Issues related to justice and mercy, as well as God’s attributes have been, for centuries, the focal point of the Muslim theologians’ debates. Some theologians interpreted the God’s attributes such as hearing and seeing metaphorically used to avoid comparing God to created beings. Another controversial theological debate focused on the question of free will and predestination. One group of Muslim theologians maintained that because God is just, he creates only good and therefore only humans can create evil. The other group argued that God’s punishment of humans would be unjust because he himself created their evil deeds. However, this particular view was rejected by other Muslim theologians on the grounds that it limits the scope of God’s creation, when the Qur’ān clearly states that God is the Creator of everything. Many other theological controversies occupied Muslim thinkers for the first few centuries of Islam, but by the 10th century the views of Islamic theologian al-Ash‘arī and his followers, known as Ash‘arites, prevailed and were adopted by most Muslims. This study, therefore, traced and explored the growth and development of these theological schools from their first appearance to the period of al-Ghazālī and, moreover, al-Ghazālī’s critique of both philosophy and theology were explored and analyzed.
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