Wāṣil B. ‘Aṭā’, Abū Hudhaifa

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Wāṣil B. ‘Aṭā’, Abū Hudhaifa (699–748 (AH 80–131)). Leading Muʿtazilite theologian in Islam. He belonged to the associates of Ḥasan al-Baṣrī, though he separated from his views enough to start the school of the Muʿtazilites (a separation once thought to be the origin of the name). He held four distinctive views: (i) the qualities/attributes of Allāh are not eternal; (ii) humans possess free will (cf. Qadarites); (iii) a Muslim who sins is in an intermediate state between that of a Muslim and that of a kāfir; (iv) it is possible to judge that one of the parties in the murder of ʿUthmān, and in the battles of the Camel and Siffīn (see ʿALĪ) was wrong.

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