In this section, students learn to view the tradition as more than a mere set of orthodox doctrines transmitted from generation to generation through chains of authentic transmission. Students will read on contending schools of Islamic thought, the positions of Ghazali, Ibn Taymiyya, and Ibn Khaldun, and consider a debate between al Biruni and Ibn Sina. Throughout the section we invite students to consider whether creativity and contestation remains important to Islamic theology.

Key terms:

  • Orientalism
  • Falsafa
  • Metaphysics

Thumbnail: “Eid ul-Fitr, the feast marking the end of the fast of Ramadan,” Sudan. Photo Credit: UNAMID, 2012. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Learning Materials: