Fakhr al-Din al-Razi

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about the theologian and philosopher. For the physician and alchemist, see Muhammad ibn Zakariya al-Razi. For other uses, see Razi (disambiguation).
Muslim scholar
Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī
Title Shaykh al-Islam, al-Fakhr al-Razi, Sultan al-Mutakallimin, and Imam or Shaykh al-Mushakkikin (the Imam or Teacher of the Skeptics), but he is best known as an exegete and theologian.[1]
Born 1149
Ray Iran
Died 1209
Era Islamic Golden Age
Religion Islam
Jurisprudence Shafi'i[2]
Creed Ash'ari[2][3]
Main interest(s) Tafsir, Principles of Islamic jurisprudence, Rhetoric, Kalam, Islamic Philosophy, Logic, Astronomy, Ontology, Chemistry, Physics, Medicine, Anatomy
Notable work(s) Tafsir al-Kabir, The Major Book on Logic, Sharh Nisf al-Wajiz li l-Ghazzali, Sharh al-Isharat Avecina

Fakhr al-Din al-Razi or Fakhruddin Razi (Arabic: فخر الدين الرازي‎) was a Persian Sunni Muslim theologian and philosopher[4][5] He was born in 1149 in Ray (today, a southern suburb of Tehran, Iran), and died in 1209 in Herat (in today's Afghanistan). He also wrote on medicines, physics, astronomy, literature, history and law.

He left a very rich corpus of philosophical and theological works that reveals influence from the works of Ibn Sina, Abu al-Barakat al-Baghdadi and Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali. Two of his works titled Mabahith al-mashriqiyya fi 'ilm al-ilahiyyat wa-'l-tabi'iyyat (Eastern Studies in Metaphysics and Physics) and al-Matalib al-'Alya (The Higher Issues) are usually regarded as his most important philosophical works.[6]


Abu Abdullah Muhammad ibn Umar ibn al-Husayn at-Taymi al-Bakri at-Tabaristani Fakhr al-Din al-Razi[7] (Arabic:أبو عبدالله محمد بن عمر بن الحسن بن الحسين بن علي التيمي البكري فخرالدین الرازی ) was born in a family originally from Amol, in modern-day Mazandaran province of Iran (ancient Tabaristan),[8] he first studied with his father, and later at Merv and Maragha, where he was one of the pupils of al-Majd al-Jili, who in turn had been a disciple of al-Ghazali. He was accused of rationalism, despite the fact that he restored many to the orthodox faith. He was a leading proponent of the Ash'ari school of theology.

His commentary on the Koran (Qur'an) was the most varied and many-sided of all extant works of the kind, comprising most of the material of importance that had previously appeared. He devoted himself to a wide range of studies, and is said to have expended a large fortune on experiments in alchemy. He taught at Ray and Ghazni, and became head of the university founded by Mohammed ibn Tukush at Herat.[9]

In his later years, he also showed interest in mysticism, though this never formed a significant part of his thought.[10]

The Great Commentary[edit]

In Islamic theology, Razi's major work was the Tafsir-e Kabir (The Great Commentary), his eight-volume Tafsir (exegesis) on the Qur'an, also named as Mafatih al-Ghayb (The Keys to the Unknown). This work contains much of philosophical interest. One of his "major concerns was the self-sufficiency of the intellect." He believed that proofs based on tradition (hadith) "could never lead to certainty (yaqin) but only to presumption (zann), a key distinction in Islamic thought." However, his "acknowledgement of the primacy of the Qur'an grew with his years." Al-Razi's rationalism undoubtedly "holds an important place in the debate in the Islamic tradition on the harmonization of reason and revelation."[10]

development of kalam[edit]

