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(2,327 words)

Author(s): Gardet, L.
may be considered as the maṣdar of karuma “to be generous, be beneficent, be karīm (one of the “99 Most beautiful names of God” [see al-asmāʾ al-ḥusnā ]). The root KRM appears frequently in the Ḳurʾān, and God is called there al-Karīm “the Generous One”; the actual term karāma is not however found there. If it was later adopted as a synonym of the maṣdars of forms II and IV ( takrīm and ikrām ), this seems very likely to have come about through phonetic assimilation to the Greek χάρισμα. In the technical vocabulary of the religious sciences, karāma (pl. karāmāt ) from now …


(1,080 words)

Author(s): Gardet, L.
, “decisive proof”, “clear demonstration”. The term is Ḳurʾānic and signifies a “brilliant manifestation”, a “shilling light” come from God (iv, 174), a “manifest proof” (xii, 24), which may take the form of that supreme argument of authority which is the miracle (xxviii, 32). In correlation, burhān is also the decisive proof which the infidels are called upon—in vain—to furnish as justification of their false beliefs (ii, 111; xxi, 24; xxiii, 117; xxvii, 64; xxviii, 75). The first connotation of burhān is not properly right discursive reasoning; it is rather the manifest e…


(1,793 words)

Author(s): Gardet, L.
(pl. aḥwāl ), Ṣūfī technical term ( iṣtilāḥa ) which can be briefly translated by “spiritual state”. D̲h̲u ’l-Nūn al-Miṣrī (d. 245/859) outlines the distinction which was to become classic between aḥwāl (“states”) and maḳāmāt (“stations”). We find a more highly developed elaboration in his contemporary in Bag̲h̲dād, Ḥārit̲h̲ al-Muḥāsibī (165-243/781-857). The term ḥāl belonged to the technical vocabulary of the grammarians, the physicians and the jurists. It seems indeed (cf. L. Massignon, Passion d’al-Ḥallâj , Paris 1922, 554) that it was from th…


(13,436 words)

Author(s): Gardet, L.
, God the Unique one, the Creator and Lord of the Judgment, polarizes the thought of Islam; He is the sole reason for its existence. ¶ Allāh was known to the pre-Islamic Arabs; he was one of the Meccan deities, possibly the supreme deity and certainly a creator-god (cf. Ḳurʾān, xiii, 16; xxix, 61, 63; xxxi, 25; xxxix, 38; xliii, 87). He was already known, by antonomasia, as the God, al-Ilāh (the most likely etymology; another suggestion is the Aramaic Alāhā ).—For Allāh before Islam, as shown by archaeological sources and the Ḳurʾān, see ilāh . But the vague notion of supreme (not sole) di…

ʿIlm al-Kalām

(10,417 words)

Author(s): Gardet, L.
, one of the “religious sciences” of Islam. The term is usually translated, as an approximate rendering, “theology”. I.—Definition. It is difficult to establish precisely when ʿilm al-kalām came to mean an autonomous religious science (or branch of knowledge). In any case, whereas the term fiḳh meant originally —especially in the Ḥanafī school (cf. fiḳh akbar) —speculative meditation, hence distinguished from ʿilm in the sense of traditional knowledge, the term kalām , literally “word”, quickly acquired the senses of “conversation, discussion, controversy” (cf. A. J. Wensinck, Th…

al-Asmāʾ al-Ḥusnā

(4,175 words)

Author(s): Gardet, L.
— "The most Beautiful Names", these being the divine Names. "To God belong the most Beautiful Names—pray to Him, using (these Names)", Ḳurʾān, vii, 179. Cf. xvii, 110; xx, 8; lix, 24 etc. Pious Muslims have always revered the mystery of the Name, which at one and the same time both designates and veils the Named (cf. ḥid̲j̲āb al-ism ). The Theological question. A chapter of "Muslim theology" ( ʿilm al-tawḥīd ) is devoted to the divine Names. Problem stated: can one name God, and what, with regard to God, do the Names attributed to Him mean? Preliminaries: What is the name ( ism

In S̲h̲āʾ Allāh

(1,561 words)

Author(s): Gardet, L.
, “if God wills”, “If it pleases God”. The expression is usually called istit̲h̲nāʾ , “formula of exception” (or “de conditionnement”, tr. H. Laoust). It means that God alone is the master of all that happens, as well as of the thoughts, acts and plans of man. In Islamic countries in ordinary speech it is used to qualify anything in the future, even the near future. Massignon describes this formula ( Passion , 585) as one which “est restée le signe distinctif, la parabole type de la vie sociale, pour la Communauté islamique”. The expression in s̲h̲āʾ Allāh —or an equiva…


