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BASRI, HASAN AL- (642–728)

Hasan al-Basri was one of the most famous early Sunni theologians and ascetics. Born in Medina, he lived in Basra, where he was renowned for his piety, learning, and eloquence. He produced sermons, short commentaries on the Qur˒an, aphorisms, and statements on ethics. In theology, he occupied a middle position on the subjects of free will and predestination. He believed that humans choose their actions, but that God determines the outlines of fate. He criticized Umayyad caliphs and officials, but did not oppose them politically. His spiritual practice stressed self-reflective contemplation. He is considered a father of Sufism and appears as the source of many Sufi lineages.

See alsoKalam ; Tasawwuf .

Rkia E. Cornell

Basri, Hasan Al- (642–728)

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