Al-Fakhr al-Razi

 Therefore, I say that everything that stands established by literal proofs concerning the necessity of Allah’s existence, His oneness, His exemption from any and all partners, as well as His beginninglessness and pre-existence, His disposal of all things, His exclusive efficacy: that is what I also believe, and what I hope to meet Allah with.

 As for what is ultimately subtle and unclear, as well as all that is mentioned in the Qur’an and the sound books of hadith that specifically bears one meaning: it is all exactly as the text says. Whatever is otherwise, I say: O God of the worlds, I see that all of creation concur that You are the most generous of all generous ones,  and the most merciful of them; therefore, concerning anything I wrote or thought, I bear witness that if You saw that I tried to declare true something false, or declare false something true, then do with me as I deserve; but if you saw that I only tried to declare transcendent whatever I considered truly transcendent, and believed so truthfully, then let Your mercy be commensurate with my intention, not with my outcome….

 As for the books which I authored and in which I listed and explicated countless questions, let whoever looks into them remember me kindly and pray for me out of compassion and benevolence, or else, strike out any wrong words. For I did not intend other than abundant investigation and the sharpening of thought, all the while relying upon Allah.6

 Ibn al-Subki quotes the following lines of poetry from Imam al-Razi:

  The daring of minds ends in shackles,   Most of mankind’s undertakings are folly.   Our souls are indifferent to what our bodies do,   And the sum of our lives is affliction and harm.   We did not benefit from our lifelong search   Except in collecting what these said, and those.   Atop many a mountain men have triumphed   And gone, while the mountains remained.   How many men and states have we seen   Goaded to disappear one and all.

 Al-Razi is, with al-Hakim al-Tirmidhi, among those to whom Shaykh Muhyi al-Din Ibn `Arabi frequently refers in his books.

 Main sources: Ibn al-Subki, Tabaqat al-Shafi`iyya al-Kubra 8:81-96 #1089; Ibn Qadi Shuhba, Tabaqat al-Shafi`iyya 1:-396-398 #366.


1In Ibn Qadi Shuhba: Ibn `Umar Ibn al-Husayn ibn al-Hasan.

2 The Karramiyya are the followers of Abu ‘Abd Allah Muhammad ibn Karram al-Sijistani (d. 255) who used to say: “Allah is a body unlike bodies” and “Allah is firmly seated on the throne and He is in person (dhâtan) on the upper side of it.” Al-Shahrastani, al-Milal wa al-Nihal (1:108) and al-Dhahabi, Siyar (10:10). Al-Baghdadi gave an exhaustive description of their doctrines in al-Farq Bayn al-Firaq (1977 ed. p. 202-214).

3List taken from Ibn al-Subki’s TSK, Ibn Qadi Shuhba, and Hajji Khalifa’s Kasfh al-Zunun (1:224, 2:1198, 2:1527, 2:1561, 2:1864).

4To the point he said: “One of the scholars said that his Tafsir contains everything but Tafsir!” In Hajji Khalifa, Kashf al-Zunun (1:431) and elsewhere.

5Al-Dhahabi included an entry on Imam al-Razi in his compendium of narrator-discreditation entitled Mizan al-I`tidal in which he says: “He [al-Razi] authored a book named Asrar al-Nujum which contains blatant sorcery.” Al-Dhahabi, Mizan al-I`tidal. Ibn al-Subki in TSK (8:88) rejects this attribution as spurious and rightly attributes its mention to al-Dhahabi’s anti-Ash`ari bias, noting that since al-Razi is not even known as a hadith narrator he did not belong in the Mizan in the first place – the latter being a compendium of narrators whose name was brought up in connection with narrator-discreditation. `Abd al-Karim ibn Khaldun al-Maghribi al-Maliki in the introduction to his Tarikh and Ibn Qadi Shuhba cite the book as al-Sirr al-Maktum fi Mukhataba al-Shams wa al-Nujum and similarly cast doubt on the authenticity of its attribution to al-Razi.

6In Ibn al-Subki, Tabaqat al-Shafi`iyya al-Kubra (8:91-92).  

Peace and Blessings upon the Prophet, his Family, and his Companions

© 2012 As-Sunnah Foundation of America

Page 2 of 2 | Previous page

Leave a comment

You must be