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In Islamic theology, tal (Arabic: ‎) means "divesting" God of His attributes. It is a form of apophatic theology. Tal is the polar opposite of tashb?h (anthropomorphism or anthropopathism), the ascription to God of physical characteristics or human attributes such as emotion. Both tal and tashb?h are considered sins[1] or heresies in mainstream Islam.

The corrective doctrine against tal is tathb?t (confirming God's attributes), and the corrective against tashb?h is tanz?h (keeping God pure).[1]

Those accused of tal may be referred to as mu?aila[2] ("divestors"[3]) or ta'tili.[4] Historically, the followers of Jahm ibn Safwan (d. 746) -- the Jahmi -- were called mu?aila by their opponents.

The ninth-century Mu?tazilites were called mu?aila[3] for their belief "[t]hat God is eternal [...] but they deny the existence of any eternal attributes (as distinct from His nature). [...] [K]nowledge, power, and life are part of His essence, otherwise, if they are to be looked upon as eternal attributes of the Deity, it will give rise to a multiplicity of eternal entities."[5]

See also


  1. ^ a b Tashb?h. 1998-07-20. Retrieved .
  2. ^ Livnat Holtzman (2013). "Debating the Doctrine of jabr (Compulsion)". In Birgit Krawietz; Georges Tamer (eds.). Islamic Theology, Philosophy and Law: Debating Ibn Taymiyya and Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya. Walter De Gruyter GmbH. p. 68. ISBN 978-3-11-028534-5. ISSN 1862-1295.
  3. ^ a b Edward Sell (1907). The Faith of Islám (3rd ed.). Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. p. 195.
  4. ^ C.E. Bosworth; E. van Donzel; W.P. Heinrichs; G. Lecomte; P.J. Bearman; Th. Bianquis (2000). Encyclopaedia of Islam. Volume 10 (T-U) (New ed.). Leiden: Brill. p. 342. ISBN 9004112111. |volume= has extra text (help)
  5. ^ Al-Shahrastani, al-Milal wa'n-Ni?al, page 30. Quoted in Edward Sell (1907). The Faith of Islám (3rd ed.). Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. pp. 196-197.

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