Sunday, February 4, 2018

The Ueberweg

In this age of handbooks, companions and encyclopaedias, the Ueberweg - or to give it its proper title Grundriss der Geschichte der Philosophie - is something quite different, a monument to slow, careful and 'objective' research. It is designed to be definitive, magisterial, authoritative and unbiased and to stand the test of time - and given the fact that we still do not have a good sense of the full course of the intellectual history of philosophy in the world of Islam, it will end up defining for a generation at least the outline of that story.

Four volumes are planned to cover the history of Islamic philosophy of which the first volume on the early period before Avicenna has appeared in German as well as in English translation. There will also be online versions that may well be more comprehensive and updated by the authors. 

The four volumes are:

1) 8th to 10th Century - already out 

2) 10th to 12th Century - this will cover the critical period of Avicenna and includes the various initial responses including Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī - currently in final stages of editing 

3) 13th to 18th Century - the high point of the post-classical period with a long (multi-authored) chapter on the 13th to the 15th century, a ground breaking piece on the history of logic by Khaled el-Rouayheb, philosophy in Shiraz from Jurjānī to Sammākī by Reza Pourjavady, myself on Safavid philosophy (Mīr Dāmād and his students, Mullā Ṣadrā and his students, Rajab ʿAlī Tabrīzī and his students, the Avicennian tradition, and the reception of Mullā Ṣadrā up to and including Mahdī Narāqī), Asad Ahmed and Renate Wursch on India, Sait Ozervali on Ottoman philosophy and so forth; this volume will probably not appear for around 5 years

4) 1800 to the present - this is the modern volume; I have a chapter on Avicennians and the critique of Mullā Ṣadrā in this volume - this is also in the editing stage

This will supplement and act as the foundation for students for some time to come adding to the existing resources that are critically important such as the Cambridge Companion to Arabic Philosophy, the Oxford Handbook of Islamic Philosophy, and the volume on Philosophy in the Islamic World  as part of Peter Adamson's the History of Philosophy without any gaps podcast transcripts. 

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Mullā Ṣadrā on the esoteric

Not surprisingly, Mullā Ṣadrā has plenty to say about the practice of esotericism, about taʾwīl and the proper attitude one needs to take on the Qurʾan and how one ought to use one's sense perception and intellect to grasp realities. Consider the following:

Know that the Qurʾan like the human is divided into what is enunciated (ʿalan) and what is held secret (sirr), and all of it has an exoteric and an esoteric aspect and the esoteric has a further esoteric aspect and so forth until the point where only God knows: ‘no one knows its meaning (taʾwīl) except God’ (Q. III.7. It is also related in the ḥādīth that ‘the Qurʾan has an exoteric and an esoteric aspect and its esoteric has another seven levels of esotericism’, which are like the levels that are esoteric in the human such as the soul (al-nafs), the heart (al-qalb), the intellect (al-ʿaql), the spirit (al-rūḥ), the secret (al-sirr), the hidden (al-khafī) and the most hidden (al-akhfā). 

What is manifest from what is enunciated (ẓāhir ʿalanihi) is the sensible and tactile artifact and the rolled up scroll that is held, but what is hidden from what is enunciated is what the esoteric sense (al-ḥiss al-bāṭin) perceives and resembles what the reciters and the memorisers store from their perceptions in their imagination and its like. The inner sense cannot perceive the pure meaning but as it is mixed with corporeal accidents even if it seems to be devoid of the sensible. Estimation and imagination like the exoteric sense are not present in the absolutely pure esoteric meaning such as the absolute meaning of humanity but rather in a sense that is mixed in extra-mental reality with accretions and veils such as [the categories] of quantity and quality and place and position. If either of the two [estimation and imagination] attempted to picture the absolute meaning of humanity without an extrinsic element, they would not be able to do so but rather all they could do is affirm a limited form with attachments drawn from the external senses…

These two levels of the Qurʾan are earthly and evident to every human that perceives. However, its esoteric aspect and its secret are two levels for the afterlife and each of them has degrees:

The first of the two is what the human spirit perceives through constituting it from the conception of meaning through definition and its essence, shorn of extrinsic properties, grasped by intelligible principles, such that it may be true of many, uniting in it opposites in unity. An example of this is that the human spirit cannot perceive what has not been stripped away from the stage of creation and shorn away the dust of the senses and not ascended to the stage of the command, since it is not a property of the sensible insofar as it is sensible to intellect just as it is not the property of the intellect to sense through a corporeal instrument. What is pictured through the senses is limited and specific to a place and a space and a time and a quantity and a quality. The intelligible essence cannot rest in what is discerned through the senses. The human spirit, rather, encounters true knowledge through an intelligible substance located in the world of the command, not located in a body, nor pictured through something internal to a sense or through estimation. 

The senses and what pertains to them deploy themselves in the world of creation (ʿālam al-khalq) and the intellect deploys what is in it in the world of command (ʿālam al-amr) and what is above both creation and command is most beloved to them both. God the exalted said: It is a dignifying Qurʾan in a hidden book that none may touch save the purified, a revelation from the Lord of the worlds’ (Q. LVI.77–80). Remember that it has properties that have stages and stations, the highest of which is dignity with God, and the lowest is descended in the world. There is no doubt that the word of God qua his word before its descent to the world of command, that is the preserved table (al-lawḥ al-maḥfūẓ) and before its descent to the world of the heavens of the earth, and that is the tablet of effacement and affirmation (lawḥ al-maḥw wa-l-ithbāt) and the world of creation and determination (ʿālam al-khalq wa-l-taqdīr), has a degree that is above all stages that none of the prophets may perceive except in the station of union, by forgoing these two states of being and by reaching the ‘two bows length or less’ and setting aside the two worlds of creation and command. As the most excellent of the prophets, peace be with him and his progeny: I have a moment with my Lord to which none can attain, neither an angel brought close (malak muqarrab) nor a messenger commissioned (nabī mursal). 

The possessors of this stage is chosen to encounter the Qurʾan with respect to this stage, alluding to this stage in His word, the exalted: None knows its meaning save God and those rooted in knowledge (Q. III.7), and his saying: As for one whose heart God has expanded for submission, such that he is a light from his Lord (Q. XXXIX.22). And in the narration: There is a form of knowledge that is like a hidden thing that none know except the knowers of God. God alluded to the station of the heart and of the esoteric sense in his saying: Verily in that is a reminder to one who possesses a heart or harkens while he witnesses (Q. L.37), and in his saying: Had we listened or had we thought we would not be of the people of the blazing fire (Q. LXVII.10), and in his saying: Shelter him until he hears the word of God (Q. IX.6), and in his saying: There is none among us save that he has a known station (Q. XXXVII.164), alluding to the stations of knowers in the degrees of knowledge, as he said: We raise in degrees whom we will and above every possessor of knowledge is a knower (Q. XII.76), and his saying: Those are the messengers, we favoured some over others (Q. II.253), and his saying: God privileged some of you over others in sustenance (Q. XVI.71).

In sum, the Qurʾan has degrees and levels just as the human has stages and stations. The lowest stage of the Qurʾan like the lowest stage for the human lies in its binding and cover just as the lowest degree of the human lies in its being a creature and passive. Every degree of it (the Qurʾan) has its bearers who memorise it and write it and they do not touch it except after purifying themselves from filth or from their incipience (ḥadathihim aw ḥudūthihim) and they sanctify it above attachment to their location or to their contingency (makānihim aw imkānihim). The husk of the human only pertains to the ink of the Qurʾan and its sensible form. The human of the exoteric husk cannot perceive but the outer meanings of the husk. 

