Abstracts/Abdor Rauf Afzali

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An examination of Relationship between Theology and Philosophy

Ali Rabbani Gulpayagani

Theology is among the first sciences that appeared in Islamic intellectual context under the influence of revelation and reason to explain Islamic doctrines and answer opponents' doubts. However, with the expansion of Islamic territories and the contact made between Muslims and the followers of other religions and schools of thought, other philosophical points of views began entering into the Islamic world from all sides.

     With the acceptance of philosophical views by some Islamic sects, theological issues got gradual mixed with philosophical ones; to the extant that in recent centuries some have claimed that Shiite theology is nothing other than theology in its more particular sense (a division of philosophy).

The author studies the relation between theology and philosophy in three specific areas, namely their subject, their methodology and their goal. By doing so, he tries to do justice to both philosophy and theology, avoiding holding an extreme position with regard to either of them.    

Keyword: theology, philosophy, subject of a science, research methodology, goal.

Khawarij; Their Beliefs and Sects

Yaqub Jafari

Khawarij, which came into being as they disobeyed the Commander of the Faithful in the battle of Saffin, had their own beliefs, the most important of which was excommunicating the majority of Muslim community, a thing that caused numerous bloodlettings.

     Historians of religious sects have attributed to this sect a variety of names, each of which has its own connotations.

Divided into many subdivisions, they were not accepted by Muslim community due to their radical attitudes. All Khawarij sects perished in the course of time except for Ibadiya, which still exists in Umman, and some western parts of the Islamic world, for it has abandoned extremism.

Keyword: Khawarij, battle of Saffin, arbitration, other names of Khawarij, Khawarij sects.

Essential and Sufficient Knowledge from an Intra-religious Perspective

Muhammad Husainzadeh

Essential and sufficient religious knowledge has different aspects including the following: a) Inadequacy of conjectural knowledge and its invalidity in ideological principles b) insufficiency and essentiality of obtaining knowledge in this area c) validity or invalidity of imitative knowledge in this area d) the meaning of essential knowledge.

Though Muslim thinkers especially theologians and those specialized in ‘principles of jurisprudence’ have dealt with the first three issues, they ignored the last one or considered it as vivid and clear.

However, the validity of conjectural knowledge in different religious spheres particularly in the sphere of beliefs is not a new issue. It was dealt with even at the time of Abu Jafar Tusi. Among the later scholars, the researches made by Muhaqqiq Qumi and Sheik Ansari are more worthwhile.     

Finding a solution to this problem on intra-religious outlook basis will largely contribute to the issue of essential or sufficient knowledge in religious issues, which is, in turn, an epistemological issue being looked at from an extra-religions angle. Thus we will first pay a glance at the views prevailing in this regard and then we will assess their arguments.

The Reason Why Muslims were Attracted towards Alien Rational Sciences

Muhammad Baqir Malikiyan

In this paper, the writer tries to show that Muslims had a positive approach towards alien rational sciences and that the motif behind this approach was a religious one not disobedience to or indifference towards Islamic doctrines.

     In addition, the writer has mentioned that this positive approach has not been limited to rational sciences. The paper also argues that these rational sciences, after entering into the Islamic world, underwent such deep changes that one has to specifically call them "Islamic" to distinguish them from the rational sciences in other cultures.

Keyword: Rational sciences, Quranic doctrines, prophetic tradition, translation period, Islamic theology, philosophy, logic.

Quranic Resurrection and its Explanation in Avicennian and Sadrian Philosophy

Ahmad Haidarpoor

Written like an encyclopedic article, the present article aims at presenting Muslim scholars' points of views regarding resurrection in a short but comprehensive manner. The author tries to show that the general assumption about physical resurrection in the Quran (according to which scattered physical particles are collected and reconstructed) is not supported by any rational argument; rather, rational arguments, according to some Muslim thinkers' stand against it.

Thus' after presenting the definitions of physical and spiritual resurrections, relating its arguments from the viewpoints of Muslim thinkers and giving an account of the resurrection in the Quran, the paper relates the opinions of two great school-founder philosophers, namely Avicenna and Mulla Sadra in the area. The important characteristic of this writing is its making reference to numerous sources, a thing that can be of use for researchers.     

Keywords: Resurrection, physical resurrection, mode of physical resurrection, spiritual resurrection, philosophers, theologians.

"Islamic Theology1": Translated and Criticized

Juma Khan Afzali

In addition to familiarizing its readers with a short history of Islamic theology, the present paper seeks to acquaint them with important theological themes and methodologies. To achieve this end, the writer first defines theology dealing then with its origins, the major theological trends that later on came into being and the themes they were defending. In the concluding part of his article, the author briefs on theological methodologies, touching lastly the day-to-day need for the revival of theology.

Meanwhile the author, who is seemingly a Sunni Muslim, has made some allegations regarding Shiism and its doctrines, which are not indisputable at all.

In his writing (that is apparently scientific and globally recognized!), he alleges that Shiism came into being after the battle of Saffin, that theology appeared with the appearance of Mutazilites, that Shiism considers imamate such that it must be proven only through tradition, etc.

Since these baseless allegations, which are accepted neither by true Shiism nor by any informed ideal observer, have appeared in a so-called reliable reference book, the content of which is usually taken as acceptable by most of its readers. Therefore, we tried to relate and criticize at least some of these allegations, thus making it clear that the author's conception about Shiism is totally different from what it really is. Given a fair criticism of these views was not possible without rendering them into Persian, the whole article was, thus translated into Persian.   

Keywords: Theology, Mutazilites, Ash’arites, Shiism, rationalism, traditionalism, doctrines.

Shi’ism in al-Mowsua't al-Muyassara fi al-Adyan wa  al-Madahib wa al-Ahdab al-Moas'ira (A simplified Encyclopedia of Contemporary Religions, Sects and Parties)

Abul-Fazl Khurasani

A simplified Encyclopedia of Contemporary Religions, Sects and Parties

is an encyclopedia that exclusively deals with Islamic sects paving the ground for researchers to carry out researches in Islamic sects. Despite having certain merits, it, however, suffers from certain demerits especially in introducing Shi’ism, which are as follows: structural shortcomings, incorrect information, absence of systematic references, bias, absence of scholarly fairness, making baseless allegations etc.


In addition to introducing Shiism, the author tries to address some of the doubts raised by this Encyclopedia.

Keywords: Encyclopedia, Shiism and Ideological doctrines.

1. This article was originally written by Abdul-Wahab Effendi and published in Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy.