From the Foreword by Hamza Yusuf Hanson
"One of the most important intermediate texts of the Māturīdī school, Al-Bidāyah, had a profound influence on Muslim scholastics and was widely used and often cited in some of the most important commentaries of both the Māturīdī and Ash¢arī schools. . . .
This excellent translation and commentary by Shaykh Faraz Khan—a well-schooled, budding scholastic himself—qualifies as the first major translation of a foundational Māturīdī text into the English language. Such texts remain relevant to the continued theological discourse within Islam and without, given the Māturīdī school’s continued relevance, which cannot be overstated. The school’s perpetuity remains ensured by its unique characteristics: its soft natural law approach, which counters the hard Mu¢tazilī position; its affirmation of the centrality of reason; its emphasis on moral accountability in the absence of revelation; and its subtle awareness of the seemingly intractable problems of causation, free will, and divine determinism that reveal its concern for the most compelling problems of theology.
Kalam (Islamic theology), like all the great sciences and teachings of Islam, needs renewal and development, especially in light of the immense strides our species has made in the physical sciences—sciences that Muslim theologians were always engaged in during the great periods of Muslim intellectual flourishing."