The spirit of the Qurʾan and its core and its secret can only be discerned by those who discern, and it cannot be grasped by knowledge acquired by learning and reflecting, but rather by knowledge from him (al-ʿulūm al-ladunnīya), and we aim to explain these forms of knowledge and establish them by demonstrations God willing.

The reality of wisdom can only come from knowledge that is from him, and if the soul does not reach that stage it cannot be wise since wisdom is a gift from God the exalted: ‘he gives wisdom to whom he wills and whoever has been given wisdom has been given a great good’ (Q. II.269), and they are the ones who have arrived at this stage.

Know that since revelation (waḥī) has come to an end and the gate of messengership been closed, people no longer need messengers and the promulgation of the mission after the confirmation of the proof and the completion of the religion as God the exalted said: This day have I perfected for you your religion’ (Q. V.3).

The gate to inspiration is not closed and the support by the light of guidance has not been cut off since people – drowning as they are in these devilish whisperings – need warning and reminding but God has closed the gate to revelation (waḥī) and opened the gate to inspiration (ilhām) as a mercy from him to his creatures.

Mullā Ṣadrā, Mafātīḥ al-ghayb, I, 65-69.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Conceptualising Theology in Islam: Beyond kalām

There is little doubt that Islamic intellectual history is enjoying quite a vogue at the moment and areas such as the historical study of Qurʾanic exegesis, philosophical traditions, mysticisms and even theological traditions are flourishing in academia. Recent and contemporary interest in what exactly Islam is (partly inspired by Shahab Ahmed's posthumous monograph What is Islam?), its diverse historical and contemporary manifestations and the problem of understanding what sort of category Islam is and how meaningful the notion of the islamic is, are all central to academic concerns of those in the study of religion and contemporary thought. There is a sense in which the study of Islam is being dragged into a number of important current debates in method in various disciplines, and it is no longer the cases that articles and works on Islam are confined to the ghetto of Islamic studies or area studies journals and publication series alone. 

The appetite for students to consume some of these ideas - partly no doubt intrigued by the ubiquity of Islam-talk in the public sphere - has also led to the need to provide materials that will provide nourishment for that curiosity. There is a perennial need for textbooks and aids for the the ubiquitous Introduction to Islam classes in metropolitan academia. Hence the recent proliferation of handbooks, companions, encyclopaedias and other sourcebooks that can be profitably used in the classroom. 

The Oxford Handbook of Islamic Theology is precisely one of these aids for the student available on the market - and in most cases probably accessible in e-book format through university libraries. Thinking in terms of possible rivals, it is difficult to come up with a comparable volume. Despite the recent flourishing on studies on kalām, especially on particular thinkers and sub-traditions, and the many texts now available to us, there is no decent single volume introduction to Islamic theology on the market. The older volumes by Tritton, Anawati and Gardet, Watt and others are rather outdated and tend to focus on the narrow 'formative' period. The formidable achievement of Josef van Ess' Theologie und Gessellschaft I'm 2. und 3. Jahrhundert Hidschra, now appearing in English translation with Brill with three volumes published so far, is focused on the early period and far too specialised for that sort of readership. 

There is also plenty of new material on contemporary thought - with an emphasis often on violence, politics (Islamisms in particular) and gender - but little that is joined up to provide us with a useful textbook for the classroom. Notable volumes on contemporary theology including the pioneering Progressive Islam volume edited by Omid Safi and the recent volume Men in Charge which is a significant contribution on the range of feminist theology (there are of course many other monographs including the influential earlier one by Amina Wadud and more recently Kecia Ali). What some of these contemporary studies demonstrate is that the line between legal, ethical and theological reasoning is at times difficult to discern as the three fields often explicitly overlap - the legal renders the ethical and expresses the theological to put it in one way. 

Having taught an undergraduate module on Islamic theological traditions for well over a decade, I have always struggled to find a singular work that I could set for my students as an introductory text. My interest - and that of my students - is not merely historical but also theological in itself trying to make sense of what we understand as theological reasoning in Islam and to what end such discourses are articulated. From next year, this handbook will become a core element of the reading list for that class.

Handbooks of this type tend to be either fêted or damned, the former through affiliations and excessive praise, and the latter through picking on lacunae and the choice of selections. The former can also be somewhat tedious - one thinks of other recent volumes which are praised beyond reason to stress the paradigm shifting nature of the questions asked, although on closer scrutiny neither the questions asked nor the insights offered are actually that exciting. What cannot be denied is that this handbook is a very solid volume that brings together the various research interests of people working on kalām in Islamic thought, primarily from the perspective of intellectual history with a singular nod or two to the modern and contemporary period. Rich in detail and historically organized, the volume is divided into five sections: Islamic theologies in the early periods concerned with the formation of schools, four case studies of interactions with pre-Islamic thought and different disciplines such as logic, Islamic theologies in the middle and early modern periods or the scholastic age, the interaction of political and social history with theology (partly a study in types of contextualism), and Islamic theological thought in the modern period. If you want to know who is working on what in Islamic intellectual history focused on theology, this is the place to check – and if you’re looking for an excellent bibliography of kalām, you need go nowhere else. However, this may also be a significant weakness as it does point to the rather indexical nature of much of the content.

The introduction is divided into two sections – the former attempts a rather vague and somewhat inadequate definition of theology in Islam that is reduced to ʿilm al-kalām, and the latter presents a useful historical overview of the historiography on that field of inquiry. If you ever wanted to teach a history of the academic study of kalām, the bibliography is here in that section. The first section narrows onto two particular concerns of kalām: the nature of God and the nature of her agency and begins with a consideration of a normative set of statements about the central belief in God and her attributes in the Qurʾan. Historically - and a diachronic study of elements of kalām discourse - may well demonstrate the sound nature of such an approach. But does this render what one might mean when one asks the historical and normative questions about the nature of theologies in Islam? What is also conceded is that the Qurʾanic approach to the presentation of divine agency brings into detail the fallibility of creation and in particular the human. The Qurʾan in that sense is as much the story of humanity, its whence, where and whither. But that of course is also true of theology that historically and certainly through a presentist prism of inquiry focuses upon the inter-subjectivity of humans with respect to God and the cosmos. 

The introduction does not take up issues of theoretical approach: it does not address the central question of hermeneutics, the exoteric and esoteric approaches to texts, the kataphatic and apophatic discourses of the nature of the divine, or the relationship between kalām and other disciplines such as Qurʾanic exegesis, philosophy, and mysticism. Some of these interdisciplinary concerns find their way into chapters by Pink, El-Rouayheb and Nguyen – at least there is recognition that mystical reasoning in Islam constitutes a form of theology but even here there is all too brief mention of the school of Ibn ʿArabī and no systematic consideration of apophasis (the subject incidentally of an excellent forthcoming monograph by Aydogan Kars). Nevertheless, there is a sense that the basic dichotomy of considering theology through the lens of rationalism and traditionalism remains a paramount organizing principle. The absence of a more engaged consideration of what we mean by kalām and theology means that the bounds of the discourses are not clear – nor is the very notion of theology problematized; after all, far too much of our language of the study of religion and especially one such as Islam arises from the desire to apply comparative language and categories that are usually derived and defined from the normative case of the study of the Church. Thus we tend to talk of theology, of orthodoxy, of creeds, of clashes between reason and revelation, of the structure and ecclesiology of authority, of magisteria and political theology.

