Is Ibn Khaldūn “Obsessed” with the Supernatural?

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Malik Mufti



This article argues against the depiction of Ibn Khaldūn as someone whose preoccupation and credulity regarding mysticism or the occult diminish the rationalism and reformism of his thought, rendering it irrelevant to our concerns today. Instead, it argues that he consistently tries to steer his readers away from such pursuits by exposing them as fake when possible, or—in cases where their reality is attested to by unimpeachable religious sources—by highlighting the dangers they pose to both religion and state.

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