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Biographical Information on
Fakhr al-Din al-Razi

Category: Biography
[Biographical Notes in 'Reliance of the Traveller', Noah (Nuh) Ha Mim Keller, USA: Sunna Books, 1991 CE, x122(a) (pp. 1045-6) ]

Al-Fakhr al-Razi (w57.2) is Muhammad ibn `Umar ibn al-Hasan ibn al-Husayn, Abu `Abdullah Fakhr al-Din al-Razi, born in Rayy, Persia (just south of present-day Tehran, Iran), in 544/1150. A Shafi`i scholar of genius and a mujtahid Imam in tenets of faith, he was among the foremost figures of his time in mastery of the rational and traditional Islamic sciences, and preserved the religion of Ahl al-Sunna from the deviations of the Mu`tazilites, Shiites, Anthropomorphists, and other aberrant sects of his era by authoring a number of brilliant works that came to enjoy a wide readership among his contemporaries and have remained popular with scholars to this day. His thirty-two-volume Koranic exegesis Mafatih al-ghayb [The keys of the unseen is one of the most famous of his works, though he also wrote on tenets of belief, heresiology, fundamentals of Islamic law and faith, scholastic theology, rhetoric, geometry, and poetry in Arabic and Persian, in both of which he was a preacher of considerable eloquence. His efforts to purify Islam from the heresies of anthropomorphists reached the point that when unable to answer his arguments against them, they resorted to writing ugly remarks and insinuations on scraps of paper and attaching them to the pulpit (minbar) from which he gave the Friday sermon. He arrived one day and read one of these, and then spoke to those present in an impassioned voice, saying: "This piece of paper says that my son does such and such. If it is true, he is but a youth and I hope he will repent. It also says that my wife does such and such. If it is true, she is a faithless woman. And it says that my servant does such and such. Servants are wont to commit every wrong, except for those Allah protects. But on none of these scraps of paper - and may Allah be praised -is it written that my son says Allah is a corporeal body, or that he likens Him to created things, or that my wife believes that, or my servant - So which of the two groups is closer to guidance?" He travelled to Khawarzim and Khurasan, and finally to Herat, Afghanistan, where he died in 606/1210 (al-A`lam (y136), 6.313; and Tabaqat al-Shafi`iyya al-kubra (y128), 8.81-89).

Reliability
[Mir'at al-jinan wa `ibrat al-Yaqzan, al-Yafi`i, `Abd Allah b. As`ad b. `Ali, Abu al-Sa`adat al-Shafi`i al-Yamani, Haydarabad: Matba`at Da'irat al-Ma`arif al-Nizamiyyah, 1338/1920, events of year 606 ]
 
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Reliability
[al-Ghadir fi al-kitab wa'l-sunnah wa'l-adab, al-Amini, `Abd al-Husayn Ahmad al-Tabrizi al-Najafi, Beirut: Mu'assasat al-A`lami (11 vols), 1414 AH/1994 CE, vol. 1, p. 153 ]
 
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Created: October 1999