Mir Damad

Mir Damad

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Mir Damad (d. 1631 or 1632), known also as Mir Mohammad Baqer Esterabadi, or Asterabadi, was an Iranian philosopher
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...

 in the Neoplatonizing Islamic Peripatetic traditions of 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 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...

, a scholar of the traditional Islamic sciences, and foremost figure (together with his student 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...

), of the cultural renaissance of Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 undertaken under the Safavid dynasty. As such he was the central founder of the School of Isfahan, noted by his students and admirers as the Third Teacher (mu'alim al-thalith) after 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 al-Farabi
Al-Farabi
' known in the West as Alpharabius , was a scientist and philosopher of the Islamic world...

.

Philosophy


His major contribution to 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...

 was his novel formulation regarding gradations of time and the emanations of the separate categories of time as descending divine hypostases. He resolved the controversy of the createdness or uncreatedness of the world in time by proposing the notion of huduth-e-dahri (atemporal origination) as an explanation grounded in Avicennan and Suhrawardian categories, whilst transcending them. In brief, excepting God, he argued all things, including the earth and all heavenly bodies, share in both eternal and temporal origination. He influenced the revival of al-falsafa al-yamani (Philosophy of Yemen), a philosophy based on revelation and sayings of prophets rather than the rationalism
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"...

 of the Greeks
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 he is widely recognized as the founder of the School of Isfahan, which embraced a theosophical
Theosophy
Theosophy, in its modern presentation, is a spiritual philosophy developed since the late 19th century. Its major themes were originally described mainly by Helena Blavatsky , co-founder of the Theosophical Society...

 outlook known as hikmat-i ilahi (divine wisdom).

Mir Damad’s many treatises on Islamic philosophy include Taqwim al-Iman (Calendars of Faith, a treasure on creation and divine knowledge), the Kitab Qabasat al-Ilahiyah (Book of the Divine Embers of Fiery Kindling), wherein he lays out his concept of atemporal origination, Kitab al-Jadhawat and Sirat al-Mustaqim
Sirat al-Mustaqim
Sirat al-Mustaqim is the Arabic term for the straight path. In an Islamic context, it has been interpreted as the right path, Islamic faith or that which pleases God. It can also refer to the Sirat al-Jahim, the bridge of hell.There are five obligatory daily prayers in Islam...

. He also wrote poetry under the pseudonym of Ishraq (Illumination). He also wrote a couple of books on mathematics, but with secondary importance.

Among his many other students besides 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...

 were Seyyed Ahmad-ibn-Reyn-al-A’bedin Alavi, Mohammad ibn Alireza ibn Agajanii, Qutb-al-Din Mohammad Ashkevari and Mulla Shams Gilani.

Mir Damad's philosophical prose is often accounted as being among the most dense and obtusely difficult of styles to understand, deliberately employing as well as coining convoluted philosophical terminology and neologisms that require systematic unpacking and detailed commentary.
He was called Mir Damad (Groom of the King) because he married Shah Abbas's daughter and hence his fame was based on that event.

Works


Among his 134 works known:
  • Taqwim al-Iman (Calendars of Faith)
  • Kitab Qabasat al-Ilahiyah (Book of the Divine Embers of Fiery Kindling)
  • Kitab al-Jadhawat (Book of Spiritual Attractions)
  • Sirat al-Mustaqim
    Sirat al-Mustaqim
    Sirat al-Mustaqim is the Arabic term for the straight path. In an Islamic context, it has been interpreted as the right path, Islamic faith or that which pleases God. It can also refer to the Sirat al-Jahim, the bridge of hell.There are five obligatory daily prayers in Islam...

    (The Straight Path)

See also

  • Islamic scholars
  • List of Iranian scholars

Mirdamad was also the architect of the Masjide Shah (Shah's Mosque) in Isfahan which employed highly advance mathematical calculations which required the knowledge of the speed of sound at that time. The geometry of the dome is as such that all sound dissipated from the base will echo in hundreds of carefully calculated and masterly executed interior corners of the dome which will ultimately collide in the center of the dome. The geometrical analysis of the dome is of absolute sophistication and the design of the dome is a magnificent piece of art and furthermore the construction of such dome in th 17th century to a precision where all sound waves must travel and collide in an imaginary point above.