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In: Handbook of Islamic Sects and Movements


Maktab-i Tafkīk (the Separation School) in Imāmīyya Shīʿa insists on the separation of philosophical and mystical beliefs from Islamic teachings. The School is also known as the School of Khurāsān and continues to have a great impact on seminaries in the region. It was established by the Iranian scholar Mīrzā Māhdī Iṣfahānī (1886–1946). One of the most important books of Mīrzā, and indeed the one which is said to have a great role in forming the school, is ʾAbwāb al-Hudā. In this book, Mīrzā introduces a different epistemology against philosophers, which he considers as the miracle of the Qurʾān. “Light” is a key word in this epistemology. Mīrzā’s epistemological theory in Abwāb al-Hudā does not seem to be original in all aspects, though. It is just like a more Shīʿītized version of what already existed. The article discusses Mīrzā’s shining epistemology, and takes a look at some of the earlier similar approaches to the knowledge. All of this should be seen in the context of traditionalists’ attempt to distinguish human knowledge from divine knowledge. There are several editions of Abwāb al-Hudā, of which the edition of Ḥusayn Mufīd (Munīr publication) will be used as the main source in this research.

In: Research in the Social Scientific Study of Religion, Volume 33