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Islam / Theology /
Fakhr ar-Razi
Persian/Arabic: fakhr 'ad-dīn 'ar-rāzī

(1149-1209) Persian Muslim scholar, mainly famous for his achievements in theology. He also worked with medicine, astrology, geometry, physiognomy, mineralogy and grammar.
His reputation is largely linked to his tafsir, commentary on the Koran, the Great Commentary. His complete works consists of about 100 books, of which The Keys to the Unknown and the Collection of the Opinions of Ancients and Moderns are the most important after his tafsir.
His points of views were moderate, avoiding most extremes expressed by different groups of his time. He aimed at finding a rational compromise between religion and philosophy, of which he aimed mainly at reconciling the works of Aristotle with the message of the Koran. Much of this work is summed up in his Eastern Discourses
His personality was of great importance, being aggressive and vengeful, he gained many enemies. Being close to rulers of his time, he was able to have certain of his enemies imprisoned or killed. He was most expressed about certain sects in Islam, among the Isma'ilis.
It is told that he could wilfully incite discussions by promoting ideas contrary to his own, and even if he ended by refuting his own initial statements, this caused much anger. He travelled extensively, and it was told that everywhere 300 of his students followed him.
His controversial style, in which he presented the ideas of smaller orientations, represents an important source into the ideas of non-mainstream groups.

1149: Born in Rayy, Iran, as the son of a preacher.
1209: Dies in Herat, Khwarezm. Many stories tell that he was poisoned by a member of the Karramiyah sect.

By Tore Kjeilen