The Priority of Rational Proof in Islam: The View of Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī

Mohd Farid Mohd Shahran,


This article analyses the instrumental and foundational roles of rational proof in Islam, as reflected in Islamic theology and with special focus on the thought of a renowned Muslim theologian of later Ashʿarite school, Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī (1149–1209). The priority of rational proof, the way he had articulated it, lies in its two important roles in regard to revelation: being the basis for the justification of revelation (aṣl al-naql) as well as being an important criterion in verifying the certainty of revelation. While the first becomes clear via the role of reason in proving the existence of God which forms the basis of one’s belief in the Qurʾān, the Divine Speech of God, the second becomes evident in the importance of the ten rational criteria in determining the truth of a revealed text. The article contends that the aforementioned priority as expounded by al-Rāzī is still relevant and any attempt at relearning it shall render one’s contemporary approach to revelation more comprehensive and systematic.


Rational proofs; textual proofs; reason; revelation; theology; anthropomorphic verses; certainty

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