Abd al-Masih ibn Ishaq al-Kindi wrote an apology of the Christian faith to Abdallah ibn Ismaīl al-Hashimi while serving in the court of the Caliph Al-Mamūn in approximately the year A.H. 215 (A.D. 830). Al-Kindi's Christian apology is significant, because it was written over eleven hundred years ago by an Arab who was nurtured in the ancient indigenous Arabian culture and manners. Thus, Al-Kindi's critique of Muhammad's religion arose from the very heart of ancient Arabian sentiments. It was argued on the basis of ancient Middle Eastern values, and not Western European ideals.

Both disputants chose to remain unknown for personal safety reasons. So, the names they chose to use were 'pen names.' The name, Abd al-Masih ibn Ishaq al-Kindi, means 'The servant of the Messiah the son of Isaac of the Kindi clan.' And, the name, Abdallah ibn Ismaīl al-Hashimi, means 'The servant of Allah the son of Ishmael of the Hashim clan.' The Muslim defendant was a relative of Muhammad, and he belonged to the Meccan Hashim clan. The Christian apologist took pride in belonging the kingly clan of Kinda. See Ibn Ishaq's work on the Life of Muhammad (Sirat Rasul Allah) where he wrote, "Kinda were kings." (pp. 639-641, Trans: Guillaume, Oxford University Press, 1955).

Sir William Muir's summarized edition of The Apology of al-Kindi.

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