Kitaab At-Tawheed

The Book of Monotheism

The Book of Monotheism

Kitaab At-Tawheed:

God and the Universe

A Manual of Sunni Theology

----------------------------------

Shaykh Abu Mansoor Al-Maturidi

Translation and Commentary

by

Sulaiman Ahmed

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Kitaab at-Tawheed' (‘The Book of Monotheism’) is the famous Sunni theologian Abu Mansoor al-Maturidi’s magnum opus (d. 333AH/944AC) and both the work and its author are a foundation of Sunni thought to the present day. Its early provenance and originality, as well as wide and enduring influence, make this book essential for students of theology, philosophy and the history of ideas. Yet despite the wide purported influence of and devotion to his ideas, Maturidi’s work has been strangely neglected and untranslated by Muslim and non-Muslim scholars alike. This is the first ever English translation — with commentary — of the first half of ‘Kitaab at-Tawheed'.

This work is unique, providing a detailed and holistic approach to Islamic theology, whilst also being its earliest extant comprehensive source. Maturidi presents the epistemological foundations of his teaching and provides detailed arguments in defence of Monotheism, including his cosmological doctrines — such as proofs for the creation and ontology of the Universe. He also focuses on God, His existence and attributes, analysing issues related to anthropomorphism and rationalism amongst many others.

Regardless of theological affiliation, this is an indispensable work for academics and laymen alike.

Abu Mansur al-Maturidi (d. 333/944) can be regarded as the founder or systematiser of orthodox Sunni Islamic theology and dogma, with a majority of Muslims through history claiming to follow his school of thought. Born in Maturid, a locality in Samarkand, he authored many books in a wide variety of fields, but only two have survived until our time – ‘Kitaab at-Tawheed’ and his voluminous commentary on The Quran, ‘Ta’wilat ahl al-Sunna’.

Scholars have posited that he inherited his doctrinal positions from the earliest Sunni Imam, Abu Hanifa, and then systemised and interpreted them. Others argue that he himself formulated the school.

Kitaab at-Tawheed’ is the oldest extant detailed text in Islamic doctrine and has been relied upon by practically all orthodox Muslim theologians succeeding Maturidi. To the present day, a vast number of Muslims either follow his school or specific doctrines from within it.

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