Are the generic boundaries heuristically useful? We notice that the lines between the issues discussed in philosophy (ḥikma), kalām, exegesis and mystical texts seems to blur in the later period – and one way of lumping them together is to consider them to be a unity that we might call the rational humanities or the maʿqūlāt. But does that mean that the practitioners themselves felt that the generic boundaries were meaningless? Consider two historically divergent definitions, one that distinguishes kalām from philosophy and the other that distinguishes philosophy from kalām and mysticism. The Avicennian philosopher and (soft) Ashʿarī theologian Mīr Ḥusayn Maybudī (d. 1504) in his widely glossed commentary on the Hidāyat al-ḥikma of al-Abharī (d. 1265) examines the definition of philosophy and at one point discusses whether philosophy and kalām are the same ‘science’ because so many of the issues overlap but then decides that there is a meaningful distinction: kalām discusses no doubt ontological, epistemological and cosmological views alongside the nature of God but it does so within the parameters of the law and ethos of Islam (qānūn al-islām). Strictly speaking, philosophy is not so constrained. But one wonders about that in practice: Avicenna famously postulated an onto-cosmological proof for the existence of God and tied it – in a self-described philosophical work – to an exegesis of a verse of the Qurʾan, and elsewhere in his psychology he linked his theory of the stages of the rational soul with an exegesis on the light verse in the Qurʾan. In the later period, especially from the Safavid, the concept of ḥikma takes on a life of its own and cannot be divorced from onto-theology even if the claim is that the metaphysical study of being qua being or of the absolute mode of being is not reducible to God as its primary referent. The modern Iranian Shiʿi mystically inclined political theologian Ayatollah Khomeini (d. 1989) in a number of his early works on the school of Ibn ʿArabī similarly tried to differentiate philosophy from mysticism and kalām by considering the subject matter, a classic way of defining and bounding a ‘science’. From the classical period, a science was defined as an inquiry that studied the essential accidents of its subject matter and within that, philosophy studied the essential accidents of being qua being (namely, issues such as modalities, unity and multiplicity, causality and other issues that pertained to things that obtain in extra-mental reality but are not considered insofar as they are physical objects or creatures of a God). Khomeini opined that the absolute mode of being (al-wujūd al-muṭlaq) when considered in philosophy was abstract and included a study of God, but for the theologian, it was precisely how God was understood, and for the mystic, the absolute mode of being was exclusively for God because nothing exists save God.

Perhaps such distinctions are somewhat scholastic – but there is little doubting that their articulators took them seriously. Another sense in which the definition of theology postulated in this volume is perhaps too narrow is to take more seriously other disciplines in Islamic learned culture that rendered theological reasoning. The most obvious broad lacuna in the volume is the theology of the legal theorists and hermeneuts who engaged with scriptural texts and the dictates of reason in order to derive the law and effect moral agency. On the more practical side, the narrowing of theology to kalām misses a whole area of practical, applied and pastoral theologies that are highly pertinent today in which, while the older forms of rational and natural theology relating to proving the existence of God and the possibility of the immaterial as well as justifying beliefs in revelation and so forth still hold, contemporary thinkers are far more focused on theology as a set of inter-subjective relations and perspectives that arise in the human sphere and within the cosmos as sacralised, enchanted faces of the divine – as one set of theological engagements in the present put it, one does not need to defend God but rather one ough to focus on issues of justice, diversity, equality and ethics among humans and others in the cosmos. Even the life cycle of the Muslim experience, the range of ritual practices, the texture of life in quotidian living as well as extraordinary acts of pilgrimage, is largely unconsidered. A further lacuna relates to the occult and the link between kalām and science that was central to the middle period. 

This points to the second organizational principle of the volume – it is a collectivity of schools and school positions. It is not a thematic or problem based approach to the study of theology that could be highly useful, drawing upon the range of persuasions and confessional affiliations that defined themselves as within Islam to address issues. In that way, the stark distinction between the pre-modern and the modern could be resolved. Thus we have a historical survey, beginning with the Qadariyya and the Jahmiyya, moving onto the Muʿtazila and the Ashāʿira, continuing into their scholastic periods and their later manifestations in Sunni and Shiʿi schools as well as alternative trajectories with the Ibāḍiyya and the Ismailis, then the geographical spread of these schools followed by a final consideration albeit too brief on modern developments. Themes are raised within chapters and if one wishes to trace how ideas on free will and determinism developed, one would select a certain path of reading through the volume. The emphasis on thinkers and texts tends to obscure that or even miss the larger trends; for example, within the study of Imāmī theology, if one wished to see how sets of doctrinal positions and arguments that were often condemned in the formative rationalising period as 'extremist' (ghulūw) became normalised certainly by the Safavid period as core to Imāmī theology, how would one set about understanding that process? If the Safavid period was indeed formative for Imāmī (political) theology in the present, then without simply following a whiggish method, how might one interrogate that? How diachronically did the notions of walāya develop, and can one discern distinct traditions overlapping, debating and opposing each other into the present? Perhaps a short reading guide at the end, or even at the beginning, could help readers negotiate that. 

Along the way, there are two sections of case studies: one on some intriguing theological concepts such as occasionalism, the theory of ‘states’, ethical value and the relationship of theology and law, and the other on historical events such as the miḥna, the rivalry of Sunni theologies in the middle period, and the religious policy of the Almohads. In the latter section of cases studies, I do not see why these discussions could not have been subsumed into other chapters – but then with handbooks often it is not a simple case of rational organisation. Whenever we put together a collected volume, we often have the ideal structure and arrangement in mind, but that ideal cannot always be mapped onto the possible or even the practicable. In the former section, one wonders what happened to these debates or are they merely mentioned for antiquarian reasons? For example, Rudolph’s masterful piece on occasionalism is an excellent entry to the topic but various questions come to mind: what is the relationship between atomism and occasionalism, did not Avicennism render occasionalism obsolete, what do we make of the neo-Ashʿarī, neo-occasionalists of today in the Arab and Turkish Sunni world? Similarly the piece on states by Thiele is a solid analysis of the reception of Abū Hāshim in Ashʿarī circles, and as such an interesting case study of doctrines and positions in schools that bleed across boundaries, but it does not say anything about the later Muʿtazilī reception of the theory and why it failed to provide a solution to the nominalist and eternalist problems of the divine attributes. The only contribution in that section that brings us close to our time is El-Rouayheb on logic but even then the question of the permissibility and use of logic within theology remains a live debate in various circles today.

There is still plenty in the volume that demonstrates the best in research on kalām and why we should take theology in Islam seriously in any study. Treiger’s piece on the origins of kalām is a good mix of the state of research on the Christian dialectical context and the early debates on the nature of the Qurʾan. The two excurses of the first part are similarly important: Griffith on the early development of what we call Christian kalām – and one cannot help but think that the language of Yaḥyā b. ʿAdī and Ḥunayn and others in Baghdad was central to the development of arguments on tawḥīd in early Islam – and Crone on why we should not take the march of monotheism to have been uncontested by dualists and others. In fact, taken together they represent a good way of problematizing tawḥīd – both from Christians and especially from dualists. It was precisely the commonality and divergence on the issue of monotheism that one could see as a central theme in early Islamic theologies. However, and not without some irony, I am more skeptical about taking the sources at face value on these forms of alternative cosmologies in early Islam and certainly I would question attempts to project atheisms in particular back to this period. And one small quibble – it might seem neat to translate khulliṭa as ‘became unhinged’ (page 123) but surely the more literal is more accurate. The Imāmī sources used it to describe people who became ‘confused’ through their debates with the zanādiqa and hence mixed up correct with incorrect beliefs. The third excursus by Schwarb is a further excellent example of how the boundaries of kalām are not so straightforward and we should consider it to be a type of discourse that could be tied to the defence or postulation of different theological confessions.

