The Ikhwân al-Safâ’ or “Brethren of Purity”, as their name is commonly translated, are the authors of one of the most complete Medieval. The Ikhwan al-Safa’ (Brethren of Purity) were the anonymous adepts of a tenth- century esoteric fraternity of lettered urbanites that was principally based in Basra . The philosophy of the group of Arab philosophers of the fourth or fifth century ah ( tenth or eleventh century ad) known as the Ikhwan al-Safa’ (Brethren of Purity).

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The Aristotelian theory of the immovable mover, which is introduced in Epistle 37 On loveto explain the movement imparted to stars by the heavenly Universal Soul accomplishes its religious meaning.

Epistle 39 On the kinds of movement considers the movement of the whole cosmos, from that of the stars down to those natural and voluntary of human beings. Abu Sulayman al-Busti known as al-Muqaddasi’Ali b. Retrieved from ” https: It is the cause of motion, life, and change. The development of research in this direction was encouraged by the pioneer study, Fierropart. The Greeks already saw arithmetic and geometry as the necessary, though not unique, means of attaining philosophical knowledge.

This explains the metaphysical origin of life on earth. But through our senses we acquire only the material changes immediately apprehended by us and occurring in space and time. Everybody should be left free to embrace the religion he chooses; he may also change his religion, perhaps often too, though he is expected to look for the best religion in his time.

Knowledge is the abstraction of the knowable in the soul of the knower through the aid of a teacher.

Chapter 15: Ikhwan al-Safa

In one passage they give as their reason for hiding their secrets from the people, not as fear of earthly violence, but as desire to protect their God-given gifts from the world Rasail 4th, p. Another possibility, suggested by Netton is that the veneration for four stems instead from the Brethren’s great interest in the Corpus Hermeticum of Hermes Trismegistus identified with the god Hermesto whom the number four was sacred ; that hermetic tradition’s magical lore was the main subject of the 51st rasa’il.


Euclid, Nicomachus and sometimes even Archimedes for mathematical tenets Epistles 1, 2 and 6 ; Ptolemy supports astronomy and geography Epistles 3 and 4 ; the Pythagoreans and again Nicomachus are the sources for musical theory Epistles 5 and 6.

After the completion of the third month the foetus comes under the influence of the sun, the king, of the planets, and life is breathed into it.

Usually the tasks of the ruler are neatly distinguished from those of the prophet, because governance is a mundane business and prophecy is related to the life to come III,5—6. Some philosophers and historians such as Tawhidi, Ibn al-Qifti, Shahrazuri disclosed the names of those allegedly involved in the development of the work: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Aristotle was also of this opinion. He has no partner and no peer. It has male and female genders. Muhammed Shurwan ‘s Arabic edition of the “Debate of Animals” published in Calcuttaiknwan a complete translation of the Encyclopedia into English does not exist as ofalthough Friedrich Dieterici Professor of Arabic in Berlin translated the first 40 of the epistles into German; [39] presumably, the remainder have since been translated.

Intellectual Approach Beyond what initially appears to be an encyclopedic work, there is a far-ranging and comprehensive program of intellectual and educational reform.

saafa In addition, the Ikhwan draw from the literature of ancient Iran, India, and Buddhism. Only the will to originate pertains to Him. The arrow when passing through the air forms, from the bowstring to its falling place, one continuous course. Their writings reflect ws a vibrant philosophical orientation, strong familiarity with the major sciences, religious and intellectual traditions, and a critical stance toward what they perceived to be the cultural and political stagnation of the time.

Chapter Ikhwan al-Safa | A History of Muslim Philosophy Volume 1, Book 3 |

Emanationism is the philosophical expression of creation; it also explains the encyclopaedic structure of the treatises. George Allen and Unwin, Socrates is admired as a great and wise philosopher who knew how to meet death bravely. In the history of Islamic philosophy the Ikhwan illustrate a group where the Aristotelian and the Neoplatonic clash head-on and where no attempt is made to reconcile competing and contradictory notions of God, whom the Epistles treat in both Qur’anic and Neoplatonic fashion.


It is subdivided into two powers: Children are apt to use an analogy characteristic of them.

Epistle 31, III,11—12 are opposed. All human souls are immortal: It is finite and spherical in shape. Halflants,Epistles We know for certain that some kind of a reserved friendship is very useful in this respect.

Ikhwân al-Safâ’ (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

It serves to confirm the love human beings feel for permanence and their hatred for death: It had a great influence on later intellectual leading lights of the Muslim world, such as Ibn Arabi[3] [4] and was transmitted as far abroad within the Muslim world as Al-Andalus. The Qur’an overruled all earlier revealed books. Edited and Introduced by M. So, wherever a man stands on the earth, his head is always towards the sky above the earth and his feet are always towards the bottom or centre of the earth.

All the heavenly bodies are made up of a fifth element, ether, 48 and are not liable to generation and corruption. The ikhaan problem seems, then, to be the dignity of the person appointed as the caliph, which alone is the condition of a legitimate prophetical succession.

The fable concerns how 70 men, nearly shipwrecked, discover an island where animals ruled, and began to settle on it.

This definition immediately clarifies Hellenism as the authors’ first theoretical and historical reference. A teacher is absolutely necessary, especially to common people. Certainly, the study of ancient sciences is not viewed, as by “orthodox theologians”, as a vehicle of heresy and even atheism.