|18||THE APOLOGY OF AL KINDY.|
from beginning to end. He then declared that he had no ground for interference, nor any cause against the Christian Apologist. There are (added the Caliph) two religionsone for this world, the MAGIAN, following the precepts of Zoroaster; the other for the world to comethe CHRISTIAN, following the precepts of the Messiah. But the true religion is that of the UNITY, taught by our Master. This verily is the religion which serveth both for this life and for the next.Page 165.
This note is wanting in the Constantinople MS. It is no doubt an addition to the Treatise as originally put forth; but of what antiquity and authority there is no ground for saying.
It is otherwise with the short Preface, which is the same in both MSS., and probably formed the Introduction to the Discussion as it at the first appeared. Excepting, however, that it gives the name of the Caliph, this preface adds nothing to what we gather from the contents of the Epistles themselves of the personality of the disputants, namely, that both lived at the Court of the Caliph; that the Mahometan was the cousin of the Caliph, a Hshimite of Abbasside lineage; and that the Christian was a learned man at the same Court, of distinguished descent from the tribe of the Beni Kinda, and held in honour and regard by Al Mmn and his nobles. But the names and further identification of the disputants are withheld, from motives of prudence,"in case it might do harm."
From the passage in Al Brni, however, it is evident that in his time (390 A.H.) the Apology was
|ITS AGE AND AUTHORSHIP.||19|
currently known under the title, "The Reply of Abd al Mash Ibn Ishc al Kindy, to the Epistle of Abdallah ibn Ismal al Hshimy." The epithets Abdallah and Abd al Mash are of course noms de plume. It is possible that the other names (in italics) are so also;Isaac and Ishmael symbolising, under their respective Patriarchs, the Christian and Moslem antagonists.
Whether this be so or no, the name of Ibn Ishc al Kindy has occasioned the surmise in some quarters that our Apologist was the same as the famous "Philosopher of Islam," Abu Ysuf ibn Ishc al Kindy, who also flourished at the Court of Mmn and his Successor. There can, however, be little or no doubt that the famous Al Kindy was a Mahometan by profession. As a Failsf, or philosopher, he was, it may be, not a very orthodox professor; but, at any rate, there is no reason to suppose that he had any leaning towards Christianity: on the contrary (as we shall see below), he wrote a treatise to refute the doctrine of the Trinity. The father of this Ibn Ishc, or his grandfather, was governor of Kfa, a post that, in point of fact, could be held by none other than a Mahometan; and Al Ashth, the renowned chief of the Beni Kinda, who was converted in the time of Mahomet, and married Abu Bekr's sister, is said to have been his ancestor; whereas our Apologist glories in his Christian ancestry.
On the Philosopher Al Kindy, de Sacy gives us an interesting note. After showing that D'Herbelot