Illuminationism

Last updated

Illuminationist or ishraqi philosophy is a type of Islamic philosophy introduced by Shahab al-Din Suhrawardi in the twelfth century CE.

Contents

History

Influenced by Ibn Sina and Neoplatonism, the Persian [1] [2] [3] [4] or Kurdish, [5] [6] [7] [8] philosopher Shahab al-Din Suhrawardi (11551191), who left over 50 writings in Persian and Arabic, founded the school of Illumination. He developed a version of illuminationism (Persian حكمت اشراق hikmat-i ishrāq, Arabic: حكمة الإشراق ḥikmat al-ishrāq). The Persian and Islamic school draws on ancient Iranian philosophical disciplines, [9] [10] Avicennism (Ibn Sina’s early Islamic philosophy), Neoplatonic thought (modified by Ibn Sina), and the original ideas of Suhrawardi.

In his Philosophy of Illumination, Suhrawardi argued that light operates at all levels and hierarchies of reality (PI, 97.798.11). Light produces immaterial and substantial lights, including immaterial intellects (angels), human and animal souls, and even 'dusky substances', such as bodies. [11]

Suhrawardi's metaphysics is based on two principles. The first is a form of the principle of sufficient reason. The second principle is Aristotle's principle that an actual infinity is impossible. [12]

None of Suhrawardi's works were translated into Latin, and so he remained unknown in the Latin West, although his work continued to be studied in the Islamic East. [13] According to Hosein Nasr, Suhrawardi was unknown to the west until he was translated to western languages by contemporary thinkers such as Henry Corbin, and he remains largely unknown even in countries within the Islamic world. [14] Suhrawardi tried to present a new perspective on questions like those of existence. He not only caused peripatetic philosophers to confront such new questions but also gave new life to the body of philosophy after Avicenna. [15] According to John Walbridge, Suhrawardi's critiques of Peripatetic philosophy could be counted as an important turning point for his successors. Although Suhravardi was first a pioneer of Peripatetic philosophy, he later became a Platonist following a mystical experience. He is also counted as one who revived the ancient wisdom in Persia by his philosophy of illumination. His followers, such as Shahrzouri and Qutb al-Din al-Shirazi tried to continue the way of their teacher. Suhrewardi makes a distinction between two approaches in the philosophy of illumination: one approach is discursive and another is intuitive. [16]

See also

Notes

  1. John Walbridge, “The leaven of the ancients: Suhrawardī and the heritage of the Greeks”, State University of New York Press, 1999. Excerpt: “Suhrawardi, a 12th-century Persian philosopher, was a key figure in the transition of Islamic thought from the neo-Aristotelianism of Avicenna to the mystically oriented philosophy of later centuries.”
  2. Seyyed Hossein Nasr, “The need for a sacred science”, SUNY Press, 1993. Pg 158: “Persian philosopher Suhrawardi refers in fact to this land as na-kuja abad, which in Persian means literally utopia.”
  3. Matthew Kapstein, University of Chicago Press, 2004, "The presence of light: divine radiance and religious experience", University of Chicago Press, 2004. pg 285:"..the light of lights in the system of the Persian philosopher Suhrawardi"
  4. Hossein Ziai. Illuminationsim or Illuminationist philosophy, first introduced in the 12th century as a complete, reconstructed system distinct both from the Peripatetic philosophy of Avicenna and from theological philosophy. in: Encyclopaedia Iranica. Volumes XII & XIII. 2004.
  5. R. Izady, Mehrdad (1991). The Kurds: a concise handbook . Taylor & Francis. p.  160. Suhrawardi.
  6. Kamāl, Muḥammad (2006). Mulla Sadra's transcendent philosophy.
  7. C. E. Butterworth, M. Mahdi, The Political Aspects of Islamic Philosophy, Harvard CMES Publishers, 406 pp., 1992, ISBN   0-932885-07-1 (see p.336)
  8. M. Kamal, Mulla Sadra's Transcendent Philosophy, p.12, Ashgate Publishing Inc., 136 pp., 2006, ISBN   0-7546-5271-8 (see p.12)
  9. Henry Corbin. The Voyage and the Messenger. Iran and Philosophy. Containing previous unpublished articles and lectures from 1948 to 1976. North Atlantic Books. Berkeley, California. 1998. ISBN   1-55643-269-0.
  10. Henry Corbin. The Man of Light in Iranian Sufism. Omega Publications, New York. 1994. ISBN   0-930872-48-7.
  11. Philosophy of Illumination 77.178.9
  12. Philosophy of Illumination 87.189.8
  13. Marcotte, Roxanne, "Suhrawardi", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2012 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = <http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/sum2012/entries/suhrawardi/>.
  14. Hosein Nasr, 1997 & three muslin sages , p. 55
  15. Nasr, 2006 & Islamic philosophy from its origin to the present , p. 86
  16. John Walbridge (2004). "Suhrawardī and Illuminationism". In Adamson, Peter; Taylor, Richard C. (eds.). The Cambridge Companion to Arabic Philosophy. Cambridge University Press. pp. 201–223. ISBN   9780511999864.

