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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Epistle 51 duly gathers up the threads of the whole, followed by Epistle 52 on magic.

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. The mass of information – philosophical, theological and other – adumbrated in such an encyclopedic manner in the epistles of the Ikhwan al Safa’ is probably incomprehensible as a totality unless one bears in mind the driving force which lies at the heart of the epistles themselves.

English translations of the Encyclopedia of the Brethren of Purity were available fromhence this work may have had an influence on Charles Darwin and his inception of Darwinism.

They support one another III,19— Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list. They share common terminology with the Aristotelian scheme, but the concepts matter and form, substance –in Greek ousia — and accidents, potentially and actuality, and the four causes vary slightly. The corpus addresses other main religious issues in Muslim faith: Dthe Alexandrian astronomer, upheld the theory of epicycles. Intellectual Approach Beyond what initially appears to be an encyclopedic work, there is a far-ranging and comprehensive program of intellectual and educational reform.


Philosophers by century CE. It is the cause of motion, life, and change. Ukhwan the heavenly bodies are made up of a fifth element etherand are not subject to generation and corruption. 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.


All the numbers originate from the one: Hamdani disputes the general abovegoing identifications, pointing out that accounts differ in multiple sa, such as whether Zayd was an author or not, whether there was a principal author, and ikhwaj was in ss group or not.

There are three kinds of sciences in hierarchical progression: What they do lay claim to is system and completeness. It should provide at every level, from the most elementary to the most complex, the necessary premises for the acquisition of ultimate knowledge — the knowledge of God.

It is an anecdote of a “prince who strays from his palace during his wedding feast and, drunk, spends the night in a cemetery, confusing a corpse with his bride. The most convincing hypothesis seems to be that which links the name to the content and goals of the encyclopedia — the salvation of soul through attainment of knowledge and purification of heart Diwald16— As to the date, in the 19 th century F.

It is very well known, and a great deal of research into it has been done by Eastern and Western scholars, but the variety of topics addressed and the questions raised ikhwab to the identity and ideology of its authors remain unsolved. Retrieved from ” https: On this basis they computed the revolutions of the planets around the earth: It has been claimed to have been the work of Majriti d. These treatises demonstrate beyond doubt that these authors considered themselves true Muslim Pythagoreans.

Then, authentically Muslim thought — religious in the strict sense — begins with the substitution of the schemes of Greek philosophy for those of the Sacred Text. Since style of the text sata plain, and there are numerous ambiguities, due to language and vocabulary, often of Persian origin, it has been suggested that the authors of the ad were of Persian descent.

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A good deal of Muslim and Western scholarship has been spent ikhwah just pinning down the identities of the Brethren and the century in which they were active. Views Read Edit View history.

Death is welcome to the purified soul, since death means to it nothing more than that it has stopped using the body. At times he overshot himself and disclosed a part of the secret with him to some of those who were around him but were unworthy of this secret before the time assigned for such disclosure.

Ikhwan al-Safa’ | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

The various levels of reality down to the three kingdoms of the generated beings animal, vegetable and mineral originate continuously through intermediaries from the One. During a very long time, these souls filled the world of spheres and constituted the angels, who animated heavenly bodies.

The Greeks already saw arithmetic and geometry as the necessary, though not unique, means of attaining philosophical knowledge. Columbia University Press, Evolution rests on the view that every kingdom constitute the primary matter and nourishing material for the next higher kingdom. Therefore, he was caused to fall to earth to lead on it the life of flesh, deprived of all the supernatural faculties accorded to him in the heavenly abode.

The movement of the planets was explained by the rotation of the outer sphere clockwise: Pythagoras was said to have heard the sound of the moving spheres and planets.