This is an advocacy essay that documents the undignified and inhumane conditions of social inequality to which the members of "Al-Akhdam" minority group are subjected in the Republic of Yemen. By focusing on the interaction between culture and collective violence, it examines the exclusionary socio-cultural and economic practices by which Al-Akhdam are denied basic human rights. In so doing, the article locates the root cause of such practices in ethnic prejudices; the Al-Akhdam are persecuted on account of their being of (...) African-descent in a country with an Arab-majority. Finally, the article advocates the protection of the collective human rights of the Al-Akhdam minority and proposes cogent measures for restoring social justice through the implementation of specific actions, including international condemnation of their persecution; official recognition of the violence meted to them; national international recognition and promotion of their rights; cessation of Yemeni government-supported policy of Al-Akhdam forced labor; formal extension of constitutionally-guaranteed economic and social rights and the establishment of a program designed to integrate them into the mainstream of Yemeni society. This list of concrete steps represents a practical advocacy plan for fostering changes in the conditions of Al-Akhdam in Yemen through numerous venues, including the Yemeni government, the United Nations, and local and international human rights NGOs. It is hoped that this documentation will significantly elevate international awareness of, and instigate responses to, the ethno-cultural violence being perpetrated against Al-Akhdam in Yemen. (shrink)
Abstract Despite various criticisms, Ian Barbour's fourfold classification of the possible relationships between religion and science remains influential. I compare Barbour's taxonomy with the theories of four authors who, in the last four decades, have addressed the relationship between science and religion from a Muslim perspective. The aim of my analysis is twofold. First, I offer a comparative perspective to the debate on science and Islam. Second, following Barbour's suggestion, I test the general applicability of his categories by comparing them (...) with a discourse on science and religion that is not focused on Christianity. In the first section, I reconstruct Barbour's typologies, recalling some major objections to them, and arguing why despite the latter, Barbour's model is employed for the present analysis. I also reconstruct Barbour's parallel model for the relationships between different religions. In the second section, I reconstruct the discourse on science and religion developed by the Palestinian-American scholar Ismail Raji al-Faruqi. The third section is devoted to the ideas of the Persian-American scholar Seyyed Hossein Nasr. In the fourth section, I examine the views of the Iranian author Mehdi Golshani. The fifth section reconstructs the theories of the Algerian author Nidhal Guessoum. In the final section, I argue that a generalized use of the “integration” concept to refer to the entire debate on Islam and science is unhelpful. While these positions do not appear to instantiate Barbourian integration of science and religion, they do move toward what Barbour (skeptically) describes as integration between religions. (shrink)
This article argues that while it is true that the intellectual relationship established through multipurpose pilgrimage to the heartland of Islam has never lost its significance, the political implications of this connection seem to be overestimated. As will be shown by the following survey, although the number of writings by and on Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya in the Malay-Indonesian language is strikingly considerable, the nature and extent of their impact in the religious life and thought of people have yet to be (...) seen. Hence, to construe a link between them and the emergence of radicalism in the “Lands below the Wind” would be too hasty a conclusion. (shrink)
ABSTRACT: Mullā Ṣadrā’s (c 1571-1640) commentary on Uṣūl al- Kāfī is one of the more famous commentaries on this significant Shi‘i hadith collection. For his philosophical and Sui background, Ṣadrā’s approach to the hadith is slightly different and in some ways contrary to the earlier commentators such as`Allāma Majlisī in Shi'a and Ibn Taymīyya in Sunni Islam. This paper aims to shed light on the way, Ṣadrā interprets al-Kāfī and particularly to determine his understanding of the ʿaql (intellect) at the (...) cosmic (as first created being) and human levels as presented in the Kitāb al-ʿAql wa al-Jahl (The Book of Intellect and Ignorance). Ṣadrā, already well-versed in the philosophical discourses on ontology and cosmology find al-Kāfī as a fertile ground to develop and extend his vision of cosmos and existence. This paper, furthermore, investigates and reviews some later and contemporary scholars’ critiques of Ṣadrā’s view on hadith and intellect. (shrink)
