The Story of Reason in Islam by Sari Nusseibeh
Stanford University Press
Review by Qamar-ul Huda, PhD
This book is an important contribution to the intellectual history of the Islamic world as it illustrates the use of reason in the service of faith and in the quest of seeking the divine. Professor of philosophy at Al-Quds University, professor Sari Nusseibeh takes a fresh look how Islamic reasoning evolved overtime which created different schools of thought that led to outstanding philosophical ways of articulating the meaning of life.
Nusseibeh begins with the ‘daunting’ idea of a single God in the seventh century the Arabian context Where the issue of free will, determinism, divine relationship with creation, and revealed knowledge versus human knowledge. He examines how the language of debate played a role in the pursuit of ultimate answers. In this process of flourishing intellectual thought, the use of the imagination knew of no borders as poetry embellished on life and the afterlife. Vibrant fields of law, morality, ethics, philosophy, logic, and politics evolved because there was an appreciation of and for advancing reasoning deduction and reason in general.
This book is an excellent resource for students of philosophy and Islamic studies who want to learn more about major luminaries and the schools that were developed after them. Nusseibeh’s detail attention to individual intellectual contributions, and how language played an important role in disseminating and sharing information is extremely useful.