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Need of Him, simply in order to be and to act. This ontological situation of total dependence on God's lordship is common to all - believers and unbelievers, libertines and good-doers. In the Qur'an, even the Devil says ''O my Lord '' to the creator. To proclaim the unique and exclusive lordship of God and to approach Him from the viewpoint of His rulership does not, however, introduce the real essence of God qua God. In order to do so, one must leave ontology in favour of ethics, and ascribe...

Summary And Conclusion

In the Niche, Ghazili writes that ''nothing possesses existence (huwiya) other than He i.e. God except in a figural sense (bi'l-majaz)'' and ''the knowers of God who ascend from majaz to haqiqa''. But in the Mustasfi he claims ''Every majaz figural sense has a haqiqa i.e. a literal sense but it is not necessary that every haqiqa has a majiz.'' Should we conclude that Ghazali has simply reversed himself, that non-literal and literal are symmetrically interdependent And if for Ibn Taymiyya...

The Transmission Of Knowledge

From the emergence in the eighth century of the traditional ''Islamic sciences'', which include grammar (nahw), exegesis (tafsi), dialectic theology (kalam), study of hadith, and jurisprudence (fiqh), the establishment and maintenance of a connection to the event of revelation became the central preoccupation of those who dedicated themselves to learning. If revelation represented a special infusion of knowledge into the world, this knowledge had to form the basis of human scholarly endeavours,...

Messianism

Belief in a figure who will come to the world in the end-time to combat the forces of darkness or evil is a theme common to the Western religious traditions. Meaning in history is brought to vindication through this potent image of a cosmic conflagration, succeeded by a just resolution and the ultimate victory of the good. The Muslim messianic figure, known as the Mahdi, or ''guided one'', is generally presented in hadith chapters called the books of crises, calamities or civil wars (fitan)....

Ghazali And The Seljuk Synthesis

This is not the place to rehearse the details of Ghazala's life. Elsewhere in this volume, David Burrell has described how he came to confirm the centrality of Sufism through terrible inner traumata.49 The result was that Ghazala made his famous flight from Baghdad, dedicating himself to the contemplative disciplines of Sufism. Ghazaalai hyperbolises when he expresses himself in terms of an actual disavowal of the exoteric sciences. For the fruit of his conversion was of course a bold attempt...

The Fate Of Falsafa

As Hossein Ziai demonstrates in his chapter, Abbasid civilisation showed itself willing and able to embark on one of the most ambitious projects of deliberate cultural borrowing known to history. If the Qur'an represents a first moment of Islamic xenophilia, rejecting the indigenous beliefs of the Arabs in favour of the monotheistic worldview and prophetic tales of their neighbours and rivals, then the process whereby Greek texts were translated into Arabic is surely the second. (The third,...

The rescue of integrality

His earlier observation of the Nur affair probably made him wary of Hallij's strident form of esoterism, and many accounts point to his censure of Hallij's outspokenness. It is not a matter of Junayd being more scrupulous in upholding the Shari'a, for Hallaj himself was allegedly extremely meticulous in his religious observance and renounced all legal mitigations and concessions (rukhas). Nonetheless, Junayd makes a reassertion of what has been referred to...

Problem

Reflections on the essence-attribute question were not restricted to kalam deliberations but were also systemically debated by the exponents of falsafa. For instance, Avicenna addressed this question in terms of an ontological analysis of the modalities of being namely impossibility, contingency and necessity. Avicenna argues that the impossible being is that which cannot exist, while the contingent in itself (mumkin bi-dhatihi) has the potentiality to be or not to be without entailing a...

Places Of Learning

In the pre-Ottoman Islamic world, scholarship was not rooted in any single specific venue. Nevertheless, the mosque has always been, and remains to this day, an important place of teaching. In the first Islamic cities, particularly the garrison towns built by the early Arab-Muslim conquerors in the seventh century, the mosque represented the public space par excellence. It was in the mosque that scholars sat between the five daily prayers, lecturing to their students as well as to interested...