To my mind, the very best contributions are in fact the last two by Wielandt and Pink on modern developments. The Wielandt chapter is certainly something that could be profitably set for a course – a dizzingly diverse approach to modes of modernist thought that takes into consideration different genealogies of the present, across Sunni and Shiʿi contexts from the 19th century to the current Iranian reformers. It raises the critical question of what theology is and can mean today. Pink similarly shows the continuities and discontinuities of current Qurʾanic exegeses. She briefly discusses feminist approaches within the category of purposive exegesis. But this signals perhaps the last major lacuna of the volume that I wish to highlight: the complete absence of feminist and other types of intersectional critique in contemporary Islamic theologies. Given that this is becoming a rich area of research and activism with numerous publications and some of the most vivid and virulent debates in the contemporary study of Islam and in Islamic studies, it is somewhat surprising that it is absent from the volume. Some of the other Oxford handbooks relating to Islam do have a greater assessment of feminisms. But the absence here is disappointing because for too long, feminist approaches have been dismissed as ‘inadequately theological’ but it is difficult to justify such a position on the work of Barlas, Wadud, Chaudhury, Ali, Mir-Hosseini and many others. Similarly there are other geographical absences – Africa, especially West Africa, and South East Asia in particular come to mind: if a study on Ashʿarī theology in the Islamic West, then why not in South-East Asia where it arguably was a more lasting and significant influence? And what of the growing forms of Islamic theologies in North America and Europe, not least through strange experiments with governmental interventions in social policy and religious engineering? It is perhaps unfair to focus on these lacunae - one is after all disappointed with not finding the volume one would have liked to see in print. Ultimately it is the choice of the editor and that is where the questions need to be posed. The historiographical health of the field depends on rigorous debate and disagreement based on methods, approaches, textual rigour, and creative readings and misreadings of texts. 

One can see how students and those interested in theology in Islam can use the volume profitably and it will certainly become the main resource for that. As I said before, it cannot see it being absent for reading lists on courses on Islamic theology. But perhaps because of that utility, that comprehensive survey and that indexicality, it is unlikely to enthuse readers with a desire to study theology in Islam. But to be fair, that was not the remit.

But then I should say something about what I would like a volume on Islamic theology to do (thinking quickly off the top of my head):

1) An introduction that explains what one means, normatively speaking, by theologies in Islam and how one might define them, study them, and relate them to their historical contexts and to their intellectual contexts by examining the other related disciplines and humanities associated with them

2) An analysis of initial issues and themes of debate - the origins question but also about the formulation of a theological language and its possibilities and the nature of that form of communication as a sets of terms exchanged within a certain language game bounded by reference to Islam or beyond as well

3) An examination of the sources that one would use to study theologies and their generic manifestations and the porous nature at times of the boundaries of these genres; the importance of the post-classical compendia would be critical here 

4) Diachronic studies of particular themes in their different contexts such as the reality of divine attributes, the problem of free will, the presence of evils, the possibilities of theology, the status of the Qurʾan, reward and punishment, authority and sovereign and so forth

5) Tracing in broad terms how particular theological confessions have developed since the classical period and their trajectories in the present

6) The nature of the epistemological shifts ushered with modernity and the new assumptions about the reality that we inhabit - whither theologies in Islam in a post-Kantian, post-Einstein/Heisenberg, post-Derridean, post-analytical, post-Beauvoir/Butler/Irigaray/Jantzen world? 

This is a tough ask - and perhaps can only be done through a rigorous and massively collaborative new set of historically informed systematic theological accounts in the present. Nevertheless, there remains a distinction between academically informed systematic theologies and the historical critical study of theologies and their intellectual development in contexts. Is the exigency of the age a new kalām or a new way of conceptualising theology? 

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

An important Safavid text of the masāʾil genre

I have previously written a blog post on the significance of the Safavid thinker Mullā Shamsā Gīlānī (d. c. 1064/1654), student of Mīr Dāmād (d. 1040/1631) and friend of Mullā Ṣadrā (d. 1045/1636). One of the works of his that is worth examining is his Investigations into the States of Beings, recently published by Mazda in California. I have previously mentioned it as forthcoming. I will later upload my introduction to it onto as well.

You can find details about this from the Mazda website here. I also wrote the introduction which attempted to locate it within the philosophical corpora of the Safavid period. There is a slightly earlier edition of this text published by the Bunyād-e Mullā Ṣadrā based on the same collection of manuscripts although this edition includes one codex from Āstān-i quds-i rażavī in Mashhad. The Bunyād edition focuses on what distinguishes it from Mullā Ṣadrā and divides up the text into sections such as ontology, eschatology, the properties of bodies (physics), the problem of ontology primacy in contingents, and a final brief section on philosophical theology. It also names 18 questions - the Mazda edition names 20.

There are the following:
1) an epistemological preliminary on the distinction between self-evidence and acquired knowledge
2) on the nature of perception
3) on the intensionality of being
4) on the concept of being (being qua being or wujūd muṭlaq)
5) on the nature of causality - the rehearsal of the Avicennian proof for the existence of God
6) on the existence-essence distinction in contingents
7) on the simplicity of God
8) a critique of the notion of mental existence (which is unusual as the Avicennian tradition usually embraces the notion)
9) Fārābī and Mīr Dāmād on the being of contingents as beings of reason
10) on being super-added to essence in the mind
11) being is ontologically prior in contingents but as a conceptual priority
12) on the soul as separable substance and distinct from the body
13) on Avicenna's suspended person thought experiment
14) on the possibility of the return of the non-existent
15) on the impossibility of atomism
16) on the impossibility of infinite regress in matter
17) on the impossibility of the actual infinite
18) on contingent beings as beings of reason - another approach
19) on the denial that being is a universal
20) on the definition of a science

The Mazda edition is more faithful to the approach of Mullā Shamsā since it shows his adherence to the Mīr Dāmād reading of Avicenna in which the focus is upon being of contingents as purely posited in the mind and conceptually prior in the mind to essences. However, like Mīr Dāmād, he suggests that essences are produced by God in the causal chain of emanation and it is essences that are in extra-mental reality since only God truly is worthy of the title 'being'. So in terms of the formulations of Mullā Ṣadrā, only God is worthy of 'being', contingents possess the ontological priority of essence (aṣālat al-māhīya) in extra-mental reality and it is essences that are produced by God in the chain of emanation (majʿūlīyat al-māhīya). Mullā Ṣadrā compensates by going the opposite direction in asserting that only being is emanated and essences do not exist in extra-mental reality at all, and that the relationship between God and the cosmos through being is expressed in his principle of the simple reality encompassing all things (basīṭu l-ḥaqīqa kullu l-ashyāʾ).

As a witness to this particular reading of Avicenna that redefined the Avicennian tradition in the Safavid period and continued to have an impact until the Qajar period, this work is an essential read. One sees him debating with issues in the Sadrian reading of Avicenna. It also shows him responding to key questions - and in that way it resembles the Taʿlīqāt and Mubāḥathāt of Avicenna -  and also deeply engaging with the Avicennian traditions not only the works of Avicenna himself but also with his commentators such as Ṭūsī (d. 674/1274) through his commentary on al-Ishārāt wa-l-tanbīhāt and his Tajrīd al-iʿtiqād and subsequent glossators such as al-ʿAllāma al-Ḥillī (d. 725/1325), al-Sharīf al-Jurjānī (d. 816/1414), and Jalāl al-Dīn Davānī (d. 908/1502). Thus we can see how the Mīr Dāmād and Mullā Ṣadrā readings of Avicenna competed for supremacy in the later Safavid period and beyond, with the latter emerging as victorious by the time of Mahdī Narāqī (d. 1795) and ʿAlī Nūrī (d. 1831). 

