Beings and Their Attributes: The Teaching of the Basrian by Richard M. Frank

By Richard M. Frank

The instructing of the basrian university of the Mu'tazila within the Classical interval

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Extra resources for Beings and Their Attributes: The Teaching of the Basrian School of the Mu'Tazila in the Classical Period (Environmental Analytical and Physical Chemistry Series)

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8 This process is fixed already as a formalized principle in the teaching of abû l-Hudhayl and Ibn Kullâb and in their different conceptions of the kind of being denoted by these nouns is laid the foundations of the differences in the conception of the attributes that characterizes the doctrines of their respective followers. During the middle and later decades of the third/ninth century a number of abû l-Hudhayl's disciples, among them Hiâm al-Fuwati* and abû Ya`qûb as-Sahham*, the master of al-Gubba'i*, continued to pursue their investigations along much the same lines as had abû l-Hudhayl, with some revisions, innovations, and modifications of various degree and significance.

The theological doctrine of the school I have not attempted to treat as such, though a number of theses concerning the being and attributes of God are perforce discussed. Because of the nature of the sources there is here some amount of reconstruction and a little new construction too. The texts consist largely of theological compendia, shorter and longer, complete and incomplete, and so do not systematically set out for its own sake the philosophical Page 6 substructure of their various theses and arguments.

Its being the essential entity that it is in itself), its being existent, its being living, its being knowing, its being in motion, its being good, etc. , hal*) of the being of the entity of which they are attributes. In order to do this he turned to the grammarians and grammatical theory. 26 The grammarians' understanding of the hal*, however, has not been examined specifically in terms of abû Hâim's formulation of it as an ontological concept and since this is clearly pertinent to the understanding of his adaptation of the notion and to the relation of the kalâm to the linguistic sciences, it will be useful to outline the matter here.

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