The Logical Structure Of Islamic Theology

Primary texts in translation 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. 16-38. al-jahiz, 'Ami ibn Bahr, Chance or Creation [al-Dala'il wa-l-i'tibar], tr. M. A. S.

Abdel Haleem (Reading, 1995). al-Juwayna, 'Abd al-Malik, A Guide to Conclusive Proofs for the Principles of

Belief [Al-Irshad], tr. Paul E. Walker (Reading, 2000), esp. pp. 11-18. al-Qasim ibn Ibraham, Kitab al-dalal al-kabar, tr. Binyamin Abrahamov, in Al-Kasim b. Ibm^m on the Proof of God's Existence (Leiden, 1990).

Secondary texts

Craig, William, The Kalam Cosmological Argument (New York, 1979). Davidson, Herbert, Proofs for Eternity, Creation and the Existence of God in

Medieval Islamic and Jewish Philosophy (New York and Oxford, 1987). Goodman, Lenn, ''Ghazali's argument from creation'', International Journal of

Middle East Studies 2 (1971), pp. 67-85, 168-88. Hallaq, Wael B., ''Ibn Taymiyya on the existence of God'', Acta Orientalia 52 (1991), pp. 49-69.

Marmura, Michael E., ''Avicenna's proof from contingency for God's existence in the Metaphysics of the Shifa''', Mediaeval Studies 42 (1980), pp. 337-52.

Mayer, Toby, ''Ibn Sana's 'Burhan al-Siddiqm','' Journal of Islamic Studies 12 (2001), pp. 18-39.

Morewedge, Parviz, ''A third version of the ontological argument in the Ibn Sanian metaphysics'', in Parviz Morewedge (ed.), Islamic Philosophical Theology (New York, 1979), pp. 188-222. Yaran, Cafer S., Islamic Thought on the Existence of God (Washington, 2003).

1. This view found expression in a dedicated genre on what every Muslim ought to believe in, represented by Muhammad ibn al-Tayyib al-Baqillanl, al-Insaf fi ma yajibu i'tiqaduhu wa-la yajuzu al-jahl bih, ed. Muhammad al-Kawthari (Cairo, 1963).

2. See Wael B. Hallaq, ''Ibn Taymiyya on the existence of God'', Acta Orientalia 52 (1991), pp. 49-69.

3. Al-Ghazali, The Jerusalem Epistle [Al-Qudsiyya], tr. A. L. Tibawi, in Islamic Quarterly 9 (1965), p. 98.

4. Fakhr al-DIn al-Razl, al-Matalib al-'aliya mina'l-'ilm al-ilahi, ed. Ahmad al-Saqqa, 8 vols. (Beirut, 1987), 1, p. 71. He gives two other types, which he then includes under these four. For greater chronological accuracy, the arguments are presented here in reverse order.

5. Mahmud ibn Muhammad al-MalahimI, al-Mu'tamad fi usul al-din, ed. Martin McDermott and Wilferd Madelung (London, 1991), pp. 79-81.

6. On the background to this Mu'tazilite view, see Harry Wolfson, The Philosophy of the Kalam (Cambridge, MA, 1976), pp. 624ff.; Josef van Ess, ''Early Islamic theologians on the existence of God'', in Khalil I. Semaan (ed.), Islam and the Medieval West (Albany, 1980), pp. 64-81, at pp. 75-7.

7. Cf. Mankdim Shashdiw ['Abd al-Jabbar], Sharh al-usul al-khamsa, ed. 'Abd al-KarIm 'Uthman (Cairo, 1965), p. 67.

9. Cf. Malahimi, Mu'tamad, pp. 81-2; Mankdlm, Sharh, p. 69.

10. See Ayman Shihadeh, The Teleological Ethics of Fakhr al-Din al-Razi (Leiden, 2006), pp. 49ff.

11. 'Abd al-Malik al-Juwayni, al-Shamil fi usul al-din, ed. 'A. al-Nashshar et al. (Alexandria, 1969), p. 115. Cf. Juwayni, A Guide to Conclusive Proofs for the Principles of Belief [Al-Irshad], tr. Paul E. Walker (Reading, 2000), pp. 5-7.

12. Al-JuwaynI, Shamil, pp. 118-19, reading jarat for kharq, and halih for hala.

13. Al-Razi, Muhassal afkar al-mutaqaddimin wa'l-muta'akhkhiiin min al-'ulama' wa-l-hukama' wa'l-mutakallimin, ed. H. Atay (Cairo, 1991), pp. 134-5.

15. Razi, Muhassal, p. 134; cf. Shihadeh, Teleological Ethics, pp. 56ff.

16. I here apply the conventional Kantian classification of arguments for the existence of God into teleological arguments, cosmological arguments and ontological arguments (cf. Immanuel Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, B 618-19). The last two types are defined below.

17. The Qur'an, tr. Muhammad Abdel Haleem (Oxford, 2004).

19. Cf. Herbert Davidson, Proofs for Eternity: Creation and the Existence of God in Medieval Islamic and Jewish Philosophy (New York and Oxford, 1987), pp. 219ff.

20. English translations of both texts are available (see ''Further reading'').

22. See also Averroes, Faith and Reason: Averroes' Exposition of Religious Arguments [Al-Kashf 'an manahij al-adilla fi 'aqa'id al-milla], tr. I. Najjar (Oxford, 2001), p. 33, who distinguishes between the argument from design (ikhtira') and the argument from providence ('inaya).

