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In the Name of God بسم الله

Accusations Of Mu'tazilite Kalaam


Abu Tufayl

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(bismillah)

In an Islamic studies class I am taking in school, the teacher is really pushing the idea and belief that the Imamia have adopted Mu'tazilite kalaam. There was also mention of this "Nobakhti" family that was a big part of this.

So, is there any "academic" (meaning something that would fly as proof in a secular environment) to refute these accusations?

Jazakallah Khayrun

(salam)

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Salaam,

see Murtada Mutahhari, Understanding Islamic Sciences, 2002, ICAS Press Part II: 'Ilm al-Kalam: Islamic Theology, Mu'tazilah, Asha'irah and The Shi'ite Kalam page 57-75.

There you will find some of the differences between Shi'a and Mutazila kalam, e.g. concerning the Essence and Attributes of Allah the mutazila considers the Attributes to be outside of His Essence, where the Shi'a sees every Attribute as (a hole) the Essence of God. Furthere concering al-tawhid al-sifati is a Shi'a and Asha'riah believe not held by the Mu'tazila. This was just a sample concerning Oneness of God (tawhid) in different views, read the book for more differences,

With Salaams,

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Read tashih ul aqaid(iteqadad) by shiekh mufeed on www.*******.org

Most Shias today are actually mutazallites without even realising that they are.

Salaam,

see Murtada Mutahhari, Understanding Islamic Sciences, 2002, ICAS Press Part II: 'Ilm al-Kalam: Islamic Theology, Mu'tazilah, Asha'irah and The Shi'ite Kalam page 57-75.

There you will find some of the differences between Shi'a and Mutazila kalam, e.g. concerning the Essence and Attributes of Allah the mutazila considers the Attributes to be outside of His Essence, where the Shi'a sees every Attribute as (a hole) the Essence of God. Furthere concering al-tawhid al-sifati is a Shi'a and Asha'riah believe not held by the Mu'tazila. This was just a sample concerning Oneness of God (tawhid) in different views, read the book for more differences,

With Salaams,

any proofs of that Shias believe as such. Wouldn't that make every attribute an essence and therby plurality whereas all Attributes refer to the Essence. And "al ismu ghayril mausuf"

If u can shed some more light it would be great.

Ya Ali Madad

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(bismillah)

In an Islamic studies class I am taking in school, the teacher is really pushing the idea and belief that the Imamia have adopted Mu'tazilite kalaam. There was also mention of this "Nobakhti" family that was a big part of this.

So, is there any "academic" (meaning something that would fly as proof in a secular environment) to refute these accusations?

Jazakallah Khayrun

(salam)

The Mutazilla were influenced by the Ahlul Bayt (as) imams. That is why they have similarities with the Shia schools. Wasil ibn Ata (ra) the founder of the school learned theology under Abd-Allah ibn Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah (ra).

Edited by Abdaal
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Momen in his well known, An Introduction to Shi'i Islam - The History and Doctrines of Twelver Shi'ism [online pdf-version] states under the chapter 'Doctrines, ritual practices and social tranactions' page 176:

The Fundamental Elements of the Religion (Usul ad-Din)

1. Tawhid (Divine Unity)

... In the dispute between the Mu'tazili ans Ash'ari theological positions that concerned Islam a great deal in its early days, Shi'is took the Mu'tazili viewpoint. One consequence of this is that they hold the names and attributes of God to have no independent or hypostatic existence apart from the Being and Essence of God. Any suggestion of these names and attributes being conceived of as separate is thought to entail polytheism. It would even be incorrect, for example, to say that God knows by His Knowledge which is in His Essence. The correct statement is: God knows by His Knowledge which is His Essence.

This statement is only half of the story (and maybe therefore your teacher have taken it as a general statement). Because even though at the Mu'tazili and Shi'a agree upon this degree of Oneness in Attributes (tawhid al-sifati), they still differ in the fundamental understanding: 'The mu'tazilites concept of tawhid al-sifati is synonymous with the idea of the absence of all Attributes from the Divine Essence or, to put it another way, with the concept that the Divine Essence is devoid of all qualities. But the Shi'a notion of tawhid al-sifati means identity of the Attributes with the Divine Essence.' Furthermore as I stated in my earlier post, the Shi'a confess to another degree of Oneness (tawhid al-af'ali) that the mu'tazilites don't, but the ash'arites does (even thought we also have en difference in understanding with the ash'arites understanding [see below]).

To mention two other differences between Shi'a and Mu'tazilit kalam:

  1. Free Will and Freedom, to some extent similar, but the two differ with regard to its meaning. Human freedom or free will for the Mu'tazilites is equivalent to Divine Resignation (tafwid), i.e. leaving man to his own devices and suspending the Divine Will from any effective role. From a Shi'a point of view this is of course impossible contradiction with the above mention degree of tawhid that accepts secondary causality (Q 30:48).
  2. The Faith or Infidelity of the Fasiq: On this issue, the Shi'i position coincides with that of the Ash'arites, but differs from that of the Khawarij (who believe that a fasiq is kafir) and the Mu'tazilites (who believe in manzilah bayna al-manzilatayn [a somewhat intermedia state]).

Try looking up some of the keywords in Encyclopædia Iranica, Encyclopaedia Islamica and Encyclopaedia of Islam II to see if some Western scholars have touched upon this issue,

With Salaams,

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(bismillah)

None of the above work as answers to an "academic." Need non-shi'a perspective answers to prove the shi'a opinion.

Sheesh, the one moment the laymen shi'a are not good at being polemical?! what!!!?

(salam)

I am a non-shia. Wasil ibn Ata's (ra) initial teacher was Abd-Allah ibn Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah who is the grandson of Imam Ali (as). Therefore, the theology go back to Imam Ali (as).

Edited by Abdaal
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  • 3 years later...
  • Veteran Member

(bismillah)

In an Islamic studies class I am taking in school, the teacher is really pushing the idea and belief that the Imamia have adopted Mu'tazilite kalaam. There was also mention of this "Nobakhti" family that was a big part of this.

So, is there any "academic" (meaning something that would fly as proof in a secular environment) to refute these accusations?

Jazakallah Khayrun

(salam)

 

The teacher then doesnt know Imami kalam, as there are many, many points on which shia kalam differs from mutazilah.

 

Free will, authority, divine attributes, miracles, angels etc

 

Its also important to remember that mutazilah was an early branch of islam, and the islam of the masses for a long time, and I would argue that it is closer to the real islam than the later asharite. However from a shia point of view, we would hold that the real islam that the Prophet SAW left us, was gradually changed by these various groups and only the shia holding to its true teachings, so there will always be some shared concepts between groups, as they have a shared start.

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