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Abū Shakūr al-Sālimī

(580 words)

Author(s): Rudolph, Ulrich
Abū Shakūr Muḥammad b. ʿAbd al-Sayyid b. Shuʿayb al-Sālimī was a Ḥanafī scholar who lived in Transoxania in the second half of the fifth/eleventh century. Little else is known of his biography, as the Ḥanafī biographical dictionaries do not mention him. His teachings, however, are well attested since his Kitāb al-tamhīd fī bayān al-tawḥīd (Introduction to the explanation of the unity of God) is extant in numerous manuscripts, although it has not yet been edited. In eleven chapters (following MS Berlin 2456), this text provides a comprehensive review of Ḥanafī Māturīdī …
Date: 2021-07-19

Abū Salama al-Samarqandī

(507 words)

Author(s): Rudolph, Ulrich
Abū Salama Muḥammad b. Muḥammad al-Samarqandī was a Ḥanafī scholar who lived probably in the second half of the fourth/tenth century in Transoxania. As reported by Abū l-Muʿīn al-Nasafī (d. 508/1114) ( Tabṣira 1:358), he was a student of Abū Aḥmad al-ʿIyāḍī, who had studied under Abū Manṣūr al-Māturīdī (d. 333/944), among others. This line of transmission is confirmed by a short theological work by Abū Salama, Jumal uṣūl al-dīn, which is found in an Istanbul manuscript (Şehit Ali 1648/1, fols. 1–16), edited and published by Ahmet Saim Kılavuz. The manuscript also…
Date: 2021-07-19

al-Balkhī, Abū Muṭīʿ

(871 words)

Author(s): Rudolph, Ulrich
Abū Muṭīʿ al-Ḥakam b. ʿAbdallāh b. Maslama al-Balkhī (112–99/730–814) was one of the earliest proponents of the Ḥanafiyya in eastern Iran. Apparently as a young man, he travelled to Mecca and through Iraq (al-Kaʿbī, 93:2–3), where he met Abū Ḥanīfa (d. 150/767). Later, he reportedly also visited Abū Yūsuf (d. 182/798) in Baghdad (al-Khaṭīb al-Baghdādī, 8:223 lines 11–12). Most of his life, however, he spent in his birth city of Balkh, where he held the office of qāḍī for sixteen years and died on 12 Jumādā I 199/30 December 814 (al-Khaṭīb al-Baghdādī, 8:223 lines 15–16). Abū Muṭīʿ adopted…
Date: 2021-07-19

Ammonius (Ps.) son of Hermias

(740 words)

Author(s): Rudolph, Ulrich
Ammonius (Ps.) son of Hermias (Ammonios Hermeiou) (d. c.520 C.E.), one of the last important representatives of the philosophical school of Alexandria, is mentioned in a number of Arabic sources. Abū Sulaymān al-Sijistānī reports that he studied with Proclus and himself taught John Philoponus (Ibn Abī Uṣaybiʿa, ʿUyūn 1:144). Ibn al-Nadīm is aware of some of his works. To be sure, three of these (whose authenticity is uncertain) he knows only by hearsay, namely, Explanation of the teachings of Aristotle on the Creator, On Aristotle's intentions in his books, and Aristotle's proof of t…
Date: 2021-07-19

Abū Naṣr al-ʿIyāḍī

(339 words)

Author(s): Rudolph, Ulrich
Abū Naṣr Aḥmad b. al-ʿAbbās al-ʿIyāḍī was a Ḥanafī scholar active in Transoxania in the second half of the third/ninth century. Little is known of his life. He was apparently for a time qāḍī of Samarqand, and he is said to have carried on discussions with the Shāfiʿīs. The sources emphasise his capture and martyrdom on a campaign waged by the Sāmānid ruler Naṣr b. Aḥmad (r. 261–79/874–92) against the Turks, presumably towards the end of his reign. Despite the paucity of our sources, it is apparent that al-ʿIyāḍī played a significant role in the development of Ḥanafī theol…
Date: 2021-07-19


(358 words)

