Al-Ṣāḥib Ibn ʿAbbād Promoter of Rational Theology

Two Muʿtazilī kalām texts from the Cairo Geniza


The volume contains critical editions of the extant parts of two hitherto unknown theological works by the Būyid vizier al-Ṣāḥib b. ʿAbbād (d. 385/925), who is well known to have vigorously promoted the teaching of Muʿtazilī theology throughout Būyid territories and beyond. The manuscripts on which the edition is based come from Cairo Geniza store rooms. They consist of two manuscripts for each of the two texts—testimony to the impact of al-Ṣāḥib’s education policy on the contemporaneous Jewish community in Cairo. The longer treatise of al-Ṣāḥib of ca. 350/960, possibly his Kitāb Nahj al-sabīl fī uṣūl al-dīn, appears to be the earliest Muʿtazilī work preserved among the Jewish community. The second, briefer treatise also contains a commentary by ʿAbd al-Jabbār al-Hamadānī (d. 415/1025).

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Wilferd Madelung is Laudian Professor of Arabic, University of Oxford (emeritus).

Sabine Schmidtke is Professor of Islamic Intellectual History, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ.
"This is certainly a book of interest for the students of Mutazilite theology as well as for those interested in the cultural context and content of the era of the Buyid Dynasty." - Stavros Nikolaidis, in: Journal of Oriental and African Studies 27 (2018)
All interested in Jewish and Muslim intellectual history, specifically rational theology ( kalāmM), during the Middle Ages.