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Islamic Philosophy

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Contemporary Debates in Islam : An Anthology of Modernist and Fundamentalist Thought

A Brief Introduction to Islamic Philosophy A Brief Introduction to Islamic Philosophy by Oliver Leaman

Description: Although Islamic philosophy represents one of the most important philosophical traditions in the world, it has only recently begun to receive the attention it deserves in the non-Islamic world. This important text provides a concise and accessible introduction to the major movements, thinkers and concepts within that tradition, from the foundation of Islam to the present day. Ever since the growth of Islam as a religious and political movement, Muslim thinkers have sought to understand the theoretical aspects of their faith by using philosophical concepts. Leaman outlines this history and demonstrates that, although the development of Islamic philosophy is closely linked with Islam itself, its form is not essentially connected to religion, and its leading ideas and arguments are of general philosophical significance. The author illustrates the importance of Islamic thought within philosophy through the use of many modern examples. He describes and contrasts the three main movements in Islamic philosophy - Peripatetic, Sufi and Illuminationist - and examines the Persian as well as the Arabic philosophical traditions.

Comprehensive coverage is given to key aspects of Islamic philosophy, including epistemology, ontology, politics, ethics and philosophy of language, providing readers with a full and rounded view of the discipline. The main markets for this book are in the areas of philosophy, Islamic studies, Middle Eastern studies, cultural studies, religious studies and theology. It will be accessible to second-year undergraduates and upwards and to the lay reader interested in philosophical and religious issues. Author Description: Oliver Leaman is Professor of Philosophy at Liverpool John Moores University. Contents: Preface. Author's Note. Abbreviations. 1. A Short History of Islamic Philosophy. 2. Main Controversies. 3. Knowledge. 4. Mysticism. 5. Ontology. 6. Ethics. 7. Politics. 8. The Question of Transmission. 9. Language. References and Bibliography. A Guide to Further Reading. Index.

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Philosophical Instructions: An Introduction to Contemporary Islamic Philosophical Instructions: An Introduction to Contemporary Islamic Philosophy by Ayatullah Muhammad Taqi Misbah Yazdi

This textbook is compiled for the purpose of introducing the students of the Islamic seminaries in Qom to the rudiments of Islamic philosophy. It is arranged in the form of seventy short lessons which cover the breadth of Islamic philosophy, including discussions of the history of philosophy, epistemology, metaphysics and philosophical theology. The lectures were originally presented and taped at the Dar Rah-e Haqq Institute in Qom in 1981 and 1982, the transcriptions of the tapes were revised and edited by Prof. Misbah and published in two volumes by the Islamic Propagation Organization in Qom. The book was not written for an English speaking audience, and for this very reason it serves that audience as a very good introduction to Islamic philosophy as it is seen from within the seminaries of Qom. The author, Ayatullah Misbah Yazdi, is one of the most highly respected clerics on the Shi'i world, and a revered professor of philosophy. His Philosophical Instructions is a unique work, not only because of its survey of the topics of Islamic philosophy, but because the author self-consciously attempts to defend his considered views from opponents at home and abroad. So, the work is polemical as well as instructional. What is defended is a controversial way of looking at Islamic philosophy as a foundation for religious thought.

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Islam and Religious PluralismIslam and Religious Pluralism by Muhammad Legenhausen

The phenomenon of religious diversity is one of the questions with which today's religious thought is faced. Muslim thinkers have tried to deal with this question according to their intellectual tendencies and positions. Obviously none of the answers proposed is perfectly right and ultimate, and so ... more ...

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The Islamic Interlink

The Islamic Interlink project is at present an attempt to catalog and index Islamic content on the Internet and to make it easily accessible to all. It is our hope that this will be a useful resource for Muslims everywhere, as well as a useful tool for anyone trying to access Islamic materials. Alhamdulillah, the current site is the product of months of development, and all entries are carefully reviewed.


Light of Islam

This site, in several languages, offers a wide variety of information and resources on Islam.  

Site Includes:

bulletThe Holy Prophet
bulletThe Holy Quran
bulletThe Infallibles
bulletPeak of Eloquence
bulletImportant Muslims
bulletFundamentals of Islam
bulletIslamic Books
bulletIslamic Articles
bulletIslamic Links


Basic Introduction to Islamic Philosophy

By philosophy we mean here the rational study of the nature of Existence. The foundation of Islamic philosophy - like the foundation of Islamic Science - is Allah, the supreme Being. That is, Islamic philosophy starts from an acceptance of the premise that Existence, or reality, actually and already exists, external to and independent from ourselves as human beings, and it names the very Being of Existence itself as Allah. This may be said to be the first fundamental principle of Islamic philosophy.