Al-Ghazali (1058-1111) was concerned that early Islamic philosophers were leaning too heavily and uncritically on Aristotelian and Neoplatonic ideas in developing their models of God and His relation to the world. He argued that their views were not only irreligious, but philosophically problematic, and he defended an alternative view aimed at staying closer to the Qur’an and the beliefs of the ordinary Muslim. Ibn Rushd (1126-1198) responded to al-Ghazali’s critique and developed a sophisticated Aristotelian view. The present chapter explores their (...) views in light of a problem facing any philosophical model of God in Islam or classical theism more generally, the problem of conceiving of God’s nature and relation to the world in a way that places an appropriate distance between God and humans. On the one hand, we want a notion of God that is not overly anthropomorphic, or that does not make him to be too much like us. On the other hand, we want to be able to say something positive and substantive about God. And we want to do this while preserving the harmony of reason and revelation, of philosophy and religion, as much as possible. (shrink)
This paper clarifies the philosophical connection between Al-Ghazali and Descartes, with the goal to articulate similarities and differences in their famous journeys from doubt to certainty. As such, its primary focus is on the chain of their reasoning, starting from their conceptions of truth and doubt arguments, until their arrival at truth. Both philosophers agreed on the ambiguous character of ordinary everyday knowledge and decided to set forth in undermining its foundations. As such, most scholars tend to agree that the (...) doubt arguments used by Descartes and Al-Ghazali are similar, but identify their departures from doubt as radically different: while Descartes found his way out of doubt through the cogito and so reason, Al-Ghazali ended his philosophical journey as a Sufi in a sheer state of passivity, waiting for the truth to be revealed to him by God. This paper proves this is not the case. Under close textual scrutiny and through the use of basic Husserlian-phenomenological concepts, I show that Al-Ghazali's position was misunderstood, thus disclosing his true philosophic nature. (shrink)
With the rapid advancements made in biotechnology, bioethical discourse has become increasingly important. Bioethics is a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary field that goes beyond the realm of natural sciences, and has involved fields in the domain of the social sciences. One of the important areas in bioethical discourse is religion. In a country like Malaysia, where Muslims make up the majority of the population, Islam plays a crucial role in providing the essential guidelines on the permissibility and acceptability of biotechnological applications (...) in various fields such as medicine, agriculture, and food processing. This article looks at the framework of a complementary model of bioethics derived from the perspective of Islam. The framework is based on ‘maqasid al-shariah’ (purposes or objectives of Islamic law) which aims to protect and preserve mankind’s faith, life, intellect, progeny, and property. It is proposed that ‘maqasid al-shariah’ be used as a pragmatic checklist that can be utilized in tackling bioethical issues and dilemmas. (shrink)
Die ethische und politische Philosophie al-Fārābīs beruht auf einer philosophischen Anthropologie, die die Menschen als von Natur aus als ungleich betrachtet und der Natur eine fundamentale Bedeutung zuschreibt. Die Natur stattet nur wenige Menschen mit besonderen Fähigkeiten aus, sodass die Verwirklichung der höheren theoretischen, geistigen, moralischen Tugend und der praktischen Kunst nur jene betrifft, die von der Natur dafür ausersehen wurden. Die Anthropologie ist darüber hinaus auch ein wichtiges Instrument politischen Handelns. Der Herrscher muss sich kontinuierlich dem Studium der menschlichen (...) Natur widmen und die jeweiligen Eigenschaften benennen, die bestimmten Menschengruppen zugeschrieben werden. Dadurch kann er die geeigneten Mittel identifizieren, mit denen jede Gruppe zur Glückseligkeit geführt werden kann, und wählt die für jeden Fall geeigneten Argumente. Niccolò Machiavelli stützt sein gesamtes politisches Denken auf die Anthropologie. Ein zweiter Pfeiler der politischen Philosophie Machiavellis ist, wie bei al-Fārābī auch, die Religion. Beide machen sich Gedanken über die politische Dimension der Religion, ohne dass Machiavelli aber bis zur Entgeistigung der Religion gehen würde, wie es al-Fārābī gewagt hatte. Neben der Anthropologie, die ein integrales Element des politischen Denkens al-Fārābīs und Machiavellis darstellt, teilen sie sich die Auffassung von der Religion als Instrument politischen Handelns. Beide versuchten den Menschen zu zeigen, dass auf dem Gebiet des öffentlichen Lebens die Regierungskunst der Religion überlegen ist, ohne sich im Besonderen mit ihrem Wert an sich und ihrer Bedeutung für das private Leben zu befassen. Der substantielle Unterschied zwischen beiden liegt in der Breite der politischen Mittel. Hier ist die Innovation Machiavellis offensichtlich, weil sich seine Anthropologie von der al-Fārābīs unterscheidet. (shrink)