(2,374 words)

Author(s): Gardet, L.
, a technical term taken from the Greek ὕλη, “matter” as opposed to “form”, ṣūra (εἶδος), or more precisely “primary matter” in the philosophical sense. The corresponding Arabic word is mādda ; the sense that is sometimes very close to that of ʿunṣur , “element”, should also be noted. In the 3rd/9th and 4th/10th centuries, the term hayūlā ¶ is current in translations from the Greek, and in the researches and systems that draw their inspiration from these. According to the taste of the various schools and authors, hayūlā is sometimes substituted for mādda, and sometimes distinguished fro…


(1,111 words)

Author(s): Gardet, L.
, pl. afʿāl , actuation, act, and sometimes the result of an act, that is to say effectuation, effect. From its current usage in Arabic, this word very quickly became a technical term ( iṣṭilāḥ ), not only in grammar but also in falsafa and in ʿilm al-kalām . If ʿamal [ q.v.] designates the realms of ‘doing’ and ‘acting’ (whence ‘work’, human acts, and moral action), and thus has at least in its last meaning an ethical connotation, fiʿl refers above all to noetic and ontological values: the fact of actuating, of passing (or causing to pass) to the per…


(1,651 words)

Author(s): Gardet, L.
, “account to be rendered to God”. Although the Ḳurʾān sometimes uses ḥisāb in the sense of computation (X, 5 and XVII 12), it is very often used by antonomasia as the “reckoning” which God will require from a man on the Day of Judgement. The expression yawm al-ḥisāb (XL, 27; XXXVIII, 16, 26, 53; cf. XIV, 41), “the Day of the Rendering of Accounts”, is synonymous with yawm al-dīn , “the Day of Judgement”. The eschatological ḥisāb is to be given to God alone (XIII, 40; XXVI, 113); He will require it from all men, but especially from the ungodly (LXXXVIII, 26; XIII, 18 and…


(395 words)

Author(s): Gardet, L.
, a term denoting, in the Ḳurʾān or ḥadīt̲h̲s , the smallest possible appreciable quantity. The Ḳurʾān uses it five times, in the expression mit̲h̲ḳāl al-d̲h̲arra , “the weight of a d̲h̲arra” ,—to extol the Omniscience of God (X, 61; XXXIV, 3), or His absolute Omnipotence (XXXIV, 20), or His supreme Justice in retribution: IV, 40 and the celebrated text XCIX, 7-8 “He who shall have done the weight of one d̲h̲arra of good shall see it; he who shall have done the weight of one d̲h̲arra of evil shall see it”. Commentators on the Ḳurʾān and interpreters of ḥadīt̲h̲s have explained d̲h̲arra by two im…


(1,451 words)

Author(s): Gardet, L.
, capacity, power to act, maṣdar of the tenth form of ṭāʿ , to obey. If the term itself is not ḳurʾānic, the verb istaṭāʿ is used frequently in the text. Like its maṣdar, it was to become a technical ¶ term of the uṣūl al-dīn and the ʿilm al-kalām . The translation “capacity” is generally used (for example Tritton, Muslim Theology , London 1947, 68 and n. 2). Wensinckprefers “faculty”, others “power” ( pouvoir ). In this last sense, the ʿilm al-kalām readily considers ḳudra and istiṭāʿa to be identical (see remarks of ʿAbd al-D̲j̲abbār, S̲h̲arḥ al-uṣūl al-k̲h̲amsa , ed. …


(770 words)

Author(s): Gardet, L.
(pl. ad̲j̲zāʾ), part, particle, term used in the technical language of kalām and of falsafa ¶ to describe the (philosophical) atom in the sense of the ultimate (substantial) part, that cannot be divided further, al-d̲j̲uzʾ allad̲h̲ī lā yatad̲j̲azzāʾ (cf. al-D̲j̲urd̲j̲ānī, Taʿrīfāt , ed. Flügel, Leipzig 1845, 78); al-d̲j̲uzʾ al-wāḥid is sometimes used. Synonym: “elementary and indivisible matter”: d̲j̲awhar fard ; al-d̲j̲awhar al-wāḥid allad̲h̲ī lā yanḳasim .—For other definitions of vocabulary see d̲h̲arra . Atomistic conceptions of the world (philosophical atomism) …


