In Islamic thought, the question “How does God know tensed facts?” has been thoroughly discussed over a tension between the attributes of omniscience and immutability. Avicenna and al-Ghazâlî, who give wide coverage to this problem in their studies, propose different solutions to eliminate this tension. Avicenna acknowledges that a being who knows tensed facts is subject to change, therefore he claims that God knows everything in a universal way and excludes tensed facts from the extent of omniscience. On the other hand, al-Ghazâlî claims that God knows tensed facts, but He does not undergo any real change by knowing them. In this study, I will argue that neither of these answers are convincing in generating a solution to the expressed tension.
Acar, R. (2004) “Reconsidering Avicenna’s position on God’s knowledge of particulars”. In Jon McGinnis, ed. Interpreting Avicenna: science and philosophy in Medieval Islam, 142–156. (Proceedings of the Second Conference of the Avicenna Study Group.) Leiden: Brill.
Adamson, P. (2005) “On knowledge of particulars”. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 105, 257–278.
Adamson, P. (2016) Philosophy in the Islamic world: a history of philosophy without any gaps. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Afnan, S. M. (2016) Avicenna: his life and works. London and New York: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.
Al-Ghazâlî, Abu Muhammad (1980) “Al-Munqidh min al-Dalâl”. In Freedom and fulfillment: an annotated translation of al-Ghazâlî’s al-Munqidh min al-Dalâl and other relevant works of al-Ghazâlî, 61–114. Richard J. McCarthy, transl. Boston: Twayne Publishers.
Al-Ghazâlî, Abu Muhammad (2000) The incoherence of the philosophers. Michael E. Marmura, transl. Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University Press.
Al-Ghazâlî, Abu Muhammad (2013) Moderation in belief. Aladdin M. Yaqub, transl. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Avicenna (2005) The metaphysics of the healing. Michael E. Marmura, transl. Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University Press.
Avicenna (2009) The physics of the healing. Jon McGinnis, transl. Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University Press.
Avicenna (2014) [Ibn Sina’s] Remarks and admonitions: physics and metaphysics. An analysis and annotated trans. Shams Inati. New York: Columbia University Press.
Aydeniz, H. (2021) “Molla Sadrâ’da Allah’ı bilmenin imkânı ve O’nun hakkında konuşmanın sınırları”. Hitit İlahiyat Dergisi 20, 1, 347–376.
Burrell, D. B. (1986) Knowing the unknowable God: Ibn-Sina, Maimonides, Aquinas. Notre Dame, Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press.
Campanini, M. (2019) Al-Ghazâlî and the divine. London and New York: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.
Comrie, B. (1985) Tense. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Craig, W. L. (2000) “Omniscience, tensed facts, and divine eternity”. Faith and Philosophy 17, 2, 225–241.
Davidson, H. A. (1987) Proofs for eternity, creation and the existence of God in Medieval Islamic and Jewish philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Dyke, H. (2013) “Time and tense”. In H. Dyke and A. Bardon, eds. A companion to the philosophy of time, 328–344, Malden: Wiley-Blackwell.
Fakhyr, M. (2004) A history of Islamic philosophy. 3rd ed. New York: Columbia University Press.
Frank, R. M. (1992) Creation and the cosmic system: Al-Ghazâlî & Avicenna. Heidelberg: C. Winter Universitätsverlag.
Geach, P. T. (1972) Logic matters. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
Griffel, F. (2009) Al-Ghazali’s philosophical theology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Hillier, H. C. (2005) “Al-Ghazali’s argument for the eternity of the world in Tahafut al-falasifa (discussion one, proofs 1 and 2a) and the problem of divine immutability and timelessness”. Journal of Islamic Philosophy 1, 1, 62–84.
Kretzmann, N. (1966) “Omniscience and immutability”. The Journal of Philosophy 63, 14, 409–421.
Leaman, O. (2004) An introduction to classical Islamic philosophy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Leftow, B. (2016) “Immutability”. Edward N. Zalta, ed.The Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy, Available online at
<https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/win2016/entries/immutability/>. Accessed on 04.12.2020.
Madelung, W. (2015) “Al-Ghazâlî’s changing attitude to philosophy”. In Georges Tamer, ed. Islam and rationality: the impact of Al-Ghazâlî. (Papers collected on his 900th anniversary), 23–34. Leiden and Boston: Brill.
Marmura, M. E. (1962) “Some aspects of Avicenna’s theory of God’s kKnowledge of particulars”. Journal of the American Oriental Society 82, 3, 299–312.
Marmura, M. E. (1985) “Divine omniscience and future contingents in Alfarabi and Avicenna”. In Tamar Rudavsky, ed. Divine omniscience and omnipotence in Medieval philosophy: Islamic, Jewish and Christian perspectives, 81–94. Dordrecht u. a.: Reidel.
Marmura, M. E. (2005) “Al-Ghazâlî”. In Peter Adamson and Richard C. Taylor, eds The Cambridge companion to Arabic philosoph, 32–51. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
McGinnis, J. (2010) Avicenna. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
McTaggart, J. E. (1908) “The unreality of time”. Mind 17, 68, 457–474.
Swinburne, R. (1990) “Tensed facts”. American Philosophical Quarterly 27, 2, 117–130.
Tanış, A. (2018) “Gazâli’de Tanrı’nın Değişmezliği ve Mutlak İlmi”. In M. N. Doru and Ömer Bozkurt, eds. Düşünce bilimleri: klasik sorunlar-güncel tartışmalar, 97–111. Mardin: Mardin Artuklu Üniversitesi Yayınları.
Tegtmeier, E. (2014) “Temporal succession and tense”. In L. Nathan Oaklander, ed. Debates in the metaphysics of time, 73–85. London: Bloomsbury.