Author(s): Rudolph, Ulrich
[German Version] (Abū Ḥāmid al-Gazzālī; 1058–1111 ce) from Ṭūs in northeastern Iran, the Algazel of the Latin Middle Ages, was one of the most important and, to date, most influential scholars in Islam. From a religious family, he first studied the traditional Islamic disciplines and taught law and theology from 1091 on in the leading Sunni academy in Baghdad. Simultaneously, however, Gazzālī sought to engage with the other intellectual trends of the epoch (Sufism, philosophy, the Šīʿite Ismāʿīlīya; Š…


(563 words)

Author(s): Rudolph, Ulrich
[German Version] (Lat. form of Abū aʿAlī al-Ḥusain ibn ʿAbdallāh Ibn Sīnā; c. 980, Afšana near Buḫārā – 1037, Hamadān), a comprehensive scholar, outstanding physician and philosopher, whose thought has exerted lasting influence on later Islamic intellectual history, but also on European scholasticism. Avicenna developed his philosophical doctrines in dialogue with Aris…


(636 words)

Author(s): Rudolph, Ulrich
[German Version] The Muʿtazilah was a school of major importance in the development of Islamic theology; it emerged in the first half of the 8th century through the teaching of Wāṣil ibn ʿAṭāʾ; in the early 9th century, it rose to become the dominant intellectual school (with political influence). Despite growing opposition, it continued to have a say in theological discussion over the centuries. Its most prominent feature is strict rationalism in addressing questions of physics and metaphysics, a…

Ibn Ṭufail, Abū Bakr

(316 words)

Author(s): Rudolph, Ulrich
[German Version] (c. 1105, Wādī Āš, Spain – 1185, Marrakech), physician and Islamic philosopher. Ibn Ṭufail supported Averroes and became known as the author of the novel Ḥaiy ibn Yaqẓān [The living, son of the wakeful one]. In this novel, Ibn Ṭufail describes the path to recognition of a person named Ḥaiy, who grew up alone on a solitary island from his birth. Ḥaiy deciphers his environment step by step, grasps the laws of logic and of physics, gains insight into the cosmic order, and recognizes the necessity of a creator.…


(871 words)

Author(s): Evers, Dirk | Rudolph, Ulrich
[English Version] I. Naturwissenschaftlich N. bringen regelmäßige Zusammenhänge zw. Naturphänomenen zum Ausdruck mit dem Idealziel der mathematischen Modellierbarkeit. Je nachdem, ob dieser Zusammenhang unbedingt gilt oder nur Wahrscheinlichkeiten beschreibt, kann man zw. deterministischen und statistischen N. unterscheiden. In der klassischen Physik wird alles Naturgeschehen durchgängig von Kausalgesetzen (Kausalität) determiniert, nur epistemische Zufälligkeit in bezug auf den Kenntnisstand des B…

Natural Law/Law of Nature

(972 words)

Author(s): Evers, Dirk | Rudolph, Ulrich
[German Version] I. Science Natural laws express regular connections between natural phenomena, with the ideal aim of potential mathematical modeling. Depending on whether the connection is unconditionally valid, or merely describes probabilities, a distinction can be made between deterministic and statistical natural laws. In classical physics, all natural events are consistently determined by laws of causality; only epistemic chance in relation to the state of the observer’s knowledge is allowed (…


(2,976 words)

Author(s): Halfwassen, Jens | Necker, Gerold | Rudolph, Ulrich
[English Version] I. Philosophisch Der N. geht aus von der Systembildung Plotins; bedeutende Vertreter sind Amelios, Porphyrius, Jamblich, Theodoros von Asine, Kaiser Julian Apostata, Plutarch von Athen, Syrian, Proklos, Damascius und Simplikios; der pagane N. endet institutionell mit der Schließung der Akademie durch Kaiser Justinian I. 529 n.Chr. 1.Selbstverst Der N. versteht sich selbst als Interpretation und Erneuerung der genuinen Philos. Platos (Platonismus). Zw. den Meinungen des hist. Autors Plato und der gesuchten Wahrheit wird da…


(4,480 words)

Author(s): Röhser, Günter | Link, Christian | Rudolph, Ulrich
[English Version] I. Biblisch 1.Altes Testament und frühjüdische ApokalyptikP. bez. traditionell die zeitlich vorgängige, endgültige Festlegung von Menschen durch Gott im Hinblick auf ihr eschatologisches Heil oder Unheil. Sie stellt darin eine Teilmenge einer allg. Vorstellung von göttlicher Vorherbestimmung (Determination [Determinismus/Indeterminismus: II.]) in individueller und soteriologischer Zuspitzung dar, wie sie sich auch im jüd.-christl. Raum findet. Eigentliche Prädestinationsaussagen kenn…


