An Introduction to Islamic Theology : New,
Original Arabic Text with English Translation,
[A5+] Hardback - pages,
'Al-Bidayah fi Usul al-Din '
by Imam Nur al-Din al-Sabuni [d.580h],
Transl. & Annotation by Faraz A. Khan,
Foreword by Hamza Yusuf Hanson,
Published by Zaytuna, USA.
Back in Stock April 2021
An Introduction to Islamic Theology : Imam Nur al-Din al-Sabuni’s Al-Bidayah fi Usul al-Din.
In an age of unprecedented challenges, the demanding task before Muslim theologians today is not merely to reproduce the debates of the past but to formulate a genuine contemporary scholastic theology, or kalam, that engages the questions, concerns, and misgivings of modernity.
This concise yet thorough manual on Maturidi theology authored by Imam Nur al-Din al-Sabuni, may Allah be pleasd with him, (d. 580/1184), a prominent Muslim theologian from Bukhara, provides a foundation upon which modern Muslim discourse can be built. The text explains the central tenets of the Islamic creed and refutes erroneous positions of alternative theologies. The discussions are uncomplicated and unencumbered by technical terminology, and the positions of orthodoxy are presented with rational and scriptural evidence.
Comprehensive notes by translator Faraz A. Khan accompany the text and, with the translation, provide a rare rendering into the English language of the extraordinary richness and enduring relevance of the kalam commentary tradition. Finally, a valuable appendix on the kalam cosmological argument discusses related issues in contemporary philosophy.
From the Foreword by Hamza Yusuf Hanson :
"One of the most important intermediate texts of the Maturidi school, Al-Bidayah, had a profound influence on Muslim scholastics and was widely used and often cited in some of the most important commentaries of both the Maturidi and Ash'ari schools. . . .
This excellent translation and commentary by Shaykh Faraz Khan—a well-schooled, budding scholastic himself—qualifies as the first major translation of a foundational Maturidi text into the English language. Such texts remain relevant to the continued theological discourse within Islam and without, given the Maturidi school’s continued relevance, which cannot be overstated. The school’s perpetuity remains ensured by its unique characteristics: its soft natural law approach, which counters the hard Mu'tazili position; its affirmation of the centrality of reason; its emphasis on moral accountability in the absence of revelation; and its subtle awareness of the seemingly intractable problems of causation, free will, and divine determinism that reveal its concern for the most compelling problems of theology.
Kalam (Islamic theology), like all the great sciences and teachings of Islam, needs renewal and development, especially in light of the immense strides our species has made in the physical sciences—sciences that Muslim theologians were always engaged in during the great periods of Muslim intellectual flourishing."
"Anyone interested in Islamic theology owes a debt of gratitude to Faraz Khan for this translation of a significant text from the Maturidi tradition. Nur al-Din ?al-Sabuni summarises concisely yet acutely what he takes to be the main principles of correct Islamic theology and its alternatives and provides a lively account of the main principles of Maturidism. Al-Sabuni is particularly strong on epistemology, and anyone seeking to understand the range of the Maturidi school of thought will find this translation very helpful." —Oliver Leaman, Professor of Philosophy, University of Kentucky.
"This text in Maturidi theology displays the sophistication of Islamic theology at this time, with fair-minded summaries, together with a masterful use of philosophical strategies elucidating the position of the People of Truth. Faraz Khan’s lucid translation conveys the clarity with which the author presents numerous positions of the Maturidi school, along with concise yet thorough discussions of reasoning characteristic of other theological schools, both inside and outside Islam."—David Burrell, CSC, Theodore Hesburgh Professor in Philosophy and Theology, University of Notre Dame.
About the Translator :
Faraz A. Khan is on the faculty at Zaytuna College in Berkeley, California. After completing undergraduate studies at the University of Texas at Austin, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he resided from 2004 to 2011. In accordance with the criteria of traditional Islamic studies, he read classical texts with distinguished scholars in Ashari and Maturidi scholastic theology, Hanafi jurisprudence, Prophetic narration, logic, ?and other religious sciences, receiving scholarly authorisation (ijazah) after seven years of full-time study. His current research interests centre on the engagement of philosophical theology and ethics with the contemporary age.
Table of Contents :
An Introduction to Islamic Theology,
---The Existence and Attributes of God,
------On the Temporality of the Cosmos and Necessary Existence of the Creator,
------On Divine Oneness,
------On Divine Transcendence above Temporal Qualities,
------On the Attributes of God, the Exalted,
------On the Name and the Named,
------On Divine Uniqueness and Dissimilarity from Creation,
------On the Eternality of Divine Speech,
------On the Act of Creating and the Created,
------On the Possibility of Seeing God, the Exalted,
------On Vision During Sleep,
------On Divine Will,
---Prophets, Miracles, and Early Islam,
------On Affirming Messengers,
------On Evidence of the Prophethood of Muhammad, ?,
------On Traits Specific to Prophets,
------On Saintly Miracles,
------On Political Leadership and Related Matters,
------On the Imamate of the Rightly Guided Caliphs,
---Divine Omnipotence, Human Agency, and Ontology of The World,
------On Ascription of Justice or Injustice,
------On Potency and Human Agency,
------On Ontology of Human Action,
------On Occasionalism and the Negation of Secondary Causation,
---Predestination and The Existence of Evil,
------On Placing a Burden Beyond One’s Capacity,
------On the Generality of Things Willed,
------On the Nonexistent,
------On Denial of Incumbency upon God to Do What Is Best [for People],
------On Predestination and the Divine Decree,
------On Guiding and Misguiding,
---Human Sin and Divine Forgiveness,
------On Those Who Commit Enormities,
------On Whether or Not God’s Pardoning Disbelief Is Logically Possible,
------On Whether or Not Divine Omnipotence Includes Oppression, Foolishness, or Lying,
------On Enormities and Minor Sins,
---Faith, Belief, and The Intellect,
------On Faith Submission,
------On the Reality of Faith,
------On the Faith of One Who Merely Emulates,
------On Whether or Not Faith Increases,
------On Necessary Tenets of Faith Deduced from Revelation,
---Appendix A: The Kalam Cosmological Argument,
---Appendix B: Descriptions of the Prophet, ?,
Other Related books,
More Islamic Theology | Kalam.