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MUSLIM EFFORTS TO REASON ABOUT GOD AND HIS RELATION TO HUMANS AND THE WORLD. (8.1) Chapter 11 Theology and Philosophy.

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1 MUSLIM EFFORTS TO REASON ABOUT GOD AND HIS RELATION TO HUMANS AND THE WORLD. (8.1) Chapter 11 Theology and Philosophy

2 Philosophy and Theology Theology uses reason to explicate and interpret revelation  Often argues from opponents’ premises Philosophy seeks to find the truth by reason alone For both: reason properly exercised and revelation properly understood cannot contradict each other.

3 Theology: names for ‘Ilm al-kalām (science of disputation) ‘Ilm u ṣ ūl al-dīn (science of the roots of religion) ‘Ilm al-taw ḥ īd (science of monotheism)

4 Reasons for theology Apparent contradictions or obscurities in the Qur’an and Sunna. Political conflict (esp. involving Kh ā rij ī s) Debates with adherents of other religions Challenge of (Greek) philosophy

5 Main schools (madhhabs) of theology (and usually associated madhhabs of fiqh) Mu‘tazila (Hanafis, Shi‘is) Ash‘ariyya (Shafi‘is) Maturidiyya (Hanafis) [Traditionalists (Hanbalis), anti-Kalām]

6 Mu‘tazilaAsh / Mat (later) Trad (al- Ash‘ari) AttributesSame as essence Not He not other than He Bilā kayf Qur’ancreateduncreated Qur’an written and recited createdon our pages, in our hearts, does not inhere in them Bilā kayf “Physical” attributes Ta‘wīl Bilā kayf Major Issues Taw ḥ īd Bilā kayf = without [asking] how Ta’wīl=esoteric interpretation

7 Major issues ctd. Justice Mu‘tazilaAsh‘ariyyaMaturidiyy a God’s actionMust do best for creatures Need not do best Right and wrong Inheres in things Determined arbitrarily by God Right and wrong Can be known apart from revelation Can be known only by revelation Can be known apart from revelation QadarHumans create their actions God creates actions, humans acquire God creates actions, humans have choice

8 Major issues ctd. Promise and threat Mu‘tazilaAsh‘ariyyaMaturidiyya Divine punishment God must punish serious sins God may forgive all sins but kufr and shirk

9 KharijiMu‘tazilaAl-Ash‘ariAsh‘ariyya Maturidiyya Muslims who commit serious sins are kafirsbelieversfasiqbelievers Faith includesHeart, tongue, limbs Heart Faith

10 Philosophy (Falsafa, Ḥ ikma) Stood in an unbroken line with pre-Islamic Hellenistic philosophy before and Western scholastic philosophy later Included much of what we call “science”; closely associated with medicine Was “ecumenical”; Christians, Jews and others  E.g. Maimonides ( , Spain>Egypt)

11 Philosophy – main figures Al-Kindī, Abū Yusuf Ya‘qūb ibn Is ḥ āq ( , Baghdad) Al-Fārābī (c ) Ibn Sīnā, Abū ‘Alī (Avicenna, , Iran) Ibn Ṭ ufayl c , Andalus) Ibn Rushd (Averroes , Andalus)

12 Philosophy and Religion PhilosophyReligion Source of knowledge pure reasoning and intellectual illumination revelation to a prophet (to his intellect, or a high level of his intellect, and his imagination) Knowledge gained knowledge of the truth in its pure form same truths but in a symbolic form Knowledge accessible to elite onlyAll people

13 Philosophy as mysticism Intellect is not so much a process as a perceptive faculty One perceives the higher intellectual/spiritual realities One is illuminated by them Reasoning may pass over into mystical awareness (for some)

14 Philosophical teachings that are problematic for religion: God is very abstract God is perhaps not free, determined by His own nature and the nature of existence The universe is eternal No bodily resurrection Religion seems subordinate to philosophy (e.g., Qur’an is interpreted to fit philosophical doctrines, not the reverse)

15 Fate of philosophy Ceases to be a distinct discipline among Sunnis after about Parts absorbed into theology Terms and ideas used by speculative Sufis ‘Irfān, a mystical form of philosophy, continues and develops among Shi‘is in Iran. Revitalized in modern times, through continuation of ‘irfān and contact with the West.


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