions of One Thousand and One Nights. Antoine Galland, who heard the story from Syrian Maronite storyteller Hanna Diyab, added it to the Nights in the 18th century. It is one of the most familiar of the "Arabian Nights" tales, and has been widely retold and performed in many media, especially for children, where the more violent aspects of the story are often suppressed.

In the story, Ali Baba (Arabic: علي بابا‎ ʿAlī Bābā ) is a poor woodcutter who discovers the secret of a thieves' den, entered with the phrase "Open Sesame". The thieves learn this and try to kill Ali Baba, but Ali Baba's faithful slave-girl foils their plots. Ali Baba gives his son to her in marriage and keeps the secret of the treasure.

Criticism of Muhammad

Criticism of Muhammad has existed since the 7th century, when Muhammad was decried by his non-Muslim Arab contemporaries for preaching monotheism, and by the Jewish tribes of Arabia for his unwarranted appropriation of Biblical narratives and figures, vituperation of the Jewish faith, and proclaiming himself as "the last prophet" without performing any miracle nor showing any personal requirement demanded in the Hebrew Bible to distinguish a true prophet chosen by the God of Israel from a false claimant; for these reasons, they gave him the derogatory nickname ha-Meshuggah (Hebrew: מְשֻׁגָּע‬‎, "the Madman" or "the Possessed"). During the Middle Ages various Western and Byzantine Christian thinkers considered Muhammad to be a perverted, deplorable man, a false prophet, and even the Antichrist, as he was frequently seen in Christendom as a heretic or possessed by the demons. Some of them, like Thomas Aquinas, criticized Muhammad's promises of carnal pleasure in the afterlife.Modern religious and secular criticism of Islam has concerned Muhammad's sincerity in claiming to be a prophet, his morality, his ownership of slaves, his treatment of enemies, his marriages, his treatment of doctrinal matters, and his psychological condition. Muhammad has been accused of sadism and mercilessness— including the invasion of the Banu Qurayza tribe in Medina—sexual relationships with slaves, and his marriage to Aisha when she was six years old, which according to most estimates was consummated when she was nine.

David Kerr (religion scholar)

David A. Kerr (16 May 1945 – 14 April 2008) was a British scholar of Christian-Muslim relations and world Christianity.

Duncan MacDonald

Duncan MacDonald may refer to:

Duncan MacDonald (politician), Australian politician

Duncan Black MacDonald (1863–1943), American Orientalist

Duncan MacDonald (athlete), b. 1949 American Olympic long distance runner, participated in Athletics at the 1976 Summer Olympics – Men's 5000 metres

Hartford Seminary

Hartford Seminary is a non-denominational theological college in Hartford, Connecticut.

Ibrahim M. Abu-Rabi‘

Ibrahim M. Abu-Rabi‘ (إبراهيم محمد هزاع ابوربيع) was a Professor in Islamic Studies (Department of History and Classics) at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada, and the Chair of the Edmonton Council of Muslim Communities. His primary areas of academic specialization were the Middle East and International Relations. He also had a special interest in the study and practice of interfaith dialogue between the Islamic and Christian religious traditions.

Islamic studies by author (non-Muslim or academic)

Included are prominent authors who have made studies concerning Islam, the religion and its civilization, and the culture of Muslim peoples. Not included are those studies of Islam produced by Muslim authors meant primarily for a Muslim audience.Herein most of the authors from the early centuries of Islam belonged to non-Muslim societies, cultures, or religions. The primary intent of many early works was to inform non-Muslims about a distant and/or unfamiliar Islam; some were clearly polemical in motivation and cannot be termed objective. As time went on, academic standards were developed generally, and were increasingly applied to studies of Islam. Many of the authors here are of Christian provenance, yet there are also Jewish, Zoroastrian, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Taoist, Confucian, Communist, and secular points of view. The most recent entries are often sourced in universities, and include works by Muslim professors whose publications address a worldwide audience.

List of Guggenheim Fellowships awarded in 1949

List of Guggenheim Fellowships awarded in 1949.

Mahmoud M. Ayoub

Mahmoud M. Ayoub is a Lebanese scholar and professor of religious and inter-faith studies.