The Moral Imperative

The centrality of worship in Islam is demonstrated already by the very structure of sura i, known as the Opener (al-Fatiha), which is traditionally understood as the epitome of the Qur'an. After beginning in God's name, the Fitiha praises God in three verses. The final two verses offer the request of the servant. Verse 5, which is structurally the middle, provides the best-known and most often recited reference to worship in Islam Thee alone we worship serve, and from Thee alone we seek help.''...

Islamic law and classical theology

Opinions differ regarding the influence of theology on Islamic law. Fazlur Rahman stresses that the origins of theology and of law were distinct, and that even in the case of the Mu'tazila there is no evidence that their theology affected their positions in positive law.27 The profound influence of kalam was in classical legal theory by contrast, in all legal schools, the content of positive law remained essentially untouched, regardless of the influence kalaam was wielding upon legal theory....

Introduction To Islamic Philosophy Notes

Ibn 'Arabi, Fusus al-hikam, ed. Abu'l-'Ali' 'Afifi Beirut, 1365 1946 , pp. 122, 178. Ibn 'Arabi also on occasion speaks of ''the deity conditioned by dogma'' al-ilah al-mu'taqad M. Chodkiewicz, An Ocean Without Shore Ibn 'Arabi, the Book and the Law Albany, 1993 , p. 128. 2. ''Locution theopathique'' is the term of the French scholar Louis Massignon, though interestingly ''theopathy'' ''theopathetic'' is attested in English as early as the eighteenth century. Louis Massignon, Essay on...

The challenge of esoteRism

Aside from bequeathing to Sufism the distinctive institution of the khanqah, the influence of Karrimism on Islamic mysticism is indirect. It should be remembered that Ibn Karram's movement was not mystical sensu stricto. However, the violent asceticism of its exponents, which cast such a spell over the working classes of Khurisanian towns such as Nlshapur, provoked an epochal reaction amongst mystics in the ninth century. With Hamdun al-Qassar and Abu Hafs 'Amr al-Haddadi at their head, their...

The Qadaris

It was the tension between free will and determinism that gave rise to the first properly theological dispute in Islam. The pre-Islamic Arabs had tended to believe in a predetermined fate dahr , and hence received the Qur'an in the same spirit. The early caliphs seem also to have upheld this view, particularly Mu'awiya 661-80 , 'Abd al-Malik 685-705 , and 'Umar II 717-20 , in connection with each of whom epistles or traditions of a deterministic hue have been associated. Usually, modern...

The Kharijites

Despite Umayyad success, opposition continued. All three of the groups which had been eclipsed during the First Civil War 656-61 continued to exist and to promote their opposition. All three contended again with the Umayyads during the Second Civil War 680-92 , which proved longer and more disastrous than the first. In this period, each of the three oppositions underwent further ideological development. The most confrontational was the radical Khawarij, who initially rejected any compromise...

Political philosophy

Farabi was the first thinker to define the classical political philosophy of Plato's Republic, harmonised with Aristotelian epistemo-logical, ontological and cosmological principles within the broader frame of Islamic religion. While political philosophy in the structure presented in Farabi's independent studies does not continue after him, his study of the typology of political regimes, the concept of law and the role of the lawmaker, and the identification of an ideal form of Islamic...

The fifth belief in the day of judgement

The Qur'an frequently evokes the beauty and diversity of the natural world, and belief in a final end gives sense and purpose to the whole creation. But for the judgement, the world would be in vain 23 115-16 95 7-8 , which is why the next life is mentioned in the Qur'an exactly as often as the life of this world. The semantic logic of the qur'anic text makes the domain we presently occupy the ''first world'' al-ualaa , which exists only with reference to the ''other'' world which is to come...

David B Burrell

''Originator Badi' of the heavens and earth. When He decrees a thing, He says only 'Be ' And it is.'' There are eight names for God, among the canonical ninety-nine, which direct our attention to Allah as the source of all that is al-Badi' Absolute Cause , al-Biri' Producer , al-Khaliq Creator , al-Mubdi' Beginner , al-Muqtadir All-Determiner , al-Musawwir Fashioner , al-Qidir All-Powerful and al-Qahhar Dominator , each with various connotations of creating.2 Nothing seems simpler than...