Further reading

Related Research Articles

Islamic philosophy Philosophy that is characterised by coming from an Islamic tradition

Islamic philosophy is a development in philosophy that is characterised by coming from an Islamic tradition. Two terms traditionally used in the Islamic world are sometimes translated as philosophy—falsafa, which refers to philosophy as well as logic, mathematics, and physics; and Kalam, which refers to a rationalist form of Islamic theology.

"Shahāb ad-Dīn" Yahya ibn Habash Suhrawardī (1154-1191) was a Persian philosopher and founder of the Iranian school of Illuminationism, an important school in Islamic philosophy that drew upon Zoroastrian and Platonic ideas. The "light" in his "Philosophy of Illumination" is a divine and metaphysical source of knowledge. He is referred to by the honorific title Shaikh al-ʿIshraq "Master of Illumination" and Shaikh al-Maqtul "the Murdered Master", in reference to his execution for heresy. Mulla Sadra, the Persian sage of the Safavid era described Suhrawardi as the "Reviver of the Traces of the Pahlavi (Iranian) Sages", and Suhrawardi, in his magnum opus "The Philosophy of Illumination", thought of himself as a reviver or resuscitator of the ancient tradition of Persian wisdom.

Ṣadr ad-Dīn Muḥammad Shīrāzī, also called Mulla Sadrā, was an Iranian Twelver Shi'a and Sufi Islamic philosopher, theologian and ‘Ālim who led the Iranian cultural renaissance in the 17th century. According to Oliver Leaman, Mulla Sadra is arguably the single most important and influential philosopher in the Muslim world in the last four hundred years.

Shams al-Din Muhammad ibn Mahmud Shahrazuri was a 13th-century Muslim physician, historian and philosopher. He was of Kurdish origin. It appears that he was alive in AD 1288. However, it is also said that he died in the same year.

Mir Damad, known also as Mir Mohammad Baqer Esterabadi, or Asterabadi, was an Iranian philosopher in the Neoplatonizing Islamic Peripatetic traditions of Avicenna. He also was a Suhrawardi, a scholar of the traditional Islamic sciences, and foremost figure of the cultural renaissance of Iran undertaken under the Safavid dynasty. He was also the central founder of the School of Isfahan, noted by his students and admirers as the Third Teacher after Aristotle and al-Farabi.

Transcendent theosophy or al-hikmat al-muta’āliyah, the doctrine and philosophy developed by Persian philosopher Mulla Sadra, is one of two main disciplines of Islamic philosophy that is currently live and active.

Henry Corbin was a philosopher, theologian, Iranologist and professor of Islamic Studies at the École pratique des hautes études in Paris, France.

The Isfahan School is a school of Islamic philosophy. It was founded by Mir Damad and reached its fullest development in the work of Mulla Sadra. The name was coined by Seyyed Hossein Nasr and Henry Corbin.

