Avicenna essential to Illuminationist Philosophy

Avicenna essential to Illuminationist Philosophy
Ayatollah Seyyed Mohammad Khamenei says Avicenna wrote 20 volumes about Illuminationist Philosophy under the title of 'Al-Ensaf v Al-Entesaf' that were later destroyed – whether by chance or by intention. This book proves Avicenna's illuminationist interests.



The two-day Avicenna and Islamic Philosophers Conference began on Tuesday morning (October 18) with the prologue of Ayatollah Seyyed Mohammad Khamenei, director of Sadra Islamic Philosophy Foundation.


Referring to the Ismaili Shia, he stressed on the large number of their followers unto the land of Khorasan whose most outstanding figure was Naser Khosrow and Hassan Sabbah.


According to him, all the inheritors of Ismaili School have also inherited the Aristotelian philosophy (Mashaa'). The Ismailis made use of the Aristotelian philosophy to debate with non-Shia scholars and hence to promote the concept of guardianship, the same method applied by Avicenna before them.


Khamenei continued: "The Ismailis challenged the common belief in the Caliphs and sought to prove the guardianship of Imams through Aristotelian philosophy. In order to cope with their rebellious propagations, the government of the time sent Imam Qazzali to that area in order to debilitate the Aristotelian schools there in favor of the reinforcement of Seljuqi reign."


He then cast doubt on the issue of unification of Aristotelian and Illuminationism in the period and intentional endeavors to hide this and added: "Both schools of philosophy were preserved by Shia scholars, and people like Allameh Helli kept both schools together. Illumination was not merely an academic subject of the time; it was rather an essential part of Shia education. And that is why we find Avicenna also involved with illuminationism."


As another proof to this, Khamenei referred to the 20-volume 'Al-Ensaf v Al-Entesaf' penned by Avicenna on illuminationism that was later destroyed by chance or by intention.


Avicenna was also interested in the life and adventures of the mystics and this shows that he is interested in the mysticism, he continued. So we should not regard him separable from Illusminationism.


Therefore, he concluded, one should not compare Avicenna with radical Aristotelian scholars like Ibn Roshd, and illuminationst references in his works is what needs further expertise.





Source: IBNA News Agency



Oct 20, 2011 14:14
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