Category Archives: Ashari Aqeedah

Regarding Conflicts between Rationality and Scripture

By brother Rashid Ali

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Ibn Bazīza, the Mālikī Imām and Ash’arī theologian explained the principle when commenting on Imām al-Haramayn al-Juwaynī’s famous text on creed al-Irshad ilā Qawātī ul-Adilla fī Usūl il-I’tiqād – ‘The Guide to the Conclusive Proofs in the Principles of Creed’ that rational principles take priority and scripture is interpreted in conformity with them away from their literal reading when necessary thus:

“‘Principle: Our scholars have stated, ‘when there is conflict between rational proofs (dalā’il ul-aqlīya) and the apparent meaning of the scripture (zawāhir ul-shar’īya), then to accept them both is impossible (mahāl) because they are in conflict; as is rejecting them both for this would leave us nothing save blind ignorance! And invalidating rational proofs because of the soundness of the scritural proofs (dalāla ul-sam’), is impossible, because the intellect is the foundation/root of the scripture (al-aql asl ul-shar). If we were to invalidate the foundation/root due to soundness of the branch (far) it would necessitate invalidating both of them! Hence it is necessary/mandatory to uphold the soundness of the rational proof and interpet the apparent/literal meaning of the scripture [in accordance with it]. And God’s aid is sought!”

Page 227 ‘al-As’ād fī Shar’h ul-Irshād (al-Mushtamal alā Qawā’idil-I’tiqād) li-Imām al-Haramayn Abī al-Ma’ālī Abd al-Mālik al-Juwaynī’

Authored by Abd al-Azīz bin Ibrāhīm bin Ahmad al-Qurashī al-Taymī well known as Ibn Bazīza al-Tunisī (d1274CE – 662H)