This article investigates one polemical issue, the substitution of Mecca for Jerusalem, in the writings of Abū Muḥammad ʿAbd Allāh b. Muslim b. Qutayba (828–889 ce). In his Book of the Signs of Prophethood (Kitāb Aʿlām al-Nubuwwa), Ibn Qutayba interprets five Biblical verses that speak of Jerusalem as actually alluding to Mecca. The investigation queries the quality of several Biblical allusions in Ibn Qutayba's work, probes Ibn Qutayba's reasoning in using them, and asks how they fit into the larger and longer-lasting polemic between Islam and Judaism concerning the identity of the son whom Abraham bound on the altar. It is found that the two issues—the place most sacred to God and the identity of the bound son—are strongly connected in the polemic between Islam and Judaism and between different schools of Islamic exegesis.
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