Study Guide

al-Razi

by al- Rāzī

al-Razi Biography

Author Profile (Critical Survey of Ethics and Literature)

Early in his life, al-Razi was educated in the fields of traditional Arabic literature, mathematics, astronomy, and philosophy. In the formation of his religious ideas, it is probable that a distinctly nonorthodox teacher, Iranshahri, played a major role. As a physician, al-Razi displays in his medical treatises the careful, methodical temperament of the empiricist, though a sense of genuine empathy is always present. According to al-Razi, some humans have been endowed with divine reason to awaken their souls to ultimate spiritual return with the Creator; others have not. Just as the Creator never seeks to harm humans, people too ought to seek only their own and others’ betterment. Al-Razi believed in the transmigration of souls, the sacredness of all life, and the universal possibility of salvation through reason and philosophy, the latter position being fiercely opposed by religious scholars of his own day.