Comparative Evaluation of the Efficacy of Wisdom and Inspiration in Abu Hatam’s and Zakariyya Razi’s Opinions

Document Type : Research Paper


1 MA Student of Islamic Philosophy

2 Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Allame Tabataba'i University


The question has always been raised throughout history whether human beings need to follow the prophets or divine revelation to achieve salvation. There will be no need, as some believe, to follow divine teachings once human beings reach intellectual maturity; however, others insist on the permanent need for Guidance from God due to inadequacy of human reason. In the third or fourth century AH, two thinkers from Rey with two different perspectives had a debate on the necessity of prophethood. One side of the debate was Abu Hatam Razi, the great Ismaili scholar who advocated the necessity of revelation and prophets; the other side was Muhammad b. Zakariyya Razi, a rationalist physician and philosopher, who allegedly assumes that all human beings are the same in terms of reason and that is why he sees no need for prophets to guide them. This debate, which took place in the presence of the ruler of Rey, is recorded by Abu Hatam in his book Proofs of Prophecy. Given that he is an Ismaili scholar, we explore Ismaili tenets in the analysis of his opinions. We provide an analysis of this debate, in addition to a brief presentation of the ideas of both thinkers on the position of reason and revelation, which helps us understand whether Muhammad b. Zakariyya is truly a heretic. 


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