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 Al-mughnī fī abwāb al-tawḥīd wa-l-ʿadl

(2,033 words)

Author(s): Reynolds, Gabriel Said
Al-mughnīAl-mughnī fī uṣūl al-dīnSumma on the matters of divine unity and divine justice, SummaSumma on the principles of religion ʿAbd al-Jabbār Date: 970-90 Original Language: Arabic Description The Mughnī, ʿAbd al-Jabbār’s magnum opus, is a lengthy apology for Muʿtazilī theology and polemic against competing systems of religious thought. Composed in 20 parts ( ajzāʾ), the Mughnī is ostensibly dedicated to two theological categories, namely monotheism (5 parts) and justice (15 parts). Parts 1-3, 9 (partially), 10 (partially), 18, and 19 are not ex…

Al-Hādī ilā l-Ḥaqq

(667 words)

Author(s): Reynolds, Gabriel Said
Abū l-Ḥusayn Yaḥyā ibn al-Ḥusayn ibn al-Qāsim ibn Ibrāhīm al-Ḥasanī l-Hādī ilā l-Ḥaqq al-Rassī Date of Birth: 835 Place of Birth: Medina Date of Death: 911 Place of Death: Ṣaʿda, Yemen Biography Al-Hādī ilā l-Ḥaqq was born in Medina into a Zaydī Shīʿī family. His paternal grandfather was al-Qāsim ibn Ibrahīm (d. 860) (q.v.), leader of the Zaydī ʿAlids in the Ḥijāz, founder of the principal school of theology and jurisprudence among the Yemenī Zaydīs, and author of an important anti-Christian treatise. Al-Hādī was raised in the…

ʿAbd al-Jabbār

(1,365 words)

Author(s): Reynolds, Gabriel Said
Abū l-Ḥasan ʿAbd al-Jabbār ibn Aḥmad ibn ʿAbd al-Jabbār ibn Aḥmad ibn al-Khalīl ibn ʿAbdallāh, al-Qāḍī l-Hamadhānī l-Asadābādī Date of Birth: About 937 Place of Birth: Asadābād, southwest of Hamadhān Date of Death: January-February 1025 Place of Death: Rayy Biography ʿAbd al-Jabbār, commonly referred to in Islamic sources as Qāḍī l-Quḍāt due to his position as chief justice in Rayy under the Būyid emirs Muʾayyid al-Dawla (r. 977-84) and Fakhr al-Dawla (r. 984-97), was the leading figure of the Muʿtazila, and in particular of the Bahsh…


(1,802 words)

Author(s): Reynolds, Gabriel Said
David, the Biblical king of the Israelites, is described in the Qurʾān as a divinely-appointed leader and the recipient of a divine book (al-zabūr). In later Islamic traditions, inspired by Qurʾānic references to David’s repentance, he is praised for his rigor in prayer and fasting. He is also presented as a figure of righteous authority, who was at once a king and a prophet. David is particularly important to the religious architecture of Islamic Jerusalem. 1. David in the Qurʾān The Qurʾānic Arabic form of David is Dāwud or Dāwūd, differing from Koine Greek Δαυίδ and Syriac Dawīd (which f…
Date: 2020-09-16


(3,123 words)

Author(s): Reynolds, Gabriel Said
Mary (Ar. Maryam), mother of Jesus and the only woman named in the Qurʾān, is a model of piety, chastity, and righteousness in the Islamic scripture and a revered figure in Islamic tradition. The Arabic name Maryam matches the Syriac (Maryam) and Greek (Μαριάμ) forms of the name (Ambros and Procházka, 311), all of which are ultimately derived from the Hebrew Miryām. Mary is the most prominent female figure in the Qurʾān (in part because of her relationship to Jesus) and consequently is an important figure in Islamic tradition and spirituality. 1. Mary in the Qurʾān In the Qurʾān, Mary is d…
Date: 2020-09-16


(1,950 words)

Author(s): Reynolds, Gabriel Said
Gabriel (Ar. Jibrīl, as in the Cairo Qurʾān, or Jabrāʾīl; from Hebr. Gabrīʾēl, probably through Christian Palestinian Aramaic Gabrīl) appears in two passages of the Qurʾān (Q 2:97–98; 66:4). In Islamic tradition he is an angel closely associated with the prophet Muḥammad. 1. Gabriel in the Qurʾān While the Qurʾān does not explicitly call Gabriel an angel, in al-Baqara (2:97–8) it does make him the agent of divine revelation, in accord with Jewish and Christian tradition. Gabriel plays the role of heavenly messenger in Daniel (8:16; 9:21), interpreting …
Date: 2020-09-16


(7,955 words)

Author(s): Reynolds, Gabriel Said
Angels, according to a widespread Islamic tradition, were created from light, jinn from fire, and humans from clay. Yet while the Qurʾān mentions the creation of jinn from fire (15:27; cf. 55:15; 56:42), and humans from clay (6:2; 7:12; 23:12; 32:7, passim) or dust (3:59; 18:37; 22:5; 30:20, passim), it never speaks of the creation of angels, an omission that evidently reflects the ancient Near Eastern tradition of angels as semi-divine mediators between heaven and earth. In Islam angels are in the service of a transcendent God. Along with the jinn and demons ( shayāṭīn, cf. the daēvas of I…
Date: 2020-09-16

 Tathbīt dalāʾil al-nubuwwa

(2,053 words)

Author(s): Reynolds, Gabriel Said
TathbītThe confirmation of the proofs of prophethood, The confirmation ʿAbd al-Jabbār Date: 995 Original Language: Arabic Description The only extant manuscript of the Tathbīt comprises 313 folios in two volumes (662 pages in the modern edition). The section concerned with Christianity, known as the ‘Critique of Christian origins’, comprises fols 42-99 (pp. 91-210). ʿAbd al-Jabbār himself identifies the date of its composition as 385 (995). He also refers in the text to the city of Rayy, where he served as a judge, an…

 Tathbīt nubuwwa Muḥammad

(826 words)

Author(s): Reynolds, Gabriel Said
Al-dalīl ʿalā nubuwwa MuḥammadConfirmation of the prophethood of MuḥammadProof for the prophethood of Muḥammad Al-Hādī ilā l-Ḥaqq Date: Unknown; before 911 Original Language: Arabic Description The Tathbīt nubuwwa Muḥammad is a short unpublished treatise, two folios in length, on the evidentiary signs or miracles which, al-Hādī argues, prove that Muḥammad was a prophet. It forms part of a group of brief treatises that al-Hādī wrote either to address specific topics (e.g. Al-radd ʿalā man zaʿama anna l-Qurʾān qad dhahaba baʿḍuhu; Tathbīt imāmat amīr al-muʾminīn; Kitāb al-manzila…


(1,151 words)

Author(s): Reynolds, Gabriel Said
Abū ʿAbdallāh ʿUthmān b. ʿAffān, third caliph (q.v.; r. 23-35/644-55) and first ¶ “rightly guided” ( rāshid) caliph from the Umayyad clan, an early convert to Islam and emigrant ( muhājir; see emigrants and helpers ) to both Abyssinia (q.v.) and Medina (q.v.; see also emigration ). These pious credentials (see piety ) are tainted by his absence at the battle of Badr (q.v.), his flight at Uḥud (see expeditions and battles ), his absence at Ḥudaybiya (q.v.; see Bukhārī, Ṣaḥīḥ, 66, Faḍāʾil al-Qurʾān, 3; ed. Krehl, iii, 93; trans. Houdas, iii, 522-3) and his alleged impiety during…