Early Islamic philosophy

Early Islamic philosophy

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Early Islamic philosophy
Islamic philosophy
Islamic philosophy is a branch of Islamic studies. It is the continuous search for Hekma in the light of Islamic view of life, universe, ethics, society, and so on...

 or classical Islamic philosophy is a period of intense philosophical development beginning in the 2nd century AH of the Islamic calendar
Islamic calendar
The Hijri calendar , also known as the Muslim calendar or Islamic calendar , is a lunar calendar consisting of 12 lunar months in a year of 354 or 355 days. It is used to date events in many Muslim countries , and used by Muslims everywhere to determine the proper day on which to celebrate Islamic...

 (early 9th century CE
Common Era
Common Era ,abbreviated as CE, is an alternative designation for the calendar era originally introduced by Dionysius Exiguus in the 6th century, traditionally identified with Anno Domini .Dates before the year 1 CE are indicated by the usage of BCE, short for Before the Common Era Common Era...

) and lasting until the 6th century AH (late 12th century CE). The period is known as the Islamic Golden Age
Islamic Golden Age
During the Islamic Golden Age philosophers, scientists and engineers of the Islamic world contributed enormously to technology and culture, both by preserving earlier traditions and by adding their own inventions and innovations...

, and the achievements of this period had a crucial influence in the development of modern philosophy
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

 and science
Science
Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe...

. This period starts with al-Kindi
Al-Kindi
' , known as "the Philosopher of the Arabs", was a Muslim Arab philosopher, mathematician, physician, and musician. Al-Kindi was the first of the Muslim peripatetic philosophers, and is unanimously hailed as the "father of Islamic or Arabic philosophy" for his synthesis, adaptation and promotion...

 in the 9th century and ends with Averroes
Averroes
' , better known just as Ibn Rushd , and in European literature as Averroes , was a Muslim polymath; a master of Aristotelian philosophy, Islamic philosophy, Islamic theology, Maliki law and jurisprudence, logic, psychology, politics, Arabic music theory, and the sciences of medicine, astronomy,...

 (Ibn Rushd) at the end of 12th century. The death of Averroes effectively marks the end of a particular discipline of Islamic philosophy usually called the Peripatetic Arabic School, and philosophical activity declined significantly in Western Islamic countries
Muslim world
The term Muslim world has several meanings. In a religious sense, it refers to those who adhere to the teachings of Islam, referred to as Muslims. In a cultural sense, it refers to Islamic civilization, inclusive of non-Muslims living in that civilization...

, namely in Islamic Spain
Al-Andalus
Al-Andalus was the Arabic name given to a nation and territorial region also commonly referred to as Moorish Iberia. The name describes parts of the Iberian Peninsula and Septimania governed by Muslims , at various times in the period between 711 and 1492, although the territorial boundaries...

 and North Africa, though it persisted for much longer in the Eastern countries, in particular Persia
History of Iran
The history of Iran has been intertwined with the history of a larger historical region, comprising the area from the Danube River in the west to the Indus River and Jaxartes in the east and from the Caucasus, Caspian Sea, and Aral Sea in the north to the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman and Egypt...

 and India
Islam in India
Islam is the second-most practiced religion in the Republic of India after Hinduism, with more than 13.4% of the country's population ....

 where several schools of philosophy continued to flourish: Avicennism, Illuminationist philosophy, Mystical philosophy
Sufi philosophy
Sufi philosophy includes the schools of thought unique to Sufism, a mystical branch within Islam. Sufism and its philosophical traditions may be associated with Sunni Islam or Shia Islam. It has been suggested that Sufi thought emerged from the Middle East in the eighth century, but adherents are...

, and Transcendent theosophy
Transcendent Theosophy
Transcendent theosophy or al-hikmat al-muta’li , 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....

.

Some of the significant achievements of early Muslim philosophers included the development of a strict science of citation
Scientific citation
Scientific citation is providing detailed reference in a scientific publication, typically a paper or book, to previous published communications which have a bearing on the subject of the new publication...

, the isnad or "backing"; the development of a method of open inquiry
Scientific method
Scientific method refers to a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on gathering empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of...

 to disprove claims, the ijtihad
Ijtihad
Ijtihad is the making of a decision in Islamic law by personal effort , independently of any school of jurisprudence . as opposed to taqlid, copying or obeying without question....

, which could be generally applied to many types of questions (although which to apply it to is an ethical question); the willingness to both accept and challenge authority within the same process; recognition that science and philosophy are both subordinate to morality, and that moral choices are prior to any investigation or concern with either; the separation of theology
Theology
Theology is the systematic and rational study of religion and its influences and of the nature of religious truths, or the learned profession acquired by completing specialized training in religious studies, usually at a university or school of divinity or seminary.-Definition:Augustine of Hippo...

 (kalam
Kalam
ʿIlm al-Kalām is the Islamic philosophical discipline of seeking theological principles through dialectic. Kalām in Islamic practice relates to the discipline of seeking theological knowledge through debate and argument. A scholar of kalām is referred to as a mutakallim...

) and law
Law
Law is a system of rules and guidelines which are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior, wherever possible. It shapes politics, economics and society in numerous ways and serves as a social mediator of relations between people. Contract law regulates everything from buying a bus...

 (shariah) during the early Abbasid
Abbasid
The Abbasid Caliphate or, more simply, the Abbasids , was the third of the Islamic caliphates. It was ruled by the Abbasid dynasty of caliphs, who built their capital in Baghdad after overthrowing the Umayyad caliphate from all but the al-Andalus region....

 period, a precursor to secularism
Secularism
Secularism is the principle of separation between government institutions and the persons mandated to represent the State from religious institutions and religious dignitaries...

; the distinction between religion and philosophy, marking the beginning of secular thought
Secularism
Secularism is the principle of separation between government institutions and the persons mandated to represent the State from religious institutions and religious dignitaries...

; the beginning of a peer review
Peer review
Peer review is a process of self-regulation by a profession or a process of evaluation involving qualified individuals within the relevant field. Peer review methods are employed to maintain standards, improve performance and provide credibility...

 process; early ideas on evolution
Evolution
Evolution is any change across successive generations in the heritable characteristics of biological populations. Evolutionary processes give rise to diversity at every level of biological organisation, including species, individual organisms and molecules such as DNA and proteins.Life on Earth...

; the beginnings of the scientific method
Scientific method
Scientific method refers to a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on gathering empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of...

, an important contribution to the philosophy of science
Philosophy of science
The philosophy of science is concerned with the assumptions, foundations, methods and implications of science. It is also concerned with the use and merit of science and sometimes overlaps metaphysics and epistemology by exploring whether scientific results are actually a study of truth...

; the introduction of temporal
Temporal logic
In logic, the term temporal logic is used to describe any system of rules and symbolism for representing, and reasoning about, propositions qualified in terms of time. In a temporal logic we can then express statements like "I am always hungry", "I will eventually be hungry", or "I will be hungry...

 modal logic
Modal logic
Modal logic is a type of formal logic that extends classical propositional and predicate logic to include operators expressing modality. Modals — words that express modalities — qualify a statement. For example, the statement "John is happy" might be qualified by saying that John is...

 and inductive logic; the beginning of social philosophy
Social philosophy
Social philosophy is the philosophical study of questions about social behavior . Social philosophy addresses a wide range of subjects, from individual meanings to legitimacy of laws, from the social contract to criteria for revolution, from the functions of everyday actions to the effects of...

, including the formulation of theories on social cohesion
Structural cohesion
Structural cohesion is the sociological conception of cohesion in social groups. It is defined as the minimal number of actors in a social network that need to be removed to disconnect at least two actors in the remaining group. It is thus identical to the question of the node connectivity of a...

 and social conflict
Social conflict
Social conflict is the struggle for agency or power in society.Social conflict or group conflict occurs when two or more actors oppose each other in social interaction,reciprocally exerting social power in an effort to attain scarce or incompatible goals and prevent the opponent from attaining them...

; the beginning of the philosophy of history
Philosophy of history
The term philosophy of history refers to the theoretical aspect of history, in two senses. It is customary to distinguish critical philosophy of history from speculative philosophy of history...

; the development of the philosophical novel
Philosophical novel
Philosophical fiction refers to works of fiction in which a significant proportion of the work is devoted to a discussion of the sort of questions normally addressed in discursive philosophy. These might include the function and role of society, the purpose of life, ethics or morals, the role of...

 and the concepts of empiricism
Empiricism
Empiricism is a theory of knowledge that asserts that knowledge comes only or primarily via sensory experience. One of several views of epistemology, the study of human knowledge, along with rationalism, idealism and historicism, empiricism emphasizes the role of experience and evidence,...

 and tabula rasa
Tabula rasa
Tabula rasa is the epistemological theory that individuals are born without built-in mental content and that their knowledge comes from experience and perception. Generally proponents of the tabula rasa thesis favour the "nurture" side of the nature versus nurture debate, when it comes to aspects...

; and distinguishing between essence
Essence
In philosophy, essence is the attribute or set of attributes that make an object or substance what it fundamentally is, and which it has by necessity, and without which it loses its identity. Essence is contrasted with accident: a property that the object or substance has contingently, without...

 and existence
Existence
In common usage, existence is the world we are aware of through our senses, and that persists independently without them. In academic philosophy the word has a more specialized meaning, being contrasted with essence, which specifies different forms of existence as well as different identity...

.

Saadia Gaon
Saadia Gaon
Saʻadiah ben Yosef Gaon was a prominent rabbi, Jewish philosopher, and exegete of the Geonic period.The first important rabbinic figure to write extensively in Arabic, he is considered the founder of Judeo-Arabic literature...

, David ben Merwan al-Mukkamas
David ben Merwan al-Mukkamas
David ibn Merwan al-Mukkamas al-Rakki was a philosopher and controversialist, the author of the earliest known Jewish philosophical work of the Middle Ages. He was a native of Rakka, Mesopotamia, whence his surname...

, Maimonides
Maimonides
Moses ben-Maimon, called Maimonides and also known as Mūsā ibn Maymūn in Arabic, or Rambam , was a preeminent medieval Jewish philosopher and one of the greatest Torah scholars and physicians of the Middle Ages...

, and Thomas Aquinas
Thomas Aquinas
Thomas Aquinas, O.P. , also Thomas of Aquin or Aquino, was an Italian Dominican priest of the Catholic Church, and an immensely influential philosopher and theologian in the tradition of scholasticism, known as Doctor Angelicus, Doctor Communis, or Doctor Universalis...

, to name a few, knew of at least some of the Mutazilite work, particularly Avicennism and Averroism
Averroism
Averroism is the term applied to either of two philosophical trends among scholastics in the late 13th century: the Arab philosopher Averroës or Ibn Rushd's interpretations of Aristotle and his reconciliation of Aristotelianism with Islamic faith; and the application of these ideas in the Latin...

, and the Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

 and the use of empirical method
Empirical method
The empirical method is generally taken to mean the approach of using a collection of data to base a theory or derive a conclusion in science...

s were inspired at least in part by Arabic translations of Greek, Jewish, Persian and Egyptian works translated into Latin during the Renaissance of the 12th century
Renaissance of the 12th century
The Renaissance of the 12th century was a period of many changes at the outset of the High Middle Ages. It included social, political and economic transformations, and an intellectual revitalization of Western Europe with strong philosophical and scientific roots...

, and taken during the Reconquista
Reconquista
The Reconquista was a period of almost 800 years in the Middle Ages during which several Christian kingdoms succeeded in retaking the Muslim-controlled areas of the Iberian Peninsula broadly known as Al-Andalus...

 in 1492.

Early Islamic philosophy can be divided into clear sets of influences, branches, schools, and fields, as described below.

Muhammad


The life of Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

 or sira which generated both the Qur'an
Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

 (revelation) and hadith
Hadith
The term Hadīth is used to denote a saying or an act or tacit approval or criticism ascribed either validly or invalidly to the Islamic prophet Muhammad....

 (his daily utterances and discourses on social and legal matters), during which philosophy was defined by Muslims as consisting in acceptance or rejection of his message. Together the sira and hadith constitute the sunnah
Sunnah
The word literally means a clear, well trodden, busy and plain surfaced road. In the discussion of the sources of religion, Sunnah denotes the practice of Prophet Muhammad that he taught and practically instituted as a teacher of the sharī‘ah and the best exemplar...

 and are validated by isnad ("backing") to determine the likely truth of the report of any given saying of Muhammad. Key figures are Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq
Ja'far al-Sadiq
Jaʿfar ibn Muhammad al-Sādiq was a descendant of Muhammad and a prominent Muslim jurist. He is revered as an Imam by the adherents of Shi'a Islam and as a renowned Islamic scholar and personality by Sunni Muslims. The Shi'a Muslims consider him to be the sixth Imam or leader and spiritual...

, Imam Bukhari, Imam Muslim, Al-Tirmidhi
Al-Tirmidhi
Tirmidhī , also transliterated as Tirmizi, full name Abū ‛Īsá Muḥammad ibn ‛Īsá ibn Sawrah ibn Mūsá ibn al Ḍaḥḥāk al-Sulamī al-Sulamī al-Tirmidhī Tirmidhī , also transliterated as Tirmizi, full name Abū ‛Īsá Muḥammad ibn ‛Īsá ibn Sawrah ibn Mūsá ibn al Ḍaḥḥāk al-Sulamī al-Sulamī al-Tirmidhī...

, Ibn Majah, Abu Dawud and Al-Nasa'i
Al-Nasa'i
Al-Nasā'ī , full name Aḥmad ibn Shu`ayb ibn Alī ibn Sīnān Abū `Abd ar-Raḥmān al-Nasā'ī, was a noted collector of hadith , and wrote one of the six canonical hadith collections recognized by Sunni Muslims, Sunan al-Sughra, or "Al-Mujtaba", which he selected from his "As-Sunan al-Kubra"...

. Each sifted through literally millions of hadith to accept a list of under 10,000. This work, which was not completed until the 10th century, began shortly after The Farewell Sermon
The Farewell Sermon
The Farewell Sermon , also known as Muhammad's Final Sermon or The Last Sermon, was delivered by Muhammad on the 9th Dhu al-Hijjah, 10 AH in the Uranah valley of Mount Arafat The Farewell Sermon , also known as Muhammad's Final Sermon or The Last Sermon, was delivered by Muhammad on the 9th...

 in 631, after which Muhammad could not mediate disputes. After his death Abu Bakr
Abu Bakr
Abu Bakr was a senior companion and the father-in-law of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. He ruled over the Rashidun Caliphate from 632-634 CE when he became the first Muslim Caliph following Muhammad's death...

 began to collect all fragments of his sayings.

Kalam


With Kalam
Kalam
ʿIlm al-Kalām is the Islamic philosophical discipline of seeking theological principles through dialectic. Kalām in Islamic practice relates to the discipline of seeking theological knowledge through debate and argument. A scholar of kalām is referred to as a mutakallim...

, questions about the sira and hadith
Hadith
The term Hadīth is used to denote a saying or an act or tacit approval or criticism ascribed either validly or invalidly to the Islamic prophet Muhammad....

, as well as science (Islamic science
Islamic science
Science in the medieval Islamic world, also known as Islamic science or Arabic science, is the science developed and practised in the Islamic world during the Islamic Golden Age . During this time, Indian, Iranian and especially Greek knowledge was translated into Arabic...

) and law (fiqh
Fiqh
Fiqh is Islamic jurisprudence. Fiqh is an expansion of the code of conduct expounded in the Quran, often supplemented by tradition and implemented by the rulings and interpretations of Islamic jurists....

 and sharia
Sharia
Sharia law, is the moral code and religious law of Islam. Sharia is derived from two primary sources of Islamic law: the precepts set forth in the Quran, and the example set by the Islamic prophet Muhammad in the Sunnah. Fiqh jurisprudence interprets and extends the application of sharia to...

), began to be investigated beyond the scope of Muhammad's beliefs. This period is characterized by emergence of ijtihad
Ijtihad
Ijtihad is the making of a decision in Islamic law by personal effort , independently of any school of jurisprudence . as opposed to taqlid, copying or obeying without question....

 and the first fiqh
Fiqh
Fiqh is Islamic jurisprudence. Fiqh is an expansion of the code of conduct expounded in the Quran, often supplemented by tradition and implemented by the rulings and interpretations of Islamic jurists....

. As the Sunnah became published and accepted, philosophy separate from Muslim theology was discouraged due to a lack of participants. During this period, traditions similar to Socratic method
Socratic method
The Socratic method , named after the classical Greek philosopher Socrates, is a form of inquiry and debate between individuals with opposing viewpoints based on asking and answering questions to stimulate critical thinking and to illuminate ideas...

 began to evolve, but philosophy remained subordinate to religion. "Kalam" generally referred to the Islamic tradition of seeking theological principles through dialectic
Dialectic
Dialectic is a method of argument for resolving disagreement that has been central to Indic and European philosophy since antiquity. The word dialectic originated in Ancient Greece, and was made popular by Plato in the Socratic dialogues...

.

Independent minds exploiting the methods of ijtihad
Ijtihad
Ijtihad is the making of a decision in Islamic law by personal effort , independently of any school of jurisprudence . as opposed to taqlid, copying or obeying without question....

 sought to investigate the doctrines of the Qur'an
Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

, which until then had been accepted in faith on the authority of divine revelation. One of first debates was that between partisan of the Qadar , who affirmed free will
Free will
"To make my own decisions whether I am successful or not due to uncontrollable forces" -Troy MorrisonA pragmatic definition of free willFree will is the ability of agents to make choices free from certain kinds of constraints. The existence of free will and its exact nature and definition have long...

, and the Jabarites (jabar, force, constraint), who maintained the belief in fatalism
Fatalism
Fatalism is a philosophical doctrine emphasizing the subjugation of all events or actions to fate.Fatalism generally refers to several of the following ideas:...

.

At the second century of the Hijra
Hijri year
The Hijri year is year numbering system used in the Islamic calendar. It commemorates the Hijra , or emigration of Muhammad and his followers to the city of Medina in 622 CE. In Arabic, AH is symbolized by the letter هـ...

, a new movement arose in the theological school of Basra
Basra
Basra is the capital of Basra Governorate, in southern Iraq near Kuwait and Iran. It had an estimated population of two million as of 2009...

, Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

. A pupil, Wasil ibn Ata
Wasil ibn Ata
Wasil ibn Ata was an important Muslim theologian and jurist of his time, and by many accounts is considered to be the founder of the Mutazilite school of Islamic thought....

, who was expelled from the school because his answers were contrary to then orthodox Islamic tradition and became leader of a new school, and systematized the radical opinions of preceding sects, particularly those of the Qadarites. This new school was called Mutazilite (from i'tazala, to separate oneself, to dissent). Its principal dogmas were three:
  1. God is an absolute unity, and no attribute can be ascribed to Him.
  2. Man is a free agent. It is on account of these two principles that the Mu'tazilities designate themselves the "Partisans of Justice and Unity".
  3. All knowledge necessary for the salvation
    Salvation
    Within religion salvation is the phenomenon of being saved from the undesirable condition of bondage or suffering experienced by the psyche or soul that has arisen as a result of unskillful or immoral actions generically referred to as sins. Salvation may also be called "deliverance" or...

     of man emanates from his reason; humans could acquire knowledge before, as well as after, Revelation, by the sole light of reason. This fact makes knowledge obligatory upon all men, at all times, and in all places.


The Mutazilities, compelled to defend their principles against the orthodox Islam of their day, looked for support in philosophy, and are one of the first to pursue a rational theology called Ilm-al-Kalam
Kalam
ʿIlm al-Kalām is the Islamic philosophical discipline of seeking theological principles through dialectic. Kalām in Islamic practice relates to the discipline of seeking theological knowledge through debate and argument. A scholar of kalām is referred to as a mutakallim...

 (Scholastic theology
Scholasticism
Scholasticism is a method of critical thought which dominated teaching by the academics of medieval universities in Europe from about 1100–1500, and a program of employing that method in articulating and defending orthodoxy in an increasingly pluralistic context...

); those professing it were called Mutakallamin. This appellation became the common name for all seeking philosophical demonstration in confirmation of religious principles. The first Mutakallamin had to debate both the orthodox and the non-Muslims, and they may be described as occupying the middle ground between those two parties. But subsequent generations were to large extent critical towards the Mutazilite school, especially after formation of the Asharite concepts.

Falsafa


From the 9th century onwards, owing to Caliph
Caliph
The Caliph is the head of state in a Caliphate, and the title for the ruler of the Islamic Ummah, an Islamic community ruled by the Shari'ah. It is a transcribed version of the Arabic word   which means "successor" or "representative"...

 al-Ma'mun
Al-Ma'mun
Abū Jaʿfar Abdullāh al-Māʾmūn ibn Harūn was an Abbasid caliph who reigned from 813 until his death in 833...

 and his successor, Greek philosophy
Greek philosophy
Ancient Greek philosophy arose in the 6th century BCE and continued through the Hellenistic period, at which point Ancient Greece was incorporated in the Roman Empire...

 and Hellenistic philosophy
Hellenistic philosophy
Hellenistic philosophy is the period of Western philosophy that was developed in the Hellenistic civilization following Aristotle and ending with the beginning of Neoplatonism.-Pythagoreanism:...

 were introduced among the Persians
Persian people
The Persian people are part of the Iranian peoples who speak the modern Persian language and closely akin Iranian dialects and languages. The origin of the ethnic Iranian/Persian peoples are traced to the Ancient Iranian peoples, who were part of the ancient Indo-Iranians and themselves part of...

 and Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

s, and the Peripatetic and Neoplatonic schools began to find able representatives among them; such were al-Kindi
Al-Kindi
' , known as "the Philosopher of the Arabs", was a Muslim Arab philosopher, mathematician, physician, and musician. Al-Kindi was the first of the Muslim peripatetic philosophers, and is unanimously hailed as the "father of Islamic or Arabic philosophy" for his synthesis, adaptation and promotion...

