An Introduction to Islamic Theology


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  • Author: Imam Nur al-Din al-Sabuni

An Introduction to Islamic Theology

Imam Nur al-Din al-Sabuni’s Al-Bidayah fi usul al-din

Translation and Annotation by Faraz A. Khan

Foreword by Hamza Yusuf Hanson

Page Count: 482

In an age of unprecedented challenges, the demanding task before Muslim theologians today is not merely to reproduce the debates of the past but to formulate a genuine contemporary scholastic theology, or kalam, that engages the questions, concerns, and misgivings of modernity.

This concise yet thorough manual on Maturidi theology authored by Imam Nur al-Din al-Sabuni (d. 580/1184), a prominent Muslim theologian from Bukhara, provides a foundation upon which modern Muslim discourse can be built. The text explains the central tenets of the Islamic creed and refutes erroneous positions of alternative theologies. The discussions are uncomplicated and unencumbered by technical terminology, and the positions of orthodoxy are presented with rational and scriptural evidence.

Comprehensive notes by translator Faraz A. Khan accompany the text and, with the translation, provide a rare rendering into the English language of the extraordinary richness and enduring relevance of the kalam commentary tradition. Finally, a valuable appendix on the kalam cosmological argument discusses related issues in contemporary philosophy.


About the Translator

Faraz A. Khan is on the faculty at Zaytuna College in Berkeley, California. After completing undergraduate studies at the University of Texas at Austin, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he resided from 2004 to 2011. In accordance with the criteria of traditional Islamic studies, he read classical texts with distinguished scholars in Ashari and Maturidi scholastic theology, Hanafi jurisprudence, prophetic narration, logic, 
and other religious sciences, receiving scholarly authorization (ijazah) after seven years of full-time study. His current research interests center on the engagement of philosophical theology and ethics with the contemporary age.