(1,263 words)

Author(s): Fricke, Christel | Bormuth, Matthias | Rudolph, Ulrich
[English Version] I. Philosophisch Als »Skepsis« (S.) bzw. »Skeptizismus« (Sz.) wird eine Einstellung bez., die geprägt ist von Zweifeln an bestimmten Überzeugungen. Im Bereich der Philos. betreffen diese Zweifel v.a. die Überzeugung von der Existenz oder der Erkennbarkeit der Außenwelt und der Erkennbarkeit oder der motivierenden Kraft moralischer Normen. Seit der griech. Antike wird der sog. »akademische Sz.« vom sog. »pyrrhonischen Sz.« unterschieden. Während ersterer an der Platonischen Akademi…

Determinism and Indeterminism

(3,196 words)

Author(s): Drees, Willem B. | Rudolph, Ulrich | Clayton, Philip
[German Version] I. Fundamental Theology – II. Systematic Theology – III. Islamic Theology – IV. Philosophy of Science – V. Physics I. Fundamental Theology Determinism is the thesis that given a particular state of affairs (e.g. “the world now”) another state cannot be other than it is or will be (e.g. “the world tomorrow”). Fatalism is a slightly different idea, namely that an aspect of reality is unavoidable (e.g. one's own death…


(4,895 words)

Author(s): Röhser, Günter | Link, Christian | Rudolph, Ulrich
[German Version] I. Bible 1. Old Testament and early Jewish apocalypticism. Predestination refers traditionally to God’s foreordained final determination regarding the eschatological salvation or damnation of each individual. In this sense, it represents a subset of a universal notion of divine predetermination (Determinism and indeterminism: II) taken to its logical individual and soteriological extreme, as is found in both Judaism and Christianity. The Old Testament does not speak of predestination in …

Existence of God, Proofs of the

(4,069 words)

Author(s): Helm, Paul | Mühling-Schlapkohl, Markus | Rudolph, Ulrich
[German Version] I. Philosophy of Religion – II. Fundamental Theology – III. Islamic Theology I. Philosophy of Religion Philosophy of religion deals with the problem of the question of proofs of God in the broader context of delineating the relationship between faith and reason. A relationship between religion and philosophy has existed since antiquity. Plato's thought can be understood as philosophical commentary on popular Greek religion. This interrelationship led (e.g. in the Leges) to reflection on the nature of the divine and creation (Plato, Tim.) along with impulses …


(1,332 words)

Author(s): Fricke, Christel | Bormuth, Matthias | Rudolph, Ulrich
[German Version] I. Philosophy The term skepticism denotes an attitude informed by doubts regarding certain beliefs. In the realm of philosophy, these doubts have to do primarily with the existence or knowableness of the external world and the knowableness or motivating force of moral norms. Since ancient Greece, a distinction has been made between academic skepticism and Pyrrhonian skepticism. The former was cultivated at Plato’s Academy (I) and used against the defenders of dogmatism; it argued the …


(3,165 words)

Author(s): Halfwassen, Jens | Necker, Gerold | Rudolph, Ulrich
[German Version] I. Philosophy Neoplatonism takes the system constructed by Plotinus as its starting point. Important representatives are Amelios, Porphyry, Iamblichus, Theodore of Asine, Emperor Julian the Apostate, Plutarch of Athens, Syrian, Proclus, Damascius, and Simplicius. Pagan Neoplatonism ends institutionally with the closing of the Academy by Emperor Justinian I in 529 ce. 1. Self-understanding. Neoplatonism understands itself as an interpretation and renewal of the genuine philosophy of Plato (Platonism). No conscious distinction is made…

Divine Attributes

(4,975 words)

Author(s): Gantke, Wolfgang | Brümmer, Vincent | Schmidt, Werner H. | Klauck, Hans-Josef | Amir, Yehoyada | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Philosophy of Religion – III. Bible – IV. Judaism – V. Christianity – VI. Islam I. Religious Studies In the context of rational Christian metaphysics, the knowability of God is assumed and God-talk is substantiated in such a way that certain attributes, such as holiness (Sacred and profane: V), eternity, …
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