Philosophical Foundation of Attributive Monotheism from Allamah Tabatabai’s View Point



Allamah Tabatabai interprets the doctrine of Attributive monotheism of God under the philosophical theory of the identity of God’s perfection attributes with His essence. Because, in his view point, it is the only rational way for explanation of Attributive monotheism. According to this theory, all Divine perfection attributes are identical with each other and with God’s nature in external world; although they conceptually differ from each other and with God’s nature. His demonstration is based on some Islamic philosophy principles, such as “the bestower of a thing cannot be lack of it” or on “simplicity and purity of Divine essence”.
In order to show the consistency of this explanation from Attributive monotheism, with acceptance of conceptual plurality of attributes, Allamah has presented two theses: A) the concepts of Divine attributes are posited mentally or virtually; B) the negation of plurality of attributes from God’s very nature. Through an accurate analysis, we can understand that these two theses are compatible and there is no contradiction in it. The first one is based on the fact that, since the concepts of attributes are virtual and mental, so conceptual plurality of attributes cannot damages the external unity of God’s attributes and essence. The second one, however, steps beyond and purifies Divine essence from any existential and conceptual qualification.