A Study in Early Māturīdite Theology: Abū l-Yusr al-Bazdawī (d. 493/1100) and His Discourse on God’s Speech

In: Oriens
Sheridan Polinsky Department of Religions and Cultures, Concordia University Montréal Canada

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Abū l-Yusr al-Bazdawī (d. 493/1100) was a notable early Māturīdite theologian who made an important contribution to the formation of his school by embracing kalām and promoting the image of al-Māturīdī (d. 333/944) as a Sunnite leader when the science was not yet popular in his region of Transoxania. This produced some tension in his thought as he negotiated rationalist and traditionalist doctrines and their adherents. Indications of this are found in his discussion of God’s speech in which he argues for the Sunnite doctrine of eternal divine speech while effectively affirming the createdness of scriptures; at the same time, he defends those who assert the uncreatedness of the Quran and maintains that God’s speech is truly written, memorized, recited, and heard.

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