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Fakhr Ud-Din Razi

FAKHR UD-DIN RAZI (1149-1209), Arabian historian and theologian, was the son of a preacher, himself a writer, and was born at Rai (Rei, Rhagae), near Tehran, where he received his earliest training. Here and at Maragha, whither he followed his teacher Majd ud-Din ul-Jili, he studied philosophy and theology. He was a Shaf'ite in law and a follower of Ash'ari (q.v.) in theology, and became renowned as a defender of orthodoxy. During a journey in Khwarizm and Mawara'l-nahr he preached both in Persian and Arabic against the sects of Islam. After this tour he returned to his native city, but settled later in Herat, where he died. His dogmatic positions may be seen from his work Kitab ul-Muhassal, which is analysed by Schmölders in his Essai sur les écoles philosophiques chez les Arabes (Paris, 1842). Extracts from his History of the Dynasties were published by Jourdain in the Fundgruben des Orients (vol. v.), and by D.R. Heinzius (St Petersburg, 1828). His greatest work is the Mafatih ul-Ghaib ("The Keys of Mystery"), an extensive commentary on the Koran published at Cairo (8 vols., 1890) and elsewhere; it is specially full in its exposition of Ash'arite theology and its use of early and late Mu'tazilite writings.

For an account of his life see F. Wüstenfeld's Geschichte der arabischen Arzte, No. 200 (Göttingen, 1840); for a list of his works cf. C. Brockelmann's Gesch. der arabischen Literatur, vol. 1 (Weimar, 1898), pp. 506 ff. An account of his teaching is given by M. Schreiner in the Zeitschrift der deutschen morgenländischen Gesellschaft (vol. 52, pp. 505 ff.).

(G. W. T.)

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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