Abū Bakr al-Rāzī (d. 925), a doctor known not only for his medical expertise but also for his notorious philosophical ideas, has not yet been given due credit for his ideas on the ethical treatment of animals. This paper explores the philosophical and theological background of his remarks on animal welfare, arguing that al-Rāzī did not (as has been claimed) see animals as possessing rational, intellectual souls like those of humans. It is also argued that al-Rāzī probably did not, as (...) is usually believed, endorse human-animal transmigration. His ethical stance does not in any case depend on shared characteristics of humans and animals, but rather on the need to imitate God’s providence and mercy. (shrink)
Business performance is traditionally viewed from the one-dimensional financial angle. This paper develops a new approach that links performance to the ethical vision of Islam based on maqasid al-shari’ah . The approach involves a Pentagon-shaped performance scheme structure via five pillars, namely wealth, posterity, intellect, faith, and human self. Such a scheme ensures that any firm or organization can ethically contribute to the promotion of human welfare, prevent corruption, and enhance social and economic stability and not merely maximize its own (...) performance in terms of its financial return. A quantitative measure of ethical performance is developed. It surprisingly shows that a firm or organization following only the financial aspect at the expense of the others performs poorly. This paper discusses further the practical instances of the quantitative measurement of the ethical aspects of the system taken at an aggregate level. (shrink)
Commodification of religion in the social media public sphere is increasingly intense. This can be seen in the simultaneous election campaign that has justended. Political symbols are politicized and religious leaders have succeeded in shaping public opinion, especially on social media. As a result, social media has become an arena for discourse and rhetoric that no longer considers communication ethics. Using an philosophical approach, the paper examines ethical values on social media based on Surah al-Hujarât. The results of the analysis (...) show that the value of communication ethics in Surah al-Hujarât involve two things: as a producer of news and as a news reader. In Surah al-Hujarât explains that as a communicator in communicating must not demean others, does not contain elements of divideand rule, ghibah, namimah, hoax, and adjusted to the interlocutor. As communicants need to instill critical thoughts and tabayyun towards the truth of the news content. (shrink)
This paper deals with Abū Bakr Ibn al-‘Arabī’s Ash‘arite theological perspective. He chose to adopt Ash‘arism because he believes that God chose certain figures to safeguard religion and the most important one among them is Abu al-Hasan al-Ash‘arī from whom correct theology spread from one generation of disciples to another. His education at Nidhamiyya College and Abu Hamid al-Ghazali’s tutorship might also be responsible for his preference for Ash‘arism. However, even though he was al-Ghazali’s student, he was not attracted by (...) Sufism, instead keeping his focus on theology. He objected to Sufism for two defects he perceived it to possess. First is Sufis’ references to fake Hadiths and second the Sufi practice of self-mortification. As a devoted Ash‘arite, he consistently opposes the anthropomorphic interpretation of God’s nature espoused by the Hanbalites and the Dhahirite. (shrink)
This article analyzes al-Fārābī's conception of the astronomical method by examining rarely studied texts such as the K. al-mūsīqā and K. al-burhān and by addressing key issues such as the subject matter of astronomy, the techniques used to derive the first principles of this science, the relation between astrology, astronomy, physics, and metaphysics, and the place of al-Fārābī in the Arabic astronomical tradition. The analysis indicates that al-Fārābī's theories combine material from the Greek astronomical tradition, especially Geminus, as well as (...) from the logical works of Aristotle, particularly the Posterior Analytics. Moreover, it enables us to view al-Fārābī as a link between the Greek astronomers on the one hand and Ibn Sīnā and Naşīr al-Dīn al-Tūsī on the other. (shrink)
Al-Ghazālī's Maqāsid al-falāsifa is an intelligent reworking of Avicenna's Dānesh-name . It was assumed by Latin scholastics that the Maqāsid contained the views of Al-Ghazālī himself. Very well read in Latin translation, it was the basic text from which the Latin authors gained their knowledge of Arabic logic. This article examines the views on the form and matter of the syllogism given in the Maqāsid and considers how they would have been viewed by a Latin reader in the thirteenth century.
