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).

Author: Duzil Telmaran
Country: Chad
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Career
Published (Last): 9 January 2017
Pages: 50
PDF File Size: 11.6 Mb
ePub File Size: 19.93 Mb
ISBN: 905-1-30992-131-7
Downloads: 75772
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Kazizuru


It should be noted that the Ikhwan’s usage of these divisions is much broader in range than might be expected at first sight. After mineral life evolves vegetation. The Ikhwan al-Safa’ took over the theory of Democritus of Abdera d. He refused to prostrate before Adam and be subordinate to him.

Thus, the individual, social, and religious goals intersected in the Ikhwan’s vision. Inborn characters begin with the formation of the foetus in the womb, and they develop therein gradually under the influence of the planets. The Encyclopedia is divided into fifty-two epistles rasa’il of varying lengths, which make up four books.

When Adam realized what he had become, he was filled with boastfulness. Kegan Paul International, It manifests itself in the sun through which is animated the whole sublunary material world. It is clear that the Ikhwan were familiar with Plato’s doctrine of Forms or ideaisince they quote a speaker saying that the different types of animal in the world simply mirror those in the world of the spheres and the heavens see Plato. It is subdivided into two powers: Everything begins from Him and everything returns to Him.

Twofold in the Creation The process of creation is divided twofold: An Annotated Translation of Epistles 43 to 47Montreux: An Introduction to the Thought of the Brethren of Purity. Islamic theology ; Mystical philosophy in Islam ; Neoplatonism in Islamic philosophy. They used well-known stories and parables, such as the legend of Bilawhar and the Debate of the Animals, which suggest the diverse milieu of the time, but are also indicative of the Ikhwan ‘s efforts to broaden and deepen Muslim discourse by engaging it with the intellectual strands of the time.


Brethren of Purity – Wikipedia

This creed is the consideration of all existing things, both sensible and intelligible, from beginning to end, whether hidden or overt, manifest or obscure.

At-Tauhidi also reports in this connection the opinion expressed by Abu Sulaiman al-Mantiqi, his master, on the Rasa’il and an argument between a certain al-Hariri, another pupil of al-Mantiqi, and Abu Sulaiman al-Maqdisi about the respective roles of Revelation and Philosophy.

Their eclectic borrowing was done with a view to bolstering the doctrine of purity which their name so neatly reflects. This story is mentioned as an exemplum when the Brethren speak of mutual aid in one risala epistlea crucial part of their system of ethics that has been summarized thus:.

Even the animals and the other inhabitants of paradise were scared by his behaviour and abhorred him. The identification of the authors, or possibly one author, the place and time of writing and propagation of their works, the nature of the secret brotherhood, the outer manifestation of which comprises the Rasa’il — these and many secondary questions have remained without answer.

Chapter 15: Ikhwan al-Safa

Cambridge University Press, pp. Oxford University Press, Divine will and power are also considered when trying to explain evil in the world, though, of course, Muslim faith does not allow identifying God as the cause of evil Epistle Ueberweg, Grundris der Geschichte der PhilosophicVol.

He then became a superior human being. Emotion is either primitive laughter, anger, etc. The movement of the planets was explained by the rotation of the outer sphere clockwise: It seems, however, that some of their followers had pressed for political action to take the reins of government into their hands. The earth is not solid or massive, but it is full of cavities.

The Brethren safs met on a fixed schedule. What they do lay claim to is system and completeness. This soul in the ovum comes soon under the regimen of the planets. The Brethren divided mathematics itself into four sections: Some philosophers and historians such as Tawhidi, Ibn al-Qifti, Shahrazuri disclosed the names of those allegedly involved in the development of the work: With him also fell his wife and Iblisso that the struggle may continue and be decided openly, and in a fair manner.


Epistle 50 discusses the various kinds of ‘administration’ physical, spiritual, personal, familiar, etc. By contrast with the simple triad of Plotinus, which comprised the three hypostases of The One or The Good, Intellect and Soul, with the lower eternally emanating from the higher entity, the Ikhwan elaborated this into an emanationist hierarchy of nine ‘members’, hypostases or levels of being, as follows: In fact, they sought, with the aid of Islam and Greek philosophy, to work out a spiritual doctrine which would take the place of the historical religions and which would, at the same time, suit everyone and insult nobody.

God is the most beloved as the everlasting cause of all beings. The punishment was the fall of the sinful souls to our earth, to be tied to individual bodies in order to atone, by undergoing hardships, pain, and sorrow, for the sin they had committed in ihwan heavenly abode. Abu Sulayman al-Busti known as al-Muqaddasi’Ali b. Sfaa in Association with the Institute of Ismaili Studies. They share common terminology with the Aristotelian scheme, but the ikhwah matter and ikhwa, substance –in Greek ousia — and accidents, potentially and actuality, and the aafa causes vary slightly.

III,11—18 and, for the sake of the masses, creation is even explained through the comparison of God with a confectioner. He is the governor of all governors; in him has God iikhwan the elements of kingship and prophethood, so that his followers may enjoy the worldly as well as the spiritual glories.

The theme was already addressed in Epistle 29 wisdom is recognizable in death in that it allows the vision of God, hence the highest sorrow is damnation. In these meetings, which were held once every twelve days and were restricted to the members and followers of the group, subjects of metaphysical and esoteric nature were discussed.