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ʿIlm al-Kalām (Arabic: عِلْم الكَلام‎, literally "science of discourse"[1]), usually foreshortened to kalam and sometimes called "Islamic scholastic theology",[2] is the study of Islamic doctrine ('aqa'id).[2] It was born out of the need to establish and defend the tenets of Islamic faith against doubters and detractors.[3] A scholar of kalam is referred to as a mutakallim (plural mutakallimūn) as distinguished from philosophers, jurists, and scientists.[4] The Arabic
Arabic
term kalam means "speech, word, utterance" among other things, and its use regarding Islamic theology is derived where the Quran
Quran
mentions (kalām Allāh) "Word of God".[5] Murtada Mutahhari describes Kalām as discussing "the fundamental Islamic beliefs and doctrines which are necessary for a Muslim to believe in. It explains them, argues about them, and defends them."[2] There are many possible interpretations as to why this discipline was originally so called; one is that the widest controversy in this discipline has been about whether the "Word of God", as revealed in the Qur'an, can be considered part of God's essence and therefore not created, or whether it was made into words in the normal sense of speech, and is therefore created.

Contents

1 Origins 2 As an Islamic discipline 3 Major kalam schools

3.1 Sunni

3.1.1 Orthodox 3.1.2 Unorthodox

3.2 Shia

4 See also 5 References 6 External links

Origins[edit] As early as in the times of the Abbasid Caliphate
Caliphate
(750–1258 CE), the discipline of Kalam
Kalam
arose in an "attempt to grapple" with several "complex problems" early in the history of Islam, according to historian Majid Fakhry. One was how to rebut arguments "leveled at Islam
Islam
by pagans, Christians and Jews". Another was how to deal with (what some saw as the conflict between) the predestination of sinners to hell on the one hand and "divine justice" on the other, (some asserting that to be punished for what is beyond someone's control is unjust). Also Kalam
Kalam
sought to make "a systematic attempt to bring the conflict in data of revelation (in the Qur'an
Qur'an
and the Traditions) into some internal harmony".[6] As an Islamic discipline[edit]

Part of a series on Islam Aqidah

Five Pillars of Islam

Shahada Salah Sawm Zakat Hajj

Sunni Six articles of belief

God Prophets Holy books Angels The Last Judgement Predestination

Sunni
Sunni
theological traditions

Ilm al-Kalam

Ash'ari1 Maturidi

Sunni
Sunni
Murji'ah Traditionalist2

Shi'a Twelver3

Principles

Tawhid Adalah Prophecy Imamah Qiyamah

Practices

Salah Sawm Zakat Hajj Khums Jihad Commanding what is just Forbidding what is evil Tawalla Tabarra

Seven pillars of Ismailism4

Walayah Tawhid Salah Zakat Sawm Hajj Jihad

Other Shia concepts of Aqidah

Imamate Batin Sixth Pillar of Islam

Other schools of theology

Khawarij5 Ibadi6 Murji'ah

Qadariyah Muʿtazila7 Sufism8

Including: 1Jahmi; 2Karramiyya; 3 Alawites
Alawites
& Qizilbash 4Sevener-Qarmatians, Assassins
Assassins
& Druzes 5Ajardi, Azariqa, Bayhasiyya, Najdat
Najdat
& Sūfrī 6Nūkkārī; 7 Bahshamiyya
Bahshamiyya
& Ikhshîdiyya 8Alevism, Bektashi Order
Bektashi Order
& Qalandariyya Islam
Islam
portal