This paper discusses the character education in Kitab Adab al-‘Alimwa al-Muta’allim, written by one of the founders of largest Muslim organization in Indonesia, Nahdlatul Ulama, Kyai Hasyim Asy’ari as a form of social piety. This book has provided a comprehensive and constructive way of character education which integrates Islamic values with various religious texts. Character education which includes and complements a broad range of educational approaches such as social-emotional learning and civic education shares a commitment to help people become responsible (...) and contributive citizens. Meanwhile, pesantren have taught and built strong characters of the santri in the forms of rabbaniyah, insaniyah, wasathiyyah and waqi’iyyah characters. Therefore, pesantren -based character education the book described is a key element to nurture Muslims’ good habits. This paper shows that the book can be an answer for Indonesia’s contemporary multi-dimensional crises, such as radicalism and terrorism. (shrink)
The use of digital presentation tools such as PowerPoint is ubiquitous; however we still do not know much about the persuasiveness of these programs. Examining the use of visual analogy and visual chronology, in particular, this article explores the use of visual argumentation in a Keynote presentation by Al Gore. It illustrates how images function as an integrated part of Gores reasoning.
The first book consecrated to logic, written by an andalusian author is Ibn Hazm’s Kitªb al-taqrÌb li-Êadd al-manðiq (“Introduction to definition of logic”). Where, the author seeks to adapt the logic to the simple language of the jurists. Here it is pointed out how this important treatise can depend on the logical school of Bagdad.
I reconstruct and analyze al-Ghazali’s arguments defending a plurality of real divine attributes in The Incoherence of the Philosophers. I show that one of these arguments can be made to engage with and defend Jeffrey E. Brower and Michael C. Rea’s “Numerical Sameness Without Identity” model of the Trinity. To that end, I provide some background on the metaphysical commitments at play in al-Ghazali’s arguments.
This study sought to gauge ethical attitudes about professional boundary issues of physicians and nurses in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Respondents scored 10 relevant boundary vignettes as to their ethical acceptability. The group as a whole proved “aware/ ethically conservative,” but with the physicians' score falling on the “less ethically conservative” part of the spectrum compared to nurses. The degree of ethicality was more related to profession than to gender, with nurses being more “ethical” than physicians.
Imam al-Bukhāri berpendapat bahwa jalur periwayatan hadis yang paling terpercaya adalah yang menggunakan jalur Malik bin Anas dari Nafi’ dari Ibn Umar, dan Imam al-Shāfi’iy adalah murid imam Malik yang paling Masyhur. Akan tetapi muncul sebuah pertanyaan mengapa al-Bukhāry tidak meriwayatkan hadis dengan jalur al-Shāfi’iy, sehingga memunculkan persangkaan bahwa ia adalah seorang yang lemah dalam periwayatan hadis, meskipun semua itu tidak menurunkan martabat al-Shafi’iy sebagai ahli ḥadīth dan tidak pula menjadikan riwayatnya dihukumi ḍā’īf di kalangan pengikut madzhabnya. Artikel ini bertujuan (...) untuk mengetahui apa penyebab imam al-Bukhāry tidak meriwayatkan ḥadīth-ḥadīth melalui jalur imam al-Shafi’iy dari Imam Malik. Berdasarkan hasil penelitian yang dilakukan, ternyata al-Bukhāry juga meriwayatkan beberapa ḥadīth yang juga diriwayatkan oleh al-Shafi’iy dengan matan dan jalur yang sama. Karena itu orang yang menganggap bahwa al-Shāfi’iy itu ḍa’īf, maka anggapan itu adalah salah besar sebagaimana jika ada yang mengatakan bahwa perawi thiqah hanyalah mereka yang terdapat dalam kutub sittah saja. (shrink)
Al-Ghazālī's most detailed explanation of how signification works occurs in his treatise on The Beautiful Names of God. Al-Ghazālī builds squarely on the commentary tradition on Aristotle's Peri hermeneias : words signify things by means of concepts and correspondingly, existence is laid out on three levels, linguistic, conceptual, and particular (i.e. extramental). This framework allows al-Ghazālī to put forward what is essentially an Aristotelian reading of what happens when a name successfully picks out a being: when a quiddity is named (...) by some kind term, its referent in the mind is formally identical to the quiddity of an individual existent which belongs to that natural kind. Al-Ghazālī then proceeds to tease out the implications of this scheme for the special problem of signifying God. It turns out that the Peripatetic theory, which al-Ghazālī appropriates from Ibn Sīnā, is ill equipped for the task as al-Ghazālī envisions it. (shrink)
Study that try to expose and to define the different types of the language as the juridical, theological, and ascetic-mystical in Miftāḥ al-sa‘āda [Key of Happiness] of Ibn al-‘Arīf. Types that are analyzed in details, to conclude with the influence of the Sufi language of Ibn al-‘Arīf in Ibn ‘Arabī’s work, supporting on considerations of semantic as well as mystical nature.