Al-Malakut meaning Realm of Dominion (Arabic: عالم الملكوت‎), is an invisible realm, in Islamic cosmology, containing several metaphysical beings and places in Islamic lore, like angels, demons, jinn, hell and the seven heavens. It is sometimes used interchangeable with Alam al Mithal, but otherwise distinguished from it, as a realm above Alam al Mithal, but still sublunary to Alam al Jabarut, as a lower plane for angels, but still higher than the plane of jinn. The higher realms are not separated worlds in Islamic thought, rather they impinges the realms below.


Rûm (Template:IPA-al; singular Rûmi), also transliterated as Roum (in Koine Greek Ῥωμαῖοι, Rhomaioi, meaning "Romans"; in Arabic الرُّومُ ar-Rūm; in Persian and Ottoman Turkish روم Rûm; in Turkish: Rum), is a generic term used at different times in the Muslim world to refer to:

ethnocultural minorities such as the various Christian denominations (called al-Rûm) living in the Near East and their descendants, notably the Antiochian Greek Christians who are members of the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch and the Melkite Greek Catholic Church of Syria, Lebanon, Northern Israel, occupied Palestine and the Hatay Province in Southern Turkey whose liturgy is still based on Koine Greek

more generally, to Greek Orthodox constituents of the Ottoman Empire and later citizens of Turkey (Rûmi or Rûm in the broader sense, through this use is disappearing with the quasi-extinction of Greek communities in Izmir, Istanbul, Cappadocia, and the Black Sea coast)

geographical areas such as the Balkans and Anatolia, generally to the Eastern Roman Empire in particular or to the Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm in Medieval TurkeyThe name derives from Ῥωμαῖοι, Rhomaioi: "Romans". It refers to the Byzantine Empire, which was then simply known as the "Roman Empire" and had not yet acquired the designation "Byzantine", an academic term applied only after its dissolution. The city of Rome itself is known in modern Arabic as Rūmā روما (in Classical Arabic Rūmiyah رومية). The Arabic term Rûm is found in the pre-Islamic Namara inscription and later in the Quran. In the Sassanian period (pre-Islamic Persia) the word Hrōmāy-īg (Middle Persian) meant "Roman" or "Byzantine", which was derived from Rhomaioi.

Translations of One Thousand and One Nights

The translations of One Thousand and One Nights have been made into virtually every major language of the world. They began with the French translation by Antoine Galland (titled Les mille et une nuits, finished in 1717). Galland's translation was essentially an adapted Arabic manuscript of Syrian origins and oral tales recorded by him in Paris from a Maronite Arab from Aleppo named Youhenna Diab or Hanna Diab.The first English translation appeared in 1706 and was made from Galland's version; being anonymous, it is known as the Grub Street edition. It exists in two known copies kept in the Bodleian Library and in the Princeton University Library. Since then several English reissues appeared simultaneously in 1708. As early as the end of the 18th century the English translation based on Galland was brought to Halifax, Montreal, Philadelphia, New York and Sydney. Galland-based English translations were superseded by that made by Edward William Lane in 1839–41. In the 1880s an unexpurgated and complete English translation, The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, was made by Richard Francis Burton.

The original scattered Arabic texts were collected in four corpuses: the so-called Calcutta I or the Shirwanee Edition (1814–18, 2 volumes), Bulaq or the Cairo Edition (1835, 2 volumes), Breslau Edition (1825–38, 8 volumes) and Calcutta II or the W.H. Macnaghten Edition (1839–42, 4 volumes). Some translations starting from Galland were censored due to lewd content.

William Henry Temple Gairdner

William Henry Temple Gairdner (July 31, 1873 – May 22, 1928) was a British Christian missionary with the Church Missionary Society in Cairo, Egypt. His entire life was dedicated to service in Egypt as he himself commented when he was first preparing to leave. While in Cairo he partnered with his dear friend Douglas M. Thornton in order to reach educated Muslims with the gospel of Jesus Christ. This dynamic duo held many lectures in their home, Beit Arabi Pasha, and wrote a weekly magazine titled Orient and Occident. After Thornton's death in 1907 Gairdner continued his work in Cairo but was never able to recapture the amount of work that was accomplished when Thornton was at his side. It was this lack of help that would plague his ministry until the day of his death in 1928. Gairdner was a prolific writer and scholar of Arabic. He showed much promise to contribute greatly in theological and scholarly circles of Islam but instead chose to serve the local church in Cairo.


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