notion of Natural Law which, in its Stoic form, exercised
profound influence on the Mu'tazilite schoo1s.l Saadya, individing the rational and purely revelational laws, and recognisingboth, seems to have steered a middle course in this great Islamiccontr~versy.~But his attitude was necessitated not so much bya tendency to compromise as
the character of the Biblical
which so clearly showed the two separate aspects of morality andritual. Saadya, who, as a teacher of the Law accepted it in itsentirety, had to draw a distinction between the rational and reve-lational laws. Whereas Philo could do without such a distinction,applying as he was an allegorical meaning to the ritual laws ofthe Torah, Saadya, who would not indulge in an allegoricalinterpretation of the ritual laws, had to resort to this distinction,once he accepted the Mu'tazilite principle that Reason was
standard by which to measure the Law. His task, then, wastwofold
to show the rational character of the so-called
and to interpret, within the context of a rational philo-sophy, the second class of Iaws, those of Revelation.
methodical problem arising out of his conception of the Law wasthat of the reconciliation of the two principles of Reason andRevelation.
".-Saadya's exposition of the rationalLaw is not of one piece. There are inconsistencies, and, as
have been able to show in
recent study,' Saadya must be pre-
sumed to have dealt with the matter in two separate
in a pure Mu'tazilite form, and, in addition, from the backgroundof Plato's Psychology and Ethics. But despite this double linein Saadya's conception there remains the outstanding fact thatto him Reason dictated
system of laws on its own ground and,logically, prior to Revelation.
The Mu'tazilite exposition of
rational Law ".-Saadyaenumerates three distinctly rational laws
those of gratitude,
193-197, in the
Fishman, Jerusalem, 1943,