What is the First thing that is Wajib on Humans? The View of an Akhbari Scholar

Introduction Not everyone in the Shi'i scholarly tradition has been on-board with the direction of travel of systematic theology, beginning as it does with the Kalam (rational theology) of the Mu'tazili influenced Baghdadi scholars in the Buyid era, passing by way of the Peripatetic-influenced thinking of Khwaja Nasir al-Din Tusi (d. 1274), and culminating in the … Continue reading What is the First thing that is Wajib on Humans? The View of an Akhbari Scholar

The Canonization of Islamic Law (Review Article)

Introduction I find Ahmed El Shamsy's 2013 monograph The Canonization of Islamic Law - A Social and Intellectual History more ambitious in scope than its more well-known counterpart Jonathan Brown's 2007 offering The Canonization of Al-Bukhārī and Muslim: The Formation and Function of the Sunnī Ḥadīth Canon. Shamsy is to be commended for the clarity of his writing … Continue reading The Canonization of Islamic Law (Review Article)

Hisham b. al-Hakam on Infallibility

Introduction Were the Imams protected from sin? The common Shi'i position is to affirm their infallibility. How can the infallibility of the Imam be proven?   Hisham's Argumentation One early attempt to ground this doctrine relying solely on logical argument is demonstrated below: حدثنا محمد بن علي ماجيلويه رضي الله عنه قال: حدثنا علي بن … Continue reading Hisham b. al-Hakam on Infallibility

Conquering the Fear of Death

The Way of the Samurai is found in death. Meditation on inevitable death should be performed daily [Hagakure] Most existential thinkers and psychologists agree that at the root of our angst lies the fear of death, that great destroyer which has the potential to crush our sense of self (the ego). If unchecked this fear can metastasize … Continue reading Conquering the Fear of Death