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Abstract


Bali Efendi the Sophian’s Treatise on the Secrets of Decree and Predestination: A Jewish Yemenite’s Response to the Question of Predestination from the Perspective of Wahdat al-Wujud
The two foundational doctrines of wujud Allah al-mutlaq (God’s absolute existence) and the concept of al-a‘yan al-thabita (permanent entities) are what transformed the idea of wahdat al-wujud into a theory. During the Ottoman period, Sufis who had written commentaries on Ibn al-Arabi’s (d. 638/1240) Fusus al-Hikam dealt with the issue of predestination by referring to these two doctrines. As for Bali Efendi the Sophian (d. 960/1553), what distinguishes him from other commentators while having written from the same perspective as them was that he penned separate treatises on the issue of predestination in great detail. In this study, alongside the Risalat al-Qada’ wa al-Qadar and Sharh Hadith Kuntu Kanz, we have identified a new treatise on the issue of predestination by Bali Efendi’s Treatise on the Secrets of Decree (al-Qada’) and Predestination (al-Qadar), and discussed its ascription to him. In this newly identified treatise of his, Bali Efendi attempts to respond to the dilemmas/predicaments brought forward by a Yemenite Jew on the issue of predestination by referring to wujud Allah al-mutlaq and, in particular, to isti‘dad which is a concept of the second doctrine of al-a‘yan al-thabita. In this study, we have presented based on the content of the answers given in response to the questions posed by the Yemenite Jew the issue of predestination or, put differently, the view of individual free-will from the perspective of wahdat al-wujud.

Keywords
Tasawwuf, predestination, freedom of will, wahdat al-wujud, Bali Efendi, Ba-haeddinzade.


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