The Mutazilah Rationalization as a Valid Philosophical System to Islamic Metaphysics of Divine Unity

Syed M. Waqas, Cincinnati Christian University, Ohio, USA
IQSA International Conference 2021 “Giorgio La Pira” Library, Palermo, Italy
Panel 11: Medieval Falsafa and the Qur’an: a Changeable Relationship

The Mu’tazilah school of falsafa and kalām has been vilified and villainized throughout Islamic theological history owing to their overwhelming emphasis upon the rational understanding of divine unity and its direct relation to, and implication for, order in the universe and justice in the affairs of the world. The complexity of their argument rests upon a simple fundamental premise, namely God’s unity is above and beyond any layers of multiplicity. Even though the Mu’tazilah philosophers used the Qur’an to both defend and project their position, the orthodox model of theology prevailed at length over philosophical schools and made the rationalizing attempts of the Mu’tazilah tradition to bear the tag of heresy. I intend to take a rather positive approach to the Mu’tazilah philosophy in this paper in an attempt to academically understand the gist and framework of their rationalization of Qur’anic metaphysics. The Mu’tazilah, as I propose, ought to be evaluated objectively on the basis of their own philosophy rather than through the lens of the orthodox theology