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  • ʿIlm al-Kalām, often foreshortened to kalām, is the practice in Islamic philosophy of seeking theological principles through dialectic, debate and argument. A scholar of kalām is referred to as a mutakallim. There are many possible interpretations as to why this discipline was originally called "kalām"; one is that the widest controversy in this discipline has been about whether the Word of God, as revealed in the Qur'an, can be considered part of God's essence and therefore not created, or whether it was made into words in the normal sense of speech, and is therefore created. One of the earliest deviated systematic theological school to develop was Mu'tazila, in the mid 8th century. Mu'tazila emphasized reason and rational thought, positing that the injunctions of God are accessible to rational thought and inquiry. Mu'tazila also taught that the Qur'an, albeit the word of God, was created rather than uncreated, which would develop into one of the most contentious questions in Islamic theology. In the 10th century, the Ash'ari school developed as a response to Mu'tazila, leading to the latter's decline.

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