ARABIAN PHILOSOPHY. Specula tive activities were stimulated into action among the Arabians with the appearance of sects in the world of Islam. As soon as Mohammedanism came in contact with older civilizations, notably with that of Persia, the ideas and mental habits of the new converts created a spirit of investigation into the doc trines of the Koran, which until then had been accepted in blind faith on the authority of divine revelation. The first manifestation of this spirit was the coming into existence of the sect known as uKadariyaV (from the Arabic Kadara, to have power), whose partisans proclaimed the freedom of the will, in contrast with the glabariyah" (jabara, to force, to compel), who defended the generally accepted belief of the orthodox that man is completely dependent upon the divine will, and that not only his destiny but also his conduct is de termined, and his own will does not count.
From the developed the school of theologians known as the Motazilites (from itazala, to separate oneself). In addition to the doctrine of free will the Motazilites taught that God is an absolute unity, and no attributes can be ascribed to him. They further asserted that revelation is a natural product of the human faculties; that all knowledge necessary for the salvation of man emanates from his reason. To defend their doctrines against the attacks of the orthodox, the Motazilites elaborated a system of a rational theology, which they designated ('Ilm al-Kalam)) (science of the word). Its pro fessors the Motekallamin (knoWn in Hebrew as Medabberim and as loquentes in the Latin versions) may be compared with the scholas tics of the Catholic Church. After the intro duction of the Greek philosophy among the Arabians, the Motekallamin directed all their efforts against the philosophers. Their prin cipal aim was to defend against the Peripa tetics the creation of matter, and the existence of a god who exercised a direct action upon the making and the keeping of the world. To that end they adopted the theory of atoms as enunciated by Democritus. They taught that space is pervaded by atoms possessing no quality or extension, and time was similarly divided into innumerable instants. The atoms
were originally created by God, and are created now as occasion seems to require. Bodies come into existence or die through the aggregation or disintegration of these atoms. There is no causality in the laws of nature, God alone is the cause. The supposed uni formity and necessity of causation is only an effect of custom; the universe could be entirely different from what it is.
In reaction against both the Motekallamin and the philosophers there arose, in the land of the Magis, the mystic sect of the ((Sufis' who subsequently exercised a great influence on the Islamic world. The Sufis protested against all philosophical inquiry, and declared theological knowledge to be far inferior to inward perception, or mystic intuition ac quired through religious ecstatics. From the conflict of these divergent forces there arose, in the 9th century, the tendency of thought represented by the philosophers of Islam. The initiators of this tendency were Syrian Chris tians, who, encouraged by the enlightened caliphs of the Abbasside dynasty, and especially by Almamun (813-33), transplanted Greek science and philosophy to the Arabian soil. In addition to works of science, they trans lated the