Characteristics

We need to ask what is Islamic about Islamic theology Most evidently, it is Islamic to the extent that it may be traced back in some way to the Prophet Muhammad and his distinctive vision of the One God. According to his scripture, he was sent ''as a mercy to the worlds'' Qur'an 21 107 , and one aspect of that mercy, as Muhammad Abdel Haleem suggests in chapter 1, was that he mapped out a religious path of great simplicity. This was to be the simplicity of an Abrahamic and ''primordial''...

Tim Winter

This volume presents a series of critical scholarly reflections on the evolution and major themes of pre-modern Muslim theology. Given Islam's salience in religious history and its role as final religious inheritor of the legacies of monotheism and classical antiquity, such a collection hardly needs justification. The significance of Islamic theology reflects the significance of Islam as a central part of the monotheistic project as a whole, to which it brings a distinctive approach and style,...

The Role Of Ibn Taymiyya

In particular, there emerged a few late medieval thinkers like the Syrian Hanbalite Taqi al-Din Ibn Taymiyya d. 1328 whose campaign to critique theology was more radical than that found in earlier generations.9 He criticised the very basis of kalam by attacking the notion of definition, that is, specifying a clear and distinct meaning for abstract concepts,and without the possibility of definition there is no possibility of theological discussion, since one is then without the basic materials...

Notes

For a discussion of theology in relation to and its impact on philosophy see Majid Fakhry, Philosophy, Dogma, and the Impact of Greek Thought in Islam Aldershot, 1994 . 2. An important discussion of the relationship between falsafa and kalam was presented by Averroes Ibn Rushd , who believed that philosophical investigation should be kept distinct from theological premises. See Averroes, Decisive Treatise and Epistle Dedicatory, tr. Charles E. Butterworth Provo, UT, 2001 . 3. For a...

Notes on contributors

Abd-Allah received his PhD in Arabic and Islamic Studies from the University of Chicago in 1978 with a dissertation on the origins of Islamic law. His principal interests are Islamic intellectual and spiritual history, the history of Islam in the West, and comparative religion. He taught academically in the United States, Canada and Saudi Arabia for more than twenty years before taking up his present post as chairperson and scholar-in-residence of the Nawawi Foundation Chicago , an...

The Hadith

Although the Qur'an is the unrivalled supreme revelation of Islam, the tradition also recognises a second form of revealed scripture the hadith hadith . Technically, Muslims came to define the hadith as ''the attested reports of the sayings, actions, and tacit approvals and accounts of the Prophet Muhammad''.6 These present records of the Prophet's statements, as well as statements by his companions relating to him. Collectively the hadith literature provides evidence for the Prophet's way of...

Zubayrids And Protosunnis

Just as Umayyad rule had provoked the emergence of Shi'ite and Kharijite movements during the Second Civil War, so it galvanised the party of Qurashis descended from the followers of Talha, Zubayr, and 'A'isha, now led by 'Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr 624-692 . Centred in Mecca, the Zubayrid party failed to offer the ideological force that propelled the Kharijites and the Shi'a, and was readily dealt with by the Umayyad caliphs. Its political significance collapsed, but its erstwhile followers,...

Islamic Philosophy Notes

Arthur Koestler, The Sleepwalkers A History of Man's Changing Vision of the Universe London, 1959 , p. 105. For the attitude see Dimitri Gutas, ''The study of Arabic philosophy in the twentieth century an essay on the historiography of Arabic philosophy'', British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 29 2002 , pp. 10-12. 2. Robert Wisnovsky, Avicenna's Metaphysics in Context London, 2003 , p. 301. 3. Louis Massignon, Essay on the Origins of the Technical Language of Islamic Mysticism, tr....

Reason And Revelation

Closely linked to this dialectic was the even more taxing balance which high medieval Islam thought it had achieved between ''reason'' 'aql and revelation naql . Those who stressed the former tended to assume that the Qur'an's arguments for itself proceed on the principle that reason is prior to the authority of revelation they therefore tended to support a strongly abstract model of God strict scripturalists, by contrast, often inclined to anthropomorphism. It was generally admitted that...