Skip to main content

Full text of "Development Of Muslim Theology Jurisprudence And Constitutional Theory"

See other formats


Keep Your Card in This Pocket 

Books will be issued only on presentation of proper 
library cards. 

Unless labeled otherwise, books may be retained 
for two weeks. Borrowers finding books marked, de- 
taced or mutilated are expected to report at 

library desk; otherwise the last borrower will be held 
responsible for all imperfections discovered, 

The card holder is responsible for all books drawn 
on this card. 

Penalty for over-due books 2c a day plus cost of 

Lost cards and change of residence must be im- 
ported promptly. 

Public Library 

Kansas City, Mo. 


Semitic Series 







Recent scientific research has stimulated an increasing- in* 
terest in Semitic studies among: scholars, students, and the 
serious reading public generally. It has provided us with a 
picture of a hitherto unknown civilization, and a history of 
one of the great branches of the human family. 

The object of the present Series is to state its results in 
popularly scientific form. Each work is complete in itself, and 
the Series, taken as a whole, neglects no phase of the general 
subject. Each contributor is a specialist in the subject as- 
signed him, and has been chosen from the body of eminent 
Semitic scholars in Europe and in this country. 

This Series will be composed of the following volumes : 

I. HEBREWS. History and Government. By Professor 

J. F. McCurdy, University of Toronto, Canada. 
II. HEBREWS. Ethics and Religion. By Professor Archi- 
bald Duff, Airedale College, Bradford, England. 

{Now Ready* 

III. HEBREWS. The Social Life. By the Rev. Edward 

Day, Springfield, Mass. {Now Ready. 

IV. BABYLONIANS AND ASSYRIANS, with introductory chap- 

ter on the Sumerians. History to the Fall of Baby- 
lon, By Dr. Hugo Winckler, University of Berlin. 

[In jPress* 
V- BABYLONIANS AND ASSYRIA NS. Religion. By Professor 

J, A. Craig, University of Michigan. 

Professor A. H. Sayce, University of Oxford, Kne;lana. 

[Now Jxeady* 

count of Decipherment of Inscriptions. 

VIII. SYRIA AND PALESTINE. Early History. By Professor 
Lewis Bayles Paton, Hartford Theological Seminary. 

{Now Ready* 

Macdonald, Hartford Theological Seminary. 

{Now Ready. 

The following volumes are to be included in the Series, 
and others may be added : p 

X. PHOENICIA. History an& Government^ including 

Colonies, Trade, and Religion. 
XI. ARABIA, Discoveries in, and History and Religion 

until Muhammad. 



Muslim Theology, Jurisprudence 

,.4*- ""'. ""** 

and Constitutional Theory 









Published, March, 1903 





IT is with very great diffidence that I send out this 
book. Of the lack and need of some text-book of 
the Mnd there can be little doubt. From the ed- 
ucated man who wishes to read with intelligence his 
" Arabian Nights " to the student of history or of 
law or of theology who wishes to know how it has 
gone in such matters with the great Muslim world, 
there is demand enough and to spare. Still graver 
is the difficulty for the growing body of young men 
who are taking up the study of Arabic. In English 
or German or French there is no book to which a 
teacher may send jhis pupils for brief guidance on 
the development of these institutions ; on the devel- 
opment of law there are only scattered and fragmen- 
tary papers, and on the development of theology 
there is practically nothing. But of the difficulty of 
supplying this need there can be even less doubt. 
Goldziher could do it fully and completely ; no other 
Arabist alive could approach the task other than with 
trepidation. The following pages therefore form a 
kind of forlorn attempt, a rushing in on the part of 
one who is sure he is not an angel and is in grave 
doubt on the question of folly, but who also sees a 
gap and no great alacrity on the part of his betters 
toward filling it. One thing, however, I would pre- 



mise with emphasis. All the results given here have 
been reached or verified from the Arabic sources. 
These sources are seldom stated either in the text or 
in the bibliography, as the book is intended to be 
useful to non-Arabists, but, throughout, they lie be- 
hind it and are its basis. By this it is not meant 
that the results of this book are claimed as original. 
Every Arabist will recognize at once from whose 
wells I have drawn and who have been my mas- 
ters. Among these I would do homage in the first in- 
stance to Goldziher ; what Arabist is not deep in his 
debt? With Goldziher's influence through books I 
would join the kindred influence of the living voice 
of my teacher Sachau. To him I render thanks and 
reverence now for his kindly sympathy and guid- 
ance. Others in whose debt I am are Noldeke, 
Snouck Hurgronje, von Exemer, Lane many more. 
Those who are left of these will know their own in 
my pages and will be merciful to my attempts to 
tread in their steps and to develop their results. 
"What is my own, too, they will know ; into questions 
of priority I have no desire to enter. Foot-notes 
which might have given to each scholar his due have 
been left unwritten- For the readers of this book 
such references in so vast a subject would be use- 
less. Such references, too, would have in the end to 
be made to Arabic sources. 

More direct help I have to acknowledge on several 
sides. To the atmosphere and scholarly ideals of 
Hartford Seminary I am indebted for the possibility 
of writing such a book as this, so far from the ordi- 
nary theological ruts. Among my colleagues Professor 


Gillett has especially aided me with criticism and 
suggestions on the terminology of scholastic theol- 
ogy. Dr. Talcott "Williams, of Philadelphia, illumined 
for me the Idrisid movement in North Africa. One 
complete sentence on p. 85 I have conveyed from a 
kindly notice in The Nation of my inaugural lecture 
on the development of Muslim Jurisprudence. Fi- 
nally, and above all, I am indebted to my wife for 
much patient labor in copying and for keen and lu- 
minous criticism in planning and correcting. With 
thanks to her this preface may fitly close. 


HARTFORD, December, 1902. 

* # * As It has proved impracticable to give in the body of the 
book a full transliteration of names and technical terms, the 
learner is referred for such exact forms to the chronological table 
and the index. In these Tiamza and ay<n>, the long vowels and the 
emphatic consonants are uniformly represented, the last by italic. 



































INDEX 878 


Page 30, line 5, for al-Mukanna read al-Mnqanna. 
ff 86, 1. 19, for first Khalifa read second Khalifa. 
ee 201, 1. 26, for tasalsal read tasalsul. 
" 237, for Mansell read Mansel. 
ee 267, 1. 30, for Haqqari read HakkarL 
cc 299, 1. 10, for MusJiriqs read Mushriks. 
(( 300, 1. 4, for kaliinatan asli-shahada read kalinia- 


fc 325, 1. 23, for wilidaniya read walidaniya. 
{e 339, 1. 11, for iJitiyaz read ilitiyaj. 




IN human progress unity and complexity are the 
two correlatives forming together the great parados. 
Life is manifold, but it is also one. So it is seldom 
possible, and still more seldom advisable, to divide a 
civilization into departments and to attempt to trace 
their separate developments ; life nowhere can be 
cut in two with a hatchet. And this is emphatically 
true of the civilization of Islam. Its intellectual 
unity, for good and for evil, is its outstanding qual- 
ity* It may have solved the problem of faith and 
science, as some hold ; it may have crushed all 
thought which is not of faith, as many others hold. 
However that may be, its life and thought are a 

Bo, also, with its institutions. It might be possible 
to trace the developments of the European states out 
of the dying Roman Empire, even to watch the pat- 
rimony of tho Church grow and again vanish, and 
yet take but little if any account of the Catholic 
theology. It might be possible to deal adequately 
with the growth of that system of theology and yet 
never touch either the Boman or the civil law, even 
to leave out of our view the canon law itself. In 
Europe tho State may rule the Church, or the Church 
may rule the State ; or they may stand side by side 
in somewhat dubious amity, supposedly taking no 


account each of tlie other. But in Muslim countries, 
Church and State are one indissolubly, and until the 
very essence of Islam passes away, that unity cannot 
be relaxed. The law of the land, too, is, in theory, 
the law of the Church. In the earlier days at least, 
canon and civil law were one. Thus we can never 
say in Islam, " he is a great lawyer ; he, a groat 
theologian ; he, a great statesman." One man may 
be all three, almost he must be all three, if he is to 
be any one. The statesman may not practice theol- 
ogy or law, but his training, in great part, will be 
that of a theologian and a legist. The theologian- 
legist may not be a man of action, but he will be a 
court of ultimate appeal on the theory of the ntata 
He will pass upon treaties ; decide disputed succes- 
sions ; assign to each his due rank and title. Ho will 
tell the Commander of the Faithful himself what he 
may do and what, by law, lies beyond his reach. 

It was, then, under the pressure of necessity only 
that the following sketch of the development of Mus- 
lim thought was divided into three parts. By no 
possible arrangement did it seem feasible to treat 
the whole at once. Intolerable confusions and unin- 
telligible complications would, to all appearance, be 
the result. As the most concrete and simple Hide, 
the development of the state is taken first. Second, 
on account of the shortness of the course which it 
ran, comes the development of the legal ideas and 
schools. Third comes the long and thrice compli- 
cated thread of theological thought. It is for the 
student to hold firmly in mind that this division is 
purely mechanical and for convenience only ; that it 


corresponds to little or nothing in the real nature of 
the case. This will undoubtedly become clear to 
him as he proceeds. He will meet with the same 
names in all three divisions ; he will meet with the 
same technicalities and the same scholastic system. 
A treatise on canon law is certainly different from 
one on theology, but each touches the other at in- 
numerable points ; their authors may easily be the 
same ; each will be in great part unintelligible with- 
out the othei\ He must then labor to merge these 
three sections again into one another. His principal 
helps in this, along with diligent parallel reading, 
will be the chronological table and the index. In 
the table he will watch the succession of men and 
events grouped from all the three sections ; from the 
index he will trace the activities of each man in these 
different spheres. The index, too, will give him the 
technical terms and he will observe their recurrence 
in historical, legal, and theological theory. Further, 
it will serve him as a vocabulary when he comes to 
read technical texts. 

But, again, another warning is necessary. The 
sketch given here is incomplete, not only in details 
but in the ground that it covers. Important phases 
of Muslim law, theology, and state theory are of neces- 
sity passed over entirely. Thus Babism is not touched 
at all and the Shi'ite theology and law hardly at all. 
The Ibadite systems have the merest mention and 
Turkish and Persian mysticism are equally neglect- 
ed* For such weighty organizations the Darwish 
Fraternities are most inadequately dealt with, and 
Muslim missionary enterprise might well be treated 


at length. Guidance on these and other points the 
student will seek in the bibliography. It, too, makes 
no pretence to completeness and consists of selected 
titles only. But it will serve at least as an introduc- 
tion and clew to an exceedingly wide field. And it 
may be well to state here, in so many words, that 
no work can be done in this field without a reading 
knowledge of French and German, and no satis- 
factory work without some knowledge of Arabic. 

And, again, this sketch is incomplete because the 
development of Islam is not yet over. If, as some 
say, the faith of Muhammad is a cul-de-sac, it is cer- 
tainly a very long one ; off it many courts and doors 
open; down it many peoples are still wandering, 
It is a faith, too, which brings us into touching dis- 
tance with the great controversies of our own day. 
We see in it, as in a somewhat distorted mirror, the 
history of our own past. But we do not yet see its 
end, even as the end of Christianity is not yet in 
sight. It is for the student, then, to remember that 
Islam is a present reality and the Muslim faith a 
living organism, a knowledge of whose laws may be 
of life or death for us who are in another camp. For 
there can be little doubt that the three antagonistic 
and militant civilizations of the world are those of 
Christendom, Islam, and China. When these are 
unified, or come to a mutual understanding, then, and 
only then, will the cause of civilization bo secure. 
To aid some little to the understanding of Islam 
among us is the object of this book 



The death of Muhammad and the problem of the succession ; the 
parties ; families of Hashimids, Urnayyads and Abbasids ; 
election of Abu Bakr ; nomination of XJmar ; his constitution ; 
election of Uthman; Umayyads in power; murder of Uth*- 
man ; origin of Shi'ites ; election of Ali ; civil war ; Mu c a- 
wiya first Umayyad ; origin of Kharijites ; their revolts ; 
Ibadites; development of SUi fc ites; al-Husayn at Karbala; 
different Shi c ite constitutional theories ; doctrine of the hidden 
Imam ; revolts against Umayyads ; rise of Abbasids ; Umay- 
yads of Cordova. 

WITH tlie death of Muhammad at al-Madina in the 
year 11 of the Hijra (A.D. 632), the community of 
Islam stood face to face with three great questions. 
Of the existence of one they were conscious, at least 
in its immediate form ; the others lay still for their 
consciousness in the future. The necessity was upon 
them to choose a leader to take the place of the 
Prophet of God, and thus to fix for all time what was 
to be the nature of the Muslim state. Muhammad 
had appointed no Joshua ; unlike Moses he had died 
and given no guidance as to the man who should 
take up and carry on his work. If we can imagine 
the people of Israel left thus helpless on the other 



side of the Jordan with the course of conquest that 
they must pursue opening before them, we shall have 
a tolerably exact idea of the situation in Islam when 
Muhammad dropped the reins. Certainly, the peo- 
ple of Islam had little conception of what was in- 
volved in the great precedent that they were about to 
establish, but, nevertheless, there lies here, in the 
first elective council which they called, the beginning 
of all the confusions, rivalries, and uncertainties that 
were to limit and finally to destroy the succession of 
the Commanders of the Faithful, 

Muhammad had ruled as an absolute monarch 
a Prophet of God in his own right. He had no 
son; though had he left such issue it is not prob- 
able that it would have affected the direct result. 
Of Moses's son we hear nothing till long after- 
ward, and then under very suspicious circumstances. 
The old free spirit of the Arabs was too strong, 
and as in the Ignorance (al-jaliiliya), as they called 
the pre-Muslim age, the tribes had chosen from 
time to time their chiefs, so it was now fixed that 
in Islam the leader was to be elected by the people. 
But wherever there is an election, there there are 
parties ; and this was no exception. Of such par- 
ties we may reckon roughly four. % There were the 
Early Believers, who had suffered with Muhammad 
at Mecca, accompanied him to al-Madina and had 
fought at his side through all the Muslim campaigns. 
These were called Muhajirs, because they had made 
with him the Hijra or migration to al-Madina. Then 
there was the party of the citizens of al-Madina, who 
tad invited him to come to them and had promised 


Mm allegiance. These were called Ansar or Helpers. 
Eventually we shall find these two factions growing 
together and forming the one party of the old orig- 
inal believers and Companions of Muhammad (sahibs, 
i.e. y all those who came in contact with the Prophet 
as believers and who died in Islam), but at the first 
they stood apart and there was much jealousy be- 
tween them. Then, in the third place, there was the 
party of recent converts who had only embraced 
Islam at the latest moment when Mecca was capt- 
ured by Muhammad, and no other way of escape for 
them was open. They were the aristocratic party of 
Mecca and had fought the new faith to the last. 
Thus they were but indifferent believers and were 
regarded by the others with more than suspicion. 
Their principal family was descended from a certain 
Umayya, and was therefore called Umayyad. There 
will be much about this family in the sequel. Then, 
fourth, there was growing up a party that might be 
best described as legitimists ; their theory was that 
the leadership belonged to the leader, not because he 
was elected to it by the Muslim community, but be- 
cause it was his right. He was appointed to it by 
Grod as completely as Muhammad had been. This 
idea developed, it Is true, somewhat later, but it de- 
veloped very rapidly. The times were such as to 
force it on. 

These, then, were the parties of which account 
must be taken, but before proceeding to individuals 
in these parties, it will be well to fix some genea- 
logical i^elationships, so as to be able to trace the 
family and tribal jealousies and intrigues that were 


so soon to transfer themselves from the little circle of 
Mecca and al-Madina and to fight themselves out on 
the broad field of Muslim history. For, in truth, 
in the development of no other state have little causes 
produced such great effects as here. For example, it 
may be said, broadly and yet truly, that the seclu- 
sion of Muslim women, with all its disastrous effects 
at the present day for a population of two hundred 
millions, runs back to the fact that A'isha, the four- 
teen-year-old wife of Muhammad, once lost a neck- 
lace under what the gossips of the time thought were 
suspicious circumstances. As to the point now in 
hand, it is quite certain that Muslim history for sev- 
eral hundred years was conditioned and motived by 
the quarrels of Meccan families. The accompanying 
genealogy will give the necessary starting-point. 
The mythical ancestor is Quraysh ; hence " the Qur- 
aysh," or " Quraysh " as a name for the tribe. With- 
in the tribe, the two most important families are 
those of Hashim and Umayya ; their rivalries for the 
succession of the Prophet fill the first century and a 
half of Muslim history, and the immediately pre- 
Islaraic history of Mecca is similarly filled with a 
contest between them as to the guardianship of the 
Ka'ba and the care of the pilgrims to that sanctuary. 
Whether this earlier history is real, or a reflection 
from the later Muslim times, we need not here con- 
sider. The next important division is that between 
the families of al- Abbas and Abu Talib, the uncles 
of the Prophet. From the one were descended the 
Abbasids, as whose heir-at-law the Sultan of the 
Ottoman Empire now claims the Khalifate, and from 



0) 3 


<) OB 

tn s 

O 5 








3 & 


Sf <D 





>, S'S 

5 -a? 
1 11 | 

< ^1- 




-M 1 

F a 







O -S 

.^ rH 

r*l . rd W ! 

*44 " r-l 


1O rt X 

w ^ 

fi w *? 

OQ -4-* 


" *rt 

rd <i a 

^ , PJ 



". w 

q ' ' 


W rt " 



a * 

rt r 1 ^ P 

i oa 

rH ^ 

! S 
A $ 

d fe ^ 

DO rjj 

2 w 9 




^ .9" 

& "la 

M 03 

g <d S 

r-J 4, M 

<j (rf r=H 


^J 7-4 C>J 




J> 00 0> 

Y^ rH "* 







M S 




^ csi 


CO ^ 

S 0) 

. S-2 




S"g &e| 


r d 

^ ^^1 




1 b. al-Hanafiya, d. 81. 






.a b-"'C 

c3 tr- rd s-^ 

<ri . m fc*" 
fd Q co 

7. Isma'iL 

Imam of the Isma'ilites 
SeTeners, and reputed 
cestor of Ubayd Allah 
Mahdi, founder of the 3Fi 
mids (297-567). 

" ^ ~2 oS 


3 s *? 

M S"*"' 



i * ^ 




r} (M 






1 1 


J oo >O 



the other the different conflicting lines of Shi'ites, 
whose intricacies we shall soon have to face. 

To return : in this first elective council the choice 
fell upon Abu Bakr. He was a man distinguished 
by his piety and his affection for and close intimacy 
with Muhammad. He was the father of Muhammad's 
favorite wife, A'isha, and was some two years young- 
er than his son-in-law. He was, also, one of the 
earliest believers and it is evident that this, with his 
advanced age, always respected in Arabia, went far 
to secure his election. Yet his election did not pass 
off without a struggle in which the elements that 
later came to absolute schism and revolution are 
plainly visible. The scene, as it can be put together 
from Arabic historians, is curiously suggestive of the 
methods of modern politics. As soon as it was as- 
sured that the Prophet, the hand which had held 
together all those clashing interests, was really dead, 
a convention was called of the leaders of the people. 
There the strife ran so high between the Ansar, the 
Muhajirs and the Muslim aristocrats of the house of 
Umayya, that they almost came to blows. Suddenly 
in the tumult, Umar, a rnan of character and decision, 
" rushed the convention " by solemnly giving to Abu 
Bakr the hand-grasp of fealty. The accomplished 
fact was recognized as it has always been in Islam 
and on the next day the general mass of the people 
swore allegiance to the first Khalifa, literally Succes- 
sor, of Muhammad. 

On his death, in A.H. 13 (A.D. 634), there followed 
Umar. His election passed off quietly. He had 
been nominated by Abu Bakr and nothing remained 


but for the people to confirm that nomination. 
There thus entered a second principle or rather 
precedent beside that of simple election. A cer^ 
tain right was recognized in the Khalifa to nomi- 
nate his successor, provided he chose one suitable 
and eligible in other respects. Unlike Cromwell in 
a similar case, Abu Bakr did not nominate one of 
his own sons, but the man who had been his right 
hand and who, he knew, could best build up the 
state. His foresight was proved by the event, and 
Umar proved the second founder of Islam by his 
genius as a ruler and organizer and his self-devotion 
as a man. Through his generals, Damascus and 
Jerusalem were taken, Persia crushed in the great 
battles of al-Qadisiya and Nahawand, and Egypt con- 
quered. He was also the organizer of the Muslim 
state, and it will be advisable to describe part of his 
system, both for its own sake and in order to point 
the contrast with that of his successors. He saw 
clearly what were the conditions under which the 
Muslims must work, and devised a plan, evidently 
based on Persian methods of government, which, for 
the time at least, was perfect in its way. 

The elements in the problem were simple. There 
was the flood of Arabs pouring out of Arabia and 
bearing everything down in their course. These must 
be retained as a conquering instrument if Islam were 
to exist. Thus they must be prevented from settling 
down on the rich lands they had seized, from be- 
coming agriculturists, merchants, and so on, and so 
losing their identity among other peoples. The 
whole Arab stock must be preserved as a warrior 


caste to fight the battles of God. This was secured 
by a regulation that no new lands should be held by 
a Muslim. When a country was conquered, the land 
was left to its previous possessors with the duty of 
paying a high rent to the Muslim state and, besides, 
of furnishing fodder and food, clothing and every- 
thing necessary to the Muslim camp that guarded 
them. These camps, or rather camp-cities, were scat- 
tered over the conquered countries and were practi- 
cally settlements of Muslims in partibus inftdelium. 
The d^ty of these Muslims was to be soldiers only. 
They were fed and clothed by the state, and the 
money paid into the public treasury, consisting of 
plunder or rents of conquered lands (Mara/), or the 
head-tax on all non-Muslims (jizya), was regularly 
divided among them and the other believers. If a 
non-Muslim embraced Islam, then he no longer paid 
the head-tax, but the land which he had previously 
held was divided among his former co-religionists, 
and they became responsible to the state. He, on 
the other hand, received his share of the public mon- 
eys as regularly distributed. Within Arabia itself, 
no non-Muslim was permitted to live. It was pre- 
served, if we may use the expression, as a breeding- 
ground for defenders of the faith and as a sacred soil 
not to be polluted by the foot of an unbeliever. It 
will readily be seen what the results of such a system 
must have been. The entire Muslim people was re- 
tained as a gigantic fighting machine, and the con- 
quered peoples were machines again to furnish it 
with what was needed, i The system was communistic, 
but in favor of one special casteX The others the 


conquered peoples were crushed to the ground be- 
neath their burdens. Yet they could not sell their 
land and leave the country ; there was no one to buy 
it. The Muslims would not, and their fellow-co- 
religionists could not, for with it went the land-tax. 
Such was, in its essence, the constitution of Umax, 
f oreyer famous in Muslim tradition. It stood for a 
short time, and could not have stood for a long time ; 
but the cause of its overthrow was political and not 
social-economic. With the next Khalifa and the 
changes which came with him, it went, in great part, 
to the ground. The choice of Umar to the Khalifate 
had evidently been dictated by a consideration of his 
position as one of the earliest believers and as son-in- 
law of the Prophet. The party of Early Believers had 
thus succeeded twice in electing their candidate. But 
with the death of Umar in A.H. 23 (A.D. 644) the 
Meccan aristocratic party of the family of Umayya 
that had so long struggled against Muhammad and 
had only accepted Islam when their cause was hope* 
lessly lost, had at last a chance. Umar left no direc- 
tions as to his successor. He seems to have felt no 
certainty as to the man best fitted to take up the 
burden, and when his son sought to urge him to name 
a Khalifa, he is reported to have said, " If I appoint 
a Khalifa, Abu Bakr appointed a Khalifa ; and if I 
leave the people without guidance, so did the Apostle 
of God." But there is also a story that after a vain 
attempt to persuade one of the Companions to permit 
himself to be nominated, he appointed an elective 
council of six to make the choice after liis death 
under stringent conditions, which went all to wreck 


through, the pressure of circumstances. The Umay- 
yads succeeded in carrying the election of Uthnian, 
one of their family, an old man and also a son-in-law 
of Muhammad, who by rare luck for them was an 
Early Believer. After his election it was soon evident 
that he was going to rule as an Umayyad and not 
as a Muslim. For generations back in Mecca, as has 
already been said, there had been, according to tradi- 
tion, a continual struggle for pre-eminence between 
the families of Umayya and of Hashim. In the vic- 
tory of Muhammad and the election of the first two 
Khalifas, the house of Hashim had conquered, but it 
had been the constant labor of the conquerors to re- 
move all tribal and family distinctions and frictions 
and to bring the whole body of the Arabs to regard 
one another as brother Muslims. Now, with a Kha- 
lifa of the house of Umayya, all that was swept away, 
and it was evident that Uthman a pious, weak man, 
in the hands of his energetic kinsfolk was drifting to 
a point where the state would not exist for the Mus- 
lims but for the Uniayyads. His evil spirit was his 
cousin Marwan ibn. al-Hakam, whom he had ap- 
pointed as his secretary and who eventually became 
fourth Umayyad Khalifa. The father of this man, 
al-Hakam ibn al-As, accepted Islam at the last mo- 
ment when Mecca was captured, and, thereafter, was 
banished by Muhammad for treachery. Not till the 
reign of Uthman was he permitted to return, and his 
son, born after the Hijra, was the most active assert- 
or of Umayyad claims. Under steady family press- 
ure, Uthman removed the governors of provinces 
who had suffered with Muhammad and fought in the 


Path of God (sabil Allah), and put in their places nis 
own relations, late embracers of the faith. He broke 
through the Constitution of Umar and gifted away 
great tracts of state lands. The feeling spread abroad 
that in the eyes of the Khalifa an Umayyad could 
do no wrong, and the Ilmayyads themselves were not 
backward in affording examples. To the Muhajirs 
and Ansar they were godless heathen, and probably 
the Muhajirs and Ansar were right. Finally, the 
indignation could no longer be restrained. Insurrec- 
tions broke out in the camp-cities of al-Kufa and al- 
Basra, and in those of Egypt and at last in al-Madina 
itself. There, in A.H. 35 (A.D. 655), Uthman fell 
under the daggers of conspirators led by a Muham- 
mad, a son of Abu Bakr, but a religious fanatic 
strangely different from his father, and the train was 
laid for a long civil war. In the confusion that fol- 
lowed the deed the chance of the legitimist party had 
come, and Ali, the cousin and son-in-law of the 
Prophet, was chosen. 

Fortunately this is is not a history of Islam, but of 
Muslim political institutions, and it is, therefore, un- 
necessary to go into the manifold and contradictory 
stories told of the events of this time. These have 
evidently been carefully redacted in the interests of 
later orthodoxy, and to protect the character of men 
whose descendants later came to power. The AHds 
built up in favor of Ali a highly ingenious but flatly 
fictitious narrative, embracing the whole early his- 
tory and exhibiting him as the true Khalifa kept 
from his rights by one after the other of the first 
three, and suffering it all with angelic patience. This 


varies from the extreme Shi'ite position, -winch damns 
all the three at a sweep as usurpers, through a more 
moderate one which contents itself with cursing Umar 
and Uthman, to a rejection of Uthman only, and 
even, at the other extreme, satisfies itself with anath- 
ematizing the later Umayyads. At this point the 
Shi'ites join hands with the body of orthodox be- 
lievers, who are all sectaries of Ali to a certain de- 
gree. Yet this tendency has been counteracted to 
some extent by a strongly catholic and irenic spirit 
which manifests itself in Islam. After a controversy 
is over and the figures in it have faded into the past, 
Islam casts a still deeper veil over the controversy 
itself and glorifies the actors on both sides into 
fathers and doctors of the Church. An attempt is 
made to forget that they had fought one another so 
bitterly, and to hold to the fact only that they were 
brother Muslims. The Shi'ites well so-called, for 
Shi' a means sect, have never accepted this ; but it is 
the usage of orthodox, commonly called Sunnite, Is- 
lam, A concrete expression of any result reached by 
the body of the believers then often takes the form of 
a tradition assigned to Muhammad. In this case, it 
is a saying of his that ten men, specified by name 
and prominent leaders in these early squabbles, were 
certain of Paradise. It has further become an article 
in Muslim creeds, that the Companions of the Prophet 
are not to be mentioned save with praise ; and one 
school of theologians, in their zeal for the historic 
Khalifate, even forbade the cursing of Tazid, the 
slayer of al-Husayn (p. 28 below), and reckoned as 
the worst of all the Umayyads, because he had been 


a Khalifa in full and regular standing. This catholic 
recognition of the unity of Islam we shall meet again 
and again. 

Abandoning, then, any attempt to trace the details 
and to adjust the rights and wrongs of this story, we 
return to the fixed fact of the election of Ali and the 
accession to power of the legitimist party. This 
legitimist party, or parties, had been gradually de- 
veloping, and their peculiar and mutually discordant 
views deserve attention. These -views all glorified 
Ali, the full cousin of Muhammad and husband of 
his daughter Fatima, but upon very different grounds. 
There could not but exist the feeling that a descend- 
ant of the Prophet should be his successor, and the 
children of Ali, al-Hasan and al-Husayn were his 
only grandchildren and only surviving male descend- 
ants. This, of course, reflected a dignity npon Ali, 
their father, and gave him a claim to the Khalifate. 
Again, Ali himself seems to have made a great and 
hardly comprehensible impression upon his contem- 
poraries. The proverb ran with the people, "There 
is no sword save Dhu-l-faqar, and no youth save 
Ali." He was not, perhaps, so great a general as 
one or two others of his time, but he stood alone as 
a warrior in single combat; he was a poet and an 
orator, but no statesman. As one of the earliest of 
the Early Believers, it might be expected thai the 
Muhajirs would support him, and so they did; but 
the matter went much farther, and lie seems to have 
excited a feeling of personal attachment and devo- 
tion different from that rendered to the preceding 
Khalifas. Strange and mystical doctrines were afloat 

All ; CIVIL WAR 21 

as to Ms claim. The idea of election was thrown 
aside, and his adherents proclaimed his right by the 
will and appointment of God to the successorship of 
the Prophet. As God had appointed Muhammad as 
Prophet, so He had appointed Ali as his helper in 
life and his successor in death. This was preached 
in Egypt as early as the year 32. 

It will easily be seen that with such a following, 
uniting so many elements, his election could be 
brought about. Thus it was ; but an evil suspicion 
rested upon him. Men thought, and probably right- 
ly, that he could have saved the aged Uthman if he 
had willed, and they even went the length of accus- 
ing him of being art and part in the murder itself. 
The ground was hollow beneath his feet. Further, 
there were two other old Companions of the Prophet, 
Talha and az-Zubayr, who thought they had a still 
better claim to the Khalifate ; and they were joined 
by A'isha, the favorite wife of Muhammad, now, as a 
finished intrigante, the evil genius of Islam. Ali 
had reaped all the advantage of the conspiracy and 
murder, and it was easy to raise against him the cry 
of revenge for Uthman. Then the civil war began. 
In the struggle with Talha and az-Zubayr, Ali was 
victorious. Both fell at the battle of the Camel 
(A.H. 36), so called from the presence of A'isha 
mounted on a camel like a chieftainess of the old 
days. But a new element was to enter. The gov- 
ernorship of Syria had been held for a long time by 
Mu'awiya, an Umayyad, and there the Umayyad in- 
fluence was supreme. There, too, had grown up a 
spirit of religious indifference, combined with a pres- 


ervation of all the forms of the faith. Mu'awiya 
was a statesman by nature, and had moulded his 
province into an almost independent kingdom. The 
Syrian army was devoted to him, and could be de- 
pended upon to have no other interests than his. 
From the beginning of Ali's reign, he had been bid- 
ing his time ; had not given his allegiance, but had 
waited for the hour to strike for revenge for Uthman 
and power for himself. The time came and Mu 4 awi- 
ya won. We here pass over lightly a long and con- 
tradictory story. It is enough to note how the irony 
of history wrought itself out, and a son of the Abu 
Sufyan who had done so much to persecute and op- 
pose Muhammad in his early and dark days and had 
been the last to acknowledge his mission, became his 
successor and the ruler of his people. But with All 
ends the revered series of the four " Khalifas who 
followed a right course" (al-Jchula/a awashidun), 
reverenced now by all orthodox Muslims, and there 
begins the division of Islam into sects, religious and 
political it conies to the same thing. 

The Umayyads themselves clearly recognized that 
with their accession to power a change had come in 
the nature of theMuslim state. Mu'awiya said open- 
ly that he was the first king in Islam, though he re- 
tained and used officially the title of Khalifa and 
Commander of the Faithful. Yet sucli a change 
could not be complete nor could it carry with it the 
whole people that is clear of itself. For more than 
one hundred years the house of Umayya held its 
own. Syria was solid with it and it was supported 
by many statesmen and soldiers ; but outside of 


Syria and north Arabia it could count on no part of 
the population. An anti-Khalifa, Abd Allah, son of 
the az-Zubayr of whom we have already heard, long 
held the sacred cities against them. Only in A.H. 75 
(A.D. 692) was he killed after Mecca had been stormed 
and taken by their armies. Southern Arabia and 
Mesopotamia, with its camp-cities al-Kufa and al- 
Basra, Persia and Egypt, were, from time to time, 
more or less in revolt. These risings went in one or 
other of two directions. There were two great anti- 
Umayyad sects. At one time in Mu'awiya's contest 
with Ali, he trapped AH into the fatal step of arbitrat- 
ing his claim to the Khalifate. It was fatal, for by 
it Ali alienated some of his own party and gained 
less than nothing on the other side. Part of All's 
army seceded in protest and rebellion, because he 
the duly elected Khalifa submitted his claim to any 
shadow of doubt. On the other hand, they could 
not accept Mu'awiya, for him they regarded as un- 
duly elected and a mere usurper. Thus they drifted 
and split into innumerable sub-sects. They were 
called Kharijites goers out because they went out 
from among the other Muslims, refused to regard 
them as Muslims and held themselves apart. For 
centuries they continued a thorn in the sida of all 
established authority. Their principles were abso- 
lutely democratic. Their idea of the Khalifate was 
the old one of the time of Abu Bakr and TJmar. 
The Khalifa was to be elected by the whole Muslim 
community and could be deposed again at need. 
He need be of no special family or tribe ; he might 
be a slave, provided he was a good Muslim ruler* 


Some admitted that a woman might be Khalifa, 
and others denied the need of any Khalifa at all ; 
the Muslim congregation could rule itself, Their re- 
ligious views were of a similarly unyielding and an- 
tique cast, but with that we have nothing now to do. 
It cannot be doubted that these men were the true 
representatives of the old Islam. They claimed for 
themselves the hen-ship to Abu Bakr and Uinar, and 
their claim was just. Islam had been secularized ; 
worldly ambition, fratricidal strife, luxury, and sin 
had destroyed the old bond of brotherhood. So they 
drew themselves apart and went their own way, a 
way which their descendants still follow in Uman, 
in east Africa, and in Algeria. To them fche orthodox 
Muslims meaning by that the general body of Mus- 
li ms were antipathetic more than even Christians 
or Jews. These were " people of a book " (ahl 
Mtab), i.e., followers of a revealed religion, and kindly 
treatment of them was commanded in the Qur'an. 
They had never embraced Islam, and were to be 
judged and treated on their own merits. The non- 
Kharijite Muslims, on the other hand, were rene- 
gades (murtadds) and were to be killed at sight. It 
is easy to understand to what such a view as this 
led. Numberless revolts, assassinations, plunderings 
marked their history. Crushed to the ground again 
and again, again and again they recovered. They 
were Arabs of the desert ; and the desert was always 
there as a refuge. It is probable, but as yet im- 
proved, that mingled with the political reasons for 
their existence as a sect went tribal jealousies and 
frictions ; of such there have ever been enough and 


to spare In Arabia. Naturally, under varying con- 
ditions, tlieir views and attitudes varied. In the 
wild mountains of Khuzistan, one of their centres 
and strongholds, the primitive barbarism of their 
faith had full sway. It drew its legitimate conse- 
quence, lived out its life, and vanished from the 
scene. The more moderate section of the Kharijites 
centred round al-Basra. Their leader there was Abd 
Allah ibn Ibad, and from about the year 60 on 
the schism between his followers and the more abso- 
lute of these " come-outers " can be traced. It is 
characteristic of the latter that they aided for a time 
Abd Allah ibn az-Zubayr when he was besieged in 
Mecca by the Umayyads, but deserted him finally be- 
cause he refused to join the names of Talha and his 
own father, az-Zubayr, with those of Uthman and 
Ali in a general commination. The Kharijites were 
all good at cursing, and the later history of this sec- 
tion of them shows a process of disintegration by 
successive secessions, each departing in protest and 
cursing those left behind as heathen and unbelievers. 
Characteristic, too, for the difference between the two 
sections, were their respective attitudes toward the 
children of their opponents. The more absolute 
party held that the children of unbelievers were to 
be killed with their parents; the followers of Abd 
Allah ibn Ibad, that they were to be allowed to grow 
up and then given their choice. Again, there was a 
difference of opinion as to the standing of those who 
held with the Kharijites but remained at home and 
did not actually fight in the Path of God. These 
the one party rejected and the other accepted. Agaiii, 


were the non-Kharijites Muslims to the extent that 
the Kharijites might live amongst them and mix with 
them? This the severely logical party denied, but 
Abd Allah ibn Ibad affirmed. 

From this it will be abundantly clear that the only 
party with a possible future was that of Ibn Ibad. 
His sect survives to the present day under the name of 
Ibadites. Very early it spread to Uman, and, accord- 
ing to their traditions, their first Imam, or president, 
was elected about A.H. 134 He was of a family 
which had reigned there before Islam, and from the 
time of his election on, the Ibadites have succeeded 
in holding Uman against the rest of the Muslim 
world. Naturally, the election of the Imam by the 
community has turned into the rule of a series of 
dynasties ; but the theory of election has always held 
fast. They were sailors, merchants, and colonizers 
already by the tenth century A.D., and earned their 
state with its theology and law to Zanzibar and the 
coast of East Africa generally. Still earlier Ibadite 
fugitives passed into North Africa, and there they 
still maintain the simplicity of their republican ideal 
and their primitive theological and legal views. 
Their home is in the MJzab in the south of Algeria, 
and, though as traders and capitalists they may travel 
far, yet they always return thither. Any mingling 
in marriage with other Muslims is forbidden them* 

At the opposite extreme from these 111 political 
matters stands the sect that is called the Bhi f a It, 
as we have seen, is the name given to the party that 
glorifies Ali and his descendants and regards the lxa- 
lifate as belonging to them by right divine. How 


early this feeling arose we have already seen, but tlie 
extremes to which in time the idea was carried, the 
innumerable differing views that developed, the maze 
of conspiracies, tortuous and underground in their 
methods, some in good faith and some in bad, to 
which it gave rise, render the history of the Shi'a the 
most difficult side of a knowledge of the Muslim 
East. Yet some attempt at it must be made. If 
there was ever a romance in history, it is the story 
of the founding of the Fatimid dynasty in Egypt ; if 
there was ever the survival of a petrifaction in history, 
it is the survival to the present day of the Assassins 
and the Druses ; if there was ever the persistence of 
an idea, it is in the present Shi'ite government in 
Persia and in the faith in that Mahdi for whom the 
whole world of Islam still looks to appear and bring 
in the reign of justice and the truth upon the earth. 
All these have sprung from the devotion to Ali and 
his children on the part of their followers twelve 
centuries ago. 

In A.H. 40 (A.D. 660) Ali fell by the dagger of a 
Kharijite. These being at the opposite pole from 
the Shi'ites, are the only Muslim sect that curses and 
abhors Ali, his family and all their works. Orthodox 
Islam reveres Ali and accepts his Khalifate ; his fam- 
ily it also reverences, but rejects their pretensions. 
The instinct of Islam is to respect the accomplished 
fact, and so even the Umayyads, one and all, stand in 
the list of the successors of the Prophet, much as 
Alexander YI and his immediate predecessors do in 
that of the Popes. 

To Ali succeeded Ms son, al-Hasan, but his name 


does not stand on the roll of the Khalifate as usually 
reckoned. It shows some Shi'ite tinge when the 
historian says, "In the Khalifate of al-Hasan," 
and, thereafter, proceeds with, "In the days of 
Mu'awiya," the Umayyad Khalifa who followed him. 
Mu'awiya had received the allegiance of the Syrian 
Muslims and when he advanced on al-Kufa, where al- 
Hasan was, al-Hasan met him and gave over into his 
hands all his supposed rights. That was in A.H. 41 ; 
in A.H. 49 he was dead by poison. Twelve years 
later al-Husayn, his brother, and many of his house 
fell at Karbala in battle against hopeless odds. It is 
this last tragedy that has left the deepest mark of all 
on the Muslim imagination. Yearly when the fatal 
day, the day of Ashura, the tenth of the month Mu- 
harram, comes round, the story is rehearsed again at 
Karbala and throughout, indeed, all the Shi'ite world 
in what is a veritable Passion Play. No Muslim, 
especially no Persian, can read of the death of al- 
Husayn, or see it acted before his eyes, without quiv- 
ering and invoking the curse of God upon all those 
who had aught to do with it or gained aught by it. 
That curse has clung fast through all the centuries to 
the name of Yazid,the Umayyad Khalifa of the time, 
and only the stiffest theologians of the traditional 
school have labored to save his memory through the 
merits of the historical Khalifate. But even after 
this tragedy it was not out with the blood of Muham- 
mad. Many descendants were left and their party lived 
on in strange, half underground fashion, as sects do in 
the East, occasionally coming to the surface and 
bursting out in wild and, for long, useless rebellion. 


In these revolts the Shi e a was worthy of its name, 
and split into many separate divisions, according to 
the individuals of the house of Ali to whom alle- 
giance was rendered and who were regarded as leaders, 
titular or real. These subdivisions differed, also, in 
the principle governing the choice of a leader and 
in the attitude of the people toward him. Shi c ism, 
from being a political question, became theological. 
The position of the Shi'ite was and is that there must 
be a law (nass) regulating the choice of the Imam, or 
leader of the Muslim community; that that law is 
one of the most important dogmas of the faith and 
cannot have been left by the Prophet to develop itself 
under the pressure of circumstances ; that there is 
such an Imam clearly pointed out and that it is the 
duty of the Muslim to seek him out and follow him. 
Thus there was a party who regarded the leadership 
as belonging to Ali himself, and then to any of his 
descendants by any of his wives- These attached 
themselves especially to his son Muhammad, known 
from his mother as Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiya, who 
died in 81, and to his descendants and successors. It 
was in this sect that the most characteristic Shi c ite 
views first developed. This Muhammad seems to 
have been the first concerning whom it was taught, 
after his death, that he was being preserved by God 
alive in retirement and would come forth at his ap- 
pointed time to bring in the rule of righteousness 
upon the earth. In some of the innumerable sub- 
sects the doctrine of the deity, even, of Ali was early 
held, in others a doctrine of metempsychosis, gen- 
erally among men and especially from, one Imam to 


his successor; others, again, advanced the duty of 
seeking the rightful Imam and rendering allegiance 
to him till it covered the whole field of faith and 
morals no more was required of the believer. To 
one of these sects, al-Mukanna, u the Yeiled Prophet 
of Khorasan," adhered before he started on his own 

We have seen already that so early as 32 the doc- 
trine had been preached in Egypt that AH was the 
God-appointed successor of the Prophet. Here we 
have its legitimate development, which was all the 
quicker as it had, or assumed, a theological basis, and 
did not simply urge the claims to leadership of the 
family of the Prophet after the fashion in which in- 
heritance runs among earthly kings. That was the 
position at first of the other and far more important 
Shi'ite wing. It regarded the leadership as being in 
the blood of Muhammad and therefore limited to the 
children of Ali by his wife Fatima, the daughter of 
Muhammad. Again, the attitude toward the person 
of the leader varied, as we have already seen. One 
party held that the leadership wasjby the right of the 
appointment of God, but that the leader himself was 
simply a man as other men. These would add to 
"the two words" (al-katimatani} of the creed, "There 
is no god but God, and Muhammad is the Apostle of 
God," a third clause, "and Ali is the representative 
of God." Others regarded him as an incarnation of 
divinity; a continuing divine revelation in human 
form. His soul passed, when he died, to his next 
successor. He was, therefore, infallible and sinless, 
and was to be treated with absolute, blind obedience* 


Here there is a mingling of the most strangely varied 
ideas. In Persia the people had been too long ac- 
customed to looking upon their rulers as divine for 
them to be capable of taking up any other position. 
A story is told of the governor of a Persian province 
who wrote to the Khalifa of his time that he was not 
able to prevent his people from giving him the style 
and treatment of a god; they did not understand 
any other kind of ruler; it was as much as his 
authority was worth to attempt to make them desist. 
From this attitude, combined with the idea of the 
transmigration of souls, the extreme Shi'ite doctrine 
was derived. 

But though the party of Ali might regard the 
descendants of Ali as semi-divine, yet their conspir- 
acies and revolts were uniformly unsuccessful, and it 
became a very dangerous thing to head one. The 
party was willing to get up a rising at any time, 
but the leader was apt to hang back. In fact, one of 
the most curious features of the whole movement was 
the uselessness of the family of Ali and the extent to 
which they were utilized by others. They have been, 
in a sense, the cat's-paws of history. Gradually they 
themselves drew back into retirement and vanished 
from the stage, and, with their vanishing, a new 
doctrine arose. It was that of the hidden Imam. 
We have already seen the case of Muhammad ibn 
al-Hanafiya, whom Muslims reckon as the first of 
these concealed ones. Another descendant of Ali, on 
another line of descent, vanished in the same way in 
the latter part of the second century of the Hijra, and 
another about A.H. 260. Their respective followers 


held that they were being kept In concealment by 
God and would be brought back at the appointed time 
to rule over the world and bring in a kind of Muslim 
millennium. This is the oriental version of the story 
of Arthur in Avalon and of Frederick Barbarossa in 

But that has led us far away and we must go back 
to the fall of the Umayyads and the again disap- 
pointed hopes of the Alids. By the time of the last 
Khalifa of the TJmayyad house, Mnrwan II, A.H. 127- 
132 (A.D. 744-750), the whole empire was more or less 
in rebellion, partly Shi'ite and partly Kharijite. The 
ShTites themselves had, as usual, no man strong 
enough to act as leader ; that part was taken by as- 
Saffah, a descendant of al- Abbas, an uncle of Muham- 
mad. The rebellion was ostensibly to bring again 
into power the family of the Prophet, but under that 
the Abbasids understood the family of Hashirn, while 
the Alids took it in the more exact sense of them- 
selves. They were made a cat's-paw, the Abbasicl 
dynasty was founded, and they were thrown over. 
Thus, the Khalifate remained persistently in the 
hands of those who, up to the last, had been hostile 
to the Prophet. This al-Abbas had embraced the 
faith only when Mecca was taken by the Muslims. 
Later historians, jealous for the good name of the 
ancestor of the longest line of all the Successors, have 
labored to build up a legend that al-Abbas stayed in 
Mecca only because he could there be more useful in 
the cause of his nephew. This is one of the per- 
versions of early history of which the Muslim chron- 
icles are full. 


But the story of the Umayyads is not yet out. 
From, the ruin that overwhelmed them, one escaped 
and fled to North Africa. There, he vainly tried to 
draw together a power. At last, seeing in Spain 
some better prospect of success, he crossed thither, 
and by courage, statesmanship, and patience, carved 
out a new Umayyad empire that lasted for 300 years. 
One of his descendants in A.H. 317 (A.D. 929) took the 
title of Khalifa and claimed the homage due to the 
Commander of the Faithful. There is a story that 
al-Mansur, the second Abbasid, once asked his court- 
iers, "Who is the Falcon of Quraysh?" They 
named one after another of the great men of the 
tribe, beginning, naturally, with his majesty himself, 
but to no purpose. "No," he said, "the Falcon 
of Quraysh is Abel ar-Eahman, the Umayyad, who 
found his way over deserts and seas, flung himself 
alone into a strange country, and there, without any 
helper but himself, built up a realm. There has 
been none like him of the blood of Quraysh." 


SM 4 ite revolts against Abbasids; Idrisids; Zaydites; Imamites; 
the Twelvers ; constitutional theory of modern Persia ; origin 
of I'atimids ; Maymun the oculist ; plan of the conspiracy , the 
Seveners ; the Qarmatians ; Ubayd Allah al-Mahdi and found- 
ing of Fatimid dynasty in North Africa ; their spread to Egypt 
and to Syria ; al-Hakim Bi'amrillah j the Druses ; the Assas- 
sins ; Saladin and the Ayyubids. 

IT is not in place here to deal with all the number- 
less little Shi'ite revolts against the Abbasicls which 
now followed. Those only are of interest to us which 
had more or less permanent effect on the Muslim 
state and states. Earliest among such comes the 
revolt which founded the dynasty of the Idrisids. 
About the middle of the second century the Abba- 
sids were hard pressed. The heavens themselves 
seemed to mingle in the conflict. The early years of 
their rule had been marked by great showers of 
shooting stars, and the end of the age was reckoned 
near by both parties. Messianic hope was alive, and 
a Mahdi, a Guided of God, was looked for. This 
had long been the attitude of the Alids, and the 
Abbasids began to feel a necessity to gain for their 
de facto rule the sanction of theocratic hopes. In 
143 Halley's comet was visible for twenty days, and 
in 147 there were again showers of shooting stars. 
On the part of the Abbasids, homage was solemnly 
rendered to the eldest son of al-Mansur, the Khalifa 



of the time, as successor of his father, under the title 
al-Mahdi, and several sayings were forged and as- 
cribed to the Prophet which told who and what 
manner of man the Mahdi would be, in terms which 
clearly pointed to this heir- apparent. The Alids, on 
their side, were urged on to fresh revolts. These ris- 
ings were still political in character and hardly at all 
theological ; they expressed the claims to sovereignty 
of the house of the Prophet. On the suppression of 
one of them at al-Madina in 169, Idris ibn Abd Allah, 
a grandson of al-Hasan, escaped to North Africa 
that refuge of the politically disaffected and there 
at the far-off Yolubilis of the Bom an s, in the modern 
Morocco, founded a state. It lasted till 375, and 
planted firmly the authority of the family of Mu- 
hammad in the western half of North Africa. Other 
Alid states rose in its place, and in 961 the dynasty 
of the Sharif's of Morocco was established by a Mu- 
hammad, a descendant of a Muhammad, brother of 
the same Abd Allah, grandson of al-Hasan. This 
family still rules in Morocco and claims the title of 
Khalifa of the Prophet and Commander of the Faith- 
ful. Strictly, they are Shi'ites, but their sectarianism 
sits lightly upon them ; it is political only and they 
have no touch of the violent religious antagonism to 
the Sunnite Muslims that is to be found in Persian 
IShi'isrn. As adherents of the legal school of Malik 
ibn Anas, their Sunna is the same as that of ortho- 
dox Islam, The Sahih of al-Bukhari (see below, 
p. 79 ) is held in especially high reverence, and one 
division of the Moorish army always carries a copy 
of it as a talisman. They are really a bit of the sec- 


ond century of the Hijra crystallized and surviving 
into our time. 

Another Shi'ite line -which lasts more or less down 
to the present day, is that of the Zaydites of al- 
Taman. They were so called from their adherence 
to Zayd, a grandson of al-Husayn, and their sect 
spread in north Persia and south Arabia. The north 
Persian branch is of little historic importance for our 
purpose. For some sixty-four years, from 250 on, it 
held Tabaristan, struck coins and exercised all sover- 
eign rights ; then it fell before the Samanids. The 
other branch has had a much longer history. It was 
founded about 280, at Sa'da in al-Yaman and there, 
and later at San'a, Zaydite Imams have ruled off and 
on till our day. The Turkish hold upon south 
Arabia has always been of the slightest. Sometimes 
they have been absolutely expelled from the country, 
and their control has never extended beyond the 
limits of their garrisoned posts. The position of 
these Zaydites was much less extreme than that of 
the other Shi'ites. They were strictly Fatimites, 
that is, they held that any descendant of Fatima 
could be Imam. Further, circumstances might justify 
the passing over, for a time, of such a legitimate 
Imam and the election as leader of someone who had 
no equally good claim. Thus, they reverenced Abu 
Bakr and "Omar and regarded their Khalifate as just, 
even though Ali was there with a better claim. The 
election of these two Khalifas had been to the ad- 
vantage of the Muslim state. Some of thorn even 
accepted the Khalifate of Uthman and only de- 
nounced his evil deeds. Further, they regarded it as 


possible that there might be two Imams at the same 
time, especially when they were in countries widely 
apart. This, apparently, sprang from the sect be- 
ing divided between north Persia and south Ara- 
bia. Theologically, or philosophicallyit is hard to 
hold the two apart in Islam the Zaydites were 
accused of rationalism. Th.eir founder, Zayd, the 
grandson of al-Husayn, had studied under the 
great Mu'tazilite, Wasil ibn Ata, of whom much 
more hereafter. 

But if the Zaydites were las both in their theology 
and in their theory of the state, that cannot be said 
of another division of the Shi'ites, called the Imam- 
ites on account of the stress which they laid on the 
doctrine of the person of the Imam. For them the 
Imam of the time was explicitly and personally in- 
dicated, Ali by Muhammad and each of the others 
in turn by his predecessor. But it was hard to rec- 
oncile with this a priori position that an Imam must 
have been indicated, the fact that there was no agree- 
ment as to the Imam who had been indicated. Down 
all possible lines of descent the sacred succession was 
traced until, of the seventy-two sects that the Prophet 
had foretold for his people, seventy, at least, were 
occupied by the Imamites alone. Further, the num- 
ber of Hidden, Imams was constantly running up ; 
with every generation, Alids found it convenient to 
withdraw into retirement and have reports given out 
of their own deaths. Then two sects would come 
into existence one which stopped at the Alid in 
question, and said that he was being kept in con- 
cealment by God to be brought back at His pleas- 


nre ; and another which passed the Imamship on to 
the next generation. Out of this chaos two sects, ad- 
hering to two series of Imams, stand clear through 
their historical importance. The one is that of the 
Twelvers (Ithna'ashariya) ; theirs is the official creed 
of modern Persia. About A.H. 260 a certain Mu- 
hammad ibn al-Hasan, twelfth in descent from AM, 
vanished in the way just described. The sect which 
looked for his return increased and flourished until, 
at length, with the conquest of Persia in A.H. 907 
(A.D. 1502) by the Safawids a family of Alid descent 
which joined arms to sainthood Persia became 
Shi'ite, and the series of the Shahs of Persia was 
begun. The position of the Shah is therefore essen- 
tially different from that of the Khalifa of the Sun- 
nites. The Khalifa is the successor of Muhammad, 
with a dignity and authority which inheres in him- 
self; he is both king and pontiff; the Shah is a 
mere locum tenens, and reigns only until God is 
pleased to restore to men the true Imam. That 
Imam is still in existence, though hidden from hu- 
man eyes. The Shah, therefore, has strictly no legal 
authority ; he is only a guardian of the public order. 
True legal authority lies, rather, with the learned 
doctors of religion and law. As a consequence of 
this, the Shi'ites still have MujtaMds, divines and 
legists who have a right to form opinions of their 
own, can expound the original sources at first hand, 
and can claim the unquestioning assent of their dis- 
ciples. Such men have not existed among the Sun- 
nites since the middle of the third century of the 
Hijra; from that time on all Sunnites have been 


compelled to swear to the words of some master or 
other, long dead. 

This division of the Shi'ites is the only one that 
exists in great numbers down to the present day. 
The second of the two mentioned above came to 
power earlier, ran a shorter course, and has now van- 
ished from the stage, leaving nothing but an histor- 
ical mystery and two or three fossilized, half -secret 
sects strange survivals which, like the survivals of 
geology, tell us what were the living and dominant 
forces in the older world. It will be worth while to 
enter upon some detail in reciting its history, both 
for its own romantic interest and as an example of 
the methods of Shi'ite propaganda. Its success 
shows how the Abbasid empire was gradually under- 
mined and brought to its fall. It itself was the most 
magnificent conspiracy, or rather fraud, in all his- 
tory. To understand its possibility and its results, 
we must hold in mind the nature of the Persian race 
and the condition of that race at this time. Herodo- 
tus was told by his Persian friends that one of the 
three things Persian youth was taught was to tell the 
truth. That may have been the case in the time of 
Herodotus, but certainly this teaching has had no 
effect whatever on an innate tendency in the oppo- 
site direction ; and it is just possible that Herodo- 
tus's friends, in giving him that information, were 
giving also an example of this tendency. Travellers 
have been told curious things before now, but cer- 
tainly none more curious than this. As we know the 
Persian in history, he is a born liar. He is, there- 
fore, a born conspirator. He has great quickness of 


mind, adaptability, and, apart from religious emo- 
tion, no conscience. In the third century of the 
Hijra (the ninth A.D.), the Persians were either de- 
voted Shi'ites or simple unbelievers. . The one class 
would do anything for the descendants of AH ; the 
other, anything for themselves. This second class, 
further, would by preference combine doing some- 
thing for themselves with doing something against 
Islam and the Arabs, the conquerors of their coun- 
try. So much by way of premise. 

In the early part of this third century, there lived 
at Jerusalem a Persian oculist named Maymun. He 
was a man of high education, professional and other- 
wise ; had no beliefs to speak of, and understood the 
times. He had a son, Abd Allah, and trained him 
carefully for a career. Abd Allah, however known 
as Abd Allah ibn Maymun though he had thought 
of starting as a prophet himself, saw that the time 
was not ripe, and planned a larger and more magnif- 
icent scheme. This was to be no ordinary conspir- 
acy to burst after a few years or months, but one 
requiring generations to develop. It was to bring 
universal dominion to his descendants, and overthrow 
Islam and the Arab rule. It succeeded in great part, 
very nearly absolutely. 

His plan was to unite all classes and parties in a 
conspiracy under one head, promising to each indi- 
vidual the things which he considered most desir- 
able. For the Shi'ites, it was to be a Shi'ite conspir- 
acy ; for the Kharijites, it took a Kharijite tinge ; 
for Persian nationalists, it was anti-Arab; for free- 
thinkers, it was frankly nihilistic. Abd Allah Mm- 


self seems to have been a sceptic of the most refined 
stamp. The working of this plan was achieved by 
a system of grades like those in freemasonry. His 
emissaries went out, settled each in a village and 
gradually won the confidence of its inhabitants. A 
marked characteristic of the time was unrest and 
general hostility to the government. Thus, there 
was an excellent field for work. To the enormous 
majority of those involved in it the conspiracy was 
Shi'ite only, and it has been regarded as such by 
many of its historians ; but it is now tolerably plain 
how simply nihilistic were its ultimate principles. 
The first object of the missionary was to excite re- 
ligious doubt in the mind of his subject, by pointing 
out curious difficulties and subtle questions in theol- 
ogy. At the same time he hinted that there were 
those who could answer these questions. If his sub- 
ject proved tractable and desired to learn further, an 
oath of secrecy and absolute obedience and a fee 
were demanded all quite after the modern fashion. 
Then he was led up through several grades, gradu- 
ally shaking his faith in orthodox Islam, and its 
teachers and bringing him to believe in the idea of 
an Imam, or guide in religious things, till the fourth 
grade was reached. There the theological system 
was developed, and Islam, for the first time, abso- 
lutely deserted. We have dealt already with the 
doctrine of the Hidden Imam and with the present- 
day creed of Persia, that the twelfth in descent from 
Ali is in hiding and will return when his time comes. 
But down the same line of descent seven Imams had 
been reckoned to a certain vanished Ismail, and this 


Ismail was adopted by Abd Allah ibn Maynran as 
his Imam and as titular head of his conspiracy. 
Hence, his followers are called Ismallians and Sev- 
eners (Sab'iya). The story which is told of the split 
between the Seveners and the Twelvers, which were 
to be, is characteristic of the whole movement and of 
the wider divergence of the Seveners from ordinary 
Islam and its laws. The sixth Imam was Ja'far as- 
Sadiq (d. A.H. 148) ; he appointed his son Ismail as 
his successor. But Ismail was found drunk on one 
occasion, and his father in wrath passed the Imamship 
on to his brother, Musa al-Qazam, who is accord- 
ingly reckoned as seventh Imam by the Twelvers. 
One party, however, refused to recognize this trans- 
fer. Isma'iTs drunkenness, they held, was a proof of 
his greater spirituality of mind ; he did not follow the 
face-value (zahr) of the law, but its hidden meaning 
(batri). This is an example of a tendency, strong in 
Shilsm, to find a higher spiritual meaning lying 
within the external or verbal form of the law ; and in 
proportion as a sect exalted Ali, so it diverged from 
literal acceptance of the Qur'an. The most extreme 
Shiltes, who tended to deify their Imam, were 
known on that account as Batinites or Innerites. 
On this more hereafter. 

But to return to the Seveners : in the fourth grade 
a further refinement was added. Everything went in 
sevens, the Prophets as well as the Imams. The 
Prophets had been Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, 
Jesus, Muhammad and Ismail, or rather his son 
Muhammad, for Ismail himself had died in his 
father's lifetime. Each of these Prophets had had a 


helper. The helper of Adam had been Seth; of 
Noah, Shem ; and the helper of Muhammad, the son 
of Isma'il, was Abd Allah ibn Maymun himself. Be- 
tween each pair of Prophets there came six Imams 
it must be remembered that the world was never left 
without an Imam but these Imams had had no rev- 
elation to make; were only guides to already re- 
vealed truth. Thus, we have a series of seven times 
seven Imams, the first, and thereafter each seventh, 
having the superior dignity of Prophet. The last of 
the forty-nine Imams, this Muhammad ibn Ismail, is 
the greatest and last of the Prophets, and Abd Allah 
ibn Maymun has to prepare the way for him and to 
aid him generally. It is at this point that the ad- 
herent of this system ceases to be a Muslim. The 
idea of a series of Prophets is genuinely Islamic, but 
Muhammad, in Muslim theology, is the last of the 
Prophets and the greatest, and after him there will 
come no more. 

Such, then, was the system that those who passed 
the fourth degree learned and accepted. The great 
majority did not pass beyond ; but those who were 
judged worthy were admitted to three further degrees. 
In these degrees, their respect for religious teaching 
of every kind, doctrinal, moral, ritual, was gradually 
undermined ; the Prophets and their works were de- 
preciated and philosophy and philosophers put in 
their place. The end was to lead the very few who 
were admitted to the inmost secrets of the conspiracy 
to the same position as its founder. It is clear what 
a tremendous weapon, or rather machine, was thus 
created. Bach man was given the amount of light he 


could bear and which was suited to his prejudices, 
and he was made to believe that the end of the whole 
work would be the attaining of what he regarded as 
most desirable. The missionaries were all things to 
all men, in the broadest sense, and could work with 
a Kharijite fanatic, who longed for the days of Umar ; 
a Bedawi Arab, whose only idea was plunder ; a 
Persian driven to wild cries and tears by the thought 
of the fate of AH, the well -beloved, and of his sons ; 
a peasant, who did not care for any family or religion 
but only wished to live in peace and be let alone by 
the tax-gatherers ; a Syrian mystic, who did not know 
very well what he thought, but lived in a world of 
dreams ; or a materialist, whose desire was to clear 
all religions out of the way and give humanity a 
chance. All was fish that came to their net. So the 
long seed-planting went on. Abd Allah ibn Maymun 
had to flee to Salamiya in Syria, died there and went 
to his own place if he got his deserts, no desirable 
one and Ahmad, his son or grandson, took up the 
work in his stead. With him the movement tends to 
the surface, and we begin to touch hard facts and 
dates. In southern Mesopotamia what is called the 
Arab Iraq we find a sect appearing, nicknamed Qar- 
matians, from one of their leaders. In A.H. 277 
(A.D. 890-1) they were sufficiently numerous and 
knew their strength enough to hold a fortress and 
thus enter upon open rebellion. They were peasants, 
we must remember, Nabateans and no Arabs, only 
Muslims by compulsion, and thus what we have here 
is really a Jacquerie, or Peasants' War. But a dis- 
turbance of any kind suited the Isma'ilians. From 


there the rising spread into Bahrayn and on to south 
Arabia, varying in its character with the character of 
the people. 

But there was another still more important devel- 
opment in progress. A missionary had gone to North 
Africa and there worked with success among the 
Berber tribes about Constantine, in what is now 
Algeria. These havo always been ready for any 
change. He gave himself out as forerunner of the 
Mahdi, promised them the good of both worlds, and 
called them to arms. The actual rising was in A.H. 
269 (A.D. 902). Then there appeared among them 
Sa'id, the son of Ahmad, the son of Abd Allah, the 
son of Maymun the oculist; but it was not under 
that name. He was now Ubayd Allah al-Mahdi him- 
self, a descendant of Aii and of Muhammad ibn 
Isma'il, for whom his ancestors were supposed to 
have worked and built up this conspiracy. In A.H 
296 (A.D. 909) he was saluted as Commander of the 
Faithful, with the title of al-Mahdi. So far the con- 
spiracy had succeeded. This Fatimid dynasty, so 
they called themselves from Fatima, their alleged 
ancestress, the daughter of Muhammad, conquered 
Egypt and Syria half a century later and held them 
till A.H. 567 (A.D. 1171). "When in A.H. 317 the Umay- 
yads of Cordova also claimed the Khalifate and used 
the title, there were three Commanders of the Faith- 
ful at one time in the Muslim world. Yet it should 
be noticed that the constitutional position of these 
Umayyads was essentially different from that of the 
Fatiniids. To the Fatimids, the Abbasids were usurp- 
ers. The Umayyads of Cordova, on the other hand, 


held, like the Zaydites and some jurisconsults of the 
highest rank, that, when Muslim countries were so far 
apart that the authority of the ruler of the one could 
not make itself felt in the other, it was lawful to have 
two Imams, each a true Successor of the Prophet. 
The good of the people of Muhammad demanded it. 
Still, the unity of the Khalifate is the more regular 

But only half of the work was done. Islam stood 
as firmly as ever and the conspiracy had only pro- 
duced a schism in the faith and had not destroyed 
it. TJbayd Allah was in the awkward position, on 
the one hand, of ruling a people who were in great 
bulk fanatical Muslims and did not understand 
any jesting with their religion, and, on the other 
hand, of being head of a conspiracy to destroy that 
very religion. The Syrians and Arabs had appar- 
ently taken more degrees than the Egyptians and 
North Africans, and Ubayd Allah found himself 
between the devil and the deep sea. The Qarma- 
tians in Arabia plundered the pilgrim caravans, 
stormed the holy city Mecca, and, most terrible of 
all, carried off the sacred black stone. "When an 
enormous ransom was offered for the stone, they de- 
clined they had orders not to send it back. Every- 
one understood that the orders were from Africa. So 
Ubayd Allah found it advisable to address them in a 
public letter, exhorting them to be better Muslims. 
The writing and reading of this letter must have been 
accompanied by mirth, at any rate no attention was 
paid to it by the Qarmatians. It was not till the 
time of the third Patimid Khalifa that they were 


permitted to do business with that stone. Then 
they sent it back with the explanatory or apolo- 
getic remark that they had carried it off under 
orders and now sent it back under orders. Mean- 
while the Eatimid dynasty was running its course in 
Egypt but without turning the people of Egypt from 
Islam. Yet it produced one strange personality and 
two sects, stranger even than the sect to which it 
itself owed its origin. The personality is that of al- 
Hakim Bi'amrillah, who still remains one of the great- 
est mysteries that are to be met with in history. In 
many ways he reminds us curiously of the madness 
of the Julian house; and, in truth, such a secret 
movement as that of which he was a part, carried 
on through generations from father to son, could not 
but leave a trace on the brain. We must remember 
that the Khalifa of the time was not always of neces- 
sity the head of the conspiracy, or even fully initi- 
ated into it. In the latter part of the Patimid rule 
we find distinct traces of such a power behind the 
throne, consisting, as we may imagine, of descendants 
and pupils of those who had been fully initiated 
from the first and had passed through all the grades. 
In the case of al-Hakim, it is possible, even, to 
trace, to a certain extent, the development of his in- 
itiation. During the first part of his reign he was 
fanatically Muslim and Shi'ite. He persecuted 
alternately the Christians and the Jews, and then 
the orthodox and the Shi'ites. In the latter part, 
there was a change. He had, apparently, reached a 
point of philosophical indifference, for the persecu- 
tions of Christians and Jews ceased, and those who 


had been forced to embrace Islam were permitted to 
relapse. This last was without parallel, till in 18M 
Lord Stratford de Bedcliffe wrung from the Porte 
the concession that a Muslim who apostatized to 
Christianity should not be put to death. But, 
mingled with this indifference, there appeared a 
strange but regular development of Shi'ite doctrine. 
Some of his followers began to proclaim openly that 
the deity was incarnate in him, and it was evident 
that he himself accepted and believed this. But 
the Egyptian populace would have none of it, and the 
too rash innovators had to flee. Some went to the 
Lebanon and there preached to the native moun- 
tain tribes. The results of their labors are the 
Druses of to-day, who worship al-Hakim still ancl 
expect his return to introduce the end of all things. 
Finally, al-Hakim vanished on the night of February 
12, A.D. 1021, and left a mystery unread to this day. 
Whether he was murdered, and if so why, or van- 
ished of free-will, and if so again why, we have no 
means of telling. Our guess will depend upon our 
reading of his character. So much is certain, that he 
was a ruler of the autocratic type, who introduced 
many reforms, most of which the people of his time 
could not in the least understand and therefore mis- 
represented as the mere whims of a tyrant, ancl many 
of which, from our ignorance, are still obscure to us. 
If we can imagine such a man of strong personality 
and desire for the good of his people but with a 
touch of madness in the brain, cast thus in the 
midst between his orthodox subjects and a wholly 
unbelieving inner government, we shall perhaps 


have tlie clew to the strange stories told of 

Another product of this conspiracy, and the last to 
which we shall refer, is the sect known as the As- 
sassins, whose Grand Master was a name of terror to 
the Crusaders as the Old Man of the Mountain. It, 
too, was founded, and apparently for a purpose of 
personal vengeance, by a Persian who began as a 
Shi'ite and ended as nothing. He came to Egypt, 
studied under the Fatimids they had established at 
Cairo a great school of science and returned to 
Persia as their agent to carry on their ^propaganda. 
His methods were the same as theirs, with a differ- 
ence. That was the reduction of assassination to a 
fine art. [From his eagle's nest of Alamut such is 
the meaning of the name and later from Masyaf in 
the Lebanon and other mountain fortresses, he and 
Ms successors spread terror through Persia and 
Syria and were only finally stamped out by the Mon- 
gol flood under Hulagu in the middle of the seventh 
century of the Hijra (the 13th A.D.). Of the sect 
there are still scattered remnants in Syria and India, 
and as late as 1866 an English judge at Bombay had 
to decide a case of disputed succession according to 
the law of the Assassins. Finally, the Fa timid 
dynasty itself fell before the Kurd, Salah ad-Din, 
the Saladin of our annals, and Egypt was again or- 


The problem of the Abbasids ; the House of Barmak ; the crum- 
bling of the empire ; the Praetorians of Baghdad ; the Buway- 
hids ; the situation of the Khalifa under them ; the Saljuqs ; the 
possibilities of development under them ; the Mongols and the 
Abbasid end ; the Egyptian Abbasids ; the Ottoman Sultans, 
their heirs ; theory of the Khalif ate ; the modern situation j 
the signs of sovereignty for Muslims ; five grounds of the claim 
of the Ottoman Sultan ; the consequences for the Sultan ; other 
Muslim constitutions ; the SM4tes ; the Ibadites ; the "Wahha- 
bites ; the Brotherhood of as-Sanusi. 

