Publications and Research

Document Type


Publication Date



The Sicilian Questions are the earliest pre-served text of the philosopher and Sufi Ibn Sab‘īn of Murcia (c. 614/1217-668/1270). Even though the prologue of the text claims that it is a response to questions sent by Frederick II to the Arab world, it seems more likely that it was an introductory manual for Arab students of philosophy, dealing with four specific and controversial problems as away of presenting general concepts of Aristotelian philosophy. This article analyses the structure and way of argumentation in the Sicilian Questions. Particular attention is being paid to the relationship between mysticism and philosophy and the sources of the text, above all the philosophical writings of Ibn Rushd. Ibn Sab‘īn and his Sicilian Questions are interpreted as reflecting the intellectual milieu of late Almohad Spain. The text might have been originally composed in ṭalaba context, and it also reflects some of the key concerns of Almohad ideology.


Alternative Title: Ibn Sab‘īn's Sicilian Questions: The Text, Its Sources, and Their Historical Context

This work was originally published in Al-Qanṭara, available at

This work is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.