A Short Introduction to Islamic Philosophy, Theology and by Majid Fakhry

By Majid Fakhry

The advance of Islamic theology is rooted seriously in philosophy and mysticism, from the coming of Greek philosophy into the Muslim global within the 8th century to the current day. during this booklet, Fakhry strains this evolution, from the interpretation of historical Greek philosophy texts into Arabic, in the course of the improvement of Sufism to modern tendencies. It highlights the major concerns, contributors and writings, and explores the conflicts and controversies that experience characterised the advance of Islamic notion.

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First, the possession of the two higher sense-faculties of hearing and sight must be a means to the acquisition of knowledge and virtue, which are the positive fruits of intelligence, or else they would have been created in vain. Second, the heavenly bodies, being the proximate causes of our being rational, ‘as decreed by God, may His praise be great’, must possess the faculty of reasoning, or else we humans, who are their effects, would be nobler or higher in status than they, which is absurd.

E A RLY RELI GI OUS AND POLITI CAL CONFLI CTS X 19 however, of denying the attributes of God altogether; whereas their intent in insisting on the identity of essence and attribute in God was to safeguard His unqualified unity, which is such a fundamental Qur’anic tenet. In some respects, the Mu‘tazilite position was also closer to that of the philosophers, who, like Aristotle and Plotinus, stressed the unqualified unity and simplicity of God, designated by Plotinus ‘the One’, and by Aristotle ‘the Unmoved Mover’ who is described as the actuality of thought thinking itself.

He proceeded to implement this policy by setting up the famous Mihnah, or Inquisition, in 827 and 833. Any religious judge (qadi) who refused to profess the thesis of the created Qur’an was dismissed or thrown into gaol. The most notorious opponent of this thesis at that time was Ahmad Ibn Hanbal (d. 855), the leading Traditionist and scholar of Baghdad, who was unwavering in his conviction that the Qur’an, as the embodiment of divine speech (kalam Allah) was uncreated and eternal. Thrown into gaol and subjected to public scourging, Ibn Hanbal remained adamant in his opposition to the Mu‘tazilite thesis of the created Qur’an, despite all attempts at conciliation undertaken by intermediaries.

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