Critical study In Western And Arabic Sources
1 Chapter One: Introduction
1.1 History of arrival of Christianity in Southern region of Arabian Peninsula
The history of the arrival and establishment of Christianity in Arabian Peninsula, particularly in southern area of Najran, was documented by a number of Christian historians as well as by Muslim chroniclers and antiquarians writing in Arabic. However, there is disagreement of historians on the point which source is more reliable whether Christian or Muslims. Muslim sources regarding the arrival of Christianity in the southern part of Arabian Peninsula particularly in Najran should be made use of more cautiously than the Christian sources.
For Arthur Jeffrey, although the presence as well as explanation of inscriptional substance in the ancient South Arabian languages are existed, but researchers deem that the Greek channels are comparatively more consistent than the Muslim Arabian channels; however, he admitted the fact that Muslim channels for sure offer few realistic data pertaining to the arrival of Christianity in Southern part Arabian peninsula. Arthur Jeffrey further added that Arabs repeated what has already been published by Greek or Syriac and this is the reason why most of the Arab writing in this connection is muddled up. Moreover, a number of clerical historians who referenced aspects of Christianity in the Southern Arabian region are every so often very sporadic.
Thus Arthur Jeffrey wrote that
“writing about the background of the arrival and spread of Christianity in South Arabian part is kind of interlacing together a wide range of constituents accumulated from one channel or another, never fairly sure that few aspects are actually going to sustain, and very alert that there are wide gaps where we have no aspects altogether to aid the completion of the picture.”
The key reason for referencing Jeffrey’s point of view before beginning the detail about the arrival of Christianity in the Arabian Peninsula particularly in Najran is the fact that although the reliability of sources presented in this connection lack credibility but the fact remained the same that Najran was the hub of Christianity in the southern Arabian area.
It is pertinent to know when and how Christianity was introduced to Arabian Peninsula especially in South Arabian region before starting this critical study on the event of As-
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- Irfan. S. Byzantium and the Semitic Orient before the rise of Islam. Variorum Reprints (1988)
- Arthur, J. Christianity in South Arabia. Vol. 36(3) The Muslim World
- Arthur, J. Christianity in South Arabia. Vol. 36(3) The Muslim World . pp. 200–216
- Philip, W. The Chronicle of Seert. Oxford University Press. (2013)