, al-Farabi
Al-Farabi
' known in the West as Alpharabius , was a scientist and philosopher of the Islamic world...

, Avicenna
Avicenna
Abū ʿAlī al-Ḥusayn ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn Sīnā , commonly known as Ibn Sīnā or by his Latinized name Avicenna, was a Persian polymath, who wrote almost 450 treatises on a wide range of subjects, of which around 240 have survived...

 (Ibn Sina), and Averroes
Averroes
' , better known just as Ibn Rushd , and in European literature as Averroes , was a Muslim polymath; a master of Aristotelian philosophy, Islamic philosophy, Islamic theology, Maliki law and jurisprudence, logic, psychology, politics, Arabic music theory, and the sciences of medicine, astronomy,...

 (Ibn Rushd), all of whose fundamental principles were considered as criticized by the Mutakallamin.

During the Abbasid caliphate a number of thinkers and scientists, some of them heterodox Muslims or non-Muslims, played a role in transmitting Greek, Hellenistic, Indian
Indian philosophy
India has a rich and diverse philosophical tradition dating back to ancient times. According to Radhakrishnan, the earlier Upanisads constitute "...the earliest philosophical compositions of the world."...

 and other pre-Islamic knowledge to the Christian West
Western world
The Western world, also known as the West and the Occident , is a term referring to the countries of Western Europe , the countries of the Americas, as well all countries of Northern and Central Europe, Australia and New Zealand...

. They contributed to making Aristotle
Aristotle
Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and polymath, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. His writings cover many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology...

 known in Christian Europe. Three speculative thinkers, the Turk al-Farabi
Al-Farabi
' known in the West as Alpharabius , was a scientist and philosopher of the Islamic world...

, the Iranian Avicenna
Avicenna
Abū ʿAlī al-Ḥusayn ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn Sīnā , commonly known as Ibn Sīnā or by his Latinized name Avicenna, was a Persian polymath, who wrote almost 450 treatises on a wide range of subjects, of which around 240 have survived...

 and the Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

 al-Kindi
Al-Kindi
' , known as "the Philosopher of the Arabs", was a Muslim Arab philosopher, mathematician, physician, and musician. Al-Kindi was the first of the Muslim peripatetic philosophers, and is unanimously hailed as the "father of Islamic or Arabic philosophy" for his synthesis, adaptation and promotion...

, combined Aristotelianism
Aristotelianism
Aristotelianism is a tradition of philosophy that takes its defining inspiration from the work of Aristotle. The works of Aristotle were initially defended by the members of the Peripatetic school, and, later on, by the Neoplatonists, who produced many commentaries on Aristotle's writings...

 and Neoplatonism
Neoplatonism
Neoplatonism , is the modern term for a school of religious and mystical philosophy that took shape in the 3rd century AD, based on the teachings of Plato and earlier Platonists, with its earliest contributor believed to be Plotinus, and his teacher Ammonius Saccas...

 with other ideas introduced through Islam. They were considered by many as highly unorthodox and a few even described them as non-Islamic philosophers.

From Spain Arabic philosophic literature was translated into Hebrew
Hebrew language
Hebrew is a Semitic language of the Afroasiatic language family. Culturally, is it considered by Jews and other religious groups as the language of the Jewish people, though other Jewish languages had originated among diaspora Jews, and the Hebrew language is also used by non-Jewish groups, such...

 and Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

, contributing to the development of modern European philosophy. The philosophers Moses Maimonides
Maimonides
Moses ben-Maimon, called Maimonides and also known as Mūsā ibn Maymūn in Arabic, or Rambam , was a preeminent medieval Jewish philosopher and one of the greatest Torah scholars and physicians of the Middle Ages...

 (a Jew born in Muslim Spain) and Ibn Khaldun
Ibn Khaldun
Ibn Khaldūn or Ibn Khaldoun was an Arab Tunisian historiographer and historian who is often viewed as one of the forerunners of modern historiography, sociology and economics...

 (born in modern-day Tunisia
Tunisia
Tunisia , officially the Tunisian RepublicThe long name of Tunisia in other languages used in the country is: , is the northernmost country in Africa. It is a Maghreb country and is bordered by Algeria to the west, Libya to the southeast, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east. Its area...

), the father of sociology
Sociology
Sociology is the study of society. It is a social science—a term with which it is sometimes synonymous—which uses various methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis to develop a body of knowledge about human social activity...

 and historiography
Historiography
Historiography refers either to the study of the history and methodology of history as a discipline, or to a body of historical work on a specialized topic...

, were also important philosophers, though the latter did not identify himself as a falsafa, but rather a kalam author.

Some differences between Kalam and Falsafa


Aristotle attempted to demonstrate the unity of God; but from the view which he maintained, that matter was eternal, it followed that God could not be the Creator of the world. To assert that God's knowledge extends only to the general laws of the universe, and not to individual and accidental things, is tantamount to denying prophecy
Prophecy
Prophecy is a process in which one or more messages that have been communicated to a prophet are then communicated to others. Such messages typically involve divine inspiration, interpretation, or revelation of conditioned events to come as well as testimonies or repeated revelations that the...

. One other part of Aristotle's theory shocked the faith of the Mutakallamin — the Aristotelian
Aristotelianism
Aristotelianism is a tradition of philosophy that takes its defining inspiration from the work of Aristotle. The works of Aristotle were initially defended by the members of the Peripatetic school, and, later on, by the Neoplatonists, who produced many commentaries on Aristotle's writings...

 theory of the soul. According to Aristotelianism, the human soul
Soul
A soul in certain spiritual, philosophical, and psychological traditions is the incorporeal essence of a person or living thing or object. Many philosophical and spiritual systems teach that humans have souls, and others teach that all living things and even inanimate objects have souls. The...

 is simply man's substantial form
Substantial form
A theory of substantial forms asserts that forms organize matter and make it intelligible. Substantial forms are the source of properties, order, unity, identity, and information about objects....

, the set of properties that make matter into a living human body. This seems to imply that the human soul cannot exist apart from the body. Indeed, Aristotle writes, "It is clear that the soul, or at least some parts of it (if it is divisible), cannot be separated from the body. [...] And thus, those have the right idea who think that the soul does not exist without the body." In Aristotelianism, at least one psychological force, the active intellect
Active intellect
The active intellect is a concept in classical and medieval philosophy...

, can exist apart from the body. However, according to many interpretations, the active intellect is a superhuman entity emanating from God and enlightening the human mind, not a part of any individual human soul. Thus, Aristotle's theories seem to deny the immortality of the individual human soul.

Wherefore the Mutakallamin had, before anything else, to establish a system of philosophy to demonstrate the creation of matter, and they adopted to that end the theory of atoms as enunciated by Democritus. They taught that atoms possess neither quantity nor extension. Originally atoms were created by God, and are created now as occasion seems to require. Bodies come into existence or die, through the aggregation or the sunderance of these atoms. But this theory did not remove the objections of philosophy to a creation of matter.

For, indeed, if it be supposed that God
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

 commenced His work at a certain definite time by His "will", and for a certain definite object, it must be admitted that He was imperfect before accomplishing His will, or before attaining His object. In order to obviate this difficulty, the Motekallamin extended their theory of the atoms to Time
Time
Time is a part of the measuring system used to sequence events, to compare the durations of events and the intervals between them, and to quantify rates of change such as the motions of objects....

, and claimed that just as Space
Space
Space is the boundless, three-dimensional extent in which objects and events occur and have relative position and direction. Physical space is often conceived in three linear dimensions, although modern physicists usually consider it, with time, to be part of a boundless four-dimensional continuum...

 is constituted of atoms and vacuum, Time, likewise, is constituted of small indivisible moments. The creation of the world once established, it was an easy matter for them to demonstrate the existence of a Creator, and that God is unique, omnipotent
Omnipotence
Omnipotence is unlimited power. Monotheistic religions generally attribute omnipotence to only the deity of whichever faith is being addressed...

, and omniscient
Omniscience
Omniscience omniscient point-of-view in writing) is the capacity to know everything infinitely, or at least everything that can be known about a character including thoughts, feelings, life and the universe, etc. In Latin, omnis means "all" and sciens means "knowing"...

.

Main protagonists of Falsafa and their critics


The twelfth century saw the apotheosis of pure philosophy and the decline of the Kalam, which later, being attacked by both the philosophers and the orthodox, perished for lack of champions. This supreme exaltation of philosophy may be attributed, in great measure, to Al-Ghazali (1005–1111) among the Persians, and to Judah ha-Levi (1140) among the Jews. It can be argued that the attacks directed against the philosophers by Al-Ghazali in his work, Tahafut al-Falasifa
The Incoherence of the Philosophers
The Incoherence of the Philosophers is the title of a landmark 11th century polemic by the Sufi sympathetic Imam Al-Ghazali of the Asharite school of Islamic theology criticizing the Avicennian school of early Islamic philosophy...

 (The Incoherence of the Philosophers), not only produced, by reaction, a current favorable to philosophy, but induced the philosophers themselves to profit by his criticism. They thereafter made their theories clearer and their logic closer. The influence of this reaction brought forth the two greatest philosophers that the Islamic Peripatetic school ever produced, namely, Ibn Bajjah
Ibn Bajjah
Abū-Bakr Muhammad ibn Yahya ibn al-Sāyigh , known as Ibn Bājjah , was an Andalusian polymath: an astronomer, logician, musician, philosopher, physician, physicist, psychologist, botanist, poet and scientist. He was known in the West by his Latinized name, Avempace...

 (Avempace) and Ibn Rushd (Averroes
Averroes
' , better known just as Ibn Rushd , and in European literature as Averroes , was a Muslim polymath; a master of Aristotelian philosophy, Islamic philosophy, Islamic theology, Maliki law and jurisprudence, logic, psychology, politics, Arabic music theory, and the sciences of medicine, astronomy,...

), both of whom undertook the defense of philosophy.

Since no idea and no literary or philosophical movement ever germinated on Persian or Arabian soil without leaving its impress on the Jews, the Persian Ghazali found an imitator in the person of Judah ha-Levi. This poet also took upon himself to free his religion from what he saw as the shackles of speculative philosophy, and to this end wrote the "Kuzari", in which he sought to discredit all schools of philosophy alike. He passes severe censure upon the Mutakallamin for seeking to support religion by philosophy. He says, "I consider him to have attained the highest degree of perfection who is convinced of religious truths without having scrutinized them and reasoned over them" ("Kuzari", v.). Then he reduced the chief propositions of the Mutakallamin, to prove the unity of God, to ten in number, describing them at length, and concluding in these terms: "Does the Kalam give us more information concerning God and His attributes than the prophet did?" (Ib. iii. and iv.) Aristotelianism finds no favor in Judah ha-Levi's eyes, for it is no less given to details and criticism; Neoplatonism alone suited him somewhat, owing to its appeal to his poetic temperament.

Ibn Rushd
Averroes
' , better known just as Ibn Rushd , and in European literature as Averroes , was a Muslim polymath; a master of Aristotelian philosophy, Islamic philosophy, Islamic theology, Maliki law and jurisprudence, logic, psychology, politics, Arabic music theory, and the sciences of medicine, astronomy,...

 (or Ibn Roshd or Averroës), the contemporary of Maimonides
Maimonides
Moses ben-Maimon, called Maimonides and also known as Mūsā ibn Maymūn in Arabic, or Rambam , was a preeminent medieval Jewish philosopher and one of the greatest Torah scholars and physicians of the Middle Ages...

, closed the first great philosophical era of the Muslims. The theories of Ibn Rushd do not differ fundamentally from those of Ibn Bajjah
Ibn Bajjah
Abū-Bakr Muhammad ibn Yahya ibn al-Sāyigh , known as Ibn Bājjah , was an Andalusian polymath: an astronomer, logician, musician, philosopher, physician, physicist, psychologist, botanist, poet and scientist. He was known in the West by his Latinized name, Avempace...

 and Ibn Tufail
Ibn Tufail
Ibn Tufail was an Andalusian Muslim polymath: an Arabic writer, novelist, Islamic philosopher, Islamic theologian, physician, vizier,...

, who only follow the teachings of Ibn Sina and Al-Farabi. Like all Islamic Peripatetics, Ibn Rushd admits the hypothesis of the intelligence of the spheres and the hypothesis of universal emanation, through which motion is communicated from place to place to all parts of the universe as far as the supreme world—hypotheses which, in the mind of the Arabic philosophers, did away with the dualism involved in Aristotle's doctrine of pure energy and eternal matter. His ideas on the separation of philosophy and religion, further developed by the Averroist
Averroism
Averroism is the term applied to either of two philosophical trends among scholastics in the late 13th century: the Arab philosopher Averroës or Ibn Rushd's interpretations of Aristotle and his reconciliation of Aristotelianism with Islamic faith; and the application of these ideas in the Latin...

 school of philosophy, were later influential in the development of modern secularism
Secularism
Secularism is the principle of separation between government institutions and the persons mandated to represent the State from religious institutions and religious dignitaries...

.

But while Al-Farabi
Al-Farabi
' known in the West as Alpharabius , was a scientist and philosopher of the Islamic world...

, Ibn Sina, and other Persian and Muslim philosophers hurried, so to speak, over subjects that trenched on religious dogmas, Ibn Rushd delighted in dwelling upon them with full particularity and stress. Thus he says, "Not only is matter eternal, but form is potentially inherent in matter; otherwise, it were a creation ex nihilo" (Munk, "Mélanges", p. 444). According to this theory, therefore, the existence of this world is not only a possibility, as Ibn Sina declared—in order to make concessions to the orthodox— but also a necessity.

Driven from the Islamic schools, Islamic philosophy found a refuge with the Jews, to whom belongs the honor of having transmitted it to the Christian world. A series of eminent men—such as the Ibn Tibbon
Ibn Tibbon
Ibn Tibbon , is a family of Jewish rabbis and translators that lived principally in Provence in the 12th and 13th centuries.- Prominent family members :Prominent members of the family include:...

s, Narboni, Gersonides
Gersonides
Levi ben Gershon, better known by his Latinised name as Gersonides or the abbreviation of first letters as RaLBaG , philosopher, Talmudist, mathematician, astronomer/astrologer. He was born at Bagnols in Languedoc, France...

—joined in translating the Arabic philosophical works into Hebrew and commenting upon them. The works of Ibn Rushd especially became the subject of their study, due in great measure to Maimonides, who, in a letter addressed to his pupil Joseph ben Judah, spoke in the highest terms of Ibn Rushd's commentary.

It should be mentioned that this depiction of intellectual tradition in Islamic Lands is mainly dependent upon what West could understand (or was willing to understand) from this long era. In contrast, there are some historians and philosophers who do not agree with this account and describe this era in a completely different way. Their main point of dispute is on the influence of different philosophers on Islamic Philosophy, especially the comparative importance of eastern intellectuals such as Ibn Sina and of western thinkers such as Ibn Rushd.

Judeo-Islamic philosophy


The oldest Jewish religio-philosophical work preserved is that of Saadia Gaon
Saadia Gaon
Saʻadiah ben Yosef Gaon was a prominent rabbi, Jewish philosopher, and exegete of the Geonic period.The first important rabbinic figure to write extensively in Arabic, he is considered the founder of Judeo-Arabic literature...

 (892-942), Emunot ve-Deot
Emunoth ve-Deoth
Emunoth ve-Deoth or Emunoth w'D'oth written by Rabbi Saadia Gaon - originally Kitāb ul-ʾamānāt wal-iʿtiqādāt - was the first systematic presentation and philosophic foundation of the dogmas of Judaism. The work is prefaced by an introduction and has ten chapters; it was completed in 933...

, "The Book of Beliefs and Opinions". In this work Saadia treats the questions that interested the Mutakallamin, such as the creation of matter, the unity of God, the divine attributes, the soul, etc. Saadia criticizes other philosophers severely. For Saadia there was no problem as to creation: God created the world ex nihilo
Ex nihilo
Ex nihilo is a Latin phrase meaning "out of nothing". It often appears in conjunction with the concept of creation, as in creatio ex nihilo, meaning "creation out of nothing"—chiefly in philosophical or theological contexts, but also occurs in other fields.In theology, the common phrase creatio ex...

, just as the Bible
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

 attests; and he contests the theory of the Mutakallamin in reference to atoms, which theory, he declares, is just as contrary to reason and religion as the theory of the philosophers professing the eternity of matter.

To prove the unity of God, Saadia uses the demonstrations of the Mutakallamin. Only the attributes of essence (sifat al-dhatia) can be ascribed to God, but not the attributes of action (sifat-al-fi'aliya). The soul is a substance more delicate even than that of the celestial spheres
Celestial spheres
The celestial spheres, or celestial orbs, were the fundamental entities of the cosmological models developed by Plato, Eudoxus, Aristotle, Ptolemy, Copernicus and others...

. Here Saadia controverts the Mutakallamin, who considered the soul an "accident" arad (compare Guide for the Perplexed
Guide for the Perplexed
The Guide for the Perplexed is one of the major works of Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon, better known as Maimonides or "the Rambam"...

 i. 74), and employs the following one of their premises to justify his position: "Only a substance can be the substratum of an accident" (that is, of a non-essential property of things). Saadia argues: "If the soul be an accident only, it can itself have no such accidents as wisdom, joy, love", etc. Saadia was thus in every way a supporter of the Kalam; and if at times he deviated from its doctrines, it was owing to his religious views; just as the Jewish and Muslim Peripatetics stopped short in their respective Aristotelianism whenever there was danger of wounding orthodox religion.

Farabism



Al-Farabi (Alfarabi) was a founder of his own school of Islamic philosophy but which was later overshadowed by Avicennism. Al-Farabi's school of philosophy "breaks with the philosophy of Plato
Plato
Plato , was a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the...

 and Aristotle
Aristotle
Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and polymath, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. His writings cover many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology...

 [... and ...] moves from metaphysics to methodology
Scientific method
Scientific method refers to a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on gathering empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of...

, a move that anticipates modernity
Modernity
Modernity typically refers to a post-traditional, post-medieval historical period, one marked by the move from feudalism toward capitalism, industrialization, secularization, rationalization, the nation-state and its constituent institutions and forms of surveillance...

", and "at the level of philosophy, Alfarabi unites theory and practice [... and] in the sphere of the political
Politics
Politics is a process by which groups of people make collective decisions. The term is generally applied to the art or science of running governmental or state affairs, including behavior within civil governments, but also applies to institutions, fields, and special interest groups such as the...

 he liberates practice from theory". His Neoplatonic
Neoplatonism
Neoplatonism , is the modern term for a school of religious and mystical philosophy that took shape in the 3rd century AD, based on the teachings of Plato and earlier Platonists, with its earliest contributor believed to be Plotinus, and his teacher Ammonius Saccas...

 theology is also more than just metaphysics as rhetoric. In his attempt to think through the nature of a First Cause
Primum movens
Primum movens , usually referred to as the Prime mover or first cause in English, is a term used in the philosophy of Aristotle, in the theological cosmological argument for the existence of God, and in cosmogony, the source of the cosmos or "all-being".-Aristotle's ontology:In book 12 of his...

, Alfarabi discovers the limits of human knowledge".

Al-Farabi had great influence on science and philosophy for several centuries, and was widely regarded to be second only to Aristotle in knowledge (alluded to by his title of "the Second Teacher") in his time. His work, aimed at synthesis of philosophy and Sufism
Sufism
Sufism or ' is defined by its adherents as the inner, mystical dimension of Islam. A practitioner of this tradition is generally known as a '...

, paved the way for the work of Ibn Sina
Avicenna
Abū ʿAlī al-Ḥusayn ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn Sīnā , commonly known as Ibn Sīnā or by his Latinized name Avicenna, was a Persian polymath, who wrote almost 450 treatises on a wide range of subjects, of which around 240 have survived...

 (Avicenna).

Avicennism


Due to Avicenna
Avicenna
Abū ʿAlī al-Ḥusayn ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn Sīnā , commonly known as Ibn Sīnā or by his Latinized name Avicenna, was a Persian polymath, who wrote almost 450 treatises on a wide range of subjects, of which around 240 have survived...

's (Ibn Sina's) successful reconciliation between Aristotelianism
Aristotelianism
Aristotelianism is a tradition of philosophy that takes its defining inspiration from the work of Aristotle. The works of Aristotle were initially defended by the members of the Peripatetic school, and, later on, by the Neoplatonists, who produced many commentaries on Aristotle's writings...

 and Neoplatonism
Neoplatonism
Neoplatonism , is the modern term for a school of religious and mystical philosophy that took shape in the 3rd century AD, based on the teachings of Plato and earlier Platonists, with its earliest contributor believed to be Plotinus, and his teacher Ammonius Saccas...

 along with Kalam
Kalam
ʿIlm al-Kalām is the Islamic philosophical discipline of seeking theological principles through dialectic. Kalām in Islamic practice relates to the discipline of seeking theological knowledge through debate and argument. A scholar of kalām is referred to as a mutakallim...

, Avicennism eventually became the leading school of Islamic philosophy
Islamic philosophy
Islamic philosophy is a branch of Islamic studies. It is the continuous search for Hekma in the light of Islamic view of life, universe, ethics, society, and so on...

 by the 12th century. Avicenna had become a central authority on philosophy by then, and several scholars in the 12th century commented on his strong influence at the time:
Avicennism was also influential in medieval Europe, particularly his doctrines on the nature of the soul and his existence
Existence
In common usage, existence is the world we are aware of through our senses, and that persists independently without them. In academic philosophy the word has a more specialized meaning, being contrasted with essence, which specifies different forms of existence as well as different identity...

-essence
Essence
In philosophy, essence is the attribute or set of attributes that make an object or substance what it fundamentally is, and which it has by necessity, and without which it loses its identity. Essence is contrasted with accident: a property that the object or substance has contingently, without...

 distinction, along with the debates and censure that they raised in scholastic Europe
Scholasticism
Scholasticism is a method of critical thought which dominated teaching by the academics of medieval universities in Europe from about 1100–1500, and a program of employing that method in articulating and defending orthodoxy in an increasingly pluralistic context...

. This was particularly the case in Paris, where Avicennism was later proscribed in 1210. Nevertheless, his psychology
Psychology
Psychology is the study of the mind and behavior. Its immediate goal is to understand individuals and groups by both establishing general principles and researching specific cases. For many, the ultimate goal of psychology is to benefit society...

 and theory of knowledge influenced William of Auvergne
William of Auvergne, Bishop of Paris
William of Auvergne was a French priest who served as Bishop of Paris from 1228 until his death in 1249. He is also known as Guillaume d'Auvergne, Guilielmus Alvernus, or William of Paris.-Life:...

 and Albertus Magnus
Albertus Magnus
Albertus Magnus, O.P. , also known as Albert the Great and Albert of Cologne, is a Catholic saint. He was a German Dominican friar and a bishop, who achieved fame for his comprehensive knowledge of and advocacy for the peaceful coexistence of science and religion. Those such as James A. Weisheipl...

, and his metaphysics
Metaphysics
Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world, although the term is not easily defined. Traditionally, metaphysics attempts to answer two basic questions in the broadest possible terms:...

 had an impact on the thought of Thomas Aquinas
Thomas Aquinas
Thomas Aquinas, O.P. , also Thomas of Aquin or Aquino, was an Italian Dominican priest of the Catholic Church, and an immensely influential philosopher and theologian in the tradition of scholasticism, known as Doctor Angelicus, Doctor Communis, or Doctor Universalis...

.


Averroism


Averroes (Ibn Rushd) is most famous for his commentaries on Aristotle
Aristotle
Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and polymath, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. His writings cover many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology...

's works and for writing The Incoherence of the Incoherence
The Incoherence of the Incoherence
The Incoherence of the Incoherence by Andalusian Muslim polymath and philosopher Ibn Rushd is an important Islamic philosophical treatise, in which the author defends the use of Aristotelian philosophy within Islamic thought.It was written in the style of a dialogue against Al-Ghazali's claims...

 in which he defended the falasifa against al-Ghazali
Al-Ghazali
Abu Hāmed Mohammad ibn Mohammad al-Ghazzālī , known as Algazel to the western medieval world, born and died in Tus, in the Khorasan province of Persia was a Persian Muslim theologian, jurist, philosopher, and mystic....

's The Incoherence of the Philosophers. While he had very little influence in the Islamic world, which was then dominated by Avicennian philosophy and Ash'ari
Ash'ari
The Ashʿari theology is a school of early Muslim speculative theology founded by the theologian Abu al-Hasan al-Ash'ari...

 theology, Averroism became very influential in medieval Europe, especially among the Scholastics. Averroism eventually led to the development of modern secularism
Secularism
Secularism is the principle of separation between government institutions and the persons mandated to represent the State from religious institutions and religious dignitaries...

, for which Ibn Rushd is considered as the founding father of secular thought in Western Europe.

The concept of "existence precedes essence
Existence precedes essence
The proposition that existence precedes essence is a central claim of existentialism, which reverses the traditional philosophical view that the essence or nature of a thing is more fundamental and immutable than its existence...

", a key foundational concept of existentialism
Existentialism
Existentialism is a term applied to a school of 19th- and 20th-century philosophers who, despite profound doctrinal differences, shared the belief that philosophical thinking begins with the human subject—not merely the thinking subject, but the acting, feeling, living human individual...

, can also be found in the works of Averroes, as a reaction to Avicenna
Avicenna
Abū ʿAlī al-Ḥusayn ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn Sīnā , commonly known as Ibn Sīnā or by his Latinized name Avicenna, was a Persian polymath, who wrote almost 450 treatises on a wide range of subjects, of which around 240 have survived...

's concept of "essence
Essence
In philosophy, essence is the attribute or set of attributes that make an object or substance what it fundamentally is, and which it has by necessity, and without which it loses its identity. Essence is contrasted with accident: a property that the object or substance has contingently, without...

 precedes existence
Existence
In common usage, existence is the world we are aware of through our senses, and that persists independently without them. In academic philosophy the word has a more specialized meaning, being contrasted with essence, which specifies different forms of existence as well as different identity...

".

Environmental philosophy


Perhaps due to resource scarcity in most Islamic nations, there was an emphasis on limited (and some claim also sustainable) use of natural capital
Natural capital
Natural capital is the extension of the economic notion of capital to goods and services relating to the natural environment. Natural capital is thus the stock of natural ecosystems that yields a flow of valuable ecosystem goods or services into the future...

, i.e. producing land. Traditions of haram
Haram
The Arabic term has a meaning of "sanctuary" or "holy site" in Islam.-Etymology:The Arabic language has two separate words, and , both derived from the same triliteral Semitic root . Both of these words can mean "forbidden" and/or "sacred" in a general way, but each has also developed some...

 and hima and early urban planning
Urban planning
Urban planning incorporates areas such as economics, design, ecology, sociology, geography, law, political science, and statistics to guide and ensure the orderly development of settlements and communities....

 were expressions of strong social obligations to stay within carrying capacity
Carrying capacity
The carrying capacity of a biological species in an environment is the maximum population size of the species that the environment can sustain indefinitely, given the food, habitat, water and other necessities available in the environment...

 and to preserve the natural environment
Natural environment
The natural environment encompasses all living and non-living things occurring naturally on Earth or some region thereof. It is an environment that encompasses the interaction of all living species....

 as an obligation of khalifa or "stewardship".

Muhammad is considered a pioneer of environmentalism
Environmentalism
Environmentalism is a broad philosophy, ideology and social movement regarding concerns for environmental conservation and improvement of the health of the environment, particularly as the measure for this health seeks to incorporate the concerns of non-human elements...

 for his teachings on environmental preservation. His hadith
Hadith
The term Hadīth is used to denote a saying or an act or tacit approval or criticism ascribed either validly or invalidly to the Islamic prophet Muhammad....

s on agriculture
Agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

 and environmental philosophy
Environmental philosophy
Environmental philosophy is a branch of philosophy that is concerned with the natural environment and humans' place within it. Environmental philosophy includes environmental ethics, environmental aesthetics, ecofeminism and environmental theology...

 were compiled in the "Book of Agriculture" of the Sahih Bukhari
Sahih Bukhari
Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī , as it is commonly referred to, is one of the six canonical hadith collections of Islam. These prophetic traditions, or hadith, were collected by the Persian Muslim scholar Muhammad ibn Ismail al-Bukhari, after being transmitted orally for generations. Muslims view this as one of...

, which included the following saying:
Several such statements concerning the environment are also found in the Qur'an
Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

, such as the following:
The earliest known treatises dealing with environmentalism
Environmentalism
Environmentalism is a broad philosophy, ideology and social movement regarding concerns for environmental conservation and improvement of the health of the environment, particularly as the measure for this health seeks to incorporate the concerns of non-human elements...

 and environmental science
Environmental science
Environmental science is an interdisciplinary academic field that integrates physical and biological sciences, to the study of the environment, and the solution of environmental problems...

, especially pollution
Pollution
Pollution is the introduction of contaminants into a natural environment that causes instability, disorder, harm or discomfort to the ecosystem i.e. physical systems or living organisms. Pollution can take the form of chemical substances or energy, such as noise, heat or light...

, were Arabic medical treatises
Islamic medicine
In the history of medicine, Islamic medicine, Arabic medicine or Arabian medicine refers to medicine developed in the Islamic Golden Age, and written in Arabic, the lingua franca of Islamic civilization....

 written by al-Kindi
Al-Kindi
' , known as "the Philosopher of the Arabs", was a Muslim Arab philosopher, mathematician, physician, and musician. Al-Kindi was the first of the Muslim peripatetic philosophers, and is unanimously hailed as the "father of Islamic or Arabic philosophy" for his synthesis, adaptation and promotion...

, Qusta ibn Luqa
Qusta ibn Luqa
Qusta ibn Luqa was a Melkite physician, scientist and translator, of Byzantine Greek extraction. He was born in Baalbek. Travelling to parts of the Byzantine Empire, he brought back Greek texts and translated them into Arabic.- Biography :Qusta ibn Luqa al-BaBa'albakki, i. e...

, al-Razi
Al-Razi
Muhammad ibn Zakariyā Rāzī , known as Rhazes or Rasis after medieval Latinists, was a Persian polymath,a prominent figure in Islamic Golden Age, physician, alchemist and chemist, philosopher, and scholar....

, Ibn Al-Jazzar
Ibn Al-Jazzar
Ahmed Ben Jaafar Ben Brahim Ibn Al Jazzar Al-Qayrawani , was an influential 10th-century Muslim physician who became famous for his writings on Islamic medicine. He was born in Qayrawan in modern-day Tunisia...

, al-Tamimi, al-Masihi
Al-Masihi
Abu Sahl 'Isa ibn Yahya al-Masihi al-Jurjani was a Persian Christian physician, from Gorgan, east of the Caspian Sea, in Iran.He was the teacher of Avicenna...

, Avicenna
Avicenna
Abū ʿAlī al-Ḥusayn ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn Sīnā , commonly known as Ibn Sīnā or by his Latinized name Avicenna, was a Persian polymath, who wrote almost 450 treatises on a wide range of subjects, of which around 240 have survived...

, Ali ibn Ridwan
Ali ibn Ridwan
Abu'l Hasan Ali ibn Ridwan Al-Misri was an Egyptian Muslim physician, astrologer and astronomer, born in Giza.He was a commentator on ancient Greek medicine, and in particular on Galen; his commentary on Galen's Ars Parva was translated by Gerardo Cremonese...

, Ibn Jumay, Isaac Israeli ben Solomon
Isaac Israeli ben Solomon
Isaac Israeli ben Solomon , also known as Isaac Israeli the Elder and Isaac Judaeus, was one of the foremost physicians and philosophers of his time. He is regarded as the father of medieval Jewish Neoplatonism...

, Abd-el-latif
Abd-el-latif
Muwaffaq al-Din Muhammad 'Abd al-Latif ibn Yusuf al-Baghdadi , more commonly known as Abd al-Latif al-Baghdadi or Abdallatif al-Baghdadi , born in Baghdad, Iraq, was a celebrated physician, historian, Egyptologist and traveller, and one of the most voluminous writers of the Near East in his...

, Ibn al-Quff, and Ibn al-Nafis. Their works covered a number of subjects related to pollution such as air pollution
Air pollution
Air pollution is the introduction of chemicals, particulate matter, or biological materials that cause harm or discomfort to humans or other living organisms, or cause damage to the natural environment or built environment, into the atmosphere....

, water pollution
Water pollution
Water pollution is the contamination of water bodies . Water pollution occurs when pollutants are discharged directly or indirectly into water bodies without adequate treatment to remove harmful compounds....

, soil contamination
Soil contamination
Soil contamination or soil pollution is caused by the presence of xenobiotic chemicals or other alteration in the natural soil environment....

, municipal solid waste
Municipal solid waste
Municipal solid waste , commonly known as trash or garbage , refuse or rubbish is a waste type consisting of everyday items we consume and discard. It predominantly includes food wastes, yard wastes, containers and product packaging, and other miscellaneous inorganic wastes from residential,...

 mishandling, and environmental impact assessment
Environmental impact assessment
An environmental impact assessment is an assessment of the possible positive or negative impact that a proposed project may have on the environment, together consisting of the natural, social and economic aspects....

s of certain localities. Cordoba
Córdoba, Spain
-History:The first trace of human presence in the area are remains of a Neanderthal Man, dating to c. 32,000 BC. In the 8th century BC, during the ancient Tartessos period, a pre-urban settlement existed. The population gradually learned copper and silver metallurgy...

, al-Andalus
Al-Andalus
Al-Andalus was the Arabic name given to a nation and territorial region also commonly referred to as Moorish Iberia. The name describes parts of the Iberian Peninsula and Septimania governed by Muslims , at various times in the period between 711 and 1492, although the territorial boundaries...

 also had the first waste container
Waste container
A waste container is a container for temporarily storing refuse and waste. Different terms are in use, depending on the language area, the design and material and the respective site .The most general terms are waste receptacle and container bin.Common terms include dustbin ,...

s and waste disposal facilities for litter
Litter
Litter consists of waste products such as containers, papers, wrappers or faeces which have been disposed of without consent. Litter can also be used as a verb...

 collection.

Medical ethics


The ethical standards of Muslim physicians was first laid down in the 9th century by Ishaq bin Ali Rahawi, who wrote the Adab al-Tabib (Conduct of a Physician), the first treatist dedicated to medical ethics
Medical ethics
Medical ethics is a system of moral principles that apply values and judgments to the practice of medicine. As a scholarly discipline, medical ethics encompasses its practical application in clinical settings as well as work on its history, philosophy, theology, and sociology.-History:Historically,...

. He regarded physicians as "guardians of souls and bodies", and wrote twenty chapters on various topics related to medical ethics, including:
  • What the physician
    Physician
    A physician is a health care provider who practices the profession of medicine, which is concerned with promoting, maintaining or restoring human health through the study, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, injury and other physical and mental impairments...

     must avoid and beware of
  • The manners of visitor
    Visitor
    A Visitor, in United Kingdom law and history, is an overseer of an autonomous ecclesiastical or eleemosynary institution , who can intervene in the internal affairs of that institution...

    s
  • The care of remedies
    Cure
    A cure is a completely effective treatment for a disease.The Cure is an English rock band.Cure, or similar, may also refer to:-Film and television:* The Cure , a short film starring Charlie Chaplin...

     by the physician
  • The dignity
    Dignity
    Dignity is a term used in moral, ethical, and political discussions to signify that a being has an innate right to respect and ethical treatment. It is an extension of the Enlightenment-era concepts of inherent, inalienable rights...

     of the medical profession
    Profession
    A profession is a vocation founded upon specialized educational training, the purpose of which is to supply disinterested counsel and service to others, for a direct and definite compensation, wholly apart from expectation of other business gain....

  • The examination of physicians
  • The removal of corruption among physicians

Humanism


Many medieval Muslim thinkers pursued humanistic, rational
Rationalism
In epistemology and in its modern sense, rationalism is "any view appealing to reason as a source of knowledge or justification" . In more technical terms, it is a method or a theory "in which the criterion of the truth is not sensory but intellectual and deductive"...

 and scientific discourse
Discourse
Discourse generally refers to "written or spoken communication". The following are three more specific definitions:...

s in their search for knowledge, meaning and values
Value (personal and cultural)
A personal or cultural value is an absolute or relative ethical value, the assumption of which can be the basis for ethical action. A value system is a set of consistent values and measures. A principle value is a foundation upon which other values and measures of integrity are based...

. A wide range of Islamic writings on love poetry
Poetry
Poetry is a form of literary art in which language is used for its aesthetic and evocative qualities in addition to, or in lieu of, its apparent meaning...

, history and philosophical theology
Philosophical Theology
Philosophical theology is the disciplined employment of philosophical methods in developing or analyzing theological concepts. It therefore includes natural theology as well as philosophical treatments of orthodox and heterodox theology....

 show that medieval Islamic thought was open to the humanistic ideas of individualism
Individualism
Individualism is the moral stance, political philosophy, ideology, or social outlook that stresses "the moral worth of the individual". Individualists promote the exercise of one's goals and desires and so value independence and self-reliance while opposing most external interference upon one's own...

, occasional secularism
Secularism
Secularism is the principle of separation between government institutions and the persons mandated to represent the State from religious institutions and religious dignitaries...

, skepticism
Skepticism
Skepticism has many definitions, but generally refers to any questioning attitude towards knowledge, facts, or opinions/beliefs stated as facts, or doubt regarding claims that are taken for granted elsewhere...

 and liberalism
Liberalism
Liberalism is the belief in the importance of liberty and equal rights. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but generally, liberals support ideas such as constitutionalism, liberal democracy, free and fair elections, human rights,...

.

Another reason the Islamic world flourished during the Middle Ages was an early emphasis on freedom of speech
Freedom of speech
Freedom of speech is the freedom to speak freely without censorship. The term freedom of expression is sometimes used synonymously, but includes any act of seeking, receiving and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used...

, as summarized by al-Hashimi (a cousin of Caliph al-Ma'mun
Al-Ma'mun
Abū Jaʿfar Abdullāh al-Māʾmūn ibn Harūn was an Abbasid caliph who reigned from 813 until his death in 833...

) in the following letter to one of the religious opponents he was attempting to convert
Religious conversion
Religious conversion is the adoption of a new religion that differs from the convert's previous religion. Changing from one denomination to another within the same religion is usually described as reaffiliation rather than conversion.People convert to a different religion for various reasons,...

 through reason
Reason
Reason is a term that refers to the capacity human beings have to make sense of things, to establish and verify facts, and to change or justify practices, institutions, and beliefs. It is closely associated with such characteristically human activities as philosophy, science, language, ...

:
Certain aspects of Renaissance humanism
Renaissance humanism
Renaissance humanism was an activity of cultural and educational reform engaged by scholars, writers, and civic leaders who are today known as Renaissance humanists. It developed during the fourteenth and the beginning of the fifteenth centuries, and was a response to the challenge of Mediæval...

 has its roots in the medieval Islamic world
Islamic Golden Age
During the Islamic Golden Age philosophers, scientists and engineers of the Islamic world contributed enormously to technology and culture, both by preserving earlier traditions and by adding their own inventions and innovations...

, including the "art of dictation
Dictation (exercise)
Dictation is the transcription of spoken text: one person who is "dictating" speaks and another who is "taking dictation" writes down the words as they are spoken.-La dictée:...

, called in Latin, ars dictaminis
Ars dictaminis
The ars dictaminis was the medieval description of the art of prose composition, and more specifically of the writing of letters . It is closely linked to the ars dictandi, covering the composition of documents other than letters. The standing assumption was that these writings would be composed in...

,"
and "the humanist attitude toward classical language
Classical language
A classical language is a language with a literature that is classical. According to UC Berkeley linguist George L. Hart, it should be ancient, it should be an independent tradition that arose mostly on its own, not as an offshoot of another tradition, and it must have a large and extremely rich...

."

Logic


In early Islamic philosophy, logic
Logic
In philosophy, Logic is the formal systematic study of the principles of valid inference and correct reasoning. Logic is used in most intellectual activities, but is studied primarily in the disciplines of philosophy, mathematics, semantics, and computer science...

 played an important role. Islamic law
Islamic law
Islamic law can refer to:*Sharia: The code of conduct enjoined upon Muslims in the Quran*Fiqh: Muslim jurisprudence...

 placed importance on formulating standards of argument, which gave rise to a novel approach to logic in Kalam
Kalam
ʿIlm al-Kalām is the Islamic philosophical discipline of seeking theological principles through dialectic. Kalām in Islamic practice relates to the discipline of seeking theological knowledge through debate and argument. A scholar of kalām is referred to as a mutakallim...

, but this approach was later displaced by ideas from Greek philosophy
Greek philosophy
Ancient Greek philosophy arose in the 6th century BCE and continued through the Hellenistic period, at which point Ancient Greece was incorporated in the Roman Empire...

 and Hellenistic philosophy
Hellenistic philosophy
Hellenistic philosophy is the period of Western philosophy that was developed in the Hellenistic civilization following Aristotle and ending with the beginning of Neoplatonism.-Pythagoreanism:...

 with the rise of the Mu'tazili
Mu'tazili
' is an Islamic school of speculative theology that flourished in the cities of Basra and Baghdad, both in present-day Iraq, during the 8th–10th centuries. The adherents of the Mu'tazili school are best known for their having asserted that, because of the perfect unity and eternal nature of God,...

 philosophers, who highly valued Aristotle
Aristotle
Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and polymath, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. His writings cover many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology...

's Organon
Organon
The Organon is the name given by Aristotle's followers, the Peripatetics, to the standard collection of his six works on logic:* Categories* On Interpretation* Prior Analytics* Posterior Analytics...

. The works of Hellenistic-influenced Islamic philosophers were crucial in the reception of Aristotelian logic in medieval Europe, along with the commentaries on the Organon by Averroes
Averroes
' , better known just as Ibn Rushd , and in European literature as Averroes , was a Muslim polymath; a master of Aristotelian philosophy, Islamic philosophy, Islamic theology, Maliki law and jurisprudence, logic, psychology, politics, Arabic music theory, and the sciences of medicine, astronomy,...

. The works of al-Farabi
Al-Farabi
' known in the West as Alpharabius , was a scientist and philosopher of the Islamic world...

, Avicenna
Avicenna
Abū ʿAlī al-Ḥusayn ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn Sīnā , commonly known as Ibn Sīnā or by his Latinized name Avicenna, was a Persian polymath, who wrote almost 450 treatises on a wide range of subjects, of which around 240 have survived...

, al-Ghazali
Al-Ghazali
Abu Hāmed Mohammad ibn Mohammad al-Ghazzālī , known as Algazel to the western medieval world, born and died in Tus, in the Khorasan province of Persia was a Persian Muslim theologian, jurist, philosopher, and mystic....

 and other Muslim logicians who often criticized and corrected Aristotelian logic and introduced their own forms of logic, also played a central role in the subsequent development of European logic during the Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

.

According to the Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy
The Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy is an encyclopedia of philosophy edited by Edward Craig that was first published by Routledge in 1998 . Originally published in both 10 volumes of print and as a CD-ROM, in 2002 it was made available online on a subscription basis...

:
Important developments made by Muslim logicians included the development of "Avicennian logic" as a replacement of Aristotelian logic. Avicenna
Avicenna
Abū ʿAlī al-Ḥusayn ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn Sīnā , commonly known as Ibn Sīnā or by his Latinized name Avicenna, was a Persian polymath, who wrote almost 450 treatises on a wide range of subjects, of which around 240 have survived...

