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Wāṣil ibn ʿAtāʾ (700–748) (Arabic: واصل بن عطاء‎) was an important Muslim theologian and jurist of his time, and by many accounts is considered to be the founder of the Muʿtazilite school of Kalam.

Wāṣil ibn ʿAtāʾ'
Title al-Ghazzal
Born 700 CE
Died 748 (aged 47–48)
Ethnicity Arab
Era Islamic Golden Age
Region Arabian Peninsula
Occupation Muslim philosopher
Religion Islam
Main interest(s) Islamic theology
Notable idea(s) Rationalism in Islamic theology, Founder of Muʿtazila, Free will of humans, Indeterminism, Incompatibilism Metaphorical interpretation of the Qur'an

Born around the year 700 in the Arabian Peninsula, he initially studied under Abd-Allah ibn Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah, the grandson of Ali. Later he would travel to Basra in Iraq to study under Hasan of Basra (one of the Tabi‘in). In Basra he began to develop the ideologies that would lead to the Muʿtazilite school. These stemmed from conflicts that many scholars had in resolving theology and politics. His main contribution to the Muʿtazilite school was in planting the seeds for the formation of its doctrine.

Wasil ibn Ata died in 748 in the Arabian Peninsula.

He married the sister of Amr ibn Ubayd.[2]

The Muʿtazili school is championed today by those influenced by the theological principles outlined by ibn ʿAtāʾ, among them Naheim Ajmal / Abu Layth (UK), Adnan Ibrahim, Usama Hasan, Amina Wadud and others.[3]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Mir Valiuddin. [][unreliable source?][dead link]
  2. ^ Al-Melal wan-Nahal (الملل والنحل) - Ja'far as-Sabhani(Arabic) Archived September 10, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ Saikia, Yasmin; Haines, Chad (2015). Women and Peace in the Islamic World: Gender, Agency and Influence. I.B.Tauris. ISBN 978-0-85773-725-0.

External linksEdit