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Al-Māturīdī and the development of Sunnī theology in Samarqand (Ulrich Rudolph)

Al-Māturīdī and the development of Sunnī theology in Samarqand (Ulrich (...)

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Presentation

Al-Māturīdī (d. 944 CE), the prominent Hanafi scholar from Samarqand, succeeded in formulating a theological doctrine which is widely accepted in Sunni Islam to this day. The present volume which is a revised English translation of the German original published in 1997 examines his teachings by describing their principal characteristics and situating them in the history of kalām.
Part one investigates the development of Hanafi thought in Transoxania before Māturīdī’s time. Part two deals with the other religious groups (in particular the Mu’tazilites) which emerged in this area during his lifetime. Part three shows how he explained and defended the position of his predecessors; in doing so, he reformed their traditional views, thereby developing his own theology which then became the basis of a new tradition, viz. the Māturīdite school.

Original title : Al-Māturīdī und die sunnitische Theologie in Samarkand

Content

Contents
Preface ix
List of Abbreviations x

Introduction 1
1 The Famous Unknown 1
2 The First Image: al-Māturīdī as Faithful Successor to
Abū Ḥanīfa 4
3 The Second Image: al-Māturīdī as Eastern Counterpart
to al-Ashʿarī 7
4 The State of Research and Current Conceptualizations 11

Part 1 Preliminary History and Conditions: The Ḥanafite Tradition
in Northeastern Iran

1 The Foundation and Establishment of Ḥanafite Theology in the Second/Eighth and Early Third/Ninth Centuries 23

1.1 The Preparatory Role of the Murjiʾa 23
1.2 Abū Ḥanīfa (d. 150/767) and the Letters to ʿUthmān al-Battī 28
1.2.1 The First Risāla 28
1.2.2 The Second Risāla 36
1.3 Abū Muqātil al-Samarqandī (d. 208/823) and the Kitāb al-ʿ lim
wa-l-mutaʿallim 42
1.4 Abū Muṭīʿ al-Balkhī (d. 199/814) and the Kitāb al-Fiqh al-absaṭ 53

2 Development in the Third/Ninth Century 72

2.1 Stagnation in Theology and a Lack of Sources: Abū Bakr
al-Samarqandī (d. 268/881–2) 72
2.2 Ḥanafite Elements in Ibn Karrām’s Theology (d. 255/869) 75

3 The State of Theology during al-Māturīdī’s Lifetime 81

3.1 Abū Muṭīʿ Makḥūl al-Nasafī (d. 318/930) and the Kitāb al-Radd ʿalā
ahl al-bidaʿ wa-l-ahwāʾ 81
3.2 Al-Ḥakīm al-Samarqandī (d. 342/953) and the Kitāb al-Sawād
al-aʿẓam 97
Contents vi

PART 2 The Emergence of al-Māturīdī

4 Life and Activity 125

4.1 Biographical Reports 125
4.2 Teachers 132
4.2.1 Abū Bakr al-Jūzjānī 132
4.2.2 Abū Naṣr al-ʿIyāḍī 134
4.3 Students 137
4.3.1 Abū Aḥmad al-ʿIyāḍī 137
4.3.2 Abū l-Ḥasan al-Rustughfanī 140
4.3.3 ʿAbd al-Karīm al-Pazdawī 144

5 Theological Opponents 148

5.1 The Wide Spectrum of Polemic 148
5.2 The Muʿtazilite Challenge 156
5.2.1 Abū l-Qāsim al-Balkhī al-Kaʿbī and the Baghdad School 158
5.2.2 The Basran School 159
5.2.3 Ibn al-Rāwandī 160
5.2.4 Muḥammad b. Shabīb 162
5.3 The Ḥanafite Rivals: al-Najjār and the School of Rayy 163
5.4 The Focal Point of the Discussion: Refutation of the Dualists and
the “Dahrīya” 166

6 Works 180

6.1 Lost Works 180
6.2 Extant Texts 183
6.2.1 The Taʾwīlāt al-Qurʾān or Taʾwīlāt ahl al-sunna 183
6.2.2 The Kitāb al-Tawḥīd 189

PART 3 Al-Māturīdī’s Theology

7 Structures and Their Forerunning Models 201

7.1 The Structure of the Kitāb al-Tawḥīd 201
7.2 The Bipartite Nature of the Work 214
7.3 Possible Sources 223
Contents vii

8 An Outline of al-Māturīdī’s Teachings 231

Prolegomena: Epistemology 231
8.1 The World 233
8.1.1 The Contingency of the World 233
8.1.1.1 Al-Māturīdī’s Proofs 233
8.1.1.2 The Background of the Argument 236
8.1.2 The Ontological Structure of the World 242
8.1.2.1 Bodies and Accidents 242
8.1.2.2 Natures 253
8.1.2.3 Informing Factors and Exemplary Models 260
8.2 God 262
8.2.1 God’s Existence 262
8.2.2 God’s Knowability 264
8.2.2.1 The Rationalistic Position of the Ḥanafites 264
8.2.2.2 Inferring the Unseen from that which is Seen 266
8.2.3 God’s Oneness 268
8.2.4 The Otherness of the One 274
8.2.5 God’s Attributes 278
8.2.5.1 Earlier Ḥanafite Views 278
8.2.5.2 Al-Māturīdī’s Contribution 282
8.2.6 The Ambiguous Descriptions of God in the Qurʾān 287
8.2.6.1 Earlier Ḥanafite Views 287
8.2.6.2 Al-Māturīdī’s Contribution 291
8.2.7 God’s Wisdom 296
8.3 Human Beings 300
8.3.1 Human Rationality 300
8.3.2 Human Actions 302
8.3.2.1 The Conceptualization of the Ḥanafites and the
Karrāmites 302
8.3.2.2 Al-Māturīdī’s Contribution 304
8.3.3 Belief and Sin 308

Concluding Observations 313

1 Al-Māturīdī’s Position in Islamic Theology 313
2 The Relationship to Abū Ḥanīfa 317
3 The Relationship to al-Ashʿarī 317
4 The Formation of the Māturīdīya 319
viii contents

Appendix: Inauthentic and Doubtful Texts 325
1 Inauthentic Texts 325
1.1 Sharḥ al-Fiqh al-akbar 325
1.2 Risāla fī l-ʿaqāʾid 329
1.3 Kitāb al-Tawḥīd 329
1.4 Risāla fī-mā lā yajūz al-waqf ʿalayhi 329
2 Doubtful Texts 330

Fawāʾid 330

Bibliography 332
Index of People 349
Index of Religious and Political Movements 353
Index of Arabic Terms 355

(Credit Photo : Ekrem Canli)


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