Rationalist theological school that emphasized God's oneness (tawhid) and justice (`adl).  The school died out after the fifth century, surviving mainly among Zaydi Shi`ites.  It is now considered heretical by most Sunni Muslims.  Their distinctive views are typically summarized in  five points (of which the first two came to be the most important):

  1. God's oneness, in the strong sense that he does not have attributes such as knowledge that are distinct from him yet coeternal with him.  Hence the Qur'an is not God's eternal attribute of speech, but one of his created acts.
  2. God's justice - implying that humans have free will and the power to act.
  3. Grave sinners are neither believers nor unbelievers, but simply grave sinners.
  4. Unrepentant grave sinners will be in hell forever, as promised in the Qur'an.
  5. It is a Muslim's duty to enjoin good and forbid evil - and thus sometimes to oppose wicked Muslim rulers.


This is an outdated site, preserved here for archive purposes only. For current information, courses, and scholarship please visit

The opinions or statements expressed herein should not be taken as a position of or endorsement by the University of Oklahoma.