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Ibn Taymiyya on Reason and Revelation

A Study of Darʾ taʿāruḍ al-ʿaql wa-l-naql

Series:

Carl Sharif El-Tobgui

In Ibn Taymiyya on Reason and Revelation, Carl Sharif El-Tobgui offers the first comprehensive study of Ibn Taymiyya’s ten-volume magnum opus, Darʾ taʿāruḍ al-ʿaql wa-l-naql. In his colossal riposte to the Muslim philosophers and rationalist theologians, the towering Ḥanbalī polymath rejects the call to prioritize reason over revelation in cases of alleged conflict, interrogating instead the very conception of rationality that classical Muslims had inherited from the Greeks. In its place, he endeavors to articulate a reconstituted “pure reason” both truly universal and in full harmony with authentic revelation. Based on a line-by-line reading of the entire Darʾ taʿāruḍ, El-Tobgui’s study carefully elucidates the “philosophy of Ibn Taymiyya” as it emerges from the multifaceted ontological, epistemological, and linguistic reforms Ibn Taymiyya carries out.

From Legal Theory to Erkenntnistheorie

Ibn Taymiyya on Tawātur as the Ultimate Guarantor of Human Cognition

Carl Sharif El-Tobgui

Abstract

This article presents and analyzes Ibn Taymiyya’s views on tawātur in uṣūl al-fiqh and as the basis of a generalized epistemological system. In legal theory, Ibn Taymiyya expands the umbrella of what is “functionally equivalent to the mutawātir,” extending epistemic certainty to a wide range of religious knowledge. More originally, he expands tawātur beyond the realm of transmitted knowledge altogether, making it the final guarantor of all human cognition. Tawātur in this theory reveals the nature of the uncorrupted human intellect, underwriting the integrity even of the basic axioms of reason and the native intuitions of the sound human fiṭra.