By Richard C. Martin
Drawing on texts either old and glossy, this booklet explores rational theology in Islam, from 9th and 10th century Mu'tazilism to rationalist modernist scholarship.
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Additional resources for Defenders of Reason In Islam: Mu'tazilism and Rational Theology from Medieval School to Modern Symbol
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. In this sense, ijtihad is the foundation of taqlid and implies it, and taqlid relies on the informative function of ijtihad.
Sufi orders (tariqas) formed religious and social organizations that would weather the political vicissitudes of the later Middle Ages. A century after 'Abd al-Jabbar, the greatest Sunni theologian, Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (d. 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.
For a discussion of tradition and modernization in Muslim societies, see Eickelman and Piscatori, Muslim Politics, pp. 22-30. 24. We will use the more common singular form "Hadith" for both singular and plural senses of the term. 25. See 7 25 of Kitab 01-usul 01-khomsa below. Mu'tazili discourse tended to stress the concept of "salihun" rather than "salafiya," that is, the virtue of the model to be emulated, and not just the members of the first three generations as such. 26. The Shi'a made yet another claim, that interpreting the meaning of the texts was the prerogative of the Imams, the limited number of designated descendants (five, seven, o r twelve) of the Prophet through his cousin and son-in-law 'Ali.