Ash'ari, Abu al-Hasan al-

Ash'ari, Abu al-Hasan al-

biographical name

(born 873/874, Basra, Iraq—died 935/936, Baghdad) Muslim Arab theologian. He probably belonged to the family of Abu Musa al-Ash'ari, one of the Companions of the Prophet. He joined the Mu'tazilah school and compiled scholarly opinions in his Maqalat al-Islamiyin (“Theological Opinions of the Muslims”). At about age 40 he concluded that his method had led to sterile concepts of God and humanity, and he turned to more orthodox theology. He expanded his Maqalat and authored Kitab al-Luma' (“The Luminous Book”). Reflecting on the ideas of al-Muhasibi and others, he created his own school, which became known as the Khorasan, or Ash'arite, school. See also Ash'ariyyah.

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