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(2,870 words)

Author(s): Gardet, L.
, in the sense of kalām Allāh the Word of God, must here be distinguished from 1) kalām meaning ʿilm al-kalām [ q.v.], “defensive apologetics”, or “the science of discourse” (on God); and 2) kalima [ q.v.] which, in the expression kalimat Allāh , means “a” (single) divine utterance. Kalām Allāh is found at least three times in the Ḳurʾān (II, 75, IX, 6, XLVIII, 15). God spoke to the prophets (II, 253); He spoke “clearly” to Moses (IV, 164, VII, 143), who had been chosen to transmit His messages and His Word (VII, 144); God…


(1,295 words)

Author(s): Gardet, L.
, unjust man, guilty of fisḳ ,—that is to say, one who has committed one or several “great sins” ( kabāʾir ). Most of the authors of ʿilm al-kalām ¶ avoid extending the term fāsiḳ to the believer who is guilty only of “lesser sins” ( ṣag̲h̲āʾir ). The “name and status” ( al-ism wa ’l-ḥukm ) of the fāsiḳ is one of the cardinal points discussed by the kalām . Its origin goes back to the battle of Ṣiffīn and to the question which believers then raised, as to the destiny on earth and the future destiny of the Muslim leader, and hence of all Muslims who sinned. Two initial trains of thought: a) the K̲h̲ārid…


(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


(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 …


(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…


(1,523 words)

Author(s): Gardet, L.
, absolute creation, primordial innovation.— The term itself is not Ḳurʾānic, but the Ḳurʾān calls God Badīʿ , Absolute Creator, Innovator. The two verses II, 117 and VI, 101 assert that God is “Creator ( Badīʿ) of the heavens and the earth”: we should obviously understand by this, of everything. The commentators emphasize that God is called Badīʿ by virtue of His (absolute) creation of the heavens and the earth, and K̲h̲āliḳ by virtue of His creation ( k̲h̲alḳ ) of man (“made of clay”, LV, 14). There is another distinction founded on the Ḳurʾān: the text frequently contrasts “the…


(3,743 words)

Author(s): Gardet, L.
, reminding oneself. “Remind thyself of ( ud̲h̲kur ) thy Lord when thou forgettest” ( Ḳurʾān , XVIII, 24). Thus: the act of reminding, then oral mention of the memory, especially the tireless repetition of an ejaculatory litany, finally the very technique of this mention. In taṣawwuf the d̲h̲ikr is possibly the most frequent form of prayer, its muḳābal (“opposite correlative”) being fikr [ q.v.], (discursive) reflection, meditation. In his Ṭawāsīn , in connexion with Muḥammad’s “nocturnal ascension”, al-Ḥallad̲j̲ declares that the road which passes through “the garden of d̲h̲ikr”


(115 words)

Author(s): Gardet, L.
, maṣdar of g̲h̲afara , to forgive; refers to the two Ḳurʾānic Divine Names, al-g̲h̲afūr and al-g̲h̲affār , the Forgiver and He who unceasingly forgives. Thus: act of man forgiving an offence, but essentially: act of God forgiving sins. The term g̲h̲ufrān belongs to the vocabulary of ʿilm al-kalām , e.g. treatise on the “Last Things” ( al-waʿd wa’l-waʿid ) and chapter on tawba ; and to the vocabulary of taṣawwuf , e.g. “dwelling-place” ( maḳām ) of repentance ( tawba). Frequent synonym: al-ʿafw , which places the emphasis on forgiveness conceived as (tota…


(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 …

al-Ḳaḍāʾ Wa ’l-Ḳadar

(2,598 words)

Author(s): Gardet, L.
When combined into one expression, these two words have the overall meaning of the Decree of God, both the eternal Decree (the most frequent meaning of ḳaḍāʾ) and the Decree given existence in time (the most frequent sense of ḳadar). Other translations are possible: for example, ḳaḍāʾ, predetermination (usually eternal but according to some schools operating within time); ḳadar, decree (usually operating within time but according to some schools eternal) or fate, destiny, in the sense of determined or fixed. It is also possible ¶ to use ḳaḍāʾ alone for Decree in its broadest sense…


(1,805 words)

Author(s): Gardet, L.
, Various approximate translations of this word can be given, as will appear. The meanings that predominate are “reality”, in the sense of the intelligible nucleus of the thing existing, or “nature” of the thing, or “transcendental truth” of that which exists. The term is not Ḳurʾānic, unlike ḥaḳḳ (the “real”, the “true”), a divine Name, from which it must be distinguished (see below). As al-Ḏj̲urd̲j̲ānī indicates ( Taʿrīfāt , Leipzig 1845, 94), ḥaḳīḳa derives from ( ḥaḳḳ →) ḥaḳīḳ , which with the addition of the becomes an abstract substantive. — For a more precise understanding…


(981 words)

Author(s): Gardet, L.
(a.), “providence”. The word which etymologically evokes the idea of care, solicitude, is not part of the Ḳurʾānic vocabulary. Nor does it belong directly to the vocabulary of ʿilm al-kalām , but to the language of falsafa (and of the is̲h̲rāḳ of Suhrawardī)—it was to be taken up after this by the later works and manuals of kalām which summarize and discuss its theses (among them al-S̲h̲ahrastānī, al-D̲j̲urd̲j̲ānī, etc.). It should be mentioned however that it has no place in the Taʿrīfāt of al-Ḏj̲urd̲j̲ānī. ʿInāya appears in the Ṣūfī lexicon, but only wit…

Kawn wa-Fasād

(1,105 words)

Author(s): Gardet, L.
, “generation and corruption”. The expression is frequently found in the vocabulary of falsafa as the translation of the two Greek words γένεσις and φθορά, and it is also how Aristotle’s De generatione et corruptione is rendered in Arabic. The references entail an analysis of cosmology, a measure of psychology and some metaphysical developments of the Falāsifa . The ideas in question acquired various nuances of meaning, by measure of the system and theory of each faylasūf , but they always harked back to the Aristotelian meaning. The term is most fr…


(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…


(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…


(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…


(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…


(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). …

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…


(4,263 words)

Author(s): Gardet, L.
(a.), faith (in God), maṣdar of the 4th form of the root ʾ mn. The root has the connotations of “being secure, trusting in, turning to”; whence: “good faith, sincerity” ( amana ), then “fidelity, loyalty” ( amāna ), and thus the idea of “protection granted” ( amān ). The fourth form ( āmana ) has the double meaning of “to believe, to give one’s faith” and (with bi) “to protect, to place in safety”. The root ʾ mn is one of those most frequently found in the vocabulary of the Ḳurʾān, where īmān means sometimes the act and sometimes the content of faith, sometimes bot…
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