Skip to main content

‘Abdallāh Zāḫir


Goldsmith, printer, lecturer, polemicist, deacon; b. Aleppo, Syria, 1680; d. monastery of Mar Hannā, Shuwair, Lebanon, Aug. 20, 1748. He was well educated in classical Arabic, philosophy, theology, and church history. Persecuted in Aleppo, he finally settled in the monastery of Mar Hannā (St. John) where he spent the rest of his life as a lay deacon, refusing priesthood out of humility. His greatest achievement was the construction of one of the very first printing presses for the Arabic language in the Orient, between 1723 and 1726. The first publication, however, dates from 1734. The purpose was to provide apologetic, instructional, and liturgical literature for Eastern Christians. He took an active part in the composition of the religious constitutions of the Basilian Shuwairite Order, vigorously opposed attempts by Patriarch Cyril Tānās to merge the Shuwairite monks and the

Salvatorian missionaries into one order, and courageously denounced the efforts of Jesuit missionaries to Latinize the Melchite Church. The literary works of Abdallāh contain dissertations in reply to attacks of non-Catholic writers, an incomplete introduction to philosophy, a short manual of theology, several sermons, and a number of interesting letters. Also, many books on spiritual matters, edited and printed by him, bear the stamp of his character and zeal. He was buried in the church at St. John's Monastery, Shuwair.

Bibliography: g. graf, Geschichte der christlichen arabischen Literatur 3:191201, contains good bibliog.

[l. malouf]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"‘Abdallāh Zāḫir." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . 22 Mar. 2019 <>.

"‘Abdallāh Zāḫir." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . (March 22, 2019).

"‘Abdallāh Zāḫir." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Retrieved March 22, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.