v t e

Even though seeking knowledge in Islam
Islam
is considered a religious obligation, the study of ' Ilm al-Kalam
Ilm al-Kalam
is considered by Muslim scholars to fall beyond the category of necessity and is usually the preserve of qualified scholars, eliciting limited interest from the masses or common people.[7] The early Muslim scholar Imam al-Shafi‘i held that there should be a certain number of men trained in kalam to defend and purify the faith, but that it would be a great evil if their arguments should become known to the mass of the people.[8] Similarly, the Islamic scholar Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali, held the view that the science of ' Ilm al-Kalam
Ilm al-Kalam
is not a personal duty on Muslims but a collective duty. Like al-Shafi'i, he discouraged the masses from studying it.[7] The Hanbali
Hanbali
Sufi, Khwaja Abdullah Ansari
Khwaja Abdullah Ansari
wrote a treatise entitled Dhamm al- Kalam
Kalam
where he criticized the use of kalam.[9] The contemporary Islamic scholar Nuh Ha Mim Keller
Nuh Ha Mim Keller
holds the view that the criticism of kalam from scholars was specific to the Mu'tazila, going on to claim that other historical Muslim scholars such as Al-Ghazali
Al-Ghazali
and An-Nawawi
An-Nawawi
saw both good and bad in kalam and cautioned from the speculative excess of unorthodox groups such as the Mu'tazilah and Jahmites.[10] As Nuh Ha Mim Keller
Nuh Ha Mim Keller
states in his article " Kalam
Kalam
and Islam":

"What has been forgotten today however by critics who would use the words of earlier Imams to condemn all kalam, is that these criticisms were directed against its having become 'speculative theology' at the hands of latter-day authors. Whoever believes they were directed against the `aqida or "personal theology" of basic tenets of faith, or the 'discursive theology' of rational kalam arguments against heresy is someone who either does not understand the critics or else is quoting them disingenuously."[10]

Major kalam schools[edit] Sunni[edit] Orthodox[edit]

Maturidiyyah Ash'ariyyah

Unorthodox[edit]

Mu'tazili

Shia[edit]

Imāmīyyāh Shia

Imami
Imami
(Theology of Twelvers) Imāmī Ismā'īlī

Nizari
Nizari
Ismaili Taiyabi Ismaili

See also[edit]

Arianism Jahm bin Safwan Jewish Kalam Kalam
Kalam
cosmological argument Logic in Islamic philosophy Logos (Christianity) Madhab Qadr (doctrine)

References[edit]

^ Winter, Tim J. "Introduction." Introduction. The Cambridge Companion to Classical Islamic Theology. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2008. 4-5. Print. ^ a b c Mutahhari, Murtada; Qara'i, 'Ali Quli (translator). "An Introduction to 'Ilm al-Kalam". muslimphilosophy. Retrieved 29 March 2018.  ^ Madeleine Pelner Cosman, Linda Gale Jones, Handbook to Life in the Medieval World, p 391. ISBN 1438109075 ^ Clinton Bennett, The Bloomsbury Companion to Islamic Studies, p 119. ISBN 1441127887. ^ Schacht, J. Bearman, P., ed. Encyclopaedia of Islam
Islam
(2nd ed.). Netherlands: Brill Publishers. ISBN 9789004161214. Retrieved 24 June 2016. kalam meanings a) the reed-pen used for writing in Arabic script; b) Ottoman usage, used figuratively to designate the secretariat of an official department or service; c) in the sense of kalām Allāh (the "Word of God), must here be distinguished from 1) kalām meaning ʿilm al-kalām, “defensive apologetics”, or “the science of discourse”, 2) kalima, expressed kalimat Allāh, means “a” (single) divine utterance; d) theology.  ^ Fakhry, Majid (1983). A History of Islamic Philosophy (second ed.). New York: Columbia University Press. pp. xvii–xviii.  ^ a b Bennett, Clinton (2012). The Bloomsbury Companion to Islamic Studies. Bloomsbury Academic. p. 119. ISBN 1441127887.  ^ Black Macdonald, Duncan (2008). Development of Muslim Theology, Jurisprudence, and Constitutional Theory, Chapter=III. The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd. p. 187. ISBN 158477858X.  ^ Jeffry R. Halverson, Theology and Creed in Sunni
Sunni
Islam, 2010: p 37. ISBN 0230106587 ^ a b " Nuh Ha Mim Keller
Nuh Ha Mim Keller
- Kalam
Kalam
and Islam". 

External links[edit]

Kalam
Kalam
and Islam
Islam
by Sheikh Nuh Keller Wolfson, Harry Austryn, The Philosophy of the Kalam, Harvard University Press, 1976, 779 pages, ISBN 978-0-674-66580-4, Google Books, text at archive.org Living Islam

Kalam
Kalam
Cosmological Argument

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