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Article titles and disambiguation[edit]

With merely two subjects on this disambiguation page I believe it would be better to just link Abdul Kalam at the top of the page instead of forcing the Kalam article onto a page with the tedious title of Kalam (Islamic term). There really is no reason to do that. gren 04:44, 11 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Someone should add a redirect from the following search terms: Islamic theology, Islam theology, and Theology of Islam. freestylefrappe 06:43, July 17, 2005 (UTC)

My Arabic is very rudimentary, but doesn't the Arabic text says something like "`alam al-kalam"? In any case, I'm quite certain that it doesn't say just "kalam".

This is very unfortunate. I doubt the Kalam people of Papua New Guinea would appreciate their one and only ethnonym being redirected to an article on Islamic theology. There's not an article for them yet, but there should be, and one day will be - in fact I may create one soon. I propose retitling it "Islamic theology" - a much fairer solution than forcing Kalam to be called Kalam (tribe).Timothy Usher 22:08, 21 May 2006 (UTC)

Well, it's not redirected — but in any case I very much doubt that the people of the Kalam tribe would care (nor do I see why they should). The simple fact is that the this usage of "kalam" is vastly more common and important, and Wikipedia style is to place the most common and important usage in the main article namespace, using a disambiguation page for the rest. Note also that "Islamic theology" would be an inaccurate title for the article, as kalam is more specific than that. --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 11:39, 22 May 2006 (UTC)
You're probably right about them not caring (for now), but...I'd never heard the term Kalam before, while I'd been hearing of the Kalam people and language for many years. Nor would the Arabic term seem "vastly more" common and important, were one to judge by the size of this article and comments on talk page. I am confident that the vast majority of English speakers have heard of neither.
If "Islamic theology"/"Theology of Islam" is an inaccurate title, it shouldn't be redirecting here.Timothy Usher 17:28, 22 May 2006 (UTC)
To Timothy: the full name of Islamic theology is `ilm al-kalaam. Pecher Talk 21:55, 22 May 2006 (UTC)
  1. With regard to relative importance: try Googling; try the index of any library. believe me, "kalam" is a common term in theology, philosophy of religion, islamic studies, etc.
  2. Redirects generally point to the closeest article in terms of relevance; most redirects don't point to synonyms. --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 09:26, 23 May 2006 (UTC)

Horizontal line[edit]

Mel, will you please explain why you're insisting on putting a horizontal line after the disambiguation notice? Pecher Talk 13:30, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

Because, first, it serves to separate the article from material that isn't relevant. Secondly, when I raised this issue at three different Talk pages at the MoS, the majority of editors taking part in the discussions agreed that it looks better.
Now, perhaps you would explain why you're insisting on removing it? --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 22:11, 24 May 2006 (UTC)
It is rather uncommon to have this sort of line on top of the page. How many pages that have it can you name? Pecher Talk 22:30, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

I've seen in on very many pages, though I don't keep notes (you could search for it). In any case, "it's uncommon" is not a good reason for deleting something. --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 08:18, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

Islamic Theology?[edit]

From the introduction I wasn't exactly sure what Kalam is, is it simply Islamic theology or is it a branch of Islamic theology or is it a school of Islamic theology. The introduction just says it is one of the Islamic religious sciences, but that is a very broad term. Could someone educated in the matter clarify it in the introduction itself?

It is actually a philosophical practice, so I suppose you could say it is a branch of wider theology. Unfortunately, most of this article contains general information about Islamic theology in general, some of which isn't directly related to Kalam. It's no wonder the article isn't clear, as it stands most of it is unsourced and sort of ambiguous. MezzoMezzo (talk) 18:52, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

Kalam is essentially Sufi interpretation of various aspects of Islamic teachings and so many sunni followers reject it. This article should give more detail on actually what teachings are different from the mainstream ideology that causes rejection of this theology? Merely quoting the critics is not enough on wikipedia. Pathare Prabhu (talk) 14:31, 1 September 2013 (UTC)

Criticism Section[edit]

The criticism of the four imams and other traditional imams was not blanket in nature. "What has been forgotten today however by critics who would use the words of earlier Imams to condemn all kalam, is that these criticisms were directed against its having become "speculative theology" at the hands of latter-day authors. Whoever believes they were directed against the `aqida or "personal theology" of basic tenets of faith, or the "discursive theology" of rational kalam arguments against heresy is someone who either does not understand the critics or else is quoting them disingenuously." Nuh Keller Jaw101ie (talk) 19:48, 9 August 2008 (UTC)

Nuh Keller is neither a reliable nor neutral source, though. He's a religious cleric and polemicist; if you can find similar comments from a recognized historian then that's fine, but the opinions of controversial religious figures isn't appropriate. MezzoMezzo (talk) 18:31, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

I love how, unlike every other serious topic, Islamic Theology - that is rational and peaceful discourse of the Quran - jumps straight to criticism. This is the aspect of Islam that genuinely inspired Maimonides, the greatest jewish philosopher who ever lived, and made him reflect critically on his own tradition. It is this strain of thought that was incorporated in his Guide for the Perplexed that spurred the Enlightenment via Spinoza, Newton, Leibniz, and Hegel among others. Really this is a shameful section though I am not surprised considering the repulsive arrogance within Islam today. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:55, 21 February 2014 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: page not moved: no consensus after 28 days; no discussion in last 20 days. Anthony Appleyard (talk) 09:40, 24 June 2012 (UTC)

Ilm al-KalamKalām – Although the current title is valid (see, for instance, Islam and Modernity, Edinburgh University Press, 2009), the common name of this topic in reliable, English-language sources appears to be 'Kalām'.