WE must now return to the Abbasids, whose em- 
pire we left crumbling away. It was a shrewd stroke 
of policy on the part of its founder to put the new 
capital, Baghdad, on the Tigris, right between Per- 
sia, Syria and Arabia. 3?or the only hope of perma- 
nence to the empire lay in welding these into a unity. 
For a short time, in the hands of the first vigorous 
rulers, and, especially, during fifty years of guidance 
by the House of Barmak Persians who flung in 
their lot with the Abbasids and were their stay till 
the madness of Harun ar-Bashid cast them down 
this seemed to be succeeding ; but, just as the em- 
pire of Charlemagne melted under his sons, so did 
the empire of al-Mansur and al-Ma'mun. The Bed- 
awi tribes fell back into the desert and to the free 
chaos of the old pre-Islainic life. As the great phil- 
osophical historian, Ibn Khaldun, has remarked, the 
Arabs by their nature are incapable of founding an 



empire except when united by religious enthusiasm, 
and are of all peoples least capable of governing an 
empire when founded. After the first Abbasids, it is 
a fatal error to view the Muslim dynasties as Arab 
or to speak of the Muslim civilization as Arabian. 
The conquered peoples overcame their conquerors. 
Persian nationalism reasserted itself and in native 
independent dynasties flung off the Arab yoke. 
These dynasties were mostly Shi'ite; Shi 'ism, in 
great part, is the revolt of the Aryan against Semit- 
ic monotheism. The process in all this was gradual 
but certain. Governors of provinces revolted and 
became semi-independent. Sometimes they acknowl- 
edged a shadowy sovereignty of the Khalifa, by hav- 
ing his name on their coins and in the Friday prayers ; 
sometimes they did not. At other times they were, 
or claimed to be, Alids, and when Alids revolted, 
they revolted absolutely. With them, it was a ques- 
tion of conscience. At last, not even in his own City 
of Peace or in his own palace was the Khalifa mas- 
ter. As in Home, so in Baghdad, a body-guard of 
mercenaries assumed control and their leader was de 
facto ruler. Later, from A.H. 320 to 447 (A.D. 932- 
1055), the Sunnite Khalifa found himself the ward 
and puppet of the Shi c ite Buwayhids. Baghdad it- 
self they held from 334. But still, a curious spiritu- 
al value we cannot call it authority was left to the 
shadowy successors of Muhammad. Muslim princes 
even in far-off India did not feel quite safe upon 
their thrones unless they had been solemnly in- 
vested by the Khalifa and given their fitting title,. 
Those very rulers in whose power the Khalifa's life 


lay sought sanction from him for their rule. At one 
time there seemed to be some hope that the fatal 
unity of fcheocratical Islam wo uld be broken and that 
a dualism with promise of development through con- 
flictsuch as the rivalry between Pope and Emperor 
which kept Europe alive and prevented both State 
and Church from falling into decrepit decay might 
grow up ; that the Khalifa might become a purely 
spiritual ruler with functions of his own, ruling with 
mutual subordination and co-ordinate jurisdiction be- 
side a temporal Sultan. The Buwayhicls were Shi<- 
ites and merely tolerated, for state reasons, the im- 
pieties of the Sunnite Khalifas. But in 4A1 (A.D. 
1055), Tughril Beg, the Saljuq, entered Baghdad, 
was proclaimed Sultan of the Muslims and freed the 
Khalifa from the Shi'ite yoke. By 470, all western 
Asia, from the borders of Afghanistan to those of 
Egypt and the Greek Empire, were Saljuq. "With 
the Saljuq Sultan as Emperor and the Khalifa as 
Pope, there was a chance that the Muslim State might 
enter on a stage of healthy growth through conflict. 
But that was not to be. Neither State nor Church 
rose to the great opportunity and the experiment was 
finally and forever cut off by the Mongol flood. 
When the next great Sultanate that of the Ottoman 
Turks arose, it gathered into its hands the reins of 
the Khalifate as well. This is what might have boon 
in Islam, built on actual history in Europe, The 
situation that did arise in Islam may become more 
clear to us if we can imagine that in Europe the vast 
plans of Gregory VII. had been carried out and the 
Pope had become the temporal as well as the spiritual 


head of the Christian world. Such a situation would 
have been similar to that in the world of Islam at its 
earliest time during some few years under the dynasty 
of the Uraayyads, when the one temporal and spirit- 
ual sovereign ruled from Samarqand to Spain. Then 
we can imagine how the vast fabric of such an impe- 
rial system, broke down by its own weight. Under 
conflicting claims of legitimacy, an anti-Pope arose 
and the great schism began. Thereafter the process 
of disintegration was still more rapid. Provinces 
rose in insurrection and dropped away from each 
rival Pope. Kingdoms grew up and the sovereigns 
over them professed themselves to be the lieutenants 
of the supreme Pontiff and sought investiture from 
him. Last, the States of the Church itself all that 
was left to it came under the rule of someone of 
these princes and the Pope was, to all intents, a pris- 
oner in his own palace. Tet the sovereignty of the 
Khalifa was not simply a legal fiction, any more than 
that of the Pope would have been in the parallel just 
sketched. The Muslim princes thought it well fco 
seek spiritual recognition from him, just as Napoleon 
I. found it prudent to have himself crowned by Pius 

But a wave was soon to break in and sweep away 
all these forms. It came with the Mongols under 
Hulagu, who passed from the destruction of the As- 
sassins to the destruction of Baghdad and the Kha- 
lif ate. In A.H. 656 (A.D. 1258), the city was taken and 
the end of the Abbasids had come. An uncle of the 
reigning Khalifa escaped and fled to Egypt, where 
the Maniluk Sultan received him and gave him a 


spiritual court and ecclesiastical recognition. He 
found it good to have a Khalifa of his own to use 
in any question of legitimacy. The name had yet 
so much -value. Finally, in 1517, the Mamluk rule 
went down before the Ottoman Turks, and the story 
told by them is that the last Abbasid, when he died 
in 1538, gave over his rights to their Sultan, Sulay- 
man the Great. Since then, the Ottoman Sultan of 
Constantinople has claimed to be the Khalifa of 
Muhammad and the spiritual head of the Muslim 

Such were the fates of the Commanders of tlie 
Faithful. We have traced them through a long and 
devious course, full of confusions and complications. 
Leaving aside the legitimist party, the whole may be 
summed in a word. The theoretical position was 
that the Imam, or leader, must be elected by the 
Muslim community, and that position has never, the- 
oretically, been abandoned. Each new Ottoman 
sovereign is solemnly elected by the Ulama, or canon 
lawyers and divines of Constantinople. His tem- 
poral sovereignty comes by blood ; in bestowing this 
spiritual sovereignty the Ulama act as representatives 
of the People of Muhammad. Thus the theoretical 
position was liable to much modification in practice. 
The Muslim community resolves itself into the people 
of the capital ; still further, into the body-guard of 
the dead Khalifa ; and, finally, as now, into the pe- 
culiar custodians of the Faith. Among the Ibadites 
the position from the first seems to have been that 
only those learned in the law should act as electors. 
Along with this, the doctrine developed that it was 


the duty of the people to recognize unfait accompli 
and to do homage to a successful usurper until 
another more successful should appear. They had 
learned that it was better to have a bad ruler than no 
ruler at all. This was the end of the democracy of 
Islam. / 

Finally, it may be well to give some account of tie 
constitutional question as it exists at the present day. 
The greatest of the Sultans of Islam is undoubtedly 
the Emperor of India. Under his rule are far more 
Muslims than fall to any other. But the theory of 
the Muslim State never contemplated the possibility 
of Muslims living under the rule of an unbeliever. 
For them, the world is divided into two parts, the 
one is Dar al-Islam, abode of Islam ; and the other 
is Dar al-Jiarb, abode of war. In the end, Dar al- 
harh must disappear into Dar al-Islam and the whole 
world be Muslim. These names indicate with suf- 
ficient clearness what the Muslim attitude is toward 
non-Muslims. It is still a moot point among canon 
lawyers, however, whether Jihad, or holy war, may 
be made, unprovoked, upon any Dar al-harb. One 
thing is certain, there must be a reasonable prospect 
of success to justify any such movement ; the lives of 
Muslims must not be thrown away. Further, the 
necessity of the case in India, especially has 
brought up the doctrine that any country in which 
the peculiar usages of Islam are protected and its 
injunctions even some of them followed, must be 
regarded as Dar al-Islam and that Jihad within its 
borders is forbidden. We may doubt, however, if 
this doctrine would hold back the Indian Muslims to 


any extent if a good opportunity for a Jihad really 
presented itself. The Shi'ites, it may be remarked, 
cannot enter upon a Jihad at all until the Hidden 
Imam returns and leads their armies. 

Again the two signs of sovereignty for Muslims are 
that the name of the sovereign should be on the 
coinage and that he should be prayed for in the Friday 
sermon (klmfba). In India, the custom seems to be to 
pray for " the ruler of the age " without name ; then 
each worshipper can apply it as he chooses. But 
there has crept in a custom in a few mosques of pray- 
ing for the Ottoman Sultan as the Khalifa ; the Eng- 
lish government busies itself little with these things 
until compelled, and the custom will doubtless spread. 
The Ottoman Sultan is certainly next greatest to the 
Emperor of India and would seem, as a Muslim ruling 
Muslims, to have an unassailable position. But in 
his case also difficult and ambiguous constitutional 
questions can be raised. He has claimed the Khali- 
fate, as we have seen, since 1538, but the claim is a 
shaky one and brings awkward responsibilities. As 
stated at the present day, it has five grounds. First, 
de facto right; the Ottoman Sultan won his title by 
the sword and holds it by the sword. Second, elec- 
tion ; this form has been already described. Third, 
nomination by the last Abbasid Khalifa of Egypt ; 
so Abu Bakr nominated TTmar to succeed him, and 
precedent is everything in Islam. Fourth, possession 
and guardianship of the two Hararns, or Sacred Cit- 
ies, Mecca and al-Madina. Fifth, possession of some 
relics of the Prophet saved from the sack of Baghdad 
and delivered to Sultan Salim, on his conquest of 


Egypt, by the last Abbasid. But these all shatter 
against the fixed fact that absolutely accepted tradi- 
tions from the Prophet assert that the Khalifa must 
be of the family of Quraysh ; so long as there are 
two left of that tribe, one must be Khalifa and the 
other his helper. Still, here, as everywhere, the 
principal of Ijma, Agreement of the Muslim peo- 
ple, (see p. 105) comes in and must be reckoned 
with. These very traditions are probably an expres- 
sion in concrete form of popular agreement. The 
Khalifate itself is confessedly based upon agreement. 
The canon lawyers state the case thus : The Imaniites 
and Isma'ilians hold that the appointment of a leader 
is incumbent upon God. There is only the difference 
that the Imamites say that a leader is necessary in 
order to maintain the laws unimpaired, while the 
Isma'ilians regard him as essential in order to give 
instruction about God. The Kharijites, on the other 
hand, recognize no fundamental need of an Imam; 
he is only allowable. Some of them held that he 
should be appointed in time of public trouble to do 
away with the trouble, thus a kind of dictator ; others, 
in time of peace, because only then can the people 
agree. The Mu'tazilites and the Zaydites held that 
it was for man to appoint, but that the necessity was 
based on reason ; men needed such a leader. Yet 
some Mu c tazilites taught that the basis was partly 
reason and partly obedience to tradition. On the 
other hand, the Sunnites hold that the appointment 
of an Imam is incumbent upon men and that the 
basis is obedience to the tradition of the Agreement 
of the Muslim world from the earliest times. The 


community of Islam may have disputed over the in- 
dividual to be appointed, but they never doubted 
that the maintenance of the faith in its purity re- 
quired a leader, and that ifc was, therefore, incumbent 
on men to appoint one. The basis is Ijma, Agree- 
ment, not Scripture or tradition from Muhammad or 
analogy based on these two. 

It will be seen from this that the de facto ground 
to the claim of the Ottoman Sultan is the best. The 
Muslim community must have a leader ; this is the 
greatest Muslim ruling Muslims ; he claims the lead- 
ership and holds it. If the English rule were to be- 
come Muslim, the Muslims would rally to it. The 
ground of election amounts to nothing, the nomina- 
tion to little more, except for antiquarians; the 
possession of the Prophetic relics is a sentiment that 
would have weight with the crowd only; no canon 
lawyer would seriously urge it. The guardianship of 
the two Harams is precarious. A Turkish reverse in 
Syria would withdraw every Turkish soldier from 
Arabia and the great Sharif families of Mecca, all of 
the blood of the Prophet, would proclaim a Khalifa 
from among themselves. At present, only the Turk- 
ish garrison holds them in check. 

But a Khalifa has responsibilities. He absolutely 
cannot become a constitutional monarch in our sense. 
He rules under law divine law and the people can 
depose him if he breaks it ; but he cannot set up 
beside himself a constitutional assembly and give it 
rights against himself. He is the successor of Mu- 
hammad and must rule, within limitations, as an ab- 
solute monarch. So impossible is the modern Khali- 


fate, and so gigantic are its responsibilities. The 
millions of Chinese Muslims look to him and all 
Muslims of central Asia ; the Muslims of India who 
are not Shi'ite also look to him. So, too, in Africa 
and wherever in the world the People of Muhammad 
have gone, their eyes turn to the Bosphorus and the 
Great Sultan. This is what has been called the 
modern Pan-Islamic movement ; it is a modern fact. 

The position of the other Muslim sects we have 
already seen. Of Shi'ite rulers, there are the Imam- 
ites in Persia; scattered Zaydites still in south Arabia 
and fugitive in Africa ; strange secret bodies of Isma- 
'ilians Druses, Nusayrites, Assassins still holding 
their own in mountain recesses, forgotten by the 
world ; oldest of all, the Sharif s of Morocco, who are 
Sunnites and antedate all theological differences, hold- 
ing only by the blood of the Prophet. At Zanzibar, 
Uman and the Mzab in Algeria are the descendants 
of the Kharijites. Probably, somewhere or other, 
there are some fossilized descendants of every sect 
that has ever arisen, either to trouble the peace of 
Islam or to save it from scholastic decrepitude and 
death. Insurrections and heresies have their own 

It only remains to make mention of two modern 
movements which have deeply affected the Islam of 
to-day. The Pan-Islamic movement, noticed above, 
strives as much as anything to bring the Muslim 
world into closer touch with the science and thought 
of the Christian world, rallying all the Muslim peo- 
ples at the same time round the Ottoman Sultan as 
their spiritual head and holding fast by the kernel of 


Islam. It is a reform movement whose trend is for- 
ward. The other two, to which we now come, are 
reform movements also, but their trend is backward. 
They look to the good old days of early Islam and 
try to restore them. 

The first is that of the Wahhabites, so called from 
Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab (Slave of the Boun- 
tiful), its founder, a native of Najd in central Arabia, 
who died in 1787. His aim was to bring Islam 
back to its primitive purity and to do away with all 
the usages and beliefs which had arisen to cloud its 
absolute monotheism. But attempts at reformation 
in Islam have never led to anything but the founding 
of new dynasties. They may begin with a saintly 
reformer, but in the first or the second generation 
there is sure to come the conquering disciple ; relig- 
ion and rule go together, and he who meddles with 
the one must next grasp at the other. The third 
stage is the extinction of the new dynasty and the 
vanishing of its party into a more or less secret sect, 
the vitality of which is again directed into religious 
channels. The Wahhabites were no exception. Their 
rule extended from the Persian Gulf to the Bed Sea, 
touched al-Yaman and Hadramawt and included some 
districts of the Pashalik of Baghdad. That was early 
in the nineteenth century; but now, after many dy- 
nastic changes, the rule of the "Wahhabites proper 
has almost ceased, although the Turks have not 
gained any new footing in ISTajcL There, a native 
Arab dynasty has sprung up which is free from Turk- 
ish control in every respect, and has its seat in Ha'iL 
But the zeal of the Wahhabites gave an impulse to 


reform in the general body of Muslims which is not 
yet, by any means, extinct. Especially in India, 
their views have been widely spread by missionaries, 
and at one time there was grave fear of a Wahhabite 
insurrection. But dead parties in Islam seldom rise 
again, and the life of Wahhabism has passed into the 
Muslim Church as a whole. Politically it has failed, 
but the spirit of reform remains and has undoubt- 
edly influenced the second reform movement to which 
we now come. 

That is the Brotherhood of as-Sanusi, founded in 
1837 by Muhammad ibn Ali as-Sanusi in order to re- 
form and spread the faith. The tendency to organ- 
ize has always been strong among Orientals, and in 
Islam itself there have risen, as we have seen, from 
the earliest times, secret societies for conspiracy and 
insurrection. But apart from these dubious organi- 
zations, religious feeling has also expressed itself in 
brotherhoods closely corresponding to the monastic 
orders of Europe, except that they were, and are, 
self-governing and under no relations but those of 
sentiment to the head of the Muslim Faith. Eather, 
these orders of darwishes have been inclined toward 
heresies of a mystical and pantheistic type more 
than toward the development and support of the 
severely scholastic theology of orthodox Islam. This 
is a side of Muhammadanism with which we shall 
have to deal in some detail hereafter. In the mean- 
time, it is enough to say that the Brotherhood of 
as-Sanusi is one of the orders of darwishes, but 
distinguished from all its predecessors in its severely 
reforming and puritanic character. It has taken up 


the task of the "Wahhabites and is working out the 
same problem in a rather different way. Its princi- 
ples are of the strictest monotheism ; all usages and 
ideas that do not accord with their views of the exact 
letter of the Qur'an are prohibited. The present head 
of the Brotherhood, the son of the founder, who him- 
self died in 1859, claims to be the Mahdi and has es- 
tablished a theocratic state at Jarabub, in the eastern 
Sahara, between Egypt and Tripolis. The mother 
house of the order is there, and from it missionaries 
have gone out and established other houses through- 
out all north Africa and Morocco and far into the 
interior. The Head himself has of late retreated 
farther into the desert. There is also an important 
centre at Mecca, where the pilgrims and the Bedawis 
are initiated into the order in great numbers. From 
Mecca these brethren return to their homes all over 
the Muslim world, and the order is said to be especially 
popular in the Malay Archipelago. So there has 
sprung up in Islam, in tremendous ramifications, an 
imperium in imperio. All the brethren in all the de- 
grees for, just as in the monastic orders of Europe, 
there are active members and lay members reverence 
and pay blind obedience to the Head in his inacces- 
sible oasis in the African desert. There he works 
toward the end, and there can be little doubt what 
that end will be. Sooner or later Europe in the 
first instance, England in Egypt and France in 
Algeria will have to face the bursting of this storm. 
For this Mahdi is different from him of Khartum and 
the southern Sudan in that he knows how to rule and 
wait; for years he has gathered arms and munitions, 


and trained men for the great Jihad. When his plans 
are ready and his time is come, a new chapter will be 
opened in the history of Islam, a chapter which will 
cast into forgetfulness even the recent volcanic out- 
burst in China. It will then be for the Ottoman 
Sultan of the time to show what he and his ELhalifate 
are worth. He will have to decide whether he will 
throw in his lot with a Mahdi of the old Islam and 
the dream of a Muslim millennium, or boldly turn to 
new things and carry the Successorship and the 
People of Muhammad to join the civilized world. 


2Dcbdopment of 


The scope of jurisprudence among Muslims ; the earliest elements 
in it, Arab custom, Jewish law, personality of Muhammad ; 
his attitude toward law ; elements after death of Muhammad ; 
Qur'an, Usage of the Prophet, common law of al-Madina; 
conception of Sunna before Muhammad and after ; traditions 
and their transmission ; traditions in book form ; influence of 
Umayyads ; forgery of traditions ; the Muwatta, of Malik ibn 
Anas; the Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal; the musannafs / 
al-Bukhari; Muslim; Tbn Maja; at-Tirmidhi; an-Nasa'i; al- 
Baghawi ; the problem of the Muslim lawyers ; their sources ; 
Boman law ; the influence of the doctrine of the Responsa pru- 
dentiimi ; Opinion in Islam ; the Law of Nature or Equity in 
Islam ; isiiJisan / istislak ; Analogy ; the patriarchal period in 
Islam ; the Umayyad period ; the growth of the canon law. 

IN tracing the development of Muslim jurispru- 
dence few of the difficulties are encountered which 
surrounded Sir Henry Maine when he first examined 
the origins and history of European law. "We do not 
need to push our researches back to the primitive 
family, nor to work our way through periods of cen- 
turies guided by the merest fragments of documents 
and hints of usage. Our subject was born in the 
light of histoi^y ; it ran its course in a couple of hun- 
dred years and has left at every important point 



authoritative evidences of its whence, its how, and its 
whither. Our difficulties are different, but sufficiently 
great. Shortly, they are two. The mass of material 
is overpowering ; the strangeness of the ideas involved 
is perplexing. The wealth of material will become 
plain, to some extent at least, as the history is traced ; 
but for the strangeness of the contents, of the ar- 
rangement and the atmosphere of these codes some 
preparation must be given from the outset. How, 
indeed, can we meet a legal code which knows no 
distinction of personal or public, of civil or criminal 
law ; which prescribes and describes the use of the 
toothpick and decides when a wedding invitation may 
be declined, which enters into the minutest and most 
unsavory details of family life and lays down rules of 
religious retreat ? Is it by some subtle connection of 
thought that the chapter on oaths and vows follows 
immediately that on horse-racing, and a section on 
the building line on a street is inserted in a chapter 
on bankruptcy and composition ? One thing, at least, 
is abundantly clear. Mjglim Jaw At in the iftpst abso- 
Ifite sense, fits the old definition, and is the science of 
airfihlngs, human and divine. It tells what we must 
rqader to Caesar and what to God, what to ourselves, 
ancl what to our fellows. The bounds of the Platonic 
definition of rendering to each man his due it utterly 
shatters. While Muslim theology defines everything 
that a man shall believe of things in heaven and in 
earth and beneath the earth and this is no flat rhet- 
oric Muslim law prescribes everything ..that-* -man 
shall do to God, to his neighbor, and to^lmju&olf. It 
takes all duty for its portion and defines all action in 


terms of duty. Nothing can escape the narrow meshes 
of Its net. One of the greatest legists of Islam never 
ate a watermelon because he could not find that the 
usage of the Prophet had laid down and sanctioned a 
canonical method of doing so. 

It will, therefore, be well for the student to work 
through the sketch of a code of Muslim law which is 
inserted in Appendix I. One has been chosen which 
belongs to the school of ash-Shafi'i because of its gen- 
eral accessibility. It should be remembered that 
what is given is the merest table of contents. The 
standard Arabic commentary on the book extends to 
eight hundred and eleven closely printed quarto 
pages. Even a mere reading of this table of contents, 
however, will show in how different a sphere of thought 
from ours Muslim law moves and lives. But we must 
return to the beginning of things, to the egg from 
which this tremendous system was hatched. 

The mother-city of Islam was the little town of 
Tathrib, called Madinat anJSfabi, the City of the 
Prophet, or, shortly, al-Madina, ever since the Hijra 
or Migration of Muhammad to it in the year 622 of 
the Christian era. Here the first Muslim state was 
founded, and the germinal principles of Muslim juris- 
prudence fixed. Both state and jurisprudence were 
the result of the inter-working of the same highly 
complicated causes. The ferments in the case may 
be classified and described as follows : First, in the 
town itself before the appearance of Muhammad on 
its little stage little, but so momentous for the 
future there were two parties, often at war, oftener 
at peace. There was a genuine Arab element and 


there was a large settlement of Jews. To the Arabs 
any conception of law was utterly foreign. An Arab 
tribe has no constitution ; its system is one of in- 
dividualism; the single man is a sovereign and no 
writ can lie against him ; the tribe can cast him forth 
from its midst ; it cannot otherwise coerce him. So 
stands the case now in the desert, and so it was then. 
Some slight hold there might be on the tribe through 
the fear of the tribal God, but on the individual Arab, 
always a somewhat cynical sceptic, that hold was of 
the slightest. Further, the avenging of a broken 
oath was left to the God that had witnessed the oath ; 
if lie did not care to right his client, no one else would 
interfere. There was customary law, undoubtedly, 
but it was protected by no sanction and enforced by 
no authority. If both parties chose to invoke it, 
well; if not, neither had anything to fear but the 
anger of his opponent. That law of custom we shall 
find again appearing in the system of Islam, but there 
it will be backed by the sanction of the wrath of God 
working through the authority of the state. The Jew- 
ish element was in a different case. They may have 
been Jewish immigrants, they may have been Jewish 
proselytes many Arab tribes, we know, had gone 
over bodily to Judaism but their lives were ruled 
and guided by Jewish law. To the primitive and 
divine legislation on Sinai there was an immense ac- 
cretion by legal fiction and by usage ; the [Roman 
codes had left their mark and the customary law of 
the desert as well. All this was working in the life 
of the town when Muhammad and his little band of 
fugitives from Mecca entered it. Being Meccans, 


they must have brought with them the more devel- 
oped legal ideas of that trading centre; but these 
were of comparatively little account in the scale. The 
new and dominating element was the personality of 
Muhammad himself. His contribution was legisla- 
tion pure and simple, the only legislation that has 
ever been in Islam. Till his death, ten years later, 
he ruled his community as an absolute monarch, as a 
prophet in his own right. He sat in the gate and 
judged the people. He had no need of a code, for 
his own will was enough. He followed the custom- 
ary law of the town, as it has been described above, 
when it suited him, and when he judged that it was 
best. If not, he left it and there was a revelation. 
So the legislative part of the Qur'an grew out of such 
scraps sent down out of heaven to meet the needs of 
the squabbles and questions of the townsfolk of al- 
Madina. The system was one of pure opportunism ; 
but of what body of legislation can that not be said ? 
Of course, on the one hand, not all decisions were 
backed by a revelation, and Muhammad seems, on the 
other, to have made a few attempts to deal system- 
atically with certain standing and constantly recur- 
ring problems such, for example, as the conflicting 
claims of heirs in an estate, and the whole compli- 
cated question of divorce but in general, the position 
holds that Muhammad as a lawyer lived from hand 
to mouth. He did not draw up any twelve tables or 
ten commandments, or code, or digest ; he was there 
and the people could come and ask him questions 
when they chose, and that was enough. The concep- 
tion, of a rounded and complete system which will 


meet any case and to which, all cases must be ad- 
justed by legal fiction or equity, the conception 
which we owe to the genius and experience of the 
Roman lawyers, was foreign to his thought. From 
time to time he got into difficulties. A revelation 
proved too wide or too narrow, or left out some im- 
portant possibility. Then there came another to 
supplement or correct, or even to set the first quite 
as id e Muhammad had no scruples about progressive 
revelation as applied to himself. Thus, through these 
interpretive acts, as we may call them, many flat con- 
tradictions have come into the Qur'an and have proved 
the delight of generations of Muslim jurisconsults. 

Such, then, was the state of things legal in al- 
Madina during the ten years of Muhammad's rule 
there until his death in A.D. 632. Of law there was, 
strictly speaking, none. In his decisions, Muham- 
mad could follow certainly the customary law of the 
town ; but to do so there was no necessity upon him 
other than prudence, for his authority was absolute. 
Yet even with such authority and such freedom, his 
task was a hard one. The Jews, the native Arabs of 
al-Madina, and his fellow fugitives from Mecca lived 
in more or less of friction. He had to see to it that his 
decisions did not bring that friction to the point of 
throwing the whole community into a flame. The 
Jews, it is true, were soon eliminated, but the influ- 
ence of their law lasted in the customary law of the 
town long after they themselves had become insig- 
nificant. Still, with all this, the suitor before Mu- 
hammad had no certainty on what basis his claims 
would be judged ; whether it would be the old law of 


the town, or a rough equity based on Muhammad's 
own ideas, or a special revelation ad hoc. So far, 
then, we may be said to have the three elements 
common law, equity, legislation. Legal fiction we 
shall meet later ; Muhammad had no need of it. 

But with the death of Muhammad in A.D. 632 the 
situation was completely changed. We can now speak 
of Muslim law ; legislation plays no longer any part ; 
the process of collecting, arranging, correlating, and 
developing has begun. Consider the situation as it 
must have presented itself to one of the immediate 
successors of Muhammad, as he sat in his place and 
judged the people. "When a case came up for deci- 
sion, there were several sources , from which a law in 
point might be drawn. First among them was the 
Qur'an. It had been collecBe"d"trom "the fragmentary 
State in which Muhammad had left it by Abu Bakr, 
his first Khalifa, some two years after his death* 
Again, some ten years later, it was revised and given 
forth in a final public recension, by Uthman, the third 
Khalifa. This was the absolute word of God 
thoughts and language and stood and, in theory, 
still stands first of all sources for theology and law. 
If it contained a law clearly applying to the case in 
hand, there was no more to be said ; divine legisla- 
tion had settled the matter. If not, recourse was 
next had to the decisions of the Prophet. Had a 
similar one come before him, and how had he ruled: 
If the memories of the Companions of the Prophet, 
the Sahibs, could adduce nothing similar from one of 
his decisions, then the judge had to look further for 
an authority. But the decisions of Muhammad had 


been many, the memories of liis Companions were 
capacious, and possessed further, as we must recog- 
nize with regret, a constructive power that helped 
the early judges of Islam out of many close comers. 
But if tradition even true or false finally failed, then 
the judge fell back on the common law of al-Madina, 
that customary law already mentioned. "When that, 
too, failed, the last recourse was had to the common- 
sense of the 'judge roughly, what we would call 
equity. At the beginning, therefore, of Muslim 
law, it had the following sources legislation, the 
usage of Muhammad, the usage of al-Madina, 
equity. Naturally, as time went on and the figure of 
the founder drew back and became more obscure 
and more venerated, equity fell gradually into dis- 
use ; a closer search was made for decisions of that 
founder which could in any way be pressed into ser- 
vice; a method of analogy, closely allied to legal 
fiction, was built up to assist in this, and the devel- 
opment of Muslim jurisprudence as a system and a 
science was fairly begun. Further, in later times, the 
decisions of the first four Khalifas and the agree- 
ment (ijma) of the immediate Companions of Mu- 
hammad came to assume an importance only second 
to that of Muhammad himself. Later still, as a re- 
sult of this, the opinion grew up that a general agree- 
ment of the jurisconsults of any particular time was 
to be regarded as a legitimate source of law. But 
we must return to consider our subject more broadly 
and in another field. 

The fact has already been brought out that the 
sphere of law is much wider in Islam than it has ever 


been with us. By it all the minutest acts of a Mus- 
lim are guarded. Europe, also, passed through a 
stage similar to this in its sumptuary laws ; and the 
tendency toward inquisitorial legislation still exists 
in America, but not even the most medievally mind- 
ed American "Western State has ventured to put upon 
its statute-book regulations as to the use of the tooth- 
pick and the wash-cloth. Thus, the Muslim concep- 
tion of law is so wide as to reach essential difference. 
(k. Muslim is told by his code not only what is re- 
quired under penalty, but also what is either recom- 
mended or disliked though without reward or penalty 
being involved. He may certainly consult his law- 
yer, to learn how near the wind he can sail without 
unpleasant consequences; but he may also consult 
him as his spiritual director with regard to the rela- 
tive praiseworthiness or blameworthiness of classes 
of actions of which our law takes no cognizance. In 
consequence, actions are divided by Muslim canon 
lawyers (faqilis) into five classes. First, necessary 
(fard or wajiV); a duty the omission of which is 
punished, the doing rewarded. Secondly, recom- 
mended (mandub or mustaliabb) ; the doing is re- 
warded, but the omission is not punished. Thirdly, 
permitted (ja'iz or miibali) ; legally indifferent. 
Fourthly, disliked (mdkruli) ; disapproved by the 
law, but not under penalty. Fifthly, forbidden (ha- 
raw) ; an action punishable by law. /All this being 
so, it will be easily understood that the record of the 
manners and customs of the Prophet, of the little de- 
tails of his life and conversation, came to assume a 
high importance. Much of that was too petty ever 


to reach expression in the great digests of law ; not 
even the most zealous fixer of life by rule and line 
would condemn his fellow-religionist because he pre- 
ferred to carry a different kind of walking-stick from 
that approved by the Prophet, or found it fitting to 
arrange his hair in a different way. But still, all 
pious Muslims paid attention to such things, and 
fenced their lives about with the strictest Prophetic 
precedent. In consequence of this, there early arose 
in Islam a class of students who made it their busi- 
ness to investigate and hand down the minutest de- 
tails as to the habits of Muhammad. This was a 
separate thing from the study of law, although fated 
to be eventually connected with it. Even in the 
time of the Jahiliya the period before Islam, vari- 
ously explained as the ignorance or as the rudeness, 
uncivilizedness it had been a fixed trait of the Arab 
mind to hold closely to old paths. An inherent con- 
servatism canonized the sunna custom, usage of 
the ancients ; any stepping aside from, it was a Md'a 
innovation and had to win its way by its merits, 
in the teeth of strong prejudice. "With the coming 
of Muhammad and the preaching of Islam, this an- 
cestral sunna had in great part to yield. But the 
temper of the Arab mind remained firm, and the 
sunna of Muhammad took its place. Pious Muslims 
did not say, "Such was the usage of our fathers, 
and it is mine;" but, "I follow the usage of the 
Prophet of God." Then, just as the old sunna of 
the heathen times had expressed itself through the 
stories of great warriors, of their battles and loves ; 
through anecdotes of wise men, and their keen and 


eloquent words ; so it was with the sunna of the one 
man, Muhammad. "What he said, and what he did ; 
what he refrained from doing ; what he gave quasi- 
approyal to by silence ; all was passed on in rapidly 
increasing, pregnant little narratives. First, his im- 
mediate Companions would note, either by commit- 
ting to memory or to a written record, his utterances 
and table-talk generally. We have evidence of sev- 
eral such Boswells, who fixed his words as they fell. 
Later, probably, would come notes of his doings and 
his customs, and of all the little and great happen- 
ings of the town. Above all, a record was being 
gathered of all the cases judged by him, and of his 
decisions ; of all the answers which he gave to for- 
mal questions on religious life and faith. All this 
was jotted down by the Companions on sahifas odd 
sheets just as they had done in the Ignorance with 
the proverbs of the wise and their dark sayings. 
The records of sayings were called haditks ; the rest, 
as a whole, sunna custom, for its details was used 
the plural, sunan customs. At first, each man had 
his own collection in memory or in writing. Then, 
after the death of the Prophet and when his first 
Companions were dropping off, these collections 
were passed on to others of the second generation. 
And so the chain ran on and in time a tradition 
came to consist formally of two things the text or 
matter (main) so handed on, and the succession (is- 
nod) over whose lips it had passed. A said, " There 
narrated to me B, saying, 'There narrated to 
me C, saying,' " so far the isnad, until the last 
link came, and the matn, the Prophet of God said, 


"Some of my injunctions abrogate others," or "The 
Jann were created of a smokeless flame/' or what- 
ever it might be. What has just been said suggests 
that it was at first indifferent whether traditions were 
preserved orally or in writing. That is true of the 
first generation ; but it must be remembered at the 
same time, that the actual passing on was oral ; the 
writing merely aided the memory to hold that which 
was already learned. But with time, and certainly 
by the middle of the second century of the Hijra, two 
opposing tendencies in this respect had developed, 
Many continued to put their trust in the written 
word, and even came to pass traditions on without 
any oral communication. But for others there lay 
grave dangers in this. One was evidently real. The 
unhappy character of the Arabic script, especially 
when written without diacritical points, often made 
it hard, if not practically impossible, to understand 
such short, contextless texts as the traditions. A 
guide was necessary to show how the word should be 
read, and how understood. At the present time a 
European scholar will sometimes be helpless before 
even a fully vocalized text, and must take refuge in 
native commentaries or in that oral tradition, if it 
still exists and he has access to it, which supplies at 
least a third of the meaning of an Arabic book. 
Strengthening this came theological reasons. The 
words of the Prophet would be profaned if they were 
in a book. Or, again, they would be too much hon- 
ored and the Qur'an itself might be neglected. 
This last fear has been justified to a certain extent 
by the event. On these grounds, and many more, 


the writing and transmitting in writing of traditions 
came to be fiercely opposed ; and the opposition con- 
tinned, as a theological exercise, long after many 
books of traditions were in existence, and after the 
oral transmission had become the merest farce and 
had even frankly dropped out. 

It is to the formation of these books of traditions, 
or, as we might say, traditions in literature, that we 
must now turn. For long, the fragmentary sahifas 
and private collections made by separate scholars for 
their own use sufficed. Books dealing with law 
(fqh) were written before there were any in that 
department of literature called hadith. The cause of 
this is tolerably plain. Law and treatises of law 
were a necessity for the public and thus were encour- 
aged by the state. The study of traditions, on the 
other hand, was less essential and of a more personal 
and private nature. Further, under the dynasty of 
the TJmayyads, who reigned from A.H. 41 to A.H. 132, 
theological literature was little encouraged. They 
were simple heathen in all but name, and belonged, 
and recognized that they belonged, not to Islam but 
to the Jahiliya. For reasons of state, they encouraged 
and spread also freely forged and encouraged others 
to forge such traditions as were favorable to their 
plans and to their rule generally. This was neces- 
sary if they were to carry the body of the people with 
them. But they regarded themselves as kings and 
not as the heads of the Muslim people. This same 
device has been used after them by all the contend- 
ing factions of Islam. Each party has sought sanc- 
tion for its views by representing them in traditions 


from the Prophet, and the thing has gone so far that 
on almost every disputed point there are absolutely 
conflicting prophetic utterances in circulation. It 
has even been held, and with some justification, 
that the entire body of normative tradition at present 
in existence was forged for a purpose. With this 
attitude of the Umayyads we shall have to deal at 
greater length later. It is sufficient now to note that 
the first real appearance of liaditli in literature was 
in the Mmoatta of Malik ibn Anas who died in A.H. 

Yet even this appearance is not so much of hadith 
for its own sake, as of usages bearing upon law and 
of the law that can be drawn from these usages. 
The book is a corpus iuris not a corpus traditionum. 
Its object was not so much to separate from the mass 
of traditions in circulation those which could be re- 
garded as sound of origin and to unite them in a 
formal collection, as to build up a system of law 
based partly on tradition. The previous works deal- 
ing with law proper had been of a speculative char- 
acter, had shown much subjective reliance on their 
own opinion on the part of the writers and had 
drawn little from the sacred usage of the Prophet 
and quoted few of his traditional sayings. Against 
that the book of Malik was a protest and formed a 
link between such law books pure and the collections 
of traditions pure with which we now come to deal. 

To Malik the main, or text, of a tradition had been 
the only thing of importance. To the isnad,, or 
chain of authority running back to the Prophet, he 
had paid little attention. He, as we have seen, was 


a lawyer and gathered traditions, not for their own 
sake but to use them in law. To others, the tradition 
was the thing, and too much care could not be given 
to its details and its authenticity. And the care was 
really called for. With the course of time and the 
growing demand, the supply of traditions had also 
grown until there was no doubt in the mind of any- 
one that an enormous proportion were simple forger- 
ies. To weed out the sound ones, attention had to 
be given to the isnad; the names upon it had to be 
examined; the fact of their having been in inter- 
course to be determined ; the possibility of the case 
in general to be tested. Thus there were formed real 
collections of supposedly sound traditions, which 
were called Musnads, because each tradition was 
musnad propped, supported against the Compan- 
ions from whom it proceeded. In accordance with 
this also they were arranged according to the Com- 
panions. After the name of the Companion were 
given all the traditions leading back to him. One of 
the earliest and greatest of these books was the 
Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal, who died A.H. 241 ; 
of him more hereafter. This book has been printed 
recently at Cairo in six quarto volumes of 2,885 
pages and is said to contain about thirty thousand 
traditions going back to seven hundred Companions. 
But another type of tradition-book was growing 
up, less mechanical in arrangement. It is the Mus- 
annaf, the arranged, classified and in it the tradi- 
tions are arranged in chapters according to their sub- 
ject matter. The first Musannafio make a permanent 
mark was the Sahih sound of al-Bukhari, who 


died in A. H. 257. It is still extant and is the most 
respected of all the collections of traditions. The 
principle of arrangement in it is legal ; that is, the 
traditions are classified in these chapters so as to af- 
ford bases for a complete system of jurisprudence. 
Al-Bukhari was a strong opponent of speculative law 
and his book was thus a protest against a tendency 
which, as we shall see later, was strong in his time. 
Another point in which al-Bukhari made his influ- 
ence felt and with greater effect, was increased 
severity in the testing of traditions. He established 
very strict laws, though of a somewhat mechanical 
kind, and was most scrupulous in applying them. 
His book contains about seven thousand traditions, 
and he chose those, so at least runs the story, out of 
six hundred thousand which he found in circulation. 
The rest were rejected as failing to meet his tests. 
How far the forgery of traditions had gone may be 
seen from the example of Ibn Abi Awja, who was exe- 
cuted in A.H. 155, and who confessed that he had him- 
self put into circulation four thousand that were false. 
Another and a similar Sahih is that of Muslim, who 
died in A.H. 261. He was not so markedly juristic 
as al-Bukhari. His object was rather to purify the 
mass of existing tradition from illegitimate accre- 
tions than to construct a basis for a complete law 
code. He has prefixed a valuable introduction on the 
science of tradition generally. In some slight details 
his principle of criticism differed from that of al- 

These two collections, called the two jSakihs as- 
are technically j ami's, i.e. they contain all 


the different classes of traditions, historical, ethical, 
dogmatic and legal. They have also come to be, by 
common agreement, the two most honored authorities 
in the Muslim world. A believer finds it hard, if not 
impossible, to reject a tradition that is found in 

But there are four other collections which are 
called Sunan Usages and which stand only second 
to the two Saliihs. These are by Ibn Maja (d. 303), 
Abu Da'ud as-Sijistani (d. 275), at-Tirmidhi (d. 279) 
and an-Nasa'i (d. 303). They deal almost entirely with 
legal traditions, those that tell what is permitted and 
what is forbidden, and do not convey information on 
religious and theological subjects. They are also 
much more lenient in their criticisms of dubious tra- 
ditions. To work exclusion with them, the rejection 
needed to be tolerably unanimous. This was re- 
quired by their stand-point and endeavor, which was 
to find a basis for all the minutest developments and 
details of jurisprudence, civil and religious. 

These six books, the two SaJiiJis and the four 
Sunans, came to be regarded in time as the principal 
and all-important sources for traditional science. 
This had already come about by the end of the fifth 
century, although even after that voices of uncer- 
tainty continued to make themselves heard. Ibn 
Maja seems to have been the last to secure firm foot- 
ing, but even he is included by al-Baghawi (d. 516) 
in his MasaWi as-sunna, an attempted epitome into 
one book of what was valuable in all. Still, long 
after that, Ibn Khaldun, the great historian (d. 808), 
speaks of five fundamental works ; and others speak of 


seven, adding the Muwatta of Malik to the six above. 
Others, again, especially in the "West, extended the 
number of canonical works to ten, though with vary- 
ing members; but all these must be regarded as 
more or less local, temporary, and individual eccen- 
tricities. The position of the six stands tolerably 

So much it has been necessary to interpolate and 
anticipate with regard to the students of tradition 
whose interest lay in gathering up and preserving, 
not in using and applying. From the earliest time, 
then, there existed these two classes in the bosom of 
Islam, students of tradition proper and of law proper. 
For long they did not clash ; but a collision was in- 
evitable sooner or later. 

Yet, if the circle of the Muslim horizon had not 
widened beyond the little market-town of al-Madina, 
that collision might have been long in coming. Its 
immediate causes" were from without, and are to be 
found in the wave of conquest that carried Islam, 
within the century, to Samarqand beyond the Oxus 
and to Tours in central France. Consider what that 
wave of conquest was and meant. Within fourteen 
years of the Hijra, Damascus was taken, and within 
seventeen years, all Syria and Mesopotamia. By the 
year 21, the Muslims held Persia ; in 41 they were at 
Herat, and in 56 they reached Samarqand. In the 
West, Egypt was taken in the year 20 ; but the way 
through northern Africa was long and hard. Car- 
thage did not fall till 74, but Spain was conquered 
with the fall of Toledo in 93. It was in A.B. 732, the 
year of the Hijra 114, that the wave at last was 


turned and the mercy of Tours was wrought by 
Charles the Hammer; but the Muslims still held 
Narbonne and raided in Burgundy and the Dauphine. 
The wealth that flowed into Arabia from these expe- 
ditions was enormous ; money and slaves and luxu- 
ries of every kind went far to transform the old life of 
hardness and simplicity. Great estates grew up : 
fortunes were made and lost ; the intricacies of the 
Syrian and Persian civilizations overcame their con- 
querors. All this meant new legal conditions and 
problems. The system that had sufficed to guard the 
right to a few sheep or camels had to be transformed 
before it would suffice to adjust the rights and claims 
of a tribe of millionnaires. But it must not be 
thought that these expeditions were only campaigns 
of plunder. "With the Muslim armies everywhere 
went law and justice, such as it was. Jurists accom- 
panied each army and were settled in the great camp 
cities which were built to hold the conquered lands. 
Al-Basra and al-Eoifa and Fustat, the parent of Cairo, 
owe their origin to this, and it was in these new seats 
of militant Islam that speculative jurisprudence arose 
and moulded the Muslim system. 

The early lawyers had much to do and much to 
learn, and it is to their credit that they recognized 
both necessities. Muslim law is no product of the 
desert or of the mind of Muhammad, as some have 
said; but rather of the labor of these men, strug- 
gling with a gigantic problem. They might have 
taken their task much more easily than they did; 
they might have lived as Muhammad had done, from 
hand to mouth, and have concealed their own sloth 


*by force and free invention of authorities. Bat the} 7 " 
recognized their responsibility to God and man and 
the necessity of building up a stable and complete 
means of rendering justice. These armies of Mus- 
lims, we must remember, were not like the hordes of 
Attila or Ohingis Khan, destroyers only. The lands 
they conquered were put to hard tribute, but it was 
under a reign of law. They recognized frankly that 
it was for them that this mighty empire existed ; but 
they recognized also that it could continue to exist 
only with order and duty imposed upon all. They 
saw, too, how deficient was their own knowledge and 
learned willingly of the people among whom they had 
come. And here, a second time, Roman law the 
parent-law of the world made itself felt. There 
were schools of that law in Syria at Cnesarea and Bey- 
rout, but we need not imagine that the Muslim jurists 
studied there. Bather, it was the practical school of 
the courts as they actually existed which they at- 
tended. These courts were permitted to continue in 
existence till Islam had learned from them all that 
was needed. "We can still recognize certain princi- 
ples that were so carried over. That the duty of 
proof lies upon the plaintiff, and the right of defend- 
ing himself with an oath upon the defendant ; the 
doctrine of invariable custom and that of the differ- 
ent kinds of legal presumption. These, as expressed 
in Arabic, are almost verbal renderings of the preg- 
nant utterances of Latin law. 

But most important of all was a liberty suggested 
by that system to the Muslim jurisconsults. This was 
through the part played in the older school by the 


Besponsa Prudentium, answers by prominent lawyers 
to questions put to them by their clients, in which the 
older law of the Twelve Tables was expounded, ex- 
panded, and often practically set aside by their com- 
ments. Sir Henry Maine thus states the situation : 
"The authors of the new jurisprudence^ during the 
whole progress of its formation, professed the most 
sedulous respect for the letter of the code. They were 
merely explaining it, deciphering it, bringing out its 
full meaning ; but then, in the result, by placing texts 
together, by adjusting the law to states of fact which 
actually presented themselves, and by speculating on 
its possible application to others which might occur, 
by introducing principles of interpretation derived 
from the exegesis of other written documents which 
fell under their observation, they educed a vast vari- 
ety of canons which had never been dreamt of by the 
compilers of the Twelve Tables, and which were in 
truth rarely or never to be found there."/ All this 
precisely applies to the development of law in Islam. 
The part of the Twelve Tables was taken by the 
statute law of the Qur'an and the case law derived 
from the Usage of Muhammad ; that of the Roman 
lurisprudentes by those speculative jurists who worked 
mostly outside of al-Madina in the camp cities of 
Mesopotamia and Syria the very name for lawyer in 
1 Arabic, faqih, plural fuqaha, is a translation of pru- 
dens, prudentes ; and that of the Responsa, the an- 
swers, by the "Opinion" which they claimed as a 
legitimate legal method and source. Further, the 
validity of a general agreement of jurisconsults " re- 
minds us of the rescript of Hadrian, which ordains 


that, if the opinions of the licensed prudentes all 
agreed, such common opinion had the force of stat- 
ute; but if they disagreed, the judge might follow 
which he chose." The Arabic term, ra'y, here ren- 
dered Opinion, has passed through marked vicissi- 
tudes of usage. In old Arabic, before it, in the view of 
some, began to keep bad company, it meant an opin- 
ion that was thoughtful, weighed and reasonable, as 
opposed to a hasty dictate of ill-regulated passion. 
In that sense it is used in a tradition probably 
forged handed down from Muhammad. He was 
sending a judge to take charge of legal affairs in 
al-Tanian, and asked him on what he would base his 
legal decisions. " On the Qur'an," he replied. " But 
if that contains nothing to the purpose?" "Then 
upon your usage." "But if that also fails you?'* 
"Then I will follow my own opinion." And the 
Prophet approved his purpose. A similar tradition 
goes back to Umar, the first Khalifa, and it, too, is 
probably a later forgery, written to defend this source 
of law. But, with the revolt against the use of Opin- 
ion, to which we shall soon come, the term itself fell 
into grave disrepute and came to signify an unfounded 
conclusion. In its extremest development it went 
beyond the Responsa, which professed always to be 
in exact accord with the letter of the older law, and 
attained to be Equity in the strict sense ; that is, the 
rejection of the letter of the law for a view supposed 
to be more in accordance with the spirit of justice 
itself. Thus, Equity, in the English sense, is the 
law administered by the Court of Chancery and 
claims, in the words again of Sir Henry Maine, to 


" override the older jurisprudence of the country on 
the strength of an intrinsic ethical superiority." In 
Eoman law, as introduced by the edict of the Praetor, 
it was the law of Nature, "the part of law ' which 
natural reason appoints for all mankind.' " This is 
represented in Islam under two forms, covered by 
two technical terms. The one is that the legist, in 
spite of the fact that the analogy of the fixed code 
clearly points to one course, " considers it better " 
(istiJisari) to follow a different one ; and the other is 
that, under the same conditions, he chooses a free 
course " for the sake of general benefit to the com- 
munity " (islislaJi). Further scope of Equity Muslim 
law never reached, and the legitimacy of these two 
developments was, as we shall see, bitterly contested. 
The freedom of opinion, with its possibility of a sys- 
tem of Equity, had eventually to be given up, and all 
that was left in its place was a permissibility of an- 
alogical deduction (qiyas), the nearest thing to which 
in Western law is Legal Fiction. In a word, the 
possibility of development by Equity was lost, and 
Legal Fiction entered in its place. But this antici- 
pates, and we must return to the strictly historical 

During the first thirty years after the death of 
Muhammad the period covered by the reigns of the 
four theocratic rulers whom Islam still calls "the 
Four Just, or Eightly Guided Khalifas " (al-KJiulafa 
ar-raskidun) the two twin studies of tradition 
(haditJi) and of law (fiqK) were fostered and encour- 
aged by the state. The centre of that state was still 
in al-Madina, on ground sacred with the memories of 


the Prophet, amid the scenes where he had himself 
been lord and judge, and under the conditions in 
which his life as ruler had been cast. All the sources, 
except that of divine revelation, which had been 
open to him, were open to his successors and they 
made full use of all Bound that mother-hearth of 
Islam was still gathered the. great body of the im- 
mediate Companions of Muhammad, and they formed 
a deliberative or consulting council to aid the Khalifa 
in his task. The gathering of tradition and the de- 
veloping of law were vital functions ; they were the 
basis of the public life of the state. This patriarchal 
period in Muslim history is the golden age of Islam. 
It ended with the death of Ali, in the year 40 of the 
Hijra, and the succession of Mu'awiya in the follow- 
ing year. "For thirty years," runs a tradition from 
the Prophet, "my People will tread in my Path 
(sunna) ; then will come kings and princes." 

And so it was ; Mu'awiya was the first of the Umay- 
yad dynasty and with Mm and them Islam, in all 
but the name, was at an end. He and they were Arab 
kings of the old type that had reigned before Muham- 
mad at al-Hira and Ghassan, whose will had been their 
law. The capital of the new kingdom was Damascus ; 
al-Madina became a place of refuge, a Cave of Aclul- 
lam, for the old Muslim party. There they might 
spin theories of state and of law, and lament the 
good old days ; so long as there was no rebellion, the 
IJmayyads cared little for those things or for the men 
who dreamt them. Once, the Umayyads were driven 
to capture and sack the holy city, a horror in Islam 
to this day. After that there was peace, the peace 


of the accomplished fact. This is the genuinely 
Arab period in the history of Islam. It is a period 
full of color and light and life; of love and song, 
battle and feasting. Thought was free and conduct 
too. The great theologian of the Greek Church, John 
of Damascus, held high office at the Umayyad court, 
and al-Akhtal, a Christian at least in name, was their 
poet laureate. It is true that the stated services of 
religion were kept up and on every Friday the Khali- 
fa had to entertain the people by a display of elo- 
quence and wit in the weekly sermon. But the old 
world was dead and the days of its unity would never 
come again. So all knew, except the irreconcilable 
party, the last of the true Muslims who still haunted 
the sacred soil of al-Madina and labored in the old 
paths. They gathered the traditions of the Prophet ; 
they regulated their lives more and more strictly by 
his usage ; they gave ghostly council to the pious 
who sought their help ; they labored to build up 
elaborate systems of law. But it was all elaboration 
and hypothetical purely. There was in it no vitaliz- 
ing force from practical life. 

From this time on Muslim law has been more or 
less in the position held by the canon law of the 
Boman Church in a country that will not recognize it 
yet dares not utterly reject it. The Umayyads were 
statesmen and opportunists ; they lived, in legal 
things, as much from hand to mouth as Muhammad 
had done. He cut all knots with divine legislation ; 
they cut them with the edge of their will. Under 
them, as under him, a system of law was impossible. 
But at the same time, in quiet and in secret, this 


canon law of Islam was slowly growing up, slowly 
rounding into full perfection of detailed correlation. 
It was governing absolutely the private lives of all 
the good Muslims that were left, and even the godless 
Umayyads, as they had to preach on Fridays to the 
People of Muhammad, so they had to deal with it 
cautiously and respectfully. Of the names and lives 
of these obscure jurists little has reached us and it is 
needless to give that little here. Only with the final 
fall of the Umayyads, in the year of the Hijra 132, 
do we come into the light and see the different schools 
forming under clear and definite leaders. 


The Abbasid revolution ; the compromise j the problem of the Ab- 
basids ; the two classes of canon lawyers and theologians ; the 
rise of legal schools ; Abu Hanif a ; his application of Legal 
Fiction; istihsan: the Qadi Abu Yusuf ; Muhammad ibn al- 
Hasan ; Sufyan ath-Thawri ; al- Awza'i ; Malik ibn Anas ; the 
Usage of al-Madina ; istislah; the doctrine of Agreement; the 
beginning of controversy ; traditionalists or historical lawyers 
versus rationalists or philosophical lawyers; ash-Shan c i, a 
mediator and systematizer ; the Agreement of the Muslim 
people a formal source ; u My People will never agree in an 
error ; " the resultant four sources, Qur'an, Usage, Analogy, 
Agreement ; the traditionalist revolt ; Da'ud az-Zahiri and 
literalism ; Ahmad ibn Hanbal ; the four abiding schools ; the 
Agreement of Islam ; the Disagreement of Islam ; iurare in 
verba magistri ; the degrees of authority ; the canon and the 
civil codes in Islam ; their respective spheres ; distribution of 
schools at present day ; Shi'ite law ; Ibadite law. 

THAT great revolution wliicli brought the Abbasid 
dynasty to power seemed at first to the pious theo- 
logians and lawyers to be a return of the old days. 
They dreamt of entering again into their rights ; that 
the canon law would be the full law of the land. It 
was only slowly that their eyes were opened, and 
many gave up the vain contest and contented them- 
selves with compromise. This had been rare under 
the Umayyads ; the one or two canon lawyers who 
had thrown in their lot with them had been marked 
men. Az-Zuhri (d. 124), a man of the highest moral 
and theological reputation who played a very im- 



portant part in the first codifying of traditions, was 
one of these, and the later pious historians have had 
hard work to smooth over his connection with the 
impious Umayyads. Probably it may be well to 
say here the stories against the Uraayyads have been 
much heightened in color by their later tellers 
and also az-Zuhri, being a man of insight and states- 
manship, may have recognized that their rule was the 
best chance for peace in the country. Muslims have 
come generally to accept the position that unbelief 
on the part of the government, if the government is 
strong and just, is better than true belief and anarchy. 
This has found expression, as all such things do, in 
traditions put in the mouth of- the Prophet. 

But while only a few canonists had taken the part 
of the Umayyads, far more accepted the favors of the 
Abbasids, took office under them and worked in their 
cause. The Abbasids, too, had need of such men. It 
was practically the religious sentiment of the people 
that had overthrown the Umayyads and raised them 
to power; and that religious sentiment, though it 
could never be fully satisfied, must yet be respected 
and, more important still, used. There is a striking 
parallel between the situation then, and that of Scot- 
land at the Eevolution Settlement of 1688. The 
power of the Stuarts that is, of the worldly Umay- 
yads had been overthrown. The oppressed Church 
of the Covenant that is, the old Muslim party had 
been freed. The state was to be settled upon a new 
basis. "What was that basis to be ? The Covenant- 
ing party demanded the recognition of the Headship 
of Christ that the Kirk should rule the state, or 


should be the state, and that all other religious views 
should he put under penalty. The old Muslim party 
looked for similar things. That religious life should 
be purified ; that the canon law should be again the 
law of the state ; that the constitution of Umar should 
berestored. How the Covenanters were disappointed, 
how much they got and how much they failed to get, 
needs no telling here. 

Exactly in the same way it befell the old Muslims. 
The theological reformation was sweeping and com- 
plete. The first Abbasids were pious, at least out- 
wardly; the state was put upon a pious footing. 
The canon law also was formally restored, but with 
large practical modifications. Canon lawyers were 
received into the service of the state, provided they 
were adaptable enough. Impossible men had no 
place under the Abbasids; their officials must be 
pliable and dexterous, for a new modus vivendi was 
to be found. The rough and ready Umayyad cut- 
ting of the knot had failed ; the turn had now come 
for piety and dexterity in twisting law. The court 
lawyers learned to drive a coach and four through 
any of the old statutes, and found their fortunes in 
their brains. So the issue was bridged. But a large 
party of malcontents was left, and from this time on 
in Islam the lawyers and the theologians have di- 
vided into two classes, the one admitting, as a mat- 
ter of expediency, the authority of the powers of the 
time and aiding them in their task as rulers; the 
other, irreconcilable and unreconciled, denouncing 
the state as sunk in unbelief and deadly sin and its 
lawyers as traitors to the cause of religion. To pur- 


sue our parallel, they are represented in Scotland by 
a handful of Covenanting congregations and in Amer- 
ica by the much more numerous and powerful Re- 
formed Presbyterian Church. 

It is a significant fact that with the lifting of the 
Uinayyad pressure and the encouragement of legal 
studies such as it was by the Abbasids, definite 
and recognized schools of law began to form. What 
had so long been in process in secret became public, 
and its results crystallized under certain prominent 
teachers. "We will now take up these schools in the 
order of the death dates of their founders ; we will 
establish their principles and trace their histories. 
We shall find the same conceptions recurring again 
and again which have already been brought out, 
Qur'an, tradition (haditJi), agreement (ijmd), opinion 
(ra'y), analogy (qiyas), local usage (urf\ preference 
(istihsari), in the teeth of the written law till at length, 
when the battle is over, the sources will have limited 
themselves to the four which have survived to the 
present day Qur'an, tradition, agreement, analogy. 
And, similarly, of the six schools to be mentioned, 
four only will remain to the present time, but these 
of equal rank and validity in the eyes of the Believ- 

The Abbasids came to power in the year of the 
Hijra 132, and in 150 died Abu Hanifa, the first 
student and teacher to leave behind him 1 a systematic 
body of teaching and a missionary school of pupils. 
He was a Persian by race, and perhaps the most dis- 
tinguished example of the rale that Muslim scientists 
and thinkers might write in Arabic but were seldom 


of Arab blood. He does not seem to have held office 
as a judge or to have practised law at all. He was, 
rather, an academic student, a speculative or philo- 
sophical jurist we might call him. His system of 
law, therefore, was not based upon the exigencies of 
experience ; ifc did not arise from an attempt to meet 
actual cases. "We might say of it, rather, but in a 
good sense, that it was a system of casuistry, an at- 
tempt to build up on scientific principles a set of 
rules which would answer every conceivable question 
of law. In the hands of some of his pupils, when 
applied to actual facts, it tended to develop into casu- 
istry in a bad sense ; but no charge of perverting 
justice for his own advantage seems to have been 
brought against Abu Hanifa himself. His chief in- 
struments in constructing his system were opinion 
and analogy. He leaned little upon traditions of 
the usage of Muhammad, but preferred to take the 
Qur'anic texts and develop from them his details. But 
the doing of this compelled him to modify simple 
opinion equivalent to equity as we have seen and 
limit it to analogy of some written statute (nass). He 
could hardly forsake a plain res iudicata of Muham- 
mad, and follow his own otherwise unsupported views, 
but he might choose to do so if he could base it on 
analogy from the Qur'an. Thus, he came to use what 
was practically legal fiction. It is the application 
of an old law in some sense or way that was never 
dreamt of by the first imposer of the law, and which 
may, in fact, run directly counter to the purpose of 
the law. The fiction is that it is the original law that 
is being observed, while, as a matter of fact, there 


has coine in its place an entirely different law. So 
Abu Hanifa -would contend that lie was following the 
divine legislation of the Qur'an, while his adversaries 
contended that he was only following his own opinion. 

But if, on the one hand, he was thus limited from 
equity to legal fiction, on another he developed a 
new principle of even greater freedom. Reference 
has already been made to the changes which were 
of necessity involved in the new conditions of the 
countries conquered by the Muslims. Often the law 
of the desert not only failed to apply to town and 
agricultural life; it was even directly mischievous. 
On account of this, a consideration of local conditions 
was early accepted as a principle, but in general 
terms. These were reduced to definiteness by Abu 
Hanifa under the formula of "holding for better" 
(istihsan). He would say, "The analogy in the case 
points to such and such a rule, but under the circum- 
stances I hold it for better to rule thus and thus." 

This method, as we shall see later, was vehemently 
attacked by his opponents, as was his system in gen- 
eral. Tet that system by its philosophical perfection 
due to its theoretical origin and perfection in 
detail due to generations of practical workers has 
survived all attack and can now be said to be the 
leading one of the four existing schools. No legal 
writings of Abu Hanifa have reached us, nor does he 
seem to have, himself, cast his system into a finished 
code. That was done by his immediate pupils, and 
especially by two, the Qadi Abu Yusuf, who died in 
182, and Muhammad ibn al-Hasan, who died in 189. 
The first was consulting lawyer and chief Qadi to the 


great Khalifa Harun ar-Rashid, and, if stories can be 
believed, proved himself as complaisant of conscience 
as a court casuist need be. Innumerable are the 
tales afloat of his minute knowledge of legal subtleties 
and his fertility of device in applying them to meet 
the whims of his master, Harun. Some of them have 
found a resting place in that great mirror of mediseval 
Muslim life, The Thousand and One Nights; reference 
may be made to Night $96. Through his influence, 
the school of Abu Hanifa gained an official impor- 
tance which it never thereafter lost. He wrote for 
Harun a book which we have still, on the canon law 
as applied to the revenues of the state, a thorny and al- 
most impossible subject, for the canon law makes really 
no provision for the necessary funds of even a simple 
form of government and much less for such an array 
of palaces and officials as had grown up around the 
Abbasids. His book is marked by great piety in ex- 
pression and by ability of the highest kind in recon- 
ciling the irreconcilable. 

But all the canon lawyers did not fall in so easily 
with the new ways. Many found that only in ascet- 
icism, in renunciation of the world and engaging in 
pious exercises was there any chance of their main- 
taining the old standards in a state that was for 
them based on oppression and robbery. One of 
these was Sufyan ath-Thawri, a lawyer of high re- 
pute, who narrowly missed founding a separate school 
of law and who died in 161. There has come down 
to us a correspondence between him and Harun, 
which, though it cannot possibly be genuine, throws 
much light on the disappointment of the sincerely 


religious section. Harun writes on his accession to 
the Khalifate (170), complaining that Sufyan had not 
visited him, in spite of their bond of brotherhood, 
and offering him wealth from the public treasury. 
Sufyan replied, denouncing such use of public funds 
and all the other uses of them by Harun many 
enough except those precisely laid down in the 
codes, On the basis of these, Harun would have had 
to work for his own living. There are also other 
denunciations for crimes in the ruler which he pun- 
ished in others. Harun is said to have kept the letter 
and wept over it at intervals, but no change of life on 
his part is recorded. Apparently, with the accession 
of the Abbasids ascetic and mystical Islam made a 
great development. It became plain to the pious 
that no man could inherit both this world and the 

While Abu Hanifa was developing his system in 
Mesopotamia, al-Awza'i was working similarly in 
Syria. He was born at Baalbec, lived at Damascus, 
and at Beyrout where he died in 157. Of him and 
his teaching we know comparatively little. But so 
far it is clear that he was not a speculative jiirist of 
the same type as Abu Hanifa, but paid especial at- 
tention to traditions. At one time his school was 
followed by the Muslims of Syria and the entire 
West to Morocco and Spain. But its day was a short 
one. The school of Abn Hanifa, championed by Abu 
Yusuf with his tremendous influence as chief Qadi 
of the Abbasid empire, pushed it aside, and at the 
present day it has no place except in history. For 
us, its interest is that of another witness to the early 


rise and spread of systems of jurisprudence outside 
of Arabia. 

In A.H. 179, three years before the death of Abu 
Yusuf and twenty-nine after that of Abu Hanifa, 
there died at al-Madina the founder and head of 
an independent school of a very different type. This 
was Malik ibn Anas, under whose hands what we may 
call, for distinction, the historical school of al-Ma- 
dina took form. Al-Madina, it will be remembered, 
was the mother-city of Muslim law. It was the 
special home of the traditions of the Prophet and the 
scene of his legislative and judicial life. Its pre- 
Islamic customary law had been sanctioned, in a 
sense, by his use. It had been the capital of the 
state in its purest days. From the height of all these 
privileges its traditionists and lawyers looked down 
upon the outsiders and parvenus who had begun to 
intermeddle in sacred things. 

But it must not be thought that this school was of 
a rigid traditionism. The case was quite the reverse, 
and in many respects it is hard to make a distinction 
between it and that of Abu Hanifa. Its first source 
was, of necessity, the Qur'an. Then came the usage of 
the Prophet. This merged into the usage of the Suc- 
cessors of the Prophet and the unwritten custom of 
the town. It will be seen that here the historical 
weight of the place came to bear. No other place, no 
other community, could furnish that later tradition 
with anything like the same authority. Further, Malik 
ibn Anas was a practical jurist, a working judge. He 
was occupied in meeting real cases from day to day. 
When he sat in public and judged the people, or 


with his pupils around Mm and expounded and de- 
veloped the law, he could look back upon a line of 
canon lawyers who had sat in his place and done 
as he was doing. In that lies the great difference. 
He was in practical touch with actual life ; that was 
one point ; and, secondly, he was in the direct line 
of the apostolic succession, and in the precise en- 
vironment of the Prophet. So when he went beyond 
Qur'an, prophetic usage, agreement, and gave out 
decisions on simple opinion, the feeling of the com- 
munity justified him. It was a different thing for 
Malik ibn Anas, sitting there in state in al-Madina, 
to use his judgment, than for some quick-brained 
vagabond of a Persian or Syrian proselyte, some 
pauvre diable with neither kith nor kin in the coun- 
try, to lay down principles of law. So the pride of 
the city of the Prophet distinguished between him and 
Abu Hanif a. 

But though the speculative element in the school 
of Malik, apart from its local and historical environ- 
ment, which gave it unifying weight, was essentially 
the same as in the school of Abu Hanifa, yet it is 
true that at al-Madina it played a less important 
part. Malik used tradition more copiously and took 
refuge in opinion less frequently. Without opinion, 
he could not have built his system ; but for him it 
was not so much a primary principle as a means 
of escape. Yet one principle of great freedom he 
did derive from it and lay down with clearness ; it 
is the conception of the public advantage (istislali). 
When a rule would work general injury it is to be 
set aside even in the teeth of a valid analogy. This, 


it will be seen, is nearly the same as the preference 
of Abu Hanifa. The technical term istislak, chosen 
by Malik to express his idea, was probably intended 
to distinguish it from that of Abu Hanifa, and also 
to suggest in the public advantage (maslaha) a more 
valid basis than the mere preference of the legist. 

Another conception which Malik and his school 
developed into greater exactitude and force was that 
of the agreement (ijma). It will be remembered that 
from the death of Muhammad all the surviving Com- 
panions resident in al-Madina formed a kind of con- 
sultive council to aid the Khalifa with their store of 
tradition and experience. Their agreement on any 
point was final ; it was the voice of the Church. This 
doctrine of the infallibility of the body of the be- 
lievers developed in Islam until at its widest it 
was practically the same as the canon of catholic 
truth formulated by Yincent of Lerins, Quod ubique, 
quod semper, quod ab omnibus. But Malik, according 
to the usual view, had no intention of granting any 
such deciding power to the outside world. The world 
for him was al-Madina and the agreement of al- 
Madina established catholic verity. Yet there are 
narratives which suggest that he approved the agree- 
ment and local usage of al-Madina for al-Madina be- 
cause they suited al-Madina. Other places might 
also have their local usages which suited them better. 

In the next school we shall find the principle of 
agreement put upon a broader basis and granted 
greater weight. Finally, Malik is the first founder 
of a system from whom a law book, the Muwatta 
mentioned above, has come down to us. It is not 


in the exact sense, a manual or code ; rather a col- 
lection of materials for a code with remarks by the 
collector. He gives the traditions which seem to him 
of juristic importance about seventeen hundred in 
all arranged according to subject, and follows up 
each section, when necessary, with remarks upon the 
usage of al-Madina, and upon his own view of the 
matter. When he cannot find either tradition or 
usage, he evidently feels himself of sufficient author- 
ity to follow his own opinion, and lay down on that 
basis a binding rule. This, however, as we have 
seen, is very different from allowing other people, 
outsiders to al-Madina, to do the same thing. The 
school founded by Malik ibn Anas on these principles 
is one of the surviving four. As that of Abu Hanifa 
spread eastward, so that of Malik spread westward, 
and for a time crushed out all others. The firm grip 
which it has especially gained in western North 
Africa may be due to the influence of the Idrisids 
whose founder had to flee from al-Madina when 
Malik was in the height of his reputation there, and 
also to hatred of the Abbasids who championed the 
school of Abu Hanifa. 

But now we pass from simple development to 
development through conflict. Open conflict, so far 
as there had been any, had covered points of detail ; 
for example, the kind of opinion professed by Abu 
Hanifa, on the one hand, and by Malik, on the other. 
One of the chiefest of the pupils of Abu Hanifa, the 
Muhammad ibn al-Hasan already mentioned, spent 
three years in study with Malik at al-Madina and 
found no difficulty in thus combining his schools. 


The conflict of the future was to be different and to 
touch the yery basis of things. The muttering of 
the coming storm had been heard for long, but it 
was now to burst. Exact dates we cannot give, but 
the reaction must have been progressing in the latter 
part of the life of Malik ibn Anas. 

The distinction drawn above between traditionists 
and lawyers will be remembered, and the promise of 
future collision which always has come between his- 
torical or empirical, and speculative or philosophical 
students of systems of jurisprudence. The one side 
points to the absurdities, crudities, and inadequacies 
of a system based upon tradition and developing by 
usage ; the other says that we are not wise enough 
to rewrite the laws of our ancestors. These urge a 
necessity ; those retort an inability. Add to this a 
belief on the part of the traditionists that they were 
defending a divine institution and the situation is 
complete as it now lay in Islam. The extreme right 
said that law should be based on Qur'an and tradition 
only; the extreme left, that it was better to leave 
untrustworthy and obscure traditions and work out a 
system of rules by logic and the necessities of the 
case. To and fro between these two extremes swayed 
the conflict to which we now come. 

In that conflict three names stand out : ash-Shafi'i 
who died in 204, Ahmad ibn Hanbal who died in 241 
and Da'ud az-Zahiri who died in 270. Strangely 
enough, the first of these, ash-Shafi% struck the 
mediating note and the other two diverged further 
and further from the via media thus shown toward 
a blank traditionism. 


Ash-Shafi i is without question one of the greatest 
figures in the history of law. Perhaps he had not 
the originality and keenness of Abu Hanifa ; but he 
had a balance of mind and temper, a clear vision and 
full grasp of means and ends that enabled him to say 
what proved to be the last word in the matter. After 
him came attempts to tear down; but they failed. 
The fabric of the Muslim canon law stood firm. There 
is a tradition from the Prophet that he promised that 
with the end of every century would come a restorer 
of the faith of his people. At the end of the first 
century was the pious Khalifa, TJmar ibn Abd al- 
Aziz, who by some accident strayed in among the 
Umayyads. At the end of the second came ash- 
Shafi/i. His work was to mediate and systematize 
and bore especially on the sources from which rules 
of law might be drawn. His position on the positive 
side may be stated as one of great reverence for 
tradition. "If you ever find a tradition from the 
Prophet saying one thing," he is reported to have 
said, "and a decision from me saying another thing, 
follow the tradition." An absolutely authentic ac- 
cording to Muslim rules of evidence and clear tra- 
dition from the Prophet he regarded as of equally 
divine authority with a passage in the Qur'an. Both 
were inspired utterances, if slightly different in form ; 
the Qur'an was verbally inspired; such traditions 
were inspired as to their content. And if such a 
tradition contradicted a Qur'anic passage and came 
after it in time, then the written law of the Qur'an 
was abrogated by the oral law of the tradition. But 
this involved grave difficulties. The speculative ju- 


rists had defended their position from the beginning 
by pointing to the many contradictory traditions 
which were afloat, and asking how the house of tradi- 
tion could stand when so divided against itself. A 
means of reconciling traditions had to be found, and 
to this ash-Shafi'i gave himself. We need not go 
over his methods here ; they were the same that have 
always been used in such emergencies. The worship 
of the letter led to the straining of the letter, and to 
explaining away of the letter. 

But there lay a rock in his course more dangerous 
than any mere contradiction in differing traditions. 
Usages had grown up and taken fast hold which were 
in the teeth of all traditions. These usages were in 
the individual life, in the constitution of the state, 
and in the rules and decisions of the law courts. The 
pious theologian and lawyer might rage against them 
as he chose ; they were there, firmly rooted, immovable. 
They were not arbitrary changes, but had come about 
in the process of time through the revolutions of 
circumstances and varying conditions. Ash-Shafi'i 
showed his greatness by recognizing the inevitable 
and providing a remedy. This lay in an extension of 
the principle of agreement and the erection of it into 
a formal source. Whatever the community of Islam 
has agreed upon at any time, is of God. We have 
met this principle before, but never couched in so ab- 
solute and catholic a form. The agreement of the 
immediate Companions of Muhammad had weight 
with his first Successors. The agreement of these 
first Companions and of the first generation after 
them, had determining weight in the early church. 


The agreement of al-Madina liad weight with Malik 
ibn Anas. The agreement of many divines and le- 
gists always had weight of a kind. Among lawyers, 
a principle, to the contrary of which the memory of 
man ran not, had been determining. But this was 
wider, and from this time on the unity of Islam was 
assured. The evident voice of the People of Muham- 
mad was to be the voice of God. Yet this principle, 
if full of hope and value for the future, involved the 
canonists of the time in no small difficulties. "Was it 
conceivable that the agreement could override the 
usage of the Prophet ? Evidently not. There must, 
then, they argued, once have existed some tradition 
to the same effect as the agreement, although it had 
now been lost. Some such lost authority must be 
presupposed. This can remind us of nothing so 
much as of the theory of the inerrant but lost original 
of the Scriptures. And it had the fate of that theory. 
The weight of necessity forced aside any such trifling 
and the position was frankly admitted that the agree- 
ment of the community was a safer and more certain 
basis than traditions from the Prophet. Traditions 
were alleged to that effect. " My People will never 
agree in an error," declared Muhammad, or, at least, 
the later church made him so declare. 

But ash-Shafi'i found that even the addition of 
agreement to Qur'an and Prophetic usage did not 
give him basis enough for his system. Opinion he 
utterly rejected ; the preference of Abu Hanifa and 
the conception of the common welfare of Malik ibn 
Anas were alike to Mm. It is true also that both 
had been practically saved undei agreement. But 


he held fast by analogy, whether based on the Qur'an 
or on the usage of the Prophet. It was an essential 
instrument for his purpose. As was said, " The laws 
of the Qur'an and of the usage are limited ; the pos- 
sible cases are unlimited ; that which is unlimited can 
never be contained in that which is limited." But in 
ash-Shafi'i's use of analogy there is a distinction to 
be observed. In seeking to establish a parallelism 
between a case that has arisen and a rule in the 
Qur'an or usage, which is similar in some points but 
not precisely parallel, are we to look to external 
points of resemblance, or may we go further and seek 
to determine the reason (ilia) lying behind the rule 
and from that draw our analogy ? The point seems 
simple enough and the early speculative jurists sought 
the reason. For that they were promptly attacked 
by the traditionists. Such a method was an attempt 
to look into the mysteries of God, they were told ; 
man has no business to inquire after reasons, all he 
has to do is to obey. The point thus raised was 
fought over for centuries and schools are classified 
according to their attitude toward it. The position 
of ash-Shafii seems to have been that the reason for 
a command was to be considered in drawing an anal- 
ogy, but that there must be some clear guide, in the 
text itself, pointing to the reason. He thus left him- 
self free to consider the causes of the divine com- 
mands and yet produced the appearance of avoiding 
any irreverence or impiety in doing so. 