Three divine attributes discussed in the classical ages of Islamic theology were established as a doctrine in time, and the other doctrines of divine attributes were removed from the Sunnī theology. Divine knowledge is an attribute whose activity is generally to know all possible options about the universe, while the divine will is another attribute whose activity is to choose only one of the similar or dissimilar options. But they are seen incompatible when considered in the frame of God’s relationship (...) to the universe: if it is obviously known which option will happen, it is not really chosen at the moment of choice, and if it is uncertain which option will be chosen, it cannot be known which option will happen until preference. What is problematic here is that you attempt to design the divine attributes and actions according to two-valued logic: His all activities must happen one after another. Then, which solution is proposed for the issue by al-Ghazālī, who claims that knowledge and the will are the mutually compatible and complementary attributes for God’s relationship to the universe? I discuss whether al-Ghazālī supports his claim with adequate arguments or not. (shrink)
El presente ensayo trata la doctrina teológico-jurídica de la wilāyat al-faqih, expresión que puede traducirse con ‘tutela del jurisperito islámico’ –y, en la rendición de la doctrina por parte del gran ayatola Jomeiní, hasta con ‘gobierno del jurisperito islámico’– y su desarrollo e institucionalización en la República islámica de Irán después de la Revolución de 1979. En este marco, el ensayo analiza la función del vali-ye faqih, el jurisperito islámico encargado del gobierno de la R.I. de Irán, en la Constitución (...) y el ordenamiento del país. El término vali-ye faiqh, por su reiterado uso y prestigio, tiende a alternarse con sinónimos como rahbar, rahbar-e enqelāb, maqām-e rahbari o maqām-e mo’azzam-e rahbari. (shrink)
In the Incoherence of the Philosophers, Abu Hamid al-Ghazali raised objections against the doctrine of the ‘philosophers’ on 20 specific points. In the first, and longest discussion, he examines and rebuts four of their proofs of the pre-eternity of the world—that is, that the universe as a whole had no beginning but extends perpetually into the past. Al-Ghazali rejects that doctrine. But his own position on the issue does not become clear until he discusses the philosophers’ ‘second proof.’ In this (...) paper, I will examine the relevant text of the Incoherence of the Philosophers, in order to clarify the nature of Al-Ghazali’s position in relation to the second proof. I will explain why Al-Ghazali cannot adopt what I refer to as the ‘naïve’ theological position, according to which God temporally preceded the world. Instead, Al-Ghazali concurs with the philosophers that time is the measure of motion, but he asserts that time was created with the world, both having a beginning before which there was no time. God, on the other hand, is not temporally prior to the world, but neither is he simultaneous, as the second proof supposes. As timelessly eternal, God bears no temporal relation to the world at all. In conclusion, I describe what I refer to as a naïve philosophical position, which is entailed by the second proof, but distinct from both Al-Ghazali’s position and that adopted by Ibn Rushd in his critique of Al-Ghazali in the Incoherence of the Incoherence. I argue that this naïve philosophical position is incoherent. (shrink)
This paper is going to re-read Imam Mohammad al-Ghazali’s moral ideas in order to find the responses to the questions of moral psychology. Al-Ghazali, following the Greek and Islamic philosophers, relates each virtue or vice to a particular faculty in man’s soul. Moreover, following the Asharites, he considers the basis of moral good and badness to be religious. Furthermore, having mentioned al-Ghazali and Hume’s opinions as well as their similarities, this writing explains why al-Ghazali’s view on the moral motivation has (...) not encountered Hume’s objections. And finally, it presents the differences between al-Ghazali and the Greek philosophers’ views on virtues and vices as well as evaluates al-Ghazali’s psychological opinions in ethics. (shrink)
El presente artículo empieza con una breve exposición de los datos más significativos sobre la vida y obra del sufí almeriense Ibn al-‘Arīf (d. 536/1141). A continuación se habla de su formación filosófica y sufí. Finalmente, se reúnen y traducen diversos pasajes de Miftāḥ al-sa‘āda que hacen referencia a la filosofía y la mística. Se contrastan a la vez sus opiniones con anteriores sufíes andalusíes como Ibn Masarra e Ibn Jamīs de Évora.
