Early Christian Writings on Islam


This site is very informative and worth a look to see how early Christians viewed Islam - particularly the peaceful way the Muslims spread Islam by the peaceful wielding of the ‘peace’ sword and the peaceful ravages of Christian lands by the peaceful Muslim invaders.





wow am reading it…very interesting to know that non-muslims wrote about Islam in that era! hey thank you :slight_smile:


Anastasius of Sinai (d. ca. 700)
[Compiled ca. 690, in the preface to a work mostly concerned with the Monophysites:] Before any discussion we must first anathematize all the false notions which our adversaries might entertain about us. Thus when we wish to debate with the Arabs, we first anathematize whoever says two gods, or whoever says that God has carnally begotten a son, or whoever worships as god any created thing at all, in heaven or on earth. (Viae dux 1.1.9 [p. 94])

When they (the Severans) hear of “nature,” they think of shameful and unbecoming things, the sexual organs of the bodies of men and women. Because of that they avoid this word as if they wre pupils of the Saracens (Muslims). For when the latter hear of the birth of God and of His genesis, they at once blaspheme, imagining marriage, fertilization and carnal union. (Viae dux 10.2.169-170 [p. 94])

[From the book (p. 98):] In the course of one answer the author observes that the “present generation” faces a period of spiritual crisis resembling that endured by the Children of Israel during the Babylonian captivity, for “we see our brothers and servants of the faith pressed by great need into nakedness, toils and labours.” (Anastasius of Sinai, Questions, no. 88) This sounds like an allusion to the contemporary plight of Christians now living under Arab rule, a situation which indeed appears to have provoked a fresh set of questions. How can one redeem one’s sins if, having been reduced to servitude or captured in war, one can no longer attend church, fast or observe a vigil freely and at will? (ibid., no. 87) Are all the evils which the Arabs have perpetrated upon the land and the Christian community always a result of God’s will? (ibid., no. 101) What is one to say regarding Christian women who, as slaves and captives, have given themselves up to prostitution? The answer to the latter is that it depends whether they have done so out of hunger and need, or from wantonness and pleasure. (ibid., no. 76) The Muslims are, however, only present as oppressors, and their beliefs receive no attention beyond a note that ideas such as that “Satan fell on account of not bowing down to the man (Adam)” belong to “the myths of the Hellenes and the Arabs.” (ibid., no. 80)


**John of Damascus (wr. 730s)
[John of Damascus, De haeresibus C/CI, 60-61 (pp. 485-486):]

There is also the people-deceiving cult (threskeia) of the Ishmaelites, the forerunner of the Antichrist, which prevails until now. It derives from Ishmael, who was born to Abraham from Hagar, wherefore they are called Hagarenes and Ishmaelites. And they call them Saracens, inasmuch as they were [sent away] empty-handed by Sarah (ek tes Sarras kenous); for it was said to the angel by Hagar: “Sarah has sent me away empty-handed” (cf. Genesis xxi. 10, 14).

These, then, were idolators and worshippers of hte morning star and Aphrodite whom in fact they called Chabar in their own language, which means “great.” So until the times of Heraclius they were plain idolators. From that time till now a false prophet appeared among them, surnamed Muhammad (Mamed), who, having happened upon the Old and the New Testament and apparently having conversed, in like manner, with an Arian monk, put together his own heresy. And after ingratiating himself with the people by a pretence of piety, he spread rumours of a scripture (graphe) brought down to him from heaven. So, having drafted some ludicrous doctrines in his book, he handed over to them this form of worship (to sebas).**
[John of Damascus, De haeresibus, C/CI, 63-64 (pp. 486-487):]

They call us associators (hetairiastas) because, they say, we introduce to God an associate by saying Christ is the Son of God and God. To them we say that the prophets and the scripture have transmitted this, and you, as you affirm, accept the prophets. . . . Again we say to them: “How, when you say that Christ is the Word and Spirit of God, do you revile us as associators? For the Word and the Spirit are inseparable. . . . So we call you mutilators (koptas) of God.”

They misrepresent us as idolaters because we prostrate ourselves before the cross, which they loathe. And we say to them: “How then do you rub yourselves on a stone at your Ka’ba (Chabatha) and hail the stone with fond kisses?” . . . This, then, which they call “stone,” is the head of Aphrodite, whom they used to worship and whom they call Chabar**


Looks like not much has changed in the last couple hundred years…


I don’t recommend listening to Converge when reading stuff like this. :frowning:


Early Christian-Muslim Dialogue (Hardcover)
by N. A. Newman (Editor)


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