Such then are the four sources or bases (asls) of 
jurisprudence as accepted and defined by ash-Shafi c i 
Qur'an, prophetic usage, analogy, agreement. The 


last has come to bear more and more weight. Every 
Shafi'ite law book begins each section with words to 
this effect, " The basis of this rule, before the agree- 
ment (qabla-l-ijma], is " Qur'an or usage as the case 
may be. The agreement must put its stamp on 
every rule to make it valid. Further, all the now 
existing schools have practically accepted ash-Shafi'i's 
classification of the sources and many have contended 
that a lawyer, no matter what his school, who does 
not use all these four sources, cannot be permitted 
to act as a judge. Ash-Shafi f i has accomplished his 
own definition of a true jurist, " Not he is a jurist 
who gathers statements and prefers one of them, but 
he who establishes a new principle from which a 
hundred branches may spring." 

But the extreme traditiouists were little satisfied 
with this compromise. They objected to analogy 
and they objected -to agreement; nothing but the 
pure law of God and the Prophet would satisfy them. 
And their numbers were -undoubtedly large. The 
common people always heard traditions gladly, and 
it was easy to turn to ridicule the subtleties of the 
professional lawyers. How much simpler, it struck 
the average mind, it would be to follow some clear 
and unambiguous saying of the Prophet ; then one 
could feel secure. This desire of the plain man to 
take traditions and interpret them strictly and liter- 
ally was met by the school of Da'ud az-Zahiri, David 
the literalist. He was born three or four years be- 
fore the death of ash-Shafi/i, which occurred in 204. 
He was trained as a Shafi/ite and that, too, of the nar- 
rower, more traditional type; but it was not tradi- 


tional enough for him. So he had to cut himself 
loose and form a school of his own. He rejected 
utterly analogy ; he limited agreement, as a source, 
to the agreement of the immediate Companions of 
Muhammad, and in this he has been followed by the 
Wahhabites alone among moderns ; he limited him- 
self to Qur'an and prophetic usage. 

In another point also, he diverged. Ash-Shafi'i 
had evidently exercised a very great personal influence 
upon his followers. All looked up to him and were 
prepared to swear to his words. So there grew up a 
tendency for a scholar to take a thing upon the word 
of his master. " Asli-Shafi'i taught so; I am a 
Shafi'ite and I hold so." This, too, Da'ud utterly re- 
jected. The scholar must examine the proofs for him- 
self and form his own opinion. But he had another 
peculiarity, and one which gained him the name of 
literalisi Everything, Qur'an and tradition, must be 
taken in the most exact sense, however absurd it 
might be. Of course, to have gone an inch beyond 
the very first meaning of the words would have been 
to stray in the direction of analogy. Tet, as fate 
would have it, to analogy, more or less, he had in 
the end to come. The inexorable law that the lim- 
ited cannot bound the unlimited was proved again. 
"Analogy is like carrion," confessed a very much 
earlier traditionist, " when there is nothing else you 
eat it." Da'ud tried to make his meal more palata- 
ble by a change in name. He called it a proof 
(dalil) instead of a source (as!) ; but what difference 
of idea he involved in that it is hard to determine. 
This brought him to the doctrine of cause, already 


mentioned. Were we at liberty to seek the cause of 
a divine word or action and lead our " proof " from 
that ? If the cause was directly stated, then Da'ud 
held that we must regard it as having been the cause 
in this case ; but we were not at liberty, he added, to 
look for it, or on it, as cause in any other case. 

It is evident that here we have to do with an im- 
possible man and school, and so the Muslim world 
found. Most said roundly that it was illegal to per- 
mit a Zahirite to act as judge, on much the same 
grounds that objection to circumstantial evidence will 
throw out a man now as juror. If they had been using 
modern language, they would have said that it was 
because he was a hopeless crank. Yet the Zahirite 
school lasted for centuries and drew long conse- 
quences, historical and theological, for which there is 
no space here. It never held rank as an acknowl- 
edged school of Muslim law. 

We now come to the last of the four schools, and 
it, strange as its origin was, need not detain us long. 
The Zahirite reaction had failed through its very ex- 
tremeness. It was left to a dead man and a devoted 
Shafi'ite to head the last attack upon the school of his 
master. Ahmad ibn Hanbal was a theologian of the 
first rank; he made no claim to be a constructive 
lawyer. His Musnad has already been dealt with. 
It is an immense collection of some thirty thousand 
traditions, but these are not even arranged for le- 
gal purposes. He suffered terribly for the orthodox 
faith in the rationalist persecution under the Khalifa 
al-Ma'mun, and his sufferings gained him the posi- 
tion of a saint. But he never dreamed of forming a 


school, least of all in opposition to Ms master, ash- 
Shafi'i. He died in 241, and after his death his 
disciples drew together and the fourth school was 
founded. It was simply reactionary and did not 
make progress in any way. It minimized agreement 
and analogy and tended toward literal interpretation. 
As might be expected from its origin, its history has 
been one of violence, of persecution and counter- 
persecution, of insurrection and riot. Again and 
again the streets of Baghdad ran blood from its 
excesses. It has now the smallest following of the 
four surviving schools. 

There is no need to pursue this history further. 
With ash-Shaii'i the great development of Muslim ju- 
risprudence closes. Legislation, equity, legal fiction 
have done their parts ; the hope for the future lay, and 
lies, in the principle of the agreement. The common- 
sense of the Muslim community, working through 
that expression of catholicity, has set aside in the 
past even the undoubted letter of the Qur'an, and in 
the future will still further break the grasp of that 
dead hand. It is the principle of unity in Islam. 
But there is a principle of variety as well. The four 
schools of law whose origin has been traced are all 
equally valid and their decisions equally sacred in 
Muslim eyes. The believer may belong to any one 
of these which he chooses ; he must belong to one ; 
and when he has chosen his school, he accepts it and 
its rules to the uttermost. Yet he does not cast out as 
heretics the followers of the other schools. In every 
chapter their codes differ more or less ; but each 
school bears with the others ; sometimes, it may be. 


with a superior tone, but still bears. This liberty of 
variety in unity is again undoubtedly due to the 
agreement. It has expressed itself, as it often does, 
in apocryphal traditions from the Prophet, the last 
rag of respect left to the traditionist school. Thus 
we are told that the Prophet said, " The disagree- 
ment of My People is a Mercy from God." This 
supplements and completes the other equally apocry- 
phal but equally important tradition : " My People 
will never agree upon an error." 

But there is a third principle at work which we 
cannot view with the same favor. As said above, 
every Muslim must attach himself to a legal school, 
and may choose any one of these four. But once he 
has chosen his school he is absolutely bound by 
the decisions and rules of that school. This is the 
principle against which the Zahirites protested, but 
their protest, the only bit of sense they ever showed, 
was in vain. The result of its working throughout cen- 
turies has been that now no one except from a spirit 
of historical curiosity ever dreams of going back from 
the text-books of the present day to the works of the 
older masters. Further, such an attempt to get be- 
hind the later commentaries would not be permitted. 
We have comment upon comment upon comment, 
abstract of this and expansion of that; but each 
hangs by his predecessor and dares not go another 
step backward. The great masters of the four schools 
settled the broad principles ; they were authorities of 
the first degree (mujtaliidun mutlaq), second to Mu- 
hammad in virtue of his inspiration only. Second, 
came the masters who had authority within the sep- 


arate schools (mujtahidun jK-l-madhahib) to determine 
the questions that arose there. Third, masters of 
still lesser rank for minor points (mujtahidun bil- 
fattva. And so the chain runs on. The possibility 
of a new legal school arising or of any considerable 
change among these existing schools is flatly denied. 
Every legist now has his place and degree of liberty 
fixed, and he must be content. 

These three principles, then, of catholic unity and 
ifcs ability to make and abrogate laws, of the liberty 
of diversity in that unity, and of blind subjection to 
the past within that diversity, these three principles 
must be our hope aod fear for the Muslim peoples. 
What that future will be none can tell. The grasp 
of the dead hand of Islam is close, but its grip at 
many points has been forced to relax. * Yery early, 
as has already been pointed out, the canon law had 
to give way to the will of the sovereign, and ground 
once lost it has never regained. Now, in every 
Muslim country, except perhaps the Wahhabite state 
in central Arabia, there are two codes of law admin- 
istered by two separate courts. The one judges by 
this canon law and has cognizance of what we may 
call private and family affairs, marriage, divorce, in- 
heritance. Its judges, at whose head in Turkey 
stands the Shaykh al-Islam, a dignity first created by 
the Ottoman Sultan Muhammad II in 1453, after 
the capture of Constantinople, also give advice to 
those who consult them on such personal matters as 
details of the ritual law, the law of oaths and vows, 
etc. The other court knows no law except the cus- 
tom of the country (urf, add) and the will of the 


ruler, expressed often in what are called Qanuns, 
statutes. Thus, in Turkey at the present day, be- 
sides the codices of canon law, there is an accepted 
and authoritative corpus of such Qanuns. It is based 
on the Code Napoleon and administered by courts 
tinder the Minister of Justice. This is the nearest 
approach in Islam to the development by statute, 
which comes last in Sir Henry Maine's analysis of 
the growth of law. The court guided by these Qanuns 
decides all matters of public and criminal law, all 
affairs between man and man. Such is the legal 
situation throughout the whole Muslim world, from 
Sulu to the Atlantic and from Africa to China. The 
canon lawyers, on their side, have never admitted 
this to be anything but flat usurpation. There have 
not failed some even who branded as heretics and 
unbelievers those who took any part in such courts 
of the world and the devil. They look back to the 
good old days of the rightly guided Khalifas, when 
there was but one law in Islam, and forward to the 
days of the Mahdi when that law will be restored. 
There, between a dead past and a hopeless future, we 
may leave them. The real future is not theirs. Law 
is greater than lawyers, and it works in the end for 
justice and life. 

Finally, it may be well to notice an important and 
necessary modification which holds as to the above 
statement that a Muslim may choose any one of the 
four schools and may then follow its rules. As might 
be expected, geographical influences weigh over- 
whelmingly in this choice. Certain countries are 
Hanifite or Shafi'ite ; in each, adherents of the other 


sects are rare. This geographical position may be 
given roughly as follows : central Asia, northern India, 
and the Turks everywhere are Hanifite. Lower Egypt, 
Syria, southern India and the Malay Archipelago are 
Shafi'ite. Upper Egypt and North Africa west of 
Egypt are Malikite. Practically, only the Wahha- 
bites in central Arabia are Hanbalites. Further, the 
position holds in Islam that the country, as a whole, 
follows the legal creed of its ruler, just as it follows 
his religion. It is not only cuius regio eius religio, 
but cuius religio eius lex. Again and again, a revolu- 
tion in the state has driven one legal school from 
power and installed another. Yet the situation oc- 
curs sometimes that a sovereign finds his people di- 
vided into two parties, each following a different rite, 
and he then recognizes both by appointing Qadis be- 
longing to both, and enforcing the decisions of these 
Qadis. Thus, at Zanzibar, at present, there are eight 
Ibadite judges and two Shafi'ite, all appointed by the 
Sultan and backed by Ms authority. On the othei 
hand, the Turkish government, ever since it felt itself 
strong enough, has thrown the full weight of its in- 
fluence on the Hanifite side. In almost all countries 
under its rule it appoints Hanifite judges only ; valid 
legal decisions can be pronounced only according to 
that rite. The private needs of non-Hanifites are 
met by the appointment of salaried Muftis givers of 
fattvas, or legal opinions of the other rites. 

In the above sketch there have been of necessity 
two considerable omissions. The one is of Shi'ite 
and the other of Ibadite law. Neither seems of 
sufficient importance to call for separate treatment. 


The legal system of the Shi'ites is derived from that 
of the so-called Sunnites and differs in details only. 
"We have seen already (p. 38) that the SH'ites still 
have Mujtahids who are not bound to the words of a 
master, but can give decisions on their own responsi- 
bility. These seem to have in their hands the teach- 
ing power which strictly belongs only to the Hidden 
Imam. They thus represent the principle of author- 
ity which is the governing conception of the Shi'a. 
The Sunnites, on the other hand, have reached the 
point of recognizing that it is the People of Muham- 
mad as a whole which rules through its agreement. 
In another point the Shiite conception of authority 
affects their legal system. They utterly reject the 
idea of co-ordinate schools of law ; to the doctrine of 
the varying (ikhtilaf) as it is called, and the liberty 
of diversity which lies in it, they oppose the authority 
of the Imam. There can be only one truth and there 
can be no trifling with it even in details. Among the 
Shi'ites of the Zaydite sect this was affected also by 
their philosophical studies and a philosophical doc- 
trine of the unity of truth ; but to the Imamites it is 
an authoritative necessity and not one of thought. 
Thus on two important points the Shi'ites lack the 
possibility of freedom and development which is to 
be found with the Sunnites. Of the jurisprudence of 
the Ibadites we know comparatively little. A full 
examination of Ibadite jiqh would be of the high- 
est interest, as the separation of its line of descent 
goes far back behind the formation of any of the 
orthodox systems and it must have been codified to a 
greater or loss extent by Abd Allah ibn Ibad himself. 


Its basis appears to be three-fold, Qur'an, prophetic 
usage, agreement naturally that of the Ibadite com- 
munity. There is 110 mention of analogy, and tradi- 
tions seem to have been used sparingly and critically. 
Qur'an bore the principal emphasis. See above, 
(p. 26) for the Ibadite position on the form of the 
state and on the nature of its headship. 



The three principles in the development ; first religious question- 
ings; Murji'ites, Kharijites, Qadarites; influence of Christi- 
anity ; the Umayyads and Abbasids ; the Mu'tazilites ; the 
Qualities of God; the Vision of God; the creation of the 

BEFOKE entering npon a consideration of the devel- 
opment of the theology of Islam, it will be well to 
mark clearly the three principles which run continu- 
ously through that development, which conditioned 
it for evil and for good and which are still working 
in it. In dealing with jurisprudence and with the 
theory of the state, we have already seen abundantly 
how false is the current idea that Islam has ceased 
to grow and has no hope of future development. The 
organism of Islam, like every other organism, has 
periods of rest when it appears to have reached a 
cul de sac and to have outlived its life. But after 
these periods come others of renewed quickening and 
its vital energy pours itself forth again alter et idem. 
In the state, we saw how the old realms passed into 
decrepitude and decay, but new ones rose to take 
their places. The despotism by the grace of God of 



formal Islam was tempered by the sacred right of 
insurrection and revolution, and the People of Mu- 
hammad, in spite of kings and princes, asserted, from 
time to time, its unquenchable vitality. 

In theology the spirit breathes through single 
chosen men more than through the masses ; and, in 
consequence, our treatment of it will take biographi- 
cal form wherever our knowledge renders that pos- 

But whether we have men or naked movements, the 
begetters of which are names to us or less, three 
threads are woven distinctly through the web of Mus- 
lim religious thought. There is tradition (naql) ; there 
is reason (aql) ; and there is the unveiling of the mys- 
tic (kaslif). They were in the tissue of Muhammad's 
brain and they have been in his church since he died. 
Now one would be most prominent, now another, ac- 
cording to the thinker of the time ; but all were pres- 
ent to some degree. Tradition in its strictest form 
lives now only with the "Wahhabites and the Brother- 
hood of as-Sanusi ; reason has become a scholastic 
hand-maid of theology except among the modern 
Indian Mu'tazilites, whom orthodox Islam would no 
more accept as Muslims than a Trinitarian of the 
Westminster confession would give the name of 
Christian to a Unitarian of the left wing ; the inner 
light of the mystic has assumed many forms, running 
from plainest pantheism to mere devout ecstasy. 

But in the church of Muhammad they are all work- 
ing still; and the catholicity of Islam, in spite of zeal- 
ots, persecutions and counter-persecutions, has at- 
tained here, too, as in law, a liberty of variety in unity. 


Two of the principles we have met already in the 
students of hadith and of speculative law. The Han- 
balites maintained in theology their devotion to tradi- 
tion ; they fought for centuries all independent think- 
ing which sought to rise above what the fathers had 
told; they fought even scholastic theology of the 
strictest type and would be content with nothing but 
the rehearsal of the old dogmas in the old forms ; they 
fought, too, the mystical life in all its phases. On the 
other hand, Abu Hanifa was tinged with rationalism 
and speculation in theology as in law, and his follow- 
ers have walked in his path. Even the mystical light 
has been touched in our view of the theory of the 
state. It has flourished most among the Shi'ites, 
who are driven to seek and to find an inner meaning 
under the plain word of the Qur'an, and whose devo- 
tion to Ali and his house and to their divine mission 
has kept alive the thought of a continuous speaking 
of God to mankind and of an exalting of mankind 
into the presence of God. It is for the student, then, 
to watch and hold fast these three guiding threads. 

The development of Muslim theology, like that of 
jurisprudence, could not begin till after the death of 
Muhammad. So long as he lived and received infal- 
lible revelations in solution of all questions of faith 
or usage that might come up, it is obvious that no 
system of theology could be formed or even thought 
of. Traditions, too, which have reached us, even 
show Mm setting his face against all discussions of 
dogma and repeating again and again, in answer to 
metaphysical and theological questions, the crude 


anthropomorphisms of the Qur'an. But these ques- 
tions and answers are probably forgeries of the later 
traditional school, shadows of future warfare thrown 
back upon the screen of the patriarchal age. Again, 
in the first twenty or thirty years after Muhammad's 
death, the Muslims were too much occupied with the 
propagation of their faith to think what that faith 
exactly was. Thus, it seems that the questioning 
spirit in this direction was aroused comparatively 
late and remained for some time on what might be 
called a private basis. Individual men had their in- 
dividual views, but sects did not quickly arise, and 
when they did were vague and bard to define in their 
positions. It may be said, broadly, that everything 
wSich has reached us about the early Muslim heresies 
is uncertain, confused and unsatisfactory. Names, 
dates, influences and doctrines are all seen through 
a haze, and nothing more than an approximation to 
an outline can be attempted. Vague stories are handed 
down of the early questionings and disputings of 
certain aM~al-ahwa, "people of wandering desires," 
a name singularly descriptive of the always flighty 
and sceptical Arabs ; of how they compared Script- 
ure with Scripture and got up theological debates, 
splitting points and defining issues, to great scandal 
and troubling of spirit among the simpler-minded 
pious. These were not yet heretics ; they were the 
first investigators and systematizers. 

Yet two sects loom up through the mist and their 
existence can be tolerably conditioned through the 
historical facts and philosophical necessities of the 
time. The one is that of the Murji'ites, and the other 

MUEJl'lTES 123 

of the Qadarites. A Murji'ite Is literally "one who 
defers or postpones/' in this case postpones judgment 
until it is pronounced by God on the Day of Judg- 
ment. They arose as a sect during and out of the 
civil war between the Shi'ites, the Kharijites and 
the Umayyads. All these parties claimed to be Mus- 
lims, and most of them claimed that they were the 
only true Muslims and that the others were un- 
believers. This was especially the attitude of the 
Shi'ites and Kharijites toward the Umayyads; to 
them, the Umayyads, as we have seen already, were 
godless heathen who professed Islam, but oppressed 
and slaughtered the true saints of God. The Mur- 
ji'ites, on the other hand, worked out a view on which 
they could still support the Umayyads without homo- 
logating all their actions and condemning all their 
opponents. The Umayyads, they held, were de facto 
the rulers of the .Muslim state; fealty had been 
sworn to them and they confessed the Unity of God 
and the apostleship of the Prophet. Thus, they 
were not polytheists, and there is no sin that can 
possibly be compared with the sin of polytheism 
(shirk). It was, therefore, the duty of all Muslims to 
acknowledge their sovereignty and to postpone until 
the secrets of the Last Day all judgment or condemna- 
tion of any sins they might have committed. Sins 
less than polytheism could justify no one in rising in 
revolt against them and in breaking the oath of fealty. 
Such seems to have been the origin of the Murji'ites, 
and it was the origin also of the theory of the ac- 
complished fact in the state, of which we have had to 
take account several times. Thus, between the fa- 


uatical venerators of the canon law, to whom all the 
Khalifas, after the first four, were an abomination, 
and the purely worldly lawyers of the court party, 
there came a group of pious theologians who taught 
that the good of the Muslim community required 
obedience to the ruler of the time, even though his 
personal unworthiness were plain. As a consequence, 
success can legitimate anything in the Muslim state. 
But with the passing away of the situation which 
gave rise to Murji'ism, it itself changed from politics 
to theology. As a political party it had opposed the 
political puritanism of the Kharijites ; it now came to 
oppose the uncompromising spirit in which these 
damned all who differed from them even in details 
and brandished the terrors of the wrath of God over 
their opponents. It is true that this came natural to 
Islam. The earlier Muslims seem in general to have 
been oppressed by a singularly gloomy fatalism. To 
use modern theological language, they labored un- 
der a terrible consciousness of sin. They viewed 
the world as an evil temptress, seducing men from 
heavenly things. Their lives were hedged about 
with sins, great and little, and each deserved the 
eternal wrath of God. The recollection of their lat- 
ter end they kept ever before them and the terrors 
that it would bring, for they felt that no amount of 
faith in God and His Prophet could save them in the 
judgment to come. The roots of this run far back. 
Before the time of Muhammad and at his time there 
were among the Arab tribes, scattered here and there, 
many men who felt a profound dissatisfaction with 
heathenism, its doctrines and religious rites. The 


conception of God and the burden of life pressed 
heavily upon them. They saw men pass away and 
descend into the grave, and they asked whither they 
had gone and what had become of them. The thought 
of this fleeting, transitory life and of the ocean of 
darkness and mystery that lies around it, drove them 
away to seek truth in solitude and the deserts. They 
were called Hanifs the word is of very doubtful 
derivation and Muhammad himself, in the early 
part of his career, reckoned himself one of them. But 
we have evidence from heathen Arab poetry that these 
Hanifs were regarded as much the same as Christian 
monks, and that the term hanif was used as a syn- 
onym for rahib, monk. 

And, in truth, the very soul of Islam sprang from 
these solitary hermits, scattered here and there 
throughout the desert, consecrating their lives to 
God, and fleeing from the wrath to come. Even in 
pre-Islamic Arabic poetry we feel how strong was 
the impression made on the Arab mind by the gaunt, 
weird men with their endless watchings and night 
prayers. Again and again there is allusion to the 
lamp of the hermit shining through the darkness, and 
we have pictures of the caravan or of the solitary 
traveller on the night journey cheered and guided by 
its glimmer. These Christian hermits and the long 
deserted ruins telling of old, forgotten tribes judged 
and overthrown by God, as the Arabs held and hold 
that lie throughout the Syrian waste and along the 
caravan routes were the two things that most stirred 
the imagination of Muhammad and went to form his 
faith. To Muhammad, and to the Semite always, the 


whole of life was but a long procession from the 
great deep to the great deep again. "Where are the 
kings and rulers of the earth ? Where are the peoples 
that were mighty in their day ? The hand of God 
smote them and they are not. There is naught real in 
the world but God. From Him we are, and unto 
Him we return. There is nothing for man but to 
fear and worship. The world is deceitful and makes 
sport of them that trust it. 

Such is the oversong of all Muslim thought, the 
faith to which the Semite ever returns in the end. 
To this the later Murji'ites opposed a doctrine of 
Faith, which was Pauline in its sweep. Faith, they 
declared, saved, and Faith alone. If the sinner be- 
lieved in God and His Prophet he would not remain 
in the fire. The Kharijites, on the other hand, held 
that the sinner who died unrepentant would remain 
therein eternally, even though he had confessed Is- 
lam with his lips. The unrepentant sinner, they 
considered, could not be a believer in the true sense. 
This is still the Ibadite position, and from it devel- 
oped one of the most important controversies of Is- 
lam as to the precise nature of faith. Some extreme 
Murji'ites held that faith (imari) was a confession in 
the heart, private intercourse with God, as opposed 
to Islam, public confession with the lips. Thus, one 
could be a believer (mu j min\ and outwardly confess 
Judaism or Christianity ; to be a professed Muslim 
was not necessary. This is like the doctrine of the 
Imamites, called taqiya, that it is allowable in time 
of stress to dissemble one's religious views ; and it 
is worth noticing that Jahm ibn Safwan (killed, 131 ?), 


one of these extreme Murji'ites, was a Persian pros- 
elyte in rebellion against the Arab rule, and of the 
loosest religious conduct. But these Antinomians 
were no more Muslims than the Anabaptists of Mun- 
ster had a claim to be Christians. The other wing 
of the Murji'ites is represented by Abu Hanifa, who 
held that faith (iman) is acknowledgment with the 
tongue as well as the heart and that works are a neces- 
sary supplement. This is little different from the 
orthodox position which grew up, that persuasion, 
confession, and works made up faith. When Murji- 
ism dropped out of existence as a sect it left as its 
contribution to Islam a distinction between great and 
little sins (Jcabiras, saghiras), and the position that even 
great sins, if not involving polytheism (shirty, would 
not exclude the believer forever from the Garden. 

The second sect, that of Qadarites, had its origin 
in a philosophical necessity of the human mind. A 
perception of the contradiction between man's con- 
sciousness of freedom and responsibility, on the one 
hand, and the absolute rule and predestination of 
Grod, on the other, is the usual beginning of the think- 
ing life, both in individuals and in races. It was so 
in Islam. In theology as in law, Muhammad had 
been an opportunist pure and simple. On the one 
hand, his Allah is the absolute Semitic despot who 
guides aright and leads astray, who seals up the 
hearts of men and opens them again, who is mighty 
over all. On the other hand, men are exhorted to 
repentance, and punishment is threatened against 
them if they remain hardened in their unbelief. All 
these phases of a wandering and intensely subjective 


mind, which lived only in the perception of the mo- 
ment, appear in the Qur'an. Muhammad was a 
poet rather than a theologian ; just as he was a proph- 
et rather than a legislator. As soon, then, as the 
Muslims paused in their career of conquest and be- 
gan to think at all, they thought of this. Naturally, 
so long as they were fighting in the Path of God, it 
was the conception of God's absolute sovereignty 
which most appealed to them ; by it their fates were 
fixed, and they charged without fear the ranks of the 
unbelievers. In these earliest times, the fatalistic 
passages bore most stress and the others were ex- 
plained away. This helped, at least, to bring it 
about that the party which in time came to profess 
the freedom of man's will, began and ended as an 
heretical sect. But it only helped, and we must never 
lose sight of the fact that the eventual victory in Is- 
lam of the absolute doctrine of God's eternal decree 
was the victory of the more fundamental of Muham- 
mad's conflicting conceptions. The other had been 
much more a campaigning expedient. 

This sect of Qadarites, whose origin we have 
been conditioning, derived its name from their posi- 
tion that a man possessed qadar, or power, over his 
actions. One of the first of them was a certain 
Ma'bad al-Juhani, who paid for his heresy with Ms 
life in A.H. 80. Historians tell that he with Ata ibn 
Yassar, another of similar opinions, came one day to 
the celebrated ascetic, al-Hasan al-Basri (d. 110), 
and said, " Abu Sa'id, those kings shed the blood 
of the Muslims, and do grievous things and say 
that their works are by the decree of God." To 


this al-Hasan replied, "The enemies of God lie." 
The story is only important as showing how the 
times and their changes were widening men's 
thoughts. Yery soon, now, we come from these 
drifting tendencies to a formal sect with a formal 
secession and a fixed name. The Murji'ites and 
the Qadarites melt from the scene, some of their 
tenets pass into orthodox Islam ; some into the new 

The story of its founding again connects with the 
outstanding figure of al-Hasan al-Basri. He seems 
to have been the chief centre of the religious life and 
movements of his time ; his pupils appear and his in- 
fluence shows itself in all the later schools. Some- 
one came to him as he sat among his pupils and 
asked what his view was between the conflicting 
Murji'ites and Wa'idites, the first holding that the 
committer of a great sin, if he had faith, was not an 
unbeliever, was to be accepted as a Muslim and his 
case left in the hands of God ; the other laying more 
stress upon the threats (ioa c id) in the Book of God 
and teaching that the committer of a great sin could 
not be a believer, that he had, ipso facto, abandoned 
the true faith, must go into the Eire and abide there. 
Before the master could reply, one of his pupils 
some say Amr ibn TJbayd (d. circ. 144), others, 
Wasil ibn Ata (d. 131) broke in with the assertion 
of an intermediate position. Such an one was neither 
a believer nor an unbeliever. Then he left the circle 
which sat round the master, went to another part 
of the mosque and began to develop his view to 
those who gathered round him. The name believer 


(mu'miri), he taught, was a term of praise, and an evil- 
doer was not worthy of praise, and could not have that 
name applied to him. But he was not an unbeliever, 
either, for he assented to the faith. If he, then, died 
unrepentant, he must abide forever in the Fire for 
there are only two divisions in the nest world, 
heaven and hell but his torments would be miti- 
gated on account of his faith. The position to 
which orthodox Islam eventually came was that a 
believer could commit a great sin. If he did so, and 
died unrepentant, he went to hell ; but after a time 
would be permitted to enter heaven. Thus, hell be- 
came for believers a sort of purgatory. On this 
secession, al-Hasan only said " I'tazala anna" 
He has seceded from us. So the new party was 
called the Mu'tazila, the Secession. That, at least, is 
the story, which may be taken for what it is worth. 
The fixed facts are the rise at the beginning of the 
second century after the Hijra of a tolerably definite 
school of dissenters from the traditional ideas, and 
their application of reason to the dogmas of the 

We have noted already the influence of Christian- 
ity on Muhammad through the hermits of the des- 
ert. From it sprang the asceticism of Islam and 
that asceticism grew and developed into quietism 
and thence into mysticism. The last step was still 
in the future, but already at this time there were 
wandering monks who imitated their Christian breth- 
ren in the wearing of a coarse woollen frock and were 
thence called Sufis, from suf, wool. It was not long 
before Sufi came to mean mystic, and the third of the 


three great threads was definitely woven into the 
fabric of Muslim thought. But that was not the 
limit of Christian influence. Those anchorites in 
their caves and huts had little training in the theol- 
ogy of the schools ; the dogmas of their faith were of 
a practical simplicity. But in the development of the 
Murji'ites and Qadarites it is impossible to mistake 
the workings of the dialectic refinements of Greek 
theology as developed in the Byzantine and Syrian 
schools. It is worth notice, too, that, while the 
political heresies of the Shi'ites and Kharijites held 
sway mostly in Arabia, Mesopotamia, and Persia, 
these more religious heresies seem to have arisen in 
Syria first and especially at Damascus, the seat of 
the Umayyads. 

The Umayyad dynasty, we should remember, was 
in many ways a return to pre-Muslim times and to 
an easy enjoyment of worldly things ; it was a rejec- 
tion of the yoke of Muhammad in all but form and 
name. The fear of the wrath of God had small part 
with the most of them ; sometimes it appeared in the 
form of an insane rebellion and defiance. Further, 
as Muslim governments always have done, they 
sought aid in their task of governing from their non- 
Muslim subjects. So it came about that Sergius, 
the father of Johannes Damascenus, was treasurer 
under them and that after his death, this John of 
Damascus himself, the last great doctor of the Greek 
Church and the man under whose hands its theology 
assumed final form, became wazir and held that post 
until he withdrew from the world and turned to the 
contemplative life. In his writings and in those of 


his pupil, Theodoras Abucara (d. A.D. 826), there are 
polemic treatises on Islam, cast in the form of dis- 
cussions between Christians and Muslims. These 
represent, there can be little doubt, a characteristic 
of the time. The close agreement of Murji'ite and 
Qadarite ideas with those formulated and defended 
by John of Damascus and by the Greek 'Church gen- 
erally can only be so explained. The Murji'ite re- 
jection of eternal punisliment and emphasis on the 
goodness of God and His love for His creatures, the 
Qadarite doctrine of freewill and responsibility, are 
to be explained in the same way as we have already 
explained the presence of sentences in the Muslim 
fiqli which seem to be taken bodily from the Eoman 
codes. In this case, also, we are not to think of the 
Muslim divines as studying the writings of the Greek 
fathers, but as picking up ideas from them in practi- 
cal intercourse and controversy. The very form of 
the tract of John of Damascus is significant, " "When 
the Saracen says to you such and such, then you will 
reply. . . ." This, as a whole, is a subject 
which calls for investigation, but so far it is clear 
that the influence of Greek theology on Islam can 
hardly be overestimated. The one outstanding fact 
of the enormous emphasis laid by both on the doc- 
trine of the nature of God and His attributes is 
enough. It may even be conjectured that the harsher 
views developed by western Muslims, and especially 
by the theologians of Spain, were clue, on the other 
hand, to Augustinian and Eoman influence. It is, 
to say the least, a curious coincidence that Spanish 
Islam never took kindly to metaphysical or scliolas- 


tic theology, in the exact sense, but gave almost all 
its energy to canon law. 

But there were other influences to come. With 
the fall of the Umayyads and the rise of the Abba- 
sids, the intellectual centre of the empire moved to 
the basin of the Euphrates and the Tigris. The story 
of the founding of Baghdad there, in 145, we have 
already heard. We have seen, too, that the victory 
of the Abbasids was, in a sense, a conquest of the 
Arabs by the Persians. Grcecia capta and the rest 
came true here ; the battles of al-Qadisiya and Naha- 
wand were avenged ; Persian ideas and Persian re- 
ligion began slowly to work on the faith of Muham- 
mad. At the court of the earliest Abbasids it was 
fashionable to affect a little free thought. People 
were becoming enlightened and played with philoso- 
phy and science. Greek philosophy, Zoroastrian- 
ism, Manichseism, the old heathenism of Harran, 
Judaism, Christianity all were in the air and mak- 
ing themselves felt. So long as the adherents and 
teachers of these took them in a purely academic 
way, were good subjects and made no trouble, the 
earlier Abbasids encouraged their efforts, gathered in 
the scientific harvest, paid well for translations, in- 
struments, and investigations, and generally posed as 
patrons of progress. 

But a line had to be drawn somewhere and drawn 
tightly. The victory of the Abbasids had raised 
high hopes among the Persian nationalists. They 
had thought that they were rallying to the overthrow 
of the Arabs, and found, when all was done, that 
they had got only another Arab dynasty. So revolts 


had begun to break out afresh, and now, curiously 
enough, they were of a marked religious character. 
They were an expression of religious sects, Buddh- 
istic, Zoroastrian, Manicheean, and parties with pro- 
phetic leaders of their own ; all are swept together 
by Muslim writers as Zindiqs> probably literally, 
" initiates," originally Manichseans, thereafter, prac- 
tically non-Muslims concealing their unbelief. For 
when not in open revolt they must needs profess 
Islam, In 167, we find al-Mahdi, who was also, it 
is true, much more strict than his father, al-Mansur, 
appointing a grand inquisitor to deal with such here- 
tics. Al-Mansur, however, had contented himself 
with crushing actual rebellion ; and Christian, Jew, 
Zoroastrian, and heathen of Harran were tolerated 
so long as they brought to him the fruits of Greek 
science and philosophy. 

That they did willingly, and so, through three in- 
termediaries, science came to the Arabs. There was 
a heathen Syrian source with its centre at Harran, of 
which we know comparatively little. There was a 
Christian Syrian source working from the multitudi- 
nous monasteries scattered over the country. There 
was a Persian source by which natural science, and 
medicine especially, were passed on. Already in the 
fifth century A.D. an academy of medicine and phi- 
losophy had been founded at Gondeshapur in Khuzi- 
stan. One of the directors of this institution was 
summoned, in 148, to prescribe for al-Mansur, and 
from that time on it furnished court physicians to 
the Abbasids. On these three paths, then, Aristotle 
and Plato, Euclid and Ptolemy, Galen and Hippocra- 
tes reached the Muslim peoples. 


The first hundred years of the Abbasid Khalifate 
was the golden age of Muslim science, the period of 
growth and development for the People of Muham- 
mad fairly as a whole. Intellectual life did not cease 
with the close of that period, but the Khalifate ceased 
to aid in carrying the torch. Thereafter, learning was 
protected and fostered by individual rulers here and 
there, and individual investigators and scholars still 
went on their own quiet paths. But free intellectual 
life among the people was checked, and such learn- 
ing as still generally flourished fell more and more 
between fixed bounds. Scholasticism, with its formal 
methods and systems, its subtle deductions and end- 
less ramifications of proof and counter-proof, drew 
away attention from the facts of nature. The ori- 
ental brain studied itself and its own workings to the 
point of dizziness, and then turned and clung fast to 
the certainties of revelation. Under this spell heresy 
and orthodoxy proved alike sterile. 

We return, now, to the beginnings of the Mu'tazi- 
lites. These served themselves heirs upon the Qad- 
arites and denied that God predestined the actions 
of men. Death and life, sickness, health, and exter- 
nal vicissitudes came, they admitted, by God's qadar, 
but it was unthinkable that man should be punished 
for actions not in his control. The freedom of the 
will is an a priori certainty, and man possesses qadar 
over his own actions. This was the position of 
Wasil ibn Ata, of whom we have already heard. But 
to it he added a second doctrine, the origin of which 
is obscure, although suggestive of discussions with 
Greek theologians. The Qur'an describes God as 


willing, knowing, decreeing, etc. strictly as the Will- 
ing One, the Knowing One, the Decreeing One, etc. 
and the orthodox hold that such expressions could 
only mean that God possesses as Qualities (si/at) 
Will, Knowledge, Power, Life, etc. To this Wasil 
raised objections. God was One, and such Qualities 
would be separate Beings. Thus, his party and the 
Mu'tazilites always called themselves the People of 
Unity and Justice (Ahl-at-tawhid wal'adT) ; the Unity 
being of the divine nature, the Justice consisting in 
that they opposed God's qadar over men and held 
that He must do for the creature that which was best 
for it. Orthodox Islam held and holds that there 
can be no necessity upon God, even to do justice ; 
He is absolutely free, and what He does man must 
accept. It flatly opposes the position held by the 
Mu'tazilites in general, that good and evil can be 
perceived and distinguished by the intellect (aql). 
Good and evil have their nature by God's will, and 
man can learn to know them only by God's teachings 
and commands. Thus, except through revelation, 
there can be neither theology nor ethics. 

The next great advance was made by Abu Hudhayl 
Muhammad al-Allaf (d. circa 226), a disciple of the 
second generation from Wasil. At his hands the 
doctrine of God's qualities assumed a more definite 
form. Wasil had reduced God to a vague unity, a 
kind of eternal oneness. Abu Hudhayl taught that 
the qualities were not in His essence, and thus sepa- 
rable from it, thinkable apart from it, but that they 
were His essence. Thus, God was omnipotent by 
His omnipotence, but it was His essence and not in 


His essence. He was omniscient by His omnis- 
cience and it ioas His essence. Further, lie held that 
these qualities must be either negations or relations. 
Nothing positive can be asserted of them, for that 
would mean that there was in God the complexity of 
subject and predicate, being and quality ; and God is 
absolute Unity. This view the Muslim theologians 
regard as a close approximation to the Christian 
Trinity ; for them, the persons of the Trinity have 
always been personified qualities, and such seems 
really to have been the view of John of Damascus. 
Further, God's Will, according to Abu Hudhayl, as 
expressed in His Creative "Word, did not necessarily 
exist in a subject (fi mdhatt, in subiectd). When God 
said, " Be ! " creatively, there was no subject. Again, 
lie endeavored and in this he was followed by most 
of the Mu'tazilites to cut down the number of God's 
attributes. His will, he said, was a form of His 
knowledge; He knew that there was good in an 
action, and that knowledge was His will. 

His position on the qadar question was peculiar. 
With regard to this world, he was a Qadarite ; but 
in the next world, both in heaven and in hell, he 
thought that all changes were by divine necessity. 
Otherwise, that is, if men were free, there would be 
obligation to observe a law (taldif} ; but there is no 
3uch obligation in the other world. Thus, whatever 
happened there happened by God's decree. Further, 
he taught that, eventually, nothing would happen 
there ; that there would be no changes, but only an 
endless stillness in which those in heaven had all its 
joys and those in hell all its pains. This is a close 


approximation to the view of Jahm ibn Saf wan, who 
held that after the judgment both heaven and hell 
would pass away and God remain alone as He was 
in the beginning. To these doctrines Abu Hudhayl 
seems to have been led by two considerations, both 
significant for the drift of the Mu'tazilites. First, 
there was about their reasonings a grimness of logic 
touched with utilitarianism. Thus, from their posi- 
tion that man could come by the light of his reason 
to the knowledge of God and of virtue, they drew the 
conclusion that it was man's duty so to attain, and 
that God would damn eternally every man who did 
not- Their utilitarianism, again, comes out strik- 
ingly in their view of heaven and hell. These, at 
present, were serving no useful purpose because they 
had no inhabitants; therefore, at present, they did 
not exist. But this made difficulties for Abu Hud- 
hayl. What has a beginning. must have an end. So 
he explained the end as the ceasing of all changes. 
Second, he shows clear evidence of influence from 
Greek philosophy. The Qur'an teaches that the world 
has been created in time ; Aristotle, that it is from 
eternity and to eternity. The creation, Abu Hudhayl 
applied to changes ; before that, the world ivas, but 
in eternal rest. Hereafter, all changes will cease; 
rest will again enter and endure to all eternity. We 
shall see how largely this doctrine was advanced and 
developed by his successors. 

But there were further complications in the doc- 
trine of man's actions and into some of these we must 
enter, on account of their later importance. Not 
everything that comes from the action of a man is by 


his action. God has a creative part in it, apparently 
as regards the effects. Especially, knowledge in the 
mind of a pupil does not come from the teacher, but 
from God. The idea seems to be that the teacher 
may teach, but that the being taught in the pupil is 
a divine working. Similarly, he distinguished motions 
in the mind, which he held were not altogether due 
to the man, and external motions which were. There 
is given, too, to a man at the time of his performing 
an action an ability to perform the action, which is a 
special accident in him apart from any mere sound- 
ness of health or limb. 

In these ways, Abu Hudhayl recognized God's 
working through man. Another of his positions had 
a similar basis and was a curious combination of his- 
torical criticism and mysticism, a combination which 
we shall find later in al-Ghazzali, a much greater man. 
The evidence of tradition for things dealing with the 
Unseen "World (al-ghayb) he rejected. Twenty wit- 
nesses might hand on the tradition in question, but 
it was not to be received unless among them there 
was one, at least, of the People of Paradise. At all 
times, he taught, there were in the world these Friends 
of God (awliya Allali, sing, wall), who were protected 
against all greater sins and could not lie. It is the 
word of these that is the basis for belief, and the tra- 
dition is merely a statement of what they have said. 
This shows clearly how far the doctrine of the ecstatic 
life and of knowledge gained through direct inter- 
course between the believer and God had already ad- 

But Abu Hudhayl was only one in a group of dar- 


ing and absolutely free-minded speculators. They 
were applying to the ideas of the Qur'an the keen 
solvent of Greek dialectic, and the results which they 
obtained were of the most fantastically original char- 
acter. Thrown into the wide sea and utter freedom 
of Greek thought, their ideas had expanded to the 
bursting point and, more than even a German meta- 
physician, they had lost touch of the ground of or- 
dinary life, with its reasonable probabilities, and 
were swinging loose on a wild hunt after ultimate 
truth, wielding as their weapons definitions and syl- 
logisms. The lyric fervors of Muhammad in the 
Qur'an gave scope enough of strange ideas from which 
to start, or which had to be explained away. Their 
belief in the powers of the science of logic was un- 
failing, and, armed with Aristotle's " Analytics," they 
felt sure that certainty was within their reach. It 
was at the court and under the protection of al- 
Ma'inun that they especially flourished, and some 
account of the leading spirits among them will be 
necessary before we describe how they reached their 
utmost pride of power and how they fell. 

An-Nazzam (d. 231) has the credit among later 
historians of having made use, to a high degree, of 
the doctrines of the Greek philosophers. He was 
one of the Satans of the Qadarites, say they ; he read 
the books of the philosophers and mingled their 
teachings with the doctrines of the Mu'tazilites. He 
taught, in the most absolute way, that God could do 
nothing to a creature, either in this world or in the 
next, that was not lor the creature's good and in ac- 
cordance with strict justice. It was not only that 


God would not do it ; He had not the power to do 
anything evil. Evidently the personality of God was 
fast vanishing behind an absolute law of right. To 
this, orthodox Islam opposed the doctrine that God 
could do anything ; He could forgive whom He willed, 
and punish whom He willed. Further, he taught 
that God's willing a thing meant only that He did it 
in accordance with His knowledge ; and when He 
willed the action of a creature that meant only that 
He commanded it. This is evidently to evade phrases 
in the Qur'an. Man, again, he taught, was spirit (ruli), 
and the body (badari) was only an instrument. But 
this spirit was a fine substance which flowed in the 
body like the essential oil in a rose, or butter in milk. 
In a universe determined by strict law, man. alone 
was undetermined. He could throw a stone into the 
air, and by his action the stone went up ; but when 
the force of his throw was exhausted it came again 
under law and fell. If he had only asked himself 
how it came to fall, strange things might have hap- 
pened. But he, and all his fellows, were only play- 
ing with words like counters. Further, he taught 
that God had created all created things at once, but 
that He kept them in concealment until it was time 
for them to enter on the stage of visible being and do 
their part. All things that ever will exist are thus 
existing now, but, in a sense, in retentis. This seems 
to be another attempt to solve the problem of crea- 
tion in time, and it had important consequences. 
Further, the Qur'an was no miracle (mu'jiz) to him. 
The only miraculous elements in it are the narratives 
about the Unseen World, and past things and things 


to come, and the fact that God deprived the Arabs of 
the power of writing anything like it. But for that, they 
could easily have surpassed it as literature. As a 
high Imamite he rejected utterly agreement and 
analogy. Only the divinely appointed Imam had 
the right to supplement the teaching of Muhammad. 
We pass over some of his metaphysical views, odd 
as they are. The Muslim writers on theological his- 
tory have classified him rightly as more of a physicist 
than a metaphysician. He had a concrete mind and 
that fondness for playing with metaphysical para- 
doxes which often goes with it. 

Another of the group was Bishr ibn al-Mu c tamir. 
His principal contribution was the doctrine of tawlid 
and tawallud, begetting and deriving. It is the trans- 
mission of a single action through a series of objects ; 
the agent meant to affect the first object only ; the 
effect on the others followed. Thus, he moves his 
hand, and the ring on his finger is moved. What re- 
lation of responsibility, then, does he bear to these 
derived effects? Generally, how are we to view a 
complex of causes acting together and across one 
another? The answer of later orthodox Islam is 
worth giving at this point. God creates in the man 
the will to move his hand ; He creates the movement 
of the hand and also the movement of the ring. All 
is by God's direct creation at the time. Further, 
could God punish an infant or one who had no 
knowledge of the faith ? Bishr's reply on the first 
point was simply a bit of logical jugglery to avoid 
saying frankly that there was anything that God 
could not do. His answer on the second was that 


God could have made a different and much better 
world than this, a world in which all men might have 
been saved. But He was not bound to make a bet- 
ter world in this Bishr separates from the other 
Mu'tazilites He was only bound to give man free- 
will and, then, either revelation to guide him to sal- 
vation or reason to show him natural law. 

"With Ma c mar ibn Abbad, the philosophies wax 
faster and more furious. He succeeded in reducing 
the conception of God to a bare, indefinable some- 
thing. "We could not say that God had knowledge. 
For it must be of something in Himself or outside of 
Himself. If the first, then there was a union of 
knower and known, and that is impossible; or a dual- 
ity in the divine nature, and that was equally impos- 
sible. Here Ma 'mar was evidently on the road to 
Hegel. If the second, then His knowledge depended 
on the existence of something other than Himself, and 
that did away with His absoluteness. Similarly, he 
dealt with God's Will. Nor could He be described 
as qadim, prior to all things, for that word, in Arabic, 
suggested sequence and time. By all this, he evi- 
dently meant that our conceptions cannot be applied 
to God ; that God is unthinkable by us. On creation, 
he developed the ideas of an-Nazzam. Substances 
(jisms) only were created by God, and by "sub- 
stances " he seems to mean matter as a whole ; all 
changes in them, or it, come either of necessity from 
its nature, as when fire burns, the sun warms ; or of 
free-will, as always in the animal world. God has no 
part in these things. He has given the material and 
has nothing to do with the coming and going of 


separate bodies ; such are simple changes, forms of 
existence, and proceed from the matter itself. Man 
is an incorporeal substance. The soul is the man 
and his body is but a cover. This true man can only 
know and will ; the body perceives and does. 

The last of this group whose views we need con- 
sider, is Thumama ibn Ashras. He was of very du- 
bious morals ; was imprisoned as a heretic by Harun 
ar-Eashid, but highly favored by al-Ma'mun, in whose 
Khalifate he died, A.H. 213. He held that actions 
produced through taiuallud had no agent, either God 
or man. That knowledge of good and evil could be 
produced by taiuallud through speculation, and is, 
therefore, an action without an agent, and required 
even before revelation. That Jews, Christians, Magi- 
ans will be turned into dust in the next world and 
will not enter either Paradise or Hell ; the same will 
be the fate of cattle and children. That any one of 
the unbelievers who does not know his Creator is ex- 
cusable. That all knowledge is a priori. That the 
only action which men possess is will; everything 
besides that is a production without a producer. 
That the world is the act of God by His nature, i.e., 
it is an act which His nature compels Him to pro- 
duce ; is, therefore, from eternity and to eternity with 
Him. It may be doubted how far Thumama was a 
professional theologian and how far he was a free- 
thinking, easy-living man of letters. 

In all this, the influence of Greek theology and of 
Aristotle can be clearly traced. With Aristotle had 
come to them the idea of the world as law, an eternal 
construction subsisting and developing on fixed prin- 


ciples. This conception of law shows itself in their 
thought frankly at strife with Muhammad's concep- 
tion of God as will, as the sovereign over all. Hence, 
the crudities and devices by which they strove to 
make good their footing on strange ground and keep 
a right to the name of Muslim, while changing the 
essence of their faith. The anthropomorphic God of 
Muhammad, who has face and hands, is seen in Para- 
dise by the believer and settles Himself firmly upon 
His throne, becomes a spirit, and a spirit, too, of the 
vaguest kind. 

It remains now only to touch upon one or two 
points common to all the Mu'tazilites. First, the 
Beatific Yision of God in Paradise. It was a fixed 
agreement of the early Muslim Church, based on 
texts of the Qur'an and on tradition, that some be- 
lievers, at least, would see and gaze upon God in the 
other world ; this was the highest delight held out to 
them. But the Mu'tazilites perceived that vision in- 
volved a directing of the eyes on the part of the seer 
and position on the part of the seen. God must, 
therefore, be in a place and thus limited. So they 
were compelled to reject the agreement and the tra- 
ditions in question and to explain away the passages 
in the Qur'an. Similarly, in Qur'an vii. 52, we read 
that God settled Himself firmly upon His throne. 
This, with other anthropomorphisms of hands and 
feet and eyes, the Mu'tazilites had to explain away 
in a more or less cumbrous fashion. 

With one other detail of this class we must deal 
at greater length. It was destined to be the vital 
point of the whole Mu'tazilite controversy and the test 


by which theologians were tried and had their places 
assigned. It had a weighty part also in bringing 
about the fall of the Mu'tazilites. There had grown 
up very early in the Muslim community an un- 
bounded reverence and awe in the presence of the 
Qur'an. In it God speaks, addressing His servant, 
the Prophet ; the words, with few exceptions, are 
direct words of God. It is, therefore, easily intelli- 
gible that it came to be called the word of God (Jcalam 
Allah}. But Muslim piety went further and held that 
it was uncreated and had existed from all eternity 
with God. Whatever proofs of this doctrine may 
have been brought forward later from the Qur'an it- 
self, we can have no difficulty in recognizing that it 
is plainly derived from the Christian Logos and that 
the Greek Church, perhaps through John of Damas- 
cus, has again played a formative part. So, in cor- 
respondence with the heavenly and uncreated Logos 
in the bosom of the Father, there stands this uncre- 
ated and eternal Word of God; to the earthly mani- 
festation in Jesus corresponds the Qur'an, the Word 
of God which we read and recite. The one is not the 
same as the other, but the idea to be gained from the 
expressions of the one is equivalent to the idea which 
we would gain from the other, if the veil of the flesh 
were removed from us and the spiritual world re- 

That this view grew up very early among the 
Muslims is evident from the fact that it is opposed 
by Jahm ibn Safwan, who was killed toward the 
end of the Tlmayyad period. It seems to have 
originated by a kind of transfusion of ideas from 


Christianity and not as a result of controversy or 
dialectic about the teachings of the Qur'an. We find 
the orthodox party vehemently opposing discussion 
on the subject, as indeed they did on all theological 
subjects. " Our fathers have told us ; it is the faith 
received from the Companions ; " was their argument 
from the earliest time we can trace. Malik ibn Anas 
used to cut off all discussions with " Bila kayfa" 
(Believe without asking how) ; and he held strongly 
that the Qur'an was uncreated. The same word Jcalam 
which we have found applied to the Word of God 
both the eternal, uncreated Logos and its manifesta- 
tion in the Qur'an was used by them most confusing- 
ly f or e c disputation ;" "he disputed" was takallam 
and " one who disputed " was midakallim. All that 
was anathema to the pious, and it is amusing to see 
the origin of what became later the technical terms 
for scholastic theology and its students in their 
shuddering repulsion to all " talking about " the sacred 

This opposition appeared in two forms. First, 
they refused to go an inch beyond the statements in 
the Qur'an and tradition and to draw consequences, 
however near the surface these consequences might 
seem to lie. A story is told of al-Bukhari, (d. 257), 
late as he is, which shows how far this went and how 
long it lasted. An inquisition was got up against 
him out of envy by one of his fellow-teachers. The 
point of attack was the orthodoxy of his position on 
the lafa (utterance) of the Qur'an ; was it created or 
uncreated? He said readily that the Qur'an was un- 
created and was obstinately silent as to the utterance 


of it by men. At last, persistent questioning drove 
him to an outburst. "The Qur'an is the Word of 
God and is uncreated. The speech of man is created 
and inquisition (imtihari) is an innovation (bid' a)." 
But beyond that he would not go, even to draw the 
conclusion of the syllogism which he had indicated. 
Some, as we may gather from this story, had felt 
themselves driven to hold that not only the Qur'an 
in itself but also the utterance of it by the lips of 
men and the writing of it by men's hands all be- 
tween the boards, as they said was uncreated. 
Others were coming to deny absolutely the existence 
of the eternal Logos and that this revealed Qur'an 
was uncreated in any sense. But others, as al-Bu- 
khari, while holding tenaciously that the Qur'an was 
uncreated, refused to make any statement as to its 
utterance by men. There was nothing said about 
that in Qur'an or tradition. 

The second form of opposition was to any uphold- 
ing of their belief by arguments, except of the sim- 
plest and most apparent. That was an invasion by 
reason (agl) of the realm of traditional faith (naqty 
When the pious were eventually driven to dialectic 
weapons, their arguments show that these were 
snatched up to defend already occupied positions. 
They ring artificial and forced. Thus, in the Qur'an 
itself, the Qur'an is called " knowledge from God." 
It is, then, inseparable from God's quality of knowl- 
edge. But that is eternal and uncreated ; therefore, 
so too, the Qur'an. Again, God created everything 
by the word, " Be." But this word cannot have been 
created, otherwise a created word would be a creator. 


lerefore, God's word is uncreated. Again, there 
indsinthe Qur'an (vii, 52), "Are not the creation 
d the command His ? " The command here is evi- 
>ntly different from the creation, i.e., not created, 
irther, God's command creates ; therefore it cannot 

created. But it is God's word in command. It 
11 be noticed here how completely God's word is 
r postatized. This appears still more strongly in 
e following argument. God said to Moses, (Qur. 
i, 141), "I have chosen thee over mankind with 
y apostolate and my word." God, therefore, has a 
>rd. But, again (Qur. iv, 162), He addresses 
oses with this word (kallama-llaliu Musa taklima, 
idently regarded as meaning that God's word ad- 
essed Moses) and said, " Lo, I am thy Lord." This 
gument is supposed to put the opponent in a di- 
nma. Either he rejects the fact of Moses being so 
dressed, which is rejecting what God has said, and 

therefore, unbelief ; or he holds that the Jcalam 
lich so addresses Moses is a created thing. Then, 
created thing asserts that it is Moses' Lord. There- 
tre, God's Jcalam with which He addresses the proph- 
3, or which addresses the prophets, is eternal, un- 

But if this doctrine grew up early in Islam, op- 
isition to it was not slow in appearing, and that on 
fferent sides. Literary vanity, national pride, and 
ilosophical scruples all made themselves felt. Even 
Muhammad's lifetime, according to the legend of 
e poet Labid and the verses which he put up in 
allenge on the Ka'ba, the Qur' an had taken rank as 
imitable poetry. At all points it was the "Word of 


God and perfect in every detail. But, among the 
Arabs, a jealous and vain people, if there was one 
thing on which each was more jealous and vain than 
another, it was skill in working with words. The 
superiority of Muhammad as a Prophet of God they 
might endure, though often with a bad grace ; but 
Muhammad as a rival and unapproachable literary 
artist they could not away with. So we find satire of 
the weaknesses of the Qur'an appearing here and 
there, and it came to be a sign of emancipation and 
freedom from prejudice to examine it in detail and 
balance it against other products of the Arab genius. 
The rival productions of Musaylima, the False Proph- 
et, long enjoyed a semi-contraband existence, and 
Abu Ubayda (d. 208) found it necessary to write a 
treatise in defence of the metaphors of the Qur'an. 
Among the Persians this was still more the case. To 
them, Muhammad might be a prophet, but he was also 
an Arab ; and while they accepted Ms mission, ac- 
cepting his books in a literary way was too much for 
them. As a prophet, he was a man ; as a literary 
artist, he was an Arab. So Jahm ibn Safwan may 
have felt ; so, certainly, others felt later. The poet 
Bashshar ibn Burd (killed for satire, in 167), a com- 
panion of "Wasil ibn Ata and a Persian of very dubi- 
ous orthodoxy, used to amuse himself by comparing 
poems by himself and others with passages in the 
Qur'an, to the disadvantage of the latter. And Ibn 
al-Muqaffa (killed about 140), the translator of " Kalila 
and Dimna" and many other books into Arabic, and 
a Persian nationalist, is said to have planned an im- 
itation of the Qur'an. 


Added to all this came the influence of the Mu'tazi- 
lite theologians. They had a double ground for their 
opposition. The doctrine of an absolutely divine 
and perfect book limited them too much in their 
intellectual freedom. They were willing to respect 
and use the Qur'au, but not to accept its ipsissima 
verba. Regarded as the production of Muhammad 
under divine influence, it could have a human and a 
divine side, and things which needed to be dropped 
or changed in it could be ascribed to the human 
side. But that was not possible with a miraculous 
book come down from heaven. In a word, they were 
meeting the difficulty which has been met by Chris- 
tianity in the latter half of the nineteenth century. 
The least they could do was to deny that the Qur'an 
was uncreated. 

But they had a still more vital, if not more im- 
portant, philosophical base of objection. "We have 
seen already how they viewed the doctrine of God's 
qualities (sifaf) and tried to limit them in every way. 
These qualities ran danger, they held, of being hy- 
postatized into separate persons like those in the 
Christian Trinity, and we have just seen how near 
that danger really lay in the case of God's Jcalam. In 
orthodox Islam it has become a plain Logos. 

The position in this of an-Nazzam has been given 
above. It is interesting as showing that the Qur'an, 
even then, was given as a probative miracle (mu'jiz) 
because it deprived all men of power (i*jaz) to imitate 
it. That is, its aesthetic perfection was raised to the 
miraculous degree and then regarded as a proof of 
its divine origin. But al-Muzdar, a pupil of Bishr 


ibn al Mu'tamir and an ascetic of "high rank, called 
the Monk of the Mu'tazilites, went still further than 
an-Nazzam. He flatly damned as unbelievers all who 
held the eternity of the Qur'an ; they had taken unto 
themselves two Gods. Further, he asserted that men 
were quite capable of producing a work even finer 
than the Qur'an in point of style. But the force of 
this opinion is somewhat diminished by the liberality 
with which he denounced his opponents in general as 
unbelievers. Stories are told of him very much like 
those in circulation with us about those who hold 
that few will be saved, and it is worth noticing that 
upon this point of salvability the Mu'tazilites were 
even narrower than the orthodox. 


Al-Ma'mun and the triumph of the Mu'tazilites ; the Mihna and 
Ahmad ibn Hanbal ; al-OFarabi ; the ITatirnids and the Ikhwan 
as-Safa; the early mystics, ascetic and pantheistic; al-Hallaj. 

SUCH for long was tlie situation between the Mu'- 
tazilites and their orthodox opponents. From time 
to time the Mu'tazilites received more or less protec- 
tion and state favor ; at other times, they had to 
seek safety in hiding. Popular favor they seem 
never to have enjoyed. As the TJmayyads grew 
weak, they became more stiff in their orthodoxy; 
but with the Abbasids, and especially with al-Mansur, 
thought was again free. As has been shown above, 
encouragement of science and research was part of 
the plan of that great man, and he easily saw that 
the intellectual hope of the future was with these 
theological and philosophical questioners. So their 
work went slowly on, with a break under Harun ar- 
Kashid, a magnificent but highly orthodox, monarch, 
who understood no trifling with things of the faith. 
It is an interesting but useless question whether 
Islam could ever have been broadened and devel- 
oped to the point of enduring in its midst free spec- 
ulation and research. As the case stands in history, 
it has known periods of intellectual life, but only 
under the protection of isolated princes here and 
there. It has had Augustan ages ; it has never had 



great popular yearnings after wider knowledge. Its 
intellectual leaders have lived and studied and lect- 
ured at courts ; they have not gone down and taught 
the masses of the people. To that the democracy of 
Islam lias never come. Hampered by scholastic 
snobbishness, it has never learned that the abiding 
victories of science are won in the village school 

But most unfortunately for the Mu c tazilites and for 
Islam, a Khalifa arose who had a relish for theological 
discussions and a high opinion of his own infallibil- 
ity. This was al-Ma'mun. It did not matter that 
he ranged himself on the progressive side ; his fatal 
error was that he invoked the authority of the state 
in matters of the intellectual and religious life. Thus, 
by enabling the conservative party to pose as mar- 
tyrs, he brought the prejudices and passions of the 
populace still more against the new movement. He 
was that most dangerous of all beings, a doctrinaire 
despot. He had ideas and tried to make other peo- 
ple live up to them. Al-Mansur, though a bloody 
tyrant, had been a great statesman and had known 
how to bend people and things quietly to his will. 
He had sketched the firm outlines of a policy for the 
Abbasids, but had been cautious how he proclaimed 
his programme to the world. The world would come 
to him in time, and he could afford to wait and work 
in the dark. He knew, above all, that no people 
would submit to be school-mastered into the way in 
which they should go. Al-Ma'mun, for all his genius, 
was at heart a school-master. He was an enlight- 
ened patron of an enlightened Islam. Those who 
preferred to dwell in the darkness of the obscurant, 


lie first scolded and then punished. Discussions in 
theology and comparative religion were Ms hobby. 
That some such interchange of letters between Mus- 
lims and Christians as that which crystallized in the 
Epistle of al-Kindi took place at his court seems 
certain. Bishr al-Marisi, who had lived in hiding in 
ar-Eashid's time on account of his heretical views, 
disputed, in 209, before al-Ma'mun on the nature of 
the Qur'an. He founded at Baghdad an academy 
with library, laboratories, and observatory. All the 
weight of his influence was thrown on the side of the 
Mu'tazilites. It appeared as though he were deter- 
mined to pull his people up by force from their su- 
perstition and ignorance. 

At last, he took the final and fatal step. In 202 
a decree appeared proclaiming the doctrine of the 
creation of the Qur'an as the only truth, and as bind- 
ing upon all Muslims. At the same time, as an evi- 
dent sop to the Persian nationalists and the Alids, 
Ali was proclaimed the best of creatures after Mu- 
hammad. The Alids, it should be remembered, had 
close points of contact with the Mu c tazilites. Such 
a theological decree as this was a new thing in Islam ; 
never before had the individual consciousness been 
threatened by a word from the throne. The Mu'tazi- 
lites through it practically became a state church 
under erastian control. But the system of Islam 
never granted to the Imam, or leader of the Muslim 
people, any position but that of a protector and rep- 
resentative. Its theology could only be formed, as 
we have seen in the case of its law, by the agree- 
ment of the whole community. The question then 


naturally was what effect such a new thing as this 
decree could have except to exasperate the orthodox 
and the masses. Practically, there was no other 
effect. Things went on as before. All that it meant 
was that one very prominent Muslim had stated his 
opinion and thrown in his lot with heretics. 

For six years this continued, and then a method 
was devised of bringing the will of the Khalifa home 
upon the people. In 217 a distinguished Mu c tazilite, 
Ahmad ibn Abi Duwad, was appointed chief qadi, 
and in 218 the decree was renewed. But this time 
it was accompanied by what we would call a test- 
act, and an inquisition (mihna) was instituted. The 
letter of directions for the conduct of this matter, 
written by al-Ma'mtm. to his lieutenant at Baghdad, 
is decisive as to the character of the man and the 
nature of the movement. It is full of railings against 
the common people who know not the law and are 
accursed. They are too stupid to understand phi- 
losophy or argument. It is the duty of the Khalifa 
to guide them and especially to show them the dis- 
tinction between God and His book. He who holds 
otherwise than the Khalifa is either too blind or too 
lying and deceitful to be trusted in any other thing. 
Therefore, the qadis must be tested as to their 
views. If they hold that the Qur'an is uncreated, 
they have abandoned tawliid, the doctrine of God's 
Unity, and can no longer hold office in a Muslim 
land. Also, the qadis must apply the same test to 
all the witnesses in cases before them. If these do 
not hold that the Qur'an is created, they cannot be 
legal witnesses. Other letters followed ; the Mihna 


was extended through tlie Abbasid empire and ap- 
plied to other doctrines, e.g., that of free-will and of 
the vision of God. The Khalifa also commanded 
that the death penalty for unbelief (kufr) should be 
inflicted on those who refused to take the test. They 
were to be regarded as idolaters and polytheists. 
The death of al-Ma'mun in the same year relieved 
the pressure. It is true that the Mihna was contin- 
ued by his successor, al-Mu'tasiin, and by his succes- 
sor, al-Wathiq, but without energy; it was more a 
handy political weapon than anything else. In 234, 
the second year of al-Mutawakhil, it was abolished 
and the Qur'an decreed uncreated. At the same time 
the Alids and all Persian nationalism came under 
a ban. Practically, the status quo ante was restored 
and Mu'tazilism was again left a struggling heresy. 
The Arab party and the pure faith of Muhammad 
had re-asserted themselves. 

In this long conflict, the most prominent figure was 
certainly that of Ahmad ibn Hanbal. He was the 
trust and strength of the orthodox; that he stood 
fast through imprisonment and scourging defeated 
the plans of the Mu'tazilites. In dealing with the 
development of law, we have seen what his legal po- 
sition was. The same held in theology. Scholastic 
theology (kalam) was bis abomination. Those who 
disputed over doctrines he cast out. That their dog- 
matic position was the same as his made no differ- 
ence. For him, theological truth could not be reached 
by reasoning (aql) ; tradition (naqfy from the fathers 
(as-salaf) was the only ground on which the dubious 
words of the Qur'an could be explained. So, in his 


long examinations before the officials of al-Ma mun 
and al~Mu'tasiin, lie contented himself with repeating 
either the words of the Qur'an which for him were 
proofs or such traditions as he accepted. Any ap- 
proach to drawing a consequence he utterly rejected. 
When they argued before him, he kept silence. 

What, then, we may ask, was the net result of this 
incident ? for it was nothing more. The Mu'tazilites 
dropped back into their former position, but under 
changed conditions. The sympathy of the populace 
was further from them than ever. Ahmad ibn Han- 
bal, saint and ascetic, was the idol of the masses ; 
and he, in their eyes, had maintained single-handed 
the honor of the Word of God. For his persecutors 
there was nothing but hatred. And after he had 
passed away, the conflict was taken up with still 
fiercer bitterness by the school of law founded by his 
pupils. They continued to maintain his principles 
of Qur'an and tradition long after the Mu'tazilites 
themselves had practically vanished from the scene, 
and all that was left for them to contend against was 
the modified system of scholastic theology which is 
now the orthodox theology of Islam. With these re- 
actionary Hanbalites we shall have to deal later. 

The Mu'tazilites, on their side, having seen the 
shipwreck of their hopes and the growing storm of 
popular disfavor, seem to have turned again to their 
scholastic studies. They became more and more the- 
ologians affecting a narrower circle, and less and less 
educators of the world at large. Their system be- 
came more metaphysical and their conclusions more 
unintelligible to the plain man. The fate which has 


fallen on all continued efforts of the Muslim mind 
was coming upon them. Beggarly speculations and 
barren hypotheses, combats of words over names, 
sapped them of life and reality. What the ill-fated 
friendship of al-Ma'mun had begun was carried on 
and out by the closed circle of Muslim thought. 
They separated into schools, one at al-Basra and an- 
other at Baghdad. At Baghdad the point especially 
developed was the old question, What is a thing 
(shay) ? They defined a thing, practically, as a con- 
cept that could be known and of which something 
could be said. Existence (wujud) did not matter. 
It was only a quality which could be there or not. 
With it, the thing was an entity (mawjud) ; without it, 
a non-entity (ma'dum}, but still a thing with all equip- 
ment of substance (jawhar) and accident (arad), 
genus and species. The bearing of this was especially 
upon the doctrine of creation. Practically, by God's 
adding a single quality, things entered the sphere of 
existence and were for us. Here, then, is evidently 
an approach to a doctrine of pre- existent matter. At 
al-Basra the relation of God to His qualities was es- 
pecially discussed, and there it came to be pretty 
nearly a family dispute between al-Jubbai (d. 303) 
and his son Abu Hashim. Orthodox Islam held that 
God has qualities, existent, eternal, added to His es- 
sence; thus, He knows, for example, by such a quality 
of knowledge. The students of Greek philosophy and 
the Shi'ites denied this and said that God knew by 
His essence. We have seen already Mu'tazilite views 
as to this point. Abu Hudhayl held that these quali- 
ties were God's essence and not in it. Thus, He knew 


by a quality of knowledge, but that quality ^vas His 
essence. Al-Jubba'i contented himself with safe- 
guarding this statement. God knew in accordance 
with His essence, but it was neither a quality nor a 
state (hal) which required that He should be a 
knower. The orthodox had said the first ; his son, 
Abu Hashim, said the second. He held that we know 
an essence and know it under different conditions. 
The conditions varied but the essence remained. 
These conditions are not thinkable by themselves, 
for we know them only in connection with the es- 
sence. These are states ; they are different from the 
essence, but do not exist apart from it. Al-Jubba'i 
opposed to this a doctrine that these states were 
really subjective in the mind of the perceiver, either 
generalizations or relationships existing mentally but 
not externally. This controversy spun itself out at 
great length through centuries. It eventually re- 
solved .itself into the fundamental metaphysical in- 
quiry, What is a thing? A powerful school came to 
a conclusion that would have delighted the soul of 
Mr. Herbert Spencer. Things are four, they said, 
entities, non-entities, states and relationships. As 
we have seen above, al-Jubba e i denied the reality of 
both states and relationships. Orthodox Islam has 
been of a divided opinion. 

But all this time, other movements had been in 
progress, some of which were to be of larger future 
importance than this fossilizing intellectualism. In 
255 al-Jahiz died. Though commonly reckoned a 
Mu'tazilite he was really a man of letters, free in 
life and thought* He was a maker of books, learned 


in the writings of the philosophers and rather in- 
clined to the doctrines of the Tabi'iyun, deistic natu- 
ralists. His confession of faith was of the utmost 
simplicity. He taught that whoever held that God' 
had neither body nor form, could not be seen with 
the eyes, was just and willed no evil deeds, such was 
a Muslim in truth. And, further, if anyone was not 
capable of philosophical reflection, but held that 
Allah was his Lord and that Muhammad was the 
Apostle of Allah, he was blameless and nothing more 
should be required of him. Here we have evidently 
in part a reaction from the subtilties of controversy, 
and in part an attempt to broaden theology enough 
to give even the unsettled a chance to remain in the 
Muslim Church. Something of the same kind we 
shall find, later, in the case of Ibn Eushd. Finally, 
we have probably to see in his remark that the 
Qur'an was a body, turned at one time into a man 
and at another into a beast, a satirical comment on 
the great controversy of his time. 

Al- Jahiz may be for us a link with the philosophers 
proper, the students of the wisdom of the Greeks. 
He represents the stand-point of the educated man 
of the time, and was no specialist in anything but 
a general scepticism. In the -first generation of the 
philosophers of Islam, in the narrower sense, stands 
conspicuously al-Kindi, commonly called the Philos- 
opher of the Arabs. The name belongs to him of 
right, for he is almost the only example of a student 
of Aristotle, sprung from the blood of the desert. 
But he was hardly a philosopher in any independent 
sense. His role was translating, and during the 


reigns of al-Ma'mun and al-Mu c tasim a multitude of 
translations and original works de omni sciUli came 
from Ms liands ; the names of 265 of these have come 
down to us. In the orthodox reaction under al-Mn- 
tawakkil he fared ill ; his library was confiscated but 
afterward restored. He died about 260, and with 
him dies the brief, golden century of eager acquisi- 
tion, and the scholastic period enters in philosophy 
as in theology. 

