Volume 98, Issue 2, April 2021
Special Issue: Islamic Philosophy and Contemporary Philosophy of Religion
In Pursuit of the World's Creator
Fakhr al-Din al-Razi on the Origins of the Universe in al-Matalib al-'Aliya
Fakhr al-Dın al-Razı’s (d. 606/1210) final theological treatise, al-Matalib al-‘Aliya min al-‘Ilm al-Ilahiyya, is sufficient justification for the assertion of his towering significance as interpreter of Ibn Sına (d. 428/1037) and in the development of new theological paradigms. Yet such is its richness and subtlety that al-Razı’s views in the Matalib on key doctrinal issues such as the creation of the world require much further study. Previously, scholars have maintained that al-Razı refrains from affirming any one doctrine of creation. I argue to the contrary, that despite al-Razı’s epistemological caution on matters pertaining to the action of God, he ultimately deems creation ex nihilo most probable on the balance of evidence, and therefore the doctrine that is to be believed.