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The Avicennian Tradition - the Iranian and Indian Legacies in Metaphysics

The Avicennian Tradition:
Here is my conceptualisation of what happens to the Avicennian tradition mediated by the commentaries traditions on his works and works directly influenced by him in the later post-classical period primarily in Iran and North India. It has been prepared for my talk later this week in Rome on the later Avicennian period and the role of Mahdī Narāqī (d. 1795) as glossator and critic of Mullā Ṣadrā (d. 1045/1636). The focus is on metaphysics. I should clarify what this is not:

1) It is not a comprehensive account of texts, traditions and contexts. For example, I cite those glosses that I think are particularly significant in the process of the growth of lemmata on particular issues.

2) It does not consider rasāʾil. We know that certain issues took on a life and genre of their own; for example, Fīrūzeh Sāʿatčīān has shown how the Iṯbāt al-wāǧib genre begins with Avicenna's famous proof for the existence of God by radical contingency but goes far beyond. There are particular works in logic such as the Liar's Paradox and types of related paradoxes. There are paradoxes in physics and metaphysics such as the nature of incumbency, concomitance, the simplicity of God, and the semantics of modulation among others. Sometimes the relationship between these paradoxes for teaching purposes is clear through the manuscript tradition as they are collected with the base texts in a single codex. John Walbridge has been studying these texts. 

3) I do not consider the Ottoman contexts or the Central Asian. The former is increasingly well treated by Turkish scholars and those associated with the Nazariyat journal in particular. Khaled el-Rouayheb's recent work on the 17th century also deals with the Ottoman and North African contexts. It would be great if those working on Central Asia would also feed into this process of producing a more connected intellectual history. 

4) These are not the only works of Avicenna on which there are commentaries - the other works that come to mind are al-Naǧāt (on which there is a famous commentary by the little known al-Isfarāyinī) and ʿUyūn al-ḥikma (glossed by Faḫr al-Dīn al-Rāzī). Similarly while the later traditions often cited the Kitāb al-taḥṣīl of Bahmanyār (d. 458/1067) and al-Mabāḥiṯ al-mašriqīya as exemplars of Avicennian positions (as Mullā Ṣadrā does to cite one case), the absence of commentary traditions on them lead me to set them aside for this exercise. In fact the whole of the later Rāzian tradition is missing. One of the points that I am making is that Rāzian and Ṭusīan readings of Avicenna are replaced by Mīr Dāmād and Mullā Ṣadrā in the Safavid period and they impact further East as well. 

I should also point out that Asad Ahmed's conceptualisation of the later traditions of maʿqūlāt as 'palimpsests of themselves' strikes me as being rather apposite; texts develop as sets of lemmata that seek their completion in commentary and hence grow through exposition and excavation of the pre-history. In that sense we are not talking about inter-textualities but the growth of texts through their opening forth such that a voice emerges that defines a text. A commentary that is too clear thus represents a closure and accounts for the point at which a particular tradition comes to an end. Of course, this begs the question about Avicenna's own texts: did he not consider them to be the final word? Perhaps he did but as we see from the Taʿlīqāt and Mubāḥaṯāt genres, his students still felt that there were masāʾil that remains and required comment. In fact in that sense the šukūk and masāʾil genres of sets of lemmata go back to those students' questions and Avicenna's responsa. 

Finally, although I focus on metaphysics, the later maʿqūlāt have a certain holistic nature where the issues at stake are more important and hence commentators feel they are open to connect, to excavate, to draw comparisons with discussions in kalām texts, in logical ones and even in various types of exegesis. For example, much of the umūr ʿāmma discussions in Mīr Zāhid on the Šarḥ al-mawāqif intersects with the logical concerns of the commentaries on the Sullam of Bihārī. This does not mean that generic boundaries are not meaningful - after all authors often make a distinction between the usage of terminology according to their technical assignation in their particular sciences. But rather it suggests that the core unit of meaning and debate was the masʾala which often worked across sciences and genres of writing and provided us with such key data for the ways in which texts are studied and contexts and networks understood. Networks are then not so much the vehicle for the dissemination and transmission of texts as codices but as orthographical witnesses to the concerns of those involved in the debates themselves and their compositions. 

So here are the texts and observations:

1)          Metaphysics of al-Šifāʾ:
a.           Most commentaries only cover the first maqāla, rarely on books 9 and 10, most of books 7 and 8 discussion in Taǧrīd commentaries
b.          Commentary tradition only really begins in Šīrāz with the Daštakīs [the only commentary prior is the unicum of al-ʿAllāma al-Ḥillī (d. 725/1325) on the Categories]
c.           Avicennism: Davanī-Mīr Dāmād reading; minority report and critique follows Mullā Ṣadrā (d. 1045/1636) - increasingly replaces the earlier Ṭūsīan reading (although Mullā Ṣadrā develops the two key insights of that Ṭūsīan reading with its focus on the metaphysics of the modulation of existence - taškīk al-wuǧūd - and mental existence - wuǧūd ḏihnī); Mīr Dāmād's essentialism and his position on ḥudūṯ seen as a completion of Avicenna 
d.          Šifāʾ al-qulūb of Mīr Ġiyāṯ al-Dīn Manṣūr Daštakī (d. 949/1542) rather brief and his non-extant Riyāḍ al-riḍwān which was apparently extensive; it would be really useful if we could find either extensive citations of Riyāḍ or a codex - alternatively a careful study of the marginalia of the Rampur codex of the Metaphysics of al-Šifāʾ that belonged to the Daštakīs and then made its way to India may be instructive [this is MS Raza Library Rampur 397]
e.           Mīrzā-ǧān Ḥabīb Allāh Bāġnawī Šīrāzī (d. 995/1587) on books 2 and 3 on categories in Metaphysics
f.             Mīr Dāmād ‘school’: Mīr Dāmād (d. 1040/1631) (there is a copy of the Metaphysics with his corrections and glosses – MS Miškāt Collection at Tehran University Central Library 242 dated Raǧab 949/October 1542, and there are extracts in the Muṣannafāt edited by Nūrānī as well as the more recent extension of that by Naǧafī in which there are glosses on elements of the Physics as well), and Miftāḥ al-Šifāʾ of Sayyid Aḥmad ʿAlawī (d. c. 1060/1650) Āštiyānī II, 39–143 sections on eschatology, critique of taškīk, on Platonic forms and the nature of God [implicit critique of Mullā Ṣadrā?]
g.           Šarḥ of Mullā Ṣadrā (d. 1045/1636) on first six books; highly influential on the later critique of Avicenna
h.          translation into Persian by Sayyid ʿAlī b. Muḥammad al-ʿUrayḍī al-Imāmī (d. 1120/1708) student of Ḥusayn Ḫwānsārī (unpublished)
i.             Ḥusayn Ḫwānsārī (d. 1098/1687) first ḥāšiya on first 8 books – defends Davānī readings and some Mīr Dāmād (but not on ḥudūṯ); Āštiyānī I, 376–409
                                                                                              i.         Response of Muḥammad Bāqir Sabzawārī (d. 1090/1681) in his Ḥāšiya ilāhīyāt al-Šifāʾ (partial edition in Āštiyānī II, 546–615, and numerous mss) – defends Mullā Ṣadrā reading
                                                                                           ii.         Ḫwānsārī second ḥāšiya responding to Sabzawārī (unpublished)
j.             ʿAwn iḫwān al-ṣafāʾ of Sayyid Bahāʾ al-Dīn Iṣfahānī known as Fāḍil-i Hindī (d. 1137/1725) – mainly logic and very brief selections on Metaphysics, Āštiyānī III, 661–98 (selections from maqālas 1, 2, 7, 8, and 10) and new edition by Awǧabī
k.          Mīr Ǧamāl al-Dīn Raḍawī (fl. 18th c) mainly on books 1 and 2; remains in manuscript but a good clear copy and follows Mullā Ṣadrā readings 
l.             Nūr al-ʿurafāʾ fī šarḥ ilāhīyāt al-Šifāʾ of Sayyid ʿAbd al-ʿAẓīm b. ʿAlī Riḍā Linjānī (d. after 1231/1816 in India) is a muḥākama between Ḫwānsārī (al-fāḍil) and Mullā Ṣadrā (al-ʿārif) but only up to chapter 4 of book 1, tends to follow Mullā Ṣadrā