El primer libro consagrado a la lógica escrito por un autor andalusí que se nos ha conservado es el Kitªb al-taqrÌb li-Êadd al-manðiq ("Aproximación a la definición de la lógica") del cordobés Ibn ¿azm (m.1063). En él, su autor pretende adecuar la lógica al lenguaje sencillo de los juristas. Aquí se señala cómo este importante escrito puede depender de la escuela lógica de Bagdad.
Three main trends of Islamic thought – rational theology, philosophy and Sufism – developed on the Iberian Peninsula during its Arab domination. All three have their origins in the Islamic East and incorporated Jewish thinkers who lived in al-Andalus. The relations among these main trends were often conflictive, but also positive in the case of thinkers who wanted to harmonize philosophy and Sufism (Avempace, Ibn Tufayl) or philosophy and rational theology (Averroes, Maimonides). KEY WORDS – Ibn Masarra. Ibn Hazm. Maslama (...) al-Magritî. Avempace. Ibn Tufayl. Averroes. Maimónides. (shrink)
Risalat-al-Tayr is the symbolic story of the fall of the soul/intellect from the heavenly world, its being captivated in the mundane world, and its effort for liberation and eternal unification with intellectus agens. There are many symbols in the story including bird, hunter, trap, homesickness, journey, captivity, mountain etc. In this treatise, Avicenna proposes a supernaturalistic theory of the meaning of life, according to which the life will be meaningful only if a person discovers an essential goal in her life (...) and tries to reach it. It is necessary for the goal to be actually valuable and for the person to be actually successful in achieving that goal. The only choice for such a goal is God. For Avicenna, the meaning of life is tied to immortality of the soul, existence of God, the epistemic ability of intellect, and the possibility of human evolution to the extent that she will be eternally unified with intellectus agens. (shrink)
Las nociones de "uno" y de "múltiple" han sido, históricamente, objeto de tratamiento, a la vez, filosófico y teológico. En el contexto de la filosofía islámica oriental, y en el marco de su vertiente más específicamente neoplatónica, el "Príncipe de los Teósofos", Sadrâ ¿irâzi (ob.1050/1640), estudia ambas desde una perspectiva ontológica y distanciándose del enfoque consignado al respecto por los filósofos peripatéticos del Islam. Adaptando y continuando, de un lado, la gnosis de Ibn al-'ArabÌ, y, de otro, la sabiduría iluminativa (...) de Sohravardi, Mollâ Sadrâ discute la distinción aviceniana entre un Ser Necesario y una multiplicidad de seres posibles, así como la posibilidad de considerar accidental la realidad de la existencia. Basado en la coimplicación de tres conceptos fundamentales: iîªlat al-wuÿñd (prioridad del ser), waÊdat al-wuÿñd (unidad del ser) y ta¿kÌk (diferenciación y gradación intensiva del ser), el univocismo monadológico de Sadrâ puede, por otra parte, permitirnos reevaluar ciertas cuestiones filosóficas que pugnan por ser examinadas hoy a una nueva luz. (shrink)
The Qur’an has been transmitted as both a written text and an oral recital. This has led to the development of a reading tradition that permits numerous different vocalisations to be made upon the basic skeletal text of the established ʿUthmānī codex. Ibn al-Jazarī chose ten early readers whom he felt were most representative of this tradition and whose readings are treated as canonical up until this day. One of these, the Kufan linguist al-Kisāʾī has been characterised in the literature (...) as more focused on the grammar of the Qur’an than his reader peers. This article explores al-Kisāʾī’s process of ikhtiyār when deciding between various possible readings. The sample for analysis consists of Kisāʾī’s tafarrudāt, the approximately fifty cases in which his reading differs from the other nine readers. By comparing his reading with the comments of early scholars of Qur’anic linguistics, especially his near-contemporary al-Farrāʾ, it is possible to construct a typology of the suspected principal reasons for al-Kisāʾī’s tafarrudāt. Not only are many of these based on grammatical preferences, but they demonstrate a significant degree of consistency. Furthermore, analysis of a cluster of readings with implications for the interpretation of the sharīʿa provides evidence for a subtle exegetical dimension to al-Kisāʾī’s work as a reader-grammarian. (shrink)