Fakhr Razi and development of Kalam shows periods which led to development and flourishing of theology among Muslims theologian.Razi had eperienced different periods in his thought. he early was effected on the Asharite school of thought.Later, affecting by Ghazali, Fakhr Razi try to use of element of Mutazilat and Muslims philosophers. he tried to enrich Islamic theology by taking speculative elements from both Mutazilat and Muslim philosophers.He is greatly effected by Avicenna although He also had some criticisms on Avicennism.Myabe the most important instances forshowing the synthesis thought of Fakhr is the problem of eternity of world and its relation to God. Fakhr Razi try to render arguments of theologian and philosophers on eternity of world. he collected and judged both of them and criticized them and mostly known the philosophers's argument for eternity of world more stronger than theologian position in temporal creation of world.[11] according to tony street we shoul not see in Razi's theoretical life, a kind of journey from a dialectician young to a religious condition. but we must understand the milieu in which he confronted with different schools of thought such as falasafah and Mutakallemun.[12] it seems that he used adopted from different thoughts of diverse schools such as Mutazilite and Asharite in his great exegesis Tafsire Kabir.[13]


Fakhr al-Din al-Razi, in dealing with his conception of physics and the physical world in his Matalib al-'Aliya, criticizes the idea of the geocentric model within the universe and "explores the notion of the existence of a multiverse in the context of his commentary" on the Qur'anic verse, "All praise belongs to God, Lord of the Worlds." He raises the question of whether the term "worlds" in this verse refers to "multiple worlds within this single universe or cosmos, or to many other universes or a multiverse beyond this known universe."[14]

Al-Razi states:[14]

It is established by evidence that there exists beyond the world a void without a terminal limit (khala' la nihayata laha), and it is established as well by evidence that God Most High has power over all contingent beings (al-mumkinat). Therefore He the Most High has the power (qadir) to create a thousand thousand worlds (alfa alfi 'awalim) beyond this world such that each one of those worlds be bigger and more massive than this world as well as having the like of what this world has of the throne (al-arsh), the chair (al-kursiyy), the heavens (al-samawat) and the earth (al-ard), and the sun (al-shams) and the moon (al-qamar). The arguments of the philosophers (dala'il al-falasifah) for establishing that the world is one are weak, flimsy arguments founded upon feeble premises.

Al-Razi rejected the Aristotelian and Avicennian notions of a single universe revolving around a single world. He describes their main arguments against the existence of multiple worlds or universes, pointing out their weaknesses and refuting them. This rejection arose from his affirmation of atomism, as advocated by the Ash'ari school of Islamic theology, which entails the existence of vacant space in which the atoms move, combine and separate. He discussed more on the issue of the void the empty spaces between stars and constellations in the universe, that contain very few, or no, stars. in greater detail in volume 5 of the Matalib.[14] He argued that there exists an infinite outer space beyond the known world,[15] and that God has the power to fill the vacuum with an infinite number of universes.[10]

List of works[edit]

Al-Razi had written over a hundred works on a wide variety of subjects. His major works include:

  • Tafsir al-Kabir (The Great Commentary) (also known as Mafatih al-Ghayb)
  • Al-Bayan wa al-Burhan fi al-Radd `ala Ahl al-Zaygh wa al-Tughyan
  • Al-Mahsul fi 'Ilm al-Usul
  • Al-Mutakallimin fi 'Ilm al-Kalam
  • Ilm al-Akhlaq (Science of Ethics)
  • Kitab al-Firasa (Book on Firasa)
  • Kitab al-Mantiq al-Kabir (Major Book on Logic)
  • Kitab al-nafs wa l-ruh wa sharh quwa-huma (Book on the Soul and the Spirit and their Faculties)
  • Mabahith al-mashriqiyya fi 'ilm al-ilahiyyat wa-'l-tabi'iyyat (Eastern Studies in Metaphysics and Physics)
  • Matalib al-'Aliya (The Higher Issues) - his last work. Al-Razi wrote al-Matalib during his writing of al-Tafsir and he died before completing both works.
  • Muhassal afkar al-mutaqaddimin wa-'l-muta'akhkhirin (The Harvest/Compendium of the Thought of the Ancients and Moderns)
  • Nihayat al 'Uqul fi Dirayat al-Usul
  • Risala al-Huduth
  • Sharh al-Isharat (Commentary on the Isharat)
  • Sharh Asma' Allah al-Husna (Commentary on Asma' Allah al-Husna)
  • Sharh Kulliyyat al-Qanun fi al-Tibb (Commentary on Canon of Medicine)
  • Sharh Nisf al-Wajiz li'l-Ghazali (Commentary on Nisf al-Wajiz of Al-Ghazali)
  • Sharh Uyun al-Hikmah (Commentary on Uyun al-Hikmah)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Islam and Other Religions: Pathways to Dialogue by Irfan Omar
  2. ^ a b "Was Ibn Kathīr the ‘Spokesperson’ for Ibn Taymiyya? Jonah as a Prophet of Obedience". Journal of Qur'anic Studies 16 (1): 1. 2014-02-01. doi:10.3366/jqs.2014.0130. ISSN 1465-3591. 
  3. ^ Ovamir Anjum, Politics, Law, and Community in Islamic Thought: The Taymiyyan Moment, p 143. ISBN 1107014069
  4. ^ Richard Maxwell Eaton, The Rise of Islam and the Bengal Frontier, 1204-1760,University of California Press,1996, - Page 29
  5. ^ Shaikh M. Ghazanfar, Medieval Islamic Economic Thought: Filling the Great Gap in European Economics,Routledge, 2003 [1]
  6. ^ Taylor, Richard; Lopez-farjeat, Luis Xavier, eds. (2013). "God and Creation in al-Razi's Commentary on the Qur'an". The Routledge Companion to Islamic Philosophy. Routledge. p. 9. ISBN 9780415881609. 
  7. ^ Ibn Khallikan. Wafayat Al-a'yan Wa Anba' Abna' Al-zaman. Translated by William MacGuckin Slane. (1961) Pakistan Historical Society. pp. 224.
  8. ^ Yasin T. Al-Jibouri, Nahjul-Balagha: Path of Eloquence, Author House (2013), p. 22
  9. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainGilman, D. C.; Thurston, H. T.; Colby, F. M., eds. (1905). "Fakhr-ad-Din ar-Razi". New International Encyclopedia (1st ed.). New York: Dodd, Mead. 
  10. ^ a b c John Cooper (1998), "al-Razi, Fakhr al-Din (1149-1209)", Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Routledge), retrieved 2010-03-07 
  11. ^ https://books.google.com/books?id=-KdN9JLuKTYC&pg=PA59&dq=Fakhr+Razi&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiau9mOydnJAhXDOxoKHeOhDNwQ6AEIKTAC#v=onepage&q=Fakhr%20Razi&f=false
  12. ^ https://books.google.com/books?id=H3nHpsDBm6QC&pg=PA135&dq=Fakhr+Razi&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiau9mOydnJAhXDOxoKHeOhDNwQ6AEIRTAJ#v=onepage&q=Fakhr%20Razi&f=false
  13. ^ https://books.google.com/books?id=8K5J2V1TuE0C&pg=PA48&dq=Fakhr+Razi&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiau9mOydnJAhXDOxoKHeOhDNwQ6AEIOzAG#v=onepage&q=Fakhr%20Razi&f=false
  14. ^ a b c Adi Setia (2004), "Fakhr Al-Din Al-Razi on Physics and the Nature of the Physical World: A Preliminary Survey", Islam & Science 2, retrieved 2010-03-02 
  15. ^ Muammer İskenderoğlu (2002), Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī and Thomas Aquinas on the question of the eternity of the world, Brill Publishers, p. 79, ISBN 90-04-12480-2 


For his life and writings, see:

  • G.C. Anawati, Fakhr al-Din al-Razi in The Encyclopaedia of Islam, 2nd edition, ed. by H.A.R. Gibbs, B. Lewis, Ch. Pellat, C. Bosworth et al., 11 vols. (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1960-2002) vol. 2, pp. 751–5.

For his astrological-magical writings, see:

  • Manfred Ullmann, Die Natur- und Geheimwissenschaften im Islam, Handbuch der Orientalistik, Abteilung I, Ergänzungsband VI, Abschnitt 2 (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1972), pp. 388–390.

For his treatise on physiognomy, see:

  • Yusef Mourad, La physiognomie arabe et le Kitab al-firasa de Fakhr al-Din al-Razi (Paris, 1939).

External links[edit]