24. Razi, Asrar al-tanzil wa-anwar al-ta'wil, ed. M. Muhammad et al. (Baghdad, 1985), p. 151.

26. Ibid., i, pp. 224-5. On Abu Bakr al-Razi's notion of God, see Michael E. Marmura, ''The Islamic philosophers' conception of Islam'', in R. Hovannisian (ed.), Islam's Understanding of Itself (Malibu, 1981), pp. 87-102.

28. On this notion, see Shihadeh, Teleological Ethics, pp. i42ff.

29. Razi (Matalib, i, p. 239) also recognises the importance of cumulating arguments more generally for the existence of God. Even if each separately does not provide certainty, their cumulative force may achieve this. For a recent defence of such a strategy, see Richard Swinburne, The Existence of God (Oxford, 1991), pp. 13-15.

31. ''Huduth'' is rendered as either ''generation'' or ''temporal origination", depending on context.

32. On proofs for the existence of accidents, see Davidson, Proofs, pp. i80ff.

33. 'Abd al-Jabbar, al-Majmu' fi'l-muhit bi'l-taklif, ed. J. Houben, 2 vols. (Beirut, 1965), i, pp. 28-67; Malahimi, Mu'tamad, pp. 84-154; Davidson, Proofs, p. 140.

34. Averroes, Faith and Reason, pp. 25-6; cf. Davidson, Proofs, pp. 143-4.

35. Juwayni, Shamil, pp. 2i5ff., and Guide, p. 15; Davidson, Proofs, pp. 143-6.

38. Razi, Matalib, Book 4; Muammer Iskenderoglu, Fakhr al-Dm al-Razi and Thomas Aquinas on the Question of the Eternity of the World (Brill, 2002), pp. 69ff. In his earlier works, Razi defends the doctrine of creation ex nihilo.

39. Razi, Matalib, i, p. 207. This view was also taken by Ghazali, al-Iqtisad fi'l-i'tiqad, ed. Ibrahim Agah Çubukçu and Huseyin Atay (Ankara, i962), pp. 25-6.

40. Cf. 'Abd al-Jabbar, MajmW, i, pp. 68-93. The analogy is summarised by Malahimi (Mu'tamad, pp. i72-4) and Razi (Matalib, i, pp. 2i0-i2), both of whom reject it.

41. On analogy in kalam cf. Ayman Shihadeh, ''From al-Ghazali to al-Razi: 6th/i2th century developments in Muslim philosophical theology'', Arabic Sciences and Philosophy i5 (2005), pp. i4i-79, pp. i65ff.

42. On these forms of argument, see Shihadeh, ''From al-Ghazali to al-Razi'', pp. i65-7; Josef van Ess, ''The logical structure of Islamic theology'', in G. von Grunebaum (ed.), Logic in Classical Islamic Culture (Los Angeles, 1967), pp. 21-50, passim.

46. Muhammad al-Baqillani, Tamhid al-awa'il wa-talkhis al-dala'il, ed. 'I. Haydar (Beirut, 1987), pp. 43-4.

47. Juwayni, Shamil, pp. 263ff., and Guide, p. 17; Juwayni al-'Aqida al-Nizamiyya, ed. M. al-Kawthari (Cairo, 1948), p. 20.

48. Cf. al-Ghazali, The Incoherence of the Philosophers, tr. Michael E. Marmura (Provo, UT, 1997), p. 31.

49. Juwayni, Nizamiyya, p. 16.

51. Ghazali, Incoherence, p. 22.

52. Juwayni, Luma' al-adilla, ed. Fawqiya Husayn, Mahmud (Cairo, 1965), pp. 80-1.

53. Abu 'Ali ibn Sina, The Metaphysics of The Healing, tr. Michael E. Marmura (Provo, UT, 2005), p. 4; cf. Davidson, Proofs, pp. 284ft

54. Ibn Sina, al-Isharat wa'l-tanbihat, ed. Sulayman Dunya (Cairo, 1938), p. 482; tr. Michael E. Marmura, ''Avicenna's proof from contingency for God's existence in the Metaphysics of the Shifa' '', Mediaeval Studies 42 (1980), pp. 337-52, at p. 340.

55. Ontological, a priori proof: Marmura, ''Avicenna's proof''; Parviz Morewedge, ''A third version of the ontological argument in the Ibn Sainian metaphysics'', in Parviz Morewedge (ed.), Islamic Philosophical Theology (New York, 1979), pp. 188-222. Cosmological proof: Herbert Davidson, ''Avicenna's proof of the existence of God as a necessarily existent being'', in ibid., pp. 165-87. See also Toby Mayer, ''Ibn Sina's 'Burhan al-siddiqin''', Journal of Islamic Studies 12 (2001), pp. 18-39, which engages in this debate.

56. The above summary of Avicenna's arguments is based on his Isharat, Najat and Shifa'; Marmura, Avicenna's Proof; Davidson, Proofs, pp. 281-310.

57. The latter statement, for Avicenna, would still constitute a priori knowledge, since he maintains, first, that ''existence'' is a primary concept, and second, that one has a priori knowledge of the existence of one's own self, which is clearly less primitive than knowledge that something exists.

59. This debate continues after Raazai. For instance, Jalaal al-Dain al-Dawwaanai (d. 1502) advances a slightly modified version of Avicenna's argument, and attempts to answer the objection that it indeed starts from the existence of possible existents: Risalat Ithbat al-wajib al-jadida, in Sab' rasa'il, ed. Ahmad Tuysirkani (Tehran, 2001), pp. 115-70, at pp. 118-19.

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