Majmu Fatawa Ibn Taymiyya

Abu Hamid al-GhazIlI, al-Mustasfa min 'ilm al-usul, ed. Ibrahim Muhammad Ramadan (Beirut, 1414 1994), i, p. 737 cf. al-Ghazali, al-Iqtisad fi'l-i'tiqad, ed. Ibrahim Agah Cubukcu and Huseyin Atay (Ankara, 1962), p. 114. 2. ''Il'' is prefixed to negate ''locution'' to show that il-locutions are actions that speakers perform with locutions. In the area of linguistics known as pragmatics a distinction is thus drawn between the locutionary act (what is said or asserted) and the illocutionary force...

The subTle Ties of allusion

Yet, as the Niche continues, if nothing exists other than God, the ''Light of the heavens and Earth'' (24 35), ''then the name 'light' for things other than the First Light i.e. God is sheer majaz''.47 Thus, ''the 'arifun ascend from majaz to haqlqa'', from the figural to the literal.48 For ''nothing possesses huwlya ('he-ness') other than He huwa except in a figural sense (bi'l-majaz)''. ''Huwlya'', the abstract form of the third-person pronoun huwa, is one of the terms used in falsafa to...

Strategies Of Revival

There is a well-known hadith in which the Prophet predicts that during each century God will send someone to the community of Islam in order to revive its religion.16 Reviving religion involves, first, showing its capacity to achieve something which alternative systems cannot, namely, to provide spiritual guidance to the community. There is also the need to demonstrate that the arguments of those hostile to religion fail to persuade. Finally, it is important that the reviver can express himself...

Avicennas argument from contingency

The central proof for the existence of God that Avicenna puts forth is the proof from contingency (imkain). In line with the Neoplatonic tradition, he attempts to prove an ultimate efficient cause for bringing the world into being, rather than a cause for motion in the world, as Aristotle does. Unlike most other proofs, this proof depicts God as a non-voluntary First Cause, which produces the world from pre-eternity by Its essence. Thus, despite its great influence on later Muslim thought, the...

The construction of orthodoxy

If such was the pre-modern culmination of Muslim theology, then its large story, as this volume shows, was that of a white-hot moment of pure revelatory renewal at the hands of a Prophet who, as Hans Kiing puts it, was ''discontinuity in person'',12 which with remarkable speed systematised itself as a set of contesting but seldom fatally divided schools of law, metaphysics and mysticism, which were then woven together again in the eclectic theologies of Ghazali and Ibn 'Arabi. For both...

The comprehensiveness of religious content in islamic law

Ritual and secular concerns coexist in Islamic law. De Wael illustrates this fact by noting that the law may deem a prayer invalid or a sale reprehensible.16 Coulson cites the law's prohibition of pork, intoxicants and usury. He observes further that Islamic law invalidates sales contracted at the time of Friday congregational prayers, threatens hellfire for one who misappropriates an orphan's wealth, and portrays a wife's conjugal obedience as virtuous.17 The law's fundamental concern with...

The succession to muhammad

In this way, there emerged two stresses which led to sectarian and ideological differentiation. First, there were disputes over matters concerning God and the afterlife, and secondly, disputes over the legitimate administration and shaping of the earthly Muslim community (umma). The latter preceded the former, but in time the two came to be symbi-otically related. Thus the first major rending of the Muslim community arose over the succession to the Prophet at his death in 632. Although Abu Bakr...

Notes

Chittick, ''Death and the world of imagination Ibn 'Arabi's eschatology'', Muslim World 78 (1988), p. 51. 2. Ibid., passim cf. Abu Hamid al-Ghazali, Deliverance from Error, tr. W. Montgomery Watt as The Faith and Practice of al-Ghazzali (London, 1953), p. 24. 3. Cf. Annemarie Schimmel, Mystical Dimensions of Islam (Chapel Hill, NC, 1975), p. 189. 4. Ibn Sina, al-Risala al-Adhawiyya, tr. Francesca Lucchetta as Epistola sulla vita futura (Padua, 1969), p. 19. 6. Abu Hamid al-Ghazali,...