That the glory was departing from Baghdad and 
the Khalif ate is shown by the second important name 
in philosophy. It is that of al-Farabi, who was born 
at Farab in Turkestan, lived and worked in the brill- 
iant circle which gathered round Sayf ad-Dawla, the 
Hamdanid, at his court at Aleppo. In music, in 
science, in philology, and in philosophy, he was alike 
master. Aristotle was his passion, and his Arabic 
contemporaries and successors united in calling him 
the second teacher, on account of his success in un- 
knotting the tangles of the Greek system. It was in 
truth a tangled system which came to him, and a 
tangled system which he left. The Muslim phi- 
losophers began, in their innocence, with the follow- 
ing positions : The Qur'an is truth and philosophy is 
truth; but truth can only be one; therefore, the 
Qur'an and philosophy must agree. Philosophy they 
accepted in whole-hearted faith, as it came to them 
from the Greeks through Egypt and Syria. They 
took it, not as a mass of more or less contradictory 
speculation, but as a form of truth. They, in fact, 
never lost a certain theological attitude. Under such 
conditions, then, Plato came to them; but it was 


mostly Plato as interpreted by Porphyrius, that is, 
as neo-Platonism. Aristotle, too, came to tliem in 
the guise of the later Peripatetic schools. But in 
Aristotle, especially, there entered a perfect knot of 
entanglement and confusion. During the reign of 
al-Mu'tasim, a Christian of Emessa in the Lebanon 
the history in details is obscure translated parts 
of the " Enneads " of Plotinus into Arabic and en- 
titled his work "The Theology of Aristotle." A 
more unlucky bit of literary mischief and one more 
far-reaching in its consequences has never been. The 
Muslims took it all as solemnly as they took the text 
of the Qur'an. These two great masters, Plato and 
Aristotle, they said, had expounded the truth, which 
is one. Therefore, there must be some way of bring- 
ing them into agreement. So generations of toilers 
labored valiantly with the welter of translations and 
pseudographs to get out of them and into them the 
one truth. The more pious added the third element 
of the Qur'an, and it must remain a marvel and a 
magnificent testimonial to their skill and patience 
that they got even so far as they did and that the 
whole movement did not end in simple lunacy. That 
al-Farabi should have been so incisive a writer, so 
wide a thinker and student; that Ibn Sina should 
have been so keen and clear a scientist and logician ; 
that Ibn Bushd should have known really known 
and commented his Aristotle as he did, shows that 
the human brain, after all, is a sane brain and has the 
power of unconsciously rejecting and throwing out 
nonsense and falsehood. 

But it is not wonderful that, dealing with such ma- 


terials and contradictions, they developed a tendency 
to mysticism. There were many tilings which they 
felt compelled to hold which could only be defended 
and rationalized in that clondy air and slanting light. 
Especially, no one but a mystic could bring together 
the emanations of Plotinus, the ideas of Plato, the 
spheres of Aristotle and the seven-storied heaven of 
Muhammad. With this matter of mysticism we shall 
have to deal immediately. Of al-Farabi it is enough 
to say that he was one of the most patient of the 
laborers at that impossible problem.. It seems never 
to have occurred to him, or to any of the others, that 
the first and great imperative was to verify his refer- 
ences and sources. The oriental, like the mediaeval 
scholastic, tests minutely the form of his syllogism, 
but takes little thought whether his premises state 
facts or not. With a scrupulous scepticism in deduc- 
tion, he combines a childlike acceptance on tradition 
or on the narrowest of inductions. 

But there are other and more ominous signs in 
al-Farabi of the scholastic decline. There appears 
first in him that tendency toward the writing of 
encyclopaedic compends, which always means super- 
ficiality and the commonplace. Al-Farabi himself 
could not be accused of either, but that he thus 
claimed all knowledge for his portion showed the 
risk of the premature circle and the small gain. An- 
other is mysticism. He is a neo-Platonist, more ex- 
actly a Plotinian ; although he himself would not have 
recognized this title. He held, as we have seen, that 
he was simply retelling the doctrines of Plato and 
Aristotle. But he was also a devout Muslim. He 


seems to have taken in earnest all the bizarre details 
of Muslim cosmography and eschatology; the Pen, 
the Tablet, the Throne, the Angels in all their ranks 
and functions mingle picturesquely with the system 
of Plotinus, his eV, his tyvxtf, his vov$ } his receptive 
and active intellects. But to make tenable this posi- 
tion he had to take the great leap of the mystic. 
Unto us these things are impossible ; with God, i.e., 
on another plane of existence, they are the simplest 
realities. If the veil were taken from our eyes we 
would see them. This has always been the refuge of 
the devout Muslim who has tampered with science. 
We shall look for it more in detail when we come to 
al-Ghazzali, who has put it into classical form. 

Again, he was, in modern terms, a monarchist and 
a clericalist. His conception of the model state is a 
strange compound of the republic of Plato and Shi- 
ite dreams of an infallible Imam. Its roots lie, of 
course, in the theocratic idea of the Muslim state ; 
but his city, which is to take in all mankind, a Holy 
Eoman Empire and a Holy Catholic Church at once, 
a community of saints ruled by sages, shows a later 
influence than that of the mother city of Islam, al- 
Madina, under Abu Bakr and Umar. The influence 
is that of the Fatimids with their capital, al-Mahdiya, 
near Tunis. The Hamdanids were Shiltes and Sayf 
ad-Dawla, under whom al-Farabi enjoyed peace and 
protection, was a vassal of the Fatimid Khalifas. 

This brings us again to the great mystery of Mus- 
lim history. What was the truth of the Fatimid 
movement? Was the family of the Prophet the 
fosterer of science from the earliest times? What 


degree of contact had they with the Mu'tazilites ? 
With the founders of grammar, of alchemy, of law? 
That they were themselves the actual beginners of 
everything and everything has been claimed for 
them we may put down to legend. But one thing 
does stand fast. Just as al-Ma'mun combined the 
establishment of a great university at Baghdad with 
a favoring of the Alids, so the Fatimids in Cairo 
erected a great hall of science and threw all their in- 
fluence and authority into the spreading and extend- 
ing of knowledge. This institution seems to have 
been a combination of free public library and uni- 
versity, and was probably the gateway connecting 
between the inner circle of initiated Fatimid leaders 
and the outside, uninitiated world. We have already 
seen how unhappy were the external effects of the 
Shi'ite, and especially of the Fatimid, propaganda 
on the Muslim world. But from time to time we be- 
come aware of a deep undercurrent of scientific and 
philosophical labor and investigation accompanying 
that propaganda, and striving after knowledge and 
truth. It belongs to the life below the surface, which 
we can know only through its occasional outbursts. 
Some of these are given above; others will follow. 
The whole matter is obscure to the last degree, and 
dogmatic statements and explanations are not in 
place. It may be that it was only a natural draw- 
ing together on the part of all the different forces 
and movements that were under a ban and had to 
live in secrecy and stillness. It may be that the 
students of the new sciences passed over, simply 
through their studies and political despair as has 


often happened in our clay into different degrees of 
nihilism, or, at the other extreme, into a passionate 
searching for, and dependence on, some absolute 
guide, an infallible Imam. It may be that we have 
read wrongly the whole history of the Fatimid move- 
ment ; that it was in reality a deeply laid and slowly 
ripened plan to bring the rule of the world into the 
control of a band of philosophers, whose task it was 
to be to rule the human race and gradually to educate 
it into self-rule ; that they saw these unknown dev- 
otees of science and truth no other way of break- 
ing down the barriers of Islam and setting free the 
spirits of men. A wild hypothesis ! But in face of 
the real mystery no hypothesis can seem wild. 

Closely allied with both al-Farabi and the Fati- 
mids is the association known as the Sincere Breth- 
ren (Ikliwan as-safa). It existed at al-Basra in the 
middle of the fourth century of the Hijra during 
the breathing space which the free intellectual life 
enjoyed after the capture of Baghdad by the Buway- 
hids in 334. It will be remembered how that Per- 
sian dynasty was Shi e ite by creed and how it, for the 
time, completely clipped the claws of the orthodox 
and Sunnite Abbasid Khalifas. The only thing, 
thereafter, which heretics and philosophers had to 
fear was the enmity of the populace, but that seems 
to have been great enough. The Hanbalite mob of 
Baghdad had grown to be a thing of terror. It was, 
then, an educational campaign on which this new 
philosophy had to enter. Their programme was by 
means of clubs, propagating themselves and spread- 
ing over the country from al-Basra and Baghdad, to 


reach all educated people and introduce among them 
gradually a complete change in their religious and 
scientific ideas. Their teaching was the same combi- 
nation of neo-Platonic speculation and mysticism 
with Aristotelian natural science, wrapped in Mu'taz- 
ilite theology, that we have already known. Only 
there was added to it a Pythagorean reverence for 
numbers, and everything, besides, was treated in an 
eminently superficial and popularized manner. Our 
knowledge of the Fraternity and its objects is based 
on its publication, "The Epistles of the Sincere 
Brethren " (Hasa'il ikkwan as-safa) and upon scanty 
historical notices. The Epistles are fifty or fifty-one 
in number and cover the field of human knowledge as 
then conceived. They form, in fact, an Arabic En- 
cyclopedic. The founders of the Fraternity, and 
authors, presumably, of the Epistles, were at most 
ten. We have no certain knowledge that the Fra- 
ternity ever took even its first step and spread to 
Baghdad. Beyond that almost certainly the develop- 
ment did not pass. The division of members into 
four learners, teachers, guides, and drawers near to 
God in supernatural vision and the plan of regular 
meetings of each circle for study and mutual edifica- 
tion remained in its paper form. The society was 
half a secret one and lacked, apparently, vitality and 
energy. There was among its founders no man of 
weight and character. So it passed away and has 
left only these Epistles which have come down to us 
in numerous MSS., showing how eagerly they have 
been read and copied and how much influence they 
&t ieast must have exercised. That influence must 


have been very mixed. It was, it is true, for intel- 
lectual life, yet it carried with it in a still higher de- 
gree the defects we have already noticed in al-Farabi 
To them must be added the most simple skimming 
of all real philosophical problems and a treatment of 
nature and natural science which had lost all con- 
nection with facts. 

It has been suggested, and the suggestion seems 
luminous and fertile, that this Fraternity was simply 
a part of the great Fatimid propaganda which, as we 
know, honey-combed the ground everywhere under 
the Sunnite Abbasids. Descriptions which have 
reached us of the methods followed by the leaders of 
the Fraternity agree exactly with those of the mis- 
sionaries of the Isma'ilians. They raised difficulties 
and suggested serious questionings ; hinted at possi- 
ble answers but did not give them; referred to a 
source where all questions would be answered. 
Again, their catch-words and fixed phrases are the 
same as those afterward used by the Assassins, and 
we have traces of these Epistles forming a part of 
the sacred library of the Assassins. It is to be re- 
membered that the Assassins were not simply robber 
bands who struck terror by their methods. Both the 
western and the eastern branches were devoted to 
science, and it may be that in their mountain for- 
tresses there was the most absolute devotion to true 
learning that then existed. When the Mongols capt- 
ured Alamut, they found it rich in MSS. and in 
instruments and apparatus of every kind. It is then 
possible that the elevated eclecticism of the IkJiwan 
Qs-safa w^s the real doctrine of the Fatimids ? the 


Assassins, the Qarmatians and the Druses ; certainly, 
wherever we can test them there is the most singu- 
lar agreement. It is a mechanical and esthetic pan- 
theism, a glorification of Pythagoreanism, with its 
music and numbers; idealistic to the last degree; a 
worship and pursuit of a conception of a harmony 
and beauty in all the universe, to find which is to 
find and know the Creator Himself. It is thus far 
removed from materialism and atheism, but could 
easily be misrepresented as both. This, it is true, is 
a very different explanation from the one given in 
our first Part; it can only be put along-side of that 
and left there. The one expresses the practical 
effect of the Isma'ilians in Islam; the other what 
may have been their ideal However we judge them, 
we must always remember that somewhere in their 
teaching, at its best, there was a strange attraction 
for thinking and troubled men. Nasir ibn Khusraw, 
a Persian Faust, found peace at Cairo between 437 
and 4M in recognizing the divine Imamship of al- 
Mustansir, and after a life of persecution died in 
that faith as a hermit in the mountains of Badakh- 
shan in 481. The great Spanish poet, Ibn Hani, 
who died in 362, similarly accepted al-Mu'izz as his 
spiritual chief and guide. 

Another eclectic sect, but on a very different prin- 
ciple, was that of the Karramites, founded by Abu Abd 
Allah ibn Karram, who died in 256. Its teachings 
had the honor to be accepted and protected by 
no less a, man than the celebrated Mahmud of Grhazna 
(388-421), Mahmud the Idol-breaker, the first in- 
vader of India and the patron of al-Berani, Firdawsi, 


Ibn Sina and many another. But that, to which we 
will return, belongs to a later date and, probably, to 
a modified form of Ibn Karram's teaching. For him- 
self, he was an ascetic of Sijistan and, according to 
the story, a man of no education. He lost himself 
in theological subtleties which he seems to have 
failed to understand. However, out of them all he 
put together a boot which he called "The Punish- 
ment of the Grave," which spread widely in Khura- 
san. It was, in part, a frank recoil to the crassest 
anthropomorphism. Thus, for him, God actually sat 
upon the throne, was in a place, had direction and 
so could move from one point to another. He had a 
body with flesh, blood, and limbs ; He could be em- 
braced by those who were purified to the requisite 
point. It was a literal acceptance of the material 
expressions of the Qur'an along with a consideration 
of how they could be so, and an explanation by com- 
parison with men all opposed to the principle bila 
Jcayfa. So, apparently, we must understand the 
curious fact that he was also a Murji'ite and held 
faith to be only acknowledgment with the tongue. 
All men, except professed apostates, are believers, he 
said, because of that primal covenant, taken by God 
with the seed of Adam, when He asked, " Am I not 
your Lord? " (Alastu bi-rabbilcum} and they, brought 
forth from Adam's loins for the purpose, made an- 
swer, " Yea, verily, in this covenant we remain until 
we formally cast it off." This, of course, involved 
taking God's qualities in the most literal sense. So, 
if we are to see in the Mu'tazilites scholastic com- 
mentators trying to reduce Muhammad, the poet, to 


logic and sense, we must see in Ibn Karram one 
of those wooden-minded literalists, for whom a meta- 
phor is a ridiculous lie if it cannot be taken in its 
external meaning. He was part of the great stream 
of conservative reaction, in which we find also such 
a man as Ahmad ibn Hanbal. But the saving salt of 
Ahmad's sense and reverence kept him by the safe 
proviso " without considering how and without com- 
parison/ 7 All Ahmad's later followers were not so 
wise. In his doctrine of the state Ibn Karram 
inclined to the Kharijites. 

Before we return to al~Jubba'i and the fate of the 
Mu'tazilites, it remains to trace more precisely the 
thread of mysticism, that kashf, revelation, which we 
have already mentioned several times. Its funda- 
mental fact is that it had two sides, an ascetic and a 
speculative, different in degree, in spirit and in result, 
and yet so closely entangled that the same mystic 
has been assigned, in good and in bad faith, as an 
adherent of both. 

It is to the form of mysticism which sprang from 
asceticism that we must first turn. Attention has 
been given above to the wandering monks and her- 
mits, the sa!ihs (wanderers) and raMbs who caught 
Muhammad's attention and respect. We have seen, 
too, how Muslim imitators began in their turn to 
wander through the land, clad in the coarse woollen 
robes which gave them the name of Sufis, and liv- 
ing upon the alms of the pious. How early these 
appeared in any number and as a fixed profession is 
uncertain, but we find stories in circulation of meet- 
ings between such mendicant friars and al-Hasan al- 


Basri himself. Women, too, were among them, and 
it is possible that to their influence a development 
of devotion al love-poetry was due. At least, many 
verses of this kind are ascribed to a certain Rabi'a, 
an ascetic and ecstatic devotee of the most extreme 
other-worldliness, who died in 135. Many other wom- 
en had part in the contemplative life. Among them 
may be mentioned, to show its grasp and spread, 
A'isha, daughter of Ja'far as-Sadiq, who died in 145; 
Fatima of Naysabur, who died in 223, and the Lady 
JsTafisa, a contemporary and rival in learning with 
ash-Shafi'i and the marvel of her time in piety and 
the ascetic life. Her grave is one of the most vener- 
ated spots in Cairo, and at it wonders are still worked 
and prayer is always answered. She was a descend- 
ant of al-Hasan, the martyred ex-Khalifa, and an 
example of how the fated family of the Prophet was 
an early school for women saints. Even in the 
Heathenism we have traces of female penitents and 
hermits, and the tragedy of Ali and his sons and de- 
scendants gave scope for the self-saciifice, loving ser- 
vice and religious enthusiasm with which women are 

All these stood and stand in Islam on exactly 
the same footing as men. The distinction in Ro- 
man Christendom that a woman cannot be a priest 
there falls away, for in Islam is neither priest nor 
layman. They lived either as solitaries or in conven- 
tual life exactly as did the men. They were called 
by the same terms in feminine form ; they were Sufi- 
yas beside the Sufis ; Zahidas (ascetics) beside the 
Zahids ; Waliyas (friends of God) beside the Walis ; 


Abidas (devotees) beside the Abids. They worked 
wonders (karamat, closely akin to the ^apia-para, of 
1 Cor. xii, 9) by the divine grace, and still, as we 
have seen, at their own graves such are granted 
through them to the faithful, and their intercession 
(shafa'a) is invoked. Their religious exercises were 
the same; they held dhikrs and women darwishes 
yet dance to singing and music in order to bring on 
fits of ecstasy. To state the case generally, whatever 
is said hereafter of mysticism and its workings 
among men must be taken as applying to women 

To return : one of the earliest male devotees of 
whom we have distinct note is Ibrahim ibn Adham. 
He was a wanderer of royal blood, drifted from Balkh 
in Afghanistan to al-Basra and to Mecca. He died 
in 161. Contempt for the learning of lawyers and 
for external forms appears in him ; obedience to God, 
contemplation of death, death to the world formed 
his teaching. Another, Da'ud ibn Nusayr, who died 
in 165, was wont to say, "Flee men as thou fleest a 
lion. Fast from the world and let the breaking of 
thy fast be when thou diest." Another, al-Fudayl 
ibn lyad of Khurasan, who died in 187, was a robber 
converted by a heavenly voice; he cast aside the 
world, and his utterances show that he lapsed into 
the passivity of quietism. 

[Reference has already been made in the chapter 
on jurisprudence to the development of asceticism 
which came with the accession of the Abbasids. The 
disappointed hopes of the old believers found an out- 
let in the contemplative life. They withdrew from 


the world and would liave nothing to do with its rul- 
ers; their wealth and everything connected with 
them they regarded as unclean. Ahmad ibn Hanbal 
in his later life had to use all his obstinacy and in- 
genuity to keep free of the court and its contamina- 
tion. Another was this al-Fudayl. Stories chrono- 
logically impossible are told how he rebuked Harun 
ar-Bashid for his luxury and tyranny and denounced 
to his face his manner of life. "With such an attitude 
to those round him he could have had little joy in his 
devotion. So it was said, "When al-Fudayl died, 
sadness was removed from the world." 

But soon the recoil came. Under the spur of 
such exercises and thoughts, the ecstatic oriental 
temperament began to revel in expressions borrowed 
from human love and earthly wine. Such we find 
by Ma'ruf of al-Karkh, a district of Baghdad, who 
died in 200, and whose tomb, saved by popular 
reverence, is one of the few ancient sites in modern 
Baghdad ; and by his greater disciple, Sari as-Saqati, 
who died in 257. To this last is ascribed, but dubi- 
ously, the first use of the word tawhid to signify the 
union of the soul with God. The figure that the 
heart is a mirror to image back God and that it is 
darkened by the things of the body appears in Abu 
Sulayman of Damascus, who died in 215. A more 
celebrated ascetic, who died in 227, Bishr al-Hafi 
(bare-foot), speaks of God directly as the Beloved 
(habib). Al-Harith al-Muhasibi was a contemporary 
of Ahmad ibn Hanbal and died in 243. The only 
thing in him to which Ahmad could take exception 
was that he made use of Jcalam in refuting the Mu'ta- 


zilites ; even this suspicion against Mrn he is said 
to have abandoned. Sari and Bishr, too, were close 
friends of Ahmad's. Dhu-n-Nun, the Egyptian Sufi, 
who died in 245, is in more dubious repute. He is 
said to have been the first to formulate the doctrine 
of ecstatic states (hals, maqamas) ; but if he went no 
further than this, his orthodoxy, in the broad sense, 
should be above suspicion. Islam has now come to 
accept these as right and fitting. Perhaps the great- 
est name in early Sufiism is that of al- Junayd (d. 297) ; 
on it no shadow of heresy has ever fallen. He was 
a master in theology and law, reverenced as one of 
the greatest of the early doctors. Questions of tawliid 
he is said to have discussed before his pupils with 
shut doors. But this was probably taivliid in the 
theological and not in the mystical sense against 
the Mu'tazilites and not on the union of the soul with 
God. Yet he, too, knew the ecstatic life and fell 
fainting at verses which struck into his soul. Ash- 
Shibli (d. 334) was one of his disciples, but seems to 
have given himself more completely to the ascetic 
and contemplative life. In verses by him we find the 
vocabulary of the amorous intercourse with Grod fully 
developed. The last of this group to be mentioned 
here shall be Abu Talib al-Makki, who died in 386. 
It is his distinction to have furnished a text-book of 
Sufiism that is in use to this day. He wrote and 
spoke openly on tatvJiid, now in the Sufi sense, and 
got into trouble as a heretic, but his memory has 
been restored to orthodoxy by the general agreement 
of Islam. "When, in 488, al-Ghazzali set himself to 
seek light in Sufiism, among the treatises he studied 


were the books of four of those mentioned above, 
Abu Talib, al-Muhasibi, al~ Junayd, and ash-Shibli. 

In the case of these and all the others already spoken 
of there was nothing but a very simple and natural de- 
velopment such as could easily be paralleled in Europe. 
The earliest Muslims were burdened, as we have seen, 
with the fear of the terrors of an avenging God. The 
world was evil and fleeting ; the only abiding good 
was in the other world ; so their religion became an 
ascetic other- worldliness. They fled into the wilder- 
ness from the wrath to come. "Wandering, either 
solitary or in companies, was the special sign of the 
true Sufi. The young men gave themselves over to 
the guidance of the older men ; little circles of dis- 
ciples gathered round a venerated Shaykh ; fraterni- 
ties began to form. So we find it in the case of al-Jun- 
ayd, so in that of Sari as-Saqati. Next would come 
a monastery, rather a rest-house ; for only in the win- 
ter and for rest did they remain fixed in a place for 
any time. Of such a monastery there is a trace at 
Damascus in 150 and in Khurasan about 200. Then, 
just as in Europe, begging friars organized them- 
selves. In faith they were rather conservative than 
anything else ; touched with a religious passivism 
which easily developed into quietism. Their ecsta- 
sies went little beyond those, for instance, of Thomas 
h, Kempis, though struck with a warmer oriental fer- 

The points on which the doctors of Islam took 
exception to these earlier Sufis are strikingly differ- 
ent from what we would expect. They concern the 
practical life far more than theological speculation. 


As was natural in the case of professional devotees, a 
constantly prayerful attitude began to assume impor- 
tance beside and in contrast to the formal use of the 
five daily prayers, the salawat. This development 
was in all probability aided by the existence in Syria 
of the Christian sect of the Euchites, who exalted 
the duty of prayer above all other religious obliga- 
tions. These, also, abandoned property and obliga- 
tions and wandered as poor brethren over the country. 
They were a branch of Hesychasts, the quietistic 
Greek monks who eventually led to the controversy 
concerning the uncreated light manifested at the 
transfiguration on Mount Tabor and added a doctrine 
to the Eastern Church. Considering these points, it 
can hardly be doubted that there was some historical 
connection and relation here, not only with earlier 
but also with later Sufiism. There is a striking re- 
semblance between the Sufis seeking by patient intro- 
spection to see the actual light of God's presence in 
their hearts, and the Greek monks in Athos, sitting 
solitarily in their cells and seeking the divine light of 
Mount Tabor in contemplation of their navels. 

But our immediate point is the matter of constant, 
free prayer. In the Qur'an (xxxiii, 41) the believers 
are exhorted to "remember (dhifar) God often;" 
this command the Sufis obeyed with a correlative de- 
preciation of the five canonical prayers. Their meet- 
ings for the purpose, much like our own prayer- 
meetings, still more like the " class-meetings " of the 
early Methodists, as opposed to stated public worship, 
were called dhikrs. These services were fiercely 
attacked by the orthodox theologians, but survived 


and are the darwish functions which tourists still go 
to see at Constantinople and Cairo. But the more 
private and personal dhiJcrs of individual Sufis, each 
in his house repeating his Qur'anic litanies through 
the night, until to the passer-by it sounded like the 
humming of bees or the unceasing drip of roof-gut- 
ters, these seem, in the course of the third century, to 
have fallen before ridicule and accusations of heresy. 

Another point against the earlier Sufis was their 
abuse of the principle of tawakJcul, dependence upon 
God. They gave up their trades and professions; 
they even gave up the asking for alms. Their 
ideal was to be absolutely at God's disposal, utterly 
cast upon His direct sustenance (rizq). No anxiety 
for their daily bread was permitted to them ; they 
must go through the world separated from it and its 
needs and looking up to God. Only one who can do 
this is properly an acknowledger of God's unity, a 
true Mmvahhid. To such, God would assuredly 
open the door of help ; they were at His gate ; and 
the biographies of the saints are full of tales how His 
help used to come. 

To this it may be imagined that the more sober, 
even among Sufis, made vehement objection. It fell 
under two heads. One was that of Jcasb, the gaining 
of daily bread by labor. The examples of the hus- 
bandman who casts his seed into the ground and then 
depends upon God, of the merchant who travels with 
his wares in similar trust, were held up against the 
wandering but useless monk. As always, traditions 
were forged on both sides. Said a man apparently 
in a spirit of prophecy one day to the Prophet, 


"Shall I let my camel run free and trust in God? " 
Eeplied the Prophet, or someone for him with a good 
imitation of his humorous common-sense, "Tie up 
your camel and trust in God." The other head was 
the use of remedies in sickness. The whole contro- 
versy parallels strikingly the " mental science " and 
" Christian science" of the present day. Medicine, 
it was held, destroyed tawakkuL In the fourth century 
in Persia this insanity ran high and many books were 
written for it and against it. The author of one on 
the first side was consulted in an obstinate case of 
headache, " Put my book under your pillow," he said, 
" and trust in God." On both these points the usage 
of the Prophet and the Companions was in the teeth 
of the Sufi position. They had notoriously earned 
their living, honestly or dishonestly, and had pos- 
sessed all the credulity of semi-civilization toward the 
most barbaric and multifarious remedies. So the 
agreement of Islam eventually righted itself, though 
the question in its intricacies and subtilties remained 
for centuries a thing of delight for theologians. In 
the end only the wildest fanatics held by absolute 

But all this time the second form of Sufiism had 
been slowly forcing its way. It was essentially spec- 
ulative and theological rather than ascetic and de- 
votional. "When it gained the upper hand, zaJiid 
(ascetic) was no longer a convertible term with Sufi. 
We pass over the boundary between Thomas & Kempis 
and St. Francis to Eckhart and Suso. The roots of 
this movement cannot be hard to find in the light of 
what has preceded. They lie partly in the neo- 


Platonism which is the f onndation of the philosophy 
of Islam. Probably it did not come to the Sufis 
along the same channels by which it reached al- 
Farabi. It was rather through the Christian mystics 
and, perhaps, especially through the Pseudo-Dionys- 
ius the Areopagite, and his asserted teacher, Stephen 
bar Sudaili with his Syriac "Book of Hierotheos." 
"We need not here consider whether the Monophysite 
heresy is to be reckoned in as one of the results of 
the dying neo-Platonism. It is true that outlying 
forms of it meant the frank deifying of a man and 
thus raised the possibility of the equal deifying of 
any other man and of all men. But there is no cer- 
tainty that these views had an influence in Islam. It 
is enough that from A.D. 533 we find the Pseudo- 
Dionysius quoted and his influence strong with the 
ultra Monophy sites, and still more, thereafter, with 
the whole mystical movement in Christendom. Ac- 
cording to it, all Is akin in nature to the Absolute, 
and all this life below is only a reflection of the 
glories of the upper sphere, where God is. Through 
the sacraments and a hierarchy of angels man is led 
back toward Him. Only in ecstasy can man come to 
a knowledge of Him. The Trinity, sin and the 
atonement fade out of view. The incarnation is but 
an example of how the divine and the human can 
join. All is an emanation or an emission of grace 
from God ; and the yearnings of man are back to his 
source. The revolving spheres, the groaning and 
travailing nature are striving to return to their origin. 
"When this conception had seized the Oriental Church ; 
when it had passed into Islam and dominated its 


emotional and religious life ; when through the trans- 
lation of the Pseudo-Dionysius by Scotus Erigena in 
850, it had begun the long contest of idealism in 
Europe, the dead school of Plotinus had won the 
field, and its influence ruled from the Oxtis to the 

But the roots of Sufiism struck also in another 
direction. "We have already seen an early tendency 
to regard Ali and, later, members of his house as in- 
incarnations of divinity. In the East, where God 
comes near to man, the conception of God in man is 
not difficult. The Semitic prophet through whom 
God speaks easily slips over into a divine being in 
whom God exists and may be worshipped. But if 
with one, why not with another? May it not be 
possible by purifying exercises to reach this unity ? 
If one is a Son of God, may not all become that if 
they but take the means? The half -understood pan- 
theism which always lurks behind oriental fervors 
claims its due. From his wild whirling dance, the 
darwisli, stung to cataleptic ecstasy by the throbbing 
of the drums and the lilting chant, sinks back into 
the unconsciousness of the divine oneness. He has 
passed temporarily from this scene of multiplicity 
into the sea of God's unity and, at death, if he but 
persevere, he will reach that haven where he fain 
would be and will abide there forever. Here, we have 
not to do with calm philosophers rearing their sys- 
tems in labored speculations, but with men, often 
untaught, seeking the salvation of their souls ear- 
nestly and with tears. 

One of the earliest of the pantheistic school was 


Abu Yazid al-Bistami (d. 261). He was of Persian 
parentage, and his father had been a follower of Za- 
rathustra. As an ascetic he was of the highest re- 
pute; he was also an author of eminence on Sufiism 
(al-Grhazzali used his books) and he joined to his 
devout learning and self- mortification clear miracu- 
lous gifts. But equally clear was his pantheistic 
drift and his name has come down linked to the say- 
ing, " Beneath my cloak there is naught else than 
God." It is worth noticing that certain other of his 
sayings show that, even in his time, there were Sufi 
saints who boasted that they had reached such per- 
fection and such miraculous powers that the ordinary 
moral and ceremonial law no longer applied to them. 
The antinomianism which haunted the later Sufiism 
and darwishdom had already appeared. 

But the greatest name of all among these early 
pantheists was that of al-Hallaj (the cotton carder), 
a pupil of al-Junayd, who was put to death with great 
cruelty in 309. It is almost impossible to reach any 
certain conclusion as to his real views and aims. In 
spite of what seem to be utterances of the crassest 
pantheism, such as, "I am the Truth," there have 
not been wanting many in later Islam who have 
reverenced his memory as that of a saint and martyr. 
To Sufis and darwishes of his time and to this day 
he has been and is a patron saint. In his life and 
death he represents for them the spirit of revolt against 
dogmatic scholasticism and formalism. Further, even 
such a great doctor of the Muslim Church as al-Grhazzali 
defended him and, though lamenting some incautious 
phrases, upheld his orthodoxy. At his trial itself 


before the theologians of Baghdad, one of them re- 
fused to sign i~hefatwa declaring him an unbeliever; 
he was not clear, he said, as to the case. And it is 
true that such records as we have of the time suggest 
that his condemnation was forced by the government 
as a matter of state policy. He was a Persian of 
Magian origin, and evidently an advanced mystic of 
the speculative type. He carried the theory to its 
legitimate conclusion, and proclaimed the result pub- 
licly. He dabbled in scholastic theology ; had evi- 
dent Mu'tazilite leanings; wrote on alchemy and 
things esoteric. But with this mystical enthusiasm 
there seem to have united in him other and more 
dangerous traits. The stories which have reached 
us show him of a character fond of excitement and 
change, surrounding himself with devoted adherents 
and striving by miracle-working of a commonplace 
kind to add to his following. His popularity among 
the people of Baghdad and their reverence for 
him rose to a perilous degree. He may have had 
plans of his own as a Persian nationalist; he may 
have had part in one of the Shi'ite conspiracies ; he 
may have been nothing but a rather weak-headed 
devotee, carried off his feet by a sudden tide of public 
excitement, the greatest trial and danger that a saint 
has to meet. But the times were not such then in 
Baghdad that the government could take any risks. 
Al-Muqtadir was Khalifa and in his weak hands the 
Khalifate was slipping to ruin. The Fatimids were 
supreme in North Africa ; the Qarmatians held Syria 
and Arabia, and were threatening Baghdad itself. In 
eight years they were to take Mecca. Persia was 


seething with false prophets and nationalists of every 
shade. Thirteen years later Ibn ash-Shalmaghani 
was put to death in Baghdad on similar grounds ; in 
his case, Shi c ite conspiracy against the state was still 
more clearly involved. We can only conclude in the 
words of Ibn Khallikan (d. 681), " The history of al- 
Hallaj is long to relate ; his fate is well known ; and 
God knoweth all secret things." With him we must 
leave, for the present, consideration of the Sufi devel- 
opment and return to the Mu c tazilites and to the 
people tiring of their dry subtilties. 


The rise of orthodox Jcalam; al-Ash'ari; decline of the Mu'tazil- 
ites ; passing of heresy into unbelief ; development of scho- 
lastic theology by Ash'arites ; rise of Zahirite Jcalam ; Ibn 
Hazm ; persecution of Ash'arites ; final assimilation of Jcalam. 

As we have already seen, the traditionalist party at 
first refused to enter upon any discussion of sacred 
things. Malik ibn Anas used to say, " God's istiwa 
(settling Himself firmly upon His throne) is known ; 
how it is done is unknown; it must be believed; 
questions about it are an innovation (bid'a)." But 
such a position could not be held for any length of 
time. The world cannot be cut in two and half as- 
signed to faith and half to reason. So, as time went 
on, there arose on the orthodox side men who, little 
by little, were prepared to give a reason for the faith 
that was in them. They thus came to use Jcalam in 
order to meet the Jcalam of the Mu'tazilites ; they 
became mutalcaTlims, and the scholastic theology of 
Islam was founded. It is the history of this transfer 
of method which we have now to consider. 

Its beginnings are wrapped in a natural obscurity. 
It was at first a gradual, unconscious drift, and peo- 
ple did not recognize its existence. Afterward, when 
they looked back upon it, the tendency of the human 
mind to ascribe broad movements to single men as- 
serted itself and the whole was put under the name 



of al-Ash c ari. It is true that with him, in a sense, the 
change suddenly leaped to self -consciousness, but it 
had already been long in progress. As we have seen, 
al-Junayd discussed the unity of God, but it was be- 
hind closed doors. Ash-Shafi'i held that there should 
be a certain number of men trained thus to defend 
and purify the faith, but that it would be a great 
evil if their arguments should become known to the 
mass of the people. Al-Muhasibi, a contemporary 
of Ahmad ibn Hanbal, was suspected, and rightly, of 
defending his faith with argument, and thereby in- 
curred Ahmad's displeasure. Another contemporary 
of Ahmad's, al-Karabisi (d. 345), incurred the same 
displeasure, and the list might easily be extended. 
But the most significant fact of all is that the move- 
ment came to the surface and showed itself openly at 
the same time in the most widely separated lands of 
Islam. In Mesopotamia there was al-Ash'ari, who 
died after 320 ; in Egypt there was at-Tahawi, who 
died in 331; in Samarqand there was al-Mataridi, 
who died in 333. Of these at-Tahawi is now little 
more than a name ; al-Mataridi's star has paled be- 
fore that of al-Ash'ari ; al-Ash ari has come in popular 
view to be the solitary hero before whom the Mu'taz- 
ilite system went down. It will perhaps be sufficient 
if we take his life and experiences as our guide in 
this period of change ; the others must have followed 
very much in the same path. 

He was born at al-Basra in 260, the year in which 
al-Kindi died and Muhammad al-Muntazar vanished 
from the sight of men. He came into a world full of 
intellectual ferment ; Alids of different camps were 


active in their claim to be possessors of an infallible 
Imam ; Zaydites and Qarmatians were in revolt ; the 
decree of 234 that the Qur'an was uncreated had had 
little effect, so far, in silencing the Mu'tazilites ; in 
261 the Sufi pantheist, Abu Yazid, died. Al-Ash'ari 
himself was of the best blood of the desert and of a 
highly orthodox family which had borne a distin- 
guished part in Muslim history. Through some ac- 
cident he came in early youth into the care of al- 
Jubba'i, the Mu'tazilite, who, according to one story, 
had married al-Ash'ari's mother ; was brought up by 
him and remained a stanch Mu'tazilite, writing and 
speaking on that side, till he was forty years old. 

Then a strange thing happened. One day he mounted 
the pulpit of the mosque in al-Basra and cried aloud, 
" He who knows me, knows me ; and he who knows 
me not, let him know that I am so and so, the son of 
so and so. I have maintained the creation of the 
Qur'an and that Grod will not be seen in the world to 
come with the eyes, and that the creatures create their 
actions. Lo, I repent that I have been a Mu'tazilite 
and turn to opposition to them." It was a voice full 
of omen. It told that the intellectual supremacy of 
the Mu'tazilites had publicly passed and that, here- 
after, they would be met with their own weapons. 
What led to this change of mind is strictly unknown ; 
only legends have reached us. One, full of psycho- 
logical truth, runs that one Eamadan, the fasting 
month, when he was worn with prayer and hunger, 
the Prophet appeared to him three times in his sleep, 
and commanded him to turn from his vain Jcalam and 
seek certainty in the traditions and the Qur'an, If 


he "would but give himself to that study, God would 
make clear the difficulties and enable him to solve all 
the puzzles. He did so, and his mind seemed to be 
opened ; the old contradictions and absurdities had 
fled, and he cursed the Mu e tazilites and all their 

It can easily be seen that in some such way as 
this the blood of the race may have led him back 
to the God of his fathers, the God of the desert, 
whose word must be accepted as its own proof. The 
gossips of the time told strange tales of rich relatives 
and family pressure ; we can leave these aside. When 
he had changed he was terribly in earnest. He met 
his old teacher, al-Jubba'i, in public discussions again 
and again till the old man withdrew. One of these 
discussions legend has handed down in varying forms. 
None of them may be exactly true, but they are sig- 
nificant of the change of attitude. He came to al- 
Jubbai and said, " Suppose the case of three brothers ; 
one being God-fearing, another godless and a third 
dies as a child. What of them in the world to come ? " 
Al-Jubba i replied, " The first will be rewarded in 
Paradise ; the second punished in Hell, and the third 
will be neither rewarded nor punished." Al-Ash'ari 
continued, "But if the third said, 'Lord, Thou 
mightest have granted me life, and then I would have 
been pious and entered Paradise like my brother,' 
what then? " Al-J"ubba e i replied, " God would say, 
'I knew that if thou wert granted life thou wouldst 
be godless and unbelieving and enter Hell.' " Then 
al-Ash'ari drew his noose, " But what if the second 
said, ' Lord, why didst Thou not make me die as a 


child? Then had I escaped Hell. 5 " Al-Jubba'i 
was silenced, and Al-Ash'ari went away in triumph. 
Three years after his pupil had left him the old man 
died. The tellers of this story regard it as disproving 
the Mu'tazilite doctrine of "the best" al-aslah 
namely, that God is constrained to do that which may 
be best and happiest for His creatures. Orthodox 
Islam, as we have seen, holds that God is under no 
such constraint, and is free to do good or evil as He 

But the story has also another and somewhat 
broader significance. It is a protest against the 
religious rationalism of the Mu'tazilites, which held 
that the mysteries of the universe could be expressed 
and met in terms of human thought. In this way 
it represents the essence of al-Ash'ari's position, a 
recoil from the impossible task of raising a system 
of purely rationalistic theology to reliance upon the 
"Word of God, and the tradition (hadith) and usage 
(sunna) of the Prophet and the pattern of the early 
church (salaf). 

The stories told above represent the change as 
sudden. According to the evidence of his books 
that was not so. In his return there were two 
stages. In the first of these he upheld the seven 
rational Qualities (sifat aqliya) of God, Life, Knowl- 
edge, Power, Will, Hearing, Seeing, Speech : but ex- 
plained away the Qur'anic anthropomorphisms of 
God's face, hands, feet, etc. In the second stage, 
which fell, apparently, after he had moved to Bagh- 
dad and come under the strong Hanbalite influences 
there, he explained away nothing, but contented him- 


self with the position that the anthropomorphisms 
were to be taken, bila Jcayfa walataslibih, without ask- 
ing how and without drawing any comparison. The 
first phrase is directed against the Mn'tazilites, who 
inquired persistently into the nature and possibility 
of such things in God ; the second, against the an- 
thropomorphists (muskabbihs, comparers; mujassims, 
corporealizers), mostly ultra Hanbalites and Kar- 
ramiteSj who said that these things in God were like 
the corresponding things in men. At all stages, how- 
ever, he was prepared to defend his conclusions and 
assail those of his adversaries by dint of argument. 

The details of his system will be best understood by 
reading his creed and the creed of al-Fudali, which is 
essentially Ash c arite. Both are in the Appendix of 
Translated Creeds. Here, it is necessary to draw 
attention to two, only, of the obscurer points. On 
the vexed question, "What is a thing?" he antici- 
pated Kant. The early theologians, orthodox and 
theoretical, and those later ones also who did not fol- 
low him, regarded, as we have seen, existence (ivujud) 
as only one of the qualities belonging to an existing 
thing (mawjud}. It was there all the time, but it 
lacked the quality of " existence " ; then that quality 
was added to its other qualities and it became exist- 
ent. But al-Ash'ari and his followers held that ex- 
istence was the " self " (ayri) of the entity and not a 
quality or state, however personal or necessary. See, 
on the whole, Appendix of Creeds. 

On the other vexed question of free-will, or, rather, 
as the Muslims chose to express it, on the ability of 
men to produce actions, he took up a mediating po- 


sitioru The old orthodox position was absolutely 
fatalistic ; the Mu'tazilites, following their principle 
of Justice, gave to man an initiative power. Al- 
Ash'ari struck a middle path. Man cannot create 
anything ; God is the only creator. Nor does man's 
power produce any effect on his actions at all. God 
creates in His creature power (qudra) and choice 
(ikhtiyar). Then He creates in him his action cor- 
responding to the power and choice thus created. 
So the action of the creature is created by God as 
to initiative and as to production ; but it is acquired 
by the creature. By acquisition (Jcasb) is meant that 
it corresponds to the creature's power and choice, 
previously created in him, without his having had 
the slightest effect on the action. He was only the 
locus or subject of the action. In this way al-Ash'ari 
is supposed to have accounted for free-will and 
entailed responsibility upon men. It may be doubted 
whether the second point occupied him much. It 
was open to his God to do good or evil as He chose ; 
the Justice of the Mu'tazilites was left behind. He 
may have intended only to explain the consciousness 
of freedom, as some have done more recently. The 
closeness with which al-Ash c ari in this comes to the 
pre-established harmony of Leibnitz and to the 
Kantian conception of existence shows how high a 
rank he must take as an original thinker. His 
abandoning of the Mu'tazilites was due to no mere 
wave of sentiment but to a perception that their spec- 
ulations were on too narrow a basis and of a too bar- 
ren scholastic type. He died after 320 with a curse 
on them and their methods as his last words. 


A few words only need be given to al-Mataridi. 
The creed of an-Nasafi in the Appendix of Creeds, pp. 
308-315 belongs to his school. He and at-Tahawi 
were followers of the broad-minded Abu Hanif a, who 
was more than suspected of Mu'tazilite and Murji'ite 
leanings. Muslim theologians usually reckon up 
some thirteen points of difference between al-Mata- 
ridi and al-Ash c ari and admit that seven of these are 
not much more than combats of words. Those 
which occur in an-ISTasafi's creed are marked with a 

We are now in a position to finish shortly with the 
Mu'tazilites. Their work, as a constructive force, is 
done. From this time on there is kalam among the 
orthodox, and the term mutakalUm denotes nothing 
but a scholastic theologian, whether of one wing or 
another. And so, like any other organ which has done 
its part and for the existence of which there is no 
longer any object, they gradually and quietly dropped 
into the background. They had still, sometimes, to 
suffer persecution, and for hundreds of years there 
were men who continued to call themselves Mu'tazil- 
ites ; but their heresies came to be heresies of the 
schools and not burning questions in the eyes of 
the masses. We need now draw attention to only a 
few incidents and figures in this dying movement. 
The Muslim historians lay much stress on the ortho- 
dox zeal of the Khalifa al-Qadir, who reigned 381- 
422, and narrate how he persecuted the Mu'tazilites, 
Shi'ites and other heretics and compelled them, under 
oath, to conform. 

But there are several difficulties in the way of this 


persecution, which make it probable that it was more 
nominal than otherwise. AI-Qadir was bitterly or- 
thodox ; he had written a treatise on theology and 
compelled his unhappy courtiers to listen to a public 
reading of it every week. But he enjoyed, outside 
of his palace, next to no power. He was in the con- 
trol of the Shi'ite Buwayhids, who, as we have seen, 
ruled Baghdad and the Khalifate from 320 to 447. 
These dubious persecutions are said to have fallen in 
408 and 420. Again, a Muslim pilgrim from Spain 
visited Baghdad about 390 and has left us a record 
of the state of religious things there. He found in 
session what may perhaps best be described as a 
Parliament of Eeligions. It seems to have been a 
free debate between Muslims of all sects, orthodox 
and heretical, Parsees and atheists, Jews and Chris- 
tians unbelievers of every kind. Each party had a 
spokesman, and at the beginning of the proceedings 
the rule was rehearsed that no one might appeal to 
the sacred books of his creed but might only adduce 
arguments founded upon reason. The pious Spanish 
Muslim went to two meetings but did not peril his 
soul by any farther visits. In his narrative we rec- 
ognize the horror with which the orthodox of Spain 
viewed such proceedings Spain, Muslim and Chris- 
tian, has always favored the straitest sect; but when 
such a thing was permitted in Baghdad, religious lib- 
erty there at least must have been tolerably broad. 
Possibly it was sittings of the IMnoan as-safa upon 
which this scandalized Spaniard stumbled. He him- 
self speaks of them as meetings of mutakallims. 
But if the mixture of Sunnite and Shi'ite authority 


in Baghdad gave all the miscellaneous heretics a 
chance for life, it was different in the growing domin- 
ions of Mahmud of Ghazna. That iconoclastic mon- 
arch had embraced the anthropomorphic faith of the 
Karramites, the most literal-minded of all the Mus- 
lim sects. In consequence, all forms of Mu c tazilism 
and all kinds of mutakallims were an abomination 
to him, and it was a very real persecution which they 
met at his hands. That al-Qadir, his spiritual suze- 
rain, urged him on is very probable ; it is also possi- 
ble that respect for the growing power of Mahmud 
may have protected al-Qadir to some extent from the 
Buwayhids. In 420 Mahmud took from them Ispa- 
han and held there a grand inquisition onShi'ites and 
heretics of all kinds. 

To proceed with the Mu'tazilites ; when we come 
to al-Grhazzali and his times we shall find that they 
have ceased to be a crying danger to the faith. 
Though their views might, that doctor held, be er- 
roneous in some respects, they were not to be con- 
sidered as damnable. Again, in 538, there died az- 
Zamakhshari, the great grammarian, who is often 
called the last of the Mu c tazilites. He was not that 
by any means, but his heresies were either mild or 
were regarded mildly. A single point will show this, 
His commentary on the Qur'an, the Kashshaf, was re- 
vised and expurgated in the orthodox interest by 
al-Baydawi (d. 688) and in that form is now the 
most popular and respected of all expositions. The 
Kashshaf itself, in its original, unmodified form, has 
been printed several times at Cairo. Again, Ibn 
Rushd, the Aristotelian, who died in 595, when he is 


combating the arguments of the mutakallims, makes 
little difference between the Mu'tazilites and the 
others. They are only, to him, another variety of 
scholastic theologian, with a rather better idea, per- 
haps, of logic and argument. He considered, as we 
shall find later, all the mutakallims as sadly to seek 
in such matters. Since then, and into quite modern 
times, there have been sporadic cases of theologians 
called Mu'tazilites by themselves or others. Practi- 
cally, they have been scholastics of eccentric views. 
Finally, the use of this name for themselves by the 
present-day broad school Muslims of India is abso- 
lutely unhistorical and highly misleading. 

"We turn now to suggest, rather than to trace, some 
of the non-theological consequences of the preceding 

Increasingly, from this time on, it is not heresy 
which has to be met so much as simple unbelief, more 
or less frank. It is evident that the heretics of the 
earlier period are now dividing in two directions, 
one part inclining toward milder forms of heresy and 
the other toward doubt in the largest sense, passing 
over to Aristotelian + neo-Platonic philosophy, and 
thence dividing into materialists, deists, and theists. 
Thus we have seen earlier the workings of al-Farabi 
and of the Ikhwan as-safa. The teachings of the 
latter pass on to the Isma'ilians who developed them 
in the mountain fortresses, the centres of their power, 
scattered from Persia to Syria. These were other- 
wise called Assassins; otherwise Batinites in the 
narrower sense in the broader that term meant only 
those who found under the letter of the Qur'an a 


hidden, esoteric meaning; otherwise Talirnites or 
claimers of a ta'lim, a secret teaching by a divinely 
instructed Imam, and with them we shall have much 
to do later. It is sufficient here to notice how the 
peaceful and rather watery philosophy of the "Sin- 
cere Brethren" was transmuted through ambition 
and fanaticism into belligerent politics at the hands 
and daggers of these fierce sectaries. Into this period, 
too, fall some well-known names of dubious and more 
than dubious orthodoxy. Al-Beruni (d. 440) even 
at the court of Mahrnud of Ghazna managed to keep 
his footing and his head. Tet it may be doubted how 
far he was a Karramite or even a Muslim. He was 
certainly the first scientific student of India and In- 
dica and of chronology and calendars, a man whose 
attainments and results show that our so-called 
modern methods are as old as genius. On religion, 
he maintained a prudent silence, but earned the favor 
of Mahmud by an unsparing exposure of the weak- 
ness in the Fatimid genealogy. In this sketch he 
has a place as a man of science who went his own way 
without treading on the religious toes of other people. 
His contemporary Ibn Sina (d. 428), for us Avi- 
cenna, was of a different nature, and his lines were 
cast in different places. He was a wanderer through 
the courts of northern Persia. The orthodox and 
stringent Mahmud he carefully avoided; the Buway- 
hids and those of their ilk took such heresies as his 
more easily. Endowed with a gigantic memory and 
an insatiable intellectual appetite, he was the ency- 
clopaedist of his age, and his scientific work, and 
especially that in medicine, went further than any- 


thing else to put the Muslim East and medieval 
Europe in tlie strait waistcoat from which the first 
has not yet emerged and the second only shook itself 
free in the seventeenth century. He was a student 
of Aristotle and a mystic, as all Muslim students of 
Aristotle have been. How far his mysticism enabled 
him to square the Qur'an with Ms philosophy is not 
clear; such men seldom said exactly what they meant 
and all that they thought. He was also a diligent 
student and reader of the Qur'an and faithful in his 
public religious duties. Yet the Muslim world asserts 
that he left behind him a testamentary tractate (icas- 
iya) defending dissimulation as to the religion of the 
country in which we might be ; that it was not wrong 
for the philosopher to go through religious rites 
which for him had no meaning. He, too, is signifi- 
cant for his time, and, if our interest were philosophy, 
would call for lengthened treatment. As it is, he 
marks for us the accomplished separation between 
students of theology and students of philosophy. 

An equally well known and by us much better loved 
name is that of Umar al-Khayyam, who died later, 
about 515, but who may fitly be grouped with Ibn 
Sina. He, too, was a bon vwant, but of a deeper, 
more melancholy strain. His wine meant more than 
friendly cups ; it was a way of escape from the world 
and its burden. His science, too, went deeper. He 
was not a gatherer and arranger of the wisdom of the 
past ; his reformed calendar is more perfect than that 
which we even now use. His faith is a riddle to us, 
as it was to his comrades. But it was because he 
had no certain truth to proclaim that Umar did not 


speak out clearly. His last words were almost those 
of Eabelais, "I go to meet the great Perhaps." 
Anecdotage connects his name with that of al-Ghaz- 
zali. Neither had escaped the pall of universal 
scepticism which must have descended upon their 
time. But al-Ghazzali, by God's grace, as he himself 
reverently says, was enabled to escape. Umar died 
under it. 

A very different man was Abu-1-Ala al-Ma c arri, 
the blind poet and singer of intellectual freedom. 
In Arabic literature there is no other voice like 
his, clear and confident. He was a man of letters ; 
no philosopher nor theologian nor scientist, though 
at one time he seems to have come in contact with a 
circle like that of Ikhwan as-saf a, perhaps the same ; 
and his spirit was like that of one of the heroic poets 
of the old desert life, whose hand was taught to keep 
his head, whose tongue spared nothing from heaven 
to earth, and who lived his own life out in his own 
way, undaunted. In his darkness he nourished great 
thoughts and flung out a sceva indignatio on hypocrisy 
and subservience which reminds of Lessing. But 
Abu-1-Ala was a great poet, and his scorn of 
priests and courtiers and their lies, Ms pity for suf- 
fering humanity and his confidence in the light of 
reason are thrown into scraps of burning, echoing 
verse without their like in Arabic. He died at the 
town of his birth, Ma'arrat an-lSiu/man, in northern 
Syria, in 449. The problem is how he was suffered 
to live out his long life of eighty-six years. 

We can now return to the development of scholas- 
tic theology in the orthodox church at the hands of 


the followers of al-Ash'ari They had to fight their 
way against many and most differing opponents. At 
the one extreme were the dwindling Mu'tazilites, 
passing slowly into comparatively innocuous heretics, 
and the growing party of unbelievers, philosophical 
and otherwise, open and secret. At the other ex- 
treme was the mob of Hanbalites, belonging to the 
only legal school which laid theological burdens on 
its adherents. The theologians, in this case, cer- 
tainly varied as to the weight of their own anathemas 
against all kalam, but were at one in that they carried 
the bulk of the multitude with them and could en- 
force their conclusions with the cudgels of rioters. 
In the midst were the rival orthodox (pace the Han- 
balites) developers of kalam, among whom the Ma- 
taridites probably held the most important place. 
Thus, the Ash'arite school was the nursling as well as 
the child of controversy. 

It was, then, fitting that the name joined, at least 
in tradition, with the final form of that system, should 
be that of a controversialist. But this man, Abu 
Bakr al-Baqilani the Qadi, was more than a mere con- 
troversialist. It is his glory to have contributed most 
important elements to and put into fixed form what 
is, perhaps, the most fantastic and daring meta- 
physical scheme, and almost certainly the most thor- 
ough theological scheme, ever thought out. On the 
one hand, the Lucretian atoms raining down through 
the empty void, the self-developing monads of Leib- 
nitz, pre-established harmony and all, the Kantian 
"things in themselves" are lame and impotent in 
their consistency beside the parallel Ash arite doc- 


trines ; and, on the other, not even the rigors of Cal- 
vin, as developed in the Dutch confessions, can com- 
pete with the unflinching exactitude of the Muslim 

First, as to ontology. The object of the Ash'arites 
,was that of Kant, to fix the relation of knowledge to 
the thing in itself. Thus, al-Baqilani defined knowl- 
edge (Urn) as cognition (ma'rifa) of a thing as it is in 
itself. But in reaching that " thing in itself " they 
were much more thorough than Kant. Only two of 
the Aristotelian categories survived their attack, sub- 
stance and quality. The others, quantity, place, time 
and the rest, were only relationships (i'tibars) exist- 
ing subjectively in the mind of the knower, and not 
things. But a relationship, they argued, if real, must 
exist in something, and a quality cannot exist in 
another quality, only in a substance. Yet it could 
not exist in either of the two things which it brought 
together ; for example, in the cause or the effect. It 
must be in a third thing. But to bring this third 
thing and the first two together, other relationships 
would be needed and other things for these relation- 
ships to exist in. Thus we would be led back in an 
infinite sequence, and they had taken over from Aris- 
totle the position that such an infinite series backward 
(tasalsal) is inadmissible. Eelationships, then, had 
no real existence but were mere phantoms, subjective 
nonentities. Further, the Aristotelian view of matter 
was now impossible for them. All the categories 
had gone except substance and quality ; and among 
them, passion. Matter, then, could not have the pos- 
sibility of suffering the impress of form. A possibil- 


ity is neither an entity nor a non-entity, but a sub- 
jectivity purely. But with the suffering matter, the 
active form and all causes must also go. They, too, 
are mere subjectivities. Again, qualities, for these 
thinkers, became mere accidents. The fleeting char- 
acter of appearances drove them to the conclusion 
that there was no such thing as a quality planted in 
the nature of a thing ; that the idea " nature " did not 
exist. Then this drove them further. Substances ex- 
ist only with qualities, i.e., accidents. These quali- 
ties may be positive or they may be negative ; the 
ascription to things of negative qualities is one of 
their most fruitful conceptions. "When, then, the 
qualities fall out of existence, the substances them- 
selves must also cease to exist. Substance as well as 
quality is fleeting, has only a moment's duration. 

But when they rejected the Aristotelian view of 
matter as the possibility of receiving form, their path 
of necessity led them straight to the atomists. So 
atomists they became, and, as always, after their own 
fashion. Their atoms are not of space only, but also 
of time. The basis of all the manifestation, mental 
and physical, of the world in place and time, is a 
multitude of monads. Bach has certain qualities but 
has extension neither in space nor time. They have 
simply position, not bulk, and do not touch one 
another. Between them is absolute void. Similarly 
as to time. The time-atoms, if the expression may 
be permitted, are equally unextended and have also 
absolute void of time between them. Just as 
space is only in a series of atoms, so time is only in 
a succession of untouching moments and leaps across 


the void from one to the other with the jerk of the 
hand of a clock. Time, in this view, is in grains and 
can exist only in connection with change. The mon- 
ads differ from those of Leibnitz in having no nature 
in themselves, no possibility of development along 
certain lines. The Muslim monads are, and again 
are not, all change and action in the world are pro- 
duced by their entering into existence and dropping 
out again, not by any change in themselves. 

But this most simple view of the world left its 
holders in precisely the same difficulty, only in a far 
higher degree, as that of Leibnitz. He was com- 
pelled to fall back on a pre-established harmony to 
bring his monads into orderly relations with one 
another; the Muslim theologians, on their side, fell 
back upon God and found in His will the ground of 
all things. 

We here pass from their ontology to their theology, 
and as they were thorough-going metaphysicians, so 
now they are thorough-going theologians. Being 
was all in the one case ; now it is God that is all. In 
truth, their philosophy is in its essence a scepticism 
which destroys the possibility of a philosophy in 
order to drive men back to God and His revelations 
and compel them to see in Him the one grand fact 
of the universe. So, when a darwish shouts in his 
ecstasy, " Huwa-l-haqq" he does not mean, "He is the 
Truth," in our Western sense of Verity, or our New 
Testament sense of " The Way, the Truth, and the 
Life," but simply, " He is the Fact " the one Ke- 

To return: from their ontology they derived an 


argument for the necessity of a God. That their 
monads caxne so and not otherwise must have a cause ; 
without it there could be no harmony or connec- 
tion between them. And this cause must be one 
with no cause behind it ; otherwise we would have 
the endless chain. This cause, then, they found in 
the absolutely free will of God, working without any 
matter beside it and unaffected by any laws or neces- 
sities. It creates and annihilates the atoms and their 
qualities and, by that means, brings to pass all the 
motion and change of the world. These, in our sense, 
do not exist. When a thing seems to us to be moved, 
that really means that God has annihilated or per- 
mitted to drop out of existence, by not continuing to 
uphold, as another view held the atoms making up 
that thing in its original position, and has created 
them again and again along the line over which it 
moves. Similarly of what we regard as cause and 
effect. A man writes with a pen and a piece of paper. 
God creates in his mind the will to write ; at the same 
moment he gives him the power to write and brings 
about the apparent motion of the hand, of the pen 
and the appearance on the paper. No one of these 
is the cause of the other. God has brought about by 
creation and annihilation of atoms the requisite com- 
bination to produce these appearances. Thus we see 
that free-will for the Muslim scholastics is simply the 
presence, in the mind of the man, of this choice cre- 
ated there by God. This may not seem to us to be 
very real, but it has, certainly, as much reality as 
anything else in their world. Further, it will be ob- 
served how completely this annihilates the machinery 


of the universe. There is no such thing as law, and 
the world is sustained by a constant, ever-repeated 
miracle. Miracles and what we regard as the ordi- 
nary operations of nature are on the same level. 
The world and the things in it could have been quite 
different. The only limitation upon God is that He 
cannot produce a contradiction. A thing cannot be 
and not be at the same time. There is no such thing 
as a secondary cause ; when there is the appearance 
of such, it is only illusional. God is producing it as 
well as the ultimate appearance of effect. There is 
no nature belonging to things. Fire does not burn 
and a knife does not cut. God creates in a substance 
a being burned when the fire touches it and a being 
cut when the knife approaches it. 

In this scheme there are certainly grave difficul- 
ties, philosophical and ethical. It establishes a rela- 
tionship between God and the atoms ; but we have 
already seen that relationships are subjective illu- 
sions. That, however, was in the case of the things 
of the world, perceived by the senses contingent 
being, as they would put it. It does not hold of 
necessary being. God possesses a quality called 
Difference from originated things (al-muklialo/a lil- 
JiawaditK). He is not a natural cause, but a free 
cause ; and the existence of a free cause they were 
compelled by their principles to admit. The ethical 
difficulty is perhaps greater. If there is no order of 
nature and no certainty, or nexus, as to causes and 
effects; if there is no regular development in the 
life, mental, moral, and physical of a man only a 
series of isolated moments; how can there be any 


responsibility, any moral claim or duty ? This diffi- 
culty seems to have been recognized more clearly 
than the philosophical one. It was met formally by 
the assertion of a certain order and regularity in the 
will of God. He sees to it that a man's life is a 
unity, and, for details, that the will to eat and the 
action always coincide. But such an answer must 
have been felt to be inadequate and to involve 
grave moral dangers for the common mind. There- 
fore, as we have seen, the study of kalam was hedged 
about with difficulties and restrictions. Theologians 
recognized its trap-falls and doubts, even for them- 
selves, and lamented that they were compelled by 
their profession to study it. The public discussion 
of its questions was regarded as a breach of profes- 
sional etiquette. Theologians and philosophers alike 
strove to keep these deeper mysteries hidden from 
the multitude. The gap between the highly edu- 
cated and the great mass that fundamental error and 
greatest danger in Muslim society comes here again 
to view. Further, even among theologians, there 
was some difference in degree of insight, and books 
and phrases could be read by different men in very 
different ways. To one, they would suggest ordinary, 
Qur'anic doctrines ; another would see under and be- 
hind them a trail of metaphysical consequences 
bristling with blasphemous possibilities. Thus, 
Muslim science has been always of the school ; it has 
never learned the vitalizing and disinfecting value 
of the fresh air of the market-place. This applies 
to philosophers even more than to theologians. 
The crowning accusation which Ibn Eushd, the great 


Aristotelian commentator, brought against al-Ghaz- 
zali was that lie discussed such subtilties in popular 

This, then, was the system which seems to have 
reached tolerably complete form at the hands of al- 
Baqilani, who died in 403. But with the comple- 
tion of the system there went by no means its uni- 
versal or even wide-spread acceptance in the Mus- 
lim world, That of al-Mataridi held its own for long, 
and, even yet, the Mataridite creed of an-Nasafi is 
used largely in the Turkish schools. In the fifth 
century it was considered remarkable that Abu Dharr 
(d. 434), a theologian of Herat, should be an Ash- 
'arite rather than, apparently, a Mataridite. It was 
not till al-Ghazzali (d. 505) that the Ash'arite sys- 
tem came to the orthodox hegemony in the East, and 
it was only as the result of the work of Ibn Tumart, 
the Mahdi of the Muwahhids (d. 524), that it con- 
quered the West. Eor long its path was darkened by 
suspicion and persecution. This came almost en- 
tirely from the Hanbalites. The Mu'tazilites had no 
force behind them, and while the views of deists and 
materialists were steadily making way in secret, their 
public efforts appeared only in very occasional dis- 
putes between theologians and philosophers. As we 
have seen, Muslim philosophy has always practised 
an economy of teaching. 

The Hanbalite crisis seems to have come to a head 
toward the close of the reign of Tughril Beg, the first 
Great Saljuq. In 429, as we have seen, the Saljuqs 
had taken Merv and Samarqand, and in 447 Tughril 
Beg had entered Baghdad and freed the Khalifa from 


the SM'ite domination of the Buwayhids who had so 
long enforced toleration. It was natural that he, a 
theologically unschooled Turk, should be captured 
by the simplicity and concreteness of the Hanbalite 

Added to this political factor there was a theologi- 
cal movement at work which was deeply hostile to 
the Ash 'antes as they had developed. An important 
point in the method of al-Ash c ari himself, and, after 
him, of his followers, was to put forth a creed, ex- 
pressed in the old-fashioned terms and containing the 
old-fashioned doctrines as nearly as was at all possible, 
and to accompany it with a spiritualizing interpreta- 
tion which was, naturally, accessible to the professional 
student only. Accordingly what had at first seemed a 
weapon against the Mu'tazilites came to be viewed with 
more and more suspicion by the holders to the old, 
unquestioning orthodoxy. The duty also of religious 
investigation and speculation (na&r) came to have 
more and more stress laid upon it. The Mia Jcayfa 
dropped into the background. A Muslim must have a 
reason for the faith that was in him, they said ; other- 
wise, he was no true Muslim, was in fact an unbeliever. 
Of course, they limited carefully the extent to which 
he should go. For the ordinary man a series of very 
simple proofs would be prepared ; the student, on 
the other hand, when carefully led, could work his 
way through the system sketched above. All this, 
naturally, was anathema to the party of tradition. 

It is significant that at this time the Zahirite school 
of law (fiqh) developed into a school of kalam and 
applied its literal principles unflinchingly to its new 


victim. The leader in this was Ibn Hazm, a theo- 
logian of Spain. He died in 456, after a stormy 
life filled with controversy. The remorseless sting of 
his vituperative style coupled him, in popular prov- 
erb, with al-Hajjaj, the blood-thirsty lieutenant of 
the Umayyads in al-Iraq. " The sword of al-Hajjaj 
and the tongue of Ibn Hazm," they said. But for 
all his violence of language and real weight of char- 
acter and brain, he made little way for his views in 
his lifetime. It was almost one hundred years after 
his death before they came into any prominence. 
The theologians and lawyers around him in the "West 
were devoted to the study of fiqli in the narrowest 
and most technical sense. They labored over the 
systems and treatises of their predecessors and 
neglected the great original sources of the Qur'an 
and the traditions. The immediate study of tradi- 
tion Qiaditli) had died out. Ibn Hazm, on the other 
hand, went straight back to liaditli. Taqlid he abso- 
lutely rejected, each man must draw from the sacred 
texts his own views. So the whole system of the 
canon lawyers came down with a crash and they, nat- 
urally, did not like it. Analogy (qiyas), their princi- 
pal instrument, he swept away. It had no place 
either in law or theology. Even on the principle of 
agreement (ijma) he threw a shadow of doubt. 

But it was in theology rather than in law that Ibn 
Hazm's originality lay. Strictly, his Zahirite prin- 
ciples when applied there should have led him to 
anthropomorphism (tajsim). The literal meaning of 
the Qur'an, as we have seen, assigns to God hands and 
feet, sitting on and descending from His throne. But 


to Ibn Hazm, anthropomorphism was an abomination 
only less than the speculative arguments with which 
the Ash'arites tried to avoid it. His own method was 
purely grammatical and lexicographical. He hunted 
in his dictionary until he found some other meaning 
for "hand "or "foot," or whatever the stumbling- 
block might be. 

But the most original point in his system is his 
doctrine of the names of God, and his basing of 
that doctrine upon God's qualities. The Ash'arites, 
he contended with justice, had been guilty of a grave 
inconsistency in saying that God was different in 
nature, qualities, and actions from all created things, 
and yet that the human qualities could be predicated 
of God, and that men could reason about God's 
nature. He accepted the doctrine of God's dif- 
ference (muklialafa) on highly logical, but, for us, 
rather startling grounds. The Qur'an applies to 
Him the words, " The Most Merciful of those that 
show mercy," but God, evidently, is not merciful. 
He tortures children with all manner of painful dis- 
eases, with hunger and terror. Mercy, in our human 
sense, which is high praise applied to a man, cannot 
be predicated of God. "What then does the Qur'an 
mean by those words ? Simply that they arliamu-r- 
rahimin are one of God's names, applied to Him by 
Himself and that we have no right to take them as 
descriptive of a quality, mercy, and to use them to 
throw light on God's nature. They form one of 
the Ninety-nine Most Beautiful Names (al-asma al~ 
husna) of which the Prophet has spoken in a tradi- 
tion. Similarly, we may call God the Living One 


(al hayy), because He has given us that as one of 
His names, not because of any reasoning on our part. 
Do we not say that His life is different from that of 
all other living beings ? These names then, are limited 
to ninety-nine and no more should be formed, however 
full of praise such might be for God, or however di- 
rectly based on His actions. He has called Himself 
al-Waliib, the Giver, and so we may use that term 
of Him. But He has not called Himself al-WahJiab 
the Bountiful Giver, so we may not use that term of 
Him, though it is one of praise. Of course, you may 
describe His action and say that He is the guider 
of His saints. But you must not make from that a 
name, and call Him simply the Guider. Further, if 
we regard these names as expressing qualities in 
God, we involve multiplicity in God's nature ; there 
is the quality and the thing qualified. Here we are 
back at the old Mu c tazilite difficulty and it is intelli- 
gible that Ibn Hazm dealt more gently with the Mu c - 
tazilites than with the Ash'arites. The one party were 
Muslims and sinned in ignorance invincible igno- 
rance, a Eoman Catholic would call it; the others 
were unbelievers. They had turned wilfully from 
the way. The Mu'tazilites had tried to limit the 
qualities as much as possible. At the best they had 
said that they were God's essence and not in His es- 
sence. Al-Ash c ari and his school had fairly revelled 
in qualities and had mapped out the nature of God 
with the detail and daring of a phrenological chart. 
Naturally, Ibn Hazm made his ethical basis the 
will of God only. God has willed that this should 
be a sin and that a good deed. Lying, he concedes, 


is always saying what does not agree with the truth. 
But, still, Grod may pronounce that one lie is a sin, 
and one not. Muslim ethics, it is true, have never 
branded lying as sinful in itself. 

For the Shi'ites and their doctrine of an infallible 
Imam, Ibn Hazm cannot find strong enough expres- 
sions of contempt. 

In Ibn Hazm's time, and he praises God for it, 
there were but few Ash'arites in the West. Theology 
generally did not find many students. So things 
went on till long after his death. To this fiery con- 
troversialist the worst blow of all would have been if 
he could have known that the men who were at last 
to bring his system, in part and for a time, into 
public acceptance and repute, were also to complete 
the conquest of Islam for the Ash c arite school. That 
was still far in the future, and we must return to the 

The accounts of the persecution which set in are 
singularly conflicting. Some assign ifc to Hanbalite 
influence ; others tell of a Mu'tazilite wazir of Tughril 
Beg. That the traditionalist party was the main 
force in it seems certain. In all probability, how- 
ever, all the other anti-Ash'arite sects, from the 
Mu'tazilites on, took their own parts. The Ash'arite 
party represented a via media and would be set upon 
with zest by all the extremes. They were solemnly 
cursed from the pulpits and, what added peculiar 
insult to it, the Bafidites, an extreme Kharijite sect, 
were joined in the same anathema. Al-Juwayni, the 
greatest theologian of the time, fled to the Hijaz 
and gained the title of Imam of the two Harams 


(Imam al-Haramayn), by living for four years be- 
tween Mecca and al-Madina. Al-Qushayri, the author 
of a celebrated treatise on Sufiism, was thrown into 
prison. The Ash'arite doctors generally were scat- 
tered to the winds. Only with the death of Tughril 
Beg in 455 did the cloud pass. His successor, Alp- 
Arslan, and especially the great wazir, Nizam al-Mulk, 
favored the Ash'arites. In 459 the latter founded 
the Elzamite Academy at Baghdad to be a defence of 
Ash'arite doctrines. This may fairly be regarded as 
the turning-point of the whole controversy. The 
Hanbalite mob of Baghdad still continued to make 
itself felt, but its excesses were promptly suppressed. 
In 510 ash-Shahrastani was well received there by 
the people, and in 516 the Khalifa himself attended 
Ash'arite lectures. 

It is needless to spend more time over the other 
theologians who were links in the chain between al- 
Ash'ari and the Imam al-Haramayn. Their views 
wavered, this way and that, only the rationalizing 
tendency became stronger and stronger. There was 
danger that the orthodox system would fossilize and 
lose touch with life as that of the Mu'tazilites had 
done. It is true that Sufiism still held its ground. 
All theologians practically were touched by it in its 
simpler form ; and the cause of the higher Sufiism 
of ecstasy, wonders by saints (Jcaramat) and commun- 
ion of the individual soul with God had been elo- 
quently and effectively urged by al-Qushayri (d. 465) 
in his Risala. But in spite of the labors of so many 
men of high ability, the religious outlook was grow- 
ing ever darker. Keen observers recognized that 


some change was bound to come. That it might be 
an inflowing of new life by a new al~Ash c ari was their 
prayer. It is more than dubious whether even the 
keenest mind of the time could have recognized what 
form the new life must take. They had not the 
perspective and could only feel a vague need. But 
from what has gone before it will be plain that Islam 
had again to assimilate to itself something from with- 
out or perish. Such had been its manner of progress 
up till now. New opinions had arisen ; had become 
heresies ; conflict had followed ; part of the new 
thought had been absorbed into the orthodox church ; 
part had been rejected ; through it all the life of the 
church had gone on in fuller and richer measure, 
being always, in spite of everything, the main stream ; 
the heresy itself had slowly dwindled out of sight. 
So it had been with Murji'ism ; so with Mu'tazilism. 
"With the orthodox, tradition (naql) still stood fast, 
but reason (aqT) had taken a place beside it. Kalam, 
in spite of Hanbalite clamors, had become fairly a 
part of their system. "What was to be the new ele- 
ment, and who was to be its champion ? 


Al-Ghazzali, Ms life, times, and work ; Sufiism formally accepted 
into Islam. 

