‘Ilm al-Kalaam

What is the meaning of ‘scholastic’ in ‘scholastic philosophy’? What are some examples of ‘Ilm al-Kalaam?

‘Scholastic’ is philosophy related to Islamic scholarship or theology, i.e., when people apply philosophy to ‘aqeedah, which is the most dangerous area for its application.

General examples of ‘Ilm al-Kalaam include trying to rationalize and give meaning to Allah's names and attributes, denying the concept of qadar (destiny), arguing against the eternal nature of Paradise and Hell, and not accepting the Qur'an as the Word of Allah, but rather His Creation. These are all philosophical ideas that have found their way into the ‘aqeedah of many Muslim sects.

The most famous sect to adopt this line of thinking were the Mu’tazilites, and after them the Ash’aris and Maturidis also used ‘Ilm-Kalaam to change the meaning of many of Allah’s names and attributes. This is why Shaykh Al-Uthaymeen warned severely against studying ‘Ilm Al-Kalaam and declared it a waste of time for the student of knowledge.[1]


[1] Sharh Hilyat Talib Al-Ilm, p. 26


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