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The Essentials of Ibadi Islam

Valerie J. Hoffman

Publication Year: 2011

Hoffman introduces Ibadi Islam theology to the non-Arabic speaking world. Ibadis view themselves as being the oldest and most genuine sect of Islam.

Published by: Syracuse University Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-ix

The bulk of this research was conducted in Oman during the 2000–2001 academic year, thanks to a research grant in the Fulbright Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia Regional Research Program run by the Council for International Exchange of Scholars. I did some follow-up on this research when...


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pp. xi-xii

Part One

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pp. 1-53

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pp. 3-53

So writes a modern Ibadi scholar of Oman, in words that express a point of view common among adherents of this sect. Ibadi Islam is a distinct sect of Islam that is neither Sunni nor Shi‘ite. Although, as the quote above indicates, Ibadis see their sect as the oldest...

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Part Two: Al-‘Aqida ’l-Wahbiyya

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pp. 55-237

Praise be to God, the One whose existence is necessary by virtue of His essence, the Holy One who is exalted beyond all comparison in His essence, His names, and His acts. May God bless our master Muhammad...

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1. The Knowledge of God's Unity

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pp. 57-73

S: Dear teacher, I have come to rely on your guidance. You are a father to my intellect, training me to become a true human being and servant of God, as He desires. You wish to place me before God in the ranks of the righteous. There is no doubt that the useful sciences include those pursued for the sake of things...

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2. The Knowledge of God

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pp. 74-86

S: What is the rationally necessary (ma huwa ’l-wajib al-‘aqli)? T: It is what the intellect cannot imagine to be nonexistent. S: Can you give me some examples of it (ma mithaluhu)? T: Some examples are: the knowledge that for a confi rmed act (li-’l-fi ‘li ’l-thabit) there must be an actor...

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3. God's Essence and Attributes

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pp. 87-104

S: I have learned what scholars say about the word of majesty (lafz al-jalala), that it is the greatest name of God’s essence (al-ism al-dhati al-a‘zam), around which revolve all the attributes and names. Explain to me the correct teaching adhered to by the people of truth and straightness...

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4. The Roots of Religion, the Impossibility of Seeing God, and What is Necessary and Impossible for God

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pp. 105-155

S: I congratulate myself on the blessing of success in these precious essentials that my master the teacher has taught me. I think I understand what is necessary for the Necessary Being, my True God (ilahi al-haqq), concerning His attributes and how to know them...

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5. Affiliation (Walaya) and Dissociation (Bara'a)

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pp. 156-211

S: It is as clear as day (qad wadaha ’l-subh) for anyone with two eyes; I have comprehended most of the important things that are necessary for our majestic Lord and those that are impossible for Him, which you have laid out perfectly. By God, you are a guide to what...

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6. How to Deal with People Who are Not of Muhammad's Umma

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pp. 212-230

S: I found that God mentioned in His Book six religions (milal).1 Explain these six religions to me. T: Indeed, God mentioned six religions, of which He has prescribed (shara‘a) only one, and that is Islam. Iblis, God curse him, prescribed Judaism, in...

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7. Knowledge and Action

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pp. 231-237

S: What are the foundations of religious practice (qawa‘id al-din)? T: Th e foundations of religious practice are four things, from which four others are derived. S: What is the first foundation...

Part Three: ‘Abd al-‘Aziz al-Thamini al-Mus‘abi on God’s Power and Human Acts, from Kitab Ma‘alim al-Din

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[261] Chapter 3: On the Necessity of the Absolute Oneness of God Most High

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pp. 241-245

If you understand the preceding concerning the necessity of the absolute oneness of God Most High, you will know that one may use the proof of mutual prevention...

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Chapter 4: On What is Possible Concerning the Most High

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pp. 246-276

A person who is subject to the law must believe that God the Glorious created human beings (al-‘ibad) and created their acts and created reward and punishment for these acts, and that they acquire (iktasabu) their acts and do them, [266] and are not compelled...

Glossary / Bibliographical Dictionary / References / Index

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pp. 277-344


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pp. 279-290

Biographical Dictionary

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pp. 291-312


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pp. 313-325


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pp. 327-344

E-ISBN-13: 9780815650843
E-ISBN-10: 0815650841
Print-ISBN-13: 9780815632887
Print-ISBN-10: 0815632886

Page Count: 328
Publication Year: 2011

Edition: 1