1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Fakhr ud-Dīn Rāzi

21680871911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 10 — Fakhr ud-Dīn RāziGriffithes Wheeler Thatcher

FAKHR UD-DĪN RĀZI (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 Marāgha, whither he followed his teacher Majd ud-Dīn ul-Jilī, he studied philosophy and theology. He was a Shafʽite in law and a follower of Ashʽarī (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 Kitāb ul-Muḥassal, 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 Mafātiḥ 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 Ashʽarite theology and its use of early and late Mu’tazilite writings.

For an account of his life see F. Wüstenfeld’s Geschichte der arabischen Ärzte, 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.)