's system of logic was responsible for the introduction of hypothetical syllogism
Hypothetical syllogism
In logic, a hypothetical syllogism has two uses. In propositional logic it expresses one of the rules of inference, while in the history of logic, it is a short-hand for the theory of consequence.-Propositional logic:...

, temporal
Temporal logic
In logic, the term temporal logic is used to describe any system of rules and symbolism for representing, and reasoning about, propositions qualified in terms of time. In a temporal logic we can then express statements like "I am always hungry", "I will eventually be hungry", or "I will be hungry...

 modal logic
Modal logic
Modal logic is a type of formal logic that extends classical propositional and predicate logic to include operators expressing modality. Modals — words that express modalities — qualify a statement. For example, the statement "John is happy" might be qualified by saying that John is...

 and inductive logic
Inductive reasoning
Inductive reasoning, also known as induction or inductive logic, is a kind of reasoning that constructs or evaluates propositions that are abstractions of observations. It is commonly construed as a form of reasoning that makes generalizations based on individual instances...

. Other important developments in early Islamic philosophy include the development of a strict science of citation
Scientific citation
Scientific citation is providing detailed reference in a scientific publication, typically a paper or book, to previous published communications which have a bearing on the subject of the new publication...

, the isnad or "backing", and the development of a scientific method of open inquiry
Scientific method
Scientific method refers to a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on gathering empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of...

 to disprove claims, the ijtihad
Ijtihad
Ijtihad is the making of a decision in Islamic law by personal effort , independently of any school of jurisprudence . as opposed to taqlid, copying or obeying without question....

, which could be generally applied to many types of questions.

Logic in Islamic law and theology


Early forms of analogical reasoning
Analogy
Analogy is a cognitive process of transferring information or meaning from a particular subject to another particular subject , and a linguistic expression corresponding to such a process...

, inductive reasoning
Inductive reasoning
Inductive reasoning, also known as induction or inductive logic, is a kind of reasoning that constructs or evaluates propositions that are abstractions of observations. It is commonly construed as a form of reasoning that makes generalizations based on individual instances...

 and categorical syllogism
Syllogism
A syllogism is a kind of logical argument in which one proposition is inferred from two or more others of a certain form...

 were introduced in Fiqh
Fiqh
Fiqh is Islamic jurisprudence. Fiqh is an expansion of the code of conduct expounded in the Quran, often supplemented by tradition and implemented by the rulings and interpretations of Islamic jurists....

 (Islamic jurisprudence), Sharia
Sharia
Sharia law, is the moral code and religious law of Islam. Sharia is derived from two primary sources of Islamic law: the precepts set forth in the Quran, and the example set by the Islamic prophet Muhammad in the Sunnah. Fiqh jurisprudence interprets and extends the application of sharia to...

 (Islamic law) and Kalam
Kalam
ʿIlm al-Kalām is the Islamic philosophical discipline of seeking theological principles through dialectic. Kalām in Islamic practice relates to the discipline of seeking theological knowledge through debate and argument. A scholar of kalām is referred to as a mutakallim...

 (Islamic theology) from the 7th century with the process of Qiyas
Qiyas
In Islamic jurisprudence, qiyās is the process of deductive analogy in which the teachings of the Hadith are compared and contrasted with those of the Qur'an, in order to apply a known injunction to a new circumstance and create a new injunction...

, before the Arabic translations of Aristotle's works. Later during the Islamic Golden Age
Islamic Golden Age
During the Islamic Golden Age philosophers, scientists and engineers of the Islamic world contributed enormously to technology and culture, both by preserving earlier traditions and by adding their own inventions and innovations...

, there was a logical debate among Islamic philosophers, logicians and theologians over whether the term Qiyas refers to analogical reasoning, inductive reasoning or categorical syllogism. Some Islamic scholars argued that Qiyas refers to inductive reasoning, which Ibn Hazm
Ibn Hazm
Abū Muḥammad ʿAlī ibn Aḥmad ibn Saʿīd ibn Ḥazm ) was an Andalusian philosopher, litterateur, psychologist, historian, jurist and theologian born in Córdoba, present-day Spain...

 (994-1064) disagreed with, arguing that Qiyas does not refer to inductive reasoning, but refers to categorical syllogism in a real
Reality
In philosophy, reality is the state of things as they actually exist, rather than as they may appear or might be imagined. In a wider definition, reality includes everything that is and has been, whether or not it is observable or comprehensible...

 sense and analogical reasoning in a metaphor
Metaphor
A metaphor is a literary figure of speech that uses an image, story or tangible thing to represent a less tangible thing or some intangible quality or idea; e.g., "Her eyes were glistening jewels." Metaphor may also be used for any rhetorical figures of speech that achieve their effects via...

ical sense. On the other hand, al-Ghazali
Al-Ghazali
Abu Hāmed Mohammad ibn Mohammad al-Ghazzālī , known as Algazel to the western medieval world, born and died in Tus, in the Khorasan province of Persia was a Persian Muslim theologian, jurist, philosopher, and mystic....

 (1058–1111) (and in modern times, Abu Muhammad Asem al-Maqdisi
Abu Muhammad Asem al-Maqdisi
Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi or more fully Abu Muhammad Asem al-Maqdisi is the assumed name of Isam Mohammad Tahir al-BarqawiAbu Muhammad al-Maqdisi or more fully Abu Muhammad Asem al-Maqdisi (أبو محمد عصام المقدسي) is the assumed name of Isam Mohammad Tahir al-BarqawiAbu Muhammad al-Maqdisi or more...

) argued that Qiyas refers to analogical reasoning in a real sense and categorical syllogism in a metaphorical sense. Other Islamic scholars at the time, however, argued that the term Qiyas refers to both analogical reasoning and categorical syllogism in a real sense.

Aristotelian logic


The first original Arabic writings on logic were produced by al-Kindi
Al-Kindi
' , known as "the Philosopher of the Arabs", was a Muslim Arab philosopher, mathematician, physician, and musician. Al-Kindi was the first of the Muslim peripatetic philosophers, and is unanimously hailed as the "father of Islamic or Arabic philosophy" for his synthesis, adaptation and promotion...

 (Alkindus) (805–873), who produced a summary on earlier logic up to his time. The first writings on logic with non-Aristotelian elements was produced by al-Farabi
Al-Farabi
' known in the West as Alpharabius , was a scientist and philosopher of the Islamic world...

 (Alfarabi) (873–950), who discussed the topics of future contingents, the number
Number
A number is a mathematical object used to count and measure. In mathematics, the definition of number has been extended over the years to include such numbers as zero, negative numbers, rational numbers, irrational numbers, and complex numbers....

 and relation of the categories
Categories (Aristotle)
The Categories is a text from Aristotle's Organon that enumerates all the possible kinds of thing that can be the subject or the predicate of a proposition...

, the relation between logic
Logic
In philosophy, Logic is the formal systematic study of the principles of valid inference and correct reasoning. Logic is used in most intellectual activities, but is studied primarily in the disciplines of philosophy, mathematics, semantics, and computer science...

 and grammar
Grammar
In linguistics, grammar is the set of structural rules that govern the composition of clauses, phrases, and words in any given natural language. The term refers also to the study of such rules, and this field includes morphology, syntax, and phonology, often complemented by phonetics, semantics,...

, and non-Aristotelian forms of inference
Inference
Inference is the act or process of deriving logical conclusions from premises known or assumed to be true. The conclusion drawn is also called an idiomatic. The laws of valid inference are studied in the field of logic.Human inference Inference is the act or process of deriving logical conclusions...

. He is also credited for categorizing logic into two separate groups, the first being "idea" and the second being "proof".

Averroes
Averroes
' , better known just as Ibn Rushd , and in European literature as Averroes , was a Muslim polymath; a master of Aristotelian philosophy, Islamic philosophy, Islamic theology, Maliki law and jurisprudence, logic, psychology, politics, Arabic music theory, and the sciences of medicine, astronomy,...

 (1126–98) was the last major logician from al-Andalus
Al-Andalus
Al-Andalus was the Arabic name given to a nation and territorial region also commonly referred to as Moorish Iberia. The name describes parts of the Iberian Peninsula and Septimania governed by Muslims , at various times in the period between 711 and 1492, although the territorial boundaries...

, who wrote the most elaborate commentaries on Aristotelian logic.

Avicennian logic


Avicenna
Avicenna
Abū ʿAlī al-Ḥusayn ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn Sīnā , commonly known as Ibn Sīnā or by his Latinized name Avicenna, was a Persian polymath, who wrote almost 450 treatises on a wide range of subjects, of which around 240 have survived...

 (980-1037) developed his own system of logic known as "Avicennian logic" as an alternative to Aristotelian logic. By the 12th century, Avicennian logic had replaced Aristotelian logic as the dominant system of logic in the Islamic world.

The first criticisms of Aristotelian logic were written by Avicenna
Avicenna
Abū ʿAlī al-Ḥusayn ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn Sīnā , commonly known as Ibn Sīnā or by his Latinized name Avicenna, was a Persian polymath, who wrote almost 450 treatises on a wide range of subjects, of which around 240 have survived...

 (980–1037), who produced independent treatises on logic rather than commentaries. He criticized the logical school of Baghdad for their devotion to Aristotle at the time. He investigated the theory of definition
Definition
A definition is a passage that explains the meaning of a term , or a type of thing. The term to be defined is the definiendum. A term may have many different senses or meanings...

 and classification and the quantification
Quantification
Quantification has several distinct senses. In mathematics and empirical science, it is the act of counting and measuring that maps human sense observations and experiences into members of some set of numbers. Quantification in this sense is fundamental to the scientific method.In logic,...

 of the predicates of categorical propositions, and developed an original theory on "temporal
Temporal logic
In logic, the term temporal logic is used to describe any system of rules and symbolism for representing, and reasoning about, propositions qualified in terms of time. In a temporal logic we can then express statements like "I am always hungry", "I will eventually be hungry", or "I will be hungry...

 modal
Modal logic
Modal logic is a type of formal logic that extends classical propositional and predicate logic to include operators expressing modality. Modals — words that express modalities — qualify a statement. For example, the statement "John is happy" might be qualified by saying that John is...

" syllogism. Its premises included modifier
Grammatical modifier
In grammar, a modifier is an optional element in phrase structure or clause structure; the removal of the modifier typically doesn't affect the grammaticality of the sentence....

s such as "at all times", "at most times", and "at some time".

While Avicenna
Avicenna
Abū ʿAlī al-Ḥusayn ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn Sīnā , commonly known as Ibn Sīnā or by his Latinized name Avicenna, was a Persian polymath, who wrote almost 450 treatises on a wide range of subjects, of which around 240 have survived...

 (980-1037) often relied on deductive reasoning
Deductive reasoning
Deductive reasoning, also called deductive logic, is reasoning which constructs or evaluates deductive arguments. Deductive arguments are attempts to show that a conclusion necessarily follows from a set of premises or hypothesis...

 in philosophy, he used a different approach in medicine. Ibn Sina contributed inventively to the development of inductive logic
Inductive reasoning
Inductive reasoning, also known as induction or inductive logic, is a kind of reasoning that constructs or evaluates propositions that are abstractions of observations. It is commonly construed as a form of reasoning that makes generalizations based on individual instances...

, which he used to pioneer the idea of a syndrome
Syndrome
In medicine and psychology, a syndrome is the association of several clinically recognizable features, signs , symptoms , phenomena or characteristics that often occur together, so that the presence of one or more features alerts the physician to the possible presence of the others...

. In his medical writings, Avicenna was the first to describe the methods of agreement, difference and concomitant variation
Mill's Methods
Mill's Methods are five methods of induction described by philosopher John Stuart Mill in his 1843 book A System of Logic. They are intended to illuminate issues of causation.-Direct method of agreement:...

 which are critical to inductive logic and the scientific method
Scientific method
Scientific method refers to a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on gathering empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of...

.

Ibn Hazm
Ibn Hazm
Abū Muḥammad ʿAlī ibn Aḥmad ibn Saʿīd ibn Ḥazm ) was an Andalusian philosopher, litterateur, psychologist, historian, jurist and theologian born in Córdoba, present-day Spain...

 (994-1064) wrote the Scope of Logic, in which he stressed on the importance of sense
Sense
Senses are physiological capacities of organisms that provide inputs for perception. The senses and their operation, classification, and theory are overlapping topics studied by a variety of fields, most notably neuroscience, cognitive psychology , and philosophy of perception...

 perception
Perception
Perception is the process of attaining awareness or understanding of the environment by organizing and interpreting sensory information. All perception involves signals in the nervous system, which in turn result from physical stimulation of the sense organs...

 as a source of knowledge. Al-Ghazali
Al-Ghazali
Abu Hāmed Mohammad ibn Mohammad al-Ghazzālī , known as Algazel to the western medieval world, born and died in Tus, in the Khorasan province of Persia was a Persian Muslim theologian, jurist, philosopher, and mystic....

 (Algazel) (1058–1111) had an important influence on the use of logic in theology, making use of Avicennian logic in Kalam
Kalam
ʿIlm al-Kalām is the Islamic philosophical discipline of seeking theological principles through dialectic. Kalām in Islamic practice relates to the discipline of seeking theological knowledge through debate and argument. A scholar of kalām is referred to as a mutakallim...

. Despite the logical sophistication of al-Ghazali
Al-Ghazali
Abu Hāmed Mohammad ibn Mohammad al-Ghazzālī , known as Algazel to the western medieval world, born and died in Tus, in the Khorasan province of Persia was a Persian Muslim theologian, jurist, philosopher, and mystic....

, the rise of the Ash'ari
Ash'ari
The Ashʿari theology is a school of early Muslim speculative theology founded by the theologian Abu al-Hasan al-Ash'ari...

 school in the from the 12th century slowly suffocated original work on logic in much of the Islamic world, though logic continued to be studied in some Islamic regions such as Persia
History of Iran
The history of Iran has been intertwined with the history of a larger historical region, comprising the area from the Danube River in the west to the Indus River and Jaxartes in the east and from the Caucasus, Caspian Sea, and Aral Sea in the north to the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman and Egypt...

 and the Levant
Levant
The Levant or ) is the geographic region and culture zone of the "eastern Mediterranean littoral between Anatolia and Egypt" . The Levant includes most of modern Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian territories, and sometimes parts of Turkey and Iraq, and corresponds roughly to the...

.

Fakhr al-Din al-Razi
Fakhr al-Din al-Razi
Abu Abdullah Muhammad ibn Umar ibn al-Husayn al-Taymi al-Bakri al-Tabaristani Fakhr al-Din al-Razi , most commonly known as Fakhruddin Razi was a well-known Persian Sunni Muslim theologian and philosopher....

 (b. 1149) criticised Aristotle's "first figure
Syllogism
A syllogism is a kind of logical argument in which one proposition is inferred from two or more others of a certain form...

" and developed a form of inductive logic
Inductive reasoning
Inductive reasoning, also known as induction or inductive logic, is a kind of reasoning that constructs or evaluates propositions that are abstractions of observations. It is commonly construed as a form of reasoning that makes generalizations based on individual instances...

, foreshadowing the system of inductive logic developed by John Stuart Mill
John Stuart Mill
John Stuart Mill was a British philosopher, economist and civil servant. An influential contributor to social theory, political theory, and political economy, his conception of liberty justified the freedom of the individual in opposition to unlimited state control. He was a proponent of...

 (1806–1873). Systematic refutations of Greek logic were written by the Illuminationist school, founded by Shahab al-Din Suhrawardi
Shahab al-Din Suhrawardi
Other important Muslim mystics carry the name Suhrawardi, particularly Abu 'l-Najib al-Suhrawardi and his paternal nephew Abu Hafs Umar al-Suhrawardi."Shahāb ad-Dīn" Yahya ibn Habash as-Suhrawardī was a Persian...

 (1155–1191), who developed the idea of "decisive necessity
Necessity
In U.S. criminal law, necessity may be either a possible justification or an exculpation for breaking the law. Defendants seeking to rely on this defense argue that they should not be held liable for their actions as a crime because their conduct was necessary to prevent some greater harm and when...

", an important innovation in the history of logical philosophical speculation. Another systematic refutation of Greek logic was written by Ibn Taymiyyah (1263–1328), the Ar-Radd 'ala al-Mantiqiyyin (Refutation of Greek Logicians), where he argued against the usefulness, though not the validity, of the syllogism
Syllogism
A syllogism is a kind of logical argument in which one proposition is inferred from two or more others of a certain form...

 and in favour of inductive reasoning
Inductive reasoning
Inductive reasoning, also known as induction or inductive logic, is a kind of reasoning that constructs or evaluates propositions that are abstractions of observations. It is commonly construed as a form of reasoning that makes generalizations based on individual instances...

.

Cosmological and ontological arguments


Avicenna
Avicenna
Abū ʿAlī al-Ḥusayn ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn Sīnā , commonly known as Ibn Sīnā or by his Latinized name Avicenna, was a Persian polymath, who wrote almost 450 treatises on a wide range of subjects, of which around 240 have survived...

's proof for the existence of God
Existence of God
Arguments for and against the existence of God have been proposed by philosophers, theologians, scientists, and others. In philosophical terms, arguments for and against the existence of God involve primarily the sub-disciplines of epistemology and ontology , but also of the theory of value, since...

 was the first ontological argument
Ontological argument
The ontological argument for the existence of God is an a priori argument for the existence of God. The ontological argument was first proposed by the eleventh-century monk Anselm of Canterbury, who defined God as the greatest possible being we can conceive...

, which he proposed in the Metaphysics section of The Book of Healing
The Book of Healing
The Book of Healing is a scientific and philosophical encyclopedia written by Abū Alī ibn Sīnā from Asfahana, near Bukhara in Greater Persia. Despite its English title, it is not in fact concerned with medicine...

. This was the first attempt at using the method of a priori proof, which utilizes intuition and reason alone. Avicenna's proof of God's existence is unique in that it can be classified as both a cosmological argument
Cosmological argument
The cosmological argument is an argument for the existence of a First Cause to the universe, and by extension is often used as an argument for the existence of an "unconditioned" or "supreme" being, usually then identified as God...

 and an ontological argument. "It is ontological insofar as ‘necessary existence’ in intellect is the first basis for arguing for a Necessary Existent". The proof is also "cosmological insofar as most of it is taken up with arguing that contingent existents cannot stand alone and must end up in a Necessary Existent."

Distinction between essence and existence


Islamic philosophy, imbued as it is with Islamic theology
Kalam
ʿIlm al-Kalām is the Islamic philosophical discipline of seeking theological principles through dialectic. Kalām in Islamic practice relates to the discipline of seeking theological knowledge through debate and argument. A scholar of kalām is referred to as a mutakallim...

, distinguishes more clearly than Aristotelianism
Aristotelianism
Aristotelianism is a tradition of philosophy that takes its defining inspiration from the work of Aristotle. The works of Aristotle were initially defended by the members of the Peripatetic school, and, later on, by the Neoplatonists, who produced many commentaries on Aristotle's writings...

 the difference between essence
Essence
In philosophy, essence is the attribute or set of attributes that make an object or substance what it fundamentally is, and which it has by necessity, and without which it loses its identity. Essence is contrasted with accident: a property that the object or substance has contingently, without...

 and existence
Existence
In common usage, existence is the world we are aware of through our senses, and that persists independently without them. In academic philosophy the word has a more specialized meaning, being contrasted with essence, which specifies different forms of existence as well as different identity...

. Whereas existence is the domain of the contingent and the accidental, essence endures within a being
Being
Being , is an English word used for conceptualizing subjective and objective aspects of reality, including those fundamental to the self —related to and somewhat interchangeable with terms like "existence" and "living".In its objective usage —as in "a being," or "[a] human being" —it...

 beyond the accidental. This was first described by Avicenna
Avicenna
Abū ʿAlī al-Ḥusayn ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn Sīnā , commonly known as Ibn Sīnā or by his Latinized name Avicenna, was a Persian polymath, who wrote almost 450 treatises on a wide range of subjects, of which around 240 have survived...

's works on metaphysics
Metaphysics
Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world, although the term is not easily defined. Traditionally, metaphysics attempts to answer two basic questions in the broadest possible terms:...

, who was himself influenced by al-Farabi
Al-Farabi
' known in the West as Alpharabius , was a scientist and philosopher of the Islamic world...

.

Some orientalists (or those particularly influenced by Thomist scholarship) argued that Avicenna was the first to view existence (wujud) as an accident that happens to the essence (mahiyya). However, this aspect of ontology is not the most central to the distinction that Avicenna established between essence and existence. One cannot therefore make the claim that Avicenna was the proponent of the concept of essentialism
Essentialism
In philosophy, essentialism is the view that, for any specific kind of entity, there is a set of characteristics or properties all of which any entity of that kind must possess. Therefore all things can be precisely defined or described...

 per se, given that existence (al-wujud) when thought of in terms of necessity would ontologically translate into a notion of the Necessary-Existent-due-to-Itself (wajib al-wujud bi-dhatihi), which is without description or definition, and particularly without quiddity or essence (la mahiyya lahu). Consequently, Avicenna's ontology is 'existentialist
Existentialism
Existentialism is a term applied to a school of 19th- and 20th-century philosophers who, despite profound doctrinal differences, shared the belief that philosophical thinking begins with the human subject—not merely the thinking subject, but the acting, feeling, living human individual...

' when accounting for being qua existence in terms of necessity (wujub), while it is 'essentialist
Essentialism
In philosophy, essentialism is the view that, for any specific kind of entity, there is a set of characteristics or properties all of which any entity of that kind must possess. Therefore all things can be precisely defined or described...

' in terms of thinking about being qua existence (wujud) in terms of contingency qua possibility (imkan; or mumkin al-wujud: contingent being).

Some argue that Avicenna anticipated Frege and Bertrand Russell
Bertrand Russell
Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, OM, FRS was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, and social critic. At various points in his life he considered himself a liberal, a socialist, and a pacifist, but he also admitted that he had never been any of these things...

 in "holding that existence is an accident of accidents" and also anticipated Alexius Meinong
Alexius Meinong
Alexius Meinong was an Austrian philosopher, a realist known for his unique ontology...