2)         Physics of al-Šifāʾ:
a.           Hardly any commentaries:
                                                                                              i.         Ǧamāl al-Dīn Ḫwānsārī (d. 1125/1713) on first two books (unpublished)
                                                                                           ii.         Mīrzā Abū-l-Ḥasan Ǧilwa (d. 1314/1897) – very partial set of glosses on chapters 2, 6, and 8 of book 1 of Physics (published)
                                                    iii. Talkhīṣ al-Šifāʾ of Faḍl-i Imām Ḫayrābādī (d. 1244/1829) - I have a copy from Aligarh which I have yet to consult properly  
b.          Taken up by Hidāyat al-Ḥikma of Aṯīr al-Dīn al-Abharī (d. 663/1265):
                                                                                              i.         Structure: qism I on logic, qism II on Physics, qism II on Metaphysics
1.            II – fann I on general properties of bodies, II on celestial spheres, III on elemental bodies
2.           III – fann I on divisions of being, II on Creator and his attributes, III on intellects, IV on eschatology
3.           Why only Physics in later commentaries as elements of Metaphysics in Taǧrīd cycle and al-Išārāt cycles
                                                                                           ii.         Šarḥ al-hidāya of Mīr Ḥusayn Maybudī (d. 910/1514); important glosses by Mīrzā-ǧān Bāġnawī, Muḥammad al-Aʿlamī (d. c. 960/1553) entitled Ġāyat al-nihāya of which a number of copies are extant including in the British Library, Muṣliḥ al-Dīn Lārī (d. 971/1569) which was important in Ottoman contexts, Mīr Faḫr al-Dīn Sammākī (d. 984/1576) was probably the most important in Iran and North India
                                                                                        iii.         Šarḥ al-hidāya of Mullā Ṣadrā
1.            Many ḥawāšī such as Ḥamdullāh Sandīlī (d. 1160/1747), Mullā Ḥasan (d. 1198/1783), Baḥr al-ʿulūm Muḥammad b. Niẓām al-Dīn (d. 1225/1810)
Although it is worth pointing out that for India, al-Šams al-bāziġa of Maḥmūd Ǧawnpūrī (d. 1062/1652) was another important conduit for the Physics of al-Šifāʾ, not least because the Hidāya cycle followed the structure of al-Išārāt more closely 

3)         Ḥikmat al-ʿayn of Dabīrān Kātibī Qazwīnī (d. 675/1276) also annexes some of the discussions of the metaphysics from al-Šifāʾ and commentaries cite the text and Taǧrīd:
a.           Structure: qism I on ilāhī and II on ṭabīʿī
                                                                                              i.         I – maqāla I on umūr ʿāmma, II on categories and on intellect, III on causality, IV on necessary being, V on rational soul
                                                                                           ii.         II – maqāla I on bodies, II on motion, III on spheres, IV on earth, V on vegetative and animal souls  
b.          Īḍāḥ al-maqāṣid of al-ʿAllāma al-Ḥillī (d. 725/1325)
c.           Šarḥ Ḥikmat al-ʿayn of Mīrak Buḫārī (d. c. 740/1340)
                                                                                              i.         Gloss of Ǧurǧānī
                                                                                           ii.         Gloss of Mīrzā-ǧān Bāġnawī on umūr ʿāmma
                                                                                        iii.         Gloss of Ḥusayn Ḫwānsārī
                                                                                         iv.         Gloss of Raḍī Ḫwānsārī (brother)

4)         Al-Išārāt wa-l-tanbīhāt:
a.           Šarḥ of Faḫr al-Dīn al-Rāzī (d. 606/1210)
                                                                                              i.         Kašf al-tamwīhāt fī šarḥ al-tanbīhāt of Sayf al-Dīn al-Āmidī (d. 630/1233)
b.          Ḥall muškilāt al-Išārāt of Naṣīr al-Dīn al-Ṭūsī (d. 672/1274)
                                                                                              i.         Muḥākama of Quṭb al-Dīn Taḥtānī (d. 766/1365)
1.            Ḥāšiya of Mīrzāǧān Bāġnawī
2.           Ḥāšiya of Ǧamāl al-Dīn Ḫwānsārī
                                                                                           ii.         Gloss of Šarīf Ǧurǧānī
                                                                                        iii.         Gloss of Šams al-Dīn Ḫafrī
                                                                                         iv.         Gloss of Manṣūr Daštakī
                                                                                            v.         Gloss of Mīrzā-ǧān Bāġnawī
                                                                                         vi.         Gloss of Sayyid Aḥmad ʿAlawī
                                                                                      vii.         Gloss of ʿAbd al-Razzāq Lāhīǧī (d. 1070/1661)
                                                                                   viii.         Gloss of Ḥusayn Ḫwānsārī
                                                                                         ix.         Gloss of Maǧḏūb ʿAlī Šāh Kabūdarāhangī (d. 1239/1824) – rather brief and follows Narāqī
                                                                                            x.         Glosses of Ǧilwa on namaṭ 1 on Physics
c.           Šarḥ al-Išārāt of al-ʿAllāma al-Ḥillī (d. 725/1325)

