Al-kelam (Arab. the knowledge of the word) is the scholastic and metaphysical theology of the Mohammedans. It treats of speculative points, such as the attributes of God, and is full of subtleties in reference to abstract notions and terms. It is divided into four heads. The first treats of the nature and attributes of God; the second discusses predestination, free will, and other kindred topics; the third contains the questions about faith and its efficacy, repentance, and other doctrines; the fourth inquires into the evidence of history and reason, the nature and force of religious belief, the office and mission of prophets, the duty of the imams, the beauty of virtue, the turpitude of vice, and other kindred themes. The various disputes which have from time to time arisen on all the different points of their scholastic theology have given rise to a large number of different seets and parties, all of whom adhere to the Koran as the standard of their faith. Among these may be enumerated the Ascharians, the Keramiaus, the Motazales, the Cadhariainse the Nadharians, the Giabarians, and the Morgiansk

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