's "view about nonexistent objects." He also provided early arguments for "a 'necessary
Necessary and sufficient conditions
In logic, the words necessity and sufficiency refer to the implicational relationships between statements. The assertion that one statement is a necessary and sufficient condition of another means that the former statement is true if and only if the latter is true.-Definitions:A necessary condition...

 being' as cause of all other existents."

The idea of "essence precedes existence" is a concept which dates back to Avicenna
Avicenna
Abū ʿAlī al-Ḥusayn ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn Sīnā , commonly known as Ibn Sīnā or by his Latinized name Avicenna, was a Persian polymath, who wrote almost 450 treatises on a wide range of subjects, of which around 240 have survived...

 and his school of Avicennism as well as Shahab al-Din Suhrawardi
Shahab al-Din Suhrawardi
Other important Muslim mystics carry the name Suhrawardi, particularly Abu 'l-Najib al-Suhrawardi and his paternal nephew Abu Hafs Umar al-Suhrawardi."Shahāb ad-Dīn" Yahya ibn Habash as-Suhrawardī was a Persian...

 and his Illuminationist philosophy. The opposite idea of "existence precedes essence
Existence precedes essence
The proposition that existence precedes essence is a central claim of existentialism, which reverses the traditional philosophical view that the essence or nature of a thing is more fundamental and immutable than its existence...

" was thus developed in the works of Averroes
Averroes
' , better known just as Ibn Rushd , and in European literature as Averroes , was a Muslim polymath; a master of Aristotelian philosophy, Islamic philosophy, Islamic theology, Maliki law and jurisprudence, logic, psychology, politics, Arabic music theory, and the sciences of medicine, astronomy,...

 and Mulla Sadra
Mulla Sadra
Ṣadr ad-Dīn Muḥammad Shīrāzī also called Mulla Sadrā was a Persian Shia Islamic philosopher, theologian and ‘Ālim who led the Iranian cultural renaissance in the 17th century...

's transcendent theosophy
Transcendent Theosophy
Transcendent theosophy or al-hikmat al-muta’li , 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....

.

More careful approaches are needed in terms of thinking about philosophers (and theologians) in Islam in terms of phenomenological methods of investigation in ontology
Ontology
Ontology is the philosophical study of the nature of being, existence or reality as such, as well as the basic categories of being and their relations...

 (or onto-theology), or by way of comparisons that are made with Heidegger's thought and his critique of the history of metaphysics.

Resurrection


Ibn al-Nafis wrote the Theologus Autodidactus as a defense of "the system of Islam and the Muslims' doctrines on the missions of Prophets, the religious laws, the resurrection of the body, and the transitoriness of the world." The book presents rational arguments for bodily resurrection
Resurrection
Resurrection refers to the literal coming back to life of the biologically dead. It is used both with respect to particular individuals or the belief in a General Resurrection of the dead at the end of the world. The General Resurrection is featured prominently in Jewish, Christian, and Muslim...

 and the immortality
Immortality
Immortality is the ability to live forever. It is unknown whether human physical immortality is an achievable condition. Biological forms have inherent limitations which may or may not be able to be overcome through medical interventions or engineering...

 of the human soul, using both demonstrative reasoning and material from the hadith corpus as forms of evidence
Evidence
Evidence in its broadest sense includes everything that is used to determine or demonstrate the truth of an assertion. Giving or procuring evidence is the process of using those things that are either presumed to be true, or were themselves proven via evidence, to demonstrate an assertion's truth...

. Later Islamic scholars viewed this work as a response to Avicenna
Avicenna
Abū ʿAlī al-Ḥusayn ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn Sīnā , commonly known as Ibn Sīnā or by his Latinized name Avicenna, was a Persian polymath, who wrote almost 450 treatises on a wide range of subjects, of which around 240 have survived...

's metaphysical
Metaphysics
Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world, although the term is not easily defined. Traditionally, metaphysics attempts to answer two basic questions in the broadest possible terms:...

 argument on spirit
Spirit
The English word spirit has many differing meanings and connotations, most of them relating to a non-corporeal substance contrasted with the material body.The spirit of a living thing usually refers to or explains its consciousness.The notions of a person's "spirit" and "soul" often also overlap,...

ual resurrection (as opposed to bodily resurrection), which was earlier criticized by al-Ghazali
Al-Ghazali
Abu Hāmed Mohammad ibn Mohammad al-Ghazzālī , known as Algazel to the western medieval world, born and died in Tus, in the Khorasan province of Persia was a Persian Muslim theologian, jurist, philosopher, and mystic....

.

Soul and spirit


The Muslim physician
Islamic medicine
In the history of medicine, Islamic medicine, Arabic medicine or Arabian medicine refers to medicine developed in the Islamic Golden Age, and written in Arabic, the lingua franca of Islamic civilization....

-philosophers, Avicenna
Avicenna
Abū ʿAlī al-Ḥusayn ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn Sīnā , commonly known as Ibn Sīnā or by his Latinized name Avicenna, was a Persian polymath, who wrote almost 450 treatises on a wide range of subjects, of which around 240 have survived...

 and Ibn al-Nafis, developed their own theories on the soul. They both made a distinction between the soul and the spirit
Spirit
The English word spirit has many differing meanings and connotations, most of them relating to a non-corporeal substance contrasted with the material body.The spirit of a living thing usually refers to or explains its consciousness.The notions of a person's "spirit" and "soul" often also overlap,...

, and in particular, the Avicennian doctrine on the nature of the soul was influential among the Scholastics
Scholasticism
Scholasticism is a method of critical thought which dominated teaching by the academics of medieval universities in Europe from about 1100–1500, and a program of employing that method in articulating and defending orthodoxy in an increasingly pluralistic context...

. Some of Avicenna's views on the soul included the idea that the immortality
Immortality
Immortality is the ability to live forever. It is unknown whether human physical immortality is an achievable condition. Biological forms have inherent limitations which may or may not be able to be overcome through medical interventions or engineering...

 of the soul is a consequence of its nature, and not a purpose for it to fulfill. In his theory of "The Ten Intellects", he viewed the human soul as the tenth and final intellect
Intellect
Intellect is a term used in studies of the human mind, and refers to the ability of the mind to come to correct conclusions about what is true or real, and about how to solve problems...

.

Avicenna generally supported Aristotle
Aristotle
Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and polymath, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. His writings cover many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology...

's idea of the soul originating from the heart
Heart
The heart is a myogenic muscular organ found in all animals with a circulatory system , that is responsible for pumping blood throughout the blood vessels by repeated, rhythmic contractions...

, whereas Ibn al-Nafis on the other hand rejected this idea and instead argued that the soul "is related to the entirety and not to one or a few organ
Organ (anatomy)
In biology, an organ is a collection of tissues joined in structural unit to serve a common function. Usually there is a main tissue and sporadic tissues . The main tissue is the one that is unique for the specific organ. For example, main tissue in the heart is the myocardium, while sporadic are...

s." He further criticized Aristotle's idea that every unique soul requires the existence of a unique source, in this case the heart. Ibn al-Nafis concluded that "the soul is related primarily neither to the spirit nor to any organ, but rather to the entire matter whose temperament is prepared to receive that soul" and he defined the soul as nothing other than "what a human indicates by saying ‘I
I (pronoun)
I is the first-person singular subjective case personal pronoun in Modern English. It is used to refer to one's self and is capitalised, although other pronouns, such as he or she, are not capitalised.-Etymology:...

’."

Thought experiments

Further information: Avicennism - Thought experiments on self-consciousness


While he was imprisoned in the castle of Fardajan near Hamadhan, Avicenna
Avicenna
Abū ʿAlī al-Ḥusayn ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn Sīnā , commonly known as Ibn Sīnā or by his Latinized name Avicenna, was a Persian polymath, who wrote almost 450 treatises on a wide range of subjects, of which around 240 have survived...

 wrote his famous "Floating Man" thought experiment
Thought experiment
A thought experiment or Gedankenexperiment considers some hypothesis, theory, or principle for the purpose of thinking through its consequences...

 to demonstrate human self-awareness
Self-awareness
Self-awareness is the capacity for introspection and the ability to reconcile oneself as an individual separate from the environment and other individuals...

 and the substantiality of the soul. He referred to the living human intelligence
Intelligence
Intelligence has been defined in different ways, including the abilities for abstract thought, understanding, communication, reasoning, learning, planning, emotional intelligence and problem solving....

, particularly the active intellect
Active intellect
The active intellect is a concept in classical and medieval philosophy...

, which he believed to be the hypostasis
Hypostatic abstraction
Hypostatic abstraction in mathematical logic, also known as hypostasis or subjectal abstraction, is a formal operation that transforms an assertion to a relation; for example "Honey is sweet" is transformed into "Honey has sweetness"...

 by which God communicates truth to the human mind
Mind
The concept of mind is understood in many different ways by many different traditions, ranging from panpsychism and animism to traditional and organized religious views, as well as secular and materialist philosophies. Most agree that minds are constituted by conscious experience and intelligent...

 and imparts order and intelligibility
Intelligibility (philosophy)
In philosophy, intelligibility is what can be comprehended by the human mind. The intelligible method is thought thinking itself, or the human mind reflecting. Plato referred to the intelligible realm of mathematics, forms, first principles, logical deduction, and the dialectical method...

 to nature
Nature
Nature, in the broadest sense, is equivalent to the natural world, physical world, or material world. "Nature" refers to the phenomena of the physical world, and also to life in general...

. His "Floating Man" thought experiment tells its readers to imagine themselves suspended in the air, isolated from all sensations, which includes no sensory
Sense
Senses are physiological capacities of organisms that provide inputs for perception. The senses and their operation, classification, and theory are overlapping topics studied by a variety of fields, most notably neuroscience, cognitive psychology , and philosophy of perception...

 contact with even their own bodies. He argues that, in this scenario, one would still have self-consciousness
Self-consciousness
Self-consciousness is an acute sense of self-awareness. It is a preoccupation with oneself, as opposed to the philosophical state of self-awareness, which is the awareness that one exists as an individual being; although some writers use both terms interchangeably or synonymously...

. He thus concludes that the idea of the self
Self (philosophy)
The philosophy of self defines the essential qualities that make one person distinct from all others. There have been numerous approaches to defining these qualities. The self is the idea of a unified being which is the source of consciousness. Moreover, this self is the agent responsible for the...

 is not logically dependent on any physical thing
Object (philosophy)
An object in philosophy is a technical term often used in contrast to the term subject. Consciousness is a state of cognition that includes the subject, which can never be doubted as only it can be the one who doubts, and some object or objects that may or may not have real existence without...

, and that the soul should not be seen in relative term
Relative term
A relative term is a term that makes two or more distinct references to objects . A relative term is typically expressed in ordinary language by means of a phrase with explicit or implicit blanks...

s, but as a primary given, a substance
Substance theory
Substance theory, or substance attribute theory, is an ontological theory about objecthood, positing that a substance is distinct from its properties. A thing-in-itself is a property-bearer that must be distinguished from the properties it bears....

.

This argument was later refined and simplified by René Descartes
René Descartes
René Descartes ; was a French philosopher and writer who spent most of his adult life in the Dutch Republic. He has been dubbed the 'Father of Modern Philosophy', and much subsequent Western philosophy is a response to his writings, which are studied closely to this day...

 in epistemic terms when he stated: "I can abstract from the supposition of all external things, but not from the supposition of my own consciousness."

Time


In contrast to ancient Greek philosophers who believed that the universe had an infinite past with no beginning, medieval philosophers
Medieval philosophy
Medieval philosophy is the philosophy in the era now known as medieval or the Middle Ages, the period roughly extending from the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the fifth century AD to the Renaissance in the sixteenth century...

 and theologians developed the concept of the universe having a finite past
Temporal finitism
Temporal finitism is the idea that time is finite. The context of the idea is the pre-modern era, before mathematicians had understood the concept of infinity and before physical cosmology....

 with a beginning. This view was inspired by the creation myth shared by the three Abrahamic religions
Abrahamic religions
Abrahamic religions are the monotheistic faiths emphasizing and tracing their common origin to Abraham or recognizing a spiritual tradition identified with him...

: Judaism
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

, Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 and Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

. The Christian philosopher
Christian philosophy
Christian philosophy may refer to any development in philosophy that is characterised by coming from a Christian tradition.- Origins of Christian philosophy :...

, John Philoponus
John Philoponus
John Philoponus , also known as John the Grammarian or John of Alexandria, was a Christian and Aristotelian commentator and the author of a considerable number of philosophical treatises and theological works...

, presented the first such argument against the ancient Greek notion of an infinite past. However, the most sophisticated medieval arguments against an infinite past were developed by the Islamic philosopher, Al-Kindi
Al-Kindi
' , known as "the Philosopher of the Arabs", was a Muslim Arab philosopher, mathematician, physician, and musician. Al-Kindi was the first of the Muslim peripatetic philosophers, and is unanimously hailed as the "father of Islamic or Arabic philosophy" for his synthesis, adaptation and promotion...

 (Alkindus); the Jewish philosopher
Jewish philosophy
Jewish philosophy , includes all philosophy carried out by Jews, or, in relation to the religion of Judaism. Jewish philosophy, until modern Enlightenment and Emancipation, was pre-occupied with attempts to reconcile coherent new ideas into the tradition of Rabbinic Judaism; thus organizing...

, Saadia Gaon
Saadia Gaon
Saʻadiah ben Yosef Gaon was a prominent rabbi, Jewish philosopher, and exegete of the Geonic period.The first important rabbinic figure to write extensively in Arabic, he is considered the founder of Judeo-Arabic literature...

 (Saadia ben Joseph); and the Islamic theologian
Islamic theology
Islamic theology is a branch of Islamic studies regarding the beliefs associated with the Islamic faith. Any religious belief system, or creed, can be considered an example of aqidah. However, this term has taken a significant technical usage in Islamic history and theology, denoting those...

, Al-Ghazali
Al-Ghazali
Abu Hāmed Mohammad ibn Mohammad al-Ghazzālī , known as Algazel to the western medieval world, born and died in Tus, in the Khorasan province of Persia was a Persian Muslim theologian, jurist, philosopher, and mystic....

 (Algazel). They developed two logical arguments against an infinite past, the first being the "argument from the impossibility of the existence of an actual infinite", which states:
"An actual infinite cannot exist."
"An infinite temporal regress of events is an actual infinite."
" An infinite temporal regress of events cannot exist."


The second argument, the "argument from the impossibility of completing an actual infinite by successive addition", states:
"An actual infinite cannot be completed by successive addition."
"The temporal series of past events has been completed by successive addition."
" The temporal series of past events cannot be an actual infinite."


Both arguments were adopted by later Christian philosophers and theologians, and the second argument in particular became more famous after it was adopted by Immanuel Kant
Immanuel Kant
Immanuel Kant was a German philosopher from Königsberg , researching, lecturing and writing on philosophy and anthropology at the end of the 18th Century Enlightenment....

 in his thesis of the first antimony concerning time.

Truth


In metaphysics
Metaphysics
Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world, although the term is not easily defined. Traditionally, metaphysics attempts to answer two basic questions in the broadest possible terms:...

, Avicenna
Avicenna
Abū ʿAlī al-Ḥusayn ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn Sīnā , commonly known as Ibn Sīnā or by his Latinized name Avicenna, was a Persian polymath, who wrote almost 450 treatises on a wide range of subjects, of which around 240 have survived...

 (Ibn Sina) defined truth as:
Avicenna elaborated on his definition of truth in his Metaphysics
Metaphysics
Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world, although the term is not easily defined. Traditionally, metaphysics attempts to answer two basic questions in the broadest possible terms:...

:
In his Quodlibeta, Thomas Aquinas
Thomas Aquinas
Thomas Aquinas, O.P. , also Thomas of Aquin or Aquino, was an Italian Dominican priest of the Catholic Church, and an immensely influential philosopher and theologian in the tradition of scholasticism, known as Doctor Angelicus, Doctor Communis, or Doctor Universalis...

 wrote a commentary on Avicenna's definition of truth in his Metaphysics and explained it as follows:
Early Islamic political philosophy emphasized an inexorable link between science and religion and emphsized the process of ijtihad
Ijtihad
Ijtihad is the making of a decision in Islamic law by personal effort , independently of any school of jurisprudence . as opposed to taqlid, copying or obeying without question....

 to find truth.

Ibn al-Haytham (Alhacen) reasoned that to discover the truth about nature, it is necessary to eliminate human opinion and error, and allow the universe to speak for itself. In his Aporias against Ptolemy, Ibn al-Haytham further wrote the following comments on truth:

Atomism


Atomistic
Atomism
Atomism is a natural philosophy that developed in several ancient traditions. The atomists theorized that the natural world consists of two fundamental parts: indivisible atoms and empty void.According to Aristotle, atoms are indestructible and immutable and there are an infinite variety of shapes...

 philosophies are found very early in Islamic philosophy, and represent a synthesis of the Greek and Indian ideas. Like both the Greek and Indian versions, Islamic atomism was a charged topic that had the potential for conflict with the prevalent religious orthodoxy. Yet it was such a fertile and flexible idea that, as in Greece and India, it flourished in some schools of Islamic thought.

The most successful form of Islamic atomism was in the Asharite school of philosophy, most notably in the work of the philosopher al-Ghazali
Al-Ghazali
Abu Hāmed Mohammad ibn Mohammad al-Ghazzālī , known as Algazel to the western medieval world, born and died in Tus, in the Khorasan province of Persia was a Persian Muslim theologian, jurist, philosopher, and mystic....

 (1058–1111). In Asharite atomism, atoms are the only perpetual, material things in existence, and all else in the world is "accidental" meaning something that lasts for only an instant. Nothing accidental can be the cause of anything else, except perception, as it exists for a moment. Contingent events are not subject to natural physical causes, but are the direct result of God's constant intervention, without which nothing could happen. Thus nature is completely dependent on God, which meshes with other Asharite Islamic ideas on causation
Causality
Causality is the relationship between an event and a second event , where the second event is understood as a consequence of the first....

, or the lack thereof.

Other traditions in Islam rejected the atomism of the Asharites and expounded on many Greek texts, especially those of Aristotle. An active school of philosophers in Spain, including the noted commentator Averroes
Averroes
' , better known just as Ibn Rushd , and in European literature as Averroes , was a Muslim polymath; a master of Aristotelian philosophy, Islamic philosophy, Islamic theology, Maliki law and jurisprudence, logic, psychology, politics, Arabic music theory, and the sciences of medicine, astronomy,...

 (1126-1198 AD) explicitly rejected the thought of al-Ghazali and turned to an extensive evaluation of the thought of Aristotle. Averroes commented in detail on most of the works of Aristotle and his commentaries did much to guide the interpretation of Aristotle in later Jewish and Christian scholastic thought.

Cosmology


There are several cosmological verses in the Qur'an
Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

 (610-632) which some modern writers have interpreted as foreshadowing the expansion of the universe
Metric expansion of space
The metric expansion of space is the increase of distance between distant parts of the universe with time. It is an intrinsic expansion—that is, it is defined by the relative separation of parts of the universe and not by motion "outward" into preexisting space...

 and possibly even the Big Bang
Big Bang
The Big Bang theory is the prevailing cosmological model that explains the early development of the Universe. According to the Big Bang theory, the Universe was once in an extremely hot and dense state which expanded rapidly. This rapid expansion caused the young Universe to cool and resulted in...

 theory:

Don't those who reject faith see that the heavens and the earth were a single entity then We ripped them apart?

And the heavens We did create with Our Hands, and We do cause it to expand.


In contrast to ancient Greek philosophers
Greek philosophy
Ancient Greek philosophy arose in the 6th century BCE and continued through the Hellenistic period, at which point Ancient Greece was incorporated in the Roman Empire...

 who believed that the universe
Universe
The Universe is commonly defined as the totality of everything that exists, including all matter and energy, the planets, stars, galaxies, and the contents of intergalactic space. Definitions and usage vary and similar terms include the cosmos, the world and nature...

 had an infinite past with no beginning, medieval philosophers
Medieval philosophy
Medieval philosophy is the philosophy in the era now known as medieval or the Middle Ages, the period roughly extending from the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the fifth century AD to the Renaissance in the sixteenth century...

 and theologians developed the concept of the universe having a finite past with a beginning. This view was inspired by the creation myth shared by the three Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The Christian philosopher
Christian philosophy
Christian philosophy may refer to any development in philosophy that is characterised by coming from a Christian tradition.- Origins of Christian philosophy :...

, John Philoponus
John Philoponus
John Philoponus , also known as John the Grammarian or John of Alexandria, was a Christian and Aristotelian commentator and the author of a considerable number of philosophical treatises and theological works...

, presented the first such argument against the ancient Greek notion of an infinite past. His reasoning was adopted by many, most notably; Muslim philosopher, Al-Kindi
Al-Kindi
' , known as "the Philosopher of the Arabs", was a Muslim Arab philosopher, mathematician, physician, and musician. Al-Kindi was the first of the Muslim peripatetic philosophers, and is unanimously hailed as the "father of Islamic or Arabic philosophy" for his synthesis, adaptation and promotion...

 (Alkindus); the Jewish philosopher
Jewish philosophy
Jewish philosophy , includes all philosophy carried out by Jews, or, in relation to the religion of Judaism. Jewish philosophy, until modern Enlightenment and Emancipation, was pre-occupied with attempts to reconcile coherent new ideas into the tradition of Rabbinic Judaism; thus organizing...

, Saadia Gaon
Saadia Gaon
Saʻadiah ben Yosef Gaon was a prominent rabbi, Jewish philosopher, and exegete of the Geonic period.The first important rabbinic figure to write extensively in Arabic, he is considered the founder of Judeo-Arabic literature...

