Facing the Mahdī’s True Belief: Abū ʿAmr al-Salālijī’s Ashʿarite Creed and the Almohads’ Claim to Religious Authority

Thiele, Jan

This paper addresses the impact of the Almohad caliphs’ claim to religious authority, their religious policy, and specifically their propagation of the creeds attributed to the movement’s founder Ibn Tūmart. It offers a case study of an Ashʿarite creed, Abū ʿAmr al-Salālijī’s al-ʿAqīda al-burhāniyya which was produced in the sixth/ twelfth-century Almohad period. The author argues that rather than echoing the teaching of the Almohads, al-Salālijī’s creed closely draws on and often literally reproduces a comprehensive compendium of Ashʿarite theology, namely al-Juwaynī’s Kitāb al-Irshād. A specifically noteworthy feature of al-Salālijī’s creed is that it makes theological claims that should have been considered, from the perspective of Almohad doctrine, highly problematic. This in turn raises questions discussed in this paper about the extent to which theological scholars were impacted by the Almohad agenda.


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Al-ʿUsur al-Wusta

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August 17, 2022