WITH tlie time came tlie man. He was al-Ghazzali, 
the greatest, certainly the most sympathetic figure in 
the history of Islam, and the only teacher of the after 
generations ever put by a Muslim on a level with the 
four great Imams. The equal of Augustine in philo- 
sophical and theological importance, by his side the 
Aristotelian philosophers of Islam, Ibn Kushd and 
all the rest, seem beggarly compilers and scholiasts. 
Only al-Farabi, and that in virtue of his mysticism, 
approaches him. In his own person he took up the 
life of his time on all its sides and with it all its prob- 
lems. He lived through them all and drew his the- 
ology from his experience. Systems and classifica- 
tions, words and arguments about words, he swept 
away ; the facts of life as he had known them in his 
own soul he grasped. When his work was done the 
revelation of the mystic (kashf) was not only a full 
part but the basal part in the structure of Muslim 
theology. That basis, in spite, or rather on account 
of the work of the mutakallims had previously been 
lacking. Such a scepticism as their atomic system 
had practically amounted to, could disprove much but 
could prove little. If all the catagories but substance 
and quality are mere subjectivities, existing in the 



mind only, what can we know of things ? An ultra- 
rational basis had to be found and it was found in 
the ecstasy of the Sufis. But al-Ghazzali brought 
another element into fuller and more effective work- 
ing. With him passes away the old-fashioned kalam, 
a thing of shreds and patches, scraps of metaphysics 
and logic snatched up for a moment of need, without 
grasp of the full sweep of philosophy, and incapable, 
in the long run, of meeting it. Even its atomic sys- 
tem is a philosophy of amateurs, with all their fan- 
tastic one-sidedness, their vigor and rigor. But al- 
Ghazzali was no amateur. His knowledge and grasp 
.of the problems and objects of philosophy were truer 
and more vital than in any other Muslim up to his 
time perhaps after it, too. Islam has not fully un- 
derstood him any more than Christendom fully under- 
stood Augustine, but until long after him the horizon 
of Muslims was wider and their air clearer for his 
work. Then came a new scholasticism, reigning to 
this day. 

So much by way of preface. We must now give 
some account of the life and experiences, the ideas 
and sensations, of this great leader and reformer. 
For his life and his work were one. Everything that 
he thought and wrote came with the weight and real- 
ity of personal experience. He recognized this con- 
nection himself, and has left us a book the Hun- 
qidJi min ad-dalal, "Eescuer from Error" almost 
unique in Islam, which, in the form of an apology for 
the faith, is really an Apologia pro vita sua. This 
book is our main source for what follows. 

was born at Tus in 450. He lost his 


father when young and was educated and brought up 
by a trusted Sufi, friend. He early turned to the 
study of theology and canon law, but, as he himself 
confesses, it was only because they promised wealth 
and reputation. Yery early he broke away from 
taqlid, simple acceptance of religious truth on author- 
ity, and he began to investigate theological differ- 
ences before he was twenty. His studies were of 
the broadest, embracing canon law, theology, dialectic, 
science, philosophy, logic and the doctrines and prac- 
tices of the Sufis. It was a Sufi atmosphere in which 
he moved, but their religious fervors do not seem to 
have laid hold of him* Pride in his own intellectual 
powers, ambition and contempt for others of less abil- 
ity mastered him. The latter part of his life as a 
student was spent at Naysabur as pupil and assistant 
of the Imam al-Haramayn. Through the Imam "he 
stood in the apostolic succession of Ash'arite teach- 
ers, being the fourth from al~Ash c ari himself. There 
he remained till the death of the Imam in 478, when 
he went out to seek his fortune and found it with the 
great wazir, Nizam al-Mulk. By him al-Ghazzali was 
appointed, in 484, to teach in the Nizamite Academy 
at Baghdad. There he had the greatest success as a 
teacher and consulting lawyer, and his worldly hopes 
seemed safe. But suddenly he was struck down by a 
mysterious disease. His speech became hampered ; 
his appetite and digestion failed. His physicians 
gave him up ; his malady, they said, was mental and 
could only be mentally treated. His only hope lay in 
peace of mind. Then he suddenly quitted Baghdad, 
in 488, ostensibly on pilgrimage to Mecca. This 


flight, for it was so in effect, of al-Grhazzali was unin- 
telligible to the theologians of the time ; since that 
time it has marked the greatest epoch in the church 
of Islam after the return of al-Ash f ari. 

That it should be unintelligible was natural. No 
cause could be seen on the surface, except some pos- 
sible political complications ; the cause in reality lay 
in al-Ghazzali's mind and conscience. He was wan- 
dering in the labyrinth of his time. From his youth 
he had been a sceptical, ambitious student, playing 
with religious influences yet unaffected by them. 
But the hollowness of his life was ever present with 
him and pressing upon him. Like some with us, he 
sought to be converted and could not bring it to pass. 
His religious beliefs gradually gave way and fell from 
Mm, piece by piece. 

At last, the strain became too great and at the 
court of Nizam al-Mulk he touched for two months 
the depths of absolute scepticism. He doubted the 
evidence of the senses ; he could see plainly that they 
often deceived. No eye could perceive the move- 
ment of a shadow, but still the shadow moved ; a gold 
piece would cover any star, but a star was a world 
larger than the earth. He doubted even the primary 
ideas of the mind. Is ten more than three ? Can a 
thing be and not be ? Perhaps ; he could not tell. 
His senses deceived him, why not his mind? May 
there not be something behind the mind and tran- 
scending it, which would show the falsity of its con- 
victions even as the mind showed the falsity of the in- 
formation given by the senses ? May not the dreams 
of the Sufis be true, and their revelations in ecstasy 


the only real guides ? When we awake in death, may 
it not be into a true but different existence ? All this 
perhaps. And so he wandered for two months. 
He saw clearly that no reasoning could help him 
here; he had no ideas on which he could depend, 
from which he could begin. But the mercy of God 
is great ; He sends His light to whom He wills, 
a light that flows in, and is given by no reasoning. 
By it al-Ghazzali was saved ; he regained the power 
to think, and the task which he now set before him 
was to use this power to guide himself to truth. 

When he looked around, he saw that those who gave 
themselves to the search for truth might be divided 
into four groups. There were the scholastic theolo- 
gians, who were much like the theologians of all times 
and faiths. Second, there were the Talimites, who 
held that to reach truth one must have an infallible 
living teacher, and that there was such a teacher. 
Third, there were the followers of philosophy, bas- 
ing on logical and rational proofs. Fourth, there 
were the Sufis, who held that they, the chosen of 
God, could reach knowledge of Him directly in 
ecstasy. With all these he had, of course, been 
acquainted to a greater or less degree ; but now he 
settled down to examine them one by one, and find 
which would lead him to a certainty to which he 
could hold, whatever might come. He felt that he 
could not go back to the unconscious faith of his 
childhood ; that nothing could restore. All his mental 
being must be made over before he could find rest. 
He began with scholastic theology, but found no 
help there. Grant the theologians their premises 


and they could argue ; deny them and there was no 
common ground on which to meet. Their science 
had been founded by al-Ash c ari to meet the Mu'ta- 
zilites; it had done that victoriously, but could do 
no more. They could hold the faith against here- 
tics, expose their inconsistencies ; against the sceptic 
they availed nothing. It is true that they had at- 
tempted to go further back and meet the students 
of philosophy on their own ground; to deal with 
substances and attributes and first principles gen- 
erally; but their efforts had been fruitless. They 
lacked the necessary knowledge of the subject, had 
no scientific basis, and were constrained eventually 
to fall back on authority. After study of them and 
their methods it became clear to al-Ghazzali that 
the remedy for his ailment was not in scholastic 

Then he turned to philosophy. He had seen al- 
ready that the weakness of the theologians lay in 
their not having made a sufficient study of primary 
ideas and the laws of thought. Three years he gave 
up to this. He was at Baghdad at the time, teach- 
ing law and writing legal treatises, and probably 
the three years extended from the beginning of 484 
to the beginning of 487. Two years he gave, without 
a teacher, to the study of the writings of the different 
schools of philosophy, and almost another to medi- 
tating and working over his results. He felt that 
he was the first Muslim doctor to do this with the 
requisite thoroughness. And it is noteworthy that at 
this stage he seems to have again felt himself to be a 
Muslim, and in an enemy's country when he was 


studying philosophy. He speaks of the necessity of 
understanding what is to be refuted ; but this may 
be only a confusion between his attitude when writing 
after 500, and his attitude when investigating and 
seeking truth, fifteen years earlier. He divides the 
followers of philosophy in his time into three : Mate- 
rialists, Deists (Tdbi'iSy i.e. Naturalists), and Theists. 
The materialists reject a creator ; the world exists 
from all eternity ; the animal comes from the egg 
and the egg from the animal. The wonder of cre- 
ation compels the deists to admit a creator, but the 
creature is a machine, has a certain poise (i'tidal) in 
itself which keeps it running ; its thought is a part 
of its nature and ends with death. They thus re- 
ject a future life, though admitting God and His 

He deals at much greater length with the teach- 
ings of those whom he calls theists, but through 
all his statements of their views his tone is not 
that of a seeker but that of a partisan; he turns 
his own experiences into a warning to others, and 
makes of their record a little guide to apologetics. 
Aristotle he regards as the final master of the Greek 
school ; his doctrines are best represented for Arabic 
readers in the books of Ibn Sina and al-Farabi ; the 
works of their predecessors on this subject are a mass 
of confusion. Part of these doctrines must be 
stamped as unbelief, part as heresy, and part as 
theologically indifferent. He then divides the philo- 
sophical sciences into six, mathematics, logic, phys- 
ics, metaphysics, political economy, ethics ; and dis- 
cusses these in detail, showing what must be rejected. 


what is indifferent, what dangers arise from each to 
him who studies or to him who rejects without study. 
Throughout, he is very cautious to mark nothing as 
unbelief that is not really so ; to admit always those 
truths of mathematics, logic, and physics that cannot 
intellectually be rejected ; and only to warn against 
an attitude of intellectualism and a belief that math- 
ematicians, with their success in their own depart- 
ment, are to be followed in other departments, or 
that all subjects are susceptible of the exactness and 
certainty of a syllogism in logic. The damnable 
errors of the theists are almost entirely in their 
metaphysical views. Three of their propositions 
mark them as unbelievers. First, they reject the 
resurrection of the body and physical punishment 
hereafter ; the punishments of the next world will 
be spiritual only. That there will be spiritual pun- 
ishments, al-Grhazzali admits, but there will be phys- 
ical as well. Second, they hold that God knows 
universals only, not particulars. Third, they hold 
that the world exists from all eternity and to all 
eternity. "When they reject the attributes of God 
and hold that He knows by His essence and not 
by something added to His essence, they are only 
heretics and not unbelievers. In physics he accepts 
the constitution of the world as developed and ex- 
plained by them ; only all is to be regarded as en- 
tirely submitted to God, incapable of self-move- 
ment, a tool of which the Creator makes use. 
Mnally, he considers that their system of ethics is 
derived from the Sufis. At all times there have 
been such saints, retired from the world God has 


never left himself without a witness ; and from their 
ecstasies and revelations our knowledge of the hu- 
man heart, for good and for evil, is derived. 

Thus in philosophy he found little light. It did 
not correspond entirely to his needs, for reason can- 
not answer all questions nor unveil all the enigmas 
of life. He would probably have admitted that he 
had learned much in his philosophical studies so at 
least we may gather from his tone ; he never speaks 
disrespectfully of philosophy and science in their 
sphere ; his continual exhortation is that he who 
would understand them and refute them must first 
study them ; that to do otherwise, to abuse what we 
do not know, brings only contempt on ourselves and 
on the cause which we champion. But with his 
temperament he could not found his religion on intel- 
lect. As a lawyer he could split hairs and define 
issues ; but once the religious instinct was aroused, 
nothing could satisfy him but what he eventually 
found. And so, two possibilities and two only were 
before him, though one was hardly a real possibility, 
if we consider his training and mental powers. He 
might fall back on authority. It could not be the 
authority of his childish faith, " Our fathers have told 
us," he himself confesses, could never again have 
weight with him. But it might be some claimer of 
authority in a new form, some infallible teacher with 
a doctrine which he could accept for the authority 
behind it. As the Church of Borne from time to 
time gathers into its fold men of keen intellect who 
seek rest in submission, and the world marvels, so it 
might have been with him. Or again, he might turn 


directly to God and to personal intercourse with 
Him ; he might seek to know Him and to be taught 
of Him without any intermediary, in a word to enter 
on the path of the mystic. 

He came next to examine the doctrine of the Ta*- 
limites. They, a somewhat outlying wing of the 
Fatiniid propaganda, had come at this time into 
alarming prominence. In 483 Hasan ibn as-Sabbah 
had seized Alamut and entered on open rebellion. 
The sect of the Assassins was applying its principles. 
But the poison of their teaching was also spreading 
among the people. The principle of authority in re- 
ligion, that only by an infallible teacher could truth 
be reached and that such an infallible teacher existed 
if he could only be found, was in the air. For him- 
self, al-Ghazzali found the Talimites and their teach- 
ing eminently unsatisfactory : They had a lesson 
which they went over parrot-fashion, but beyond it 
they were in dense ignorance. The trained theolo- 
gian and scholar had no patience with their slack- 
ness and shallowness of thought. He labored long, 
as ash-Shahrastani later confesses that he, too, did, to 
penetrate their mystery and learn something from 
them; but beyond the accustomed formulae there 
was nothing to be found. He even admitted their 
contention of the necessity of a living, infallible 
teacher, to see what would follow but nothing fol- 
lowed. " You admit the necessity of an Imam," they 
would say. "It is your business now to seek him ; 
we have nothing to do with it." But though neither 
al-Ghazzali nor ash-Shahrastani, who died 43 (lunar) 
years after him, could be satisfied with the Ta'lim- 


Ites, many others were. The conflict was hot, and al- 
Ghazzali himself wrote several books against them. 

The other possibility, the path of the mystic, 
now lay straight before him. In the Mwiqidh he 
tells us how, when he had made an end of the Ta*- 
limites, he began to study the books of the Sufis, 
without any suggestion that he had had a previous 
acquaintance with them and their practices. But 
probably this means nothing more than it does when 
he speaks in a similar way of studying the scholastic 
theologians ; namely, that he now took up the study 
in earnest and with a new and definite purpose. He 
therefore read carefully the works of al-Harith al- 
Muhasibi, the fragments of al-Junayd, ash-Shibli, 
and Abu Tazid al-Bistami. He had also the benefit 
of oral teaching ; but it became plain to him that 
only through ecstasy and the complete transforma- 
tion of the moral being could he really understand 
Sufiism. He saw that it consisted in feelings more 
than in knowledge, that he must be initiated as a 
Sufi himself ; live their life and practise their exer- 
cises, to attain his goal. 

On the way upon which he had gone up to this 
time, he had gained three fixed points of faith. 
He now believed firmly in God, in prophecy, and 
in the last judgment. He had also gained the be- 
lief that only by detaching himself from this world, 
its life, enjoyments, honors, and turning to God 
could he be saved in the world to come. He looked 
on his present life, his writing and his teaching, 
and saw of how little value it was in the face of the 
great fact of heaven and hell. All he did now was for 


the sake of vainglory and had in it no consecration to 
the service of God. He felt on the ed^e of an abyss. 
The world held him back ; his fears urged him away. 
He was in the throes of a conversion wrought by ter- 
ror ; his religion, now and always, in common with 
all Islam., was other-worldly. So he remained in 
conflict with himself for six months from the middle 
of 488. Finally, his health broke down under the 
strain. In his feebleness and overthrow he took refuge 
with God, as a man at the end of his resources. God 
heard him and enabled him to make the needed sac- 
rifices. He abandoned all and wandered forth from 
Baghdad as a Sufi. He had put his brilliant pres- 
ent and brilliant future absolutely behind him ; had 
given up everything for the peace of his soul. This 
date, the end of 488, was the great era in his life ; 
but it marked an era, too, in the history of Islam. 
Since al-Ash'ari went back to the faith of his fathers 
in 300, and cursed the Mu/tazilites and all their 
works, there had been no such epoch as this flight of 
al-Ghazzali. It meant that the reign of mere scho- 
lasticism was over; that another element was to 
work openly in the future Church of Islam, the ele- 
ment of the mystical life in God, of the attainment of 
truth by the soul in direct vision. 

He went to Syria and gave himself up for two yearr 
to the religious exercises of the Sufis. Then he went 
on pilgrimage, first to Jerusalem ; then to the tomb of 
Abraham at Hebron ; finally to Mecca and al-Madina. 
With this religious duty his life of strict retirement 
ended. It is evident that he now felt that he was again 
within the fold of Islam. In spite of his former reso- 


lutlon to retire from the world, lie was drawn back. 
The prayers of his children and his own aspirations 
broke in upon him, and though he resolved again 
and again to return to the contemplative life, and 
did often actually do so, yet events, family affairs, 
and the anxieties of life, kept continually disturbing 

This went on, he tells us, for almost ten years, and 
in that time there were revealed to him things that 
could not be reckoned and the discussion of which 
could not be exhausted. He learned that the Sufis 
were on the true and only path to the knowledge 
of God ; that neither intelligence nor wisdom nor 
science could change or improve their doctrine or 
their ethics. The light in which they walk is es- 
sentially the same as the light of prophecy ; Muham- 
mad was a Sufi when on his way to be a prophet. 
There is none other light to light any man in this 
world. A complete purifying of the heart from all 
but God is their Path; a seeking to plunge the 
heart completely in the thought of God, is its be- 
ginning, and its end is complete passing away in 
God. This last is only its end in relation to what 
can be entered upon and grasped by a voluntary ef- 
fort ; in truth, it is only the first step in the Path, 
the vestibule to the contemplative life. Revelations 
(mukashafas, unveilings) came to the disciples from 
the very beginning ; while awake they see angels 
and souls of prophets, hear their voices and gain 
from them guidance. Then their State (hal, a Sufi 
technicality for a state of ecstasy) passes from the 
beholding of forms to stages where language fails and 


any attempt to express what is experienced must 
involve some error. They reach a nearness to God 
which some have fancied to be a hulul, fusion of being, 
others an ittihad, identification, and others a. lousul, 
union ; but these are all erroneous ways of indicat- 
ing the thing. Al-Ghazzali notes one of his books in 
which he has explained wherein the error lies. But 
the thing itself is the true basis of all faith and the 
beginning of prophecy ; the Jcaramat of the saints 
lead to the miracles of the prophets. By this means 
the possibility and the existence of prophecy can be 
proved, and then the life itself of Muhammad proves 
that he was a prophet. Al-Ghazzali goes on to deal 
with the nature of prophecy, and how the life of Mu- 
hammad shows the truth of his mission ; but enough 
has been given to indicate Ms attitude and the stage 
at which he had himself arrived. 

During this ten years he had returned to his native 
country and to his children, but had not undertaken 
public duty as a teacher. Now that was forced upon 
him. The century was drawing to a close. Every- 
where there was evident a slackening of religious 
fervor and faith. A mere external compliance with the 
rules of Islam was observed, men even openly defended 
such a course. He adduces as an example of this 
the Wasiya of Ibn Sina. The students of philosophy 
went their way, and their conduct shook the minds of 
the people ; false Sufis abounded, who taught anti- 
nomianism; the lives of many theologians excited 
scandal ; the Ta'limites were still spreading. A re- 
ligious leader to turn the current was absolutely 
needed, and his friends looked to al-Ghazzali to 


up that duty ; some distinguished saints had dreams 
of his success ; God had promised a reformer every 
hundred years and the time was up. Finally; the 
Sultan laid a command upon him to go and teach in 
the academy at Naysabur, and he was forced to con- 
sent. His departure for Naysabur fell at the end of 
499, exactly eleven years after his flight from Bagh- 
dad. But he did not teach there long. Before the 
end of his life we find him back at Tus, his native place, 
living in retirement among his disciples, in a Ma- 
drasa or academy for students and a Khanqah or 
monastery for Sufis. 

There he settled down to study and contemplation. 
We have already seen what theological position he had 
reached. Philosophy had been tried and found want- 
ing. In a boot of his called Tahafut, or "Destruction," 
he had smitten the philosophers hip and thigh ; he 
had turned, as in earlier times al-Ash c ari, their own 
weapons against them, and had shown that with 
their premises and methods no certainty could be 
reached. In that book he goes to the extreme of in- 
tellectual scepticism, and, seven hundred years be- 
fore Hume, he cuts the bond of causality with the 
edge of his dialectic and proclaims that we can know 
nothing of cause or effect, but simply that one thing 
follows another. He combats their proof of the 
eternity of the world, and exposes their assertion that 
God is its creator. He demonstrates that they can- 
not prove the existence of the creator or that that 
creator is one; that they cannot prove that He is 
incorporeal, or that the world has any creator or 
cause at all; that they cannot prove the nature of 


God or that the human sonl is a spiritual essence. 
When he has finished there is no intellectual basis 
left for life ; he stands beside the Greek sceptics and 
beside Hume. "We are thrown back on revelation, 
that given immediately by God to the individual 
soul or that given through prophets. All our real 
knowledge is derived from these sources. So it was 
natural that in the latter part of his life he should 
turn to the traditions of the Prophet. The science of 
tradition must certainly have formed part of his early 
studies, as of those of all Muslim theologians, but he 
had not specialized in it ; his bent had lain in quite 
other directions. His master, the Imam al-Hara- 
mayn, had, been no student of tradition ; among his 
many works is not one dealing with that subject. 
Now he saw that the truth and the knowledge of the 
truth lay there, and he gave himself, with all the 
energy of his nature, to the new pursuit. 

The end of his wanderings came at Tus, in 505. 
There he died while seeking truth in the traditions of 
Muhammad, as al-Ash'ari, his predecessor, had done. 
The stamp of his personality is ineffaceably impressed 
on Islam. The people of his time reverenced him 
as a saint and wonder-worker. He himself never 
claimed to work karamat and always spoke modestly 
of the light which he had reached in ecstasy. After 
his death legends early began to gather round him, 
and the current biographies of him are untrustworthy 
to a degree. It says much for the solidity of his 
work that he did not pass into a misty figure of pop- 
ular superstition. But that work remained and re- 
mains among his disciples and in his books. We 


must now attempt to estimate its bearing and 

For him, as for tlie mutakallims in general, the 
fundamental thing in the world and the starting-point 
of all speculation is will. The philosophers in their 
intellectualism might picture God as thought 
thought thinking itself and evolving all things 
thereby. Their source was Plotinus; that of the 
Muslims was the terrific "Be!" of creation. But 
how can we know this will of God if we are simply 
part of what it has produced ? In answering this, 
al-Ghazzali and his followers have diverged from the 
rest of Islam, but not into heresy. Their view is 
admitted to be a possible interpretation of Qur'anic 
passages, if not that commonly held. The soul of 
man, al-Ghazzali taught, is essentially different from 
the rest of the created things. We read in the Qur'an 
(xv, 29 ; xxxviii, 72) that God breathed into man of 
His spirit (ruJi). This is compared with the rays of 
the sun reaching a thing on the earth and warming it. 
In virtue of this, the soul of man is different from 
everything else in the world. It is a spiritual sub- 
stance (jawhar ruhanf), has no corporeality, and is 
not subject to dimension, position or locality. It is 
not in the body or outside of the body; to apply 
such categories to it is as absurd as to speak of the 
knowledge or ignorance of a stone. Though created, 
it is not shaped ; it belongs to the spiritual world 
and not to this world of sensible things. It contains 
some spark of the divine and it is restless till it rests 
again in that primal fire ; but, again, it is recorded in 
tradition that the Prophet said, " God Most High 


created Adam in His own form (sura)." Al-Ghazzali 
takes that to mean that there is a likeness between 
the spirit of man and God in essence, quality, and 
actions. Further, the spirit of man rules the body 
as God rules the world. Man's body is a microcosm 
beside the macrocosm of this world, and they cor- 
respond, part by part. Ts, then, God simply the 
anima mundi ? No, because He is the creator of all 
by His will, the sustainer and destroyer by His will. 
Al-Ghazzali comes to this by a study of himself. His 
primary conception is, volo ergo sum* It is not 
thought which impresses him, but volition. From 
thought he can develop nothing ; from will can come 
the whole round universe. But if God, the Creator, 
is a Wilier, so, too, is the soul of man. They are kin, 
and, therefore, man can know and recognize God. 
"He who knows his own soul, knows his Lord," said 
another tradition. 

This view of the nature of the soul is essential to 
the Sufi position and is probably borrowed from it. 
But there are in it two possibilities of heresy, if the 
view be pushed any further. It tends (1) to destroy 
the important Muslim dogma of God's Difference 
(mukhalafa) from all created things, and (2) to main- 
tain that the souls of men are partakers of the divine 
nature and will return to it at death. Al-Ghazzali 
labored to safeguard both dangers, but they were 
there and showed themselves in time. Just as the 
Aristotelian -f-neo-Platonic philosophers reached the 
position that the universe with all its spheres was 
God, so, later, Sufis came to the other pantheistic 
position that God was the world. Before the atomic 


scholastics the same danger also lay. It is part of 
the irony of the history of Muslim theology that the 
very emphasis on the transcendental unity should 
lead thus to pantheism. Al-Ghazzali's endeavor was 
to strike the via media. The Hegelian Trinity might 
have appealed to him. 

To return, his views on science, as we have already 
seen, were the same as those of the contemporary 
students of natural philosophy. Their teachings he 
accepted, and, so far, he can be compared to a theo- 
logian of the present day, who accepts evolution and 
explains it to suit himself. His world was framed on 
what is commonly called the Ptolemaic system. He 
was no fiat-earth man like the present TJlama of 
Islam ; God had " spread out the earth like a carpet," 
but that did not hinder him from regarding it as a 
globe. Around it revolve the spheres of the seven 
planets and that of the fixed stars; Alphonso the 
Wise had not yet added the crystalline sphere and 
the primum mobile. All that astronomers and mathe- 
maticians teach us of the laws under which these 
bodies move is to be accepted. Their theory of 
eclipses and of other phenomena of the heavens is 
true, whatever the ignorant and superstitious may 
clamor. Yet it is to be remembered that the most 
important facts and laws have been divinely revealed. 
As the weightiest truths of medicine are to be traced 
back to the teaching of the prophets, so there are con- 
junctions in the heavens which occur only once in a 
thousand years and which, man can yet calculate be- 
cause God has taught him their laws. And all this 
structure of the heavens and the earth is the direct 


work of God, produced out of nothing by His will, 
guided by His will, ever dependent for existence on 
His will, and one day to pass away at His command. 
So al-Ghazzali joins science and revelation. Behind 
the order of nature lies the personal, omnipotent God 
who says, "Bel" and it is. The things of existence 
do not proceed from Him by any emanation or evolu- 
tion, but are produced directly by Him. 

Further, there is another side of al-Ghazzali's atti- 
tude toward the physical universe that deserves atten- 
tion, but which is very difficult to grasp or express. 
Perhaps it may be stated thus : Existence has three 
modes ; there is existence in the alam al-mulh, in the 
alam al-jabarut, and in the alam al-malakuL The first 
is this world of ours which is apparent to the senses ; 
it exists by the power (qudrd) of God, one part pro- 
ceeding from another in constant change. The alam 
al-malaJcut exists by God's eternal decree, without 
development, remaining in one state without addition 
or diminution. The alam al-jabarut comes between 
these two ; it seems externally to belong to the first, 
but in respect of the power of God which is from all 
eternity (al-qudra al-azaliya) it is included in the 
second. The soul (nafs) belongs to the alam al- 
malaJcut, is taken from it and returns to it. In sleep 
and in ecstasy, even in this world, it can come into 
contact with the world from which it is derived. This 
is what happens in dreams " sleep is the brother of 
death," says al-Ghazzali ; and thus, too, the saints 
and the prophets attain divine knowledge. Some 
angels belong to the world of malaJcut ; some to that 
of jdbaruty apparently those who have shown them- 


selves here as messengers of God. The things In the 
heavens, the preserved tablet, the pen, the balance, 
etc., belong to the world of malaJcut. On the one 
hand, these are not sensible, corporeal things, and, 
on the other, these terms for them are not metaphors. 
Thus al-Grhazzali avoids the difficulty of Muslim 
eschatology with its bizarre concreteness. He rejects 
the right to allegorize these things are real, actual ; 
but he relegates them to this world of malaJcut. 
Again, the Qur'an, Islam, and Friday (the day of pub- 
lic worship) are personalities in the world of malaJcut 
&ndjabarut. So, too, the world of mulJc must appear 
as a personality at the bar of these other worlds at 
the last day. It will come as an ugly old woman, but 
Friday as a beautiful young bride. This personal 
Qur'an belongs to the world ofjabarut, but Islam to 
that of malaJcut. 

But just as those three worlds are not thought of 
as separate in time, so they are not separate in space. 
They are not like the seven heavens and seven earths 
of Muslim literalists, which stand, story-fashion, one 
above the other. Bather they are, as expressed above, 
modes of existence, and might be compared to the 
speculations on another life in space of n dimensions, 
framed, from a very different starting-point and on a 
basis of pure physics, by Balfour Stewart and Tait 
in their " Unseen Universe." On another side they 
stand in close kinship to the Platonic world of ideas, 
whether through neo-Platonism or more immediately. 
Sufiism at its best, and when stripped of the trap- 
pings of Muslim tradition and Qur'anic exegesis, has 
no reason to shrink from the investigation either of 


the physicist or of the metaphysician. And so it is 
not strange to find that all Muslim thinkers have been 
tinged with mysticism to a greater or less degree, 
though they may not all have embraced formal 
Sufiism and accepted its vocabulary and system. 
This is true of al-Farabi, who was avowedly a Sufi. ; 
true also of Ibn Sina, who, though nominally an 
Aristotelian, was essentially a neo-Platonist, and ad- 
mitted the possibility of intercourse with superior 
beings and with the Active Intellect, of miracles* and 
revelations ; true even of Ibn Eushd, who does not 
venture to deny the immediate knowledge of the Sufi 
saints, but only argues that experience of it is not 
sufficiently general to be made a basis for theological 

In ethics, as we have already seen, the position of 
al-Ghajzzali is a simple one. All our laws and theories 
upon the subject, the analysis of the qualities of the 
mind, good and bad, the tracing of hidden defects to 
their causes all these things we owe to the saints of 
God to whom God Himself has revealed them. Of 
these there have been many at all times and in all 
countries, and without them and their labors and the 
light which God has vouchsafed to them, we could 
never know ourselves. Here, as everywhere, comes 
out al-Ghazzali's fundamental position that the ulti- 
mate source of all knowledge is revelation from God. 
It may be major revelation, through accredited proph- 
ets who come forward as teachers, divinely sent 
and supported by miracles and by the evident truth 
of their message appealing to the human heart, or it 
may be minor revelation subsidiary and explanatory 


through the vast body of saints of different grades, 
to whom God has granted immediate knowledge of 
Himself. Where the saints leave off, the prophets 
begin; and, apart from such teaching, man, even 
in physical science, would be groping in the 

This position becomes still more prominent in his 
philosophical system. His agnostic attitude toward 
the results of pure thought has been already sketched. 
It is essentially the same as that taken up by Mansell 
in his Bampton lectures on cc The Limits of Religious 
Thought." Mansell, a pupil and continuator of Ham- 
ilton, developed and emphasized Hamilton's doctrine 
of the relativity of knowledge, and applied it to the- 
ology, maintaining that we cannot know or think of 
the absolute and infinite, but only of the relative and 
finite. Hence, he went on to argue, we can have no 
positive knowledge of the attributes of God. This, 
though disguised by the methods and language of 
scholastic philosophy, is al-Ghazzali's attitude in the 
Tahafut. Mansell's opponents said that he was like 
a man sitting on the branch of a tree and sawing off 
his seat. Al-Ghazzali, for the support of his seat, 
went back to revelation, either major, in the books 
sent down to the prophets, or minor, in the personal 
revelations of God's saints. Further, it was not only 
in the Muslim schools that this attitude toward phi- 
losophy prevailed. Yehuda Halevi (d. A.D. 1145 ; al- 
Ghazzali, d. 1111) also maintains in his Kusari the 
insufficiency of philosophy in the highest questions 
of life, and bases religious truth on the incontrovert- 
ible historical facts of revelation. And Maiinonides 


(d. A.D. 1204) In Ms Moreh NebucMm takes essentially 
the same position. 

Of Ms views on dogmatic theology little need be 
said. Among modern theologians he stands nearest 
to Eitschl. Like Eitschl, he rejects metaphysics and 
opposes the influence of any philosophical system on 
Ms theology. The basis must be religious phenom- 
ena, simply accepted and correlated. Like Eitschl, 
too, he was emphatically ethical in his attitude ; he 
lays stress on the value for us of a doctrine or a piece 
of knowledge. Our source of religious knowledge is 
revelation, and beyond a certain point we must not 
inquire as to the how and why of that knowledge. 
To do so would be to enter metaphysics and the 
danger-zone where we lose touch with vital realities 
and begin to use mere words. On one point he goes 
beyond Eitschl, and, on another, Eitschl goes beyond 
him. In his devotion to the facts of the religious 
consciousness Eitschl did not go so far as to become 
a mystic, indeed rejected mysticism with a conscious 
indignation ; al-G-hazzali did become a mystic. But, 
on the other hand, Eitschl refused absolutely to enter 
upon the nature of God or upon the divine attributes 
all that was mere metaphysics and heathenism ; 
al-Grhazzali did not so far emancipate himself, and 
Ms only advance was to keep the doctrine on a strictly 
Qnr'anic basis. So it stands written ; not, so man is 
compelled by the nature of things to think. 

His work and influence in Islam may be summed 
up briefly as follows : First, he led men back from 
scholastic labors upon theological dogmas to living 
contact with, study and exegesis of, the Word and the 


traditions. What happened in Europe when the 
yoke of mediaeval scholasticism was broken, what is 
happening with ns now, happened in Islam tinder his 
leadership. He could be a scholastic with scholastics, 
but to state and develop theological doctrine on a 
Scriptural basis was emphatically his method. We 
should now call him a Biblical theologian. 

Second, in his teaching and moral exhortations he 
reintroduced the element of fear. In the Munqidh 
and elsewhere he lays stress on the neod of such a 
striking of terror into the minds of the people. His 
was no time, he held, for smooth, hopeful preaching ; 
no time for optimism either as to this world or the 
next. The horrors of hell must be kept before men ; 
he had felt them himself. We have seen how other- 
worldly was his own attitude, and how the fear of 
the Fire had been the supreme motive in his conver- 
sion ; and so he treated others. 

Third, it was by his influence that Sufiism at- 
tained a firm and assured position in the Church of 

Fourth, he brought philosophy and philosophical 
theology within the range of the ordinary mind. 
Before his time they had been surrounded, more or 
less, with mystery. The language used was strange ; 
its vocabulary and terms of art had to be specially 
learned. No mere reader of the Arabic of the street 
or the mosque or the school could understand at 
once a philosophical tractate. Greek ideas and ex- 
pressions, passing through a Syriac version into 
Arabic, had strained to the uttermost the resources of 
even that most flexible tongue. A long training had 


been thought necessary before the elaborate and 
formal method of argumentation could be followed. 
All this al-Ghazzali changed, or at least tried to 
change. His Taliafut is not addressed to scholars 
only ; he seeks with it a wider circle of readers, and 
contends that the views, the arguments, and the falla- 
cies of the philosophers should be perfectly intelli- 
gible to the general public. 

Of these four phases of al-G-hazzali's work, the 
first and the third are undoubtedly the most impor- 
tant. He made his mark by leading Islam back to 
its fundamental and historical facts, and by giving a 
place ia its system to the emotional religious life. 
But it will have been noticed that in none of the four 
phases was he a pioneer. He was not a scholar who 
struck out a new path, but a man of intense personal- 
ity who entered on a path already blazed and made 
it the common highway. "We have here his charac- 
ter. Other men may have been keener logicians, 
more learned theologians, more gifted saints ; but he, 
through his personal experiences, had attained so 
overpowering a sense of the divine realities that the 
force of his character once combative and restless, 
now narrowed and intense swept all before it, and 
the Church of Islam entered on a new era of its ex- 

So much space it has been necessary to give to 
this great man. Islam has never outgrown him, has 
never fully understood him. In the renaissance of 
Islam which is now rising to view his time will come 
and the new life will proceed from a renewed study 
of his works. 


From this time on, the Ash'arites may be fairly 
regarded as the dominant school so far as the East 
is concerned. Saladin (d. 589) did much to aid in 
the establishment of this hegemony. He was a de- 
vout Muslim with the taste of an amateur for theolog- 
ical literature. Anecdotes tell how he had a special 
little catechism composed, and used himself to in- 
struct his children in it. He founded theological 
academies in Egypt at Alexandria and Cairo, the 
first there except the Fatimid Hall of Science. 
One of the few blots on his name is the execution 
of the pantheistic Sufi, Shihab ad-Din as-Suhrawarcli, 
at Aleppo in 587. Meanwhile, in the farther East, 
Fakhr ad-Din ar-Bazi (d. 606) was writing his great 
commentary on the Qur'an, the Mafatih al-Ghayb, 
" The Keys of the Unseen," and carrying on the work 
of al-Ghazzali. The title of his commentary itself 
shows the dash of mysticism in his teaching, and he 
was in correspondence with Ibn Arabi, the arch-Sufi 
of the time. He studied philosophy, too, commented 
on works of Ibn Sina, and fought the philosophers 
on their own ground as al-Ghazzall had done. Kalam 
and philosophy are now, in the eyes of the theolo- 
gians, a true philosophy and a false. Philosophy 
has taken the place of Mu'tazilism and the other 
heresies. The enemies of the faith are outside its 
pale, and the scholasticizing of philosophy goes on 
steadily. According to some, a new stage was marked 
by al-Baydawi (d. 685), who confused inextricably 
philosophy and kalam, but the newness can have 
been comparative only. A century later al-Iji (d. 756) 
writes a book, al-Mawaqif, on kalam, hali of which is 


given to metaphysics and the other half to dogmatics. 
At-Taftazani is another name worthy of mention. 
He died in 791, after a laborious life as a controver- 
sialist and commentator. When we reach Ibn Khal- 
dun (d. 808), the first philosophical historian and the 
greatest until the nineteenth century of our era, we 
find that kalam has fallen again from its high estate. 
It has become a scholastic discipline, useful only to 
repel the attacks of heretics and unbelievers ; and of 
heretics, says Ibn Khaldun, there are now none left. 
Reason, he goes on, cannot grasp the nature of G-od; 
cannot weigh His unity nor measure His qualities. 
God is unknowable and we must accept what we are 
told about Him by His prophets. Such was the re- 
sult of the destruction of philosophy in Islam. 


Islam in the West ; Ibn Tnmart and the Mnwahhids ; philosophy 
in the West under Muwahhid protection; Ibn Bajja; Ibn Tu- 
f ayl ; Ibn Hushd ; Ibn Arabi ; Ibn Sab'in. 

WE have now anticipated one of the strangest and 
most characteristic figures and movements in the 
history of Islam. The preceding account, except as 
relates to Ibn Khaldun, has told of the triumphs of 
the Ash c arites in the East only. In the "West the 
movement was slower, and to it we must now turn. 
The Maghrib the Occident, as the Arabs called all 
North Africa beyond Egypt had been slow from the 
first to take on the Muslim impress. The invading 
army had fought its way painfully through, but the 
Berber tribes remained only half subdued and one- 
tenth Islamized. Egypt was conquered in A.H. 20, 
and Samarqand had been reached in 56 ; but it was 
not till 74 that the Muslims were at Carthage. And 
even then and for long after there arose insurrection 
after insurrection, and the national spirit of the Ber- 
bers remained unbroken. Broadly, but correctly, 
Islam in North Africa for more than three centuries 
was a failure. The tribal constitutions of the Berbers 
were unaffected by the conception of the Khalif ate 
and their primitive religious aspirations by the Faith 
of Muhammad. Not till the possibility came to them 
to construct Muslim states out of their own tribes 



did their opposition begin to weaken. And then it 
was rather political Islam that had weakened. When 
the Fatimids conquered Egypt in 356 and moved the 
seat of their empire from alMahdiya to the newly 
founded Cairo, Islam assumed a new meaning for 
North Africa. The Fatimid empire there quickly 
melted away, and in its place arose several inde- 
pendent states, Berber in blood though claiming 
Arab descent and bearing Arab names. Islam no 
longer meant foreign oppression, and it began at last 
to make its way. Again, in the preceding period of 
insurrection the Berber leaders had frequently ap- 
peared in the guise and with the claim of prophets, 
men miraculously gifted and with a message from 
God. These wild tribesmen, with all their fanati- 
cism for their own tribal liberties, have always been 
peculiarly accessible to the genius which claims its 
mission from heaven. So they had taken up the 
Fatimid cause and worshipped Ubayd Allah the 
Mahdi. And so they continued thereafter, and still 
continue to be swayed by saints, darwishes, and 
prophets of all degrees of insanity and cunning. 
The latest case in point is that of the Shaykh as- 
Sanusi, with whom we have already dealt. As time 
went on, there came a change in these prophet-led 
risings and saint-founded states. They gradually 
slipped over from being frankly anti-Muhamrnadan, 
if also close imitations of Muhammad's life and 
methods, to being equally frankly Muslim. The the- 
ology of Islam easily afforded them the necessary 
point of connection. All that the prophet of the day 
need do was to claim the position of the Mahdi, that 


Guided One, wlio according to tlie traditions of Mu- 
hammad was to come before tlie last day, when the 
earth shall be filled with violence, and to fill it again 
with righteousness. It was easy for each new Mahdi 
to select from the vast and contradictory mass of tra- 
ditions in Muslim eschatology those which best fitted 
his person and his time. To the story and the doc- 
trine of one of these we now come. 

At the beginning of the sixth century a certain 
Berber student of theology, Ibn Tumart by name, 
travelled in the East in search of knowledge. An 
early and persistent western tradition asserts that he 
was a favorite pupil of al-Ghazzali's, and w r as marked 
out by him as showing the signs of a future founder 
of empire. This may be taken for what it is worth. 
What is certain is that Ibn Tumart went back to the 
Maghrib and there brought about the triumph of a 
doctrine which was derived, if modified, from that of 
the Ash'arites. Previously all kalam had been tinder 
a cloud in the West. Theological studies had been 
closely limited to fiqh, or canon law, and that of the 
narrowed school of Malik ibn Anas. Even the Qur'an 
and the collections of traditions had come to be neg- 
lected in favor of systematized law-books. The 
revolt of Ibn Hazm against this had apparently ac- 
complished little. It had been too one-sided and 
negative, and had lacked the weight of personality 
behind it. Ibn Hazm had assailed the views of 
others with a wealth of vituperative language. But 
he had been a controversialist only. There is a 
story, tolerably well authenticated, that the books of 
al-Grhazzali were solemnly condemned by the Qadis 


of Cordova, and burnt in public. Yet, against that 
is to be set that all the Spanish theologians did not 
approve of this violence. 

Ibn Tumart started in life as a reformer of the cor- 
ruptions of his day, and seems to have slipped from 
that into the belief that he had been appointed by 
God as the great reformer for all time. As happens 
with reformers, from exhortation it came to force ; 
from preaching at the abuses of the government to 
rebellion against the government. That government, 
the Murabit, went down before Ibn Tumart and his 
successors, and the pontifical rule of the Muwahhids, 
the asserters of God's taivliid or unity, rose in its 
place. The doctrine which he preached bears evi- 
dent marks of the influence of al-Ghazzali and of Ibn 
Hazm. Tawhid, for him, meant a complete spirit- 
ualizing of the conception of God. Opposed to taw- 
hid, he set tajsim, the assigning to God of a jism or 
body having bulk. Thus, "when the theologians of the 
West took the anthropomorphic passages of the Qur'an 
literally, he applied to them the method of ta'wil, or 
interpretation, which he had learned in the East, and 
explained away these stumbling-blocks. Ibn Hazm, 
it will be remembered, resorted to grammatical and 
lexicographical devices to attain the same end, and 
had regarded ttiwil with abhorrence. To Ibn Tumart, 
then, this tajsim was flat unbelief and, as Mahdi, it 
was his duty to oppose it by force of arms, to lead a 
jihad against its maintainers. Further, with Ibn 
Hazm, he agreed in rejecting taqlid. There was only 
one truth, and it was man's duty to find it for him- 
self by going to the original sources. 


This is the genuine ZaMrite doctrine which utterly 
rejects all comity with the four other legal rites ; but 
Ibn Tumart, as Mahdi, added another element. It is 
based on a very simple Imamite philosophy of his- 
tory. There has always been an Imam in the world, 
a divinely appointed leader, guarded by isma, protec- 
tion against error. The first four Khalifas were of 
such divine appointment ; thereafter came usurpers 
and oppressors. Theirs was the reign of wickedness 
and lies in the earth. Now he, the Mahdi, was come 
of the blood of the Prophet and bearing plainly all 
the necessary, accrediting signs to overcome these 
tyrants and anti-Christs. He thus was an Imamite, 
but stood quite apart from the welter of conflicting 
Shi'ite sects 'the Seveners, Twelvers, Zaydites and 
the rest as far as do the present Sharifs of Morocco 
with their Alid-Sunnite position. The Mahdi, it is 
to be remembered, is awaited by Sunnites as by 
Shi'ites, and is guarded against error as much as an 
Imam, since he partakes of the general isma which 
in divine things belongs to prophets. Such a leader, 
then, could claim from the people absolute obedience 
and credence. His word must be for them the 
source of truth. There was, therefore, no longer any 
need of analogy (qiyas) as a source, and we accord- 
ingly find that Ibn Tumart rejected it in all but legal 
matters and there surrounded it with restrictions. 
Analogical argument in things theological was for- 

But where he absolutely parted company from 
the Ash'arites was with regard to the qualities of 
God. In that, too, he followed the view of Ibn 


Hazm sketched above. "We must take the Qur'anic 
expressions as names and not as indicating attributes 
to us. It is true that his creed shows signs of a phil- 
osophical width lacking in Ibn Hazrn. Like the 
Mu'tazilites, e.g. Abu Hudhayl, he defines largely by 
negations. God is not this ; is not affected by that. 
It is even phrased so as to be capable of a pantheistic 
explanation, and we find that Ibn Eushd wrote a 
commentary on it. But it may be doubted whether 
Ibn Tumart was himself a pantheist. All phases of 
Islam, as we have seen, ran toward that ; and here 
there is only a little indiscretion in the wording. 
But it may easily have been that he had besides, 
like the Fatimids, a secret teaching or exposition of 
those simpler declarations which were intended for 
the mass of the people. Among his successors dis- 
tinct traces of such a thing appear ; both Aristotelian 
philosophers and advanced Sufis are connected with 
the Muwahhid movement. That, however, belongs 
to the sequel. 

The success of Ibn Tumart, if halting at first, was 
eventually complete. As a simple lawyer who felt 
called upon to protest as, indeed, are all good Mus- 
lims in virtue of a tradition from Muhammad 
against the abuses of the time, he accomplished com- 
paratively little. As Mahdi, he and his supporter 
and successor, Abd al-Mu'min, swept the country. 
For his movement was not merely Imamite and Mus- 
lim, but an expression as well of Berber nationalism. 
Here was a man, sprung from their midst, of their 
own stock and tongue, who, as Prophet of God, called 
them to arms. They obeyed his call, worshipped 


him and fought for Mm. He translated the Qur'an 
for them into Berber ; the call to prayers was given 
in Berber ; functionaries of the church had to know 
Berber; his own theological writings circulated in 
Berber as well as in Arabic. As Persia took Islam 
and moulded it to suit herself, so now did the Berber 
tribes. And a strange jumble they made of it. With 
them, the Zahirite system of canon law, rejected by 
all other Muslim peoples, enjoyed its one brief period 
of power and glory. Shi'ite legends and supersti- 
tions mingled with philosophical free thought. The 
book of mystery, al-Jafr, written by Ali, and contain- 
ing the history of the world to the end of time, was 
said to have passed from the custody of al-Ghazzali 
at his death to the hands of the Mahdi and was by 
him committed to his successors. If only in view of 
the syncretism practised by both, it was fitting that 
al-Ghazzali and Ibn Tumart should be brought closely 
together. Yet it is hard to explain the persistence 
with which the great Ash'arite is made the teacher 
and guide of the semi-Zahirite. There must have 
been something, now obscure to us, in their respective 
systems which suggested to contemporaries such in- 
timate connection. 

The rule of the Muwahhids lasted until 667, nearly 
one hundred years, and involved in its circle of influ- 
ence many weighty personalities. With some of 
these we will now deal shortly. 

It has been told above how narrow in general were 
the intellectual interests of the West. Canon law, 
poetry, history, geography were eagerly pursued, but 
little of original value was produced. Originality 


and the breaking of ground in new fields were jander 
a ban. Subtilty of thought and luxury of life took 
their place. Above all, and naturally, this applied 
to philosophy. And so it conies that the first phil- 
osophic name in the Muslim "West is that of Abu 
Bakr ibn Bajja, for mediaeval Europe Avenpaoe, who 
died comparatively young in 533. For him, as for 
all, and still more in the West than in the East, the 
problem of the philosopher was how to gain and 
maintain a tenable position in a world composed 
mostly of the philosophically ignorant and the relig- 
iously fanatical. This problem had two sides, internal 
and external. The inner and the nobler one was how 
such a mind could in its loneliness rise to its highest 
level and purify itself to the point of knowing things 
as they really are and so reach that eternal life in 
which the individual' spirit loses itself in the Active 
Intellect (vovs Troiqriicos, al-aql al-fa"al) which is 
above all and behind all. The other, and baser, was 
how to so present his views and adapt his life that 
the life and the views might be possible in a Muslim 

Ibn Bajja was a close disciple of al-Earabi, who is 
to be regarded as the spiritual father of the later 
Arabic philosophy; Ibn Sina practically falls out. 
In logic, physics, and metaphysics he followed al- 
Farabi closely. But we can see how the times have 
moved and the philosophies with them. The essen- 
tial differences have appeared and Ibn Bajja can no 
longer, with a good conscience, appear as a pious 
Muslim. The Sufi strain also is much weaker. The 
greatest joy and the closest truth are to be found in 

BAJJA 251 

thought, and not in the sensuous ecstasies of the 
mystic. Tlie intellect is the highest element in man's 
being, but is only immortal as it joins itself to the 
one Active Intellect, which is all that is left of God. 
Here we have the beginning of the doctrine which, 
later, under the name of Averroism and pampsychism 
ran like wild-fire through the schools of Europe. 
Further, only by the constant exercise of its own 
functions can the intellect of man be thus raised. He 
must live rationally at all points ; be able to give a 
reason for every action. This may compel him to 
live in solitude ; the world is so irrational and will 
not suffer reason. Or some of the disciples of reason 
may draw together and form a community where they 
may live the calm life of nature and of the pursuit of 
knowledge and self-development. So they will be at 
one with nature and the eternal, and far removed 
from the frenzied life of the multitude with its lower 
aims and conceptions. It is easy to see how the iron 
of a fight against overwhelming odds had entered this 
soul. Only the friendship of some of the Muxabit 
princes saved him ; but he died in the end, says a 
story, by poison. 

"With the next names we find ourselves at a Mu- 
wahhid court, and there the atmosphere has changed. 
It is evident that, whatever might be the temper of 
the people, the chiefs of the Muwahhids viewed phi- 
losophy with no disfavor. Their problem, as in the 
case of the Fatimids, seems rather to have been how 
much the people might be taught with safety. Their 
solution of the problem here we proceed on conject- 
ure, but the basis is tolerably sound was that the bulk 


of the people should be taught nothing but the literal 
sense of the Qur'an, metaphors, anthropomorphisms 
and all ; that the educated lay public, which had al- 
ready some inkling of the facts, should be assured 
that there was really no difference between philosophy 
and theology that they were two phases of one truth ; 
and that fche philosophers should have a free hand 
to go on their own way, always provided that their 
speculations did not spread beyond their own circle 
and agitate the minds of the commonalty. It was a 
beautiful scheme, but like all systems of obscurantism 
it did not work. On the one hand, the people re- 
fused to be blindfolded, and, on the other, philosophy 
died out of inanition. 

In accordance with this, we find the Muwahhid 
chiefs installing the Zahirite/^A as the official system 
and sternly stopping all speculative discussing cither 
of canon law or of theology. " The Word so stands 
written ; take it or the sword," is the significant utter- 
ance which has come to us from Abu Ya'qub (reg. 
558-580), son of Abd al-Mu'min. The same continued 
under his son Abu Yusuf al-Mansur (reg. 580-595), 
who added a not very carefully concealed contempt 
for the Mahdiship of Ibn Tumart. All such things 
were ridiculous in his philosophic eyes. 

Under these men and in adjustment with their 
system, lived and worked Ibn Tufayl and Ibn Bushd, 
the last of the great Aristotelians. Ibn Tufayl was 
wazir and physician to Abu Ya c qub and died a year 
after him, in 531. His was a calm, contemplative 
life, secluded in princely libraries. But his objects 
were the same as those of Ibn Bajja. He has evi- 


dently no hope that the great body of the people can 
ever be brought to the truth. A religion, sensuous 
and sensual alike, is needed to restrain the wild beast 
in man, and the masses should be left to the guidance 
of that religion. For a philosopher to seek to teach 
them better is to expose himself to peril and them to 
the loss of that little which they have. But in his 
methods, on the other hand,Ibn Tufayl is essentially 
at one with al-Ghazzali. He is a mystic who seeks 
in Sufi exercises, in the constant purifying of mind 
and body and in the unwearying search for the one 
unity in the individual multiplicity around him, to 
find a way to lose his self in that eternal and one 
spirit which for him is the divine. So at last he 
comes to ecstasy and reaches those things which eye 
hath not seen nor ear heard. The only difference be- 
tween him and al-Ghazzali is that al-Ghazzali was a 
theologian and saw in his ecstasy Allah upon His 
throne and around Him the things of the heavens, as 
set forth in the Qur'an, while Ibn Tufayl was a phi- 
losopher, of neo-Platonic -f- Aristotelian stamp, and 
saw in his ecstasy the Active Intellect and Its chain 
of causes reaching down to man and back to Itself. 

The book by which his name has lived, and which 
has had strange haps, is the romance of Hayy ibn 
Jaqzan, " The Living One, Son of the Waking One." 
In it he conceives two islands, the one inhabited and 
the other not. On the inhabited island we have con- 
ventional people living conventional lives, and re- 
strained by a conventional religion of rewards and 
punishments. Two men there, Salaman and Asal, 
have raised themselves to a higher level of self-rule. 


Salaman adapts himself externally to the popular re- 
ligion and rules the people ; Asal, seeking to perfect 
himself still further in solitude, goes to the other 
island. But there he finds a man, Hayy ibn Yaqzan, 
who has lived alone from infancy and has gradually, 
"by the innate and uncorrupted powers of the mind, 
developed himself to the highest philosophic level 
and reached the Vision of the Divine. He has passed 
through all the stages of knowledge until the universe 
lies clear before him, and now he finds that his phi- 
losophy thus reached, without prophet or revelation, 
and the purified religion of Asal are one and the 
same. The story told by Asal of the people of the 
other island sitting in darkness stirs his soul and he 
goes forth to them as a missionary. But he soon 
learns that the method of Muhammad was the true 
one for the great masses, and that only by sensuous 
allegory and concrete things could they be reached 
and held. He retires to his island again to live the 
solitary life. 

The bearing of this on the system of the Muwah- 
hids cannot be mistaken. If it is a criticism of the 
finality of historical revelation, it is also a defence of 
the attitude of the Muwahhids toward both people 
and philosophers. By the favor of Abu Ya'qub, Ibn 
Tufayl had practically been able to live on an island 
and develop himself by study. So, too, Abu Ya'qub 
might stand for the enlightened but practical Sala- 
man. Yet the meaning evidently is that between 
them they failed and must fail. There could only be a 
solitary philosopher here and there, and happy for 
him if he found a princely patron. The people which 


knew not the truth were accursed. Perhaps, rather, 
they were children and had to be humored and 
guided as such in an endless childhood. 

It is evident that such a solitary possessor of truth 
had two courses open to him. He could either busy 
himself in his studies and exercises, as had done Ibn 
Baj ja and Ibn Tufayl, or he could boldly enter public 
life and trust to his dialectic ingenuity and resource 
perhaps, also, to his plasticity of conscience to 
carry him past all whispers of heresy and unbelief. 
The latter course was chosen by Ibn Eushd. He was 
born at Cordova, in 520, of a family of jurists and 
there studied law. From his legal studies only a 
book on the law of inheritance has reached us, and it, 
though frequently commented on, has never been 
printed. In 548 he was presented to Abu Ya'qub 
by Ibn Tufayl and encouraged by him in the study 
of philosophy. In it his greatest work was done. 
In spite of the shreds and patches of neo-Platonism 
which clung to him, he was the greatest mediaeval 
commentator on Aristotle. It is only part of the 
eternal puzzle of the Muslim mind that the utility of 
Greek for a student of Aristotle seems never to have 
struck him. Thereafter he acted as judge in differ- 
ent places in Spain and was court physician for a 
short time in 578 to Abu Ya'qub. In 575 he had 
written his tractates, to which we shall come imme- 
diately, mediating between philosophy and theology. 
Toward the end of his life he was condemned by 
Abu Tusuf al-Mansur for heresy and banished from 
Cordova. This was in all likelihood a truckling on the 
part of al-Mansur to the religious prejudices of the 


people of Spain, who were probably of stiffer ortho- 
doxy than the Berbers. He was in Spain, at Cor- 
dova, at the time, and was engaged in carrying on a 
religious war with the Christians. On his return to 
Morocco the decree of exile was recalled and Ibn 
Eushd restored to favor. We find him again at the 
court in Morocco, and he died there in 595. 

This is not the place to enter upon Ibn Bushd's 
philosophical system. He was a thorough-going Aris- 
totelian, as he knew Aristotle. That was probably 
much better than any of his predecessors ; but even 
he had not got clear from the fatal influence of Plo- 
tinus. Above all, he is essentially a theologian just 
as much as they. In Aristotle there had been given 
what was to all intents a philosophical revelation. 
Only in the knowledge and acceptance of it could 
truth and life be found. And some must reach it ; 
one at least there must always be. If a thing is not 
seen by someone it has existed in vain ; which is 
impossible. If someone at least does not know the 
truth, it also has existed in vain, which is still more 
impossible. That is Ibn Eushd's way of saying that 
the esse is the pertipi and that there must be a per- 
ceiver. And he has unlimited faith in his means of 
reaching that Truth only by such capitalization can 
we express his theologic attitude. The logic of Aris- 
totle is infallible and can break through to the su- 
preme good itself. Ecstasy and contemplation play 
no part with him ; there he separates from Ibn Tu- 
fayl. Such intercourse with the Active Intellect may 
exist ; but it is too rare to be taken into account. 
Obviously, Ibn Rushd himself, who to himself was 


the percipient of truth for his age, had never reached 
that perception. Solitary meditation he cannot away 
with; for him the market-place and contact with 
men ; there he parts with Ibn Baj ja. In truth, he is 
nearer to the life in life of Ibn Sina, and that, per- 
haps, explains his constant attacks on the Persian 
bon vivant. 

All his predecessors he joys in correcting, but his 
especial bete noire is al-Grhazzali. With him it is war on 
life or death. He has two good causes. One is al-Ghaz- 
zali's " Destruction of the Philosophers ; " of it, Ibn 
Rushd, in his turn, writes a " Destruction." This is 
a clever, incisive criticism, luminous with logical ex- 
actitude, yet missing al-Ghazzali's vital earnestness 
and incapable of reaching his originality. But al- 
Ghazzali had not only attacked the philosophers; 
he had also spread the knowledge of their teachings 
and reasonings, and had said that there was nothing 
esoteric and impossible of grasp in them for the 
ordinary mind. He had thus assailed the funda- 
mental principles of the Muwahhid system. Against 
this, Ibn Bushd wrote the tractates spoken of above. 
They were evidently addressed to the educated laity ; 
not to the ignorant multitude, but to those who had 
already read such books as those of al-Ghazzali and 
been affected by them, yet had not studied philosophy 
at first hand. That they were not intended for such 
special students is evident from, the elaborate care 
that is taken in them to conceal, or, if that were not 
possible, to put a good face upon obnoxious doc- 
trines. Thus, his philosophy left no place in reality 
for a system of rewards and punishments or even for 


any individual existence of the sonl after death, for a 
creation of the material world, or for a providence in 
the direct working of the supreme being on earth. 
But all these points are involved or glossed over in 
these tractates. 

Further, it is plain that their object was to bring 
about a reform of religion in itself, and also of the 
attitude of theologians to students of philosophy. In 
them he sums up his own position under four heads : 
First, that philosophy agrees with religion and that 
religion recommends philosophy. Here, he is fight- 
ing for his life. Eeligion is true, a revelation from 
God ; and philosophy is true, the results reached by 
the human mind; these two truths cannot contradict 
each other. Again, men are frequently exhorted in 
the Qur'an to reflect, to consider, to speculate about 
things ; that means the use of the intelligence, which 
follows certain laws, long ago traced and worked out 
by the ancients. "We must, therefore, study their 
works and proceed further on the same course our- 
selves, i.e., we must study philosophy. 

Second, there are two things in religion, literal 
meaning and interpretation. If we find anything in 
the Qur'an which seems externally to contradict the 
results of philosophy, we may be quite sure that 
there is something under the surface. We must look 
for some possible interpretation of the passage, some 
inner meaning ; and we shall certainly find it. - 

Third, the literal meaning is the duty of the mul- 
titude, and interpretation the duty of scholars. Those 
who are not capable of philosophical reasoning must 
hold the literal truth of the different statements in 


the Qur'an. The Imagery must be believed by them 
exactly as it stands, except where it is absolutely evi- 
dent that we have only an image. On the other hand, 
philosophers must be given the liberty of interpret- 
ing as they choose. If they find it necessary, from 
some philosophical necessity, to adopt an allegorical 
interpretation of any passage or to find in it a meta- 
phor, that liberty must be open to them. There must 
be no laying down of dogmas by the church as to 
what may be interpreted and what may not. In Ibn 
Eushd's opinion, the orthodox theologians sometimes 
interpreted when they should have kept by the letter, 
and sometimes took literally passages in which they 
should have found imagery. He did not accuse them 
of heresy for this, and they should grant him the 
same liberty. 

Fourth, those who know are not to be allowed to 
communicate interpretations to the multitude. So 
Ali said, " Speak to the people of that which they 
understand ; would ye that they give the lie to God 
and His messenger?" Ibn Rushd considered that 
belief was reached by three different classes of people 
in three different ways. The many believe because 
of rhetorical syllogisms (Mvitabiya), i.e., those whose 
premises consist of the statements of a religious 
teacher (maqbulat\ or are presumptions (maznunat). 
Others believe because of controversial syllogisms 
(jadliya), which are based on principles (mashJmrat) 
or admissions (musallamat). All these premises be- 
long to the class of propositions which are not abso- 
lutely certain. The third class, and by far the 
smaller, consists of the people of demonstration (bur- 


Turn). Their belief is based upon syllogisms com- 
posed of propositions which are certain. These 
consist of axioms (awwaliyat) and five other classes 
of certainties. Each of these three classes of people 
has to be treated in the way that suits its mental 
character. It is wrong to put demonstration or con- 
troversy before those who can understand only rhe- 
torical reasoning. It destroys their faith and gives 
them nothing to take its place. The case is similar 
with those who can only reach controversial reason- 
ing but cannot attain iinto demonstration. Thus Ibn 
Eushd would have the faith of the multitude care- 
fully screened from all contact with the teachings of 
philosophers. Such books should not be allowed to 
go into general circulation, and if necessary, the civil 
authorities should step in to prevent it. If these 
principles were accepted and followed, a return 
might be looked for of the golden age of Islam, when 
there was no theological controversy and men be- 
lieved sincerely and earnestly. 

On this last paragraph it is worth noticing that its 
threefold distinction is "conveyed "by Ibn Eushd 
from a little book belonging to al-Ghazzali's later 
life, after he had turned to the study of tradition, 
Iljam al-Awamm an Urn al-Jcalam, " The reining in 
of the commonalty from the science of kalam." 

Such was, practically, the end of the Muslim Aris- 
totelians. Some flickers of philosophic study doubt- 
less remained. So we find a certain Abu-1-Hajjaj ibn 
Tumlus (d. 620) writing on Aristotle's "Analytics/ 9 
and the tractates of Ibn Eushd described above were 
copied at Almeria in 724. But the fate of all Muslim 


speculation fell, and this school went out in Sufiism. 
It was not Ibn Bushel that triumphed but Ibn Tufayl, 
and that side of Ibn Tufayl which was akin to al- 
Ghazzali. From this point on, the thinkers and 
writers of Islam become mystics more and more over- 
whelmingly. Dogmatic theology itself falls behind, 
and of philosophical disciplines only formal logic 
and a metaphysics of the straitest scholastic type 
are left. Philosophy becomes the handmaid of the- 
ology, and a very mechanical handmaid at that. It 
is only in the schools of the Sufis that we find real 
development and promise of life. The future lay 
with them, however dubious it may seem to us that a 
future in such charge must be. 

The greatest Sufi in the Arabic-speaking world was 
undoubtedly Muhyi ad-Din ibn Arabi. He was born 
in Murcia in 560, studied Jiadith and fiqh at Seville, 
and in 598 set out to travel in the East. He wan- 
dered through the Hijaz, Mesopotamia and Asia 
Minor, and died at Damascus in 638, leaving behind 
him an enormous mass of writings, at least 150 of 
which have come down to us. Why he left Spain is 
unknown ; it is plain that he was under the influence 
of the Muwahhid movement. He was a Zahirite in 
law ; rejected analogy, opinion, and taqlid, but ad- 
mitted agreement. His attachment to the opinions 
of Ibn Hazin especially was very strong. He edited 
some of that scholar's works, and was only prevented 
by his objections to taqlid from being a formal Hazm- 
ite. But with all that literalness in fiqli, his mysti- 
cism in theology was of the most rampant and luxu- 
rious description. Between the two sides, it is true, 


there existed a connection of a kind. He had no 
need for analogy or opinion or for any of the work- 
ings of the vain human intelligence so long as the 
divine light was flooding his soul and he saw the 
things of the heavens with plain vision. So his 
books are a strange jumble of theosophy and meta- 
physical paradoxes, all much like the theosophy of 
our own day. He evidently took the system of the 
mutakallims and played with it by means of formal 
logic and a lively imagination. To what extent he 
was sincere in his claim of heavenly illuminings and 
mysterious powers it would be hard to say. The 
oriental mystic has little difficulty in deceiving him- 
self. His opinions so far as we can know them 
may be briefly sketched as follows: The being of 
all things is God : there is nothing except Him. All 
things are an essential unity ; every part of the world 
is the whole world. So man is a unity in essence 
but a multiplicity in individuals. His anthropology 
was an advance upon that of al-Ghazzali toward a 
more unflinching pantheism. He has the same view 
that the soul of man is a spiritual substance different 
from everything else and proceeding from God. But 
he obliterates the difference of God and makes souls 
practically emanations. At death these return into 
God who sent them forth. All religions to Ibn 
Arabi were practically indifferent ; in them all the 
divine was working and was worshipped. Tet Islam 
is the more advantageous and Sufiism is its true phi- 
losophy. Further, man has no free-will ; he is con- 
strained by the will of God, which is really all that 
exists. Nor is there any real difference between 

SAB'IH 263 

good and evil ; the essential unity of all things makes 
such a division impossible. 

The last of the Muwahhid circle with whom we 
need deal and, perhaps, absolutely the last is Abd 
al-Haqq ibn Sab'in. He was as much a mystic as 
Ibn Arabi.^ but was apparently more deeply read in 
philosophy and did not cast his conceptions in so 
theological and Qur'anic a mould. He, too, was born 
in Murcia about 613, and must very early have 
founded a school of his own, gathered disciples 
round him and established a wide reputation. High 
skill in alchemy, astrology, and magic is ascribed to 
him, which probably means that he claimed to be a 
wati, a friend of God, gifted with miraculous powers. 
He is accused of posing as a prophet, although in 
orthodox Islam Muhammad is the last and the seal of 
the prophets But against this, it may be said that 
he had no need of the actual title, " prophet" ; many 
mystics held heretically, it is true that the loali 
stood higher than the prophet, nabi or rasuL He 
had evidently besides this a more solid reputation 
in philosophy, as is shown by his correspondence 
with Frederick II, the great Hohenstaufen (d. 1250 
A.D.). The story is told on the Muslim side only, 
but has vraisemblance and seems to be tolerably 
authentic. According to it, Frederick addressed 
certain questions in philosophy on the eternity 
of the world, the nature of the soul, the number 
and nature of the categories, etc. to different Muslim 
princes, begging that they would submit them to 
their learned men. So the questions came to ar~ 
Eashid, the Muwahhid (reg, 630-640), addressed to 


Ibn Sab'in as a scholar whose reputation had reached 
even the Sicilian court. Ar-Bashid passed them on ; 
Ibn Sab'in accepted the commission with a smile 
this is the Muslim account and triumphantly and 
contemptuously expounded the difficulties of the 
Christian monarch and student. In his replies he 
certainly displays a very complete and exact knowl- 
edge of the Aristotelian and neo-Platonic systems, 
and is far less a blind follower of Aristotle than is 
Ibn Bushd. But his schoolmasterly tone is most 
unpleasant, and we discover in the end that all this 
is a mere preliminary discipline, leading in itself to 
agnosticism and a recognition that there is nothing 
but vanity in this world, and that only in the Vision 
of the Sufi can certainty and peace be found. So we 
have again the circle through which al-Ghazzali went. 
As distinguished from Ibn Eushd, the prophet, with 
Ibn Sab'in, takes higher rank than the sage. Be- 
yond the current division of the soul into the vege- 
tative, the animal and the reasonable, he adds two 
others, derived from the reasonable, the soul of wis- 
dom and the soul of prophecy, The first of these is 
the soul of the philosopher, and the other of the 
prophet ; and the last is the highest. Of the reason- 
able soul upward, he predicates immortality. 

His position otherwise must have been practically 
the same as that of Ibn Arabi Like him he was a 
Zahirite in law and a mystic in theology. " God is 
the reality of existing things," he taught, and it is 
evident that he belonged to the school of pantheism 
in which God is all, and separate things are emana- 
tions from him. In life we have flashes of recogni- 


fcion of the heavenly realities, but only at death 
which is OUT true birth do we reach union with the 
eternal, or, to speak technically, with the Active Intel- 

Apparently it was quite possible for him to hold 
these views in public so long as the Muwahhids were 
strong enough to protect him. But their empire was 
rapidly falling to pieces and the time of freedom had 
passed. An attack on him at Tunis, where the Haf- 
sids now ruled, drove him to the East about 643, and 
there he took refuge at of all places Mecca. The 
refuge seems to have been secure. He lived there 
more than twenty years amid a circle of disciples, 
among whom was the Sharif himself, and died about 
667. There is a poorly authenticated story that he 
died by suicide. The man himself, with so many of 
his time and kind, must remain a puzzle to us. !For 
all his haughty pride of learning, it is noted of him 
that his first disciples were from among the poor. 
His contemporaries described him as "a Sufi after 
the manner of the philosophers." The last vestige 
of the Muwahhid empire passed away in the year of 
his death. 


The rise and spread of darwish Fraternities ; the survival and tradi- 
tion of the Hanbalite doctrine ; Abd ar-Kazzaq ; Ibn Taymiya. 
his attacks on saint- worship and on the mutakallims ; ash- 
Sha'rani and his times : the modern movements ; Wahhabism 
and the influence of al-Ghazzali 5 possibilities of the present 

OUB sources now begin to grow more and more 
scanty, and we must hasten over long intervals of 
time and pass with little connection from one name 
to another. Preliminary investigations are also to 
a great extent lacking, and it is possible that the cen- 
turies which we shall merely touch may have wit- 
nessed developments only less important than those 
with which we have already dealt. But that is not 
probable ; for when, after a long silence, the curtain 
rises again for us in the twelfth Muslim century, we 
shall find at work only those elements and conditions 
whose inception and growth we have now set forth. 

One name in our rapid flight deserves mention, at 
least. It is that of Umar ibn al-Farid, the greatest 
poet that Arabic mysticism has produced. He was 
born at Cairo in 586, lived for a time at Mecca, and 
died at Cairo in 632. He led no new movement or 
advance, but the East still cherishes his memory and 
his poems. 

We have already noticed (p. 177) the beginnings of 
darwish Fraternities and the founding of monasteries 
or khanqahs. During the period over which we have 


just passed, these received a great and enduring im- 
petus. The older ascetics and loalis gathered round 
them groups of personal followers and their pupils 
carried on their names. But it was long, apparently, 
before definite corporations were founded of fixed 
purpose to perpetuate the memory of their masters. 
One of the earliest of these seems to have been 
the fraternity of Qadirite darwishes, founded by Abd 
al-Qadir al-Jilani, who died in 561 at Baghdad, where 
pilgrimage is still made to his shrine. So, too, the 
Rifa'ite Fraternity was founded at Baghdad by Ah- 
mad ar-Rifa a in 576. Another s that of the Sha- 
dhilites, named after their founder, ash-Shadhili, who 
died in 656. Again another is that of the Badawites, 
whose founder was Ahmad al-Badawi (d. 675) ; his 
shrine at Tanta in Lower Egypt is still one of the 
most popular places of pilgrimage. Again, the order 
of the Naqshbandite darwishes was founded by Mu- 
hammad an-Naqshbandi, who died in 791. Among 
the Turks by far the most popular religious order is 
that of the Mawlawites, founded by the great Persian 
mystical poet, Jalal ad-Din ar-Rumi (d. 672), whose 
Mesnevi is read over all Islam. These and very many 
others, especially of later date, are still in existence. 
Others, once founded, have again become extinct. 
Thus, Ibn Sab'in, though he was surrounded by dis- 
ciples who for a time after his death carried on the 
order of Sab'inites, does not seem now to have any 
to do him honor. The same holds of a certain Adi 
al-Haqqari who founded a cloister near Mawsil and 
died about 558. It is significant that al-Grhazzali, 
though he founded a cloister for Sufis at Tus and 


taught and governed there himself, left no order be- 
hind him. Apparently in his time the movement 
toward continuous corporations had not yet begun. 
It is true that there are at present in existence dar- 
wish Fraternities which claim to be descended from 
the celebrated ascetics and walls, Ibrahim ibn Adham 
(d. 161), Sari as-Saqati (d. 257) and Abu Tazid al- 
Bistami (d. 261), but it may be gravely doubted 
"whether they can show any sound pedigree. The 
legend of Shaykh Ilwan, who is said to have founded 
the first order in 49, may be safely rejected. It is 
significant that the Awlad Ilwan, sons of Ilwan., as 
his followers are called, form a sect of the Bifa'ites. 
Further, just as the Sufis have claimed for themselves 
all the early pious Muslims, and especially the ten 
to whom Muhammad made specific promise of Para- 
dise (al-asliara al~mubasJisJiara), so these Fraternities 
are ascribed in their origin to, and put under the 
guardianship of the first Khalifas, and, in Egypt at 
least, a direct descendant of Abu Bakr holds author- 
ity over all their orders. 