The fundamental quest of Islamic philosophy is therefore to understand the nature of Allah, our own relation to Allah, and in general how the nature of all beings relate to the Being which is named Allah.

The Being which is Allah is the fundamental Being from which all beings - all things which exist or have existed - derives. We must understand that Being is independent of our 'minds' and our bodies, and must be apprehended and understood through its nature, its essence, and not through the limitation (or appearance, or form) of our own being...


Sandra Islamic Philosophic Institute

Official site of this center founded by Shia scholar Mulla Sadra includes a biography, a thorough introduction to his theories and related links.


Ayatullah Sayyid Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr

The chapters in this book include:

Introduction: The Social Issue

Part One: The Theory of Knowledge,
Chapter One: The Primary Source of Knowledge
Chapter Two: The Value of Knowledge

Part Two: The Philosophical Notion concerning the World,
Chapter One: Preliminary Notes
Chapter Two: Dialectics or Disputation
Chapter Three: The Principle of Causality
Chapter Four: Matter or God
Chapter Five: Knowledge

You can see a full list of all resources at: 


Study of Islamic Philosophy

Ibrahim Bayyumi Madkour translated from Persian by Shahyar Sa'adat Vol. 1, No. 1 (Muharram 1404 AH)


For a long time Islamic philosophy was under a cloud of doubt and uncertainty. Some people denied its existence while others affirmed it. This uncertainty continued all through the nineteenth century. Those who denied the very existence of an Islamic philosophy feigned ignorance and maintained that the teachings of Islam opposed all free discussion and investigation, and therefore Islam has never risen to the aid of philosophy and science throughout the centuries of its existence. The only fruits Islam has borne for its followes have been intellectual despotism and dogmatism, they said. Christianity, in comparison, has been the cradle of free thought and discussion, they maintained, patronizing art and literature, encouraging the sciences, and becoming a fertile ground for the germination of new philosophy and helping it to develop and bear fruit... 


Groundwork on Islamic Philosophy

By Macksood A. Aftab, BA
Department of Philosophy
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor


Relative to Western philosophy, the field of Islamic philosophy has remained largely dormant for the past few hundred years.   The rigor of intellectual thought in Islam has been lost and contemporary Muslim thinkers are faced with the enormous challenge of re-interpreting and integrating the tremendous intellectual achievements of the West with that of earlier Islamic thinkers and the Quran (the Muslim holy book).
This endeavor is of crucial importance to any new Islamic intellectual renaissance.    With the rise of Western science and philosophy, serious new challenges have been posed to the very fundamental principles of epistemology, metaphysics, and ethics, espoused by the classical thinkers of Islam.   These issues need to be addressed, as Muhammad Iqbal, perhaps the first modern Muslim philosopher to deal with these problems in any comprehensive manner, writes:

“With the reawakening of Islam, therefore, it is necessary to examine, in an independent spirit, what Europe has thought and how far the conclusions reached by her can help us in the revision and if necessary, reconstruction, of theological thought in Islam.”  (Iqbal 6)


Islamic political philosophy: Al-Farabi, Avicenna, Averroes

By R.J. Kilcullen, Copyright © 1996


Islam is based on the Koran (a revelation from God to the prophet Muhammad) supplemented by the sunnah (a set of traditions about Muhammad's words and deeds). Muslims recognize Judaism and Christianity as revelations from God (just as Christianity recognizes Judaism), but hold that the revelation made to Muhammad completes and supersedes earlier revelations. Muslims reject the Christian doctrines that Jesus was God and that God is in three persons (Father, Son, Holy Spirit); they believe that Jesus was a prophet and that God is one...

Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali (1058 - 1128)

Chronicles the life of the 12th century Sufi mystic who made major contributions to philosophy and Islamic mysticism.

Ibn Sina (980 - 1037)


Abu Ali al-Hussain Ibn Abdallah Ibn Sina was born in 980 C.E. at Afshana near Bukhara. The young Bu Ali received his early education in Bukhara, and by the age of ten had become well versed in the study of the Qur'an and various sciences. He started studying philosophy by reading various Greek, Muslim and other books on this subject and learnt logic and some other subjects from Abu Abdallah Natili, a famous philosopher of the time. While still young, he attained such a degree of expertise in medicine that his renown spread far and wide. At the age of 17, he was fortunate in curing Nooh Ibn Mansoor, the King of Bukhhara, of an illness in which all the well-known physicians had given up hope. On his recovery, the King wished to reward him, but the young physician only desired permission to use his uniquely stocked library...


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