5)         Taǧrīd al-iʿtiqād: especially importance of the first section on umūr ʿāmma and third section on iṯbāt al-ṣāniʿ:
a.           Kašf al-murād of al-ʿAllāma al-Ḥillī – most important in Šīʿī context
1. Various ḥawāšī in the modern period including: Sayyid Abū-l-Qāsim Raḍawī Ḥāʾirī, the famous theologian of Lahore, and Tawḍīḥ al-murād of Sayyid Hāshim Ḥusaynī-yi Ṭihrānī
b.          Šarḥ qadīm = Tasdīd al-qawāʿid of Šams al-Dīn al-Iṣfahānī (d. 749/1348):
                                                                                              i.         ḥāšiya of al-Šarīf al-Ǧurǧānī (d. 816/1414)
                                                                                           ii.         ḥāšiya qadīma of Davānī
1.            ḥāšiya of Ṣadr al-Dīn Daštakī (d. 1497)
2.           ḥāšiya ǧadīda of Davānī
3.           second ḥāšiya of Daštakī
4.           third ḥāšiya of Davānī
5.           ḥāšiya of Manṣūr Daštakī
6.          Naǧm al-Dīn Nayrīzī (d. after 933/1526)
7.           ʿAbd Allāh Yazdī (d. 981/1573)
8.           Mīrzāǧān Bāġnawī (d. 994/1585)
9.          Šāh Fatḥ Allāh Šīrāzī (d. 997/1589) – two extant manuscripts
10.       Sayyid Nūr Allāh Šūštarī (d. 1021/1610)
c.           Šarḥ ǧadīd = ʿAlī al-Qūščī (d. 878/1474):
                                                                                              i.         Ḥāšiya of Ḫafrī on third section with these super-glosses:
1.            Mullā Šamsā Gīlānī (d. 1064/1654), student of Mīr Dāmād and his text Masālik al-yaqīn
2.           Sayyid Ḥusayn b. ʿAlāʾ al-Dīn known as Ḫalīfa Sulṭān (d. 1066/1654), student of Mīr Dāmād
3.           ʿAbd al-Ġaffār Muḥammad b. Yaḥyā Gīlānī, student of Mīr Dāmād
4.           Mīrzā Ibrāhīm (d. 1070/1661) the son of Mullā Ṣadrā
5.           Mīrzā Ḥusayn b. Ibrāhīm Tunikābunī (d. c. 1105/1693), student of Mullā Ṣadrā
6.          ʿAbd al-Razzāq Lāhīǧī (d. 1072/1661), son-in-law of Mullā Ṣadrā
7.           Muḥammad Bāqir Sabzawārī (d. 1090/1679) defends Davānī
8.           Muḥammad Maʿṣūm Qazwinī (d. 1091/1681) defends Davānī
9.          Muḥammad Ḥasan Šīrwānī (d. 1098/1687) defends Davānī
10.       Ǧamāl al-Dīn Ḫwānsārī (d. 1121/1709) defends Davānī
11.        ʿAlī Nūrī (d. 1246/1831)
                                                                                           ii.         Ǧilwa glosses on second section on substance and accident
d.          Šawāriq al-ilhām of ʿAbd al-Razzāq Lāhīǧī on first two sections
1. Various ḥawāšī on this including: Mullā Muḥammad Naṣīr (contemporary of ʿAlawī)
2. Mullā Ismāʿīl Iṣfahānī (d. 1277/1860)
3. Āqā ʿAlī mudarris Zunūzī (d. 1306/1889)
4. Muḥammad ʿAlī Naǧafī Hazarǧuraybī Iṣfahānī 
A generation later we have a Persian commentary ʿAlāqāt al-taǧrīd of Mīr Muḥammad Ašraf ʿAlawī (d. 1160/1747), a great-grandson of Mīr Dāmād and a student of Ḥusayn Ḫwānsārī and Mīrzā Rafīʿā Nāʾinī; it is a complete commentary with the largest section (volume 1) on the first two maqṣads
e.           Particular issue on taškīk based on discussion in ḥāšiya qadīma of Davānī
                                                                                              i.         ʿAbd Allāh Yazdī
                                                                                           ii.         Mīrzā Rafīʿā Nāʾinī
                                                                                        iii.         Sabzawārī
                                                                                         iv.         Ḥusayn Ḫwānsārī, Risālat taḥqīq al-taškīk [mabḥaṯ al-taškīk fī-l-ḥāšiya al-qadīma li-l-Dawānī], published in Ḫwānsārī, Rasāʾil, 211–266
f.             Al-Barāhīn al-qāṭiʿa of Muḥammad Ǧaʿfar Astarābādī Šarīʿatmadār (d. 1263/1847) – rare complete commentary

6)        Šarḥ al-mawāqif of Šarīf ʿAlī al-Ǧurǧānī (d. 816/1414):
a.           Davānī gloss was were influential and important more in India/Ottoman than Iran
                                                                                              i.         Gloss by Waǧīh al-Dīn Guǧrātī (d. 998/1590), student of a student of Davānī
                                                                                           ii.         Mīrzā-ǧān Bāġnawī supergloss
                                                                                        iii.         ʿAbd al-Salām Dēwī (d. 1040/1630) – influenced by Daštakī via Šīrāzī
                                                                                         iv.         ʿAbd al-Ḥakīm Siyālkūtī (d. 1067/1656) – influenced by Daštakī via Šīrāzī
                                                                                            v.         Mullā Quṭb al-Dīn Sihālwī (d. 1102/1692) - influenced by Daštakī via Šīrāzī
                                                                                         vi.         Amān Allāh Banārasī (d. c. 1133/1721)
b.          Importance of the umūr ʿāmma mediated by Mīr Zāhid Hirawī (d. 1101/1689) on which many marginalia; engages with ontology section that overlaps with the logical lemmata on Sullam al-ʿulūm
                                                                                              i.         Šāh ʿAbd al-Raḥīm (d. 1131/1719) and Šāh Walī Allāh (d. 1176/1762) and sons Šāh ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz (d. 1239/1824) and Šāh Rafīʿ al-Dīn (d. 1233/1818)
                                                                                           ii.         Farangī-maḥall tradition including Mullā Niẓām al-Dīn, Qāḍī Mubārak Gopāmāwī, ʿAbd ʿAlī Baḥr al-ʿulūm, Mullā Ḥasan etc

7)         Šukūk wa masāʾil genre: works including commentaries as sets of lemmata
a.           Best early example is al-Mabāḥiṯ wa-l-šukūk ʿalā l-Išārāt of Šaraf al-Dīn al-Masʿūdī (d. c. 600/1204)
b.          Taḥqīqāt of Mullā Šamsā Gīlānī

One case of modification of the Avicennian tradition – the question of ḥudūṯ:
1)          Ǧurǧānī on section 3 of Taǧrīd commentary
2)         Davānī on section 3 of Taǧrīd commentary and in Anmūḏaǧ al-ʿulūm mentions ḥudūṯ dahrī
3)         Šams al-Dīn Ḫafrī and Ḥusayn Ḫwānsārī debate on section 3 of Taǧrīd
4)         Mīr Dāmād and his defenders – Muḥammad Zamān Kāšānī, Ismāʿīl Ḫāǧūʾī, Mahdī Narāqī

