Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Summary of Belief (Tajrīd al-iʿtiqād) and Later Theology in Islam I

While later Islamic intellectual history is characterised by debates and the commentary culture of the theological summa influenced by different models of Avicennism (through al-Ishārāt wa-l-tanbīhāt, or the works of Athīr al-dīn al-Abharī [d. 1263] or the work of Fakhr al-dīn al-Rāzī [d. 1210]), thinkers and glossators particularly focused upon two cycles of texts, the former more popular in Sunni Ashʿarī circles and the latter generally popular in the Islamic East but especially in Shiʿi circles. 
{The key texts were Sharḥ al-Ishārāt, al-Mabāḥith al-mashriqīya and al-Mulakhkhaṣ of Rāzī, and al-Hidāya fī-l-ḥikma of al-Abharī; al-Mulakhkhaṣ remains in manuscript and really needs to be edited and published; here is a little known ḥāshiya on Rāzī's Sharḥ by Badruddīn Tustarī}

The first was the al-ʿAqāʾid al-ʿAḍudīya of ʿAḍud al-dīn al-Ījī [d. 1355], a creedal Ashʿarī work written in Shiraz, usually read with the commentary (sharḥ) of Jalālal-dīn Davānī [d. 1502], another philosopher and theologian of Shiraz, upon which many glosses were penned in the Ottoman and Indian realms all the way up to and beyond the edition and gloss of the work written by Muḥammad ʿAbduh [d. 1905] based probably on the teaching of Jamāl al-din Afghānī [d. 1897].

{The text was lithographed in Istanbul in 1272/1855 and again in 1904 in Cairo with the glosses of the Indian ʿAbd al-Ḥakīm Siyālkūtī [d. 1656] and Ottoman Aḥmad b. Mūsā Khayālī [d. 1457]; here is the Afghānī gloss}.

The second was Tajrīd al-iʿtiqād of Naṣīr al-dīn al-Ṭūsī[d. 1274], a short and pithy Twelver Shiʿi creed divided into six sections (maqāṣid), mostly taken up with philosophical issues:
1)          General ontology (umūr ʿāmma
2)         Substance and accident (jawhar wa-ʿaraḍ
3)         Metaphysics (ilāhīyāt
4)          On prophecy
5)         On the imamate 
6)        On the resurrection (al-maʿād)
 Most commentaries and glosses seem to have focused on maqāṣid 1-3 and 5. Famously there were three commentaries on this text. The first was by his student ʿAllāma al-Ḥillī[d. 1325] entitled Kashf al-murād, an extensive work that often moves into tangential discussions that represent al-Ḥillī’s positions – and despite the impression one gets from the modern seminary ḥawzeh use of it, this commentary was barely cited or glossed in the pre-modern period. Al-Ḥillī's own Avicennan commitments seem to have been qualified by his theological ones. 

Far more glosses were written on the other two commentaries, considered properly to be the ‘old’ (qadīm) and the ‘new’ (jadīd). The former entitled Tasdīd al-qawāʿid was written by Shams al-din Iṣfahānī [d. 1348] who also wrote a commentary on al-Ishārāt and was a more philosophically minded one. The Shiraz philosopher Sayyid al-Sharīf al-Jurjānī [d. 1413] wrote a famous gloss on it. The latter was by the Timurid and Ottoman thinker ʿAlī al-Qūshchī [d. 1474], upon which the Shirazi philosophers Davānī and Mīr Ṣadr al-dīn Dashtakī [d. 1498] and his son Ghiyāth al-dīn [d. 1542] wrote glosses, as well as the Ottomans Aḥmad al-Khayālī [d. 1467] and Mullā Fanārī-zāde [d. 1481] and the Shirazi Sunni philosopher who fled the Safavid realm Mīrzājān Shīrāzi Bāghnawī [d. 1587], the Shiʿi Shiraz thinker Shams al-dīn Khafrī [d. 1535] especially on section 3 and Ḥusayn Ilāhī Ardabīlī [d. 1544], the Shiʿi logician Mullā ʿAbdullāh Yazdī [d. 1576], Mīr Fakhr al-dīn Sammākī Astarābadī [d. 1577] a key figure in the middle Safavid period, Aḥmad muqaddas Ardabīlī [d. 1585], Ḥusayn Khwānsārī [d. 1689], and Ḥusayn Tunikābunī [d. 1680], a student of Mullā Ṣadrā. 
[It is incorrect to assert that Mullā Ṣadrā himself wrote a gloss – it is common to mistake him with Mīr Ṣadr al-dīn Dashtakī Shīrāzī as many manuscript catalogues do] 

Najm al-dīn Nayrīzī, a Shiʿi theologian of the early Safavid period trained in Shiraz also wrote a commentary: Taḥrīr tajrīd al-iʿtiqād, which remains in manuscript. Therefore numerous glosses were written – studied with their manuscripts by ʿAlī Ṣadrāʾī Khūʾī – with further commentaries such as Shawāriq al-ilhām of ʿAbd al-Razzāq Lāhījī [d. 1661], the son-in-law and student of Mullā Ṣadrā [d. 1635] that defends Avicennan positions against his teacher, and culminating in the excellent al-Barāhīn al-qāṭiʿa fī tajrīd al-ʿaqāʾid al-sāṭiʿa of Muḥammad Jaʿfar Astarābādī [d. 1847], recently published. [Famous also for his takfīr of Shaykh Aḥmad al-Aḥsāʾī] These last two have both been published. 

The Shawāriq seems to have been a major school text especially in the 19th century hence the numerous and important glosses in the margins of the lithograph. It was thus a major conduit for the transmission of Avicennan doctrines into the later period – and hence critique of the Mullā Ṣadrā tradition that was radically revising Avicennism.

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