By Farhad Daftary
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Extra resources for Ismailis in Medieval Muslim Societies
On the matter of defining faith, for instance, there developed two opposing views in the Sunni camp. One group, associated with the Hanafi school of law and supported by the Maturidi school of theology, essentially defined faith as knowledge to the exclusion of acts. According to the other view, upheld by the Hanbali school of law and Ashʿari theology, and also reflected in the canonical collections of Sunni hadith, faith would also require the inclusion of acts. This latter view has also become known as Sunni traditionalism.
Indeed, for several decades until 848, Muʿtazilism was the official doctrine of the Abbasid court. However, by the latter decades of the ninth century, Muʿtazilism had become increasingly pro-ʿAlid, and its theological doctrines left permanent influences on Zaydi, Imami Ithnaʿashari and Ismaili Shiʿism. Emphasizing rationalism, in the sense that a certain awareness is accessible to man by means of his intelligence alone in the absence of or in addition to any revelation, the early Muʿtazilis became known for five principles on which they had reached a consensus of opinion.
See Paul E. Walker, Exploring an Islamic Empire: Fatimid History and its Sources (London, 2002), and F. Daftary, Ismaili Literature: A Bibliography of Sources and Studies (London, 2004), especially pp. 20–38. 2. F. Daftary, A Short History of the Ismailis (Edinburgh, 998), pp. 20–58. 3 . Abu Mansur ʿAbd al-Qahir b. Tahir al-Baghdadi, al-Farq bayn al-ﬁraq, ed. M. Badr (Cairo, 328/90), pp. , Moslem Schisms and Sects, part II, tr. S. Halkin (Tel Aviv, 935), pp. 07–57. 4. M. Stern, ‘The “Book of the Highest Initiation” and other Anti-Ismaʿili Travesties’, in his Studies in Early Ismaʿilism (Jerusalem and Leiden, 983), pp.