 (Saadia ben Joseph); and the Muslim theologian
Kalam
ʿIlm al-Kalām is the Islamic philosophical discipline of seeking theological principles through dialectic. Kalām in Islamic practice relates to the discipline of seeking theological knowledge through debate and argument. A scholar of kalām is referred to as a mutakallim...

, Al-Ghazali
Al-Ghazali
Abu Hāmed Mohammad ibn Mohammad al-Ghazzālī , known as Algazel to the western medieval world, born and died in Tus, in the Khorasan province of Persia was a Persian Muslim theologian, jurist, philosopher, and mystic....

 (Algazel). They used two logical arguments against an infinite past, the first being the "argument from the impossibility of the existence of an actual infinite", which states:
"An actual infinite cannot exist."
"An infinite temporal regress of events is an actual infinite."
".•. An infinite temporal regress of events cannot exist."


The second argument, the "argument from the impossibility of completing an actual infinite by successive addition", states:
"An actual infinite cannot be completed by successive addition."
"The temporal series of past events has been completed by successive addition."
".•. The temporal series of past events cannot be an actual infinite."


Both arguments were adopted by later Christian philosophers and theologians, and the second argument in particular became more famous after it was adopted by Immanuel Kant
Immanuel Kant
Immanuel Kant was a German philosopher from Königsberg , researching, lecturing and writing on philosophy and anthropology at the end of the 18th Century Enlightenment....

 in his thesis of the first antimony concerning time.

In the 10th century, the Brethren of Purity
Brethren of Purity
The Brethren of Purity were a secret society of Muslim philosophers in Basra, Iraq, in the 10th century CE....

 published the Encyclopedia of the Brethren of Purity
Encyclopedia of the Brethren of Purity
The Encyclopedia of the Brethren of Purity was a large encyclopedia in 52 treatises written by the mysterious Brethren of Purity of Basra, Iraq sometime in the second half of the 10th century CE...

, in which a heliocentric
Heliocentrism
Heliocentrism, or heliocentricism, is the astronomical model in which the Earth and planets revolve around a stationary Sun at the center of the universe. The word comes from the Greek . Historically, heliocentrism was opposed to geocentrism, which placed the Earth at the center...

 view of the universe is expressed in a section on cosmology:

Evolution


Struggle for existence

The Mu'tazili
Mu'tazili
' is an Islamic school of speculative theology that flourished in the cities of Basra and Baghdad, both in present-day Iraq, during the 8th–10th centuries. The adherents of the Mu'tazili school are best known for their having asserted that, because of the perfect unity and eternal nature of God,...

 scientist and philosopher al-Jahiz
Al-Jahiz
Al-Jāḥiẓ was an Arabic prose writer and author of works of literature, Mu'tazili theology, and politico-religious polemics.In biology, Al-Jahiz introduced the concept of food chains and also proposed a scheme of animal evolution that entailed...

 (c. 776-869) was the first of the Muslim biologists and philosophers to develop an early theory of evolution
Evolution
Evolution is any change across successive generations in the heritable characteristics of biological populations. Evolutionary processes give rise to diversity at every level of biological organisation, including species, individual organisms and molecules such as DNA and proteins.Life on Earth...

. He speculated on the influence of the environment on animals, considered the effects of the environment on the likelihood of an animal to survive, and first described the struggle for existence, a precursor to natural selection
Natural selection
Natural selection is the nonrandom process by which biologic traits become either more or less common in a population as a function of differential reproduction of their bearers. It is a key mechanism of evolution....

. Al-Jahiz's ideas on the struggle for existence in the Book of Animals have been summarized as follows:
In Chapter 47 of his India, entitled "On Vasudeva and the Wars of the Bharata," Abu Rayhan Biruni attempted to give a naturalistic explanation
Natural history
Natural history is the scientific research of plants or animals, leaning more towards observational rather than experimental methods of study, and encompasses more research published in magazines than in academic journals. Grouped among the natural sciences, natural history is the systematic study...

 as to why the struggles described in the Mahabharata
Mahabharata
The Mahabharata is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India and Nepal, the other being the Ramayana. The epic is part of itihasa....

 "had to take place." He explains it using natural
Nature
Nature, in the broadest sense, is equivalent to the natural world, physical world, or material world. "Nature" refers to the phenomena of the physical world, and also to life in general...

 processes that include biological
Biology
Biology is a natural science concerned with the study of life and living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, distribution, and taxonomy. Biology is a vast subject containing many subdivisions, topics, and disciplines...

 ideas related to evolution, which has led several scholars to compare his ideas to Darwinism
Darwinism
Darwinism is a set of movements and concepts related to ideas of transmutation of species or of evolution, including some ideas with no connection to the work of Charles Darwin....

 and natural selection
Natural selection
Natural selection is the nonrandom process by which biologic traits become either more or less common in a population as a function of differential reproduction of their bearers. It is a key mechanism of evolution....

. This is due to Biruni describing the idea of artificial selection
Artificial selection
Artificial selection describes intentional breeding for certain traits, or combination of traits. The term was utilized by Charles Darwin in contrast to natural selection, in which the differential reproduction of organisms with certain traits is attributed to improved survival or reproductive...

 and then applying it to nature:
In the 13th century, Nasir al-Din al-Tusi
Nasir al-Din al-Tusi
Khawaja Muḥammad ibn Muḥammad ibn Ḥasan Ṭūsī , better known as Naṣīr al-Dīn al-Ṭūsī , was a Persian polymath and prolific writer: an astronomer, biologist, chemist, mathematician, philosopher, physician, physicist, scientist, theologian and Marja Taqleed...

 explains how the element
Classical element
Many philosophies and worldviews have a set of classical elements believed to reflect the simplest essential parts and principles of which anything consists or upon which the constitution and fundamental powers of anything are based. Most frequently, classical elements refer to ancient beliefs...

s evolved into mineral
Mineral
A mineral is a naturally occurring solid chemical substance formed through biogeochemical processes, having characteristic chemical composition, highly ordered atomic structure, and specific physical properties. By comparison, a rock is an aggregate of minerals and/or mineraloids and does not...

s, then plant
Plant
Plants are living organisms belonging to the kingdom Plantae. Precise definitions of the kingdom vary, but as the term is used here, plants include familiar organisms such as trees, flowers, herbs, bushes, grasses, vines, ferns, mosses, and green algae. The group is also called green plants or...

s, then animal
Animal
Animals are a major group of multicellular, eukaryotic organisms of the kingdom Animalia or Metazoa. Their body plan eventually becomes fixed as they develop, although some undergo a process of metamorphosis later on in their life. Most animals are motile, meaning they can move spontaneously and...

s, and then human
Human
Humans are the only living species in the Homo genus...

s. Tusi then goes on to explain how hereditary
Heredity
Heredity is the passing of traits to offspring . This is the process by which an offspring cell or organism acquires or becomes predisposed to the characteristics of its parent cell or organism. Through heredity, variations exhibited by individuals can accumulate and cause some species to evolve...

 variability was an important factor for biological evolution of living thing
Living Thing
Living Thing is the fifth album by Peter Bjorn and John, released on March 30, 2009 in the UK and March 31 in the US. The lead-off single from this album is "Nothing to Worry About."-Reception:...

s:
Tusi discusses how organisms are able to adapt
Adaptation
An adaptation in biology is a trait with a current functional role in the life history of an organism that is maintained and evolved by means of natural selection. An adaptation refers to both the current state of being adapted and to the dynamic evolutionary process that leads to the adaptation....

 to their environments:
Tusi then explains how humans evolved from advanced animals:
Transmutation of species

Al-Dinawari
Al-Dinawari
Ābu Ḥanīfah Āḥmad ibn Dawūd Dīnawarī was a Persian polymath excelling as much in astronomy, agriculture, botany and metallurgy and as he did in geography, mathematics and history. He was born in Dinawar, . He studied astronomy, mathematics and mechanics in Isfahan and philology and poetry in...

 (828-896), considered the founder of Arabic botany
Muslim Agricultural Revolution
The Arab Agricultural Revolution is a term coined by the historian Andrew Watson in his influential 1974 paper postulating a fundamental transformation in agriculture from the 8th century to the 13th century in the Muslim...

 for his Book of Plants, discussed plant evolution
Plant evolution
Plant evolution is the subset of evolutionary phenomena that concern plants. Evolutionary phenomena are characteristics of populations that are described by averages, medians, distributions, and other statistical methods. This distinguishes plant evolution from plant development, a branch of...

 from its birth to its death, describing the phases of plant growth and the production of flowers and fruit.

Ibn Miskawayh
Ibn Miskawayh
Abu 'Ali Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Ya'qub Ibn Miskawayh, also known as Ibn Miskawayh or Ebn Meskavayh was a Persian chancery official of the Buwayhid era, and philosopher and historian from Rey, Iran...

's al-Fawz al-Asghar and the Brethren of Purity
Brethren of Purity
The Brethren of Purity were a secret society of Muslim philosophers in Basra, Iraq, in the 10th century CE....

's Encyclopedia of the Brethren of Purity
Encyclopedia of the Brethren of Purity
The Encyclopedia of the Brethren of Purity was a large encyclopedia in 52 treatises written by the mysterious Brethren of Purity of Basra, Iraq sometime in the second half of the 10th century CE...

 (The Epistles of Ikhwan al-Safa) developed theories on evolution that possibly had an influence on Charles Darwin
Charles Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin FRS was an English naturalist. He established that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestry, and proposed the scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted from a process that he called natural selection.He published his theory...

 and his inception of Darwinism
Darwinism
Darwinism is a set of movements and concepts related to ideas of transmutation of species or of evolution, including some ideas with no connection to the work of Charles Darwin....

. This comparison of the material in the Encyclopedia of the Brethren of Purity has been criticized as overenthusiastic. Muhammad Hamidullah
Muhammad Hamidullah
Muhammad Hamidullah or Muhammad Hameedullah, D. Phil., D. Litt., HI., was a Hyderabadi from Hyderabad State , Muhaddith, Faqih, scholar of Islam and International Law, and foremost a prolific academic author Muhammad Hamidullah or Muhammad Hameedullah, D. Phil., D. Litt., HI., (Urdu: محمد...

 describes their evolutionary ideas as follows:
English translations of the Encyclopedia of the Brethren of Purity were available from 1812, while Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

 manuscript
Manuscript
A manuscript or handwrite is written information that has been manually created by someone or some people, such as a hand-written letter, as opposed to being printed or reproduced some other way...

s of the al-Fawz al-Asghar and The Epistles of Ikhwan al-Safa were also available at the University of Cambridge
University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge is a public research university located in Cambridge, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest university in both the United Kingdom and the English-speaking world , and the seventh-oldest globally...

 by the 19th century. These works likely had an influence on 19th century evolutionists, and possibly Charles Darwin
Charles Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin FRS was an English naturalist. He established that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestry, and proposed the scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted from a process that he called natural selection.He published his theory...

.

In the 14th century, Ibn Khaldun
Ibn Khaldun
Ibn Khaldūn or Ibn Khaldoun was an Arab Tunisian historiographer and historian who is often viewed as one of the forerunners of modern historiography, sociology and economics...

 further developed the evolutionary ideas found in the Encyclopedia of the Brethren of Purity. The following statements from his 1377 work, the Muqaddimah
Muqaddimah
The Muqaddimah , also known as the Muqaddimah of Ibn Khaldun or the Prolegomena , is a book written by the Maghrebian Muslim historian Ibn Khaldun in 1377 which records an early view of universal history...

, express evolutionary ideas:

Numerous other Islamic scholars and scientists, including the polymaths Ibn al-Haytham and Al-Khazini
Al-Khazini
Abu al-Fath Abd al-Rahman Mansour al-Khāzini or simply Abu al-Fath Khāzini was a Muslim astronomer of Greek ethnicity from Merv, then in the Khorasan province of Persia .-References:...

, discussed and developed these ideas. Translated into Latin, these works began to appear in the West after the Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

 and may have had an impact on Western philosophy
Western philosophy
Western philosophy is the philosophical thought and work of the Western or Occidental world, as distinct from Eastern or Oriental philosophies and the varieties of indigenous philosophies....

 and science.

Phenomenology


The Ash'ari
Ash'ari
The Ashʿari theology is a school of early Muslim speculative theology founded by the theologian Abu al-Hasan al-Ash'ari...

 polymath Ibn al-Haytham (Alhacen) is considered a pioneer of phenomenology. He articulated a relationship between the physical and observable world and that of intuition
Intuition (knowledge)
Intuition is the ability to acquire knowledge without inference or the use of reason. "The word 'intuition' comes from the Latin word 'intueri', which is often roughly translated as meaning 'to look inside'’ or 'to contemplate'." Intuition provides us with beliefs that we cannot necessarily justify...

, psychology
Psychology
Psychology is the study of the mind and behavior. Its immediate goal is to understand individuals and groups by both establishing general principles and researching specific cases. For many, the ultimate goal of psychology is to benefit society...

 and mental function
Mental function
Mental processes, mental functions and cognitive processes are terms often used interchangeably to mean such functions or processes as perception, introspection, memory, creativity, imagination, conception, belief, reasoning, volition, and emotion—in...

s. His theories regarding knowledge and perception
Perception
Perception is the process of attaining awareness or understanding of the environment by organizing and interpreting sensory information. All perception involves signals in the nervous system, which in turn result from physical stimulation of the sense organs...

, linking the domains of science and religion, led to a philosophy of existence based on the direct observation of reality
Reality
In philosophy, reality is the state of things as they actually exist, rather than as they may appear or might be imagined. In a wider definition, reality includes everything that is and has been, whether or not it is observable or comprehensible...

 from the observer's point of view. Much of his thought on phenomenology was not further developed until the 20th century.

Philosophy of mind


The philosophy of mind
Philosophy of mind
Philosophy of mind is a branch of philosophy that studies the nature of the mind, mental events, mental functions, mental properties, consciousness and their relationship to the physical body, particularly the brain. The mind-body problem, i.e...

 was studied in medieval Islamic psychological thought, which refers to the study of the nafs
Nafs
Nafs is an Arabic word which occurs in the Qur'an and means self, psyche, ego or soul. In its unrefined state, "the ego is the lowest dimension of man's inward existence, his animal and satanic nature." Nafs is an important concept in the Islamic tradition, especially within Sufism and the...

 (literally "self
Self (philosophy)
The philosophy of self defines the essential qualities that make one person distinct from all others. There have been numerous approaches to defining these qualities. The self is the idea of a unified being which is the source of consciousness. Moreover, this self is the agent responsible for the...

" or "psyche
Psyche (psychology)
The word psyche has a long history of use in psychology and philosophy, dating back to ancient times, and has been one of the fundamental concepts for understanding human nature from a scientific point of view. The English word soul is sometimes used synonymously, especially in older...

" in Arabic) in the Islamic world, particularly during the Islamic Golden Age
Islamic Golden Age
During the Islamic Golden Age philosophers, scientists and engineers of the Islamic world contributed enormously to technology and culture, both by preserving earlier traditions and by adding their own inventions and innovations...

 (8th–15th centuries) as well as modern times (20th–21st centuries), and is related to psychology
Psychology
Psychology is the study of the mind and behavior. Its immediate goal is to understand individuals and groups by both establishing general principles and researching specific cases. For many, the ultimate goal of psychology is to benefit society...

, psychiatry
Psychiatry
Psychiatry is the medical specialty devoted to the study and treatment of mental disorders. These mental disorders include various affective, behavioural, cognitive and perceptual abnormalities...

 and the neuroscience
Neuroscience
Neuroscience is the scientific study of the nervous system. Traditionally, neuroscience has been seen as a branch of biology. However, it is currently an interdisciplinary science that collaborates with other fields such as chemistry, computer science, engineering, linguistics, mathematics,...

s.

Place and space


The Arab polymath al-Hasan Ibn al-Haytham (Alhazen; d. ca. 1041) presented a thorough mathematical critique and refutation of Aristotle
Aristotle
Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and polymath, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. His writings cover many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology...

's conception of place (topos) in his Risala/Qawl fi’l-makan (Treatise/Discourse on Place).

Aristotle's Physics
Physics (Aristotle)
The Physics of Aristotle is one of the foundational books of Western science and philosophy...

 (Book IV - Delta) stated that the place of something is the two-dimensional boundary of the containing body that is at rest and is in contact with what it contains. Ibn al-Haytham disagreed with this definition and demonstrated that place (al-makan) is the imagined (three-dimensional) void (al-khala' al-mutakhayyal) between the inner surfaces of the containing body. He showed that place was akin to space
Space
Space is the boundless, three-dimensional extent in which objects and events occur and have relative position and direction. Physical space is often conceived in three linear dimensions, although modern physicists usually consider it, with time, to be part of a boundless four-dimensional continuum...

, foreshadowing Descartes's notion of place as space qua Extensio or even Leibniz's analysis situs. Ibn al-Haytham's mathematization of place rested on several geometric demonstrations, including his study on the sphere and other solids, which showed that the sphere
Sphere
A sphere is a perfectly round geometrical object in three-dimensional space, such as the shape of a round ball. Like a circle in two dimensions, a perfect sphere is completely symmetrical around its center, with all points on the surface lying the same distance r from the center point...

 (al-kura) is the largest in magnitude (volumetric) with respect to other geometric solids that have equal surface areas. For instance, a sphere that has an equal surface area to that of a cylinder
Cylinder (geometry)
A cylinder is one of the most basic curvilinear geometric shapes, the surface formed by the points at a fixed distance from a given line segment, the axis of the cylinder. The solid enclosed by this surface and by two planes perpendicular to the axis is also called a cylinder...

, would be larger in (volumetric) magnitude than the cylinder; hence, the sphere occupies a larger place than that occupied by the cylinder; unlike what is entailed by Aristotle
Aristotle
Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and polymath, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. His writings cover many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology...

's definition of place: that this sphere and that cylinder occupy places that are equal in magnitude. Ibn al-Haytham rejected Aristotle
Aristotle
Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and polymath, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. His writings cover many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology...

's philosophical concept of place on mathematical grounds. Later, the philosopher 'Abd al-Latif al-Baghdadi
Abd-el-latif
Muwaffaq al-Din Muhammad 'Abd al-Latif ibn Yusuf al-Baghdadi , more commonly known as Abd al-Latif al-Baghdadi or Abdallatif al-Baghdadi , born in Baghdad, Iraq, was a celebrated physician, historian, Egyptologist and traveller, and one of the most voluminous writers of the Near East in his...

 (13th century) tried to defend the Aristotelian conception of place in a treatise titled: Fi al-Radd ‘ala Ibn al-Haytham fi al-makan (A refutation of Ibn al-Haytham's place), although his effort was admirable from a philosophical standpoint, it was unconvincing from the scientific and mathematical viewpoints.

Ibn al-Haytham also discussed space perception
Depth perception
Depth perception is the visual ability to perceive the world in three dimensions and the distance of an object. Depth sensation is the ability to move accurately, or to respond consistently, based on the distances of objects in an environment....

 and its epistemological implications in his Book of Optics
Book of Optics
The Book of Optics ; ; Latin: De Aspectibus or Opticae Thesaurus: Alhazeni Arabis; Italian: Deli Aspecti) is a seven-volume treatise on optics and other fields of study composed by the medieval Muslim scholar Alhazen .-See also:* Science in medieval Islam...

 (1021). His experimental proof of the intromission model of vision led to changes in the way the visual perception
Visual perception
Visual perception is the ability to interpret information and surroundings from the effects of visible light reaching the eye. The resulting perception is also known as eyesight, sight, or vision...

 of space was understood, contrary to the previous emission theory of vision
Emission theory (vision)
Emission theory or extramission theory is the proposal that visual perception is accomplished by rays of light emitted by the eyes. This theory has been replaced by intromission theory, which states that visual perception comes from something representative of the object entering the eyes...

 supported by Euclid
Euclid
Euclid , fl. 300 BC, also known as Euclid of Alexandria, was a Greek mathematician, often referred to as the "Father of Geometry". He was active in Alexandria during the reign of Ptolemy I...

 and Ptolemy
Ptolemy
Claudius Ptolemy , was a Roman citizen of Egypt who wrote in Greek. He was a mathematician, astronomer, geographer, astrologer, and poet of a single epigram in the Greek Anthology. He lived in Egypt under Roman rule, and is believed to have been born in the town of Ptolemais Hermiou in the...

. In "tying the visual perception of space to prior bodily experience, Alhacen unequivocally rejected the
intuitiveness of spatial perception and, therefore, the autonomy of vision. Without tangible notions of distance and size for
correlation, sight can tell us next to nothing about such things."

Philosophy of education


In the medieval Islamic world
Islamic Golden Age
During the Islamic Golden Age philosophers, scientists and engineers of the Islamic world contributed enormously to technology and culture, both by preserving earlier traditions and by adding their own inventions and innovations...

, an elementary school was known as a maktab
Maktab
Maktab , also called kuttab , is an Arabic word meaning elementary schools...

, which dates back to at least the 10th century. Like madrasah
Madrasah
Madrasah is the Arabic word for any type of educational institution, whether secular or religious...

s (which referred to higher education
Higher education
Higher, post-secondary, tertiary, or third level education refers to the stage of learning that occurs at universities, academies, colleges, seminaries, and institutes of technology...

), a maktab was often attached to a mosque. In the 11th century, Ibn Sina
Avicenna
Abū ʿAlī al-Ḥusayn ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn Sīnā , commonly known as Ibn Sīnā or by his Latinized name Avicenna, was a Persian polymath, who wrote almost 450 treatises on a wide range of subjects, of which around 240 have survived...

