The Muʿtazila in al-Andalus: The Footprints of a Phantom

in Intellectual History of the Islamicate World
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‭This paper briefly reviews the evidence regarding Muʿtazilite presence in al-Andalus, and the evolvement of contemporary scholarship on this topic. It argues that the actual penetration of the Muʿtazila to al-Andalus was very limited, and that at no point did it amount to a significant presence among Muslims in al-Andalus. It also argues that a broader view of Andalusī intellectual history, a view which takes into account the Andalusī Jewish minority in general and the Karaites in particular, may explain the continuous significance of the Muʿtazila in the intellectual life of al-Andalus.‬

The Muʿtazila in al-Andalus: The Footprints of a Phantom

in Intellectual History of the Islamicate World

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References

  • 1

    ‭Ibn RushdKashf p. 118. As I discovered after completing the present article this quotation serves also as epigraph for Schwarb “Muʿtazilism in the Age of Averroes”. I am indebted to the author for drawing my attention to this publication.‬

  • 4

    ‭See GoldziherLe livre p. 64 and n. 6; Makki Ensayo p. 212.‬

  • 7

    ‭FierroHeterodoxia pp. 49–52 189–192; Van Ess Theologie und Gesellschaft vol. 4 p. 272.‬

  • 10

    ‭Lévi-ProvençalHistoire p. 310.

  • 14

    ‭Lomba FuentesLa filosofía Islamica en Zaragoza p. 83; see also p. 86.‬

  • 16

    ‭FierroHeterodoxia pp. 43–44 and p. 52.‬

  • 17

    ‭Fierro“Unidad religiosa” p. 414.

  • 19

    ‭Lomba FuentesLa filosofía Islamica en Zaragoza pp. 82 85 88; Cruz-Hernández Pensamiento vol. 2 pp. 344–345; Fierro Heterodoxia pp. 116–117. Urvoy “The ʿUlamâʾ of al-Andalus” p. 856 realises that there was no doctrinal connection between “Masarrism” and Muʿtazila but suggests that “Masarrism” was connected to the Muʿtazila on the social level. García-Arenal Messianism and Puritanical Reform pp. 130–131 also associates him with the Muʿtazila although she cautiously puts his “Muʿtazilism” in brackets.‬

  • 26

    ‭Schmidtke“Ibn Ḥazm’s Sources on Ashʿarism and Muʿtazilism” p. 381.

  • 27

    ‭Schmidtke“Ibn Ḥazm’s Sources on Ashʿarism and Muʿtazilism” p. 382; see also van Ess Theologie und Gesellschaft vol. 4 p. 272.‬

  • 29

    ‭See Griffel“Ibn Tūmart’s rational proof” p. 754.

  • 30

    ‭See Griffel“Ibn Tūmart’s rational proof” p. 756.

  • 31

    ‭Griffel“Ibn Tūmart’s rational proof,” passim. The change of attitude to al-Ghazali’s books under the Almohads is nicely summarized by Ibn Ṭumlūs al-Madkhal li-ṣināʿat al-manṭiq p. 12: “It now became a religious duty to read them whereas previously it was considered to be disbelief and heresy (fa-ṣāra [sic] qirāʾatuhu sharʿan wa-dīnan baʿda an kānat kufran wa-zandaqatan).”‬

  • 34

    ‭GoldziherLe livre pp. 55–56 57 n. 3 64–65.‬

  • 37

    ‭See for instance Griffel“Ibn Tūmart’s rational proof,” passim. For an overview of Muslim positions regarding anthroporphic verses and traditions see Gimaret Dieu à l’image de l’homme pp. 13–58.‬

  • 49

    ‭For instance Ibn DaudThe Book of Tradition pp. 48–50 91–92.

  • 55

    ‭Adang“Eléments Karaïtes” p. 436 n. 52. As noted by Cohen (The Book of Tradition p. xxxviii n. 110) “Ibn Daud never once refers to the Karaites by name but always by the epithet min.” But Ibn Daud applies this epithet to Anan as well as to al-Qirqisānī both of whom he calls “the fathers of the heresy” (The Book of Tradition vol. 2 p. 10 Cohen p. 17 see also p. 24).‬

  • 58

    ‭Cf. Lasker“Judah Halevi and Karaism” p. 117.

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