Semantics of Divine Attributes: Comparative Study of Ibn Taymiyya's Ithbat bila Kayf (Proving without Quality) Theory and Tabataba’i's Rouhe Ma'na (spirit of Meaning) Theory

Document Type : Research Paper

Authors

1 PhD student, Islamic philosophy and theology, Qom University, Qom, Iran

2 Assistant professor, Department of theoretical principles of Islam, Islamic Doctrine University, Qom, Iran

Abstract

Ithbat bila Kayf (proving without quality)and Rouhe Ma'na (spirit of meaning) theories are two common theories in the field of semantics of Divine attributes. In this article, Ibn Taymiyya's reading of this theory is investigated. Making distinction between the realm of meaning and realm of quality on one hand and resorting to semantic commonness and avoiding mixing contents and manifestation on the other hand,  he has posed rather comprehensive analysis and removed the obstacles. He considers the knowledge to the meaning of Divine attributes possible but the knowledge to their quality impossible. Semantic commonness of the meaning of the attributes is the origin of clearness of the meaning and impossibility of dominating the essence of God is the origin of unclearness of the quality. Furthermore, accepting the theory of Rouhe Ma'na (spirit of meaning), gives the real meaning back to spirit of meaning. Based on this theory, the words are assigned to the spirit of meanings and features of manifestations are not taken into account in their meanings. That is why, applying them in meaningful and semantic manifestaions is real, just like tangible and apparent manifestations. Investigating these two theories comparatively, it turns out that Ibn Taymiyya's reading of Ithbat bila Kayf (proving without quality) can be returned to the theory of Rouhe Ma'na (spirit of meaning) .    

Keywords


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