 (known as Avicenna in the West), in one of his books, wrote a chapter dealing with the maktab entitled "The Role of the Teacher in the Training and Upbringing of Children", as a guide to teachers working at maktab schools. He wrote that children can learn better if taught in class
Class (education)
A class in education has a variety of related meanings.It can be the group of students which attends a specific course or lesson at a university, school or other educational institution, see Form ....

es instead of individual tuition
Tuition
Tuition payments, known primarily as tuition in American English and as tuition fees in British English, Canadian English, Australian English, New Zealand English and Indian English, refers to a fee charged for educational instruction during higher education.Tuition payments are charged by...

 from private tutor
Tutor
A tutor is a person employed in the education of others, either individually or in groups. To tutor is to perform the functions of a tutor.-Teaching assistance:...

s, and he gave a number of reasons for why this is the case, citing the value of competition
Competition
Competition is a contest between individuals, groups, animals, etc. for territory, a niche, or a location of resources. It arises whenever two and only two strive for a goal which cannot be shared. Competition occurs naturally between living organisms which co-exist in the same environment. For...

 and emulation among pupils as well as the usefulness of group discussions and debates. Ibn Sina described the curriculum
Curriculum
See also Syllabus.In formal education, a curriculum is the set of courses, and their content, offered at a school or university. As an idea, curriculum stems from the Latin word for race course, referring to the course of deeds and experiences through which children grow to become mature adults...

 of a maktab school in some detail, describing the curricula for two stages of education in a maktab school.

Primary education


Ibn Sina wrote that children should be sent to a maktab school from the age of 6 and be taught primary education
Primary education
A primary school is an institution in which children receive the first stage of compulsory education known as primary or elementary education. Primary school is the preferred term in the United Kingdom and many Commonwealth Nations, and in most publications of the United Nations Educational,...

 until they reach the age of 14. During which time, he wrote that they should be taught the Qur'an
Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

, Islamic metaphysics, language
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

, literature
Islamic literature
Islamic literature is literature written with an Islamic perspective, in any language.The most well known fiction from the Islamic world was The Book of One Thousand and One Nights , which was a compilation of many earlier folk tales told by the Persian Queen Scheherazade...

, Islamic ethics
Islamic ethics
Islamic ethics , defined as "good character," historically took shape gradually from the 7th century and was finally established by the 11th century...

, and manual skills (which could refer to a variety of practical skills).

Secondary education


Ibn Sina refers to the secondary education
Secondary education
Secondary education is the stage of education following primary education. Secondary education includes the final stage of compulsory education and in many countries it is entirely compulsory. The next stage of education is usually college or university...

 stage of maktab schooling as the period of specialization, when pupils should begin to acquire manual skills, regardless of their social status. He writes that children after the age of 14 should be given a choice to choose and specialize in subjects they have an interest in, whether it was reading, manual skills, literature, preaching, medicine
Islamic medicine
In the history of medicine, Islamic medicine, Arabic medicine or Arabian medicine refers to medicine developed in the Islamic Golden Age, and written in Arabic, the lingua franca of Islamic civilization....

, geometry
Islamic mathematics
In the history of mathematics, mathematics in medieval Islam, often termed Islamic mathematics or Arabic mathematics, covers the body of mathematics preserved and developed under the Islamic civilization between circa 622 and 1600...

, trade and commerce
Islamic economics in the world
Islamic economics in practice, or economic policies supported by self-identified Islamic groups, has varied throughout its long history. Traditional Islamic concepts having to do with economics included...

, craftsmanship, or any other subject or profession they would be interested in pursuing for a future career
Career
Career is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as a person's "course or progress through life ". It is usually considered to pertain to remunerative work ....

. He wrote that this was a transitional stage and that there needs to be flexibility regarding the age in which pupils graduage, as the student's emotional development and chosen subjects need to be taken into account.

Scientific method


The pioneering development of the scientific method
Scientific method
Scientific method refers to a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on gathering empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of...

 by the Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

 Ash'ari
Ash'ari
The Ashʿari theology is a school of early Muslim speculative theology founded by the theologian Abu al-Hasan al-Ash'ari...

 polymath Ibn al-Haytham (Alhacen) was an important contribution to the philosophy of science
Philosophy of science
The philosophy of science is concerned with the assumptions, foundations, methods and implications of science. It is also concerned with the use and merit of science and sometimes overlaps metaphysics and epistemology by exploring whether scientific results are actually a study of truth...

. In the Book of Optics
Book of Optics
The Book of Optics ; ; Latin: De Aspectibus or Opticae Thesaurus: Alhazeni Arabis; Italian: Deli Aspecti) is a seven-volume treatise on optics and other fields of study composed by the medieval Muslim scholar Alhazen .-See also:* Science in medieval Islam...

 (c. 1025 AD), his scientific method was very similar to the modern scientific method and consisted of the following procedures:
  1. Observation
    Observation
    Observation is either an activity of a living being, such as a human, consisting of receiving knowledge of the outside world through the senses, or the recording of data using scientific instruments. The term may also refer to any data collected during this activity...

  2. Statement of problem
    Problem
    A problem is an obstacle, impediment, difficulty or challenge, or any situation that invites resolution; the resolution of which is recognized as a solution or contribution toward a known purpose or goal...

  3. Formulation of hypothesis
    Hypothesis
    A hypothesis is a proposed explanation for a phenomenon. The term derives from the Greek, ὑποτιθέναι – hypotithenai meaning "to put under" or "to suppose". For a hypothesis to be put forward as a scientific hypothesis, the scientific method requires that one can test it...

  4. Testing of hypothesis using experiment
    Experiment
    An experiment is a methodical procedure carried out with the goal of verifying, falsifying, or establishing the validity of a hypothesis. Experiments vary greatly in their goal and scale, but always rely on repeatable procedure and logical analysis of the results...

    ation
  5. Analysis of experimental result
    Result
    A result is the final consequence of a sequence of actions or events expressed qualitatively or quantitatively. Possible results include advantage, disadvantage, gain, injury, loss, value and victory. There may be a range of possible outcomes associated with an event depending on the point of...

    s
  6. Interpretation of data
    Data
    The term data refers to qualitative or quantitative attributes of a variable or set of variables. Data are typically the results of measurements and can be the basis of graphs, images, or observations of a set of variables. Data are often viewed as the lowest level of abstraction from which...

     and formulation of conclusion
  7. Publication
    Publication
    To publish is to make content available to the public. While specific use of the term may vary among countries, it is usually applied to text, images, or other audio-visual content on any medium, including paper or electronic publishing forms such as websites, e-books, Compact Discs and MP3s...

     of findings


In The Model of the Motions, Ibn al-Haytham also describes an early version of Occam's razor
Occam's razor
Occam's razor, also known as Ockham's razor, and sometimes expressed in Latin as lex parsimoniae , is a principle that generally recommends from among competing hypotheses selecting the one that makes the fewest new assumptions.-Overview:The principle is often summarized as "simpler explanations...

, where he employs only minimal hypotheses regarding the properties that characterize astronomical motions, as he attempts to eliminate from his planetary model the cosmological
Cosmology
Cosmology is the discipline that deals with the nature of the Universe as a whole. Cosmologists seek to understand the origin, evolution, structure, and ultimate fate of the Universe at large, as well as the natural laws that keep it in order...

 hypotheses that cannot be observed from Earth.

In his Aporias against Ptolemy, Ibn al-Haytham commented on the difficulty of attaining scientific knowledge:
He held that the criticism of existing theories — which dominated this book — holds a special place in the growth of scientific knowledge:
Ibn al-Haytham attributed his experimental scientific method
Scientific method
Scientific method refers to a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on gathering empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of...

 and scientific skepticism
Scientific skepticism
Scientific skepticism is the practice of questioning the veracity of claims lacking empirical evidence or reproducibility, as part of a methodological norm pursuing "the extension of certified knowledge". For example, Robert K...

 to his Islamic faith. He believed that human beings are inherently flawed and that only God is perfect. He reasoned that to discover the truth about nature, it is necessary to eliminate human opinion and error, and allow the universe to speak for itself. In The Winding Motion, Ibn al-Haytham further wrote that faith
Faith
Faith is confidence or trust in a person or thing, or a belief that is not based on proof. In religion, faith is a belief in a transcendent reality, a religious teacher, a set of teachings or a Supreme Being. Generally speaking, it is offered as a means by which the truth of the proposition,...

 should only apply to prophets of Islam
Prophets of Islam
Muslims identify the Prophets of Islam as those humans chosen by God and given revelation to deliver to mankind. Muslims believe that every prophet was given a belief to worship God and their respective followers believed it as well...

 and not to any other authorities, in the following comparison between the Islamic prophetic tradition and the demonstrative sciences:
Ibn al-Haytham described his search for truth and knowledge as a way of leading him closer to God:
His contemporary Abū Rayhān al-Bīrūnī also introduced an early scientific method in nearly every field of inquiry
Inquiry
An inquiry is any process that has the aim of augmenting knowledge, resolving doubt, or solving a problem. A theory of inquiry is an account of the various types of inquiry and a treatment of the ways that each type of inquiry achieves its aim.-Deduction:...

 he studied. For example, in his treatise on mineralogy
Mineralogy
Mineralogy is the study of chemistry, crystal structure, and physical properties of minerals. Specific studies within mineralogy include the processes of mineral origin and formation, classification of minerals, their geographical distribution, as well as their utilization.-History:Early writing...

, Kitab al-Jamahir (Book of Precious Stones), he is "the most exact
Exact science
An exact science is any field of science capable of accurate quantitative expression or precise predictions and rigorous methods of testing hypotheses, especially reproducible experiments involving quantifiable predictions and measurements...

 of experimental scientists", while in the introduction to his study of India
Indology
Indology is the academic study of the history and cultures, languages, and literature of the Indian subcontinent , and as such is a subset of Asian studies....

, he declares that "to execute our project, it has not been possible to follow the geometric method" and develops comparative sociology
Comparative sociology
Comparative sociology generally refers to sociological analysis that involves comparison of social processes between nation-states, or across different types of society ....

 as a scientific method in the field. He was also responsible for introducing the experimental method into mechanics
Mechanics
Mechanics is the branch of physics concerned with the behavior of physical bodies when subjected to forces or displacements, and the subsequent effects of the bodies on their environment....

, the first to conduct elaborate experiments related to astronomical phenomena, and a pioneer of experimental psychology
Experimental psychology
Experimental psychology is a methodological approach, rather than a subject, and encompasses varied fields within psychology. Experimental psychologists have traditionally conducted research, published articles, and taught classes on neuroscience, developmental psychology, sensation, perception,...

.

Unlike his contemporary Avicenna
Avicenna
Abū ʿAlī al-Ḥusayn ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn Sīnā , commonly known as Ibn Sīnā or by his Latinized name Avicenna, was a Persian polymath, who wrote almost 450 treatises on a wide range of subjects, of which around 240 have survived...

's scientific method where "general and universal questions came first and led to experimental work", al-Biruni developed scientific methods where "universals came out of practical, experimental work" and "theories are formulated after discoveries." During his debate with Avicenna on natural philosophy
Natural philosophy
Natural philosophy or the philosophy of nature , is a term applied to the study of nature and the physical universe that was dominant before the development of modern science...

, al-Biruni made the first real distinction between a scientist and a philosopher, referring to Avicenna as a philosopher and considering himself to be a mathematical scientist.

Al-Biruni's scientific method was similar to the modern scientific method in many ways, particularly his emphasis on repeated experimentation. Biruni was concerned with how to conceptualize and prevent both systematic error
Systematic error
Systematic errors are biases in measurement which lead to the situation where the mean of many separate measurements differs significantly from the actual value of the measured attribute. All measurements are prone to systematic errors, often of several different types...

s and random errors, such as "errors caused by the use of small instruments and errors made by human observers." He argued that if instruments produce random errors because of their imperfections or idiosyncratic qualities, then multiple observations must be taken, analyzed qualitatively
Qualitative research
Qualitative research is a method of inquiry employed in many different academic disciplines, traditionally in the social sciences, but also in market research and further contexts. Qualitative researchers aim to gather an in-depth understanding of human behavior and the reasons that govern such...

, and on this basis, arrive at a "common-sense single value for the constant
Constant (mathematics)
In mathematics, a constant is a non-varying value, i.e. completely fixed or fixed in the context of use. The term usually occurs in opposition to variable In mathematics, a constant is a non-varying value, i.e. completely fixed or fixed in the context of use. The term usually occurs in opposition...

 sought", whether an arithmetic mean
Arithmetic mean
In mathematics and statistics, the arithmetic mean, often referred to as simply the mean or average when the context is clear, is a method to derive the central tendency of a sample space...

 or a "reliable estimate."

Experimental medicine


Avicenna
Avicenna
Abū ʿAlī al-Ḥusayn ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn Sīnā , commonly known as Ibn Sīnā or by his Latinized name Avicenna, was a Persian polymath, who wrote almost 450 treatises on a wide range of subjects, of which around 240 have survived...

 (Ibn Sina) is considered the father of modern medicine
Medicine
Medicine is the science and art of healing. It encompasses a variety of health care practices evolved to maintain and restore health by the prevention and treatment of illness....

, for his introduction of experimental medicine and clinical trial
Clinical trial
Clinical trials are a set of procedures in medical research and drug development that are conducted to allow safety and efficacy data to be collected for health interventions...

s, the experimental use and testing of drugs
Drug test
A drug test is a technical analysis of a biological specimen – for example urine, hair, blood, sweat, or oral fluid / saliva – to determine the presence or absence of specified parent drugs or their metabolites...

, and a precise guide for practical experimentation in the process of discovering and proving the effectiveness of medical substances
Chemical substance
In chemistry, a chemical substance is a form of matter that has constant chemical composition and characteristic properties. It cannot be separated into components by physical separation methods, i.e. without breaking chemical bonds. They can be solids, liquids or gases.Chemical substances are...

, in his medical encyclopedia, The Canon of Medicine
The Canon of Medicine
The Canon of Medicine is an encyclopedia of Galenic medicine in five books compiled by Ibn Sīnā and completed in 1025. It presents a clear and organized summary of all the medical knowledge of the time...

 (11th century), which was the first book dealing with experimental medicine. It laid out the following rules and principles for testing the effectiveness of new drug
Drug
A drug, broadly speaking, is any substance that, when absorbed into the body of a living organism, alters normal bodily function. There is no single, precise definition, as there are different meanings in drug control law, government regulations, medicine, and colloquial usage.In pharmacology, a...

s or medication
Medication
A pharmaceutical drug, also referred to as medicine, medication or medicament, can be loosely defined as any chemical substance intended for use in the medical diagnosis, cure, treatment, or prevention of disease.- Classification :...

s, which still form the basis of modern clinical trials:
  1. "The drug must be free from any extraneous accidental quality."
  2. "It must be used on a simple, not a composite, disease."
  3. "The drug must be tested with two contrary types of diseases, because sometimes a drug cures one disease by Its essential qualities and another by its accidental ones."
  4. "The quality of the drug must correspond to the strength of the disease. For example, there are some drugs whose heat is less than the coldness of certain diseases, so that they would have no effect on them."
  5. "The time of action must be observed, so that essence and accident are not confused."
  6. "The effect of the drug must be seen to occur constantly or in many cases, for if this did not happen, it was an accidental effect."
  7. "The experimentation must be done with the human body, for testing a drug on a lion or a horse might not prove anything about its effect on man."

Peer review


The first documented description of a peer review
Peer review
Peer review is a process of self-regulation by a profession or a process of evaluation involving qualified individuals within the relevant field. Peer review methods are employed to maintain standards, improve performance and provide credibility...

 process is found in the Ethics of the Physician written by Ishaq bin Ali al-Rahwi (854–931) of al-Raha, Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

, who describes the first medical peer review
Medical peer review
Medical peer review is the process by which a committee of physicians examines the work of a peer and determines whether the physician under review has met accepted standards of care in rendering medical services. Depending on the specific institution, a medical peer review may be initiated at the...

 process. His work, as well as later Arabic medical
Islamic medicine
In the history of medicine, Islamic medicine, Arabic medicine or Arabian medicine refers to medicine developed in the Islamic Golden Age, and written in Arabic, the lingua franca of Islamic civilization....

 manuals, state that a visiting physician must always make duplicate notes of a patient's condition on every visit. When the patient was cured or had died, the notes of the physician were examined by a local medical council of other physicians, who would review
Review
A review is an evaluation of a publication, a product or a service, such as a movie , video game, musical composition , book ; a piece of hardware like a car, home appliance, or computer; or an event or performance, such as a live music concert, a play, musical theater show or dance show...

 the practising physician's notes to decide whether his/her performance have met the required standards of medical care. If their reviews were negative, the practicing physician could face a lawsuit
Lawsuit
A lawsuit or "suit in law" is a civil action brought in a court of law in which a plaintiff, a party who claims to have incurred loss as a result of a defendant's actions, demands a legal or equitable remedy. The defendant is required to respond to the plaintiff's complaint...

 from a maltreated patient.

Epistemology

Further information: Avicennism - Epistemology


Avicenna
Avicenna
Abū ʿAlī al-Ḥusayn ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn Sīnā , commonly known as Ibn Sīnā or by his Latinized name Avicenna, was a Persian polymath, who wrote almost 450 treatises on a wide range of subjects, of which around 240 have survived...

's most influential theory in epistemology is his theory of knowledge, in which he developed the concept of tabula rasa
Tabula rasa
Tabula rasa is the epistemological theory that individuals are born without built-in mental content and that their knowledge comes from experience and perception. Generally proponents of the tabula rasa thesis favour the "nurture" side of the nature versus nurture debate, when it comes to aspects...

. He argued that the "human intellect at birth is rather like a tabula rasa, a pure potentiality that is actualized through education and comes to know" and that knowledge is attained through "empirical
Empirical
The word empirical denotes information gained by means of observation or experimentation. Empirical data are data produced by an experiment or observation....

 familiarity with objects in this world from which one abstracts universal concepts" which is developed through a "syllogistic
Syllogism
A syllogism is a kind of logical argument in which one proposition is inferred from two or more others of a certain form...

 method of reasoning; observations lead to prepositional statements, which when compounded lead to further abstract concepts."

In the 12th century, Ibn Tufail
Ibn Tufail
Ibn Tufail was an Andalusian Muslim polymath: an Arabic writer, novelist, Islamic philosopher, Islamic theologian, physician, vizier,...

 further developed the concept of tabula rasa in his Arabic novel
Arabic literature
Arabic literature is the writing produced, both prose and poetry, by writers in the Arabic language. The Arabic word used for literature is adab which is derived from a meaning of etiquette, and implies politeness, culture and enrichment....

, Hayy ibn Yaqzan, in which he depicted the development of the mind of a feral child
Feral child
A feral child is a human child who has lived isolated from human contact from a very young age, and has no experience of human care, loving or social behavior, and, crucially, of human language...

 "from a tabula rasa to that of an adult, in complete isolation from society" on a desert island
Desert island
A desert island or uninhabited island is an island that has yet to be populated by humans. Uninhabited islands are often used in movies or stories about shipwrecked people, and are also used as stereotypes for the idea of "paradise". Some uninhabited islands are protected as nature reserves and...

. The Latin translation of his work, entitled Philosophus Autodidactus, published by Edward Pococke
Edward Pococke
Edward Pococke was an English Orientalist and biblical scholar.-Early life:He was the son of clergyman from Chieveley in Berkshire, and was educated at Lord Williams's School of Thame in Oxfordshire and at Corpus Christi College, Oxford...

 the Younger in 1671, had an influence on John Locke
John Locke
John Locke FRS , widely known as the Father of Liberalism, was an English philosopher and physician regarded as one of the most influential of Enlightenment thinkers. Considered one of the first of the British empiricists, following the tradition of Francis Bacon, he is equally important to social...

's formulation of tabula rasa in An Essay Concerning Human Understanding
An Essay Concerning Human Understanding
First appearing in 1690 with the printed title An Essay Concerning Humane Understanding, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding by John Locke concerns the foundation of human knowledge and understanding. He describes the mind at birth as a blank slate filled later through experience...

.

Eschatology


Islamic eschatology
Eschatology
Eschatology is a part of theology, philosophy, and futurology concerned with what are believed to be the final events in history, or the ultimate destiny of humanity, commonly referred to as the end of the world or the World to Come...

 is concerned with the Qiyamah
Qiyamah
In Islam, Yawm al-Qiyāmah or Yawm ad-Din is believed to be God's final assessment of humanity as it exists. The sequence of events is the annihilation of all creatures allowable, resurrection of the body, and the judgment of all sentient creatures.The exact time when these events are to occur...

 (end of the world; Last Judgement) and the final judgement of humanity. Eschatology
Eschatology
Eschatology is a part of theology, philosophy, and futurology concerned with what are believed to be the final events in history, or the ultimate destiny of humanity, commonly referred to as the end of the world or the World to Come...

 relates to one of the six articles of faith (aqidah) of Islam. Like the other Abrahamic religions, Islam teaches the bodily resurrection
Resurrection
Resurrection refers to the literal coming back to life of the biologically dead. It is used both with respect to particular individuals or the belief in a General Resurrection of the dead at the end of the world. The General Resurrection is featured prominently in Jewish, Christian, and Muslim...

 of the dead, the fulfillment of a divine plan for creation, and the immortality of the human soul (though Jews do not necessarily view the soul as eternal); the righteous are rewarded with the pleasures of Jannah
Jannah
Jannah , is the Islamic conception of paradise. The Arabic word Jannah is a shortened version meaning simply "Garden". According to Islamic eschatology, after death, one will reside in the grave until the appointed resurrection on . Muslims believe that the treatment of the individual in the life...

 (Heaven
Heaven
Heaven, the Heavens or Seven Heavens, is a common religious cosmological or metaphysical term for the physical or transcendent place from which heavenly beings originate, are enthroned or inhabit...

), while the unrighteous are punished in Jahannam
Jahannam
Jahannam is the Arabic language equivalent to Hell. The term comes from the Greek Gehenna, itself derived from the Hebrew geographical name for the Valley of Hinnom.-Jahannam in the Qur'an:...

 (Hell). A significant fraction (one third, in fact) of the Quran deals with these beliefs, with many hadith
Hadith
The term Hadīth is used to denote a saying or an act or tacit approval or criticism ascribed either validly or invalidly to the Islamic prophet Muhammad....

 elaborating on the themes and details. Islamic apocalyptic literature describing the Armageddon is often known as fitna (a test) and malahim (or ghayba in the shi'ite tradition).

