Abd al-Razzaq Lahiji on Divine Wisdom: A Critical Assessment

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Associate Professor of Philosophy, Mofid University, Iran

2 MA in Philosophy of Religion, Mofid University, Iran


This paper examines Abd al-Razzaq Lahij's view on divine wisdom. According to him, divine wisdom is the same as divine purposefulness, that is, God's actions are always purposeful. But these purposes, in fact, belong to the creatures, since when a purpose is achieved, a need of the purpose-setter  would be satisfied, but God is all-rich, i.e. God has no need at all. Lahiji presents two arguments in favor of his claim; one is based on intrinsic good or evil in actions, and the other is based on God's free will. This paper begins with assessment of Lahiji's perspective on "purposefulness", how it is connected to "free will" and "satisfying the needs of the purpose-setter", and the consequence would be that, 1) achieving a purpose does not satisfy only the needs of the purpose-setter, but might also do the others' needs, and 2) the mechanism of setting a purpose ought not to be tied to either free will or determinism. Then, Lahiji's two arguments are going to be analyzed. The result will be that both arguments are weak and cannot be used in defense of divine wisdom, and basically, such arguments are unnecessary to use to attribute wisdom to God.


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