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MUNAJJA, ABU AL-FARAJ IBN ṢADAḲAH (known also as Ibn al-Sha'ir):

Samaritan writer; lived in the twelfth century, probably at Damascus. His father was a renowned poet (whence the son's name of Ibn al-Sha'ir). Munajja was the author of various commentaries on the Pentateuch, which are cited by many Samaritan writers as standard works. He wrote also a polemical work entitled "Al-Jinth wa-Masa'il al-Khilaf fima bain Millatai al-Yahud wa-bain al-Samirah," in which he attacked both the Karaites and the Rabbinites, especially Saadia Gaon. Of this work, which comprised two or more volumes, only the second part is extant (Berlin MSS., No. 523). It is divided into twenty-three chapters, dealing with various Biblical commandments in the interpretation of which the Samaritans differ from the Rabbinites. "All the interpretations of the Rabbis," says Munajja, "conflict with the Law and tend to the abolition of its prescriptions, while those of our ancestors were in harmony with the Law and aimed at the enforcement of its prescriptions" (p. 72b). Munajja's son Ṣadaḳah also became an able writer; he was physician to Sultan Malik al-Ashraf.

Bibliography:
  • Juynboll, Orientalia, ii. 120;
  • Drabkin, Fragmenta Commentarii ad Pentateuchum Samaritanum-Arabicum Lex. 1875;
  • Wreschner, Samaritanische Traditionen, Berlin, 1888.
J. I. Br.
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