(47 words)

Author(s): Gardet, L.
(Ḳurʾānic term), “pious goodness” (R. Blachère’s translation; see Ḳurʾān, ii, 189). In the analysis of the spiritual states ( aḥwāl ) and the attitude of the soul towards God, it must at the same time be compared with and distinguished from taḳwā [ q.v.]. (L. Gardet)


(1,352 words)

Author(s): Gardet, L.
, the primary meaning is “putting to the proof, discriminatory test”, as gold, al-Ḏj̲urd̲j̲ānī says in his Taʿrīfāt (ed. Flügel, Leipzig 1845, 171), is tested by fire. Hence the idea of a temptation permitted or sent by God to test the believer’s faith, which, for the man wedded to his desires, would have the appearance of an invitation to abandon the faith. “Your goods and children are fitna ” (Ḳurʾān, VIII, 28; LXIV, 15). The term fitna occurs many times in the Ḳurʾān with the sense of temptation or trial of faith (“tentation d’abjurer”, according to R. Blachère’s tra…


(1,574 words)

Author(s): Gardet, L.
, choice. For the use of the word as a juridical term, see k̲h̲iyār and naṣṣ ; in literary criticism, see naḳd ; in the sense of “elder”, see s̲h̲ayk̲h̲ . The immediately following article deals with the philosophical and theological senses of the word. As a philosophical term, ik̲h̲tiyār means free preference or choice, option, whence: power of choice, free will. The word itself is not Ḳurʾānic but is common in the vocabulary of ʿilm al-kalām and fiḳh. The VIIIth form of the verb is, however, used in the Ḳurʾān, always referring to a divine act. “I have chosen you ( ik̲h̲tartuka


(898 words)

Author(s): Gardet, L.
, “compulsion, coercion”, as opposed to ik̲h̲tiyār , “freedom of choice”. Although the term itself, in its maṣdar form, does not belong to the language of the Ḳurʾān, the verbal use of the VIIIth form is of relatively frequent occurrence there. The idea is that of an absolute necessity ( ḍarūra ), by means of physical (secondarily moral) compulsion. I.— Iḍṭirār takes on its technical sense in connexion with the theory of human actions. It thus belongs to the vocabulary of the “science of kalām ” (the “theology” or rather the “defensive apologia” of Islam). …


(473 words)

Author(s): Gardet, L.
, (a.), technical term in ʿilm al-kalām (scholastic theology). Its use is common (see the commentators on al-Taftazānī, al-Bad̲j̲ūrī etc.), as expressing a certain concept, and to denote a genus of theological dissertations, which go back at least to the 6th/12th century with Fak̲h̲r al-Dīn al-Rāzī, and are clearly stated in the 8th/14th century by al-Īd̲j̲ī, al-Taftazānī and al-Ḏj̲urd̲j̲ānī. The term refers to the earlier expression al-ʿulūm al-ʿaḳliyya , derived from falsafa , signifying the rational (and natural) knowledge which the reason ( ʿaḳl) can acquire by itself. All…


(3,326 words)

Author(s): Gardet, L.
, I. Definition and general notion. It is usual to emphasize three distinct senses of dīn : (1) judgment, retribution; (2) custom, usage; (3) religion. The first refers to the Hebraeo-Aramaic root, the second to the Arabic root dāna , dayn (debt, money owing), the third to the Pehlevi dēn (revelation, religion). This third etymology has been exploited by Nöldeke and Vollers. We would agree with Gaudefroy-Demombynes ( Mahomet , 504) in not finding it convincing. In any case, the notion of “religion” in question is by no means identical in Maz…


(1,403 words)

Author(s): Gardet, L.
, Abū ʿAlī Muḥammad b. ʿAbd al-Wahhāb , one of the most celebrated of the Muʿtazila [ q.v.]. Born at Ḏj̲ubbā in K̲h̲ūzistān, he attended the school at Baṣra of Abū Yaʿḳūb Yūsuf al-S̲h̲aḥḥām who at that time occupied the chair of Abu ’l-Hud̲h̲ayl al-ʿAllāf. He succeeded al-S̲h̲aḥḥām. and it can be said that he was able to add a final brilliance to the tradition of the masters, while at times he refreshed it and opened the way to new solutions. He died in 303/915-6. He thus holds a place in the line of the Baṣra Muʿtazila who, especially over the question of human actions, differ …
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