Ibn al-Nafis dealt with Islamic eschatology in some depth in his Theologus Autodidactus, where he rationalized
Rationality
In philosophy, rationality is the exercise of reason. It is the manner in which people derive conclusions when considering things deliberately. It also refers to the conformity of one's beliefs with one's reasons for belief, or with one's actions with one's reasons for action...

 the Islamic view of eschatology using reason and science
Islamic science
Science in the medieval Islamic world, also known as Islamic science or Arabic science, is the science developed and practised in the Islamic world during the Islamic Golden Age . During this time, Indian, Iranian and especially Greek knowledge was translated into Arabic...

 to explain the events that would occur according to Islamic eschatology. He presented his rational and scientific arguments in the form of Arabic fiction
Arabic literature
Arabic literature is the writing produced, both prose and poetry, by writers in the Arabic language. The Arabic word used for literature is adab which is derived from a meaning of etiquette, and implies politeness, culture and enrichment....

, hence his Theologus Autodidactus may be considered the earliest science fiction
Science fiction
Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginary but more or less plausible content such as future settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, aliens, and paranormal abilities...

 work.

Legal philosophy


Sharia refers to the body of Islamic law
Law
Law is a system of rules and guidelines which are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior, wherever possible. It shapes politics, economics and society in numerous ways and serves as a social mediator of relations between people. Contract law regulates everything from buying a bus...

. The term means "way" or "path"; it is the legal framework within which public and some private aspects of life are regulated for those living in a legal system based on Islamic principles of jurisprudence. Fiqh is the term for Islamic jurisprudence, made up of the rulings of Islamic jurists. A component of Islamic studies, Fiqh expounds the methodology by which Islamic law is derived from primary and secondary sources.

Mainstream Islam distinguish fiqh, which means understanding details and inferences drawn by scholars, from sharia that refers to principles that lie behind the fiqh. Scholars hope that fiqh and sharia are in harmony in any given case, but they cannot be sure.

Philosophical novels


The Islamic philosophers, Ibn Tufail
Ibn Tufail
Ibn Tufail was an Andalusian Muslim polymath: an Arabic writer, novelist, Islamic philosopher, Islamic theologian, physician, vizier,...

 (Abubacer) and Ibn al-Nafis, were pioneers of the philosophical novel
Philosophical novel
Philosophical fiction refers to works of fiction in which a significant proportion of the work is devoted to a discussion of the sort of questions normally addressed in discursive philosophy. These might include the function and role of society, the purpose of life, ethics or morals, the role of...

. Ibn Tufail wrote the first fictional Arabic novel
Arabic literature
Arabic literature is the writing produced, both prose and poetry, by writers in the Arabic language. The Arabic word used for literature is adab which is derived from a meaning of etiquette, and implies politeness, culture and enrichment....

 Hayy ibn Yaqdhan
Hayy ibn Yaqdhan
Ḥayy ibn Yaqẓān is an Arabic philosophical novel and allegorical tale written by Ibn Tufail in the early 12th century.- Translations :* from Wikisource* English translations of Hayy bin Yaqzan...

 (Philosophus Autodidactus) as a response to al-Ghazali
Al-Ghazali
Abu Hāmed Mohammad ibn Mohammad al-Ghazzālī , known as Algazel to the western medieval world, born and died in Tus, in the Khorasan province of Persia was a Persian Muslim theologian, jurist, philosopher, and mystic....

's The Incoherence of the Philosophers
The Incoherence of the Philosophers
The Incoherence of the Philosophers is the title of a landmark 11th century polemic by the Sufi sympathetic Imam Al-Ghazali of the Asharite school of Islamic theology criticizing the Avicennian school of early Islamic philosophy...

, and then Ibn al-Nafis also wrote a fictional novel
Novel
A novel is a book of long narrative in literary prose. The genre has historical roots both in the fields of the medieval and early modern romance and in the tradition of the novella. The latter supplied the present generic term in the late 18th century....

 Theologus Autodidactus as a response to Ibn Tufail's Philosophus Autodidactus. Both of these novels had protagonist
Protagonist
A protagonist is the main character of a literary, theatrical, cinematic, or musical narrative, around whom the events of the narrative's plot revolve and with whom the audience is intended to most identify...

s (Hayy in Philosophus Autodidactus and Kamil in Theologus Autodidactus) who were autodidactic
Autodidacticism
Autodidacticism is self-education or self-directed learning. In a sense, autodidacticism is "learning on your own" or "by yourself", and an autodidact is a person who teaches him or herself something. The term has its roots in the Ancient Greek words αὐτός and διδακτικός...

 individuals spontaneously generated
Abiogenesis
Abiogenesis or biopoesis is the study of how biological life arises from inorganic matter through natural processes, and the method by which life on Earth arose...

 in a cave and living in seclusion on a desert island, both being the earliest examples of a desert island story. However, while Hayy lives alone on the desert island for most of the story in Philosophus Autodidactus, the story of Kamil extends beyond the desert island setting in Theologus Autodidactus, developing into the first example of a science fiction
Science fiction
Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginary but more or less plausible content such as future settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, aliens, and paranormal abilities...

 novel.

Ibn al-Nafis described his book Theologus Autodidactus as a defense of "the system of Islam and the Muslims' doctrines on the missions of Prophets, the religious laws, the resurrection of the body, and the transitoriness of the world." He presents rational arguments for bodily resurrection
Resurrection
Resurrection refers to the literal coming back to life of the biologically dead. It is used both with respect to particular individuals or the belief in a General Resurrection of the dead at the end of the world. The General Resurrection is featured prominently in Jewish, Christian, and Muslim...

 and the immortality
Immortality
Immortality is the ability to live forever. It is unknown whether human physical immortality is an achievable condition. Biological forms have inherent limitations which may or may not be able to be overcome through medical interventions or engineering...

 of the human soul, using both demonstrative reasoning and material from the hadith corpus to prove his case. Later Islamic scholars viewed this work as a response to the metaphysical
Metaphysics
Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world, although the term is not easily defined. Traditionally, metaphysics attempts to answer two basic questions in the broadest possible terms:...

 claim of Avicenna and Ibn Tufail that bodily resurrection cannot be proven through reason, a view that was earlier criticized by al-Ghazali.

A Latin translation of Philosophus Autodidactus was published in 1671, prepared by Edward Pococke
Edward Pococke
Edward Pococke was an English Orientalist and biblical scholar.-Early life:He was the son of clergyman from Chieveley in Berkshire, and was educated at Lord Williams's School of Thame in Oxfordshire and at Corpus Christi College, Oxford...

 the Younger. The first English translation by Simon Ockley
Simon Ockley
Simon Ockley was a British Orientalist.-Biography:Ockley was born at Exeter. He was educated at Queens' College, Cambridge, and graduated B.A. in 1697, MA. in 1701, and B.D. in 1710. He became fellow of Jesus College and vicar of Swavesey, and in 1711 was chosen Adams Professor of Arabic in the...

 was published in 1708, and German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

 and Dutch
Dutch language
Dutch is a West Germanic language and the native language of the majority of the population of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Suriname, the three member states of the Dutch Language Union. Most speakers live in the European Union, where it is a first language for about 23 million and a second...

 translations were also published at the time. Philosophus Autodidactus went on to have a significant influence on European literature
European literature
European literature refers to the literature of Europe.European literature includes literature in many languages; among the most important of the modern written works are those in English, Spanish, French, Dutch, Polish, German, Italian, Modern Greek, Czech and Russian and works by the...

, and became an influential best-seller throughout Western Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries. These translations later inspired Daniel Defoe
Daniel Defoe
Daniel Defoe , born Daniel Foe, was an English trader, writer, journalist, and pamphleteer, who gained fame for his novel Robinson Crusoe. Defoe is notable for being one of the earliest proponents of the novel, as he helped to popularise the form in Britain and along with others such as Richardson,...

 to write Robinson Crusoe
Robinson Crusoe
Robinson Crusoe is a novel by Daniel Defoe that was first published in 1719. Epistolary, confessional, and didactic in form, the book is a fictional autobiography of the title character—a castaway who spends 28 years on a remote tropical island near Trinidad, encountering cannibals, captives, and...

, which also featured a desert island narrative and was regarded as the first novel in English
First novel in English
The following works of literature have each been claimed as the first novel in English.* Thomas Malory, Le Morte d'Arthur, * William Baldwin, Beware the Cat,...

.

Philosophus Autodidactus also had a "profound influence" on modern
Modern philosophy
Modern philosophy is a type of philosophy that originated in Western Europe in the 17th century, and is now common worldwide. It is not a specific doctrine or school , although there are certain assumptions common to much of it, which helps to distinguish it from earlier philosophy.The 17th and...

 Western philosophy
Western philosophy
Western philosophy is the philosophical thought and work of the Western or Occidental world, as distinct from Eastern or Oriental philosophies and the varieties of indigenous philosophies....

. It became "one of the most important books that heralded the Scientific Revolution
Scientific revolution
The Scientific Revolution is an era associated primarily with the 16th and 17th centuries during which new ideas and knowledge in physics, astronomy, biology, medicine and chemistry transformed medieval and ancient views of nature and laid the foundations for modern science...

" and European Enlightenment
Age of Enlightenment
The Age of Enlightenment was an elite cultural movement of intellectuals in 18th century Europe that sought to mobilize the power of reason in order to reform society and advance knowledge. It promoted intellectual interchange and opposed intolerance and abuses in church and state...

, and the thoughts expressed in the novel can be found in "different variations and to different degrees in the books of Thomas Hobbes
Thomas Hobbes
Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury , in some older texts Thomas Hobbs of Malmsbury, was an English philosopher, best known today for his work on political philosophy...

, John Locke
John Locke
John Locke FRS , widely known as the Father of Liberalism, was an English philosopher and physician regarded as one of the most influential of Enlightenment thinkers. Considered one of the first of the British empiricists, following the tradition of Francis Bacon, he is equally important to social...

, Isaac Newton
Isaac Newton
Sir Isaac Newton PRS was an English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, alchemist, and theologian, who has been "considered by many to be the greatest and most influential scientist who ever lived."...

, and Immanuel Kant
Immanuel Kant
Immanuel Kant was a German philosopher from Königsberg , researching, lecturing and writing on philosophy and anthropology at the end of the 18th Century Enlightenment....

." The novel inspired the concept of "tabula rasa
Tabula rasa
Tabula rasa is the epistemological theory that individuals are born without built-in mental content and that their knowledge comes from experience and perception. Generally proponents of the tabula rasa thesis favour the "nurture" side of the nature versus nurture debate, when it comes to aspects...

" developed in An Essay Concerning Human Understanding
An Essay Concerning Human Understanding
First appearing in 1690 with the printed title An Essay Concerning Humane Understanding, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding by John Locke concerns the foundation of human knowledge and understanding. He describes the mind at birth as a blank slate filled later through experience...

 (1690) by Locke, who was a student of Pococke. Philosophus Autodidactus also developed the themes of empiricism
Empiricism
Empiricism is a theory of knowledge that asserts that knowledge comes only or primarily via sensory experience. One of several views of epistemology, the study of human knowledge, along with rationalism, idealism and historicism, empiricism emphasizes the role of experience and evidence,...

, tabula rasa
Tabula rasa
Tabula rasa is the epistemological theory that individuals are born without built-in mental content and that their knowledge comes from experience and perception. Generally proponents of the tabula rasa thesis favour the "nurture" side of the nature versus nurture debate, when it comes to aspects...

, nature versus nurture
Nature versus nurture
The nature versus nurture debate concerns the relative importance of an individual's innate qualities versus personal experiences The nature versus nurture debate concerns the relative importance of an individual's innate qualities ("nature," i.e. nativism, or innatism) versus personal experiences...

, condition of possibility
Condition of possibility
Condition of possibility is a philosophical concept made popular by Immanuel Kant.A condition of possibility is a necessary framework for the possible appearance of a given list of entities. It is often used in contrast to the unilateral causality concept, or even to the notion of interaction. For...

, materialism
Materialism
In philosophy, the theory of materialism holds that the only thing that exists is matter; that all things are composed of material and all phenomena are the result of material interactions. In other words, matter is the only substance...

, and Molyneux's Problem
Molyneux's Problem
Molyneux's problem is a thought experiment in philosophy concerning immediate recovery from blindness.It was first formulated by William Molyneux, and notably referenced in John Locke's An Essay Concerning Human Understanding....

. The novel also inspired Robert Boyle
Robert Boyle
Robert Boyle FRS was a 17th century natural philosopher, chemist, physicist, and inventor, also noted for his writings in theology. He has been variously described as English, Irish, or Anglo-Irish, his father having come to Ireland from England during the time of the English plantations of...

, another acquaintance of Pococke, to write his own philosophical novel set on an island, The Aspiring Naturalist. Other European scholars influenced by Philosophus Autodidactus include Gottfried Leibniz
Gottfried Leibniz
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz was a German philosopher and mathematician. He wrote in different languages, primarily in Latin , French and German ....

, Melchisédech Thévenot
Melchisédech Thévenot
Melchisédech Thévenot was a French author, scientist, traveler, cartographer, orientalist, inventor, and diplomat...

, John Wallis, Christiaan Huygens, George Keith
George Keith
George Keith was a Scottish missionary.-Life:Born in Peterhead, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, to a Presbyterian family, he received an M.A. from the University of Aberdeen...

, Robert Barclay
Robert Barclay
Robert Barclay was a Scottish Quaker, one of the most eminent writers belonging to the Religious Society of Friends and a member of the Clan Barclay. He was also governor of the East Jersey colony in North America through most of the 1680s, although he himself never resided in the...

, the Quakers
Religious Society of Friends
The Religious Society of Friends, or Friends Church, is a Christian movement which stresses the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers. Members are known as Friends, or popularly as Quakers. It is made of independent organisations, which have split from one another due to doctrinal differences...

, and Samuel Hartlib
Samuel Hartlib
Samuel Hartlib was a German-British polymath. An active promoter and expert writer in many fields, he was interested in science, medicine, agriculture, politics, and education. He settled in England, where he married and died...

.

Political philosophy


Early Islamic political philosophy
Political philosophy
Political philosophy is the study of such topics as liberty, justice, property, rights, law, and the enforcement of a legal code by authority: what they are, why they are needed, what, if anything, makes a government legitimate, what rights and freedoms it should protect and why, what form it...

 emphasized an inexorable link between science and religion, and the process of ijtihad
Ijtihad
Ijtihad is the making of a decision in Islamic law by personal effort , independently of any school of jurisprudence . as opposed to taqlid, copying or obeying without question....

 to find truth - in effect all philosophy was "political" as it had real implications for governance. This view was challenged by the Mutazilite philosophers, who held a more secular
Secularism
Secularism is the principle of separation between government institutions and the persons mandated to represent the State from religious institutions and religious dignitaries...

 view and were supported by secular aristocracy who sought freedom of action independent of the Caliphate
Caliphate
The term caliphate, "dominion of a caliph " , refers to the first system of government established in Islam and represented the political unity of the Muslim Ummah...

. The only Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

 political treatise known to medieval Muslims at the time was Plato
Plato
Plato , was a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the...

's Republic. By the end of the Islamic Golden Age
Islamic Golden Age
During the Islamic Golden Age philosophers, scientists and engineers of the Islamic world contributed enormously to technology and culture, both by preserving earlier traditions and by adding their own inventions and innovations...

, however, the Asharite view of Islam had in general triumphed.

Islamic political philosophy, was, indeed, rooted in the very sources of Islam, i.e. the Qur'an
Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

 and the Sunnah
Sunnah
The word literally means a clear, well trodden, busy and plain surfaced road. In the discussion of the sources of religion, Sunnah denotes the practice of Prophet Muhammad that he taught and practically instituted as a teacher of the sharī‘ah and the best exemplar...

, the words and practices of Muhammad. However, in the Western thought, it is generally known that it was a specific area peculiar merely to the great philosophers of Islam: al-Kindi
Al-Kindi
' , known as "the Philosopher of the Arabs", was a Muslim Arab philosopher, mathematician, physician, and musician. Al-Kindi was the first of the Muslim peripatetic philosophers, and is unanimously hailed as the "father of Islamic or Arabic philosophy" for his synthesis, adaptation and promotion...

 (Alkindus), al-Farabi
Al-Farabi
' known in the West as Alpharabius , was a scientist and philosopher of the Islamic world...

 (Alfarabi), İbn Sina
Avicenna
Abū ʿAlī al-Ḥusayn ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn Sīnā , commonly known as Ibn Sīnā or by his Latinized name Avicenna, was a Persian polymath, who wrote almost 450 treatises on a wide range of subjects, of which around 240 have survived...

 (Avicenna), Ibn Bajjah
Ibn Bajjah
Abū-Bakr Muhammad ibn Yahya ibn al-Sāyigh , known as Ibn Bājjah , was an Andalusian polymath: an astronomer, logician, musician, philosopher, physician, physicist, psychologist, botanist, poet and scientist. He was known in the West by his Latinized name, Avempace...

 (Avempace), Ibn Rushd
Averroes
' , better known just as Ibn Rushd , and in European literature as Averroes , was a Muslim polymath; a master of Aristotelian philosophy, Islamic philosophy, Islamic theology, Maliki law and jurisprudence, logic, psychology, politics, Arabic music theory, and the sciences of medicine, astronomy,...

 (Averroes), and Ibn Khaldun
Ibn Khaldun
Ibn Khaldūn or Ibn Khaldoun was an Arab Tunisian historiographer and historian who is often viewed as one of the forerunners of modern historiography, sociology and economics...

. The political conceptions of Islam such as kudrah, sultan, ummah, cemaa -and even the "core" terms of the Qur'an, i.e. ibada, din, rab and ilah- is taken as the basis of an analysis. Hence, not only the ideas of the Muslim political philosophers but also many other jurists
Fiqh
Fiqh is Islamic jurisprudence. Fiqh is an expansion of the code of conduct expounded in the Quran, often supplemented by tradition and implemented by the rulings and interpretations of Islamic jurists....

 and ulama
Ulema
Ulama , also spelt ulema, refers to the educated class of Muslim legal scholars engaged in the several fields of Islamic studies. They are best known as the arbiters of shari‘a law...

 posed political ideas and theories. For example, the ideas of the Khawarij
Kharijites
Kharijites is a general term embracing various Muslims who, while initially supporting the authority of the final Rashidun Caliph Ali ibn Abi Talib, the son-in-law and cousin of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, then later rejected his leadership...

 in the very early years of Islamic history
Muslim history
Muslim history is the history of Muslim people. In the history of Islam the followers of the religion of Islam have impacted political history, economic history, and military history...

 on Khilafa
Caliphate
The term caliphate, "dominion of a caliph " , refers to the first system of government established in Islam and represented the political unity of the Muslim Ummah...

 and Ummah
Ummah
Ummah is an Arabic word meaning "community" or "nation." It is commonly used to mean either the collective nation of states, or the whole Arab world...

, or that of Shia Islam on the concept of Imamah
Imamah (Shi'a doctrine)
Imāmah is the Shia doctrine of religious, spiritual and political leadership of the Ummah. The Shīa believe that the A'immah are the true Caliphs or rightful successors of Muḥammad, and further that Imams are possessed of divine knowledge and authority as well as being part of the Ahl al-Bayt,...

 are considered proofs of political thought. The clashes between the Ehl-i Sunna
Sunni Islam
Sunni Islam is the largest branch of Islam. Sunni Muslims are referred to in Arabic as ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah wa āl-Ǧamāʿah or ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah for short; in English, they are known as Sunni Muslims, Sunnis or Sunnites....

 and Shia in the 7th and 8th centuries had a genuine political character.

The 14th century Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

 scholar Ibn Khaldun
Ibn Khaldun
Ibn Khaldūn or Ibn Khaldoun was an Arab Tunisian historiographer and historian who is often viewed as one of the forerunners of modern historiography, sociology and economics...

 is considered one of the greatest political theorists. The British philosopher-anthropologist Ernest Gellner
Ernest Gellner
Ernest André Gellner was a philosopher and social anthropologist, described by The Daily Telegraph when he died as one of the world's most vigorous intellectuals and by The Independent as a "one-man crusade for critical rationalism."His first book, Words and Things —famously, and uniquely...

 considered Ibn Khaldun's definition of government
Government
Government refers to the legislators, administrators, and arbitrators in the administrative bureaucracy who control a state at a given time, and to the system of government by which they are organized...

, "an institution which prevents injustice other than such as it commits itself", the best in the history of political theory.

See also

  • Islamic philosophy
    Islamic philosophy
    Islamic philosophy is a branch of Islamic studies. It is the continuous search for Hekma in the light of Islamic view of life, universe, ethics, society, and so on...

    • Modern Islamic philosophy
      Modern Islamic philosophy
      Aziz Abbassi’s English translation found in the following pages wasmade from the French Introduction à la critique de la raison Arabe,translated from Arabic to French by Ahmed Mahfoud and Marc Geoffroy,...

  • Islamic science
    Islamic science
    Science in the medieval Islamic world, also known as Islamic science or Arabic science, is the science developed and practised in the Islamic world during the Islamic Golden Age . During this time, Indian, Iranian and especially Greek knowledge was translated into Arabic...

  • Islamic Golden Age
    Islamic Golden Age
    During the Islamic Golden Age philosophers, scientists and engineers of the Islamic world contributed enormously to technology and culture, both by preserving earlier traditions and by adding their own inventions and innovations...

  • Sufi philosophy
    Sufi philosophy
    Sufi philosophy includes the schools of thought unique to Sufism, a mystical branch within Islam. Sufism and its philosophical traditions may be associated with Sunni Islam or Shia Islam. It has been suggested that Sufi thought emerged from the Middle East in the eighth century, but adherents are...