In these orders all are darwishes, but only those 
gifted by God with miraculous powers are walls. 
Those of them who are begging friars are faqirs. 
They stand under an elaborate hierarchy grading in 
dignity and holiness from the Qufb, or Axis, who 
wanders, often invisible and always unknown to the 
world, through the lands performing the duties of 
his office, and who has a favorite station on the 
roof of the Ka'ba, through his naqibs or assistants, 
down to the lowest /ayir. But the members of these 
orders are not exclusively faqirs. All classes are 


enrolled as, In a sense, lay adherents. Certain trades 
affect certain fraternities ; in Egypt, for example, the 
fishermen are almost all Qadirites and walk in pro- 
cession on their festival day, carrying colored nets as 
their banners. Much the same thing held, and holds, 
of the monastic orders of Europe, but the Muslim 
does not wait till he is dying to put on the weeds 
of Ahmad al-Badawi or ash-Shadhili. Finally, ref- 
erence may be made again to the last and most 
important of all these orders, the militant Brother- 
hood of as-Sanusi. 

"We have now returned to the period of al-Iji 
and at-Taftazani, when philosophy definitely de- 
scended from the throne and became the servant 
and defender of theology. Prom this time on, the 
two independent forces at work are the unveiling of 
the mystic (Jcaslif) and tradition (naql). The only 
place for reason (aql) now is to prove the possibility 
of a given doctrine. That done, its actual truth is 
proven by tradition. These two then, kaslif and 
naql, hold the field, and the history of Muslim theol- 
ogy from this point to the present day is the history of 
their conflicts. The mystics are accused of heresy by 
the traditionalists. The traditionalists are accused 
by the mystics of formalism, hypocrisy, and, above 
all, of flat inability to argue logically. Both accusa- 
tions are certainly true. No fine fence on person- 
ality can conceal the fact that Muslim mysticism is 
simple pantheism of the Plotinian type, the individ- 
uals are emanations from the One. On the other 
hand, the formalism of the traditionalists can hardly 
be exaggerated. They pass over almost entirely into 


canon lawyers, meriting richly tlie fine sarcasm ot al- 
Ghazzali, who asked the faqiJis of his day what pos- 
sible value for the next world could lie in a study of 
the Qur'anic law of inheritance or the like. Tradi- 
tion (JiacKtK), in the exact sense of the sayings and 
doings of Muhammad, falls into the background, 
and fiqh, the systems built upon it by the genera- 
tions of lawyers, from the four masters down, takes 
its place. Again, the accusation of illogical reason- 
ing is also thoroughly sound. The habit of unend- 
ing subdivision deprived the minds of the canonists 
of all breadth of scope, and their devotion to the 
principle of acceptance on authority (taqlid) weak- 
ened their feeling for argument. It is true, further, 
that the mystics, such as they were, had heired all 
the philosophy left in Islam, and were thus become 
the representatives of the intellectual life. They 
had so much of an advantage over their more or- 
thodox opponents. But the intellectual life with 
them, as with the earlier philosophers, remained of 
a too subjective character. The fatal study of the 
self, and the self only that tramping along the high 
a priori road and neglect of the objective study 
of the outside world which ruined their forerunners, 
was their ruin as well. Outbursts of intellectual 
energy and revolt we may meet with again and 
again ; there will be few signs of that science which 
seeks facts patiently in the laboratory, the observa- 
tory, and the dissecting-room. 

Curiously enough, there fall closely together at 
this time the death dates of two men of the most 
opposite schools. The one was Ibn Taymiya, the 


anthropomorphist free lance, who died In 728, and 
the other was Abd ar-Bazzaq, the pantheistic Sufi, 
who died in 730. Abd ar-Bazzaq of Samarkand and 
Kashan was a close student and follower of Ibn 
Arabi. He commented on his boohs and defended 
his orthodoxy. In fact, so closely had Ibn Arabi 
come to be identified with the Sufi position as a 
whole that a defence of him was a favorite form in 
which to cast a defence of Sufiism generally. But 
Abd ar-Bazzaq did not follow his master absolutely. 
On the freedom of the will especially he left him. 
For Ibn Arabi, the doctrine of the oneness of all 
things had involved fatalism. Whatever happens is 
determined by the nature of things, that is, by the 
nature of Grod. So the individuals are bound by the 
whole, Abd ar-Bazzaq turned this round. His 
pantheism was of the same type as that of Ibn Arabi; 
God, for him, was all. But there is freedom of the 
divine nature, he went on. It must therefore exist 
in man also, for he is an emanation from the divine. 
His every act, it is true, is predetermined, in time, in 
form, and in place. But his act is brought about by 
certain causes, themselves predetermined. These 
are what we would call natural laws in things, natural 
abilities, aptitudes, etc., in the agent; finally, free 
choice itself. And that free choice is in man because 
he is of and from Grod. Further, it is evident that 
Abd ar-Bazzaq's anxiety is to preserve a basis for 
morals. Among the predetermining causes he reck- 
ons the divine commands, warnings, proofs in the 
Qur'an. The guidance of religion finds thus its place 
and the prophets their work. But what of the exist- 


ence of evil and the necessity of restraint in a world 
that has emanated from the divine ? This problem 
he faces bravely. Our world must be the best of all 
possible worlds ; otherwise God would have made it 
better. Difference, then, among men and things be- 
longs to its essence and necessity. Nest, justice must 
consist in accepting these different things and adapt- 
ing them to their situations. To try to make all 
things and men alike would be to leave some out of 
existence altogether. That would be a great injus- 
tice. Here, again, religion enters. Its object is to 
rectify this difference in qualities and gifts. Men 
are not responsible for these, but they are responsible 
if they do not labor to correct them. In the hereafter 
all will be reabsorbed into the divine being and taste 
such bliss as the rank of each deserves. For those 
who need it there will be a period of purgatorial 
chastisement, but that will not be eternal, in ska 

Like his predecessors, Abd ar-Bazzaq divides men 
into classes according to their insight into divine 
things. The first is of men of the world, who are 
ruled by the flesh (nafs) and who live careless of all 
religion. The second is of men of reason (aql). They 
through the reason contemplate God, but see only 
His external attributes. The third is of men of the 
spirit (ruK) who, in ecstasy, see God face to face in 
His very essence, which is the substrate of all cre- 

In his cosmogony, Abd ar-Eazzaq follows, of 
course, the neo-Platonic model and shows great inge- 
nuity in weaving into it the crude and materialistic 


phrases and Ideas of the Qur'an. Like all Muslim 
thinkers he displays an anxiety to square with Ms 
philosophy the terms dear to the multitude. 

To Ibn Taymiya all this was the very abomination 
of desolation itself. He had no use for mystics, 
philosophers, Ash e arite theologians, or, in fact, for 
anyone except himself. A contemporary described 
him as a man most able and learned in many sci- 
ences, but with a screw loose. However it may have 
been about the last point, there can be no question 
that he was the reviver for his time and the trans- 
mitter to our time of the genuine Hanbalite tradi- 
tion, and that his work rendered possible the "Wah- 
habites and the Brotherhood of as-Sanusi. He was 
the champion of the religion of the multitude as op- 
posed to that of the educated few with which we have 
been dealing so long. This popular theology had 
been going steadily upon its way and producing its 
regular riots and disputings. It is related of a cer- 
tain Ash'arite doctor, Fakhr ad-Din ibn Asakir (d. 
620), that, in Damascus, he never dared to pass by a 
certain way through fear of Hanbalite violence. The 
same Fakhr ad-Din once gave, as in duty bound, the 
normal salutation of the Peace to a Hanbalite theolo- 
gian. The Hanbalite did not return it, which was 
more than a breach of courtesy, and indicated that 
he did not regard Fakhr ad-Din as a Muslim. "When 
people remonstrated with him, he turned it as a the- 
ological jest and replied, "That man believes in 
' Speech in the Mind s (Jcalam nafsi, hadith fi-n~nafs), 
so I returned his salutation mentally." The point is 
a hit at the Ash'arites, who contended that thought 


was a kind of speech without letters or sounds, and 
that God's quality of Speech could therefore be with- 
out letters or sounds. 

But even the simple orthodoxy of the populace 
had not remained unchanged. It had received a vast 
accretion of the most multifarious superstitions. The 
cult of saints, alive and dead, of holy sites, trees, gar- 
ments, and the observance of all manner of days and 
seasons had been developing parallel to the advance 
of Sufiism among the educated. The ivalis were un- 
tiring in the recital of the Jcaramat which God had 
worked for them, and the populace drank in the 
wonders greedily. The metaphysical and theological 
side they left untouched. "This is a holy man/ 5 
they said, " who can work miracles ; we must fear 
and serve him." And so they would do without 
much thought whether his morality might not be an- 
tinomian and his theology pantheistic. To abate this 
and other evils and bring back the faith of the 
fathers was the task which Ibn Taymiya took up. 

He was born near Damascus in 661 and educated 
as a Hanbalite. His family had been Hanbalite for 
generations, and he himself taught in that school and 
was reckoned as the greatest Hanbalite of his time. 
His position, too, was practically that of Ahmad ibn 
Hanbal, modified by the necessities imposed by new 
controversaries. Thus he was an anthropomorphist, 
but of what exact shade is obscure. He was accused 
of teaching that God was above His throne, could be 
pointed at, and that He descended from His seat as 
a man might, i.e., that He was in space. But he 
certainly distinguished himself from the crasser ma- 


terialists. He refused to be classed as the adherent 
of any school or of any system save that of Muham- 
mad and the agreement of the fathers. He claimed 
for himself the rights of a mujtaMd and went back to 
first sources and principles in everything. His self- 
confidence was extreme, and he smote down with 
proud words the Bightly Guided Khalifas, Umar and 
Ali, themselves. His bases were Qur'an, tradition 
from the Prophet and from the Companions and anal- 
ogy. Agreement, in the broad sense of the agree- 
ment of the Muslim people, he rejected. If he had 
accepted it he would have been forced to accept in- 
numerable superstitions, beliefs, and practices espe- 
cially the whole doctrine of the walls and their won- 
ders for their basis was agreement. The agree- 
ment of the Companions he did accept, while con- 
victing them right and left of error as individuals. 

His life was filled up with persecutions and misfort- 
une. He was a popular idol, and inquiries for his 
judgment on theological and canonical questions kept 
pouring in upon him. If there was no inquiry, and 
he felt that a situation called for an expression of 
opinion from him, he did not hesitate to send it out 
with all formality. It is true that it is the duty of 
every Muslim, so far as he can, to do away or at 
least to denounce any illegality or unorthodox view or 
practice which he may observe. This duty evi- 
dently weighed heavily on Ibn Taymiya, and there 
was fear at one time at the Mamluk court lest he 
might go the way of Ibn Tumart In one of these 
utterances he defined the doctrine of God's qualities 
as Ibn Hazm had done, and joined thereto denuncia- 


tions of the Ash'arite kalam and of the Qur'anic exe- 
gesis of the mutakallims as a whole. They were 
nothing but the heirs and scholars of philosophers, 
idolaters, Magians, etc. ; and yet they dared to go 
beyond the Prophet and his heirs and Companions. 
The consequence of this fatioa or legal opinion was 
that he was silenced for a time as a teacher. On 
another occasion he gave out &fatwa on divorce, pro- 
nouncing talilil illegal. Tahlil is a device by which 
an awkward section in the canon law is evaded. If a 
man divorces his wife three times, or pronounces a 
threefold divorce formula, lie cannot remarry her until 
she has been married to another man, has cohabited 
with him and been divorced by him. Muslim ideas 
of sexual purity are essentially different from ours, 
and the custom has grown up, when a man has thus 
divorced his wife in hasty anger, of employing another 
to marry her on pledge of divorcing her again next 
day. Sometimes the man so employed refuses to 
carry out his contract; such refusal is a frequent 
motif in oriental tales. To avoid this, the husband 
not infrequently employs one of his slaves and then 
presents him to his former wife the next day. A 
slave can legally marry a free woman, but when he 
becomes her property the marriage is ipso facto 
annulled, because a slave cannot be the husband of 
his mistress or a slave woman the wife of her master. 
It is to Ibn Taymiya's credit that he was one of the 
few to lift up their voices against this abomination. 
His independence is shown at its best. 

But it was with the Sufis that he had his worst con- 
flicts, and at their hands he suffered most. In many 


points Ms career is parallel to that of Ahmad ibn 
Hanbal, the Sufi movement taking the place that was 
played by Mu'tazilism in the life of the earlier saint. 
One great difference, it may be remarked, was that al- 
Ma'mun urged the persecution of Ibn Hanbal, while 
an-Nask, the great Mamluk Sultan (reg. 693, 698- 
708, 709-741), supported Ibn Taymiya as far as he 
possibly could. The beginning of the Sufi contro- 
versy was characteristic. Ibn Taymiya heard that a 
certain an-Nasr al-Manbiji (d. 719 ? ), a reputed fol- 
lower of Ibn Arabi and of Ibn Sab'in, had reached a 
position of influence in Cairo. That was enough to 
make Ibn Taymiya address an epistle to him, in- 
tended to turn him from his heresies. It is needless 
to give in detail the position and content of the 
epistle. He wrote as a strong monotheist of the old- 
fashioned type and exposed and assailed unmercifully 
the doctrine of Unity (ittihad) of the mystics. Al- 
Manbiji retorted with countercharges of heresy, and, 
as he had "behind him all the Sufis of Egypt as 
great an army as the Christian monks and ascetics or 
earlier Egypt and much like to them Ibn Taymiya 
had to pay for his eagerness for a fight with long and 
painful imprisonment at Cairo, Alexandria and Da- 
mascus. Here it is evident that he had lost touch with 
the drift of popular, and especially Egyptian, feeling. 
But his fearlessness was like that of Ibn Hanbal 
himself, and in 726 he gave out a fatwa which ran 
still straighter in the teeth of the beliefs of the peo- 
ple and which sent him to a prison which he never left 
alive. It had long been a custom in Islam to make 
pious pilgrimage to the graves of saints and prophets 


and there to do reverence to their memory and to 
ask their aid. It was part of that cult of saints 
which had so overspread and overcome the earlier 
simplicity of Islam. The most outstanding case in 
point was, and is, the pilgrimage to the tomb of Mu- 
hammad at al-Madina, which has come to be a more 
or less essential part of the Hajj to the Ka'ba itself. 
Against all this Ibn Taymiya lifted a voice of em- 
phatic protest. These shrines were in great part 
false, and when they were genuine the visitation of 
them was an idolatrous imitation of heathen practices. 
Equally idolatrous was all invoking of saints or proph- 
ets, including Muhammad himself ; to God alone 
should prayer be directed. The clamor raised by 
this/atoa was tremendous. This was no doctrine of 
the schools which he had touched, but a bit of con- 
crete religiosity which appealed to everyone. His 
public life practically ended, and the practices which 
he had denounced abide to this day. It is a bitter 
satire on his position that when he died in 726 the 
populace paid to his relics all these signs of super- 
stitious reverence against which he had protested. 
He became a saint, malgre luL His work had been 
to keep alive the Hanbalite doctrine and pass it on 
unchanged to modern times. He did not destroy 
philosophy : it was dead of itself before he came. 
Nor Sufiism : it is still very much alive. Nor "kalam : 
it still continues in the form to which it had crystal- 
lized by his time. But he and his disciples made 
possible the Wahhabites and the monotheistic re- 
vival of our day. The faith of Muhammad himself 
was not to perish entirely from the earth. 

ASH-SHA c RA]Nri 279 

It would now be possible to pass at once to the 
Wahhabite movement in the latter part of the twelfth 
century of the Hijra. All the elements for the ex- 
planation of it and of the modem situation are in our 
hands. But there is one figure which stands out so 
clearly in an otherwise most obscure picture and is 
so significant for the time, that some account must be 
taken of it. It is that of ash-Sha c rani ? theologian, 
canonist, and mystic. He was a Cairene and died in 
973. The rule of Egypt had passed half a century 
before to the Ottoman Turks, and they governed by 
means of a Turkish Pasha. The condition of the 
people, as we find it sketched by ash-Sha'rani, was a 
most unhappy one. They were bent down, and es- 
pecially the peasantry, under a load of taxation. The 
Turks found it advisable, too, to cultivate the friend- 
ship of the canon lawyers and professional theologi- 
ans in order to maintain their hold upon the people. 
These canonists, in consequence, were rapidly becom- 
ing an official class with official privileges. Further, 
the process, the beginnings of which we have already 
seen, by which religious science was narrowed iofiqJi, 
had gone still further. Practically, the two classes of 
theologians left were the canonists and the mystics. 
And the mystics had fallen far from their pride of 
power under the Mamluks. They now were of the 
poor of the land, a kind of Essenes over against the 
Pharisees of the schools. 

Such, at least, is the picture of his time which ash- 
Sha c rani gives. How far it is exact must remain un- 
certain. Eor, of the many puzzling personalities in 
Islam, ash-Sha c rani is perhaps for us the most unin- 


telligible. He combined the most abject superstitions 
of a superstitious age and country with lofty ethical 
indignation ; social humility of the most extreme with 
an intellectual pride and arrogance rarely paralleled, 
a keen and original grasp of the canon law of the 
four schools with an utter submission of the intellect 
to the inbreathings of the divine from without ; a 
power of discreet silence as to the inconvenient with 
an open-mouthed vehemence in other things. He 
was a devoted follower of Ibn Arabi and defended his 
memory against the accusation of heresy. Yet his 
position is singularly different from that of Ibn Arabi, 
and a doubt cannot but rise as to either his knowl- 
edge, Ms intelligence, or his honesty. Practically 
where he differs from the ordinary Muslim is in his 
extension of the doctrine of saints. As to the Most 
Beautiful Names (al-asma al-husna), he follows Ibn 
Hazm. So, too, as to God's qualities, he follows the 
older school and would prefer to leave them uncon- 
sidered. But he is, otherwise and in general, a sound 
Ash'arite, e.g., on the doctrine of predestination, and 
of man's part in his works (ilctisab). There is in him 
no sign of the Plotinian pantheism of Ibn Arabi. 
The doctrine of God's difference (mukhalafa) he 
taught, and that He created the world by His will 
and not by any emanation of energy. 

But truth for him is not to be reached by specula- 
tion and argument : its only basis is through the un- 
veiling of the inner eye which brings us to the imme- 
diate Vision of the Divine. Those who have reached 
that Vision, guide and teach those who cannot or 
have not. Upon that Vision all systems are built, 


and reason can only serve the visionary as a defence 
against the gainsayer or against Ms own too wild 
thoughts. Naturally, with such a starting-point as 
this the supernatural side of things (al-ghayV) receives 
strong emphasis. The Jinn and the angels are most 
intense realities. Asb-Sha c rani met them in familiar 
converse. He met, too, al-Khadir, the undying pil- 
grim saint who wanders through the lands, succoring 
and guiding. The details of these interviews are 
given with the greatest exactness. A Jinni in the 
form of a dog ran into his house on such a day by 
such a door, with a piece of European paper in his 
mouth this is a touch of genius on which certain 
theological questions were written. The Jinni wished 
ash-Sha'rani's opinion as to them. Such was the 
origin of one of his books, and another sprang from 
a similarly exactly described talk with al-Khadir. Yet 
he was content also with smaller mercies and reckons 
as a karama that he was enabled to read through a 
certain book for some time at the rate of two and a 
half times daily. To all this it would be possible of 
course to say flatly that he lied. But such a judg- 
ment applied to an oriental is somewhat crude, and 
the knot of the mystic's mind in any land is not to be 
so easily cut. Further, the doctrine of the walis is 
developed by him at length. They possess a certain 
illumination (ilham), which is, however, different from 
the inspiration (wahy) of the prophets. So, too, they 
never reach the grade of the prophets, or a nearness 
to God where the requirements of a revealed law fall 
away from them, i.e., they must always walk accord- 
ing to the law of a prophet. They are all guided by 


God, whatever their particular Eule (tariqa) may be, 
but the Eule of al-Junayd(p. 176) is the best because 
it is in most essential agreement with the Law 
(shari'a) of Islam. Their Jcaramat are true and are a 
consequence of their devout labors, for these are in 
agreement with the Qur'an and the Sunna. The 
order of nature will not be broken for anyone who 
has not achieved more than is usual in religious 
knowledge and exercises. All watis stand under a 
regular hierarchy headed by the Qutb ; yet above 
him in holiness stand the Companions of the Prophet. 
This marks a very moderate position. Many Sufis 
had contended that the waits stood higher than even 
the prophets, not to speak of their Companions. 

It will be seen that his position is essentially a 
mediating one. He wishes to show that the beliefs 
of the mystics and of the mutakallims are really one 
although they are reached by different paths. In 
fiqli he made a similar attempt. The Sufis had al- 
ways looked down on those theologians who were 
canonists pure and simple. A study of canon law 
was a necessity, they thought ; but as a propaedeutic 
only. The canonists who went no further never 
reached religion at all. Especially they held that no 
Sufi should join himself to any of the four contend- 
ing schools. Their controversies were upon insignif- 
icant details which had nothing to do with the life 
in God. But could it not be shown that their dif- 
ferences were not actual one view being true and 
the other false but were capable of being reduced 
to a unity ? This was the problem that ash-8ha c rani 
attacked. These differing opinions, he held, are 


adapted to different classes of men. Some men of 
greater gifts and endurance can follow the hardest 
of these opinions, while the easier are to be recognized 
as concessions (rtikhsa) from God to the weakness of 
others. Each man may follow freely the view which 
appeals to him ; God has appointed it for him. 

Ash-Sha e rani was one of the last original thinkers 
in Islam ; for a thinker he was despite his dealings 
with the Jinn and al-Khadir. Egypt keeps his 
memory. A mosque in Cairo bears his name, as 
does also a division of the Badawite darwishes. In 
modern times his books have been frequently re- 
printed, and his influence is one of the ferments in 
the new Islam. 

We must now pass over about two hundred years 
and come to the latter part of the twelfth century of 
the Hijra, a period nearly coinciding with the end of 
the eighteenth of our era. There these two move- 
ments come again to light. Wahhabism, the histori- 
cal origin of which we have already seen (p. 60), is 
a branch of the school of Ibn Taymiya. Manuscripts 
of the works of Ibn Taymiya copied by the hand 
of Ibn Abd al-Wahhab exist in Europe. So the 
Wahhabites refused to accept as binding the de- 
cisions of the four orthodox sects of canon law. 
Agreement as a source they also reject. The whole 
People of Muhammad can err and has erred. Only 
the agreement of the Companions has binding force 
for them. It is, therefore, the duty and right of every 
man to draw his own doctrine from the Qur'an and 
the traditions ; the systems of the schools should 
have no weight with him. Again, they take the 


anthropomorphisms of the Qur'an in their literal 
sense. God has a hand, God settles Himself on His 
throne ; so it must be held " without inquiring how 
and without comparison." They profess to be the 
only true Muslims, applying to themselves the term 
Muwahhids and calling all others ItfusJiriks, assigners 
of companions to God. Again, like Ibn Taymiya, 
they reject the intercession of walis with God. It is 
allowable to ask of God for the sake of a saint but 
not to pray to the saint. This applies also to Mu- 
hammad. Pilgrimage to the tombs of saints, the 
presenting of offerings there, all acts of reverence," 
they also forbid. No regard should be paid even 
to the tomb of the Prophet at al-Madina. All 
such ceremonies are idolatrous. Whenever possible 
the Wahhabites destroy and level the shrines of 

Over other details, such as the prohibition of the 
use of tobacco, we need not spend time. Wahhabisrn 
as a political force is gone. It has, however, left the 
Sanusi revolt as its direct descendant and what may 
be the outcome of that Brotherhood we have no 
means of guessing. It has also left a general revival 
and reformation throughout the Church of Islam, 
much parallel, as has been remarked, to the counter- 
reformation which followed the Protestant Eeforma- 
tion in Europe. 

The second movement is the revival of the influence 
of al-Ghazzali. That influence never became ab- 
solutely extinct and it seems to have remained espe- 
cially strong in al-Yaman. In that corner of the Mus- 
lim world generations of Sufis lived comparatively 


undisturbed, and it was the Sayyid Murtada, a native 
of Zabid in Tihama, who by his great commentary on 
ihelhya of al-Ghazzali practically founded the modern 
study of that book. There have been, two editions 
of this commentary in ten quarto volumes and many 
of the Itiya itself and of other works by al-Ghazzali. 
"Whether Ms readers understand him fully or not, 
there can be no question of the wide influence which 
he is now exercising. At Mecca, for example, the 
orthodox theological teaching is practically Ghaz- 
zalian and the controversy throughout all Arabia is 
whether Ibn Taymiya and al-Ghazzali can be called 
Shaykhs of Islam. The "Wahhabites hold that any- 
one who thus honors al-Ghazzali is an unbeliever, and 
the Meccans retort the same of the followers of Ibn 

These two tendencies then that back to the simple 
monotheism of Muhammad and that to an agnostic 
mysticism are the hopeful signs in modern Islam. 
There are many other drifts in which there is no such 
hope. Simple materialism under European, mostly 
French, influence is one. A seeking of salvation in 
the study of canon law is another. Canon law is still 
the field to which an enormous proportion of Muslim 
theologians turn. Again, there are various forms 
of frankly pantheistic mysticism. That is especially 
the case among Persians and Turks. For the body 
of the people, religion is still overburdened, as in 
Ibn Taymiya's days, with a mass of superstition. 
Lives of walis containing the wildest and most 
blasphemous stories abound and are eagerly read. 
The books of ash-Sha c rani are especially rich in such 


hagiology. It is difficult for us to realize that stories 
like the most extravagant in the Thousand and One 
Nights are the simplest possibilities to the masses of 
Islam. The canon lawyers, still, in their discussions, 
take account of the existence of Jinn, and no theo- 
logian would dare to doubt that Solomon sealed them 
up in brass bottles. Of philosophy, in the free and 
large sense, there is no trace. Ibn Bushd's reply to 
al-Ghazzali's " Destruction of the Philosophers " has 
been printed, but only as a pendant to that work. 
In it, too, Ibn Eushd carefully covers his great here- 
sies. His tractates on the study of kalam, spoken of 
above, have also been reprinted at Cairo from the 
European edition. But these tractates are arranged 
to give no clew to his real philosophy. The Arabic 
Aristotelianism has perished utterly from the Muslim 
lands. Of the modern Indian Mu'tazilism no ac- 
count need be taken here. It is derived from Europe 
and is ordinary Christian Unitarianism, connecting 
with Muhammad instead of with Jesus. 

From the above sketch some necessary conditions 
are clear, which must be fulfilled if there is to be a 
chance for a future development in Islam. Educa- 
tion must be widely extended. The proportion of 
trained minds must be greatly increased and the bar- 
rier between them and the commonalty removed. 
The economy of teaching has failed; it has destroyed 
the doctrine which it sought to protect. Again, the 
slavery of the disciple to the master must cease. It 
must always be possible for the student, in defiance 
of taqlid, to go back to first principles or to the 
primary facts and to disregard what the great Imams 


and Mujtahids have taught. So mucii of health there 
was in the Zahirite system. 

Third, these primary facts must include the facts 
of natural science- The student, emancipated from 
the control of the schools, must turn from the study 
of himself to an examination of the great world. And 
that examination must not be cosmological but bio- 
logical; it must not lose itself in the infinities but 
find itself in concrete realities. It must experiment 
and test rather than build lofty hypotheses. 

But can the oriental mind thus deny itself? The 
English educational experiment in Egypt may go far 
to answer that question. 











Notes have been added where such appeared called for, Irat the 
index, facilitating reference to the body of the book, renders a 
full commentary unnecessary. The student should use the index 
as a vocabulary of technical terms 5 referring for their explanation 
to the passages where they occur. 


Then I applied myself to what of arrangement was easy of 
attainment and to what of attainment was easy of arrangement, 
until I had crowded them [the different opinions] into four 
fundamentals, which are the great principles. The first 
fundamental concerns the Qualities (si/at) with the Unity 
(tawhid) ; it embraces the question of the eternal (azali) Qual- 
ities, affirmed by some and denied by others, and of the ex- 
position of the essential Qualities (sifat adh-dhat) and of the 
active Qualities (sifat al-fi { l) and of what is necessary in God 
Most High and what is possible for Him and what is impos- 
sible ; it involves the controversies between the Ash'arites and 
the Karramites and the Anthropomorphists (rnujassims) and 
the Mu'tazilites. The second fundamental concerns decree 
(qadar) and justice (adl) ; it embraces the question of destiny 
(qada) and decree (qadar) ; of force ( jabr) and acquisition 



(kasb) ; of the willing of good and of evil and of tlie decreed 
and the known, affirmed by some and denied by others ; it 
involves the controversies between the Qadarites and Najj antes 
and Jabarites and Ash 'antes and Karramites. The third 
fundamental concerns promise (wa'd) tod the decisions (hu- 
knis) ; it embraces the question of faith (iman) and repentance 
(tawba) and threatening (wa'id) and postponing (irja) and 
pronouncing anyone an unbeliever (takfir) and leading anyone 
astray (tadlil), affirmed by some and denied by others ; it 
involves the controversies between the Murji'ites and the 
Wa'idites and the Mu'tazilites and the Ash'arites and the 
Karramites. The fourth fundamental concerns tradition 
(sam) and reason (aql) and the prophetic mission (risala) 
and the imamate ; it embraces the questions of the determi- 
nation of actions as good (tahsin) or vile (tagbiK) ; of the ad- 
vantageous (saldh) and most advantageous (aslah) ; of be- 
nignity (lutf) ; of the prophets being guarded against sin 
(isma) ; of the condition of the imamate, by statute (nass) 
according to some and by agreement (ijma) according to 
others, and how it is transferred on the view of those who say 
it is by statute, and how it is fixed on the view of those who 
say it is by agreement ; it involves the controversies between 
the Shi'ites and the Kharijites and the Mu'tazilites and the 
Karramites and the Ash'arites. Translated from (Jureton's 
Arabic text, p. 4. 



"Islam is built upon five things; testimony that there is 
no god but God and that Muhammad is the Apostle of God. 
Prayer (salaf), the Poor-rate (zdkat), Pilgrimage (hajj) and 
Fast (sawm) in Ramadan." 


Jibril came in the form of an Arab of the desert and sat 
down so that his knees touched the knees of the Prophet and 
said, "O Apostle of God, what is Islam?" He said, "That 
thou should bear witness that there is no god save God and 


that I am the Apostle of God ; tliat thou shonldest perform 
the prayers (salat) and bring the poor-rate (zakat) and fast in 
the month of Eamadan and pilgrimage to the House if the 
way is possible for thee." He said, " Thou hast spoken truly." 
Then he said, "What is Faith (imari)?" The Prophet said, 
"That thou should believe in God and His angels and His 
books and His messengers and in the Last Day, and that thou 
should believe in the decreeing (qadar) both of good and 
of evil." He said, " Thou hast spoken truly." Then he said, 
"What is right doing (ifcsow)?" The Prophet said, "That 
thou should serve God as though thou sawest Him; for 
though thou seest Him not, He sees thee." He said, " Thou 
hast spoken truly." Then he said, " When shall be the Last 
Day (0$-$a f a)?" The Prophet said, "The questioned know- 
eth not more of that than the questioner." Then he arose and 
went out. And the Prophet said, "That was Jibril; he came 
to you to teach you your religion (din). 99 Translated from 
Cureton's text of ash-Shahrastani, p. 27. 



Our doctrine which we teach and our religion (diyana) which we follow 
consists in clinging fast to the Book of God and the Usage (sunna) of 
His Prophet and to that which is handed down from the Companions, 
their immediate followers (tdbi's) and from the leaders (imams] in 
tradition with that we take refuge; and we teach that which 
Ahmad ibn Hanbal may God Illumine Ms face, exalt Ms rank and 
make great his reward followed ; and we shun that which is op- 
posed to his doctrine. For he is the excellent leader, the perfect 
chief, through whom God made plain the truth, when error was made 
manifest, and showed the path and smote down the innovations of 
the innovators, the deviations of the deviators and the doubts of the 
doubters. So, the mercy of God be upon him for an appointed 
leader and an instructed chief, and upon all the, leaders of the Mus- 

The sum of our doctrine is this, that we believe in God, His 
Angels, His Books, His Apostles, in all that has come from 
God, and what trustworthy men (thiqouf) have reported from 


the Apostles of God ; we oppose nothing thereof. That God 
is One God, Single, One, Eternal; beside Him no God exists ; 
He has taken to Himself no wife (sahiba), nor child (walad) ; 
and that Muhammad is His Servant (abd) and His Apostle. 
That Paradise and Hell are Verity and that the Hour (as-sa'a) 
will come without doubt, and God will arouse those that are 
in the graves. That God has settled Himself (istawa) upon 
His throne, as He has said, (Qur, 20, 4); "the Eahman has 
settled Himself upon His throne." That God has a counte- 
nance, as He has said, (Qur. 55, 27) ; " and the countenance of 
thy Lord will abide, full of majesty and glory ; " and two 
hands, as He has said, (Qur. 5, 69); " much more ! both His 
hands are spread out," and (Qur. 38, 75); " that which I have 
created with both My hands ; " and two eyes, without asking 
how (Ula kayfj}, as He has said, (Qur. 54, 14) ; " which swims 
forth under Our eyes." That whoever thinks that God's name 
is other than He, is in error. That God has Knowledge (Urn), 
as He has said, (Qur. 35, 12) ; "Not one woman becomes 
pregnant and brings forth, except by His knowledge.'* We 
maintain that God has Power (qudrd), as He has said, (Qur. 
41, 14) ; "and have they not seen that God who created them 
is stronger than they ? " We maintain that God has Hearing 
(sam) and Seeing (basar) and do not deny it, as do the Mu*- 
tazilites, Jahmites and Kharijites. We teach that God's Word 
(Jcalavi) is uncreated, and that He has never created anything 
except by saying to it, " Be ! " and it forthwith became, as He 
has said, (Qur. 16, 42) ; " Our speech to anything when We 
willed it was, ' Be ' and it was." Nothing exists upon earth, 
be it good or bad, but that which God wills; but all things 
are by God's Will (masfyd). No one is able to do anything 
before God does it, neither is anyone independent of God, 
nor can he withdraw himself from God's Knowledge. There 
is no Creator but God. The works (amals) of creatures are 
created and predestined by God, as He said, (Qur. 37, 94) ; 
" and God has created you and what ye do." Man is able to 
create nothing ; but they are created, as He has said, (Qur. 
35, 31) ; "Is there any Creator except God?" and (Qur. 16, 17) 


" and is He who created like Mm who created not ? " and 
(Qur. 52, 35) ; " were they created out of nothing, or are they 
the creators ? " and such passages are many in the Qur'an. 
And God maintains the believers in obedience to Him, is 
gracious unto them, cares for them, reforms them, and guides 
them aright; but the unbelievers He leads astray, guides 
them not aright, vouchsafes them not Faith (iman), by His 
Grace, as the People of error and pride maintain. For should 
He be gracious unto them and help them aright, then would 
they be pious, and should He guide them aright, then would 
they allow themselves to be guided aright, as He has said, 
(Qur. 7, 177) ; " whom God guideth aright, he allows himself 
to be guided aright, and whom He leads astray, they are the 
losers." God is able to help the unbelieving aright and to 
be gracious unto them, so that they shall become believing, 
but He wills that they shall be unbelieving as is known. For 
He has made them impervious to all help and sealed their 
hearts . Good and Evil happen according to the Destiny (qada) 
and Decree (qadar) of God for good and evil, for the sweet 
and the bitter. We know that the misfortune that befalls us 
is not in order that we may go astray, and that the good fort- 
une which befalls us is not in order that we may go aright. 
We have no control over that which is good or hurtful to us, 
except so far as God wills. We flee from our anxieties to God 
and commit at all times our distress and poverty to Him. We 
teach that the Qur'an is God's Word, and that it is uncreated, 
and that whosoever says that it is created is an unbeliever 
(Jcafir). We believe that God at the Day of Eesurrection 
(yawm al-qiyamd) will be visible to the eyes, as the moon is 
seen upon the night of the full moon ; the believers will see 
Him, according to traditions which have come down from the 
Prophet. We teach that while the believers will see Him, 
the unbelievers will be separated from Him by a wall of divis- 
ion, as God has said, (Qur. 83, 15) ; "Surely not! They will 
be separated from their Lord, upon that Day." We teach that 
Moses besought God that he might see Him in this world ; 
then God revealed Himself to the mountain and turned it into 


dust and taught Moses thereby that he could not see Him in 
this world (Qur, 7, 139). We are of the opinion that we may 
not accuse anyone of unbelief (Jcufr), who prays towards Mec- 
ca, on account of sin committed by him, such as unchastity, 
theft, wine drinking, as the Kharijites believe, who judge that 
these thereby become unbelievers. We teach that whoever 
commits a great sin (kabira), or anything like it, holding it 
to be allowed, is an unbeliever, since he does not believe in 
its prohibition. We teach that Islam is a wider idea than 
Faith (iman)> so that not every Islam is Faith. We believe 
that God turns the hearts upside down, and holds them 
between two of His fingers, that He lays the heavens upon a 
finger and the earth upon a finger, according to tlie tradition 
from the Prophet. We believe that God will not leave in 
Hell any of those who confess His Unity (muwdhMd) and hold 
fast to the Faith, and that there is no Hell for him whom the 
Prophet has by his witness appointed to Paradise. We hope 
for Paradise for sinners and fear on their account, that they 
will be punished in Hell. We teach that God will release a 
few out of Hell, on account of Muhammad's intercession 
(shafa'a) after they have been scorched there. We believe in 
the punishment of the grave. We believe that the Tank 
(hawd) and the Balance are Verities : that the Bridge as-Sirat 
is a Verity ; that the Arousing (baHty after death is a Verity ; 
that God will set up His creatures in a place (mawgif) and will 
hold a reckoning with the Believers. * We believe that Faith 
(iman) consists in word (qawl) and in work (amal) and that 
it increases and diminishes. We trust in the sound Tra- 
ditions handed down from the Apostle of God, which trust- 
worthy people (ihiqat), just man from just man, up to the 
Apostle, have transmitted. We hold by the love of the early 

* For Muslim esehatology reference may still be made to Sale's 
introduction to the Qur'an, 4. The punishment of the grave is 
what, in the case of unbelievers, follows the inquisition by the two 
angels MunTcar and Nakir; see on them Lane's Modern Egyptians, 
chap, xxyjii ; on the whole subject, see translations by Gautier and 
Wolff and tractate by Billing (Bibliography, p. 367). 


Believers (salaf), whom God chose to be Companions to the 
Prophet, and we praise them with the praise with which God 
praised them, and we carry on their succession. We assert 
that the Imam succeeding the Apostle of God was Abn Bakr ; 
that God through him made the Eeligion (din) mighty, and 
caused him to conquer the Apostates (murtadds). The Mus- 
lims made him their Imam, just as Muhammad had made him 
Imam at prayers. Then followed [as legal Imam] Umar ibn 
al-Khattab ; then IJthman ibn Affan ; his murderers killed 
him out of wickedness and enmity ; then Ali ibn Abi Talib. 
These are the Imams after the Apostle, and their Khalifate is 
that of the Prophetic office [i.e., they are, though not prophets, 
successors of the Prophet]. We bear witness of Paradise for 
the Ten (al-asTiaratu-l-mubashsIiara), to whom the Apostle 
bore witness of it, and we carry on the succession of the other 
Companions of the Prophet and hold ourselves far from that 
which was in dispute between them. We hold that the four 
Imams were in the true way, were rightly guided and excel- 
lent, so that no one equals them in excellence. We hold as 
true the traditions which the People of Tradition (naql) have 
established, concerning the descent of God to the lowest 
heaven (sama ad-dunya], and that the Lord will say, "Is 
there a supplicant ? Is there a seeker for forgiveness ? " and 
the rest of that which they have handed down and established, 
contrary to that which the mistaken and misled opine. We 
ground ourselves in our opposition on the Qur'an, the Sunna 
of the Prophet, the agreement of the Muslims and what is in 
accordance therewith, but put forth no novelty (bifca) not 
sanctioned by God, and opine of God nothing that we have 
not been taught. We teach that God will come on the Day 
of Resurrection, as He has said, (Qur. 89, 23) ; " When the 
earth shall be turned to dust, and the Lord shall appear and 
the angels, rank on rank," and that God is near to His ser- 
vants, in what way (Tcayfa) He wills, as He has said, (Qur. 50, 
15) ; ' ' and We are nearer to him than the artery in his neck ; " 
and (Qur. 53, 8) ; " Then He approached and came near and 
was two bows' length distant or even nearer." To our Belig- 


ion (dm) belongs further, that we on Fridays and on festival 
days pray behind every person, pious and profane so are the 
conditions for congregational prayers, as it is handed down 
from Abd Allah ibn Umar that he prayed behind al-Hajjaj. 
To our Eeligion belongs the wiping (mash) of the inner boots 
(Jchuffs) upon a journey and at home, in contradiction to the 
deniers of this.* We uphold the prayer for peace for the 
Imains of the Muslims, submission to their office, and main- 
tain the error of those who hold it right to rise against them 
whenever there may be apparent in them a falling away from 
right. We are against armed rebellion against them and civil 

We believe in the appearance of anti-Christ (ad-Dajjal) ac- 
cording to the tradition handed down from the Prophet ; in 
the punishment of the grave, and in Munkar and Nakir and in 
their questions to the buried in their graves. We hold the 
tradition of the journey to heaven (mi'raj, Qur. 17) of Mu- 
hammad as true, and declare many of the visions in sleep to 
be true, and we say that there is an explanation for them. 
We uphold the alms for the dead of the Muslims and prayer 
for them, and believe that God will help them therewith. We 
hold as true that there are enchanters in; the world, and that 
enchantment is and exists. We hold as a religious duty the 
prayer which is held over the dead of those who have prayed 
toward Mecca, whether they have been believers or godless ; 
we uphold also their right of testation. We acknowledge 
that Paradise and Hell are created, and that whoever dies or 
is killed, dies or is killed at his appointed time (ajal) ; that 
the articles of sustenance (rizq) from God, with which He 
sustains His creatures, are permitted (kalal) and forbidden 
(Jiaram) ; f that Satan makes evil suggestions to men, and puts 

* This, one of the dividing questions between Sunnites and Shi- 
; ites, belongs to theology as well as law. See p. 314 and Goldziher, 
Zur Literdturgeschichte der jSV'a, p. 87. 

f The Mu'tazilites held that articles of sustenance of a forbidden 
nature, such as pork or wine, could not be called rizqin this tech- 
nical sense ; that God could not so use them. The orthodox re- 


them in doubt, and causes them to "be possessed, contrary to 
that which the Mu'tazilites and the Jahmites maintain, as God 
said, (Qur. 2, 276) ; "Those who take usury will [at the Besur- 
rection] stand there like one whom Satan causes to be pos- 
sessed by madness," and (Qur. 114, 4 F.) ; "I take my refuge 
in God, from the evil suggestion, from the stealthy one who 
makes suggestions in the hearts of men, by means of men and 
Jinn." We affirm that God may distinguish the pious by 
signs which He manifests through them. Our teaching con- 
cerning the little children of the polytheists (inushriqs) is this, 
that God will kindle a fire in the other world for them, and 
will say, " Bun in there ; " as the tradition says.* We be- 
lieve that God knows what men do and what they will to do, 
what happens and how that which does not happen, if it 
should happen, would happen. We believe in the obedience 
of the Imams and in their counsel of the Muslims. We con- 
sider right the separation from every inciter to innovation 
(bid'd) and the turning aside from the People of wandering 
desires (akl al-ahwa) . Translated from the Arabic text in Spitta's 
Zur Geschichte al-As'ari's, pp. 133 ff. 

torted that a man might live Ms life out on forbidden things ; had 
lie then been independent of God as to his sustenance ? The 
Mu'tazilites denned rizq as " a possession which its possessor eats " 
and as " that from which one is not hindered from profiting " ; the 
orthodox, as a name for that which God sends to man and the other 
animals and they eat it and profit by it. 

* Some will run into the fire and find themselves immediately in 
Paradise ; these would have been believers. Others will refuse, 
and will be treated as their parents. 




An exposition of the Creed of the People of the Sunnaon the two Words 
of Witnessing (kalimatan ash-shahada) which form one of the 
Foundations of Islam. 

[Intended to be committed to memory by children. It forms the 
first section of the second book of his Iliya,, vol. ii, pp. 17-42 of 
edit, of Cairo with commentary of the Sayyid Murtad&.J 

^ e sa y and in God is our trust Praise belongeth unto 
God, the Beginner, the Bringer back, the Doer of what He 
villein, the Lord of the Glorious Throne and of Mighty Grasp, 
the Guider of His chosen creatures to the right path and to the 
true way, the Granter of benefits to them- after the witness to 
the Unity (taioMd) by guarding their articles of belief from 
obscurities of doubt and opposition, He that bringeth them to 
follow His Apostle, the Chosen one (al- Mustafa), and to imi- 
tate the traces of his Companions, the most honored, through 
His aid and right guidance revealed to them in His essence 
and His works by His beautiful qualities which none perceives, 
save he* who inclines his ear. He is the witness who maketh 
known to them that He in His essence is One without any 
partner (scarify. Single without any similar, Eternal without 
any opposite, Separate without any like. He is One, Prior 
(qadim) with nothing before Him, from eternity (azali) with* 
out any beginning, abiding in existence with none after Him, 
to eternity (abadfy without any end, subsisting without ending, 
abiding without termination. He hath not ceased and He 
will not cease to be described with glorious epithets ; finish- 
ing and ending, through the cutting off of the ages and the 
terminating of allotted times, have no rule over Him, but He 
is the First and Last, the External and the Internal, and He 
knoweth everything. 

We witness that He is not a body possessing form, nor a 
substance possessing bounds and limits : He does not resemble 


bodies, either in limitation or in accepting division. He is 
not a substance and substances do not exist in Him ; and He 
is not an accident and accidents do not exist in Him, nay He 
does not resemble an entity, and no entity resembles Him ; 
nothing is like Him and He is not like anything; measure 
does not bound Him and boundaries do not contain Him ; the 
directions do not surround Him and neither the earth nor the 
heavens are on different sides of Him. Lo, He is seated firmly 
upon His Throne (arsh), after the manner which He has said, 
and in the sense in which He willed a being seated firmly 
(istiwa), which is far removed from contact and fixity of loca- 
tion and being established and being enveloped and being re- 
moved. The Throne does not carry Him, but the Throne and 
those that carry it are carried by the grace of His power and 
mastered by His grasp. He is above the Throne and the 
Heavens and above everything unto the limit of the Pleiades, 
with an aboveness which does not bring Him nearer to the 
Throne and the Heavens, just as it does not make Him further 
from the earth and the Pleiades. Nay, He is exalted by de- 
grees from the Throne and the Heavens, just as He is exalted 
by degrees from the earth and the Pleiades ; and He, in spite 
of that, is near to every entity and is "nearer to a creature 
than the artery of his neck " (Qur. 50, 15), and He witnesseth 
everything, since His nearness does not resemble the nearness 
of bodies, just as His essence does not resemble the essence 
of bodies. He does not exist in anything, just as nothing ex- 
ists in Him: He has exalted Himself far therefrom that a 
place should contain Him, just as He has sanctified Himself 
far therefrom that time should limit Him. Nay, He was be- 
fore He had created Time and Place and He is now above that 
which He was above, and distinct from His creatures through 
His qualities. There is not in His essence His equal, nor in 
His equal His essence. He is far removed from change of 
state or of place. Events have no place in Him, and mishaps 
do not befall him. Nay, He does not cease, through His 
glorious epithets, to be far removed from changing, and 
through His perfect qualities to be independent of perfecting 


increase. The existence of His essence is known by reason ; 
His essence is seen with the eyes, a benefit from Him and a 
grace to the pious, in the Abiding Abode and a completion in 
beatitude from Him, through gazing upon His gracious face. 

We witness that He is living, powerful, commanding, con- 
quering ; inadequacy and weakness befall Him not ; slumber 
seizes Him not, nor sleep. Passing away does not happen to 
Him, nor death. He is Lord of the Worlds, the Visible and 
the Invisible, that of Force and that of MigM ; He possesses 
Bule and Conquest and Creation and Command ; the heavens 
are rolled in His right hand and the created things are over- 
come in His grasp ; He is separate in creating and inventing ; 
He is one in bringing into existence and innovating ; He 
created the creation and their works and decreed their sus- 
tenance and their terms of life ; not a decreed thing escapes 
His grasp and the mutations of things are not distant from 
His power; the things which He hath decreed cannot be 
reckoned and the things which He knoweth have no end. 

We witness that He knoweth all the things that can be 
known, comprehending that which happeneth from the bounds 
of the earths unto the topmost heavens ; no grain in the earth 
or the heavens is distant from His knowledge. Yea, He 
knows the creeping of the black ant upon the rugged rock in 
a dark night, and He perceives the movement of the mote in 
the midst of the air ; He knows the secret and the concealed 
and has knowledge of the suggestions of the minds and the 
movements of the thoughts and the concealed things of the 
inmost parts, by a knowledge which is prior from eternity ; He 
has not ceased to be describable by it, from the ages of the 
ages, not by a knowledge which renews itself and arises in 
His essence by arrival and removal. 

We witness that He is a Wilier of the things that are, a 
Director of the things that happen ; there does not come 
about in the world, seen or unseen, little or much, small or 
great, good or evil, advantage or disadvantage, faith or un- 
belief, knowledge or ignorance, success or loss, increase or 
diminution, obedience or rebellion, except by His will. What 


He wills is, and what He wills not is not. Not a glance of one 
who looks, or a slip of one who thinks is outside of His will : 
He is the Creator, the Bringer back, the Doer of that which 
He wills. There is no opponent of His command and no re- 
peater of His destiny and no refuge for a creature from dis- 
obeying Him, except by His help and His mercy, and no 
strength to a creature to obey Him except by His will Even 
though mankind and the Jinn and the Angels and the Shaytans 
were to unite to remove a single grain in the world or to bring 
it to rest without His will, they would be too weak for that. 
His will subsists in His essence as one of His qualities ; He 
hath not ceased to be described through it as a "Wilier, in His 
infinity, of the existence of things at their appointed times 
which He hath decreed. So they come into existence at their 
appointed times even as He has willed in His infinity without 
precedence or sequence. They happen according to the agree- 
ment of His knowledge and His will, without exchange or 
change in planning of things, nor with arranging of thoughts 
or awaiting of time, and therefore one thing does not distract 
Him from another. 

And we witness that He is a Hearer and a Seer. He hears 
and sees, and no audible thing is distant from His hearing, and 
no visible thing is far from His seeing, however fine it may 
be. Distance does not curtain off His hearing and darkness 
does not dull His seeing ; He sees without eyeball or eyelid, 
and hears without earholes or ears, just as He knows without a 
brain and seizes without a limb and creates without an instru- 
ment, since His qualities do not resemble the qualities of 
created things, just as His essence does not resemble the es- 
sences of created things. 

And we witness that He speaks, commanding, forbidding, 
praising, threatening, with a speech from all eternity, prior, 
subsisting in His essence not resembling the speech of created 
things. It is not a sound which originates through the slip- 
ping out of air, or striking of bodies ; nor is it a letter which 
is separated off by closing down a lip or moving a tongue. 
And the Qur'an and the Tawrat [the Law of Moses] and the 


Injil [the Gospel] and the Zabbur [the Psalms] are His book 
revealed to His Apostles. And the Qur'an is repeated by 
tongues, written in copies, preserved in hearts : yet it, in spite 
of that, is prior, subsisting in the essence of God, not subject 
to division and separation through being transferred to hearts 
and leaves. And Musa heard the speech of God without a 
sound and without a letter, just as the pious see the essence of 
God, in the other world, without a substance or an attribute. 

And since He has those qualities, He is Living, Knowing, 
Powerful, a Wilier, a Hearer, a Seer, a Speaker, through Life, 
Power, Knowledge, Will, Hearing, Seeing, Speech, not by a 
thing separated from His essence. 

We witness that there is no entity besides Him, except what 
is originated from His action and proceeds from His justice, 
after the most beautiful and perfect and complete and just of 
ways. He is wise in His actions, just in His determinations ; 
there is no analogy between His justice and the justice of 
creatures, since tyranny is conceivable in the case of a creature, 
when he deals with the property of some other than himself, 
but tyranny is not conceivable in the case of God. For He 
never encounters any property in another besides Himself, so 
that His dealing with it might be tyranny. Everything besides 
Him, consisting of men and Jinn and Angels and Shaytans 
and the heavens and the earth and animals and plants and 
inanimate things and substance and attribute and things per- 
ceived and things felt, is an originated thing, which He 
created by His power, before any other had created it, after 
it had not existed, and which He invented after that it had 
not been a thing, since He in eternity was an entity by Him- 
self, and there was not along with Him any other than He. 
So He originated the creation thereafter, by way of manifesta- 
tion of His power, and verification of that which had preceded 
of His Will, and of that which existed in eternity of His 
Word ; not because He had any lack of it or need of it. And 
He is gracious in creating and in making for the first times 
and in imposing of duty not of necessity and He is gener- 
ous in benefiting ; and well-doing and gracious helping be- 


long to Him, since He is able to bring upon His creatures 
different kinds of punishment and to test them with different 
varieties of pains and ailments. And if He did that, it would 
be justice on His part, and would not be a vile action or 
tyranny in Him. He rewardeth His believing creatures for 
their acts of obedience by a decision which is of generosity 
and of promise and not of right and of obligation, since no 
particular action toward anyone is incumbent upon Him, and 
tyranny is inconceivable in Him, and no one possesses a right 
against Him. And His right to acts of obedience is binding 
upon the creatures because He has made it binding through 
the tongues of His prophets, not by reason alone. But He 
sent apostles and manifested their truth by plain miracles, 
and fchey brought His commands and forbiddings and promis- 
ings and threatenings. So, belief in them as to what they 
have brought is incumbent upon the creation. 

THE SECOND WOED OF WITNESSING is witnessing that the 
apostolate belongs to the apostle, and that God sent the un- 
lettered Qurayshite prophet, Muhammad, with his apostolate 
to the totality of Arabs and foreigners and Jinn and men. 
And He abrogated by his law the other laws, except so much 
of them as He confirmed ; and made him excellent over the 
rest of the prophets and made him the Lord of Mankind and 
declared incomplete the Faith that consists in witnessing the 
Unity, which is saying, "There is no god except God," so 
long as there is not joined to that a witnessing to the Apostle, 
which is saying, ** Muhammad is the Apostle of God." And 
He made obligatory upon the creation belief in him, as to all 
which he narrated 1 concerning the things of this world and the 
next. And that He would not accept the faith of a creature, 
so long as he did not believe in that which the Prophet nar- 
rated concerning things after death. The first of that is the 
question of Munkar and Nakir ; these are two awful and ter- 
rible beings who will cause the creature to sit up in his grave, 
complete, both soul and body; and they will ask him, "Who 
is thy Lord, and what is thy religion (din), and who is thy 
Prophet ? " They are the two testers in the grave and their 


questioning is the first testing after death. And that he 
should believe in the punishment- of the grave that it is a 
Yerity and that its judgment upon the body and the soul is 
just, according to what God wills. And that he should be- 
lieve in the Balance it with the two scales and the tongue, 
the magnitude of which is like unto the stages of the heavens 
and the earth. In it, deeds are weighed by the power of God 
Most High ; and its weights in that day will be of the weight 
of motes and mustard seeds, to show the exactitude of its jus- 
tice. The leaves of the good deeds will be placed in a beauti- 
ful form in the scale of light ; and then the Balance will be 
weighed down by them according to the measure of their de- 
gree with God, by the grace of God. And the leaves of evil 
deeds will be cast in a vile form into the scale of darkness, 
and the Balance will be light with them, through the justice 
of God. And that he should believe that the Bridge (as-sirat) 
is a Verity ; it is a bridge stretched over the back of Hell 
(jahannam), sharper than a sword and finer than a hair. The 
feet of the unbelievers slip upon it, by the decree of God, 
and fall with them into the Fire. But the feet of believers 
stand firm upon it, by the grace of God, and so they pass into 
the Abiding Abode. And that he should believe in the Tank 
(Jiawd) 9 to which the people shall go down, the Tank of Muh- 
hammad from which the believers shall drink before entering 
the Garden and after passing the Bridge. Whoever drinks 
of it a single draught will never thirst again thereafter. Its 
breadth is a journey of a month ; its water is whiter than milk 
and sweeter than honey ; around it are ewers in numbers like 
the stars of heaven ; into it flow two canals from al-Kawtfiar 
(Qur. 108), And that he should believe in the Beckoning 
and in the distinctions between men in it, him with whom it 
will go hard in the Beckoning and him to whom compas- 
sion will be shown therein, and him who enters the Garden 
without any reckoning, these are the honored (muqarrafi). 
God Most High will ask whomsoever He will of the prophets, 
concerning the carrying of His message, and whomsoever He 
will of the unbelievers, concerning the rejection of the mes- 


sengers ; and. He will ask the innovators (mubtadi's] concern- 
ing the Sunna ; and the Muslims concerning works. And 
that he should believe that the attestors of God's Unity 
(muwahhids) will be brought forth from the Fire, after ven- 
geance has been taken on them, so that there will not remain 
in Hell an attestor of God's Unity. And that he should be- 
lieve in the intercession (sTiafa'a) of the prophets, next of the 
learned (ulama), next of the martyrs, next of the rest of the 
believers each according to his dignity and rank with God 
Most High. And he who remains of the believers, and has no 
intercessor, shall be brought forth of the grace of God, whose 
are Might and Majesty. So there shall not abide eternally in 
the Fire a single believer, but whoever has in his heart the 
weight of a single grain of faith shall be brought forth there- 
from. And that he should confess the excellence of the Com- 
panions May God be well pleased with them ! and their 
rank ; and that the most excellent of mankind, after the 
Prophet, is Abu Bakr, next Umar, next Uthman, next AH 
May God be well pleased with them I And that he should 
think well of all the Companions and should praise them like 
as he praises God, whose are Might and Majesty, and His 
Apostles. All this is of that which has been handed down in 
traditions from the Prophet and in narratives from the follow- 
ers. He who confesses all this, relying upon it, is of the 
People of the Truth and the Company of the Sunna, and hath 
separated himself from the band of error and the sect of 
innovation (bid'a). So we ask from God perfection of cer- 
tainty and firm standing in the Faith (din) for us and for all 
Muslims through His compassion. lo ! He is the Most Com- 
passionate ! and may the blessing of God be upon our luord 
Muhammad and upon every chosen creature. 



[A Mataridite who d. JL.H. 537. This creed is still used as a 
text-book in schools. It is translated from Cureton's edition (Lon- 
don, 1843) with the assistance of at-Taftazani's commentary (Con- 
stantinople, JL.H. 1310). The asterisks mark the points on which 
al-Mataridi differed from al-Ash fi ari.] 

In the name of God, the merciful Compassionator. 

The Shaykh, the Imam, Najm ad-Din Abu Hafs TJmar ibn 
Muhammad ibn Ahmad an-Nasan may God have mercy upon 
him ! said ; The People of Verity, contradicting the Scep- 
tics \Sufistiqiya, i.e., Sophists] say that the real natures of 
things are validly established and that the science of them, is 

Further, that the sources of knowledge for mankind are 
three : the sound Senses, true Narration (klidbar), and,Beason 
(aql). As for the Senses, they are fire: Hearing, Sight, 
Smell, Taste and Touch, and by each sense you are informed 
concerning that for which it is appointed. True Narration, 
again, is of two kinds. The one is Narration handed down 
along a large number of lines of tradition (mutawatir); that 
is, it is established by the tongues of a number of people of 
whom we cannot imagine that they would agree in a lie. It 
compels a knowledge which is of necessity (daruri), suck as 
the knowledge of departed kings in past times and of distant 
countries. And the second is Narration by the Apostle (rasufy 
aided by miracle [i.e., Muhammad], and it compels deduced 
knowledge (istidlali), and the knowledge established by it 
resembles in certainty and fixity the knowledge established 
by necessity. 

Then as for Eeason, it is a cause of knowledge also ; and 
whatever is established by intuition (badahd) is of necessity, 
as the knowledge that everything is greater than its parts ; 
and whatever is established by inference is acquired knowl- 
edge (iktisabi), as the existence of fire from the appearance of 


smoke. And the Inner Light (ilham) with the People of Ver- 
ity is not one of the causes of knowledge as to the soundness 
of anything, f 

Further, the world in the totality of its parts is a thing 
originated (muhdath), in that it consists of Substances (ayns) 
and Attributes (arads). The Substances are what exist in 
themselves, and a substance is either a compound, that is a 
body (jism), or not compounded like an essence (jawJiar\ 
namely a division that is not further divided. And the attri- 
butes are what do not exist in themselves but have a depend- 
ent existence in bodies or essences, such as colors, tastes, 
conditions (Jcawns), odors. 

The Originator (MuhditTi) of the world is God Most High, 
the One, the Eternal, the Decreeing, the Knowing, the Hear- 
ing, the Seeing, the Willing. He is not an attribute, nor a 
body, nor an essence, nor a thing formed, nor a thing bounded, 
nor a thing numbered, nor a thing divided, nor a thing com- 
pounded, nor a thing limited; and He is not described by 
quiddity (mahiya), nor by modality (Jcayfiya), and He does 
not exist in place or time, and there is nothing that resembles 
Him and nothing that is outwith His knowledge and power. 

He has qualities (sifat) from all eternity (azali) existing in 
His essence. They are not He nor are they any other than 
He. They are Knowledge and Power and Life and Strength 
and Hearing and Seeing and Doing and Creating and Sustain- 
ing and Speech (Tcalam). 

And 'He, whose Majesty is majestic, speaks with a Word 
(Jcalam). This Word is a quality from all eternity, not belong- 
ing to the genus of letters and sounds, a quality that is incom- 
patible with coming to silence and that has no weakness. 

God Most High speaks with this Word, commanding and 

f This is not the normal doctrine of Islam and the commentators 
have to explain this passage away. Consult in the chapters on the- 
ology, the whole Sufi development and especially the views of al- 
Ghazzali. Al-Mataridi was greatly influenced by Abu Hanifa, who 
was hostile to mystics. Notice, too, the philosophical basis and 
beginning of this creed. 


prohibiting and narrating. And the Qur'an is the uncreated 
Word of God, repeated by our tongues, heard by onr ears, 
written in our copies, preserved in our hearts, yet not simply 
a transient state (hal] in these [i.e., the tongues, ears, etc.]. 
And Creating (takwin) is a quality of God Most High from all 
eternity, and it is the Creating of the world and of every one 
of its parts at the time of its becoming existent, and this 
quality of Creating is not the thing created, according to our 
opinion.* And Willing is a quality of God Most High from 
all eternity, existing in His essence. 

And that there is a Vision (rrfyd) of God Most High is 
allowed by reason and certified by tradition (naql). A proof 
on authority has come down with the affirmation that believ- 
ers have a Vision of God Most High in Paradise and that He 
is seen, not in a place or in a direction or by facing or the 
joining of glances or the placing of a distance between him 
who sees and God Most High. 

And God Most High is the Creator of all actions of His 
creatures, whether of unbelief or belief, of obedience or of 
rebellion ; all of them are by the will of God and His sen- 
tence and His conclusion and His decreeing. 

And to His creatures belong actions of choice (iTcMyar)^ 
for which they are rewarded or punished, and the good in 
these is by the good pleasure of God (rida) and the vile in 
them is not by His good pleasure.* 

And the ability to do the action (istita'a) goes along with 
the action and is the essence of the power (qudra) by which 
the action takes place, and this word " ability " means the 
soundness of the causes and instruments and limbs. And the 
validity of the imposition of the task (taklif) is based upon 
this ability,* and the creature has not a task imposed upon 
him that is not in his power. 

And the pain which is found in one who is beaten as a con- 
sequence of being beaten by any man, and the state of being 
broken in glass as a consequence of its being broken by any 
man, and such things, all that is created by God Most High, 
and the creature has no part in its creation and a slain man is 


dead because his appointed time (ajal) has come ; and death, 
exists in a slain man and is created by God Most High, and 
the appointed time is one.f 

And that which is forbidden (haram) is still Sustenance 
(rizq), and each one receives his own Sustenance whether it 
consists of permitted or of forbidden things; and let no one 
imagine that a man shall not eat his Sustenance or that an- 
other than he shall eat his Sustenance. 

And God leadeth astray whom He wills and guideth aright 
whom He wills, and it is not incumbent upon God Most High 
to do that which may be best (aslah) for the creature. 

The punishment of the grave for unbelievers and for some 
rebellious ones of the believers, and the bliss of the obedient 
in the grave, and the questioning by Munkar and Nakir are 
established by proofs of authority. And the Quickening of 
the Dead (ba'th) is a Verity, and the Weighing is a Verity, and 
the Book is a Verity and the Tank (hawd) is a Verity, and 
the Bridge, as-lSirat, is a Verity, and^the Garden is a Verity, 
and the Fire is a Verity, and they are both created, existing, 
continuing ; they shall not pass away and their people shall 
not pass away. 

A great sin (TcaMra) does not exclude the creature who be- 
lieves from the Belief (iman) and does not make him an unbe- 
liever. And God does not forgive him who joins another with 
Himself, but He forgives anything beneath that to whom He 
wills, of sins small (sagMra) or great. 

And there may be punishment for a small and pardon for a 
great one, if it be not of the nature of considering lawful what 
is forbidden, for that is unbelief (Jcufr). And the intercession 
(shafa'a) of the Apostles and of the excellent on behalf of 
those who commit great sins is established. 

f A sect of the Mu'tazilites held that a man could have two ajals, 
one Ms end by a natural death appointed by God, the other his end 
by a violent death, not so appointed. The "Philosophers" are 
said to hare held that one ajal would be when the mechanism of the 
body ceased to work through the failing- of its essential moisture 
and heat, and another ajal might come through sicknesses and ac- 
cident generally. 


And those believers who commit great sins do not remain 
eternally in the Fire although they die without repentance. 

Belief (iman) is assent (tasdig) to that which comes from 
God and confession (iqrar) of it. Then, as for Works (amal), 
they are acts of obedience and gradually increase of them- 
selves, but Belief does not increase and does not diminish. 
And Belief and al-Islam are one.* And whenever assent and 
confession are found in a creature, it is right that he should 
say, " I am a believer in truth." And it is not fitting that he 
should say, u I am a believer if God will." * 

The happy one sometimes becomes miserable and the miser- 
able one sometimes becomes happy,* and the changing is in 
happiness and misery, and not in making happy and making 
miserable : for those are both qualities of God Most High, 
and there is no changing in Him nor in His qualities. 

And in the sending of Apostles (rasuls) is an advantage and 
God has sent Apostles of flesh unto flesh with good tidings, 
warning and explaining to men the things of the world and of 
faith, of which they have need. And He has aided them with 
miracles (mu'jizat) which break the order of nature. The first 
of the Prophets (nabis) was Adam and the last is Muhammad, 
Upon both of them be Peace ! A statement of their number 
has been handed down in several traditions, but the more 
fitting course is that there should be no limiting to a num- 
ber in naming them; God Most High has said, "Of them are 
those concerning whom We have recited to thee, and of them 
are those concerning whom We have not recited to thee." 
And there is no security in a statement of number against 
there being entered among them some that are not of them, 
or of there being excluded from them some that are of them. 
They all give intelligence concerning God Most High, are 
veracious and sincere, and the most excellent of the Prophets 
is MuhammadUpon him be Peace ! 

The Angels are servants of God and work according to His 
commands. They are not described as masculine or feminine. 

And God has books which He has revealed to His Prophets, 
and in them are His commands and His promises. 


The Night Journey (mi'raj) of the Apostle of God Upon 
whom be Blessing and Peace ! while awake, in the body, to 
Heaven, then to what place God Most High willed of the 
Exalted Regions, is a Verity. 

The Wonders (kwamat) of the Saints (walls) are a Verity. And 
a Wonder on the part of a Saint appears by way of a contra- 
diction of the ordinary course of nature, such as passing over 
a great distance in a short time, and the appearing of meat and 
drink and clothing at a time of need, and walking upon the 
water and in the air, and the speech of stones and of beasts, 
and the warding off of an evil that is approaching, and the 
guarding of him who is anxious from enemies, and other 
things of the same kind. And such a thing is to be reckoned 
as an evidentiary miracle (mu'jiza) on behalf of the Apostle 
followed by the Saint on whose part the wonder appears. For 
it is evident by it that he is a Saint and he could never be a 
Saint unless he were right in his religion and worship and in 
abiding by the message committed to his Apostle. 

The most excellent of mankind after the Prophets are Abu 
Bakr, the Very Veracious (as-Siddiq), then Umar, the Divider 
(al-Faruq), then Uthman, he of the Two Lights (Dhu-n-Nur- 
ayn), then Ali The good- will of God be upon them ! Their 
Khalifates were in this order, and the Khalifate extended to 
thirty years ; then, thereafter, came kings and princes. 

The Muslims cannot do without a leader (Imam) who shall 
occupy himself with the enforcing of their decisions, and in 
maintaining their boundaries and guarding their frontiers, 
and equipping their armies, and receiving their alms, and 
putting down robberies and thieving and highwaymen, and 
maintaining the Friday services and the Festivals, and remov- 
ing quarrels that fall between creatures, and receiving evi- 
dence bearing on legal claims, and marrying minors, male and 
female, and those who have no guardians, and dividing booty. 
And it is necessary that the leader should be visible, not hid- 
den and expected to appear (muntasar), and that he should be 
of the tribe of Quraysh and not of any other. And he is not 
assigned exclusively to the sons of Hashim nor to the children 


of AH. And it is not a condition that he should be protected 
by God from sin (ismd), nor that he should be the most ex- 
cellent of the people of Ms time, but it is a condition that he 
should have administrative ability, should be a good governor 
and be able to carry out decrees and to guard the restric- 
tive ordinances (hadds) of Islam and to protect the wronged 
against him who wrongs him. And he is not to be deposed 
from the leadership on account of immorality or tyranny. 

Prayer is allowable behind anyone whether pure or a sin- 
ner. And we give the salutation of Peace to the pure and to 
the sinner. 

And we abstain from the mention of the Companions (sahibs) 
of the Prophet except with good. 

And we bear witness that Paradise is for the ten to whom 
the Prophet God bless him and give him Peace ! gave 
good tidings of Paradise (al-asharatu-l~mubashshara), 

And we approve the wiping (mash) of the inner-shoes (kJiuffs) 
both at home and when on a journey. 

And we do not regard naUdh as forbidden. 

And the Saint does not reach the level of the Prophets. 
And the creature does not come to a point where commands 
and prohibitions and the details of the statutes in their out- 
ward sense (zahir) fall away from him ; and the turning aside 
from these to the views which the People of the Inner Mean- 
ing (batin) assert is a deviation (ithad) through unbelief. 

And feeling safe from God is unbelief. And despairing of 
God is unbelief. And rejection of the statutes and contempt 
for the law is unbelief. And believing a diviner (Jcahin) in 
what he tells of the Unseen (ghayb) is unbelief. And what 
does not exist (ma'dwri) is known of God Most High just as 
what exists (mawjud) is known of Him and it [Le. , what does 
not exist] is neither a thing (shay) nor an object of vision 
(mar 1 an). 

And in prayer of the living for the dead, and in alms of- 
fered for them there is an advantage to them. And God Most 
High answers prayers and supplies needs. 

And what the Prophet has reported of the conditions of the 


last day (as-sa'a), of the appearance of ad-Dqjjal and of the 
beast of the earth [cf . Revelations xiii, 11 ff.] and of Yajuj and 
Maguj and the descent of Isa from heaven and the rising of 
the sun in the west, that is verity. 

And the Mujtahids sometimes err and sometimes hit the 
mark. And the Apostles of mankind are more excellent than 
the Apostles of the angels ; and the Apostles of the angels are 
more excellent than the generality of mankind ; and the gen- 
erality of mankind of the true believers is more excellent than 
the generality of the angels. 



[Translated from the Arabic text of Cairo, A.H. 1315, with the 
commentary of al-Bayjuri.] 

In the name of God, the merciful Compassionator. Praise belongeth 
unto God who alone bringeth into existence, and blessing and peace 
be upon our Lord Muhammad, his family and companions, posses- 
sors of beauty and guidance. 

To proceed : The creature who stands in need of the mercy 
of his exalted Lord, Muhammad ibn ash-Shafi'i al-Eudali 
says : One of the brethren asked me that I should compose a 
tractate on the divine unity (tawhid), and I agreed to that, 
following the example of the most learned Shaykh, as-Sanusi, 
[d. 895,] in the establishing of proofs, except that I adduced 
each proof (dalil) in connection with the doctrine that was to be 
proved, and added to it an exposition on account of my knowl- 
edge of the limitations of that student. So, in the ascription 
of praise to God Most High, it became a tractate, useful and 
excellent for the establishing of that which is in it. And I 


(kalam). And I pray God Most High that He will make it 


useful, for He is my sufficiency, and excellent is the Guar- 

Know that it is incumbent upon every Muslim that he 
should know fifty articles of belief (aqidas), and for each 
article that he should know a proof, general (ijmali} or de- 
tailed (tafsili). Some say that it is required that he should 
know a detailed proof, but the common opinion is that a gen- 
eral proof suffices for each article of the fifty. An example of 
a 1 detailed proof is when someone says, " What is the proof 
of the existence (wujud) of God ? " that the answer should be, 
"These created things." That the asker should then say, 
"Do the created things prove the existence of God on the 
side of their possibility or on the side of their existence after 
non-existence (adam) ? " and that his question should be an- 
swered. And if the further question is not answered, but the 
only answer is, " These created things," and the answerer does 
not know whether it is on the side of their possibility or of 
their existence after non-existence, then the proof is said to 
be general ; but it is sufficient according to the common posi- 
tion. And with regard to taqlid (blind acceptance), which is 
that fifty articles are known but no proof of them is known, 
either general or detailed, the learned differ. Some say that it 
does not suffice, and that the mukallad (blind accepter) is an un- 
believer (kafir). Ibn al-Arabi [d, 5d3] held this and as-Sanusi, 
and the latter gave in his commentary on his Jcubra a lengthy 
refutation of those who hold that taqlid is sufficient. Yet there 
is a report that he retired from this position, and acknowl- 
edged the sufficiency of taqlid; hut I have never seen in his 
books anything but the opinion that it does not suffice. 


