References and Further Reading 1. The Sunnites believe that Prophet Muhammad did not explicitly name a Successor after his death. According to Muslim tenets, Muhammad was the last Prophet, the one who closed the Prophetic cycle. Al-Shahrastani is a difficult person to evaluate because he juggled many different philosophical and theological vocabularies.
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He was born in CE A. Works[ edit ] Al-Shahrastani distinguished himself by his desire to describe in the most objective way the universal religious history of humanity. The book was one of the earliest systematic studies of religion , and is noted for its non-polemical style and scientific approach.
Peeters: , Al-Shahrastani had many reasons to speak somewhat allegorically. He was a very subtle author who often spoke indirectly by means of symbols. He preferred his own personal vocabulary to the traditional one.
For this reason, his position is hard to determine. It may well be that ideological considerations led him to speak indirectly; he perhaps assumed those familiar with the symbols would be able to unravel his elusive ideas. For all these reasons, many scholars who have studied al-Shahrastani were misled concerning his religious identity. He argues convincingly for the existence of Divine Attributes, but he does not ascribe them directly to God.
True worship means Tawhid - declaring the Unicity of God. This includes the negation of all attributes which humans give to God, the Ultimate One who is totally transcendent. God is Unknowable, Indefinable, Unattainable, and above human comprehension.
As for the theory of creation, in the Nihaya, al-Shahrastani insists that God is the only Creator and the only Agent. He also develops a different interpretation of ex-nihilo creation which does not mean creation out of nothing, but creation made only by God. Al-Shahrastani in the Nihaya writes: " By his Command, Kalimat become the manifestation of it. Spiritual beings are the manifestation of Kalimat and bodies are the manifestation of spiritual beings.
As for Kalimat and letters huruf , they are eternal and pre-existent. Since his Command is not similar to our command, his Kalimat and his letters are not similar to our Kalimat. Since letters are elements of Kalimat which are the causes of spiritual beings who govern corporeal beings; all existence subsists in the Kalimat Allah preserved in his Command. For al-Shahrastani, the proof of veracity sidq of the Prophet is intrinsic to his nature and is related to his Impeccability.
Al-Shahrastani was an able and learned man of great personal charm. The real nature of his thought is best referred to by the term theosophy , in the older sense of "divine wisdom". However, al-Shahrastani was certainly not totally against theology or philosophy, even if he was very harsh against the theologians and the philosophers.
A philosopher or a theologian must use his intellect until he reaches the rational limit. Beyond this limit, he must listen to the teaching of Prophets and Imams. His works reflect a complex interweaving of intellectual strands, and his thought is a synthesis of this fruitful historical period. The necessity of a Guide, belonging both to the spiritual and the physical world, is primordial in his scheme since the Imam is manifested in this physical world.
They are the community umma of the Christ, Jesus , son of Mary peace upon him. To him were granted manifest signs and notable evidences, such as the reviving of the dead and the curing of the blind and the leper.
His very nature and innate disposition fitra are a perfect sign of his truthfulness; that is, his coming without previous seed and his speaking without prior teaching. For all the other prophets the arrival of their revelation was at the age of forty years, but revelation came to him when he was made to speak in the cradle, and revelation came to him when he conveyed the divine message at the age of thirty.
By the hypostases they mean the attributes sifat , such as existence, life and knowledge, and the father, the son and the holy spirit ruh al-qudus. The hypostasis of knowledge clothes itself and was incarnated, but not the other hypostases.
Shahrastani’s Kitab al-Milal wa’l-Nihal On the Dualists
He was born in CE A. Works[ edit ] Al-Shahrastani distinguished himself by his desire to describe in the most objective way the universal religious history of humanity. The book was one of the earliest systematic studies of religion , and is noted for its non-polemical style and scientific approach. Peeters: , Al-Shahrastani had many reasons to speak somewhat allegorically. He was a very subtle author who often spoke indirectly by means of symbols. He preferred his own personal vocabulary to the traditional one.
Al-Shahrastānī (d. 1153 C.E.)
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