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date: 18 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Many of the classical manuals on Ashʿarite theology have been continuously and intensively used in Muslim theological instruction until today. However, the historical development of Ashʿarite doctrine remains significantly understudied, especially for the later period. Later Ashʿarism is widely considered to be a theological system codified in comprehensive handbooks such as Nāṣir al-Dīn al-Bayḍāwī’s Tawāliʿ al-anwār and ʿAḍud al-Dīn al-Ījī’s Kitāb al-Mawāqif. This article examines handbooks dealing with the later Ashʿarite tradition in the Eastern parts of the Islamic world. It first considers the interaction of Ashʿarite scholars with Māturīdite teachings during the Ilkhanid period, focusing on an important document of Māturīdism: Shams al Dīn al-Samarqandī’s al-Ṣaḥīfa al-ilāhiyya and the author’s own commentary, the Kitāb al-Maʿārif fī sharḥ al-Ṣaḥāʾif. It then discusses Ashʿarism’s interaction with the philosophical tradition, as well as several important kalām works such as those by al-Shahrastānī and Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī. It also analyses al-Bayḍāwī’s Ṭawāliʿ, al-Ījī’s Mawāqif, and al-Samarqandī’s Ṣaḥāʾif. In particular, it outlines the sections of the Ṭawāliʿ focusing on the divine ‘self’ (dhāt), prophecy, afterlife, and imamate.

Keywords: Ashʿarism, handbooks, Islam, Tawāliʿ al-anwār, Kitāb al-Mawāqif, Māturīdism, philosophical tradition, kalām, al-Shahrastānī, Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī

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