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date: 16 June 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Al-Shahrastānī’s (d. 548/1153) Wrestling Match with the Falāsifa (Muṣāraʿat al-falāsifa) is the second book of refutation of Ibn Sīnā’s (Avicenna, d. 428/1037) philosophy by a Muslim philosopher and theologian. While al-Ghazālī tried to prove the nondemonstrative character of Ibn Sīnā’s teachings, al-Shahrastānī “wrestles” with Ibn Sīnā about what is true to say about God. Heavily influenced by the cosmology of the Ismāʿīlite Shīʿites of his day, al-Shahrastānī claims that God is too transcendent to be included in divisions of what is existent. God is beyond the dichotomy of existence and nonexistence. Equally God is not “simplicity” (wāḥda) the way Ibn Sīnā claims. Rather, words like “existence” and “simplicity” apply to God only in an equivocal way rather than univocal or, as Ibn Sīnā claims, moderated. Most mistakes in philosophical theology are committed, so al-Shahrastānī, because equivocal terms are wrongfully understood to be univocal.

Keywords: incoherence, tahāfut, demonstration, burhān, Ismāʿīlism, bāṭiniyya, equivocal, bi-shtirāk, univocal, mutawāṭiʾ

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