Mu’tazalites and Moses Maimonides.

moses maimonides

“While in Fostat, Maimonides took the opportunity to read the works of the Mu’tazilites, which he knew only by hearsay.”  “None of the Mu’tazalite books, in which the Mohammedan religious philosophers proclaimed reason as the source of religious cognition, had, as Averroes reports, reached Spain.”  “In contrast, the leading Jewish philosophers of the Orient, especially the heads of the Babylonian academies, adopted their doctrines.  The Mu’tazalites relentlessly criticized many elements in popular faith that Islamic orthodoxy viewed as indispensable components of the creed.  They tried to purge the notion of God of all concepts detracting  from belief in the justice and purity of the Divine Being.  Maimonides, although sharing some of their orientations, rejected individual tenets.”

Muʿtazilah (Arabic: المعتزلة‎) is an Islamic school of theology based on reason and rational thought[1] that flourished in the cities of Basra and Baghdad, both in present-day Iraq, during the 8th–10th centuries. The adherents of the Mu’tazili school are best known for their having asserted that, because of the perfect unity and eternal nature of Allah, the Qur’an must therefore have been created, as it could not be co-eternal with God.[2] From this premise, the Mu’tazili school of Kalam proceeded to posit that the injunctions of God are accessible to rational thought and inquiry: because knowledge is derived from reason, reason is the “final arbiter” in distinguishing right from wrong.[3] It follows, in Mu’tazili reasoning, that “sacred precedent” is not an effective means of determining what is just, as what is obligatory in religion is only obligatory “by virtue of reason.”[3]’tazila


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