Sayyid Ǧalāl al-Dīn Āštiyānī (d. 2005 ed.): Muntaḫabātī az āṯār-i ḥukamāʾ-yi ilāhī-yi Īrān, volumes 1–4 (Qumm 1378 Š/1999)
al-Ḥusayn b. ʿAbd Allāh Ibn Sīnā (d. 428/1037): al-Šifāʾ (al-ilāhīyāt): maʿ taʿlīqāt Ṣadr al-mutaʾallihīn, Mīr Dāmād, al-ʿAlawī, al-Ḫwānsārī, al-Sabzawārī, Mullā Sulaymān, Mullā Awliyāʾ wa-ġayrihim, maqāla I, ed. Ḥāmid Nāǧī Iṣfahānī (Tehran 1383 Š/2004)
Ibn Sīnā: al-Išārāt wa-l-tanbīhāt maʿ al-šarḥ li-l-muḥaqqiq Naṣīr al-Dīn al-Ṭūsī wa-šarḥ al-šarḥ li-l-ʿAllāma Quṭb al-Dīn al-Rāzī, ed. Maḥmūd Šihābī, volumes 1–3 (Qumm 1375 Š/1996)
Faḫr al-Dīn al-Rāzī (d. 606/1210): Šarḥ al-išārāt, ed. ʿAlī-Riḍā Naǧafzāda, 2 vols., (Tehran 1384 Š/2005)
Sayf al-Dīn al-Āmidī (d. 631/1233): Kašf al-tamwīhāt fī šarḥ al-Išārāt wa-l-tanbīhāt, ed. Īsā Rabīḥ al-Ǧawābira, 2 vols., (Amman 2015)
ʿAlī Dabīrān Kātibī Qazwīnī (d. 675/1276): Ḥikmat al-ʿayn, ed. ʿAbbās Ṣadrī (Tehran 1384 Š/2005)
Al-ʿAllāma al-Ḥillī (d. 725/1325): Īḍāh al-maqāṣid fī šarḥ Ḥikmat al-ʿayn, ed. Muḥammad Miškāt (Tehran 1959)
Muḥammad ʿAlī Mīrak Buḫārī (d. c. 740/1340): Sawād al-ʿayn fī Ḥikmat al-ʿayn, ed. ʿAlī Fatḥī with glosses of Ḫafrī (Mašhad 1392 Š/2013)
Quṭb al-Dīn Muḥammad al-Rāzī al-Taḥtānī (d. 767/1365): al-Ilāhīyāt min al-muḥākamāt bayn šarḥay al-išārāt, maʿ ḥāšiya Mīrzāǧān Ḥabīb Allāh Bāġnawī (d. 994/1585), ed. Maǧīd Hādī-zāda (Tehran 1381 Š/2002)
Ǧalāl al-Dīn Davānī (d. 908/1502): al-Rasāʾil al-muḫtāra, ed. Sayyid Aḥmad Tūysirkānī (Mašhad 1364 Š/1985)
Dawānī: Sabʿ rasāʾil, ed. Sayyid Aḥmad Tūysirkānī (Tehran 1381 Š/2002)
Daštakī (Ġiyāṯ al-Dīn Manṣūr d. 949/1542): Šifāʾ al-qulūb wa-taǧawhar al-aǧsām, ed. ʿAlī Awǧabī (Tehran 1390 Š/2011)
Šams al-Dīn Muḥammad Ḫafrī (d. 942/1535): Ḥāšiya al-muḥākama bayn šarḥay al-išārāt, ed. ʿAbd Allāh Nūrānī, in Awǧabī, ʿAlī ed.: Ganǧīna-yi Bahāristān: Ḥikmat I (Tehran 1379 Š/2000), 137–199
Ḫafrī (Šams al-Dīn Muḥammad d. 942/1535): Taʿlīqa bar Ilāhīyāt-i šarḥ-i Taǧrīd-i Mullā ʿAlī Qūšǧī, ed. Firūza Sāʿatčīyān (Tehran 1382 Š/2003)
Ḫafrī: Sitt rasāʾil fī iṯbāt wāǧib al-wuǧūd bi-l-ḏāt wa fī-l-ilāhīyāt, ed. Firūza Sāʿatčīyān (Tehran 1390 Š/2011)
ʿAbd Allāh b. al-Ḥusayn Yazdī (d. 981/1573): Risālat al-taškīk (MS Marʿašī Qumm 11272, fols. 1–16, dated 1023/1612)
Mīrzā-ǧān Bāġnawī Šīrāzī (d. 995/1587): Ḥāšiyat al-Bāġnawī ʿalā Šarḥ Ḥikmat al-ʿayn, ed. ʿAlī Ḥaydarī Yasāvulī (Qumm 1391 Š/2012)
Ṣadr al-Dīn Muḥammad b. Ibrāhīm Qawāmī Šīrāzī Mullā Ṣadrā (d. 1045/1635–6):  Šarḥ wa taʿlīqāt ʿalā Ilāhīyāt al-Šifāʾ, ed. Naǧaf-qulī Ḥabībī, volumes 1–2 (Tehran 1382 Š/2003)
Mullā Ṣadrā: Šarḥ al-hidāya, ed. Maqṣūd Muḥammadī, 2 vols., (Tehran 1393 Š/2014)
Mullā Šamsā Gīlānī (d. 1064/1654): Masālik al-yaqīn fī bayān ʿumdat uṣūl al-dīn, ed. Ṭūbā Kirmānī (Tehran 1392 Š/2013)
Gīlānī: Taḥqīqāt dar bayān aḥvāl-i mawǧūdāt, ed. Maqṣūd Muḥammadī (Tehran 1393 Š/2015)
ʿAbd al-Razzāq Fayyāḍ Lāhīǧī (d. 1072/1661): Šawāriq al-ilhām fī šarḥ Taǧrīd al-kalām, ed. Akbar Asad ʿAlī-zāda, volumes 1–5 (Qumm 1391 Š/2012) [on first three sections]
Mīrzā Rafīʿ al-Dīn Muḥammad Nāʾinī (d. 1082/1671): Risālat al-taškīk (MS Marʿašī Qumm 5101, fol. 3r–6r, nastaʿlīq of Muḥammad Bāqir Maǧlisī, dated 1057/1647)
Nāʾinī: Risālat al-taškīk, in Ḫwānsārī, Rasāʾil, 345–354
Ḥusayn Ḫwānsārī (d. 1099/1688): Rasāʾil, ed. Riḍā Ustādī (Qumm 1378 Š/1999)
Ḫwānsārī: al-Ḥāšiya ʿalā l-Šifāʾ (al-ilāhīyāt), ed. Riḍā Ustādī (Qumm 1378 Š/1999)
Ḫwānsārī: al-Ḥāšiya ʿalā l-Šifāʾ (al-ilāhīyāt – Ḥāšiya II) (MS Marʿašī Qumm 13454, 100ff, 1096/1686, copied from holograph dated 1089/1678)
Ǧamāl al-Dīn Ḫwānsārī (d. 1121/1709): al-Ḥāšiya ʿalā ḥāšiyat al-Ḫafrī ʿalā šarḥ al-Taǧrīd, ed. Riḍā Ustādī (Qumm 1378 Š/1999)
Ǧamāl al-Dīn Ḫwānsārī: al-Ḥāšiya ʿalā ṭabīʿīyāt al-Šifāʾ (MS Maǧlis-i šūra-yi islāmī Tehran 1785, to book 3, chapter 1 of al-samāʿ al-ṭabīʿī, 268ff, 12th/18th century)
Ḫwānsārī (Ḥusayn and Ǧamāl al-Dīn): al-Ḥāšiya ʿalā šurūh al-išārāt, ed. Aḥmad al-ʿĀbidī, volumes 1–2 (Qumm 1388 Š/2009)
Sayyid Muḥammad Maʿṣūm Ḥusaynī Qazwīnī (d. 1091/1680): Ḥāšiyat al-Šifāʾ (MS Marʿašī Qumm 3716, fol. 21v–77r, Qazwin 1097/1686)
Muḥammad Yūsuf Rāzī known as Mullā Awliyāʾ (f. 11th/17th century): Ḥāšiyat al-Šifāʾ (MS Marʿašī Qumm 4673, 175ff, autograph)
Sayyid Bahāʾ al-Dīn Iṣfahānī Fāḍil-i Hindī (d. 1137/1725): ʿAwn iḫwān al-Ṣafāʾ ʿalā fahm kitāb al-Šifāʾ: fī-l-manṭiq, ed. ʿAlī Awǧabī (Tehran 1394 Š/2015)
Sayyid Muḥammad Ǧamāl al-Dīn Raḍawī: Ḥāšiyat al-Šifāʾ (MS Maǧlis-i šūra-yi Islāmī Tehran 1786, 423ff, nastaʿlīq of Ibrāhīm b. Muḥammad Ḥusayn, dated 1212/1797)
Mīr Muḥammad Ḥusayn b. ʿAbd al-Bāqī Iṣfahānī Ḫātūnābādī (d. 1233/1817–18): Ḥāšiyat al-Šifāʾ (MS Marʿašī Qumm 4838, 31ff, autograph)
Sayyid ʿAbd al-ʿAẓīm b. ʿAlī-Riḍā Ḥusaynī Linǧanī (d. after 1231/1816): Nūr al-ʿurafāʾ fī šarḥ al-Šifāʾ (MS Marʿašī Qumm 3960, 149ff, autograph)
Muḥammad Ǧaʿfar Astarābādī Šarīʿatmadār (d. 1263/1847): al-Barāhīn al-qāṭiʿa fī šarḥ Taǧrīd al-ʿaqāʾid al-sāṭiʿa, volumes 1–4 (Qumm 1382 Š/2003)