Al Khashshaf:Al Zamakhshari (538 H/1144 A.D), Mutazilite exegesis of the Quran by Kifayatullah
About the Thesis
Abu al-Qasim Mahmud b. ‘Umar al-Zamakhsharl Jar Allah is one of the last widely known and outstanding Han a IT Mu‘tazilite scholars who made important contributions in the fields of Qur’anic exegesis, theology, and Arabic linguistics. Primarily, his fame rests upon the Qur’an commentary al-Kashshaf ‘an haqa ’iq al-tanzil wa ‘uyiin al-ghawamidfi wujuh al-ta ’wTl.
My thesis is that al-Zamakhsharl’s Qur’an commentary is squarely within the Mu‘tazilite tradition. I selected those verses where anthropomorphisms need clarification as well as verses that are known to be points of contention between the Mu‘tazilies and traditionists.
I examined and evaluated al-Kashshaf within the dogmatic framework of “the five principles” ( al-usul al-khamsa) which are considered indispensable for a Mufiazilite identity. These principles are: “God’s unity” ( al-tawhid ), “God’s justice” ( al- ‘adl), “reward and punishment” ( al-wa ‘d wa-al-wa ‘id), “intermediate position between belief and unbelief’ ( al-manzila bayna al-manzilatayn ) and “enjoining good and forbidding evil” ( al-amr bi-al-ma ‘ruf wa-al-nahy ‘an al-munkar).
This dissertation demonstrates that al-Zamakhsharl’s al-Kashshaf is not only a quintessence of Mu‘tazilite doctrine which was adopted from the earlier Mu‘tazilite exegetes, but also unequivocally establishes the fact that he expounds the five principles throughout his interpretation of the Qur’an. Despite, al-Zamakhsharl’s Mu‘tazilite tafsir, it remained popular not only amongst the Mu‘tazilites but also was prescribed in the madrassa