Know that an understanding of the fifty following articles 
must be based upon three things the necessary (wajib), the 
impossible (mustaMl), and the possible (jcfiz). The necessary 
is that the non-existence of which cannot be apprehended by 
the intellect (aql), that is, the intellect cannot affirm its 


non-existence, as boundary to a body (jirm), i.e., its taking up 
a certain measure of space (faragh). An example of a body 
is a tree or a stone. Then, whenever a person says to you, 
that a tree, for example, does not take up room (mahatt) 
in the earth, your intellect cannot affirm that, for its taking 
up room is a necessary thing, the absence of which your intel- 
lect cannot affirm. The impossible is that the existence of 
which cannot be apprehended ; that is, the intellect cannot 
affirm its existence. Then, whenever anyone says that such a 
body is bare of motion and rest at the same time, your intel- 
lect cannot affirm that, because being bare of motion and rest 
at the same time is an impossibility, the occurrence and ex- 
istence of which the intellect cannot affirm, and whenever it 
is said that weakness (ajz) is impossible in God, the meaning 
is that the occurrence or existence of weakness in God is un- 
thinkable. So, too, with the other impossibilities. And the 
possible is that the existence of which at one time, and the 
non-existence at another, the intellect can affirm, as the ex- 
istence of a child of Zayd's. When, then, someone says that 
Zayd has a child, your intellect acknowledges the possibility of 
the truth of that ; and whenever he says that Zayd has no child, 
your intellect acknowledges the possibility of the truth of that. 
So the existence and the non-existence of a child of Zayd 
is possible ; the intellect can believe in its existence or in its 
non-existence. And whenever it is said that God's sustaining 
Zayd with a dinar is a possibility, the meaning is that the intel- 
lect assents to the existence of that sustaining (rizq) at one 
time and to its non-existence at another, 

On these three distinctions, then, is based the science of 
the articles of belief ; and these three are necessary for every 
mukallaf [one who has a task imposed upon him ; in this case 
of religious duty], male and female, for that upon which the 
necessary is based is necessary. The Imam al-Haramayn (d. 
478) even held that an understanding of these three consti- 
tuted reason itself and that he who did not know the meaning 
of necessary, impossible and possible, was not a reasoning 
being. So, whenever it is said here that Power is necessary 


(wajib) in God, the meaning is that the intellect cannot affirm 
its non-existence, because the necessary is that the non-exist- 
ence of which the intellect cannot affirm, as has preceded. 
But necessary (wajib, incumbent) in the sense of that the not 
doing of which is punished, is an idea which does not enter 
into the science of the divine Unity. So, do not let the mat- 
ter be confused for you. It is true that if one says that belief 
in the Power of God is incumbent (wajib) on the mukallaf, 
the meaning is that he is rewarded for that and punished for 
omitting that. Thus there is a distinction between saying 
that belief in such and such is incumbent and that the knowl- 
edge, for example, is necessary. For when it is said that 
knowledge is necessary in God, the meaning is that the intel- 
lect cannot affirm the non-existence of knowledge in God. 
But when it is said that belief in that knowledge is incum- 
bent, the meaning is that belief in it is rewarded and lack of 
belief punished. So, apply thyself to the distinction between 
the two and be not of those who regard taqlid in the articles 
of Eeligion as right, that so your faith (iman) should differ 
from the truth and you should abide in the Fire, according 
to those who hold that taqlid does not suffice. As-Sanusi 
said, "A person is not a Believer when he says, i I hold by 
the Articles and will not abandon them though I be cut in 
pieces ; ' nay, he is not a Believer until he knows each Article 
of the fifty, along with its proof." And this science of theol- 
ogy must be studied first of all sciences, as may be gathered 
from the commentary [by at-Taftazani, d. 791] on as-Sanusf s 
Ar tides; for he made this science a foundation on which 
other things are built. So a judgment as to anyone's cere- 
monial ablution (wudu) or prayer is not valid unless the per- 
son in question knows these articles or, on the other hand, 
holds them without proof. 

Now, let us state to you the fifty articles shortly, before 
stating them in detail. Know, then, that twenty qualities 
are necessary in God Most High, that twenty are impossible 
in Him and that one is possible. This makes up forty-one. 


And in the case of the Apostles, four qualities are necessary, 
four impossible and one possible. This makes up the fifty. 
And there shall come an accurate account of doctrines along 
with the statement of them, if it be the will of God Most 

The first of the qualities necessary in God is existence (wu- 
jud) ; and there is a difference of opinion as to its meaning. 
All except the Iraam al-Ash'ari and his followers hold that 
existence is the state (hal) necessary to the essence so long as 
the essence abides; and this state has no cause (ilia). And 
the meaning of it being a state is that it does not attain to 
the degree of an entity (mawjud) and does not fall to the 
degree of a non-entity (ma'dum), so that it should be non- 
existence pure, but is half way between an entity and a non- 
entity. So the existence of Zayd, for example, is a state 
necessary to his essence ; that is, it cannot be separated from 
his essence. And when 'it is said that it has no cause, the 
meaning is that it does not originate in anything, as opposed 
to Zayd's potentiality (qadir y powerful), for example,, which 
originates in his power (qudra). So Zayd's potentiality and 
his existence are two states which subsist in his essence, un- 
perceived by any of the five senses ; only, the first has a cause 
in which it originates, and it is power, and the second has no 
cause. This is the description of a personal state (hal nafsi) 
and every state subsisting in an essence, without a cause, is a 
personal quality (sifa nafsiya). It is that without which the 
essence is unthinkable ; that is, the essence cannot be appre- 
hended by the intellect and comprehended except through its 
personal quality, like limitation for a body. For, if you ap- 
prehend and comprehend a body, you have comprehended 
that it is limited. So, according to this doctrine that exist- 
ence is a state the essence of God is not His existence and 
the essences of the created things are not their existences. 
But al-Ash c ari and his followers hold that existence is the 
self (ayri) of an entity, and according to their view the exist- 
tence of God is the self of His essence and not an addition to 
it externally, and the existence of a created thing is the self 


of its essence. And, on this view, it is not clear how exist- 
ence can "be reckoned as a quality, because existence is the 
self of the essence, and a quality, on the other hand, as we 
have seen already, is something else than the essence. But if 
he makes existence a quality, then the thing is plain and the 
meaning that existence is necessary in God, according to the 
first view, is that the personal quality is a state established 
in God; and its meaning, on the second view, is that the 
essence of God is an entity with external reality, so that if the 
veil were removed from us we would see it. The essence of 
God, then, is a reality ; only, its existence is something else 
than it, on the one view, and is it, on the other. 

And the proof of the existence of God is the origin (huduth) 
of the world ; that is, its existence after non-existence. The 
world consists of bodies (jirms) like essences ; and accidents 
(arads) like motion, and rest and colors. And the origin of 
the world is a proof of the existence of God only because it is 
not sound reasoning that it should originate through itself 
without someone bringing it into existence. Before it ex- 
isted, its existence equalled its non-existence ; then, when it 
entered existence and its non-existence ceased, we know that 
its existence overbalanced its non-existence. But this exist- 
ence had previously equalled the non-existence ; and it is not 
sound reasoning that it could overbalance the non-existence 
through itself ; so that it is clear that there must have been 
one who caused the overbalancing, other than itself, and it 
is He that brought it into existence ; for it is impossible that 
one of two equal things could overbalance the other without 
an overbalancer. For example, before Zayd exists it is pos- 
sible that he may come into existence in such and such a 
year and also that he may remain in non-existence. So, his 
existence is equal to his non-existence. So, then, when he exists 
and his non-existence ceases, in the time in which he exists, 
we know that his existence is by a bringer-into- existence and 
not through himself. The proof, in short, is that you say : 
The world, consisting of bodies and accidents, is a thing 
originated (hadith), i.e., an entity after non-existence. And 

AlrFtJDALI 321 

every originated thing cannot help but have an originator 
(muhdifh]. Therefore, the world must have had an originator. 

This is what can be gained by an intellectual proof. But 
as for the Originator being named by the Glorious and Lofty 
Expression [i.e., Allah, God] or the other Names (aswa), 
knowledge of that is to be gained from the Prophets only. 
So note this point carefully and also the proof which has pre- 
ceded, that the originating of the world is a proof of the ex- 
istence of Him Most High. 

But as for the proof that the world has had an origin, know 
that the world consists of bodies and accidents only, as has 
preceded. And the accidents, like motion and rest, are orig- 
inated, because you observe their changing from existence to 
non-existence and from non-existence to existence. You see 
it is so in the motion of Zayd. His motion is lacking if he is 
at rest ; and his rest is lacking if he is in motion. Then Ms 
rest, which comes after his motion, exists after that it has 
been lacking through motion ; and his motion, which comes 
after his rest, exists after that it has been lacking through his 
rest. And existence after non-existence means having an 
origin. And bodies are inseparable from attributes, because 
they are never free from either motion or rest. And whatever 
is inseparable from a thing having origin must have origin ; 
i.e., must be an entity after non-existence. So, the bodies are 
originated also, like the attributes. The proof, in short, is 
that you say : Bodies are inseparable from attributes and these 
have an origin ; everything that is inseparable from that which 
has an origin, itself has an origin ; therefore, bodies have an 
origin. And the origin of the two things bodies and attri- 
butes that is their existence after non-existence, is a proof of 
the existence of Him Most High, because everything having 
an origin must have an originator, and there is no originator 
of the world save God Most High alone, who has no partner 
(sharik) as shall be shown in the proof of His Unity. This, 
then, is the general proof, a knowledge of which is incumbent 
upon every muTcallaf, male and female, according to the opinion 
of Ibn al-Arabi and as-Sanusi, who hold those who do not 


know it to be unbelievers. So, "beware lest there be a con- 
tradiction in jour faith. 

The second Quality necessary in God is Priority (qidam) ; 
its meaning is lack of beginning. And the meaning of God's 
being Prior (qadim) is that there was no beginning to His ex- 
istence, as opposed to Zayd ; for example. Zayd's existence 
had a beginning and it was the creation from the drop from 
which he was created. And there is a difference of opinion 
whether Prior and Azali (eternal with respect to past time) 
mean the same or not. Those who hold that they mean the 
same, define them as that which has no beginning, and ex- 
plain "that which" by thing (shay). That is, prior and 
azali are the thing which has no beginning ; so the essence of 
God and His qualities are included. And those who hold 
that their meaning is different define prior as the entity which 
had no beginning and azali as that which had no beginning, 
covering thus both entity and nonentity, So azali is broader 
than prior, but they both come together in the essence of God 
and His existential qualities. The essence of God is azali 
and His Power (qudra) is azali. But only azali is said of the 
states (hah) like God's being powerful, in accordance with the 
doctrine of the states. For God's being powerful is called 
azali, in accordance with that doctrine, and is not called prior, 
because in prior there must be existence, and " being power- 
ful " does not rise to the level of existence [to being an entity], 
but is only a state (hal). 

And the proof of God's Priority is that if He were not Prior 
He would be a thing originated (hadith), because there is no 
medium between the prior and the thing originated ; to every- 
thing of which priority is denied, origin belongs. But if God 
were a thing originated, He would need an originator, and His 
originator would need an originator, and so on. Then, if the 
originators did not coincide, there would be the Endless 
Chain (tasalsul), that is a sequence of things, one after another 
to infinity ; and the Endless Chain is impossible. And if the 
series of originators comes to an end by it being said that the 
originator of God was originated by Him, then we have the 

AL-FUDALl 323 

Oircle (dawr) and it is that one thing depends on another thing 
which again depends on the first. For if God had an orig- 
inator, He would depend on this originator ; but the hypoth- 
esis is that God originated this originator and so the orig- 
inator depends on Him. But the Circle is impossible ; that 
is, its existence is unthinkable. And that which leads to the 
Circle and to the Chain, both being impossible, involves the 
originating of God. So, the originating of God is impossible ; 
for what involves an impossibility is impossible. The proof, 
in short, is that you say, "If God were other than Prior, 
through being a thing originated, He would have need of an 
originator. Then the Circle or the Chain would be unavoid- 
able ; but they are both impossible. So, the originating of 
God is impossible and His Priority is established ; and that is 
what has been sought." This is the general proof of the 
Priority of God, and by it the mukallaf escapes from the noose 
of taqlid, the remainer in which will abide eternally in the 
Fire, according to the opinion of Ibn al-Arabi and as-Sanusi, 
as has preceded. 

The third Quality necessary in God is Continuance (baqa). 
The meaning of it is lack of termination of the existence ; and 
the meaning of God's being continuing is that there is no end 
to His existence. And the proof of God's continuance is that 
if it were possible that any lack could be joined to Him, then 
He would be a thing originated and would need an originator 
and then the Circle or the Chain "would necessarily follow. A 
definition of each one of these two has preceded in the proof 
of Priority and in the explanation that to a thing with which 
non-existence is possible, priority must be denied. For the 
existence of everyone to whom non-existence is joined is pos- 
sible, and everything whose existence is possible is a thing 
originated, and everything originated requires an originator. 
But Priority has been established for God by the preced- 
ing proof, and non-existence is impossible for everything for 
which Priority has been established. So the proof of Con- 
tinuance in God is the same as the proof of Priority. That 
proof, in short, is that you say, " If Continuance is not neces- 


sary in Him, then Priority must be negated of Him. But 
Priority cannot be negated on account of the preceding proof." 
This is the general proof of Continuance, a knowledge of 
which is incumbent on every individual. And similarly a 
knowledge of every article is necessary and of its general 
proof. Then, if some of the articles are known with their 
proofs, and the rest are not known with their proofs, that is 
not sufficient according to the opinion of those who do not 
regard taqlid as sufficient. 

The fourth Quality necessary in God is difference (mu- 
TcJialafa) from originated things. That is, from created things 
(maTcUuqal), for God is different from every created thing, 
men, Jinn, angels and the rest ; and it is not good that He 
should be described with the descriptions which apply to cre- 
ated things, as walking, sitting, having members of the body, 
for He is far removed (munazzah) from members of the body, as 
mouth, eye, ear and the like. Then, from everything that is 
in your mind of length and breadth and shortness and fat- 
ness, God is different ; He has removed Himself far from all 
descriptions which apply to the creation. And the proof of 
the necessity of this difference in God is that if any originated 
thing resembled Him, that is, if it were laid down that God 
could be described with any of the things with which an 
originated thing is described, then He would be an originated 
thing. And if God were an originated thing, then He would 
need an originator, and His originator, another originator, 
and so we would come necessarily to the circle or the chain, 
and both of these are impossible. This proof, in short, is 
that you say, " If God resembles a created thing in anything, 
He is an originated thing, because what is possible in one of 
two things resembling each other, is possible in the other. 
But that God should be originated is impossible, for priority 
is necessary in Him. And when being originated is denied 
in Him, His difference from created things stands fast and 
there is absolutely no resemblance between Him and the 
originated things. This is the general proof, the knowledge 
of which is necessary, as has preceded. 


The fifth Quality necessary in God is self -subsistence (qiyam 
bin-nafs}* That is in the essence ; and its meaning is that 
there is independence of a locus (mahall, subject) and a speci- 
fier (muJchassis). The locus is the essence and the specifier is 
the bringer-into-existence (mujid) ; then the meaning of God's 
subsisting in Himself is that He is independent of an essence 
in which He may subsist, or of a bringer-into-existence ; for 
He is the bringer-into-existence of all things. The proof that 
He subsists in Himself is that yon say, "If God had need of a 
locus, that is an essence, in which He might subsist, as white- 
ness has need of an essence in which it may subsist, He would 
be a quality, as whiteness, for example, is a quality. But it 
it is not sound to say of Him that He is a quality, for He is 
described by qualities, and a quality is not described by qual- 
ities, so He is not a quality. And if He had need of a bringer- 
into-existence, He would be an originated thing, and His 
originator would be an originated thing also, and the Circle 
or the Chain would necessarily follow. Then it stands fast 
that He is the absolutely independent, that is, He is inde- 
pendent of everything. But the created thing that is inde- 
pendent is independent in a limited sense only ; that is, of one 
thing in place of another. And may God rule thy guidance. 

The sixth Quality in God is Unity (wihdaniya). It is unity in 
essence and qualities and acts in the sense of absence of mul- 
tiplicity. And the meaning of God's being one in His es- 
sence is that His essence is not compounded of parts, and this 
compounding is called internal quantity (Jcamm muttasil). 
And in the sense that there is not in existence or in possibil- 
ity an essence which resembles the essence of God, this im- 
possibility of resemblance is called external quantity (kamm 
munfasil). The unity, then, in the essence denies both quan- 
tities, external and internal. And the meaning of God's One- 
ness in qualities is that He has not two qualities agreeing in 
name and meaning, like two Powers, or two Knowledges or 
two Wills for He has only one Power and one Will and one 
Knowledge, in opposition to Abu Sahl, who held that He had 
knowledges to the number of the things known. And this, I 


mean multiplicity in qualities, is called internal quantity in 
qualities. Or the sense is, that no one has a quality resembling 
a quality of God. And this, I mean anyone possessing a qual- 
ity, etc., is called external quantity in qualities. Oneness, 
then, in qualities, negates quantity in them, internal and ex- 
ternal. And the meaning of God's Oneness in acts is that no 
created thing possesses an act, for God is the creator of the 
acts of created things, prophets, angels and the rest. And as 
for what happens when an individual dies or falls into pain 
on opposing himself to a saint (wali), that is by the creation of 
God, who creates it when the saint is angry with the man who 
opposes him. Do not then explain Oneness in acts by saying 
that no other than G-od has an act like God's act, for that in- 
volves that some other than God has an act, but that it is not 
like the act of God. That is false. God it is who is the cre- 
ator of all acts. What comes from you by way of movement 
of the hand, when you strike Zayd, for example, is by the 
creation of God. He has said (Qur. 37, 99), " God created 
you, and what do ye do ? " And another than God being 
possessor of an act is called external quantity in acts. 

So the unity necessary in God denies the five impossible 
quantities. Internal quantity in the essence makes the essence 
a compound of parts ; external quantity means that there is 
an essence which resembles it. Internal quantity in the qual- 
ities is that God has two Powers, for example; external 
quantity in them means that someone else has a quality which 
resembles one of His qualities. External quantity in acts 
means that some other than God possesses an act. These five 
quantities deny the unity necessary in God. The meaning of 
quantity is number (adad). 

The proof that Unity is necessary in God is the existence of 
the world. If God had a partner (sharik) in divinity (uluJiiya), 
the case could not be in doubt. Either they would agree on 
the existence of the world, in that one of them would say, 
"I will cause the world to exist," and the other would say, " I 
will cause it to exist along with thee, that we may help one 
another in it." Or they would disagree, and one of them 


would say, " I will cause the world to exist by my power," 
and the other, "I will that the existence be lacking." Then, 
if they agreed upon the existence of the world in that both of 
them together caused it to exist, and it existed through their 
action, that would necessarily involve the coincidence of two 
impressors upon one impression, which is impossible. And 
if they disagreed, it is plain that the will of one either would 
be carried out or it would not be carried out. If the will of 
one, rather than the other, is carried out, then the other 
whose will is not carried out must be weaker. But our hy- 
pothesis was that he was equal in divinity to the one whose 
will was carried out. So whenever weakness is established 
in the case of the one, it is established in the case of the 
other, for he is like the other. And if the wills of both are 
not carried out, they are both weak. And upon every alterna- 
tive, that they agree or differ, the existence of a single thing 
of the world is impossible ; because if they agree on its ex- 
istence, there necessarily follows the coincidence of two im- 
pressors upon one impression if their will is carried out, and 
that is impossible. So the carrying out of their will is not 
affected, and it is not possible that a single thing of the world 
should come into existence then. And if they disagree and 
the will of one of them is carried out, the other is weak. But 
he is his like. So it is not possible that there should come 
into existence a single thing of this world, for he is weak. 
So the God is not except one. And if they differ and their 
will is not carried out, they are weak and not able to cause the 
existence of a thing of the world. But the world exists, by 
common witness (mushahada). So it stands fast that the G-od 
is one ; and that was what was sought. So the existence of 
the world is proof of the Unity of God and that He has no 
partner in any act, and no second cause in an action. He is 
the independent (al-Gliani], the absolutely independent. 

And from this proof it may be known that there is no im- 
pression, by fire or a knife or eating, upon anything, consist- 
ing of burning or cutting or satiety, but God makes the being 
burnt in a thing which fire touches, when it touches it, and 


being cut in a thing with which a knife is brought into con- 
tact, when it is brought into contact with it, and satiety at 
eating and satisfaction at drinking. And he who holds that 
fire burns by its nature (tab), and water satisfies by its nat- 
ure, and so on, is an unbeliever Qcafir) by agreement (yma). 
And he who holds that it burns by a power (quwa) created in 
it by God, is ignorant and corrupt, because he knows not the 
true nature (Jiaqiqa) of Unity. 

This is the general proof a knowledge of which is incum- 
bent upon every individual, male and female : and he who 
knows it not is an unbeliever, according to as-Sanusi and al- 
Axabi. And may God rule thy guidance. - 

And Priority and Continuance and Difference from originated 
things and Self-Subsistence and Unity are negative qualities 
(sifat salabiya), that is, their meaning is negation and exclu- 
sion, for each of them excludes from God what does not be- 
seem Him. 

The seventh Quality necessary in God is Power (qudra). It 
is a quality which makes an impression on a thing that is ca- 
pable of existence or non-existence. So it comes into connec- 
tion (ta'allaqa) with a non-entity and makes it an entity, as it 
came into connection with you before you existed. And it 
comes into connection with an entity and reduces it to a non- 
entity, as it comes into contact with a body which God desires 
should become a non-entity, that is, a not-thing (la shay). 
This connection is called accomplished (tawjizi) in the sense 
that it is actual (bil-ftty, and this accomplished connec- 
tion is a thing that takes place (Jiadifh). But this quality has 
also an eternal, potential connection (saluki qadim), and it is 
its potentiality from eternity of bringing into existence. It is 
potential in eternity to make Zayd tall or short or broad, or 
give him knowledge ; but its accomplished connection is con- 
ditioned by the state in which Zayd is. So it has two connec- 
tions ; one eternal, potential, wbich has been described, and 
one accomplished, happening. The last is its connection with 
a non-entity, when it makes it an entity ; and with an entity, 
when it makes it a non-entity. And this, I mean its connection 


with an entity or a non-entity, is a real (haqiqi) connection. 
But it has also a figurative (mqjazi) connection. That is, its 
connection with an entity after it has become so and before it 
has become a non-entity, as it is connected with us after we 
hare come to exist and before we have ceased to exist. It is 
called the connection of grasping (ta'alluqu-l-qabdati] in the 
sense that the entity is in the grasp (qabda) of the Power of 
God, If God will, He makes it remain an entity ; and if He 
will, He reduces it to non- entity. And its connection with 
the non-entity before that God wills its existence is like its 
connection with Zayd at the time of the Flood (tufan), for ex- 
ample ; it also is a connection of grasping in the sense that 
the non -entity is in the grasp of the Power of God. If God 
wills, He makes it remain in non-existence, and if He wills, 
He brings it out into existence. And similar is its connection 
with us after our death and before the resurrection (ba'tty. 
It, too, is called a connection of grasping in the sense of what 
has preceded. So the quality of Power has seven connec- 
tions : (1) eternal, (2) connection of grasping (that is, its con- 
nection with us before God wills our existence), (3) actual con- 
nection (that is, God's bringing the thing into existence), 

(4) connection of grasping (that is, connection with a thing 
after existence and before God has willed non-existence), 

(5) actual connection (that is, God's making a thing a non-en- 
tity), (6) connection of grasping after non-existence and before 
the resurrection, (7) actual connection (that is, God's making 
us exist on the day of resurrection). 

But the real connections of these are two ; God's bringing 
into existence and bringing into non-existence. This is a 
detailed statement ; and a general statement would be that 
God's Power has two connections as is commonly accepted 
a potential and an accomplished ; but the accomplished is 
limited to actual bringing into existence and non-existence. 
And the connection of grasping is not to be described as 
accomplished, nor as eternal. And what has preceded about 
this quality connecting with existence and non-existence is 
the opinion of the multitude on the subject. But some hold 


that it does not connect with non-existence ; that whenever 
God desires the non-existence of an individual, He takes away 
from him the aids (imdadat) which are the cause of his con- 

The eighth Quality necessary in God is Will (irada). It is 
the quality which specifies the possible with one of the things 
possible to it. For example, tallness and shortness are pos- 
sible to Zayd ; then Will specifies him with one, tallness, 
say. Power brings tallness out of non-existence into exist- 
ence. So Will specifies and Power brings out. And the 
possibilities (mumkinat) with which Power and Will connect 
are six : (1) existence, (2) non-existence, (3) qualities, like 
tallness and shortness, (4) times, (5) places, (6) directions. 

And the possibilities are called "the mutual opposers" 
(mutaqabilat), existence opposes non-existence and tallness 
opposes shortness and direction upward opposes direction 
downward, and one place, like Egypt, opposes another place, 
like Syria. And this, in short, means that it is possible in 
the case of Zayd, for example, that he should remain in non- 
existence and also that ho should enter existence at this time. 
Then, whenever he enters existence, Will has specified exist- 
ence instead of non-existence, and Power has brought out 
existence. And it would have been possible that he might 
have entered existence at the time of the Flood (tufan) or at 
some other time ; so that which specifies his existence at this 
time instead of any other is Will. And it is possible that he 
should be tall or short ; then that which specifies his tallness 
instead of shortness is Will, And it is possible that he should 
be in the direction upward, then that which specifies him in 
the direction downward is Will. And Power and Will are 
two qualities subsisting in God's essence two entities ; if the 
veil were removed from us we could see them. They have 
connection with the possible only ; but none with the impos- 
sible, such as a partner for God. He is far removed from 
that ! Nor with the necessary, like the essence of God and 
His qualities. Ignorance is the saying of those who hold 
that God has power to take a son (walad) ; for Power has no 


connection with the impossible and taking a son is impossible. 
But it should not be said that because He has no power to 
take a son, He is therefore weak. We say that weakness 
would follow only if the impossible were of that which is 
allotted to Power. But Power has not been connected with 
that, seeing that nothing is allotted to it except the possible. 
And Will has two connections, one eternally potential, and it 
is its potentiality to specify from all eternity. So, in the case 
of the tall or the short Zayd, it is possible that he might be 
otherwise than what he is, so far as relationship to the poten- 
tiality of Will is concerned. For Will is potential that Zayd 
should be a Sultan or a scavenger, so far as the potential 
connection is concerned. And "Will has also an eternal ac- 
complished connection, and it is the specifying by God of a 
thing with a quality which it possesses. So God specified 
Zayd from all eternity by His Will with the knowledge that 
he possesses. And his being specified with knowledge, for 
example, is eternal and is called an eternal accomplished con- 
nection. And the potentiality of Will to specify him with 
knowledge, etc., in relationship to the essence of Will, cut- 
ting off all consideration of actual specifying, is called an 
eternal potential connection. And some say that Will has also 
a temporal, accomplished connection. It is, for example, the 
specifying of Zayd with tallness, when he is actually brought 
into existence. According to this view, Will has three con- 
nections ; but the truth is that this third is not a connection 
but is the making manifest of the eternal, accomplished con- 

And the connection of Power and Will is common to every 
possible thing to the extent that the affections of the mind 
(khatarat) which arise in the mind of an individual are speci- 
fied by the Will of God and created by His Power as the 
Shaykh al-Malawi [Ahmad al-Malawi, d. 1181] has said in 
some of his books. But know that the attributing of specify- 
ing to Will and of bringing out into existence to Power is 
only metaphorical ; for the true specifier is God by His Will 
and the true producer and bringer-into-existence is God by 


His Power. Then, in the case of the saying of the common 
people that Power does such and such to so and so, if it is 
meant that the doing belongs to Power actually, or to it and 
to the essence of God, that is unbelief (kufr). Bather, the 
doing belongs to the essence of God by His Power. 

The ninth Quality necessary in God is Knowledge (Urn). 
It is an eternal quality subsisting in the essence of God, an 
entity by which what is known is revealed with a revealing of 
the nature of complete comprehension (ihato), without any 
concealment having preceded. It is connected with the 
necessary, the possible and the impossible. He knows His 
own essence aud qualities by His Knowledge . And He knows 
impossibilities in the sense that He knows that a partner is 
impossible to Him and that, if one existed, corruption would 
accrue from it. And Knowledge has an eternal, accomplished 
connection only. For God knows these things that have been 
mentioned from all eternity with a complete knowledge that 
is not by way of opinion (zann) or doubt (sha,Jck) ; because 
opinion and doubt are impossibilities in God. And the mean- 
ing of the saying, "without any concealment having pre- 
ceded," is that He knows things eternally ; He is not first 
ignorant of them and then knowing them. But an origi- 
nated being (Tiadifh) is ignorant of a thing and then knows it. 
And God's Knowledge has no potential connection in the sense 
that there is a potentiality that such and such should be 
revealed by it, because that involves that the thing in ques- 
tion has not been actually revealed, and lack of actual reveal- 
ing of it is ignorance, 

The tenth Quality necessary in God is Life (hayak). It is 
a quality which in him in whom it subsists validates percep- 
tion, as knowledge and hearing and seeing : that is, it is valid 
that he should be described therewith. But being character- 
ized by actual perception does not necessarily follow from 
possessing the quality, Life. And it is not connected with 
anything, entity or non-entity. 

The proof that Knowledge and Power and Will and Life 
are necessary is the existence of the created things. Because* 


if any one of these four is denied, why does the created world 
exist? So, since the created things exist, we know that God 
is to be described by these qualities. And the reason of the 
existence of the created things depending on these four is 
this. He who makes a thing does not make it except when 
he knows the thing. Then he wills the thing which he would 
make and, after his willing, he busies himself with making it 
by his power. Further, it is known that the maker cannot 
but be living. And Knowledge and Will and Power are 
called qualities of impression (sifat at-tcihir\ for making an 
impression depends upon them. Because he who wills a 
thing must have knowledge of it before he aims at it ; then, 
after he has aimed at it, he busies himself with doing it. For 
example, when there is something in your house and you 
wish to take it, your knowledge precedes your wish to take 
it, and after your wish to take it, you take it actually. The 
connection of these qualities, then, is in a certain order, in 
the case of an originated being ; first comes the knowledge of 
the thing, then the aiming at it, then the doing. But in the 
case of God, on the other hand, there is no sequence in His 
qualities, except in our comprehension ; in that, Knowledge 
comes first, then Will, then Power. But as for the making 
of an impression externally, there is no sequence in the qual- 
ities of God. It is not said that Knowledge comes into 
actual connection, then Will, then Power; because all that 
belongs to originated beings. Order is only according to our 
comprehensions . 

The eleventh and twelfth Qualities of God are Hearing 
(sam) and Seeing (basar). These are two qualities subsisting 
in the essence of God and connected with every entity ; that 
is, by them is revealed every entity, necessary or possible. 
And Hearing and Seeing are connected with the essence of 
God and His qualities*; that is, His essence and qualities are 
revealed to Him by His Seeing and Hearing, besides the re- 
vealing of His Knowledge. And God hears the essences of 
Zayd and Amr and a wall and He sees them. And He hears 
the sound of the possessor of a sound and He sees it, that is 


the sound. Then, if you say, " Hearing a sound is plain, but 
hearing the essence of Zayd and the essence of a wall is not 
plain; so, too, the connection of seeing with sounds, for 
sounds are heard only," we reply, " Belief in this is incum- 
bent upon us because these two qualities are connected with 
every entity ; but the how ( kayfiya) of the connection is un- 
known to us. God hears the essence of Zayd, but we do not 
know how hearing is connected with that essence. And it is 
not meant that He hears the walking of the essence of Zayd, 
for the hearing of his walking enters into the hearing of all 
the sounds (sawt), but what is meant is that He hears the 
essence of Zayd and his body (juthtto), besides hearing his 
walking. But we do not know how the hearing of God is 
connected with the person (nafs) of the essence. This is what 
is binding upon every individual, male and female Our trust 
is in God ! 

The proof of Hearing and Seeing is the saying of God that 
He is a Hearer and Seer, And know that the connection of 
Hearing and Seeing in relation to originated things is an 
eternal, potential connection before the existence of these, 
and after their existence it is a temporal, accomplished con- 
nection. That is, after their existence, they are revealed to 
God by His Hearing and Seeing besides the revealing of His 
Knowledge. So they have two connections. And in relation 
to God and His qualities, the connection is eternal, accom- 
plished, in the sense that His essence and His qualities are 
revealed to Him from all eternity through His Hearing and 
Seeing. So, God hears His essence and all His existential qual- 
ities [all except the states and the negative qualities], Power, 
Hearing, and all the rest ; but we do not know how the con- 
nection is, and He sees His essence and His qualities of ex- 
istence, Power, Seeing and the rest, but again we do not 
know how the connection is. The preceding statement that 
Hearing and Seeing are connected with every entity is the 
opinion of as-Sanusi and those who follow him ; it is the 
preponderating one. But it is said, also, that Hearing is 
only connected with sounds and Seeing with objects of vision. 


And God's Hearing is not with ear or ear-hole, and His Seeing 
is not with eyeball or eyelid. 

The thirteenth Quality of God is Speech (Jcalam). It is an 
eternal quality, subsisting in God's essence, not a word or 
sound, and far removed from order of preceding and follow- 
ing, from inflection and structure, opposed to the speech of 
originated beings. And by the Speech that is necessary to God 
is not meant the Glorious Expressions (lafz) revealed to the 
Prophet, because these are originated and the quality that 
subsists in the essence of God is eternal. And these embrace 
preceding and following, inflection and chapters and verses ; 
but the eternal quality is bare of all these things. It has no 
verses or chapters or inflections, because such belong to the 
speech which embraces letters and sounds, and the eternal 
quality is far removed from letters and sounds, as has pre- 
ceded. And those Glorious Expressions are not a guide to 
the eternal quality in the sense that the eternal quality can 
be understood from them. What is understood from these 
expressions equals what would be understood from the eternal 
quality if the veil were removed from us and we could hear 
it. In short, these expressions are a guide to its meaning, 
and this meaning equals what would be understood from the 
eternal Speech which subsists in the essence of God. So medi- 
tate this distinction, for many have erred in it. And both 
the Glorious Expressions and the eternal quality are called 
Qur'an and the Word (Jcalam) of God. But the Glorious Ex- 
pressions are created and written on the Preserved Tablet 
(al-lawli-al-maJifuz} ; Jibril brought them down [i.e., revealed 
them] to the Prophet after that they had been brought down 
in the Night of Decree (laylatu-l-qadr ; Qur. 97, 1) to the 
Mighty House (baytu-l~izza), a place in the Heaven nearest to 
the earth ; it was written in books (sahifas) and placed in the 
Mighty House. It is said that it was brought down to the 
Mighty House all at once and then brought down to the 
Prophet in twenty years, and some say, in twenty-five. And 
it is also said that it was brought down to the Mighty House 
only to the amount that was to be revealed each year and not 
all at once. 


And that which was brought down to the Prophet was ex- 
pression and meaning. And it is said also that only the mean- 
ing was brought down to him. There is a conflict of opinion 
on this ; some say that the Prophet clothed the meaning with 
expressions of his own, and others, that he who so clothed the 
meaning, was Jibril, But the truth is that it was sent down 
in expressions and meaning. In short, the quality subsisting 
in the essence of God is not a letter nor a sound. And the 
Mu'tazilites called in doubt the existence of a kind of Speech 
without letters. But the People of the Sunna answered that 
because thoughts in the mind (hadtih an-nafs], a kind of 
speech with which an individual speaks to himself, are with- 
out letter or sound, there exists a kind of speech without let- 
ters or words. By this the People of the Sunna do not wish 
to institute a comparison between the Speech of God and 
thoughts in the mind ; for the Speech of God is eternal and 
thoughts in the mind are originated. They wished to dis- 
prove the contention of the Mu'tazilites when they urged that 
speech cannot exist without letter or sound. 

The proof of the necessity of Speech in God is His saying 
(Qnr. 4, 162) ; " and God spoke to Moses." So He has estab- 
lished Speech for Himself. And Speech connects with that 
with which Knowledge connects, of necessary and possible 
and impossible. But the connection of Knowledge with these 
is a connection of revealing, in the sense that they are re- 
vealed to God by His Knowledge ; and the connection of 
Speech with them is a connection of proof, in the sense that 
if the veil were taken away from us and we heard the eternal 
Speech we would understand these things from it. 

The fourteenth Quality subsisting in G-od is Being Power- 
ful (Jcawn qadir). It is a Quality subsisting in His essence, 
not an entity and not a non-entity. It is not Power, but be- 
tween it and Power is a reciprocal inseparability. When 
Power exists in an essence, the quality called " Being Power- 
ful " exists in that essence, equally whether that essence is 
eternal or originated. So, God creates in the essence of Zayd 
Power actual, and He creates also in it the quality called 


Zayd's Being Powerful. This quality is called a state (hal) 
and Power is a cause (ilia) in it in the case of created things. 
But in the case of God, Power is not said to be a cause in His 
Being Powerful ; it is only said that between Power and God's 
Being Powerful there is a reciprocal inseparability. The 
Mu'tazilites hold also the reciprocal inseparability between 
the Power of an originated being and its Being Powerful. 
But they do not say that the second quality is by the creation 
of God, only that when God creates Power in an originated 
being, there proceeds from the Power a quality called Being 
Powerful, without creation. 

The Fifteenth Quality necessary in God is Being a "Wilier 
(kawn murid). It is a quality subsisting in His essence, not 
an entity and not a non-entity. Itls called a state (hal) and it 
is not Will, equally whether the essence is eternal or created. 
So, God creates in the essence of Zayd Will actual, and He 
creates in it the quality called Zayd's Being a Wilier. And 
what is said above, about the disagreement between the Mu c - 
tazilites and the People of the Sunna on Being Powerful, ap- 
plies also to Being a Wilier. 

[The same thing applies exactly to Qualities Sixteen, Sev- 
enteen, Eighteen, Nineteen and Twenty, Being a Knower 
(alim), a Living One (hayy), a Hearer (sami), a Seer (basir\ a 
Speaker (mutakallim).] 

NOTICE. The Qualities, Power, Will, Knowledge, Life, 
Hearing, Seeing, Speech, which have preceded, are called, 
" Qualities consisting of ideas " (si/at al-ma'ani, thought- 
qualities as opposed to active qualities ; see below) ; on account 
of the connection of the general with the particular (idafatu- 
l-amm Hl-Jckass), or the explanatory connection (al-idafatu-l- 
bayaniya). And those which follow these, God's Being Pow- 
erful, etc., are called " Qualities de rived from ideas " (sifat ma' 
nawiya), by way of derivation (nisba) from the "Qualities 
consisting of ideas," because they are inseparable from them 
in a thing eternal and proceed from them in a thing originated, 
according to what has preceded. 

And the Mataridites added to the " Qualities consisting of 


Ideas," an Eighth Quality and called it, Making to Be (tdk- 
win). It is a quality and an entity like the rest of the "Qual- 
ities consisting of Ideas " ; if the veil were removed from us 
we would see it, just as we would see the other " Qualities 
consisting of Ideas " if the veil were removed from ns. But 
the Ash 'antes opposed them and urged that there was no ad- 
vantage in having a quality, Making to Be, besides Power, 
because the Mataridites said that God brought into existence 
and out of existence by the quality of Making to Be. Then 
these replied that Power prepared the possibility for existence, 
that is, made it ready to receive existence after it had not 
been ready ; that thereafter Making to Be brought it into ex- 
istence actually. The Ash'arites replied that the possible was 
ready for existence without anything further. And on ac- 
count of their having added this quality, they said that the 
active qualities (sifat al-af'at), such as Creating (Jshalq), 
Bringing to Life (%a), Sustaining (razq), Bringing to Death 
(imata), were eternal, because these expressions are names of 
the quality Making to Be, which is a quality and an entity, ac- 
cording to them. But it is eternal ; therefore these active 
qualities are eternal. But according to the Ash'arites, the 
active qualities are originated, because they are only names 
of the connections of Power. So Bringing to Life is a name 
for the connection of Power with Life, and Sustaining is a 
name for the connection of Power with the creature to be sus- 
tained, and Creating is a name for its connection with the 
thing to be created, and Bringing to Death, a name for its 
connection with death. And the connections of Power, ac- 
cording to them, are originated. 

And among the Fifty Articles are twenty which express the 
opposites of the twenty above. They are Non-existence, the 
opposite to Existence. 

The Second, Origin (huduth), is the opposite of Priority. 

The Third, Transitoriness (fana), is the opposite of Con- 

The Fourth, Besemblance (mumathala), is the opposite of 
Difference. It is impossible that God should resemble orig- 

inated things in any of those things with which they are de-- 
scribed ; time has no effect upon Him and He has not a place 
or movement or rest ; and He is not described with colors or 
with a direction ; it is not said with regard to Him that He is 
above such a body, or on the right of such a body. And He 
has no direction from Him. So it is not said, " I am under 
God." And the saying of the commonalty, " I am under our 
Lord," and "My Lord is over me," is to be disapproved. 
Unbelief is to be feared on the part of him who holds the use 
of it to be an article of his faith. 

The Fifth is having need of a locus (ihtiyaz ila mahall), that 
is, an essence in which He may subsist, or a Specifier, that is 
a bringer-into -existence. This is the opposite of Self -sub- 

The Sixth is Multiplicity (ta'addud), in the sense of com- 
bination in the essence or the qualities, or the existence of a 
being similar in essence or qualities or acts. This is the op- 
posite of Unity. 

The Seventh is Weakness (a,jz) and it is the opposite of 
Power. So, being unequal to any possibility Is impossible in 

The Eighth is Unwillingness (Tcaraha, lit. dislike). It is the 
opposite of Will, and it is impossible in God that He should 
bring into existence anything of the world, along with Un- 
willingness toward it, that is, lack of Will. Entities are pos- 
sibilities which God brought into existence by His Will and 
Choice (iMitiyar), And it is derived from the necessity of Will 
in God, that the existence of created things is not through 
causation (ta'lil), or by way of nature (tab). And the dif- 
ference between the two is that the entity which exists through 
causation is whatever exists whenever its cause exists, without 
dependence on another thing. The movement of the finger 
is the cause of the movement of the ring ; when the one exists, 
the second exists, without dependence on anything else. And 
the entity which exists, by way of nature, depends upon a 
condition and upon the nullifying of a hindrance. So, fire 
does not burn except on the condition of contact with wood 


and the nullifying of moistness which is the hindrance of its 
burning. For fire burns by its nature according to those who 
hold the doctrine of nature Whom may God curse IBut 
the truth is, that God creates the being burned in the wood 
when it is in contact with the fire, jusfc as He creates the 
movement of the ring when movement of the finger exists. 
And there is no such thing as existence through causation or 
nature. So it is an impossibility in God that there should be 
a cause in the world which proceeds from Him without His 
choice, or that there should be a course of nature and that the 
world should exist thereby. 

The Ninth is Ignorance (jaM). Ignorance of any possible 
thing is impossible in God, equally whether it is simple, that 
is, lack of knowledge of a thing ; or compound, that is, per- 
ception of a thing as different from what it really is. And In- 
attention (ghafala) and Neglect (dhuhul) are impossible in 
God. This is the opposite of Knowledge. 

The Tenth is Death (mawt). It is the opposite of Life. 

The Eleventh is Deafness (samara). It is the opposite of 

The Twelfth is Blindness (ama). It is the opposite of See- 

The Thirteenth is Dumbness (Jcharas). In it is the idea of 
Silence (lakam) and it is the opposite of Speech. 

The Fourteenth is God's Being "Weak (Jcawn ajiz). It is 
the opposite of His Being Powerful. 

The Fifteenth is His Being an Unwilling One (lawn karih). 
It is the opposite of His Being a Wilier. 

The Sixteenth is His Being an Ignorant One (Jcawn jahil). 
It is the opposite of His Being a Knower. 

The Seventeenth is His Being a Dead One (kawn mayyit}. 
It is the opposite of His Being a Living One. 

The Eighteenth is His Being Deaf (asamm). It is the op- 
posite of His Being a Hearer. 

The Nineteenth is His Being Blind (a'ma). It is the op- 
posite of His Being a Seer, 

The Twentieth is His Being Silent (abkam), In it is the 


idea of Dumbness (Maras) and it is the opposite of His Being 
a Speaker. 

All these twenty are impossible in God. And know that the 
proof of each one of the twenty qualities necessary in God 
establishes the existence of that quality in Him and denies to 
Him its opposite. And the proofs of the seven thought-quali- 
ties are proofs of the seven derived from these. Thus, there 
are Forty Articles; twenty of them are necessary in God; 
twenty are denied in Him ; and there are twenty general 
proofs, each proof establishing a quality and annulling its 

NOTICE. Some say that things are four, entities, non-en- 
tities, states and relations (i'tibarat). The entities are like the 
essence of Zayd which we see ; the non-entities are like your 
child before it is created ; the states are like Being Powerful ; 
and so, too, the relations, like the establishing of standing in 
Zayd. This I mean that things are four is the view which 
as-Sanusi follows in his Sughra, for he asserts in it the ex- 
istence of states and makes the necessary qualities to be twenty. 
But elsewhere, he follows the opinion which denies states, 
and that is the right view. 

According to that view, the Qualities are thirteen in number, 
because the seven derived qualities God's Being Powerful, 
etc., drop out. God has no quality called Being Powerful, 
because the, right view is denial that states are things. Ac- 
cording to this, then, things are three : entities, non-entities 
and relations. Then when the seven derived qualities drop 
out from the twenty necessary qualities, seven drop also from 
the opposites, and there is no quality called, Being Weak, 
etc., and there is no need to number these among the im- 
possibilities. So, the impossibilities are thirteen also; at 
least, if existence is reckoned as a quality. That it* should be 
is the opinion of all except al-Ash'ari. But the opinion of al- 
Ash'ari was that Existence is the self (ayn) of an entity. So, 
the existence of God is the self of His essence and not a 
quality. The necessary qualities, on that view, are twelve. 
Priority and Continuance and Difference and Self -subsistence 


expressed also as Absolute Independence and Unity and 
Power and Will and* Knowledge and Life and Hearing and 
Seeing and Speech ; and the derived qualities drop out, be- 
cause their existence is based upon the view that Jhere are 
things called states ; but the right view is the opposite. 

And if you wish to instruct the commonalty in the qualities 
of God, then state them as names (asma) derived from the 
qualities just mentioned. So it is said that God is an Entity. 
Prior, Different from originated things, Independent of every- 
thing, One, Powerful, a Wilier, a Knower, Living, a Hearer, 
a Seer, a Speaker. And they should know their opposites. 

And know that some of the Shaykhs distinguish between 
states and relationships and say of both that they are not en- 
tities and also not non-entities. But each has a reality^ in 
itself, except that a state has a connection with and a subsist- 
ence in an essence, and a relation has no connection with an 
essence. And it is said that a relation has a reality outside 
of the mind. But to this it is opposed that a relation is a 
quality, and if it has no connection with an essence and has a 
reality outside of the mind, where is the thing qualified by it ? 
A quality does not subsist in itself, but must needs have a 
thing which it qualifies. So the truth is that relations have 
no reality except in the mind. And they are of two kinds ; 
the invented relation (i'tibara ikhtira'i), it is that which has no 
ground in existence, as your making a generous man niggard- 
ly; and second, the apprehended relation (intiza.% claiming), 
it is that which has ground outside of your mind, as asserting 
the subsistence of Zayd, for that may be claimed from your 
saying, " Zayd subsists" ; so the describing of Zayd as sub- 
sisting is existent outside of your mind. 

The forty-first Article is Possibility in the case of God. 
It is incumbent upon every muJcallaf that he should believe 
that it is possible for God to create good and evil, to create 
Islam in Zayd and unbelief in Amr, knowledge in one of them 
and ignorance in the other. And another of the things, belief 
in which is incumbent upon every muJcallaf \ is that the good 
and the bad of things is by Destiny (gada) and Decree (qadar). 


And there is a difference of opinion as to the meaning of des- 
tiny and decree. It is said that destiny is the will of God 
and the eternal (azali) connection of that will ; and decree is 
God's bringing into existence the thing in agreement with the 
will. So the Will of God which is connected eternally with 
your becoming a learned man or a Sultan is destiny ; and the 
bringing knowledge into existence in you, after your exist- 
ence, or the Sultanship, in agreement with the "Will, is decree. 
And it is said that destiny is God's eternal knowledge and its 
connection with the thing known ; and decree is God's bring- 
ing things into existence in agreement with His knowledge. 
So, God's knowing that which is connected eternally with a 
person's becoming a learned man after he enters existence is 
destiny, and the bringing knowledge into existence in that 
man after he enters existence is decree. And according to 
each of these two views, destiny is prior (qadim), because it is 
one of the qualities of God, whether Will or Knowledge; 
and decree is originated, because it is bringing into existence, 
and bringing into existence is one of the connections of Power, 
and the connections of Power are originated. 

And the proof that possible things are possible in the case 
of God is that there is general agreement on their possibility. 
If the doing of any possible thing were incumbent upon God, 
the possible would be turned into a necessary thing. And if 
the doing of a possible thing were hindered from Him, the pos- 
sible would be turned into an impossible. But the turning of 
the possible into a necessary or an impossible is false. By 
this, you may know that there is nothing incumbent upon 
God, against the doctrine of the Mu'tazilites, who say that it 
is incumbent upon God to do that which is best (salah] for 
the creature. So, it would be incumbent upon Him that He 
should sustain the creature, but this is falsehood against Him 
and a lie from which He is far removed. He creates faith in 
Zayd, for example, and gives him knowledge out of His free 
grace, without there being any necessity upon Him. And one 
of the arguments which may be brought against the Mu'tazil- 
ites is that afflictions come upon little children, such as ail- 


ments and diseases. And in this there is not that which is 
best for them. So, if doing that which is best is incumbent 
upon Him, why do afflictions descend upon little children ? 
For they say that God could not abandon that which is incum- 
bent upon Him, for abandoning it would be defect, and God 
is far removed from defect, by Agreement. And God's re- 
warding the obedient is a grace from Him, and His punishing 
the rebellious is justice from Him. For obedience does not 
advantage Him, nor rebellion injure Him ; He is the Advan- 
tager and the Injurer. And these acts of obedience or rebellion 
are only signs of God's rewarding or punishing those described 
by them. Then him whom He wills to draw near to Himself, 
He helps to obedience : and in him whose abandoning and 
rejection He wills, He creates rebellion. And all acts of good 
and bad are by the creation of God, for He creates the creat- 
ure and that which the creature does, as He has said (Qur. 
37, 94), " and God hath created you and that which ye do." 

And the belief is also incumbent that God may be seen in 
the Other World by believers, for He has joined the seeing 
(ru'ya) of Him with the standing fast of the mountain in His 
saying (Qur. 7, 139), "And if it standeth fast in its place, thou 
wilt see Me." And the standing fast of the mountain was 
possible : then, that which is connected with it of seeing must 
also have been possible ; because what is connected with the 
possible is possible. But our seeing God must be without 
inquiring how (Ma Icayfa) ; it is not like our seeing one an- 
other. God is not seen in a direction, nor in a color, nor in a 
body ; He is far removed from that. And the Mu'tazilites 
may God make them vile ! deny the seeing of God* That is 
one of their perverse and false articles of belief. And another 
of their corrupt articles is their saying that the creature cre- 
ates his own actions. For this, they are called Qadarites, be- 
cause they say that the actions of the creature are by his own 
qudra (power), just as the sect which holds that the creature 
is forced to the action he does, is called Jabrite, derived from 
their holding a being forced (jctbr) on the part of the creature, 
and a being compelled. It, too, is a perverse article. And 


the truth is that the creature does not create his own actions 
and is not forced, but that God creates the actions which issue 
from the creature, along with the creature's having a free 
choice (ikktiyar) in them. As-Sa'd [Sa'd ad-Din at-Taftazani, 
see above] said, in his commentary on the Articles, " It is not 
possible to render this free choice by any expression, but 
the creature finds a difference between the movement of his 
hand when he moves it himself and when the wind moves it 
against his will. " 

And to that which is possible in God belongs also the send- 
ing of a number of Apostles (rasuls). And God's sending them 
is by His grace, and by way of necessity, as has preceded. 

And it is necessary to confess that the most excellent of cre- 
ated beings, absolutely, is our Prophet [Muhammad], and 
there follow him in excellency the rest of the Endowed with 
Earnestness and Patience (ulu-l-azm ; see Qur. 46, 34) ; they 
are our Lord Ibrahim, our Lord Musa, our Lord Isa, and our 
Lord Nuh ; and this is their order in excellency. And that 
they are five along with our Prophet, and four after him is 
the correct view. And it is said, too, that the Endowed with 
Earnestness and Patience are more numerous. And there fol- 
low them in excellency the rest of the Apostles. Then, the 
rest of the Prophets (nabis), then the Angels. 

And it is necessary to confess that God has aided them with 
miracles (mu'jizat) and that He has distinguished our Prophet 
in that he is the seal of the Apostles, and that his law 
(shar) will not be abrogated till time is fulfilled. And Isa, 
after his descent, will judge according to the law of our Proph- 
et. It is said that he will take it from the Qur'an and the 
Sunna, It is said also that he will go to the Glorious Tomb 
[of Muhammad] and learn from him. And know that he will 
abrogate one part of the law of our Prophet with a later part, 
just as the waiting period of a woman after the death of her 
husband was changed from a year to four months and ten days. 
And in this there is no defect, 

And it is necessary also that every muJcattaf, male and 
female, should know in detail the Apostles who are mentioned 


in the Qur'an, and should believe in them in detail. As for 
the other Prophets, belief is necessary in them as a whole. 
As-Sa'd handed down an authority in his commentary on the 
Maqasid that belief in all the Prophets as a whole suffices, 
but he was not followed. 
And someone put them into verse as follows : 

" There is imposed upon every mnkallaf a knowledge 
Of Prophets in detail, who have been named 
In that document of ours [i.e., the Qur'an], Of them are 


After ten [L e., eighteen]. And there remain seven who are 
Idris, Hud, Shu'ayb, Salih, and similarly, 
Dhu-1-Kifl, Adam, with the Chosen One [Muhammad] they 

And it is necessary to confess that the Companions (sahibs) 
of the Prophet are the most excellent of the generations. 
Then their followers (tabi's) ; then the followers of their fol- 
lowers. And the most excellent of the Companions is Abu 
Bakr, then Umar, then Uthman, then Aliin this order, 
But al-Alqami said that our Lady Fatima and her brother, 
our Lord Ibrahim, were absolutely more excellent than the 
Companions, including the Four [Khalifas]. And our Lord 
Malik [ibn Anas] was wont to say, < There is none more 
excellent than the children of the Prophet." This is that the 
confession of which is incumbent ; and we will meet God con- 
fessing it, if it is His Will. 

And of that the confession of which is also necessary, is 
that the Prophet was born in Mecca and died in al-Mactina. 
It is incumbent on fathers that they teach that to their chil- 
dren. Al-Ajhuri said, "It is incumbent on the individual 
that he know the genealogy of the Prophet on his father's 
side and on his mother's." A statement of it will come in our 
Conclusion, if God will. The learned have said, "Every 
individual ought to know the number of the children of the 
Prophet and the order in which they were born, for an individ- 


ual ought to know his Lords, and they are the Lords of the 
People." But they do not explain, in what I have seen, 
whether that is required (mawjub) or desired (mandub) ; the 
analogy (qiyas) of things similar to it would say it was 
required. His children were seven, three male and four 
female, according to the right view. Their order of birth 
was : al-Qasim, he was the first of his children, then Zaynab, 
then Euqayya, then Fatima, then Umm Kulthum, then Abd 
Allah, he had the to-names (laqab) at-Tayyib and at-Tahir, 
which are to-names of Abd Allah, not names of two other dif- 
ferent persons. These were all children of our Lady Khadija. 
And the seventh was our Lord Ibrahim, born of Mariya, the 
Copt. So it stands. Let us now return to the conclusion of 
the Articles. 

The Forty-second is the Veracity (sidq) of the Apostles in 
all their sayings. 

The Forty-third is their trustworthiness (amana), that is, 
their being preserved (isma) from falling into things forbidden 
(muharram) or disliked (makruh). 

The Forty-fourth is their Conveying (tabligh) to the 
creatures that which they were commanded to convey. The 
Forty-fifth is intelligence (fatana). These four things are 
necessary in the Apostles in the sense that the lack of them 
is unthinkable. And Faith depends on the knowledge of 
these, according to the controversy between as-Sanusi and his 

The opposites of these four are impossible in the Apostles, 
that is, Lying (kidhb), Unfaithfulness (khiyana) in a thing 
forbidden or disliked, Concealment (hitman) of a thing they 
have been commanded to convey, and Stupidity (baladd). 
These four are impossible in them, in the sense that the exist- 
ence of them is unthinkable. And Faith depends upon the 
knowledge of these, as has preceded. 

These are Nine and Forty Articles and the Fiftieth is the 
possibility of the occurrence of such fleshly accidents in them 
as do not lead to defect in their lofty rank. 

And the proof of the existence of Veracity in them is that if 


they were to lie. then information from G-od would be a lie, 
for He has guaranteed the claim of the Apostles by the mani- 
festation of miracles at their hands. For the miracle is 
revealed in place of an utterance from God, "My servant is 
truthful in all that he brings from Me." That is, whenever 
an Apostle comes to Ms people and says, " 1 am an Apostle to 
you from God," and they say to Mm, " What is the proof of 
your apostolate?" then he shall say, "The splitting of this 
mountain," for example. And when they say to Mm, "^ Bring 
what you say," God will split that mountain at their saying, as 
a guarantee of the claim of the Apostle to the apostolate. So, 
God's splitting the mountain is sent down in place of an utter- 
ance from God, "My servant is truthful in all which he 
brings to you from Me." And if the Apostle were lying, this 
information would be lying. But lying is impossible in the 
case of God, so lying on the part of the Apostles is impossible. 
And whenever lying is denied in them, Veracity is established. 

And as for the proof of the Trustworthiness, that is, their 
being preserved internally and externally from forbidden and 
disliked things ; if they were unfaithful in committing such 
things, we would be commanded to do the like. But it is 
impossible that we could be commanded to do a forbidden or 
disliked thing, "for God does not command a vile tiling" 
(Qur. 7, 27). And it is evident that they did nothing except 
obedience, whether required or desired, and " permitted " (mu- 
bah) things entered among their actions only to show, when- 
ever they did a "permitted " thing, that it was allowable (jttiz.) 

And as for the proof of Intelligence, if it were failing in 
them, how would they be able to establish an argument against 
an adversary? But the Qur'an indicates in more than one 
place, that they must establish arguments against adversaries, 
And such establishing of arguments is only possible with 

And the proof that fleshly accidents do befall them IB that 
they do not cease to ascend in their lofty rank ; for the 
occurrence of such accidents is in them for increase in their 
lofty rank, for example, and that others may be consoled, 


and tliat tlie thoughtful may know that the world is not a 
place of recompense for the lovers of God ; since if it were, 
why should aught of the defilements of the world befall the 
Apostles ? The Blessing of God be upon them and upon their 
Mighty Head, our Lord Muhammad, and upon his family and 
Companions and descendants, all ! 

The Fifty Articles are completed with their Glorious 

Let us mention to you now somewhat of that which must 
be held of the things whose proofs are authority (sam^i): 
Know that it must be believed that our Prophet has a Tank 
(hawd) ; and ignorance as to whether it is on one side or the 
other of the Bridge (as-$irat} does not hurt. On the Day of 
Eesurrection (yawm al-qiyama) the creatures will go down to 
drink of it. It is different from al-Kawthar, which is a 
Eiver in the Garden. 

And it must also be believed that he will make intercession 
(shafa'a) on the Day of Kesurrection in the midst of the Judg- 
ment, when we shall stand and long to depart, even though it 
be into the Eire. Then he shall intercede that they may 
depart from the Station (mawqif) ; and this intercession be- 
longs to him only. 

And it must also be believed that falling into great sins 
(kabiras), other than Unbelief (Jcufr), does not involve Un- 
belief, but repentance (tawba) from the sin is necessary at 
once ; and if the sin be a small one (sagMra) repentance is 
necessary to him who is liable to fall into it. And repent- 
ance is not injured by returning to sin ; but for the new sin a 
new repentance is necessary. 

And it is incumbent upon the individual that he set aside 
arrogance (kibr) and jealousy (hasad) and slander (ghila) on 
account of what the Prophet has said, " The gates of the 
Heavens have curtains which reject the works of the people of 
arrogance, jealousy and slander. '' That is, they prevent them 
from rising, and so they are not received. Jealousy is a 
desiring that the well-being of another should pass away, 
equally whether it is desired that it should come to the jeal- 


OTIS one or not. And arrogance is considering the truth to 
be falsehood and rejecting it, and despising God's creation. 
And it is incumbent also upon him that he should not spread 
malicious slanders among the people, for a tradition has come 
down, "A slanderer (qattat) shall not enter the Garden." 
And jealousy is forbidden, as is said above, when the well- 
being does not lead its possessor to transgression, and if it 
does, then desire that the well-being should pass away is 

It is necessary also to hold that some of those who commit 
great sins will be punished, though it is only one of them. 

CONCLUSION. Faith (man)', in the usage of the language, is 
acknowledgment that something is true (tasdiq), in general. 
In that way it is used by God, when he reports the words of 
the sons of Ya'qub (Qur. 12, 17). "But thou dost not believe 
us [art not a believer (mu'min) in us]." Legally, it is belief 
in all that the Prophet has brought. But there is a differ- 
ence of opinion as to the meaning of belief, when used in this 
way. Some say that it means knowledge (ma<rifa) and that 
everyone who knows what the Prophet has brought is a be- 
liever (mu'mfa). But this interpretation is opposed by the 
fact that the unbeliever (kqfir) knows, but is not a believer. 
Nor does this interpretation agree with the common saying, 
that the muqallad is a believer, although he does not know. 
And the right view as to the interpretation of belief is that it 
is a mental utterance (hadith an-nafs] following conviction, 
equally whether it is conviction on account of proof, which 
is called knowledge, or on account of acceptance on authority 
(taqlid). This excludes the unbeliever because he does not 
possess the mental utterance, the idea of which is that you 
say, " I am well pleased with what the Prophet has brought. 51 
The mind of the unbeliever does not say this. And it includes 
the muqallad,- for he possesses the mental utterance following 
conviction, though the conviction is not based on a proof. 

And of that which must be believed is the genealogy of the 
Prophet, both on his father's side and on his mother's. On 
his father's side he is our Lord, Muhammad, son of Abd 


Allah, son of Abd al-Muttalib, son of Hashim, son of Abd 
Manaf, son of Qusay, son of Kilab, son of Murra, son of Ka'b, 
son of Lu'ay, or Luway, son of Ghalib, son of Fihr, son of 
Malik, son of Nadr, son of Kinana, son of Khuzayma, son of 
Mudrika, son of Alyas, son of Mudar, son of Mzar, son of 
M& f add, son of Adnan. And the Agreement (ijma) unites upon 
this genealogy up to Adnan. But after him to Adam there is no 
sure path in that which has been handed down. And as to 
his genealogy on his mother's side, she is Amina, daughter of 
Wahb, son of Abd Manaf, son of Zuhra this Abd Manaf is 
not the same as his ancestor on the other line son of Kilab, 
who is already one of his ancestors. So the two lines of de- 
scent join in Kilab. 

And it is necessary also to know that he was of mixed white 
and red complexion, according to what some of them have 

This is the last of that which God has made easy by His 
grace. His Blessing be upon our Lord Muhammad and 
upon his family and his Companions and his descendants, so 
so long as the mindful are mindful of him and the heedless 
are heedless of the thought of him. And Praise belongeth 
unto God, the Lord of the Worlds. 



Booh L Of Ceremonial Purity (Tdhara) 

1. The water which may be used for ceremonial ablutions. 

2. Legal materials for utensils ; what can be purified and 
what cannot. 

3. The use of the toothpick. 

* See in bibliography, S. Keijzer, Precis, etc. Much help as to 
details of religious ritual and law will be found in Hughes's Diction- 
ary of Islam, Sachan's Muhammedanisches Recht, Lane's Modern 
Egyptians* and commentary to his translation of the Arabian 
Nights, Burton's Pilgrimage, and Sell's Faith of Islam. 


4 Description of the different stages of a ceremonial ablu- 
tion (wudu). 

5. On cleansing from excrement and its ritual generally. 

6. The five things which require a fresh wudu. 

7. The six things which require a complete ablution of the 
whole body (ghusl) and its ritual. 

8. The seventeen occasions on which a gliusl is prescribed. 

9. When it is allowable to wash the inner shoes (khuffs) in- 
stead of the feet. 

10. The conditions and ritual for the use of sand (tayam- 
murn) instead of water. 

11. On uncleannesses (najasat) and how and how far they 
can be removed. 

12. On ailments of women; duration of pregnancy and 
their conditions. 

Book IL Of Prayer 

1. The times of prayer (salat). 

2. Upon whom prayer is incumbent, and 

3. On what occasions. 

L The antecedent requirements of prayer. 

5. The eighteen essential parts of prayer. 

6. The four things in which the prayer of a woman differs 
from that of a man. 

7. The eleven things which nullify prayer. 

8. A reckoning of the occurrences of certain frequently re- 
peated elements in prayer, 

9. On omissions in prayer. 

10. The five occasions on which prayer is not allowable. 

11. The duty and ritual of congregational prayer, 

12. The prayer of a traveller. 

13. The conditions under which congregational prayer is re- 
quired and those tinder which it is lawful. 

14. The requirements in congregational prayer. 

15. The prayers of the Two Festivals and their ritual 

16. The prayers on occasion of an eclipse. 

17. Prayer for rain. 


18. Prayer in presence of the enemy. 

19. What is forbidden of clothing. 

20. The ritual of the dead. 

Book III. Of Rates for the Poor, etc. 

1. The condition of the rate (zakat) and of the rate-payer ; 
what it is levied on and consists of. 

2. On camels. 
8. On cattle. 

4. On sheep. 

5. How it affects partners. 

6. On gold and silver. 

7. On grain-stuff. 

8. On merchandise. 

9. The conditions and nature of the rate to be paid at the 
end of the fast. 

10. Uses to which the rate may be applied. 

Boole IF. Of the Fast 

1. The conditions for the fast (siyam) ; its description ; 
what breaks it. 

2. What is meritorious in fasting; when and for whom 
it is forbidden ; how breaking the fast must be expiated. 

3. The conditions and nature of religious retreat (i'tikaf). 

Book F. Of the Pilgrimage 

1. The conditions of pilgrimaging Qiajj) ; its essentials and 
other elements. 

2. The ten things forbidden on pilgrimage. 

3. The five sacrifices of the pilgrimage. 

Book VL Of Barter and Other Business Transactions 

1. Conditions and kinds of barter (bay) ; what may be bar- 
tered and what not. 

2. Description and conditions of the bargain with payment 
in advance (salam). 


3. Of pledging (rahn). 

4:. Of those who are nofc to be permitted to administer their 
own property (Tiajar as-safih). 

5. Of bankruptcy and composition and common rights in a 
highway (sulk). 

6. The conditions for the transfer of debts and credits (ha- 
wald) . 

7o Of security for debts (daman). 

8. Of personal security for debts (Tcafald). 

9. Of partnership (sitirfca). 

10. Of agency (wakcdd). 

11. Of confession (iqrar). 

12. Of loans (i'ara). 

13. Of illegal seizure and use of property; indemnity for it 
and its damage (ghasb). 

14. Of right of pre-emption (shuf'a). 

15. The conditions of advancing capital with participation 
in the profits (qirad). 

16. Of the letting of date-palms and vines (musaqat), 

17. Of hiring a thing out (ijara). 

18. Of reward for return of a thing lost (ja'ala). 

19. That land may not be let for a fixed amount of its 
produce (muTchabard). 

20. Of irrigation of waste lands (ihya al-mawat). 

21. Of foundations in mortmain (waqf). 

22. Of gifts (hiba). 

23. Of found property (luqta). 

24. Of foundlings (laqit). 

25. Of deposits (wadi'a). 

Book VIL Of Inheritance and Wills 

1. Of legal heirs (warith). 

2. The conditions and proportions of inheritance (farida). 

3. Of legacies (wasiya), 

Boole VIII. Of Marriage and Related Subjects 

1. The conditions of marriage (nikah) . What women a man 
may see and to what extent. 


2. The form of a legal marriage. 

3. The conditions of asking (khiiba) and giving in marriage ; 
whom a man may not marry ; conditions for nullity of mar- 
riage . 

4. The settlement (mahr] on a wife by her husband. 
5* On the wedding feast (walima). 

6. On the equality of the rights of the wives and the author- 
ity of the husband. 

7. On divorce for incompatibility (khuf). 

8. The forms of divorce (talaq). 

9. On taking a wife back and the three-fold divorce. 

10. The oath not to cohabit (ila). 

11. The temporary separation by the formula, ziJiar 
Qur. 58. 

12. The form of accusation of adultery and the defence 

13. The period during which a previously married woman 
cannot remarry (idda). 

14. Of relations with female slaves. 

15. The support and behavior of a woman, divorced or a 
widow ; mourning. 

1C. Law of relationship through suckling (irda). 

17. The support (na/aqa) due to a wife. 

18. The support due to children and parents, slaves and 
domestic animals. 

19. Of the custody of children (Udana). 

Book IX. Of Crimes of Violence to the Person (jinaya) 

1. On murder, homicide and chance medley. 

2. The lex talionis (qisas) for murder, and 

3. For wounds and mutilations. 

4. The blood- wit (diya). 

5. Use of weak evidence in case of murder* 

6. Personal penance for homicide. 

Book X. Of Restrictive Ordinances of God (Jiadd) 
1. Of fornication (zina) of one who has been or is married 
(muhsan), and of one who has not been or is not married. 


2. Of accusing of fornication. 

3. Of drinking wine or any intoxicating drink. 

4. Of theft. 

5. Of highway robbery. 

6. Of killing in defence. 

7. Of rebelling against a just government. 

8. Of apostasy. 

9. Of abandoning the usage of prayer. 

Book XL Of the Holy War (jiJiad) 

1. The general Jaw oi jihad. 

2. The distribution of booty taken in the field (ghanima). 

3. The law of the tax on unbelievers (j%). 

4. The law of the poll-tax on unbelievers (jizyd) 

Boole XII. Of Hunting and the Slaughter of Animals 

1. How an animal may be killed in the chase or otherwise. 

2. What flesh may be eaten. 

8. The ritual of sacrifice (udhiya). 

4. The ritual of sacrifice for a child (aqiqa). 

Boole XI1L Of Racing and Shooting with tJie Bow 

Boole XIV. Of Oaths and Vows (yamin t nadhr) 

1. What oaths are allowable and binding; how expiated. 

2. Lawful and unlawful vows. 

Book XV. Of Judgments and Evidence (qada, sJiafaada) 

1. Of the judge (gadi) and court usage. 

2. The division (qasm) of property held in common. 

3. Of evidence and oaths. 

4. The conditions of being a legal witness (adil)* 

5. The difference of claims (haqq), on the part of God, and 
on the part of man, and their legal treatment. 


Book XVL Of Manumission of Slaves 

1. General conditions of manumission (itq). 

2. The clientsMp which follows (wala). 

3. Of freeing at death (tadbir). 

4. Of the slave buying his freedom (kitaba). 

5. Of the slave (umm walad) that has borne a child to her 
master or to another and of her children. 








The non-Arabist will gain much insight into Muslim life 
and thought by reading such translations as that of Ibn Khal- 
likan by De Slane (Paris-London; 1843-71), the Persian 
Tabari, by Zotenberg (Paris ; 1867-74), Ibn Batuta by De- 
fre*mery and Sanguinetti (Paris ; 1858-58), Mas f udi by G. 
Barbier de Meynard and Pavet de Courteille (Paris ; 1861-77), 
Ibn Khaldun's ProUgomSnes by De Slane (Paris ; 1862-68), 
ad-Dimishqi by Mehren (Copenhagen; 1874), al-Beranfs 
Chronology by Sachau (London ; 1879). 

The translations and notes in De Sacy 7 s Chrestomathie arabe 
(Paris j 1826) can also be used to advantage. 

Very many valuable articles will be found scattered through 
the Zeitschrift of the German Oriental Society (hereafter 
ZDMG), the Journal asiatique (hereafter JA), the Journal of the 
Royal Asiatic 8odety (hereafter JBAS) and the Vienna Z&it* 
schriftfur die Kunde des Morgenlandes (hereafter Wz). 



It is always worth while to consult the Encyclopaedia Bri- 

The best translations of the Qur'an into English are those 
by E. H. Palmer (2 vols., Oxford; 1880) and J. M, Kodwell 
(London; 1871). The first more perfectly represents the 
spirit and tone, and the second more exactly the letter. The 
commentary added by Sale to his version and his introduction 
are still useful. 

The Thousand and One Nights should be read in its entirety 
in Arabic or in a translation by every student of Islam. English 
translation by Lane (incomplete but accurate and with very 
valuable commentary) ; Burton (last edition almost complete ; 
12 vols., London : 1894). Payne's translation is complete, asis 
also Burton's privately printed edition ; but, while exceeding- 
ly readable, Payne hardly represents the tone of the original. 
There is an almost complete and very cheap German version 
by Henning published by Beclam, Leipzig) ; Mardrus' French 
version is inaccurate and free to such an extent as to make it 
useless. Galland's version is a work of genius ; but it belongs 
to French and not to Arabic literature. 

E, P. A. DOZY: JBssai sur Phistoire de I'islamisme. Leyden, 
1879. A readable introduction. 

A. MULLER : Der Islam im Morgen-und-Abendland. 2 vols. 
Berlin, 1885, 1887. The best general history of Islam. 

STANLEY LANE-POOLE : The Mohammedan Dynasties ; chrono- 
logical and genealogical tables with historical introductions. West" 
minster, 1804. An indispensable book for any student of Muslim 

C. BROCKELMANN : Oeschichte der arabischen Litteratur. 2 
vols. Weimar, 1898, 1899. Indispensable for names, dates, and 
books, but not a history in any true sense. 

T. B. HUGHES : A Dictionary of Islam. London, 1896. Very 
full of information, but to be used with caution. Based on Persian 
sources largely. 

K. W. LANE : An Account of the Manners and Customs of the 
Modern Egyptians. First edition, London, 1836; third, 1842. 
Many others. Indispensable. 