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-ula), which exists only with reference to the ''other'' world which is to come...

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.''...

Further reading

Abd-Allah, Umar F., ''Innovation and creativity in Islamic law'', lt www.nawawi. org downloads article4.pdf gt , accessed October 2006. Abrahamov, Binyamin, Islamic Theology Traditionalism and Rationalism Edinburgh, 1998 . Anawati, Georges C., ''Philosophy, theology and mysticism'', in Joseph Schacht and C.E. Bosworth eds. , The Legacy of Islam Oxford, 1974 , pp. 350-91. al-Azmeh, Aziz, ''Islamic legal theory and the appropriation of reality'', in Aziz al-Azmeh ed. , Islamic Law Social and...

The bakriyya salimiyya and karramiyya

Basri's main legacy to Sufism must be sought in a different quarter from the Sufi Mu'tazila. The important eighth-century proto-Sufi order known as the Bakriyya derived directly from his influence. This group, who were strongly aligned with the ahl al-had th, had their origins in a figure who was reputedly a student of Basri, 'Abd al-Wahid ibn Zayd d. 793 , although the name Bakriyya derives from the latter's nephew and disciple Bakr ibn Ukht 'Abd al-Wahid ibn Zayd. The sect was strongly...

The Response Of The Philosophers

The philosophers tended to argue that where there was an apparent conflict between Islam and falsafa this conflict was only apparent, and that a correct understanding of philosophy would resolve the tension. It is the theologians, in particular those labelled by Averroes the people of kalam for him definitely a derogatory term , who unnecessarily complicate the matter by their analyses of particular theological doctrines. It is the philosophers who should be left to sort out these doctrines,...

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...

Eschatology In The Revealed Sources

It possesses both an individual and a cosmic element in which the fate of the individual is inextricably bound up with the purpose and destiny of the entire creation within a religious vision. Sacred time finds its culmination, fulfilment and, ironically, its negation or deconstruction in the drama of the Last Things. Theologians typically held that it is among the three most fundamental Islamic doctrines - the unity and uniqueness of God tawhid , prophecy...

The Asharite position

Early Ash'arites, too, contend that reflection constitutes a duty. Yet, to them, it is a religious sharl duty, since they maintain that duties can be engendered only by revealed religion to the exclusion of unaided reason or any other sources.10 One who lives on a remote island and has never heard of any revealed religions will not be under an absolute obligation to reflect in order to know God, or to do good and omit evil. Only when a religion is established through prophecy will knowing God...

The Challenge Of Esoterism

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

The Mutazilite position

How do the Mu'tazila justify their contention that undertaking reflection with a view to knowing God is obligatory Al-Malahimi d. 1141 , a later Basran Mu'tazilite, puts forth two representative arguments in this regard.5 First, he argues that reflection offers the agent who is devoid of the foregoing knowledge the hope of allaying an inevitable fear resulting from a certain ''motive'' khatir , which appears in his heart in one of several ways. If the sensible person hears or reads theological...

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....

William C Chittick

Worship can be defined as the appropriate human response to the divine. Having said this, we might jump to an analysis of the rites, rituals and other activities classified as worship in the Islamic tradition. But that approach would ignore the basic theological questions what exactly is God that he deserves to be worshipped What exactly are ''human beings that worship should be demanded of them What exactly makes the human response ''appropriate'' It is to these questions that I turn my...

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, and...

The Ontological Imperative

The Qur'an is by no means simply a set of moral injunctions and practical guidelines. It goes to great lengths to encourage people to meditate on the signs ayat of God in both the natural world and the soul so as to gain insight into God's reality and rights. The Qur'an pays special attention to the divine names and attributes that become manifest in creation - life, power, consciousness, speech, wrath, justice -and the fact that these provide general categories of understanding and the means...

