Ibn Taymiyya on Reason and Revelation

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


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.
Open Access


Open Access

Biographical Note

Carl Sharif El-Tobgui, PhD (McGill University, 2013) is Associate Professor of Arabic & Islamic Studies at Brandeis University. He has published on reason and revelation in Islamic theology and legal theory, including From Legal Theory to Erkenntnistheorie (Oriens, 2018).


Students and scholars of Ibn Taymiyya or Islamic theology, philosophy, or rationalism; students and scholars of medieval Christian and Jewish scholasticism; general readers interested in questions of reason and revelation.