It has been repeatedly stated that Maximus the Confessor’s (c. 580–662) thought is of eminently philosophical interest, and his work has been approached from a philosophical point of view in a number of monographs. However, no dedicated collective scholarly engagement on Maximus the Confessor as a philosopher has been produced. Although Maximus’ treatises reflect a strong philosophical background, prior research has failed to determine with clarity his specific philosophical sources and predilections. Besides apologetic purposes, he referred occasionally to purely philosophical (...) topics, which are more adequate to reveal Maximus’ philosophical education and knowledge. Among these topics are representation and imagination, which have a significant role in epistemology. Maximus’ epistemology proves his dependence on ancient Greek philosophy, especially Aristotle, Stoicism and Alexandrian Neoplatonism. A few centuries later, Abū Naṣr Muḥammad ibn Muḥammad Al-Farabi (c.870—c.950), the founder of medieval Arabic philosophy, dealt with the same topics in his epistemology. Al-Farabi’s philosophy has been studied extensively and we have a good idea about his possible sources. There are several indications that Al-Farabi and Maximus the Confessor share common insights, for they resort to the same ancient Greek tradition. In this paper, I attempt to compare Maximus’ and Al-Farabi’s epistemology in order to reveal affinities and differences that permit us to analyze and assess Maximus’ philosophical education. (shrink)
This paper discusses the question of an Ismaʿili influence within the cosmology of al-Ghazālī and argues that al-Ghazālī appropriated certain features of the Ismaʿili cosmology from the Persian Ismaʿili thought of Nāṣir-i Khusraw. After introducing Nāṣir-i Khusraw and his Ismaʿili Neoplatonic cosmology, the paper first examines some of the Ismaʿili doctrinal material presented in al-Ghazālī’s anti-Ismaʿili polemical work Faḍāʾiḥ al-bāṭiniyya—concerning cosmology, revelation, and taʾwīl—and traces this content back to Nāṣir-i Khusraw’s works, arguing that Nāṣir-i Khusraw was one of the sources (...) for al-Ghazālī’s knowledge of Ismaʿili doctrines. Secondly, the paper highlights a number of commonalities and shared terminology between the cosmology, epistemology, and doctrine of prophecy in al-Ghazālī’s Mishkāt al-anwār and the Ismaʿili doctrines of Nāṣir-i Khusraw, revealing how the two thinkers understand the cosmos as containing precisely ‘two worlds’, emphasize the correspondence between the spiritual and physical realms, and conceive the faculty of prophecy as a higher supra-intellectual spirit or ‘eye’ of perception. Thirdly, the paper revisits the scholarly debate concerning al-Ghazālī’s higher theology and cosmology in the Veils section of the Mishkāt. It demonstrates that al-Ghazālī’s worldview, which places the transcendent God above the First Mover of the Aristotelians and the Necessary Existent of the falāsifa using the Qurʾānic symbolism of Moon and Sun worship, has been appropriated from Nāṣir-i Khusraw’s Ismaʿili Neoplatonic cosmology. (shrink)
The concept of aerial perspective has been used for the first time by Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519). This article studies its dependence on Ptolemy’s Optica and overall on the optical tradition inaugurated by Ibn al-Haytham’s Kitâb al-Manâzir (d. after 1040). This treatise, that was accessible through several Latin and Italian manuscripts, and was the source of many Medieval commentaries, offers a general theory of visual perception emancipated from the case of the moon illusion, in which physical and psychological factors are (...) closely combined. Atmospheric extinction (not refraction, which it is sometimes confused with) affects the conjectured size of remote objects. This phenomenon is also the core source for a pictorial rendering of depth, that is based onto a principle different from the diminution of size. (shrink)