The Logical Structure Of Islamic Theology

Al-Baydawa, 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar, Tawali' al-AnwHr, tr. Edwin E. Calverley and James W. Pollock, in Nature, Man and God in Medieval Islam, 2 vols. Leiden, 2002 , esp. vol. ii, pp. 727-48. al-Ghazala, Abu Hamid, The Jerusalem Epistle Al-Qudsiyya , tr. A. Tibawi, in Islamic Quarterly 9 1965 , pp. 62-122, esp. pp. 96-9. Ibn Rushd, Abu l-Walad, Faith and Reason Averroes' Exposition of Religious Arguments Al-Kashf 'an manahij al-adilla fi 'aqa'id al-milla , tr. I. Najjar Oxford, 2001 , esp. pp....

Overall trends

I have argued above that the social construction of theological orthodoxy took place at the intersection of three primary societal arenas, comprising the scholars, the ordinary believers and the government. To conclude, I will briefly summarise some broad historical trends that can be observed in these arenas during the millennium between the ninth and the nineteenth centuries. The history of the 'ulama' is marked by the progressive professionalisation of scholarly activity while early scholars...

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 falasifa on origination

The clearest picture here is given by Farabi, whose adaptation of Plotinus' Neoplatonic scheme whereby all things emanate from the One offered an enticing model for articulating the qur'anic creator para-digm.15 It was also his commentary on Aristotle's Metaphysics which succeeded in unlocking its secrets for Avicenna.16 In the spirit of Plato's Republic, Farabi's Virtuous City holds up the pattern of cosmic origination for the ideal leader of a human polity to emulate. The leader whom he has...

Info

THE MU'TAZILITES AND THE DISPUTES OVER In addressing the question of divine essence and attributes, the Mu'tazilites typically stressed the equivalence between sifa attribute , wasf description and ism name . Based on this principle of sameness, the Mu'tazilites held that if we converse about divine attributes we ultimately describe divinity. The Hanbalites, and most Ash'arites, opposed this claim by drawing a thoughtful distinction between sifa and wasf, positing the former as being ''what is...

The muRjiites

Despite its small size and the relative homogeneity of its practices, Medina was host to certain divisive controversies. Again, politics lay at the source of these issues. Which of the protagonists of the First and Second Civil Wars had been right Had 'Uthman been a grave sinner, so that he deserved to be overthrown, or even slain or was he rather an innocent victim, whose killers were the sinners The Shi'a and the Khawarij were already typically hostile to 'Uthman, and the Khawarij extended...

Ma Turidism

To give another example of how misleading the nomenclature often used in theology can be, let us examine briefly the controversy over irja' or ''postponement''.13 As Khalid Blankinship has outlined in chapter 2 of the present volume, a central controversy in early Islam had evolved over the nature of belief Oman was it primarily a matter of belief and acts, or of beliefs alone Could one be a sinner and yet at the same time remain a sincere Muslim An important school which was initiated by Abu...

Ahmed El Shamsy

Orthodoxy as a social phenomenon is not a thing but rather a process. For theological doctrines to become established as orthodox, they must find a place in the constantly changing net of social relations and institutions that constitute society. This is a two-way process ideas can reconfigure these relations and institutions, but the social context also actively receives ideas and promotes, channels and or suppresses them. Thus the history of orthodoxy cannot be simply a history of ideas, but...

The early creed

The intellectual milieu of seventh-century Mecca and Medina into which the Qur'an came was rustic, and bore no resemblance to the environment of the urbanised, far more literate societies of the organised empires of the Romans and Persians to the north. While literacy was nowhere widespread in early medieval times, it seems to have been especially lacking in the Arabian peninsula, where the prevalent Arabic language appears not to have possessed a written literature before the seventh century....

Classical theology a definition

A word about the title of our collection. The term ''classical'' is used to cover the era which stretches between the qur'anic revelation and the eighteenth century, with the accent falling on the period between the tenth and thirteenth centuries. For most of this ''classical'' period the kalam, literally ''discourse'', that is to say, the formal academic discipline which one scholar aptly calls ''Islamic doctrinal theology'',2 stood at or very near the apex of the academic curriculum. However,...