Abraham of Toledo

Abraham of Toledo (c. 1225–1294), also known as Abraham Alfaquín and Abraham Ibn Waqar, was an Iberian Jewish physician and translator of the Toledo School of Translators. He served as personal physician to Alfonso X of Castile and his son Sancho IV of Castile, under whose patronage he translated numerous books from Arabic into Castilian. Together with five other prominent court Jews, he was kidnapped and held hostage from 1270 to 1275 by rebellious nobles demanding the elimination of taxes.[1]

He translated in 1263 the Kitab al-Miraj ('The Book of Muhammad's Ladder'), an account of the Mi'raj, into Castilian under the title La escala de Mahoma.[2][3] His Castilian translation was in turn translated into French by Bonaventure of Siena [fr] the same year, the first book on the subject of Muhammad's prophethood presented to a French lay audience.[4] He later translated (after 1270) a cosmographical work of Alhazen under the title Libro de la constitución del universo (Arabic: Kitab fi Hay’at al-ʿAlam), and revised a 1277 translation of Arzachel's Libro de la Açafeha (Arabic: al-Safiḥa) by Ferdnando of Toledo found unsatisfactory by the King.[5]


  1. ^ Rodríguez Arribas, Josefina (2010). "Abraham of Toledo". In Stillman, Norman A. (ed.). Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World.
  2. ^ Heullant-Donat, I.; Polo de Beaulieu, M.-A. (1991). "Histoire d'une traduction". Le Livre de l'échelle de Mahomet (in French). Translated by Besson, Gisèle; Brossard-Dandré, Michèle. Paris: Le Livre de Poche. p. 22. ISBN 978-2-253-05644-7. OCLC 24853016.
  3. ^ Toorawa, Shawkat M. (April 1992). "Muhammad, Muslims, and Islamophiles in Dante's Commedia". The Muslim World. Wiley. 82 (1–2): 137. doi:10.1111/j.1478-1913.1992.tb03545.x. ISSN 0027-4909.
  4. ^ Jeczmyk, Olga (26 January 2017). "Abraham Alfaquín: A Translator from the Famous Toledo School of Translators". Terminology Coordination. European Parliament. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  5. ^ Foz, Clara (1998). Le traducteur, l'Église et le Roi: Espagne, XIIe et XIIIe siècles (in French). Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press. ISBN 978-2-7603-0462-8. OCLC 742333036.