Fakhr al-Din al-Razi

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Abu `Abdallah Muhammad bin `Umar al-Razi, known as Fakhr al-Din al-Razi, (1149 - 1209) is a famous and well known Muslim theologian and philosopher from Ray, Iran, Persia. He is not to be confused with Rhazes, also known as al-Razi.

He was born in a Shafi'ite and Ash`arite family. His father was Diya al-Din `Umar who taught him Islamic religious sciences before he went to study with other Muslim savants. Al-Razi travelled to many places such as Bukhara, Khwarazm and Transoxiana and held discussions with the local savants. Al-Razi was a prolific and encyclopedic writer and scholar based on his many works, more than sixty complete works. He was a philosopher, historian, mathematician, astronomer, physician, theologian and exegesist. He had the exponents and opponents. His opponents were the Hanbalites who opposed philosophy, Kalam and mysticism, and the Batinites including the Qarmatians whom al-Razi criticized and refuted their teachings.

Al-Razi's works on theology and Kalam are many and two of them are Al-Arba`in fi usul al-din and Al-mas'il al-khamsun fi usul al-din. In his Al-Arba`in fi usul al-din, Al-Razi presented forty issues in the principles of religion. They include cosmology, theology, ethics, prophethood, eschatology and imamate. In his Al-masa'il al-khamsun fi usul al-din, Al-Razi presented almost the same themes or topics contained in Al-Arba`in fi usul al-din but his discussions are very brief in comparison with his discussions in Al-Arba`in fi usul al-din.

See also

Sources

For his life and writings, see:

  • G.C. Anawati, 'Fakhr al-Din al-Razi' in The Encyclopaedia of Islam, 2nd edition, ed. by H.A.R. Gibbs, B. Lewis, Ch. Pellat, C. Bosworth et al., 11 vols. (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1960-2002) vol. 2, pp. 751-5.

For his astrological-magical writings, see:

  • Manfred Ullmann, Die Natur- und Geheimwissenschaften im Islam, Handbuch der Orientalistik, Abteilung I, Ergänzungsband VI, Abschnitt 2 (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1972), pp. 388-390.

For his treatise on physiognomy, see:

  • Yusef Mourad, La physiognomie arabe et le Kitab al-firasa de Fakhr al-Din al-Razi (Paris, 1939).

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