Ibn Sāqawayh

views updated


IBN SĀQAWAYH (wrongly Ibn Saquya or Ibn Saquyah or Ibn Sakuyah ; early 10th century), Karaite scholar in Babylonia or a neighboring country, contemporary of Saadiah *Gaon. In his objections to the Oral Law and those who rely on it, Ibn Sāqawayh used the Mishnah and Talmud to prove that in their commentaries the *Rabbanites distort Scripture and that the Oral Law was not revealed to Moses at Sinai. He cites a number of talmudic legends to demonstrate that the Rabbanites invested God with human attributes. He collected the legends from the Talmud and midrashim which he considered curious in order to support his arguments against the Oral Law in Kitāb al-Faḍāʾiḥ ("Book of Shame"). Saadiah Gaon answered his allegations in Kitāb al-Radd ʿalā Ibn Sāqawayh ("Response to Ibn Sāqawayh") in which he rejects Ibn Sāqawayh's arguments against the Oral Law and his objections to several halakhot. Saadiah's Kitāb al-Radd ʿalā al-Mutaḥāmil ʿala al-Mishnah wa-al-Talmūd ("Response to the Challenger of the Mishnah and the Talmud") is possibly also an answer to Ibn Sāqawayh. However, the interrelationship of these writings is not clear. Passages from Saadiah's writings were found in the Cairo *Genizah whereas Ibn Sāqawayh's are known only through quotations made by his opponents.


S. Poznański, Karaite Literary Opponents of Saadiah Gaon (1908), 4–8; Assaf, in: Tarbiz, 4 (1932/33), 35–53, 193–206; Mann, Texts, index; Zucker, in: paajr, 18 (1949), 1–4; L. Nemoy, Karaite Anthology (1952), 70, 234, 376.

About this article

Ibn Sāqawayh

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article