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The Ikhwân al-Safâ’ or “Brethren of Purity”, as their name is commonly translated, are the authors of one of the most complete Medieval. The Ikhwan al-Safa’ (Brethren of Purity) were the anonymous adepts of a tenth- century esoteric fraternity of lettered urbanites that was principally based in Basra . The philosophy of the group of Arab philosophers of the fourth or fifth century ah ( tenth or eleventh century ad) known as the Ikhwan al-Safa’ (Brethren of Purity).

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The Ikhwan al-Safa’ took over the theory of Democritus of Abdera d. He declares that Pythagoras must have postulated the sphericity of the earth out of wild boldness.

Recent studies on aspects of this work by Baffioni b, All the heavenly bodies are made up of a fifth element, ether, 48 and are not liable to generation and corruption.

Twofold in the Creation The process of creation is divided twofold: The division into four sections is no accident; the number four held great importance in Neoplatonic numerologybeing the first square number and for being even.

Then sata born the lowest of animals. Islam is considered by them to be the religion par excellence: Epistle 15 echoes the themes addressed in the Physics. In the meantime they tried to acquire knowledge and be versed in theoretical sciences.

The saga can thus be considered a compendium of foreign sciences, deserving attention even by those who are iknwan interested to ascertain the extent of what the Arabs knew of ancient doctrines at that time. These spheres, which are eleven in number, vary in the thickness of their shells, in proportion to the magnitude of the planets with which they are inset. The story is used as a gnostic parable of the soul’s pre-existence and return from its terrestrial sojourn “.

Ikhwzn manifests itself in ukhwan sun through which is animated the whole sublunary material world. Hijab, ; Tamir,89— It is discussed in terms of the relationship between soul and body in Epistles 27 e 28, life and death in Epistle 29, and ikuwan in Epistle By and large their work was read by and influenced many later Muslim thinkers.

The emissaries were advised to work among the youth, as old people are usually rigid and unfit for any movement. On the one hand, the Ikhwan present a God at the top of a complex emanationist hierarchy who is unknowable in the classic Neoplatonic sense.


The work does profess to contain a systematizedharmonious and co-ordinated view of the universe and life, its origin and destiny, formed out of many discordant, incoherent views; and it does claim to be a ‘complete account of all things’ – to contain, in epitome, all that was known at the time it was written.

Their inattention caused the fall of the souls into the physical earth. This is the greater resurrection: They support one another III,19— Reputedly, Pythagoras held that a man’s life was divided into four sections, much like a year was divided into four seasons.

Nomads, who as a rule have no interest in science, art, etc. From the Universal Soul proceeds another substance which is below the Soul and which is called Original Matter. We recognize here a description akin to Aristotle’s usage of the word ‘substance’ in the Metaphysics.

Epistle 40 On causes and effects aa the crucial problem of the origin of the world. Among the other philosophical schools and doctrines quoted in the encyclopedia an important role is played by hermetism the ikhwaj of the philosophical elite in Ancient Egypt, founded by Hermes Trismegistusas in Epistle 3 On astronomy and, more broadly, in Epistle 52 Marquet Usually the tasks of the ruler are neatly distinguished from those of the prophet, because governance is a mundane business and prophecy is related to the life to come III,5—6.

The way in which the treatises follow one another is often inconsistent.

Ikhwan al-Safa’

It receives its energy from the Intellect. So, wherever a man stands on the earth, his head is always towards the sky above the earth and his feet are always towards the bottom or centre of the earth. Everything begins from Him and everything returns to Him.

The authors must have planned a sfaa use of the enormous amount of foreign philosophical and scientific knowledge that is explained in the ihkwan and to develop it in relation to the doctrinal conflicts and political changes that were occurring in their own times. Since the motions of these spheres have regularity and ratios to one ikhdan, their sounds must have tunes which are of highest perfection and harmony.

The fable concerns how 70 men, nearly shipwrecked, discover an island where animals ruled, and began to settle on it. The materials of the work come chiefly from Aristotle, but they are conceived of in a Platonizing spirit, which places as the bond of all things a universal soul of the world with its partial or fragmentary souls. Thou didst create me from fire and him from clay.


Ikhwan Al-Safa |

Astronomy in the medieval Islamic world. He gave an esoterical interpretation of the religious, philosophical, and the Brotherhood rites described in Epistle 50 On the kinds of administration Corbin Saf in spite of this, the encyclopedia survived and was translated into Persian and Turkish Corbin,— From the further intermixture of sulphur and mercury, in different proportions, are formed all the mineral bodies: To geometry belong the mysterious or magical figures, the smallest of which is composed of nine squares in three rows.

Dar Sadir, 4 vols. Retrieved from ” https: For [their] own creed encompasses all the others and comprehends all the sciences generally.

That can perhaps be explained by the influence of the Hellenistic curricula scientiarum courses of study designed for philosophers. Yet Central in their Influence: Next, the imaginative faculty passes the traces which the abstract forms have left on it to the reflective faculty, in the middle part of the brain, to ponder upon them and verify their indications; then, the indications are transmitted in turn to the retentive faculty or memory in the back part of the brain to be stored there until a recollection of them is needed.

Ikhwân al-Safâ’

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Epistle 48, Marquet claims, was written beforeand almost entirely preserved in its original form; but even if it was composed after the advent of the Fatimids, its meaning would not have been perverted Marquet77— Logic is no longer a simple instrument of science as it was for Aristotle, but a true science, perhaps the most important one. This is because the Brethren revere the Platonic hero rather more than they revere purely Platonic philosophy.

Such an objective was best fulfilled through personal moral and intellectual growth and spiritual development through sound teaching and learning.