See, for instance:

Some sources, such as the Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy (1998) and the Encyclopedia of Islam (2010), use the lowercase letter 'a' instead of the grapheme 'ā', but the latter is more accurate and reflects common English-language usage; in any case, Kalam already is a redirect.--Relisted Cúchullain t/c 18:26, 4 June 2012 (UTC) -- Black Falcon (talk) 20:47, 26 May 2012 (UTC)

  • Unsure i - MOS As I read it Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Arabic) states that the strict transliteration is not to be used in titles. cf. Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Arabic. In ictu oculi (talk) 00:19, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
    Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Arabic) is marked historical and Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Arabic appears to be a proposed guideline only. Why should they trump WP:COMMONNAME? -- Black Falcon (talk) 00:36, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
    I see that, but that is often the case for diacrictics/MOS/orthography issues on en.wp. The energy spent in this RM would be better spent sorting out Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Arabic) (which should be revived, not left as marked historical) and Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Arabic. It's good for WP:RM to handle test cases, but it's also incredibly time consuming and disruptive. I could give as an example ongoing painful Talk:Ana Ivanović where acres of bytes could be spared by editors just following Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Serbian), rather than a wasteful WP:COMMONNAME discussion which works against WP:MOS "consistent with related articles". Is this proposal "consistent with related articles"? If it is then edit Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Arabic) to reflect reality. In ictu oculi (talk) 02:12, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
    I see what you mean: it's better to have one, long, centralized discussion to adopt a clear standard rather than multiple disparate ones that might be shorter individually but consume more time overall and might lead to inconsistent outcomes. I am probably not the most suited to start that discussion, since I cannot read Arabic and know little of its grammar and orthography. Nonethless, this weekend I will read Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Arabic and relevant discussions that I can find, and perhaps that will provide a starting point for me to participate in a broader discussion. -- Black Falcon (talk) 05:07, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Unsure ii - removal of "study of" ilm علم The ar.wp and fa.wp of course are no guide, but علم, "study of", is useful as an embedded disambiguator. Of course "study of speech" and "speech" can be slightly different, even if kalam is used with ilm to mean the same thing. In ictu oculi (talk) 02:56, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose per wikilaw. (talk) 00:19, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
    Could you clarify, please? Who is "wikilaw"? Thanks, -- Black Falcon (talk) 00:36, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
    Black Falcon, this is a one-edit IP, I wouldn't bother asking. :) In ictu oculi (talk) 02:15, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
    Ah, you're right. Thank you. :) -- Black Falcon (talk) 05:07, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose as this is English language Wikipedia and there's no diacritics in the English alphabet. GoodDay (talk) 01:51, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
    Likewise Black Falcon GoodDay has the dozens of Zoës and Chloës pointed out every time he pastes this. Best to concentrate on updating Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Arabic) if it is need of updating. In ictu oculi (talk) 02:15, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. Several article on the SEP use "kalam", but I can't find one that uses "ilm al-kalam", despite many instances of various "ilm" terms. Srnec (talk) 23:35, 4 June 2012 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.


Is it relevant and are there other sources than Maimonides for the issue that by his time, Mutakallim writers had proposed their own version of the atomic doctrine and that a vacuum could exist? The Leo Strauss edition of Guide for the Perplexed discusses this issue because a fairly long discourse about it appears between the two main portions of GftP -- and Maimonides, as an Aristotelian, argues against Mutakallim viewpoints. (talk) 15:23, 20 May 2014 (UTC)


Forgive me any failings in this post, this is my first.

I arrived here after looking for some information on the Kalam cosmological argument and was immediately struck by two things in the opening sentence:

"...kalām, is an Islamic science born out of the need to establish and defend the tenets of Islamic faith..."

Firstly, there is no such thing as Islamic science, any more than there is a Christian particle physics or Hindu gravity. All science has to be universal or it isn't science.

Secondly, I have issue with it being born out of the need to reach presupposed conclusions. This is a greyer area admittedly, as many scientists have set out to prove what they thought was happening and proved themselves wrong, but it is a challenge to think these Islamic scholars are truly adhering to the scientific method, publishing their findings in peer-reviewed journals etc. Evidence of this lack is suggested here:

" the widest controversy in this discipline has been about whether the Word of God, as revealed in the Qur'an, can be considered part of God's essence and therefore not created, or whether it was made into words in the normal sense of speech, and is therefore created."

however it has definitely not been presented (with evidence) in a peer-reviewed journal (their peers being the global scientific community) that the Qur'an is the Word of God in the first place.

Pre-supposing unsupported premises is not part of the scientific method.


"studying of 'Ilm al-Kalam is considered by Muslim scholars to fall under the category of necessity and is only permitted to qualified scholars, but not for the masses or common people.[4]"

makes me wonder how you become a "qualified scholar", but I suspect the answer is entirely unscientific.Mytheroo (talk) 15:42, 18 June 2015 (UTC)

Kalam as speech[edit]

A Tunisian friend of mine used to quote an Arabic saying, but some 20 years ago he became Canadian by marriage, and now neither he nor me can remember the second half. AFAICR, it began: "Kāna kalām el-foḍḍa, ikūna s-sakāta ðahab" كان كلام الفضة، إكون ٱلسكات ذحب… (I'm not sure of the spelling) which means something like "talk is silver but silence is golden". There were two more verses, on the rhythm (IIRC): tataTĀ ta TĀ ta TĀ tata, TĀ ta ta TĀ. Can anyone refresh my memory? — Tonymec (talk) 00:10, 16 September 2015 (UTC)