Critical Edition, Examination and Translation of The Risālah of Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Tarsūsī’s Entitled “Taʿdîl al-aqwāl fî masʾalah khalq al-aʿmāl” on Free Will (al-Irāda al-Juzʾiyya) and Human Actions


In the this study, how Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Tarsūsī deals with the issue in his summary work on the free will (al-Irāda al-Jujʾiyya) and human actions will be examined. In this study, the critical edition and translation of the risālah will also be done. The author divided his risālah into two chapters (maqām). In the first chapters, he dwells on two principles that cause the sects about human acts to be dispersed. The first is that the distinction between voluntary (irādī) and compulsory acts is certain. The second is that the generalizations in religious texts that include human acts are based on God’s creation. Accordingly, the first principle was ignored by Jabriyyah and the second by Qadariyyah. But salaf scholars have reached the truth by taking these two principles into account. According to author, Ashʿarī actually fell into compulsion. The author emphasizes the approach of the Māturīdī’s, whom he calls “our companions”. The author dwells on their dual distinction as “bringing the act into existence” (īqāʿ) and “the thing that happens” by this īqāʿ. According to this distinction, the first part reveals the freedom of man since it is not subject to creation, and it also does not pose any problem to the principle that God creates everything. The author, in concluding the first maqām, states that this approach of the Māturīdīs is the same as what the salaf expressed. Thus, the author tries to bring the salaf and the Māturīdīs closer to each other. It can be said that the risālah is original in this respect. The author makes the definitions of ḥusun and qubuḥ in the second makām and says that there is a disagreement about whether the determinant and ruler of these two is reason or sharīʿah.


Free will Kasb Human actions Jabr (Compulsion) Tafwīz Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Tarsūsī Māturīdism Ashʿarism.