C. M. DOUGHTY . Travels in Arabia Deserta 2 vols. Cam- 
bridge, 1888. By far the best book on nomad life in Arabia. Gives 
the fullest and clearest idea of the nature and workings of the Arab 

J. Ii. BURCKHARDT : Notes on the JBedouins and Wahabys. 2 
vols. [London, 1831. 

J. Xr. BTTRCKHARDT : Travels in Arabia. 2 TO!S. London, 1820. 

R. P. BURTON : Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to al-Jfa- 
dinah and Meccah. 2 vols. Last edition, London, 1898. On 
the Hajj and Muslim life, thought and studies generally in the 
middle of the nineteenth century. Readable and accurate to a 

C. SKOUCK HURGCRONJE : MeTcka. 2 vols. and portfolio of plates. 
Haag, 1888, 1889. Is somewhat dull beside Burton, but very full 
and accurate. 

"W. ROBERTSON SMITH : Lectures on the Religion of the Semites. 
First Series. New edition, London, 1894. Kinship and Mar- 
r rage in Early Arabia. Cambridge, 1885. 

IG-NAZ GOLDZIHER : Muhammedanische JStudien. I, Halle a. S. , 
1889. II, 1890. Epoch-marking books; as are all Goldziher's 
contributions to the history of Muslim civilization. 

ALFBEB VON KREMBR : Geschichte der herrschenden Ideen des 
Islams. Leipzig, 1868. 

AI/FKEI> VON KREMBR : Culturgeschichte des Orients wnter den 
Chalifen. 2 vols. Wien, 1875-77. Cultitrgeschichtliche Streif- 
ziige. X.eipzig, 1873. 

EDWARD G. BROWNE : A Year Among? the Persians. I/ondon, 
1893. A most valuable account of modern Persian life, philosophy, 
and theology, and especially of Sufiiam and Babism. 

EDWARD G. BROWNE : A Literary History of Persia* New 
York, 190S. Really political and religious prolegomena to such a 

G. A. HBRKXOTS : Qanoon-e-Islam^ or the Customs of the 
MoQsulmans of India. London, 1832. 




AUGUST MULLER : Die Beherrscher der Glaubigen, Berlin, 1882. 
A very brightly written sketch based on thorough knowledge. 

GUSTAV WEIL: Geschichte der Chalifen. 3 vols. Mannheim, 

SIR WILLIAM MUIR : The Caliphate, its Rise^ Decline and Fall. 
London, 1891. 

THEODOR NOLDEKE: Zur tendentiosen Gestaltung der Urge- 
schichte des Islams. ZDMG, lii, pp. 16 ff. All Noldeke's papers 
on the early history of Islam are worthy of the most careful study. 

G. VON VLOTEN : Zur Aboasiden Geschichte. ZDMG, lii, pp. 213 
if. On the early Abbasids. 

E. E. BRUNNOW : De Charidschitenunterdenersten Omayyaden. 
Leyden, 1884 

EDUARD SACHAU : Uber eine Arabische Chronik aus Zanzibar. 
Mitth. a.d. Sem. f. Orient. Sprachen. Berlin, 1898. On Ibadites, 

GKORGE PERCY BADGER : History of the Imams and Seyyids 
of Oman, by Salil-ibn-Razik. London : Hakluyt Society, 1871. 
Valuable for Ibadite history, law and theology. 

M. J. DE GOEJE : Memoire sur les Carmathes du Bahrain et les 
Fatimides. Leyden, 1886. 

JOHN NICHOLSON : An Account of the Establishment of the Fate- 
mite Dynasty in Africa. Tubingen and Bristol, 1840. 

QUATREMERB : Memoires historiques sur la dynastie des Khalifes 
Fatimites* JA, 3, ii 

SYLVBSTRB DE SACY : Expose de la religion des Druzes et la vie 
du Khalife llakem-Uamr-allah, 2 vols. Paris, 1838. 

F, WUSTKNFE"LD : Geschichte der Fatimiden-Khalifen. Gottin- 
gen, 1881. 

STANLEY LANE-POOLE : A History of Egypt in the Middle Ages. 
Hew York, 1901. For the origin and founding of the Fatimid 
Dynasty, the Khalifa al- Hakim, etc. 

H. L, FLEISCHER : Briefwechsel zwischen den Anfuhrern der 
Wahhabiten und dem Pasha von Damascus, Kleinere Schriften, 
iii, pp. 341 ff. First published in ZDMG for year 1857, 


E. EEHATSEK : The History of the Wahhc^bys in Arabia and in, 
India. Journal of Asiatic Society of Bengal No. zzzTiii (read 
January, 1880). 

Turkey in Europe, by " Odysseus." London, 1900. The present 
situation, with its historical antecedents in European Turkey and the 
Balkans generally. 

H. 0. DWIGHT : Constantinople and its Problems. New York, 

A. S. WHITE : The Expansion of Egypt. London, 1899. The 
present situation in Egypt and its historical antecedents. 

W. W. HUNTER : Our Indian Mussulmans. London, 1871. 

SIR LEWIS PELLT : The Miracle Play of Hasan and Husain. 
London, 1879. 

W. S. BLUNT : The Future of Islam. London, 1880. 



The Mishkat, translated by Matthews. Calcutta, 1809. (A col- 
lection of traditions.) 

The Hidaya, translated by C. Hamilton. II edition. London, 

N. B. E. BAILLIE ; A Digest of Muhavnmctdan, Law. Hanifi 
Code. London, 1865. 

The same. Imameea Code. London, 1869. The first volume 
deals with Sunnite, the second with Shi'ite law. 

S. KEIJZER: Precis de Jurisprudence Musulmane selon le rite 
Chafeite par Abu Chodja ; texte arabe avec traduction et annota- 
tions. Leyden, 1859. To be used with caution. 

EDTJARD SACHAU : Muhammadanisches Recht nach Sch&fiitischer 
Lehre. Stuttgart & Berlin, 1897. Based largely on al-Bajuri'fl 
commentary to Abu Shuja : covers rather less than half the ma- 
terial of a corpus of canon law and is the best general introduc- 
tion to the subject. 

IGNAZ GOLDZIHER: Die Zahiriten^ %hr Lthrsystem und ihre 
Geschichte. Leipzig, 1884. 

IGNAZ GOLDZIHER : Neue Materialien zur Litteratur des i^ber- 
lieferungswesen bei den Muhammedanern. ZDMCr, I, pp. 465 ff. 
Deals with Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal. 


IGNAZ GOLDZIHER : Zur Litteratur des Ichtilaf al-madhalvib. 
ZDMG, xxxviii, pp. 669 if. Contains a notice of ash-Sha'rani. 

IGNAZ GOLDZIHER ; Ub&r eine Formel in der judischen Respon- 
sen-litter atur. ZDMG, liii, pp. 645 if. Onfatwas and ijtihad. 

IGNAZ GOLDZIHER : Das Princip des IstisJiab in muham. Gesetz- 
wissenschaft. WZ, i, pp. 228 ff. 

EDUARD SACHATJ : Muhammedanisches Erbrecht nach der LeTire 
der Ibaditischen Araler von Zanzibar und OstafriJca. Sitzungs- 
berichte derkon. preuss. Akad., 1894. 

EDIT ABB SACHAU : Zur dltesten G-esckichte des muhammedanisehcn 
Rechts. Wien. Akad., 1870. 

SNOUCK HURGROKJE : Le droit musulman. Bevue de I'histoire 
des religions, xxxvii, pp. 1 ff, and 174 If. 

SNOXJCK HURGRONJE : Muhammedanisches Recht nach schajUt" 
iscker Lehre von Eduard Sachau; Anzeige, ZDMG, liii, pp. 125 ff. 

S. K. IVETJN BE HOOGBRWOERD : Siudien zwr Einfuhrung in das 
Recht des Islam. Erlangen, 1901, Contains introduction and part 
of section on law of marriage. Gives a good but miscellaneous 
bibliography and is written from a Persian point of view ; trans- 
literation is peculiarly eccentric and Arabic scholarship is unsound. 

J. WELLHAUSEN : Medina vor dem Islam. Muhammad' } s Gemein- 
deordnung von Medina. In " Skizzen und Vorarbeiten," Viertes 
Heft. Berlin, 1889. 

HUART : Les Zindtys en droit musulman. Eleventh Congress 
of Orientalists, part iii, pp. 69 ft 

T). B. MAODONALD : The Emancipation of Slaves under Muslim 
Law. American Monthly Eeview of Reviews, March, 1900. 



THBODOR HAARBRUCKER : Asch-SchahrastanVs Religionspar- 
teien und Philosophensckulen ubersetzt und erJclart. 2 vols. Halle, 
1850-51, The Arabic text, without which Haarbriicker's German is 
Bometimes hardly intelligible, was published by Cureton, London, 

T. J. I>B BOER ; GescJiichte der PhilosopMe im Islam. Stuttgart, 
1901, Unsatisfactory but the best that there is. It is only a sketch 
and takes hardly sufficient account of theology and mysticism. 


STANLEY LANE-POOLE : Studies in a Mosque. II edition. Lon- 
don, 1893. Miscellaneous essays, lightly written but trustworthy. 

KREHL : Beitrage zur Characteristic der Lehre vom Glaitben in 
Islam. Leipzig, 1877. 

(jr. VON VLOTEN : Les Hachwia et Nalita. Eleventh Congress of 
Orientalists, part iii, pp. 99 ff. On early religious sects. 

G. VON VLOTEN : Irdja. ZDMG, xiv, pp. 181 ff. On the Mur- 

EDUARD SACHAU : Tiler de religiosen Anschauungen der ibadit- 
ischen Muhammedaner in Oman und Ostafrica. Mitth. a. d. Sem. 
f. Orient. Sprachen. Berlin, 1899. 

H. STEINER : Die Mu^taziliten oder die Freidenker im Islam. 
Leipzig, 1865. 

WILHELM SPITTA : Zur Greschichte Abu I- Hasan al-AsWcwVs. 
Leipzig, 1876. The best as yet on al-Ash'ari, but to be used with 
caution, especially in the translations of theological texts. 
; MARTIN SCHREINER: Zur Geschichte des Ash'aritenthums. In 
Actes du huitieme Congress International des Orientalistes, I, i, 
pp. 77 ff. Leiden, 1891. 

M. A. F. MEHREN : Expose de la reforme de Plslavmsvne com- 
mencee au troisieme siecle de I'Hegire par Alou-t- Hasan AH e/~ 
AsWari et continuee par son ecole. Third International Congress of 
Orientalists, vol. ii. 

G. FLUGEL: Al-Kindi genannt "der Philosoph der Araber. n 
Ein Vorlild seiner Zeit und seines Volkes. Leipzig, 1857. 

SIR WILLIAM Mum : The Apology of al-Kindy, written at the 
court of al-Mdmun. London, 1882. 

E. SELL : The Faith of Islam. London, 1896. II edittion. A 
valuable book, but from the point of view of an Indian missionary, 
Hence the tone is polemic and the technicalities are Persian rather 
than Arabic. 

WALTER M. PATTEN: Ahmad ibn Ifanbal and the Mthna, 
Leyden, 1897. There is a valuable review by Goldziher in XDMO, 
Hi, pp. 155 ff. It traces connection of Hanbalites with Ibn 
Taymiya and Wahhabites. 

HEINRICH HITTER : Ueler unsere Kenntniss der Arabischen /%tf- 
osophie. Gottingen, 1844. 

FRIEDRICH BIETERIOI: AlfaraWs philosophised Abharuttungen 
herausgegeben. Leiden, 1890. Aus dem arabischen uberseizt 
Leiden, 1892. 


AL-FARABI: Der Musterstaat. Herausgegeben und Ubersetzt 
von Frdr. Dieterici. Leiden, 1900. 

G. FLUGEL : Ueber Inhalt und Verfasser der ardbisehen Uncyclo- 
padie der Ikhwan as-Safa. ZDMGr, xiii, pp. 1 ff. See, too, an 
excellent article by August Miiller in JErsch und Gruber, ii, 42, pp. 
272 ff., and Stanley Lane-Poole in his Studies in a Mosque. 

FRIEDRICH DIETERICI : Die Philosophic der Araber im X. 
Jahrhundert n. Ohr. aus der Schriflen der lauteren Briider her- 
ausgegeben. Berlin and Leipzig, 1861-1879. 

IGNAZ GOLDZIHER : Materialien zur Untwickelungs-geschichte des 
Sufismus. WZ, xiii, pp. 85 ff. 

THEODOR NOLDEKE : 8>ufi. ZDMG, xlviii, pp. 45 ff. On the 
derivation and early usage of the name Sufi. 

ADELBERT MERX : Idee und Grundlinien einer allgemeinen 
GescMchte der Mystik. Heidelberg, 1893. 

JOHN" P. BROWN : The Derwishes or Oriental Spiritualism. 
London, 1868. A valuable but uncritical description of modern 
Turkish and Persian Darwishes. 

SIR JAMES REBHOITSE : The Mesnevi ofJelal eddin ar-rumi trans- 
lated into English. Book I. London, 1881. See, too, a transla- 
tion by Wliinfield, London, 1887, and an edition of selected ghazels 
from the Biwan with translation and valuable introduction by R. A. 
Nicholson, Cambridge University Press, 1898. 

E. J. W- GIBB: A History of Ottoman Poetry. Vol. i. London, 
1900. A valuable statement of the later Persian and Turkish 
mysticism and metaphysic on pp. 13-70. 

B. H. PALMER : Oriental Mysticism. Cambridge, 1867. 

CARRA DB VAUX: Amcenne. Paris, 1900. Contains an intro- 
ductory sketch of philosophy and theology up to the time of Ibn 
Sina. Algazali. Paris, 1902. A continuation of the first , 

A, VON KREMER : Uber die yhilosojphischen Gedichte des Abut 
Ala Ma'arry. Wien, 1888. 

A. vox KREMER: Gedichte des Abu-l-Ata Ma^arri. ZDMG, 
xxix, 304; xxx, 40; xxxi, pp. 471 ff. ; xxxviii, 499 ff. 

ABU-L-ALA AL-MA'ARRI : Letters Arabic and English, with notes, 
etc., edited by D. , Margoliouth. Oxford, 1898. See, too, papers 
by R. A. Nicholson in JRAS, October, 1900, ff. ; and by Mar- 
goliouth, for April, 1902. 

B. FrrzOBBALD: The MubaHyat of Omar Khayyam. With a 
commentary by //. M. JBatson and a biographical Introduction by 


E. JO. Ross. New York, 1900. The biography by Eoss is the only 
at all adequate treatment of the life and times of Umar which yet 
exists. Of the Buba'iyat themselves there are several adequate 
translations, e.g. by Whinfield, Payne and Mrs. Cadell. 

MARTIN SCHREINEB, : Zur Geschichte der Polemik zwischen Juden 
und Muhammedanern. ZDMG, xlii, pp. 591 ff. Deals with Ibn 
Hazm and Fakhr ad-Din ar-Razi. 

MABTIN- SCHEEINER: Beitrdge zur Geschichte der theologischen 
Bewegungen in Islam. ZDMG, lii, pp 463 ff. ; 513 ff. ; liii, pp. 
51 ff. A most valuable collection of materials with considerable 
gaps and imperfect digestion. 

D. B. MACDONALD : The Life ofal-Ghazzali. In the Journal of 
the American Oriental Society, vol. xx, pp. 71-132. 

D. B. MACDONALD : Emotional Religion in Islam as affected by 
Music and Singing. Being a translation of a look of the Ihya of 
al-6fhazzali. In JBAS for April and October, 1901, and January, 

MIGUEL ASIN PALACIOS : Algazel, dogmatica, moral, ascetica. 

Zaragoza, 1901. 

C. BAEBIEE DE MEYNAED : Traduction nouvelle du Traite de 
Ghazz&li, intitule Le Preservatif de TErreur. In JA, vii, 9, pp. 

T. J. DE BOEE : Die Widerspruche der Philosophie nock al- 
Gihazz&li und ihr Ausgleich, durck Ibn JRoshd. Strassburg, 1804. 

A translation of al : Ghazzalf s Tahafut has been begun by Carra 
de Vaux in Le Museon, xxyiii, p. 143 (June, 1899). 

IGNAZ GOLPXIHEE : Materialien zur Kenntniss der Almohaden- 
lewegung in N'ordafrika. ZDMG, xli, pp. 30 ff. 

IGNAZ GOLDZIHER : Die Bekenntnissforvneln der Almohaden. 
ZDMG, xliv, pp. 168 ff. 

BOBERT FLINT : Historical Philosophy in France and French 
Belgium and Switzerland. New York, 1894. Contains an excel- 
lent estimate of Ibn Khaldun as a philosophical historian. 

A. VON BJREMEE : Ibn Chaldun und seine OulturgescMchte der 
islamischen Reiche. Wien, 1879. 

EENEST EENAN : Averroes et V Averroisme. Ill edition, Paris, 
1861. Reviewed by Dozy in JA, 5, ii, pp. 93 ff. This review con- 
tains a curious description of a Parliament of Beligions at Baghdad 
about A.D. 1000. 

Philosophie und Theologie von Averroes. Aus dem Arabischsn 


ubersetzt von M. J". Mutter . Miinchen, 1875. The Arabic te:zt was 
published by Miiller in 1859. 

LEON GATTTHIER : Ibn Thofail-Hayy ben Yaqdhan, rotnan philo- 
sophique. Texte arabe et traduction fran^aise. Alger, 

1900. There is an earlier edition of Ibn Tufayl's romance by the 
younger Pocock with a Latin version. Oxford, 1671. 

M. A. IP. MEHREN : Correspondance du Philosophe JSouft Ibn 
Sab^in AbcL oul-JSiagq avec I'JBinpereur Frederic II. de Hohert,-* 
staufen. In JA, vii, 14, pp. 341 ff. 

S. GTJYARD : Abd ar-Razzaq et son traite de la Predestination 
et du libre arbitre. In JA, vii, 1, pp. 125 f. 

A. BE KREMER : Notice sur Sha'rany. In JA, vi, 11, pp. 253 ff. 

G. FJLUGEL : Scha^rani und sein Werfc uber die muhawnmadan- 
ische Gflaubenslehre. ZDMG, xx, p. 1 ff. 

IGNAZ GOLDZIHER : JSeitrage zwr LitteraturgescTuichte der Shi l a. 
Wien, 1874. 

JAMES H>. MERRICK : The Life and Religion of Mohammed, as 
contained in the Sheeah Traditions of the Hyat-ul-Kuloo~b. Bos- 
ton, 1850. 

J. B. RULING : Beitrage zur Eschatologie des Islam. Leipzig, 

L. GAUTHIER : Ad-dourra al-fakhira / la perle precieuse de Gha- 
zali. Geneve, 1878. In Arabic and French ; a valuable account 
of Muslim eschatology. 

M. WOLFF : Muhammedanische Eschatologie. Leipzig, 1872. 
In Arabic and German ; an account of popular Muslim eschatology. 

DEPONT ET CAPPOLANI : Les Confreries religieuses Musulmanes. 
Alger, 1897. 

SNOUCK IIuRGiiONJE : Jjes Confreries religieuses^ la Mecque et le 
Panislamisme, in Revue de 1'histoire des religions, xliv, pp. 262 ff. 


For typographical reasons the smooth guttural Ha, the palatals Sad, Dad, 
Ta, Za, and the long vowels are indicated by italic. The same system is fol- 
lowed in the index. 


11 M.d. ; Abw Bakr Kh. 

13 'UmarKh. 

14 Battle of al-Qadisiya ; fall of 

Jerusalem ; al-Basra found- 
ed ; fall of Damascus. 

17 Al-K?fa founded ; Syria and 
Mesopotamia conquered. 

20 Conquest of Egypt. 

SI Battle of Nahawand; Persia 

23 'UthmanKh. 

30 Final redaction of the Qur'an. 

35 <Ali Kh. 

36 Battle of Carmel. 

40 'AH d. 

41 Mu Wiya I. Kh. ; Herat. 
49 Al-#asan d. 

56 Samarqand. 

60 Schism of Ibaditesfrom Khari- 


61 Karbala & d. of al--Husayn. 

73 Storm of Mecca <fe d, of 'Abd 

Allah b. az-Zubayr. 

74 Carthage. 

80 Ma 'bad executed. 

81 M. b. al-JSTanaf **ya d. 
93 Toledo. 

99-101 'Umar II Kh. 
110 .Sasan al-Bari d. 
114 Charles the Hammer at Tours 
(A.D, 733). 



121 Zayd b. Zayn al-* AUdm d. 
124 Az-ZuhH d. 
127-133 Marwan II. Kh. 

130 Jahmb. ^afwn killed ? 

131 Wasil b. <Ata d. 

132 Fall of Umayyads ; as-SaffaA 

first 'Abbtfsid Kh, 

134 First Ibadite Imam. 

135 Knbi* a d. 
136-158 Al-Man.<mr Kh. 
138-422 Umayyads of Cordova, 
140 Ibn al-MuqafFa' killed. 

143 Halley's comet. 

144 'Amr b. 'Ubayd d. ? 

145 Baghdad founded; 4 J. T ishad. 

of Ja* far as-^adiq d. 

147 Homage to al-Mahdt as suc- 

cessor in Kh. 

148 Ja'far w-6'adiq d. 

150 Abw -Hanifa d.; trace of Suti 
monastery in Damascus. 

157 Al-Awz<z*i d. 

158-169 Al-Mahdi Kh. ; John of 
Damascus d.? 

161 Sufyan ath-Thawri d, ; Ibra- 
him b. Adham d. 

165 Da'wd b. Husayr d. 

167 Bashshar b. Burd killed. 

170-193 Harun ar-Raahld Kh. 

172-375 Idrisids. 

179 Malik b. Anas d. 

A.H. 182-408 



182 The Qadi Ab% Ywsuf d. 

187 Fall of Barmecides ; al-Fu- 
dayl b. l ljad d. 

189 M. b. al-J2asan d. 

198-218 Al-Ma'nmn Kh. 

200 Ma'rwf of al-Karkh d. ; trace 
of Sui. i monastery in Khura- 

204 Ash-Shafi'i d. 

208 Abw 'Ubayda d. ; the Lady 
Naf'isa d. 

211 Theodorus Abucara d. 

212 Decree that the Qur'an is 


213 Thumama b. Ashras d. 

215 Abw Sulayman of Damascus 

d.; 2nd decree. 
218-234: The Mi/ma ; Al-Mu'tasim 


220 Ma 'mar b. 'Abbad. 
233 F rfima of Naysabwr d. 
220 Abw Hudhayl M. al-'Allaf d. 
227 Bishr al-Ifof i d. ; al-Wathiq 


231 An-N&zzam d. 

232 Al-Mutawakkii Kh. 

284 Decree that Qur'an is un- 
created ; Scotus Erigena 
transl. pseudo-Dionysius, 
A.D. 850. 

240 Ibn Abi Buwad d, 

241 A7imad b. 77anbal d. 
243 Al-//rith al-W-ahasibi d. 
245 Dhu-n~Nnn d. ; al-Karabisi 


250-316 'Alids of Zaydite branch 
in north Persia. 

255 Al-3ahiz d. 

256 Ibn Karram d. 

357 Al-Bukharid,; Sarias-SaqaW 

260 Al-Kindi d.? M. b. al-^asan 

al-Muuta^ar vanished. 

261 Muslim d. ; Abw Yazid al- 

270 Da'wd &z-Zahiri d. 
273 Ibn Maja d. 
275 Abw Da'?^das-Sijistantf d. 
S77 Qarmaiians hold fortress in 
Arab 'Iraq. 

279 At-TirmidM d. 

280 Zaydite Imams at as-Sa'da 

and San'#. 
289 'Ubayd Allah al-Mahdi in 

North Africa. 
295-320 Al-Muqtadir 'Abbasid 

297 First Faftmid Kh. ; al- Junayd 


300 Return of al-Ash'arl 
303 An-N"asa'i d. ; Al-Jubba'i d. 
309 Al-lTallj executed. 
317 Umayyads of Cordova take 

title of Commander of the 

Faithful ; Qarmattans in 

320-447 Buwayhids ; al-Ash'ari 


322 Ibn ash-Shalmagham. 
331 A.t~Ta,hawi d. 

333 Al-Matarid^ d. 
333-356 Sayf ad-Dawk. 

334 Buwayhids in Baghdad ; ash- 

Shibli d. 
339 Return of Black Stone by 

Qarmaiians ; al-Farabi d. 
356 Fi5imids conquer Egypt; 

Cairo founded. 
360 Ikhwn as-tfafa fi 
362 Ibn H^ni d. 
381-422 Al-Qadir Kh. 
386 Abw Talib al-Makki d. 
388-421 Ma7miwd of Ghazna. 
403 Al-Baqilani d. 
408 Persecution of Mu'tazilites 

under al-Q#dir. 




411 AUHakim Fatfimid Kh. van- 
ished ; FirdawsS d. 

428 Ibn Sina d. 

434 Abw Dharr d. 

440 Al-Berwni d. 

447 Tughril Beg, the Saljuq, in 

449 Abw-l- e A10 al-Ma c arri d. 

450 Persecution of Ash'arites. 

455 Alp-Arslan ; ISizam al-Midk 

W&zix ; end of persecution 
of Ash'arites. 

456 Ibn ifazm aa-Zahira d. 
465 Al-Qushayri d. 

478 Imam al-ITararnayn d. 

481 Nasir b. Khusraw d. 

483 .Hasan b. as-/SabbaA seizes 


485 Nizam al-Mulk assaas. 
488 Al-Ghazzali leaves Baghdad. 
505 Al-GhazzaK d. 

515 'Umar al-Khayyam d. 

516 Al-Baghawi d. 

524 Ibn Twmart al-Mahdi d. 
524-558 l Abd al~Mii'min. 
524-667 The MuwaMids. 
533 Abw Bakr b, Bjja d. 

537 Ab?^ ^af s an-Nasaf i d. 

538 Az-Zamakhshari d. 

540 Yehuda Halevi d.A.D. 1145. 
546 Abw Bakr b. al-' Acabi d. 
548 Ash-Shahrastani d. 
558 ' Abd al-Mu'min the Mu- 

558 <Ad al-Hakkari d. 

558-580 Abw Ya l q^b the Mn- 

561 'Abd al-Qdir al-Jilant, 
founder of order of dar- 
wishes, d. 

567 Conquest of Egypt by Saladin 
and end of Fatfimids. 

576 Order of Eifa'ites founded. 


580 Abw Ya'qwb d. 

580-596 Abw Ywsuf al-Manswr. 

581 Ibn rufayld. 

587 As-Suhrawardi executed. 

589 Saladin d. 

590 AbwShuja'd.? 

595 Ibn Bushd d.; Abw Yumf 
al-Mans?r the Muwa/i/ad d. 
601 Maimonides cL A.D. 1204. 
606 Fakhr ad-Din ar-Kazi" d. 
630 Abw-l-,Hajjaj b. ^Tuml?^ d. ; 
tfakhr ad-Din b. 'Asakir 
d. ; St. Francis of Assisi d. 
A,D. 1236. 

625-941 jSafsids at Tunis. 
630-640 J.r-Rashid the Muwaft- 


632 c Umar b. al-Farid 
638 Ibn 'Arabi d. 
648 Frederick II cL A.D. 1250. 
654 End of Assassins by Mon- 
gols ; Ash-ShadhiK, found- 
er of order of darwishes, d. 
667 Ibn Sab 'in d.; end of Muwafc- 


672 Jalal ad-Din ar-Rwmi d. 
675 ATtmad al-Badawi, founder of 

order of darwishei, d. 
681 Ibn Khallik<zn d. 
685 AI-Baydawi d. 
693, 698-708, 709-741 Muhammad 
An-N<zsir, Mamliwk Sultan, 

719 An-Nasr al-Manbiji d? 
724 Ibn Rushd is still studied at 

728 IbnTaymiyad.; MeisterEck- 

hart d. A.D. 1328. 
730 'Abd ar-Razzaq d. 
756 Al- 4 ijid.; Heinrich Buso d. 
791 At-Taftazani d.; an-Naqsh- 
bandi > founder of order of 
darwishes, d. 

A.H. 808-1275 371 

A.H. A.H. 

808 Ibn Khaldwn d. 973 Ash-Sha'rani d, 

857 Capture of Constantinople 1201 'Abd al-Wahhab d. =A.D. 

by Ottomans and office of 1787. 

Shaykh al-Islam created^ 1205 Sayyid Murtacta d.; al-Fu- 

A.I>. 1453. Thomas a Kem- dali fl. circ. 1220. 

pisd.-A.D. 1471. 125S Foundation of Brotherhood 

895 M. b. Ywsuf as-Sanwsi d. of as-Sanwsi=A.i>. 1837. 

907 Accession of /Safawids. 1260 Ibrhim al-Bajwri d. ; De- 

923 Conquest of Egypt by Otto- cree of Forte that apostate 

man Turks. Muslims should not be put 

945 Death of al-Mutawakkil, last to death. 

'Abbacsid. 1275 Death of founder of Broth- 

951 Beginning of Sharif s of Mo- erhood of as-Sanz<siA.l>. 

rocco. 1859. 


Abadi , 300 

Al- Abbas, 10, 32 

'Abbasids, 10, 32, 34, 39, 45, 50, 

51, 53, 54, 56, 57, 91, 92-94, 97, 

98, 132-135, 153, 154, 167, 169, 


'Abd, 294 
'Abd Allah, father of MuAammad, 

350, f. 

4 Abd Allah ibn az-Zubayr, 83, 25 
4 Abd Allah ibn Maymun, 40, 42-44 
4 Abd Allah ibn 'Umar, 298 
'Abd al-Mu'min, 248, 252 
'Abdal-Muttalib, 351 
4 Abd al-Qadir aKRlam, 267 
4 Abd ar-Ka^man, the Umayyad, 


'Abd ar-Razzaq, 271, f. 
', 173, 174 
*J.bida 174 
Abkam, 340 
Abraham, also Ibrahim, 42, 226, 

Abu * Abd Allah ibn Karram ; see 

Ibn Karram 

Abw-l-'Ala al-Ma'arri, 199 
Abw Bakr, 1st Kh., 13-16, 23, 24, 

36, 56, 71, 165, 300, 250, 268, 

297, 307, 313, 346 
Abw Da'wd as-Sijistani, 81 
Abw Dharr, 207 
Ab?*-l-flajjj ibn Tnmlus, 260 
Ab?^ 5auifa, 94-102, 106, 121, 127, 

193, 309 
Abw Hashim, 159, f. 

Abw Hudhayl, 136-139, 159, 248 

Abw Sahl, 325 

Abw Shuja' al-Ispaham, 351 

Abw Sufyan, 22 

Abi& Sulayman of Damascus, 175 

Abw Talib, 10 

Abw Talib al-Makki, 176, f. 

Abt* 'Ubayda, 150 

Abw Ya'qwb ibn 'Abd al-Mu'min, 


Abw Y?^suf , the Qadi, 96-99 
Ab?^ Ywsuf al-Manswr, 252, 255 
Active Intellect, 236, 250-253, 256, 


'J.da, 113 
'Adad, 326 
Adam, 42, 43, 171, 232, 312, 332, 


'Adam, 316 
'Ad* al-Hakkari, 267 
*Adil, 356 
'Adi, 291 
Africa, 59 
Africa, Bast, 24, 26 
Africa, North, 26, 35, 45, 46, 62, 


Ahl al-ahwa, 122, 299 
Ahl at-tawAid wal-'adl, 136 
Ahl Htab, 24 

A&mad al-Badawi, 267, 269 
Amad al-Malawa, 331 
AAmad ar-B,ifa'a, 267 
AAmad ibn 'Abd Allah ibn May- 

mwn, 44 
AAmad ibn Aba Duwad, 156 



Afanad ibn JTanbal, 79, 103, 110, 
157, 158, 172, 175, 176, 187, 274, 

*-4'isha, wife of Mu&ammad, 10, 
13, 21 

*J.'isha, daughter of Ja'far as- 
tfadiq, 173 

Ajal, 298, 311 

Al-Ajhtai, 346 

<Ajz, 317, 339 

Al-Akhal, 89 

*-4.1am al-jabarwt, 234 

',4.1am al-malakwt, 234, 235 

Mlam al-mulk, 234 

Alanmt, 49, 169, 224 

Alastu bi-rabbikum, 171 

Aleppo, 162 

Alexandria, 241 

Algeria, 24, 26, 62 

'Alids, 18, 32-35, 37, 51, 155, 157, 
166, 187 

<AK ibn Abi Talib, 18-31, 36, 37, 
44, 45, 88, 121, 155, 182, 249, 
259, 275, 297, 307, 313, 314, 346 

"Alim, 337 ; of. 'ulama 

Allah, 127, 161, 321, 327 

Almeria, 260 

Alp Arslan, 213 

Alphonso the Wise, 233 

Al-'Alqami, 346 * 

A'ma, 340 

'Ama, 340 

'Arnal, 294, 296, 312 

Amana, 347 

'Amr ibn 'XJbayd, 129 

Amwia, mother of Mu/iammad, 351 

Anima Mundi, 232 

Ansar, 9, 13, 18 

'Aqida, 316 

' Aqz'qa, 356 

Aql, 120, 136, 148, 157, 214, 269, 
272, 292, 308, 316 

Al-'aql al-fa' 'al see Active Intel- 

Arabs, 8, 14, 17, 24, 40, 44-46, 50, 

51, 60, 67, 68, 74, 124, 125, 127, 

133, 134, 150, 157, 243, 305 
Arabia, 15, 23, 25, 36, 37, 131 
Arabia, South, 23, 36, 37, 45, 59 
Arab 'Iraq ; see al-'lraq 
'Arad, 159, 309, 320 
ArAamu-r-ro^inun, 210 
Aristotelians, Aristotelianism, 134, 

140, 144, 161-163, 168, 196, 198, 

201, 202, 286 
Aristotle, 134, 138, 140, 144, 161- 

164, 198, 221, 232, 236, 248, 

253, 255, 356, 260, 264 
'Arsh, 301 
Asal, 253, 254 
Asamm, 340 
Al-asharatu-l-mubashshara, 268, 

297, 314 
Al-Ash'art, 187-190, 192, 193, 200, 

208, 214, 217, 218, 220, 386, 220, 

230, 293, 308 t 319, 341 
Ash'arites, 191, 201, 207-213, 241- 

47, 272, 273, 276 t 280, 291, 

, day of, 28 
Ad, 107, 109 
AslaA, 190, 293, 311; see, too, 

Al-asma al-Ausna, 210, 280, 821, 

Assassins, 27, 49, 53, 59, 169, 170, 

196; see, too, lama'ilians, 

Batfinites, Ta limites 
*Ata ibn Yassar, 128 
Athos, Mount, 178 
Augustine, 132, 215, 216 
Avenpace, 250 ; see, too, Ibn Bj ja 
Averroes, Averroism, 251 ; see, 

too, Ibn Kushd 

Avicenna, 197 ; see, too, Ibn Biaa 
Awkd llwan, 268 
AwwaKyat, 260 
Al-Awza 'i> 98 


<Ayn, 191, 309, 319, 311 
AzaK, 291, 300, 309, 322, 343 

Babism, 5 

Badaha, 308 

Badakhshan, 170 

Badan, 141 

Badawite darwzshes, 267 

Al-Baghawi, 81, 207 

Baghdad, 5, 50-53, 56, 111, 133, 
159, 162, 166-168, 175, 184, 185, 
190, 194, 195, 207, 213, 217, 
220, 226, 267 

Baghdad, Pashalik of, 60 

Bakam, 340 

Balada, 347 

Balkh, 174 

, 200, 201, 207 
Barmak, Barmecides, 50 
Basar, 294, 333 
Bashshar ibn Burd, 150 
Basir, 337 
Al-Basra, 18, 23, 25, 83, 150, 159, 

167, 174, 187, 188 
Ba'th, 296, 311, 329 
Botfin, 314 
Baftnites, 42, 196 
Bata, 42 
Bay', 353 

Al-Baydtowi, 195, 241 
Al-Bayjwri, 315 
Baytu-l-izza, 335 
Bedawis, 62 

Berbers, 45, 243, 244, 248, 249 
Al-Berwm, 170, 197 
Beyrout, 84 
Bid'a, 74, 78, 148, 186, 297, 299, 

Bila kayfa waltf tashbih, 147, 171, 

191, 208, 294, 344; of. kayfa 
Bil-fi'l; seeFil 
Bishr al-Haf i, 175, 176 
Bishr al-Marisi, 155 

Bishr iba al-Mu'tamir, 142, 143, 

151, 152 
Al-Bistanu, Ab?^ Yazid, 183, 188, 

225, 268 

Brotherhood of as-Sanws^, 61, ff. 
Buddhists, 134 
Al-Bukhari, 79, 80, 147, 148 
Burgundy, 83 
Burhan, 259, 260 
Buwayhids, 51, 52, 167, 194, 195, 

197, 208 

Cffisarea, 84 

Cairo, 49, 166, 173, 195, 241, 244, 


Camel, Battle of the, 21 
Carthage, 82, 243 
Charles the Hammer, 83 
Chinese Muslims, 59 
Christians, Christianity, 24, 47, 48, 

125, 130-134, 137, 144,147,151, 

181, 194 

Companions ; see Sahibs 
Code Napoleon, 114 
Constantino in Algeria, 45 
Constantinople, 54, 113 
Crusaders, 49 

Ad-Dajjal, 298, 315 

DaM, 109, 315 

JDaman, 354 

Damascus, 14, 82, 88, 131, 175, 177 

Bar al-^Tarb, 55 

"Dai al-Islam, 55 

DarwrS, 308 

Darwtehes, 5, 61, 179, 182, 183, 203, 

244, 266, 268 

Da'wd az-Zahin, 103, 108-110 
Da'ud ibn Nusayr, 174 
Dauphin^, Le, 83 
Dawr, 323 

Dhifccs, 174, 178, 179 
Bhuhwl, 340 
Dlm-1-faqar, 20 


Dhw-1-Kifl, 346 

Dhw-n-Nwn, 176 

Dhw-n-!Nwrayn, 313 

Dm, 293, 297, 298, 305, 30T 

Diya, 355 

Diy&na, 293 

Druses, 27, 48, 59,170 

Eckart, the mystic, 180 
Edict of the Praetor, 87 
Egypt, Egyptians, 14, 21, 23, 30, 

45-49, 53, 62, 83, 187, 244, 277, 


Emessa, 163 
Erigena, Scotus, 182 
Euchites, 178 
Euclid, 134 
Euphrates, 133 

Fakhr ad-Dm ar-Razi, 241 

Fakhr ad- Din ibn 'Asakir, 273 

Fana, 338 

Faq*h, fuqaha, 73, 85, 270 

Faqirs, 268 

Al-Famb, 162-164, 165, 1$7, 169, 

181, 196, 215, 221, 236, 250 
Faragh, 317 
Fartf, 73 
FanWa, 354 
Al-Farwq, 313 
Fatana, 347 
Fatima,, daughter of Muhammad, 

20, 30, 36, 346, 347 
Farfima of Naysabwr, 173 
Fatfimids, 27, 36, 45, 47, 49, 165- 

167, 169, 173, 184, 197, 224, 241, 


Fatwa, 115, 184, 276, 277 
Fay', 356 
Bil-fil, 328 
Fi ma^all ; see ma^all 
Fiqh, 77, 87, 116, 132, 208, 209, 245, 

252, 261, 270, 279, 282; cf. 

Firdawsi, 170 

St. Francis of Assisi, 180 

Frederick II., the Hohenstaufen, 


Friday, 35, 51, 235, 298, 313 
Al-FudaK, 191, 315 
Al-Fu^ayl ibn 'lyatf, 174, 175 
Fustatf, 83 

Galen, 134 

Ghaf ala, 340 

Al-Gham, 327 

Ghamma, 356 

Ghasb, 354 

Al-Ghayb, 139, 281, 314 

Al-GhazzaK, 139, 165,176,183,195, 

199, 207, 215-241, 245-249, 253, 

257, 260-264, 267, 270, 284-286, 

300, 309 
Ghiba, 349 
Ghusl, 352 
Gondtfsh<aspr, 134 
Greek monks, 178 
Greek philosophy, science, etc,, 

133, 138, 140, 144, 159, 161, 162 

.Habib, 175 

.fiadd, 314, 355 

.Fadith, 75, 77, 78, 87, 94, 121, 190, 


Judith, 320, 322, 328, 332 
.Sadfth an-nafs, 273, 336, 350 
.Hatframawt, 60 
jffafsids, 265 
J7'il, 60 

jETajar as-safih, 354 
Ha]}, 275, 278, 292, 858 
Al-ITajjaj, 209, 298 
Al-jffakim Bi'amrillah, 47, 48 
Al-.Sakam ibn M-l-'As, 17 
Sal, 160, 176, 227, 810, 310, 832, 


Hal naf si, 319 
, 298 


Al-jBaUj, 183-185, 298 
Halley's comet, 34 
Hamdanids, 162, 165 
Hamilton, Sir William, 237 
jffanbalites, 115, 121, 158, 167, 190, 

191, 200, 207, 208, 212-214, 237, 

273, 274, 278 
JJanif, 125 
JTanifites, 115 
/faqiqa, 328, 329 
j?aqq, 356 
-ETaram, 73, 298, 311 
Al-jBaramczn, 56, 213 
Al--Harith al-MuAasib*, 175, 177, 

187, 225 
Hamra, 133, 134 

r-Rashid, 50, 97, 98, 144, 

153, 155, 175 

d, 349 

Al-Jfasan, 20, 27, 28, 35 
Al-vHasan al-Basri, 128, 129, 130, 

172, 173 

.Hasan ibn a$~abboA, 224 
Hashim, 10, 17, 32, 313, 351 

J2aw<*, 249, 296, 306, 311, 349 

J3ayah> 332 

Jfayy, 337 

Al-.Hayy, 211 

7/ayy ibn Yaqzan, 253, 254 

Hebron, 226 

Hegel, 143, 233 

Herat, 82, 207 

Hesychasts, 178 

Hiba, 354 

I/itaa, 355 

Hidden Imam, 31, 37, 41, 56, 116; 

cf. Imam, Imamites 
Hierotheos, 181 
Al-IZrjaz, 212 
Hippocrates, 134 
Hd, 346 
J2udwth, 320, 338; cf. hadith, 


, 292 
Hulagu, 49, 53 
JJuM, 228 
Hume, 229, 230 
Al-.Hitsayn, 20, 28 
Huwa4-^aqq, 203 

Tara, 354 

Iba^ites, 5, 26, 54, 115, 117, 126 

Ibn'Abd al-Wahhab ; see Mu^am, 

mad ibn * Abd al-Wahhab 
Ibn Abi 4 Awj, 80 
Ibn al-'Arabi, 316, 322, 323, 328 
Ibn 'Arab*, 241, 261, 264, 271, 277, 


Ibn ash-Shalmaghani, 185 
Ibn Bajja, 250, 252, "255, 257 
Ibn Hani, 170 
Ibn ^Tazm, 209-212, 245-248, 261, 

275, 280 

Ibn Ibad, 'Abd Allah, 25, 26, 116 
Ibn Karram, 170, ff. 
Ibn Khaldwn, 50, 81, 242, t 
Ibn Khallikan, 185 
Ibn Maja, 81 
Ibn al-Muqaffa e , 150 
Ibn Rushd, 161, 163, 195, 206, 215, 

236, 248, 252, 255, 256-261, 264- 

IbnSab'in, <Abd al-.Haqq, 263,264, 

267, 277 
Ibn Sina, 163, 171, 197, 221, 228, 

236, 241, 250, 257 
Ibn Taynuya, 270-278, 283-285 
Ibn Tufayl, 252-256, 261 
Ibn Twmart, 207, 245-248, 252, 275 
Ibrahim ibn Adham, 174, 268 
Al-i$#fatu-l-'amm lil-khass, 337 
Al-idaf atu-1-bayaniya, 337 
<Idda, 355 
Idris, 346 

Idris ibn 'Abd Allh, 35 
Idnsids, 34, 102 


Itan, 293 

Ihiiyaj ila xnaML, 339 

ITiya of al-Ghazzali, 285, 300 

Ihya al-mawat, 354 

Ijara, 354 

Pjaz, 151 

Al-'/ji, 241, 269 

Ijrna', 57, 58, 72, 94, 101, 105, 209, 

292, 328, 351 
Ijmalt, 316 
Ikhtilaf, 116 

Ikhtiyar, 192, 310, 339, 345 
Ikhwan aa-safa, 167, 169, 194, 196, 


Iktisab, 280; cf . kasb 
Ikfcisabi, 309 " 
Ha, 355 
IlAad, 314 
Ilh<rai, 281, 309 
Hjam al-'awamm'an 'ilm al-kalam 

ofal-GhazzaK, 260 
'Ela, 107,319,337; cf. talfl 
'Urn, 201, 294, 332 
4 Hwan, the Shaykh, 268 
Imam, 26, 29, 31, 36-38, 41-43, 46, 

54, 57, 142, 155, 165, 167, 188, 

197, 212, 224, 286, 292, 293, 297- 

299, 311, 313, 318, 350 
Imam al-JTaramayn, 212, 218, 217, 

230, 317 
Imamites, 37, 57, 59, 116, 126, 142, 

Jman, 126, 127, 292-296, 311, 312> 

318, 350 
Imata, 338 
Imdadat, 330 
ImtiAan, 148 ; cf, mi&na 
India, 51, 55, 56, 59, 61 
India, Emperor of, 55 
IndianMu'tazilism. 286 
Injil, 304 
In Bha> Allah, 272 
Iqrar, 312, 354 

Irada, 330 

Al-'Iraq, 209 

'Iraq, Arab, 44 

Ixda, 355 

Irja, 292 ; cf. Murji'ites 

*Jsa; see Jesus 

Islam, 7, 13-15, 19-27, 37, 40-48, 
52-55, 58, 59, 68, 71-74, 118- 
120, 124, 130, 136, 141, 143, 
149, 151-154, 158-161, 167, 173, 
176, 177, 180-183, 186, 100, 191, 
206, 212-215, 218, 226, 228, 230, 
231, 233, 235, 238-244, 248, 261, 
262, 270, 278, 282-284, 293, 2%, 

'Isma, 247, 292, 314, 347 

Isma'tl, 41, 42, 43 

Isma'ilians, 42, 44, 57, 59, 169, 170, 

Isnad, 75, 78, 79 

Ispahan, 195 

Istawa, Istiwa, 186, 294, 301 

Istidlali, 308 

IstiAsan, 87, 94, 96 

IstislaA, 87, 100, 101 

Istita'a, 310 

Istiwa ; see Istawa 

rtazala 'anna, 130 

Ithna 'Ashanya, 38 

Ttibar, 201, 341 

Ttibar ikhtir% 342 

I'tibar intiza'i, 342 

I'tidal, 221 

Ttikaf , 853 

Itq, 357 

IttiAad, 228, 277 

Ja'ala, 354 

Jabarites, ^3, 344 

Jabr, 291, 344 

Jacob, 350 

Jadliya, 259 

Ja'far w-^zdiq, 4, 178 

Al-Jafr, 249 


Jahannam, 306 

Al-Jahiliya, the Barbarism, or the 

Ignorance, 8, 74, 77, 173 
Al-JaMs, 160, 161 
Jahl, 340 

Jahm ibn & wan, 126, 138, 146, 150 
Jahmites, 294, 299 
Ja'iz, 73, 316, 348 
JaM ad-Din ar-Rwmi, 267 
Jami*, 80 
Jarabstb, 62 
Jawhar, 159, 309 
Jawhar rw&ani, 231 
Jerusalem, 14, 40, 42, 146, 226 
Jesus, ' Is, 42, 146 5 315, 345 
Jews, 24, 47, 68, 70, 133, 134, 144, 


Jibnl, 292, 293, 335, 336 
Jihad, 55, 63, 246, 356 
Jinaya, 355 
Jinn, Jinni, Jann, 76, 281, 283, 286, 

299, 304, 305, 324 
Jirm, 317, 820 
JIsm, 143, 309 
Jizya, 15, 356 
John of Damascus, 89, 131, 132, 

137, 146 

Al-Jubba% 159, 160, 172, 188-190 
Al-Junayd, 176, 177, 183, 187, 225, 


Jurisprndentes, 85, 86 
Juththa, 334 
Al-Juwayni; see Imam al-JSara- 


Ka'ba, 149, 268, 278 

Kabira, 127, 296, 811, 349 

Kaf ate, 354 

Kafir, 295, 316, 328, 350 ; of. kufr, 


" Kalila and Dimna," 150 
Khin, 314 
Kalm, 147, 149, 151, 157, 175, 186, 

188, 19S, 200, 206, 208, 214, 216, 

241, 242, 245, 276, 278, 286, 294, 

309, 315, 335 
Kalrtm Allah, 146 
Kalam naf si, Aadith fi-n-naf s, 273, 


Kalimata-sh-shabMa, 300 
Al-kalimatan, 30 
Kallima-E&hu MWS& takKma, 149 
Kamm munf asil, 325 
Kamm muttasil, 325 
Kant, 191, 200, 201 
Al-Karabm, 187 
Karaha, 339 
Karama, 174, 213, 228, 230, 274, 281, 

282, 313 
Karbala, 28 

Karramites, 170, 191, 195, 291, 292 
Kasb, 179, 192, 292 ; of. iktisab 
Kashf, 120, 172, 179, 215, 269 
Kashshaf of az-Zamakhshari, 195 
Kawn, 309 ; cf. takwin 
Kawn 'ajiz, 840 
Kawn jahil, 340 
Kawn karih, 340 
Kawn mayyit, 340 
Kawn murid, 337 
Kawn qadir, 336 
Al-Kawthar, 306, 349 
Kayfa, 297 
Kayfiya, 309, 334 
Kempis, Thomas a, 177, 180 
Khabar, 308 
JEOiadija, 347 
Al-Kha^ir, 281, 283 
Khalifa, Khalifate, 13-28, 3S-38, 

45, 47, 51-58, 297, 813; ot al- 

Khalq, 338 
Khanqah, 229, 266 
Kharaj, 15 
Kharas, 340, 341 
Kharijites, 23-27, 32, 40, 44, 57, 59, 

123-126, 131, 172, 212, 292, 294, 


Khatfarat, 331 

Khitabiya, 259 

Khiiba, 355 

Khiyana, 347 

Khuffs, 298, 314, 347, 352, 355 

Khul 1 , 355 

Al-Khulaf a-ar-rashidwn, 22, 87, 99, 

105, 114 

Khurasan, 171, 174, 177 
KhuZba, 56 
Khuzistan, 25, 134 
Kibr, 349 
Kidhb, 347 

Al-Kind, 155, 161, 187 
Kitaba, 357 
Kitman, 347 
Kubra of as-Sanwsz, 316 
Al-Kwfa, 18, 28, 28, 83 
Kufr, 157, 296, 811, 332, 349 ; cf . 

takf ir, ktffir 

Lab*d, 149 
Laf z, 147, 335 
Laqab, 347 
Laqft, 354 
La shay 1 , 328 
Al-lawA al-ma&wz, 335 
Laylatu-1-qadr, 335 
Lebanon, 48 
Leibnitz, 192, 200, 203 
Li'an, 355 
Logos, 146-148, 151 
Lucretius, 200 
Luqte, 354 
Lutf, 29S 

Ma'bad al-JuAani, 128 

Al-Madma, 7, 8, 18, 35, 56, 67, 69- 
71, 72, 82, 87, 88, 99, 101, 102, 
165, 213, 216, 226, 278, 284, 346 

Madrasa, 229 

Ma'dwm, 159, 314, 319; cf. 'adam 

Maf aiih al-ghayb of ar-Bazi, 241 

Magians, 144 

Al-Maghrib, 243 

Hawaii, 317, 325 

Mahall (fi), 137 

Al-Mahd^ 3 27, 34, 45, 62, 114, 244- 

Al-Mahdi, the 'Abbsid Khalifa, 

35, 134 

Al-Mahd*ya, 165, 244 
Mahiya, 309 

Ma^mwd of Ghazna, 170, 195, 197 
Mahr, 355 
Maimonides, 337 
Maine, Sir Henry, 65, 85, 114 
Majazi, 329 
Majwj, 315 
Makhl?^qat, 324 
Makrwh, 73, 347 
Malay Archipelago, 62 
Malik ibn Anas, 35, 78, 99-10S, 

106, 147, 186, 345, 346 
Malikites, 115 
Ma'mar ibn 4 Abbad 143 
Mamlwks, 53, 54, 275 
Al-Ma'rrmn, 50, 110, 140, 144, 154- 

159, 162, 166, 277 
Mandwb, 73, 347 
Manichseans, 133, 134 
Mansel, H. L., 237 
Al-Manswr, *Abbasid Kk 33, 84, 

50, 134, 153, 154 
Maqama, 176 
Al-Maqasid, 346 
Maqbwlat, 259 
Mar'an, 314 
Ma'rifa, 201, 350 
Mariya the Copt, 347 
Ma'rwf of al-Karkh, 375 
Marw<m It, 32 
Marw^n ibn al-^Takam, 17 
MasabiA as-sunna of al-Baghawf 


MasA, 298, 314 
Mashhwrat, 259 
Mashya, 294 


MaslaAa, 101 

Masyaf , 49 

Al-MatarfcH, 187, 193, 207, 308 

Mataridites, 200, 207, 337, 338 

Matn, 75, 78 

Mawaqif of al *I]i, 241 

Mawjwb, 347; cf. wajib 

Mawj?*d, 159, 191, 314, 319; cf. 
wuj wd 

Mawlawite darwishes, 267 

Mawqif , 296, 349 

Mawsil, 267 

Mawt, 340 

Mayzmm, 40 

Ma^nwaat, 259 

Mecca, 9, 17, 23, 25, 32, 46, 56, 62, 
68, 174, 184, 213, 217, 226, 265, 
285, 296, 346 

Merv, 217 

Mesnevi, The, 267 

Mesopotamia, 23, 44, 82, 131, 187 

Mi/ma, 156, 157 

Minister of Justice, 114 

Mi'raj, 298, 312 

Mongols, 49, 52, 53, 169 

Monophysites, 181 

Morocco, 35, 62 

Moses, 42, 149, 192, 295, 296, 304, 

Mu^wiya, 21-23, 28, 88 

Muba/i, 73, 348 

Mubtadi', 807; cf. bid'a 

Mufti, 115; cf. fatwa 

Muhajirs, 8, 13, 20 

MuAammad, the Prophet, 7-13, 16- 
22, 28, 30, 35, 37, 42-45, 56, 57, 
58, 67-75, 83, 86-89, 95, 104r- 
106, 112, 120-133, 140-150, 155, 
160, 101, 164, 165, 171, 173, 175- 
180, 188, 210, 327-231, 243, 245, 
249, 253, 254, 263, 270, 275-278, 
284, 285, 292-294, 298, 305, 308, 
312, S35, 836, 345, 846, 349, 350, 

Muhammad II., Ottoman Sultan, 

Muhammad al-'Allaf; see Abw 


Muhammad al-Muntazar, 187 
MuAammad an-Naqshbandi, 267 
MuAammad ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab, 


MuAammad ibn Abi Bakr, 18 
MuAammad ibn al-lTanafiya, 29, 

MuAamnaad ibn al-jSasan, 38, 96, 

Muhammad ibn *AK as-Sanwsi; 

see as-Sanwsit 

Muhammad ibn Ismail, 42, 43, 45 
MuAarram, 347 
Al-MuAasibi ; see Al-J2arith 
Mu^dath, 309 ; cf . ftadith, Audwth 
Mu/idith, 309, 321 
Mu&san, 355 
Mu^yi ad-Din ibn 'Arab* ; see Ibn 


Al-Muto, Fa^imid Khalifa, 170 
Mujassim, 191, 291; cf. jism> 

Mwjid, 325 

Mu'jiza, 141, 151, 313, 345 
Mujtahid, 38, 116, 275, 287, 315 
Mujtahidwn bil-fatw, 113 
Mujtahidwu fi4-madhahib, 113 
Mujtahidwn muflaq, 112 
MukaUaf, 280, 317, 318, 321, 323, 

342, 345 ; cf , takKf 
Mukashaf a, 227 
Mukhabara, 354 
Mukhalafa lil-Aawadith, 205, 210, 

232, 280, 324 
Mukhams, 325 
Mumathala, 338 
Mu'min, 126, 130, 350 
Mumkinat, 330 
Munkar, 296, 298, 305, 311 
Munazzah, 324 


Muntazar, 313; see, too, Muham- 
mad al-Munta^ar 

Muqallad, 316, 350; cf. taqKd 

Al-Muqanna', 30 

Munqidh min ad-daltfl of al-G-haz- 
zali, 216, 225, 239 

Muqarrab, 306. 

Al-Muqtadir, <Abb<2sidKh.,184 

MwabitB, 246, 251 

Murji'ites, 122-127, 129, 131, 132, 
171, 193, 214, 292 

Murtadd, 24, 297 

Mu&a, see Moses 

M.U&O, al-Qazam, 42 

Mus#q#t, 354 

Musallamat, 259 

Masaunaf , 79 

Musaylima, 150 

Mushabbih, 191 ; of. bila kayfa- 

Mushahada, 327 

Mushrik, 284, 299; of. shirk, 

Muslim, 80 

Musnad, 79, 110 

Al-Musaf#, 300 

MustaAabb, 73 

MustaTiil, 316 

Mustansir, Fatimid Kh., 170 

Mutakallims, 147, 186, 193-196, 
215, 231, 262, 276, 337 

Al-Mu'tasim, 'Abbasid Kh., 157, 
158, 162, 163 

Mutaqabilat, 330 

Al-Mutawakkil, 'Abbasid Kh., 
157, 162 

Mutawdtir, 308 

Mu'tazilites, 37, 57, 120, 130, 135- 
138, 140, 143-146, 151-159, 166, 
168, 171, 172, 175, 176, 184-196, 
200, 207, 208, 211-214, 220-226, 
241, 248, 291-294, 298, 299, 311, 
336, 337, 343, 344. 

MuwaMida, 179, 207, 246-257, 261- 
265, 284, 296, 307 

of MHk ibn Anas, 78, 
82, 101, 102 
Al-Muzdar, 151 
Mzab in Algeria, 26, 59 

Nabateans, 44 
Nabi, 263, 312, 345 
Nabidh, 314 
Nadhr, 356 
Kaf aqa, 355 
Naf isa, The Imdy, 173 
Nafs, 234, 272, 334 
Nahawartd, 14, 133 
Najasat, 352 
Kajd, 60 
Najj antes, 292 
Nakir, 296, 298, 305, 311 
Naqib, 268 

Naql, 120, 148, 157, 214, 269, 297, 310 
ETaqsbbandite darwishes, 267 
Narbonne, 83 

Aii-Kasafi, 193, 207, 277, 308 
An-Kas%*, 81, 152 
"Sash ibn Khusraw, 170 
An.-N"<z$ir, Mamlwk Sulton, 277 
An-K"asr al-Manbiji, 277 
Kass, S9, 95, 293 
Kaysabwr, 217, 229 
Kazr, 208 

An-lSteam, 140, 143, 152 
Neo-Platonism, 163, 164, 168, 180, 
181, 196, 232, 235, 236, 258, 
255, 264, 272 

fc, 354 

a, 337 

ISteam al-Mulk, 213, 217, 218 
Nwamite Academy, 218, 217 
Noah, or NwA, 42, 43, 845 
Nusayrites, 59 

Old Man of the Mountain, Shaykh, 

al-jabal, 49 

Ottoman Suln, 10, 56, 58, 50 
Ottoman Turks, 86, 53, S3, 54, 60 


Pan-Islamic movement, 59 

Par sees, 194 

People of Paradise, 139 

People of the Sunna, 336, 337 

Persia, Persian, 14, 23, 81, 36-41," 

44, 49, 50, 51, 82, 131-134, 150, 

155, 157, 184 
Persian Gulf, 60 
Persian mysticism, 5 
Plato, 134, 162-165, 235 
Plotimis, Plotinian, 163-165, 182, 

231, 256, 269, 280 
Porphyrius, 163 
Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite, 

181, 182 

Ptolemaic system, 333 
Ptolemy, 134 
Pythagoreanism, 168, 170 

Q&da, 291, 295, 342, 356 

Qadar, 128, 135-137, 242, 291, 293, 

Qadarites, 122, 127-132, 135, 137, 

140, 292, 344 
Qadi, 115, 156, 245, 356 
Qadim, 143, 300, 322, 343 
Al-Qodir, 'Abbasid Khu, 193-195 
Qadir, 319 

Qadirite darwishes, 267, 269 
Al-Qadisiya, 14, 133 
Q<mwns, 114 

Qarma&ans, 44, 46, 170, 184, 188 
Qasm. 356 
Qattat, 350 
Qawl, 296 
(^idarn, 322 

d, 354 

Al-Qiyama, 849 ; of. Yawm 
Qiyam bin-nafs, 325 
Qiyas, 87, 94, 209, 247, 347 
QubcTa, 329 

Qudra, 192, 234, 294, 310, 319, 322, 

Al-Qudra al-aza'Kya, 234 

Qur'an; 24, 42, 62, 69-71, 76, 77, 85, 
9^96, 99, 103-106, 109, 117, 
121, 128-130, 135, 138-141, 145- 
152, 155-158, 161-163, 171, 178, 
188, 190, 195-198, 206, 209, 210, 
331, 2535, 238, 241, 245-249, 252, 
253, 257-259, 263, 271, 272-275, 
282-284, 295, 397, 303, 304, 310, 
335, 345, 346 

Quraysh, 10, 57, 305, 313 . 

Al-Qushayri, 213 

Qwwa, 328 

Babelais, 199 

Babi'a, 173 

Eafidites, 212 

Bahib, 125, 173 

Bahn, 354 

Bamarfan, 188, 293, 293 

Ar-B<zshid, the MuwaMia, 263, 


Basa'il ikhwan as-saf a, 168 
Baswl, 263,^308,312,345 
Ba'y, 86, 94 
Bazq, 338 
Bed Sea, 60 

Besponsa prudentium, 85 
Bidte, 310 

Bif c ite darwishes, 267, 268 
Bisala, 293 

Bisala of al-Qushayri, 213 
Bitschl, 238 

Bizq, 179, 298, 299, 311, 317 
BwA, 141, 231, 272 
Bukhsa, 283 
Bn>, 310, 344 

As-sa'a, 293, 294, 315 
Sabil Allah, 18 
SabSnitedarwfchea, 267 
SabHya, 42 
Sa'da, 36 


Sa'd ad-Din ; see at-Taffcazani 

tfafawids, 38 

As-SaflFoA, 'AbbasidKh., 32 

tfaghira, 127, 311, 349 

Sahara, 62 

Sahib*, 294 

#aAibs, 9, 16, 19, 71, 72, 75, 79, 88, 

101, 105, 147, 180, 275, 376, 283, 

283, 293, 297, 307, 314, 346 
tfaTiifa of al-Bukhan, 35, 79-81 
SMh of Muslim, 80, ff. 
Sa'id ibn AAmad ibn <Abd Allah, 


Sa'iAs, 172 

Saladin ; see Salah ad-Din 
As-salaf, 157, 190, 297 
S*lah, 293,843 ; cf. Asl&h 
Salah ad-Dm, 49, 241 
Salam, 353 
Salainan, 253, 1 
Salamiya, 44 

tfalat, Salawat, 178, 292, 293, 352 
Salih, the prophet, 346 
Salim, Ottoman Sultan, 56 
Saljwqs, 207 
SaluM qadim, 328 
Sam% 292, 294, 333 
8am<x' ad-Dunya, 297 
/S'amam, 340 
Samanids, 36 
Samarqand, 82, 187,207 
Sam*', 337, 349 
an', 36 
As-Sanwsi, MuAammad ibn AK, 

61, 120, 244, 269, 273, 284 
As-Sanwsi, MuAaramad ibn Y~ 

suf , 315-318, 322, 323, 328, 334, 

341, 347 

Sari as-SaqaZi, 175-177, 268 
Satan, 298, 299 ; cf . shaytan 
awm, 292 ; of. Siyam 
Sayf ad-Dawla, the Hamdanid, 

162, 165 
Sayyid Murtada, 285, 300 

Semites, Semitic, 5, 51, 135, 126, 

Sergius, father of John of Damas- 
cus, 131 

Seth, 43 

Ash-ShadMK, 267, 269 

Shodhilite darwishes, 267 

Shahotda, 356 

Shafa'a, 174, 296, 307, 311, 349 

Ash-Shafi 1 ;, 67, 103-111, 173, 187 

Shafi'ites, 110, 115 

Shahs of Persia, 38 

Shakk, 332 

Shar', 345 

Ash-Sha'rani, 279, 281, 283, 285 

Ash-Shahrastant, 213, 234, 291, 293 

Shari'a, 282 

Shari/s of Mecca, 58, 265 

Shari/a of Morocco, 35, 59, 347 

Sharik, 300, 321,326; cf. shirk, 

Shay', 159, 314, 322 

Shaykh, 177 

Shaykh aUslam, 113 

Shaykh 'Ilwan, 268 

Shaytens, 304 

Shem, 43 

Ash-ShibH, 176, 177, 225 

Shihab ad-Din as-Suhrawardt, 241 

Shi'ites, Shi'a, 5, 13, 11K 26-36, JJ&- 
41,48,51,53, 56, 59, 115, 110, 
131,125, 131, 159, 165, 184, 15, 
19S-195, 212, 247, 249, 29L^, SJJIS 

Shirk, 138, 137 ; cf. sharik, 

Shirka, 354 

Shu'ayb, 346 

Shuf* a, 354 

As-^iddiq, 313 

tfidq, 347 

*Sifa naf siya, 319 

Sifat, 136, 151, 291, 309 

Sif at adh-dhat, 391 
l-fi'l, 391, 338 
l-ma'aiii 337 


Sifat 'aqliya, 190 

tfifat at-ta'thtr, 333 

Sttat ma'nawiya, 837 

tfifrzt salabiya, 328 

Sijistan, 171 

As-tiiiat, 296, 306, 311, 349 

/Slyam, 353 

Solomon, 286 

Spain, 33, 82, 132, 194, 209, 246 

Spanish Islam, 132 

Stephen bar Sndaili, 181 

Stewart (Balfour) and Tait, 235 

Lo id Stratford de Redcliffe, 48 

Sitt, 130 

Sail, Sistiism, 180, 172, 173, 176- 
178, 185,213, 316-219, 222,225- 
229, 232, 235, 236, 239, 248, 
250, 252, 253/261, 262, 264, 267, 
268, 274, 276-278, 282, 284, 309 

a, 308 
a, 173 

h-Thawr*, 97, 98 
as-Sanwgi, 341 

As-Sahrawardi; seeShihb ad-Din 

Sulayman the Great, 54 

#ulA 354 

Sunna, 74, 75, 88, 190, 282, 293, 297, 
21)8, 3U7, 345 

finnan, 75, Si 

Sunnites, 19, 85, 38, 51, 52, 59, 116, 

Swra, 232 

Susu, the mystic, 180 

Byria, 21-), 28, 45, 46, 40, 50, 82, 
84, 98, 131,226 

Ta'addnd, 389 

Ta^alluqu-l-qab^ati, 839 
TaV, JJ2H, IW9 
Tabaristan, JJ6 
Tabi'Jywtt, 161. 231, 293, S46 
TabHgh, 847 
Tabor, Mount, 178 

Tadlfl, 293 

Ta&iK, 316 

At-Tatrtzni, 242, 269, 308, 318, 

345, 346 
Tah^futof al-GhazzaU, 229, 237, 

240, 257, 286 
Sahara, 351 

v?;, 187, 193 

Ta/isin, 292 

Taj aim, 209, 246 

Takallani, 147 

Takf r, 292 

Taklit, 137, 310 

Takwin, 310, 338 

2fclq, 355 

2al/ta, 21, 25 

Ta^lil, 339 

Ta 4 l'im, 197 

Ta^imites, 197, 219, 224, 228 

Timjm, 328 

Taqbi/i, 292 

Taqiya, 126 

TaqKd, 209, 217, 246, 2G1-, 270, 286, 

316, 318, 323, 350 
rariqa, 282 
Taaalsul, 201,823 
TawUq, 312, 350 
Tawallud, 142, 144 
Tawakkul, 179, f. 
Tawba, 202, 349 
Taw/ucl, 156, 175, TO, 246, 291,800, 

315, 349; of. imiwaMid 
TaVIl, 246 
Tawlld, 142 
Tawrrtt, 803 
Tayammum, 352 
Theodonia Abucara, 132 
Thiqa. 293, 296 
The Thousand and One Nights, 97, 


Thum^ma ibn Ashraa, 144 
Tigris, 50, 1^3 
At-Tirmidhi, 81 
Toledo, 82 


Tours, 82, f. 

Tripolis, 62 

Tufan, 329, f. 

Tughril Beg, 52, 207, 212, f. 

Turkish mysticism, 5 

TUB, 216, 229, 230, 267 

The Twelve Tables, 85 

'Ubayd Allah al-Mahd^, 45, 46, 244 

TOMya, 356 

'Ulamfl, 54, 233, 307 

Ulwhiya, 326 

Ulw-l-'azm, 345 

'Urnon, 24, 26, 59 

'TJmar ibn ' Abd al-'Aziz, Umayyad 

Kh., 104 
'Umar ibn al-Khattab, 2nd Kh., 

13-19, 23, 24, 36, 44, 56, 86, 93, 

165, 375, 297, 307, 313, 346 
'Tlmar al-Khayyam, 198, 199 
4 Umar ibn al-Fori<2, 266 
Umayya, 10, 16 
Umayyads, 9, 17-19, 22, 25, 27, 32, 

33, 53, 77, 78, 88-93, 104, 123, 

131, 133, 153, 209 
Umayyads of Cordova, 45 
Umm walad, 357 
<Urf, 94, 113 
'Uthman ibn * Affan, 3rd Kh., 17- 

22, 25, 36, 71, 297, 307, 313, 346 

Vincent of Lerins, 101 
Volubilis, 35 

Wa'd, 292 

Wadz'a, 354 

Wafcdoniya, 325 

Al-Wahhab, 211 

Wahhabites, 60-62, 109, 113, 115, 

120, 273, 278, 279, 283-285 
Al-Wahib, 211 
WaAy, 281 

Wa'id, Wa'idites, 129, 292 
Wajib, 73, 316, 318 
Wakala, 354 
Wala, 357 

Walad, 294, 330 

Wali, 130, 173, SOa, 207, 26B, 274, 

275, asl-iS5, 313, 326 
Wai /ma, 355 
Waliya, 173 
Waqf, 354 
W<aith, JJ54 

*il ibn k Afc, S7 129, 135, ISO, 

siya, 354 

WasJya of Ibn Sm, 198, 2:28 
Al-Wathiq, *Abbsid Kh., 157 
WmZtt, 318, 352 
Wujwd, 139, 101, 310-310, a r >2 
, 228 

Yajwj, 315 

Al-Yaraan, 60, 284 

Yamin, 35(5 

Ya 4 q?^b ; see Jacob 

Yathrib, (17 

Yawm al-qiyama, 2(15, 349 

Yazid, 10, 28 

Yehuda Halevi, SR7 

Zabbwr, 304 
Zabid in Tihama, 285 
Zahid, 17, 180 
Zahida, 173 
Zahir, 314 

Zahirites, 110 t 112, 208, 209, 247, 
249,252,261, 2(4, 287 

Zakt, 292, 203, 3*% 

Az-Zamakhtthaii, 195 

Zann, 332 

Zanzibar, 26, 59, 115 

Zaydites, 36, 37, 40, 57, 59, 118, 


ihar, 355 
Zina, 355 
Zindiqs, 134 

Zoroastrianisra, 183, 134, 183 
Az-Zubayr, 21, 25 
, 91 

The Semitic Series 

Edited by JAMES ALEXANDER CRAIG, Professor of 
Semitic Languages and Literature and Hellenistic Greek, Uni- 
versity of Michigan 

AN important new series of standard handbooks on the 
** Babylonians, Assyrians and allied Semitic races of ancient 

Now Ready 

The Social Life of the Hebrews 

By the Rev. EDWARD DAY. Price $1.25 net, postpaid 

Babylonians and Assyrians 

Life and Customs 
(With Special Reference to the Contract Tablets and Letters) 

By the Rev. A. H. SAYCE, Professor of Assyriology at 
Oxford. Price $1.25 net, postpaid 

The Early History of Syria and Palestine 

By LEWIS BAYLES PATON, Ph.D., Professor of Old 
Testament Exegesis and Criticism, and Instructor in Assyrian, 
in Hartford Theological Seminary. Price $1.25 net, postpaid 

The Theology and Ethics of the Hebrews 

By ARCHIBALD DUFF, M.A., LL.D., B.D., Professor 
of Old Testament Theology in the Yorkshire United Independ- 
ent College, Bradford, England. Price $1.25 net (postage nc.) 

Development of 

Muslim Theology, Jurisprudence and 
Constitutional Theory 

time Scholar and Fellow of the University of Glasgow; Professor 
of Semitic Languages in Hartford Theological Seminary. Price 
$1.50 net (postage I2C.) 


* 5 3 - * 5 7 Fifth Avenue, New York 

The Historical Series 

For Bible Students 

Edited by Professor CHARLES F. KENT, Ph.D., 

of Yale University, and Professor FRANK K. 
SANDERS, Ph.D., of Yale University 

IN response to a wide-spread demand for non-technical yet 
scholarly and reliable guides to the study of the history, 
literature, and teaching of the Old and New Testaments, and of 
the contemporary history and literature, this series aims to 
present in concise and attractive form the results of investigation 
and exploration in these broad fields. Based upon thoroughly 
critical scholarship, it will emphasize assured and positive rather 
than transitional positions. The series as a whole is intended to 
present a complete and connected picture of the social, political, 
and religious life of the men and peoples who figure most 
prominently in the biblical records. 

Arrangement of Volumes 
History of the Hebrew People: VI The Babylonians and Assy- 

I. History oi f the United King- * 

dom. (Now Ready.) Ph.D. of the University of Chicago. 

II, History of the Divided King- 


ByP?of. CHFo KBHT, New Testament Histories : 

Ph-D. Each volume with maps, ^ ^ ^ Qf j^ 

^ , T -L TA i (V0w jKfttilv.) 

History of the Jewish People : By Pres> RusH RlJKKS> D<DM of - th ^ 

III. The Babylonian, Persian and University of Rochester. 

Greek Periods. (Now VIII. Christianity in the Apos- 

Ready.} tolic Age. (N&w A'fai/y.) 


Ph.D. D,D. 

IV. The Maccabean and Roman 

Periods. (Now Ready.} Outlines for the Study of Biblical 

AU ' History and LiteWe : 

Contemporary Old Testament IX. From Earliest Times to the 

History: Captivity, 

V. The Egyptians. X. From the Exile to 200 A.D. 


Ph. D. , of the University of Chicago. Ph. D. 

10 volumes. i2mo, $1.25 each, net (postage isc.) 

Specimen Pages and Full Descriptive Circular sent free on request 

1 5 3 - I 5 7 Fifth Avenue, New York