Ibn Arabi and the Theories of “Acquisition” of Ash'arites and “Creation” of Mu'tazilites

Document Type : Original Article



Most of the Ash’ari theologians have preferred the theory of “acquisition” regarding the matter of how to assign actions to human; however, before them some Mu'tazilites such as “Najjariyya” and “Ḍerariyya” had believed in some forms of this theory. In contrast, most of the Mu'tazilites, and in particular “Jubaiyya” believed that, human is the creator of his actions. Ibn Arabi, while acknowledging the difficulty of the matter of acquisition or creation of human actions, frequently addressed and judged theories of “acquisition” and “creation” of actions.
Although, Ibn Arabi has approved the religious and rational reasons of Mu'tazilites about the creation of actions, he considered the theory of “acquisition” evidenced by reason and Sharia and accepted some aspects of both of the competiting theories. Although he criticized both theories on many occasions, found his view closer to the Ash'arites. Neglecting the attribution of actions to God is the main deficiency of Mu'tazilites's viewpoint that is not compatible with real Monotheism. Theory of acquisition is also incorrect with respect to the negation of influence of human strength in voluntary actions, because it necessitates a kind of hidden polytheism. Thus, the explanation of Mu'tazilites and Ash'arites regarding the attribution of actions to human is at the lower grades of monotheism; but monotheism of mysticism goes beyond both of them