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in category Kalam (Theology)

What are the main topics covered by Asharite theology?

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What are the main topics covered by Asharite theology?

Asharite thinkers, following al-Mutazila, dealt with the main theological issues of Islamic faith, including arguments for the existence of God, divine unity, revelation, prophecy and eschatology. They aimed to refute the opposing views of other religions and philosophical schools in a rational dialectical method.

But they also discussed the controversial theological issues first raised by the Mutazilites, such as the existence of attributes of God (sifat Allah), the nature of divine speech (kalam Allah), the possibility of seeing God in the future life (ruyat Allah), the question of divine omnipotence and human free will (irada) and the fate of a believing sinner (murtakib al-kabira).

In Asharite theology God has eternal attributes such as knowledge, speech and sight, which are, in their system, essential for His knowing, speaking, or seeing. Since it belongs to his eternal attribute of speech, the Qur'an as God's word was uncreated. Unlike the traditionalist Sunni school and al-Ashari himself, later Asharites did not oppose the metaphorical interpretation of corporeal terms attributed to God in the Qur'an. As for the question of free will and predestination, Asharites took a middle position between the Mutazilites and Jabrites in emphasizing God's creation of human acts, which each person freely chooses.


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