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Ashari, Abu-al-Hasan Ali ibn Ismail al-

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    Ashari, Abu-al-Hasan Ali ibn Ismail al-

    (d. 935 )

    Muslim theologian who bridged the gap between a literal, legalistic interpretation of the Quran and hadith and rationalism. Postulated that the Quran as revelation was uncreated, but any physical copy of the Quran is created, asserting the difference between essence and existence. Held that all human acts are decided, created, and governed by God, but that people participate in decision making and actions. Stressed the importance of divine power over free will and rational faculties. Reason is to be used to determine meanings of the Quran and hadith, to defend religious truth, and to persuade others of the validity of revelation.

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