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Ibn al-Wazīr

(669 words)

Author(s): Hoover, Jon
Muḥammad b. Ibrāhīm al-Wazīr al-Yamanī (775–840/1374–1436), also known as Ibn al-Wazīr, was a Yemeni theologian and legal theorist of Zaydī Shīʿī background who did not affiliate with any legal school ( madhhab). The family name al-Wazīr derives from an ancestor several generations earlier who held an administrative position as a vizier ( wazīr). Ibn al-Wazīr was born in Rajab 775/January 1374 in the northern highlands of Yemen. He was educated in Zaydī Shīʿism, especially Muʿtazilī kalām theology and legal theory, but also turned to Sunnī ḥadīth collections and Ṣūfism early in …
Date: 2021-02-14

Fiṭra

(1,569 words)

Author(s): Hoover, Jon
The Arabic word fiṭra , often translated “original disposition,” “natural constitution,” or “innate nature,” appears in the Qurʾān and ḥadīth literature and factors into Islamic legal and theological discussions about human nature and knowledge. The related verb form faṭara occurs eight times in the Qurʾān, in the sense of “create” or “constitute” (Q 6:79, 17:51, and elsewhere), and the active participle fāṭir six times, to describe God as the “creator” of the heavens and the earth (Q 6:14, 12:101, and elsewhere). The sole occurrence of the noun fiṭra in the Qurʾān links it closel…
Date: 2021-02-14

Ḥashwiyya

(781 words)

Author(s): Hoover, Jon
Ḥashwiyya (also ahl al-ḥashw) is a pejorative label used by Muʿtazilī kalām theologians and other rationalists to malign ḥadīth folk ( aṣḥāb al-ḥadīth), Ḥanbalīs, and other traditionalists. The most common etymon posited is the Arabic ḥashw (to stuff), one accusation against the Ḥashwiyya being that they stuffed unreliable ḥadīth reports into their argumentation (Van Ess, Der Eine, 953). The earliest Muʿtazilī heresiography, Kitāb uṣūl al-niḥal (“Book of the roots of divisions”), usually attributed to Jaʿfar b. Ḥarb (d. 236/850–1), identifies the Ḥashwiyya a…
Date: 2021-02-14

Creed

(3,409 words)

Author(s): Hoover, Jon
The creed (ʿaqīda, iʿtiqād) refers both to the fundamental doctrines of Islam and to texts specifying these doctrines. These documents vary in length from short compendiums to extensive doctrinal outlines supported by rational and textual proofs. Apart from the Confession of Faith (shahāda), “There is no god but God, and Muḥammad is the messenger of God,” there is no universally accepted Islamic creed. However, political and theological conflicts over matters such as leadership of the Muslim community, the definition of a Muslim believe…
Date: 2021-02-14
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