Studies the development of Muslim jurisprudential and theological thought by analyzing the dispute that raged from the ninth to the nineteenth century over the assessment of acts that took place before the Qur'anic Revelation.
Before Revelation studies the development of Muslim jurisprudential and theological thought as expressed in the extensive dispute over the assessment of acts that took place before the arrival of Revelation.
Between the ninth and nineteenth centuries Muslims debated, often fiercely, the question, "What is the value of an actmoving from place to place, breathing, or eating a tasty food, for instancebefore Revelation arrives?" That is, Muslims, whose existence as Muslims derived from the Qur'anic Revelation, debated whether acts could be called "good," or "reprehensible," before the Qur'an. This book analyzes that prolonged debate from a History of Religions perspective, using sources from the Muslim sciences of jurisprudential theory (usal-fiqh) and theology (kalam).
About the Author
A. Kevin Reinhart is Associate Professor in the Department of Religion at Dartmouth College.
Table of Contents
Part I: Introduction and Overview
2. Development and Doxography
Part II: The Three Positions
3. Acts are Proscribed (mahzur)
4. The Permitted Position
5. "No Assessment"
Appendix: Two Translations of "Before Revelation" Texts
Translation of a Section from al-Fusul fi l-Usul of al-Jassas
Translation of a Section from Kitab al-Mustasfa fi 'ilm a-usul
Abu Hamid al-Ghazali
Part III: Thanking the Benefactor
6. God As Patron: Thanking the Benefactor
Appendix: An Early Debate on Thanking the Benefactor
Part IV: The Background
7. Conceptual Sources of the Problem
8. Abu l-Hudhayl and the Early Mu'tazilah
9. The Basrans: Moral Ontology and Epistemology
10. The Critique of the Mu'tazliah: Ignoring Ontology
Part V: Conclusions