Iranian philosophy or Persian philosophy can be traced back as far as to Old Iranian philosophical traditions and thoughts which originated in ancient Indo-Iranian roots and were considerably influenced by Zarathustra's teachings. According to the Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy, the chronology of the subject and science of philosophy starts with the Indo-Iranians, dating this event to 1500 BC. The Oxford dictionary also states, "Zarathustra's philosophy entered to influence Western tradition through Judaism, and therefore on Middle Platonism."

Hadi Sabzavari Islamic philosopher

Hadi Sabzavari or Hajj Molla Hadi Sabzavari (1797–1873) was a famous Iranian philosopher, mystic theologian and poet.

History of Islamic Philosophy is a collection of essays by various authorities on Islam in the Routledge series History of World Philosophies and is edited by Seyyed Hossein Nasr of George Washington University and Oliver Leaman of Liverpool John Moores University. The book has been well reviewed.

Avicennism is a school in Islamic philosophy which was established by Avicenna. He developed his philosophy throughout the course of his life after being deeply moved and concerned by the Metaphysics of Aristotle and studying it for over a year. According to Henry Corbin and Seyyed Hossein Nasr, there are two kind of Avicennism: Islamic or Iranian Avicennism, and Latin Avicennism. According to Nasr, the Latin Avicennism was based on the former philosophical works of Avicenna. This school followed the Peripatetic school of philosophy and tried to describe the structure of reality with a rational system of thinking. In the twelfth century AD, It became influential in Europe, particularly in Oxford and Paris, and affected some notable philosophers such as Thomas Aquinas, Roger Bacon and Duns Scotus. While the Latin Avicennism was weak in comparison with Latin Averroism, according to Étienne Gilson there was an "Avicennising Augustinism". On the other hand, Islamic Avicennism is based on his later works which is known as "The oriental philosophy". Therefore, philosophy in the eastern Islamic civilization providing became close to gnosis and tried to provide a vision of a spiritual universe. This approach paved the road for the Iranian school of Illuminationism by Suhrawardi.

Hossein Ziai was a professor of Islamic Philosophy and Iranian Studies at UCLA where he held the inaugural Jahangir and Eleanor Amuzegar Chair in Iranian Studies until his passing. He received his B.S. in Intensive Physics and Mathematics from Yale University in 1967 and a Ph.D. in Islamic Philosophy from Harvard University in 1976. Prior to UCLA, Ziai taught at Tehran University, Sharif University, Harvard University, Brown University, and Oberlin College. As Director of Iranian Studies at UCLA, where he taught since 1988, Ziai established an undergraduate major in Iranian in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures—the first such degree in North America—and developed the strongest and most rigorous Iranian Studies program in the U.S.

Sohrevardi (Neighbourhood) Neighbourhood in Tehran in Iran

Sohrevardi is a neighbourhood of Tehran, Iran. It is named after Shahab al-Din Suhrawardi, an Iranian philosopher, and it starts from Seyed khandan bridge to Bahar shiraz Street.

Sharh al-Isharat is a philosophical commentary on Avicenna's book Al-isharat wa al-tanbihat. This commentary has been written by Nasir al-Din al-Tusi in defense of the philosophy of Fakhr Razi.

Seddiqin Argument or the argument of the righteous is an argument for the existence of God in Islamic philosophy. This argument was explained by Islamic philosophers such as Avicenna, Mulla Sadra and Muhammad Husayn Tabataba'i.

The Transcendent Philosophy of the Four Journeys of the Intellect, known as Four Journeys, is an extended compendium of Islamic philosophy written by the 17th century Islamic scholar, Mulla Sadra. The book explains his philosophy of transcendent theosophy. It was first published in print in 1865 in Tehran in four volumes, where it was accompanied by a commentary on three of the volumes by Hadi Sabzavari (1797–1893). To date, no notable, critical English translation of the book has been made.

Tafasir Al Quran are collections of books as commentaries on the Quran, written by Mulla Sadra.