Abu'l-Husayn al-Basri

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Abu'l-Husayn al-Basri (died 436/1044) was a Mu'tazilite faqih (expert in Islamic jurisprudence) and theologian (mutakallim). He wrote al-Mu'tamid fi usul l-fiqh, a major source of influence in the field of usul until Razi's Mahsul.

He was a physician as well as a disciple of the Qadi Abd al-Jabbar in Rey. He challenged some of his master’s teaching and eventually compiled a huge (two volumes; 1500 pages) critical review of the arguments and proofs used in Islamic Scholastic Theology . This he summarised in al Mu'tamad "The Reliable". He including a critique of the qualifications a scholar of Islamic law needed to practice. His theological works were generally handed down among students of medicine and it was a century before his teaching was revived and espoused by the Mu'tazili scholar Mahmud b. al-Malahimi in Khorezm in Central Asia where they gained recognition as a school of Mu'tazili theology.


  • Madelung, W and Schmidtke, S (eds) Abu-I-Husayn al-Basri's Mu'tazili Theology among the Karaites in the Fatimid Age BRILL Amsterdam September 2006 ISBN 90-04-15177-X