Sunni Muslim Scholars on the Status of Logic, 1500-1800

in Islamic Law and Society
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Abstract

In the present article, I discuss Goldziher's contention (echoed in more recent literature) that from the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, Sunnī Muslim scholars ('ulamā') became increasingly hostile to rational sciences such as logic. On the basis of discussions and fatāwā by Sunni scholars in the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, I show that this idea is radically mistaken. Mainstream scholars in the Maghrib, Egypt and Turkey considered l ogic to be not only permissible but actually commendable or even a religious duty incumbent on the Muslim community as a whole (i.e. a fard˙ kifāyah). Though there were dissenting voices in the period, such as the Qād˙īzādelīs, this seems to have been the mainstream opinion of Sunni scholars until the rise of the Salafiyyah movement in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Sunni Muslim Scholars on the Status of Logic, 1500-1800

in Islamic Law and Society

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