Karaite scholar; lived at Cairo in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries; teacher of the Karaite physician and writer Japhet ibn Ẓaghir of Cairo. Ma'arabi wrote, in Arabic, a work on the precepts (probably "Kitab al-Fara'iḍ"), of which only the part dealing with the laws concerning the slaughtering of animals and the part treating upon the calendar (but in a Hebrew translation) are extant in manuscript, the former in London (Brit. Mus., Or. No. 2528), St. Petersburg (Firkovich collection, No. 640), and Strasburg (No. 50), the latter in Leyden (Nos. 25 and 60) and St. Petersburg (No. 716, where the name of the author is erroneously given as "Elijah ha-Dayyan"). A Hebrew translation of the part on the laws of slaughtering was published under the title "Hilkot 'Inyan Sheḥiṭah" at Vienna (1830); a Hebrew translation of the part treating upon the calendar was incorporated in the "Tiḳḳun ha-Ḳara'im," reproduced by Wolf in his "Bibliotheca Hebræa" (iv. 1077 et seq.). In addition to the work on the precepts, Ma'arabi wrote: "Tartib al-'Aḳa'id al-Sittah," on the six articles of belief (the belief in God, in His messenger [Moses], in the Prophets, in the Torah, in Jerusalem, in the Last Judgment); "Sharḥ 'Aseret ha-Debarim," a commentary on the Decalogue (St. Petersburg, Firkovich collection, No. 638); "Iggeret," a decision in a contested case of marriage (Fischl MSS., No. 59 E.); "Muḳaddimah," a commentary on Prov. iii. 13, or, according to Neubauer, a prayer for the dead ("ẓidduḳ ha-din").

Ma'arabi attacked, in his work on the precepts, the theories of the "Ba'ale ha-Rikkub" with regard to the laws of incest, and advocated the reform that had been preconized by Joseph ha-Ro'eh.

  • Munk, in Jost's Annalen, iii. 93;
  • idem, Notice sur Aboulwalid Merwan ibn Djanah, p. 8;
  • Pinsker, Likḳuṭe Ḳadmoniyyot, pp. 148, 176, 233;
  • Steinschneider, Cat. Bodl. col. 1168;
  • idem, Hebr. Bibl. v. 51, xx. 91;
  • idem, Die Arabische Literatur der Juden, § 184;
  • Fürst, Gesch. des Karäert. ii. 252;
  • Grätz, Gesch. vii. 322;
  • Gottlober, Bikḳoret le-Toledot ha-Ḳara'im, p. 186;
  • Neubauer, Aus der Petersburger Bibliothek, pp. 25, 27.
J. I. Br.
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