Sharh al-Maqâsid as a Philosophical Kalam Classic

at-Taftazani strikes as a remarkable name in the kalām tradition along al-Razi's line. He has left his mark on the fourteenth century of the history of Islamic thought. Both in his own time and in centuries to come, he has acquired a rightful fame, which he owed especially to his monumental work, Sharh al-Maqasid. This work is a classic in the literature of philosophical kalām. Its significance during the metaphysical phase of kalāmis irrefutable. Sharh al-Maqasid is a large commentary written on one of Taftazani's more brief works, called al-Maqasid. It consists of six maqasid; mebadi, which treats the fundamental principles of kalām; al-umûr al-âmme, which delves into all issues related to existence; araz; jevher; al-ilahiyyât; and as-sam'iyyât. One can note that the organization and the analysis of issues in Sharh al-Maqasid follow the line drawn by al-Râzî and al-İji. This line covers a range from akaidto kalām, and from kalām to philosophical kalām. Nearly one third of the book is allocated to the issues of belief, which are discussed in the last two sections. The remaining two thirds of the book related to existence and knowledge constitutes the basis of the following chapters on belief. However, one cannot argue that the first four maqasıdare completely and solely comprised of philosophical/metaphysical headings independent from the main principles of kalām; for an attentive reader, the lines separating a theologian from a metaphysician are quite blurred.


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