Defenders of Reason in Islam. Mu‘tazilism from Medieval by Richard C. Martin
By Richard C. Martin
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Extra info for Defenders of Reason in Islam. Mu‘tazilism from Medieval School to Modern Symbol
35 'Abd al-Jabbar was the last great thinker of a school of thought that was already on the wane during the last years of his life. There were many reasons why Hanbali traditionalists, Ash'ari mutakallimun, and others had been able to displace the Mu'tazila from the prominence the school had enjoyed in the ninth and tenth centuries. Surely one reason was political. The permanent withdrawal of caliphal support for the Mu'tazila after the theological inquisition (mihna) instituted by Caliph al-Ma'mun in 833 was less consequential at the time than historians often conclude.
Others argued to the contrary, that 'Uthman had not ruled according t o Quranic a n d prophetic principle, and therefore he deserved punishment, even death. 'Ali's caliphate became hostage t o this tragic fitna, which was exacerbated by an agreement between 'Ali and Mu'awiya to submit to arbitration the question of whether or not 'Ali should avenge 'Uthman's murder. Mu'awiya was a clansman of 'Uthman of the Meccan Umayyad family, and at the time of the arbitration he was governor of Damascus. The finding of the arbiters in Mu'awiya's favor, that 'Ali should have avenged 'Uthman's murder, put 'Ali and his partisans (shi'a) on the defensive.
29. Euthyphro (7 D). 30. McGrath, The Genesis of Doctrine, p. I I (italics in the original). 3 1. , p. 38. His reference is to Niklas Luhmann. Funktion der Religion (Frankfurt: Suhr Kamp, 1 982 [I977]), pp. 59-6 1. 32. The presumed opposite of ijtihad, taqlid, "unquestioning obedience," can be understood rather as the logical consequence of ijtihad. Taqlid as "strict obedience" is appropriate once one has established through the power of one's intellect (ijtihad) the proper interpretation and application of the Shari'a in a particular context.