chapter  11
Islamic expansion
Pages 11

Phase 1 (11/632-114/733) Letter 48 of Isho’yahb III of Adiabene (pre-16/637) is a very early source, rich with information on the beginnings of Christian-Muslim dialogue. Hoyland notes that Muslims are not regarded by Isho’yahb as a “separate phenomenon” from Christianity, but are addressed primarily as a political power. However, interpreting this new political power through Christian filters, the patriarch records his first impressions:

As for the Arabs, whom God has at this time given rule (shltn) over the world, you know well how they act towards us. Not only do they not oppose Christianity, but they praise our faith, honour the priests and saints of our Lord, and give aid to the churches and monasteries.1