Ikhwan al-Safa'

Pages: 160
Subject: Religion: Islam
Series: Makers of the Muslim World
Imprint: Oneworld Academic

Ikhwan al-Safa'

A Brotherhood of Idealists on the Fringe of Orthodox Islam

Godefroid de Callatay

Chronicling the work of 'The Brethren of Purity', a 4th-century group of encyclopaedists who tried to reconcile reason and faith.
Hardback
9781851684045 (22 Feb 2006)
RRP £25.00 / US$30.00

The Book

The Ikhwan Al- Safa' or Brethren of Purity were a highly secretive group of tenth-century Shi'ite thinkers, their identities remaining unclear even today. Renowned for creating the legendary Rasa'il Ikhwan al-Safa, an encyclopedia of philosophical sciences, they proposed a coherent intellectual system that sought to reconcile human reasoning with prophetic revelation.



This fascinating survey provides a clear, objective and innovative introduction to the Brethren of Purity and their encyclopedic project, showing its critical place in the history of Arabic science, philosophy and literature.

 

CONTENTS


Acknowledgement

 

INTRODUCTION

Shi‘ism

Philosophy

The tenth century

 

1 ESOTERICISM

The name

The problem of date and authorship

Ancient evidence

Later conjectures

Modern confusion

The tangible corpus of epistles

 

2 EMANATIONISM

The formation of the universe

The creation of time

Coming-to-be and passing-away

The place of man in God's creation

Man's double nature

The sin of the First Adam

Eschatological prospects

 

3 MILLENARIANISM

Astrological determinism

The theory of prophetic cycles

The origin of prophetic astrology

A propitious conjunction in sight

The Sleepers of the Cave

Concealment and manifestation

The rising of the three qa'ims

 

4 ENCYCLOPAEDISM

The classification of knowledge

Propaedeutic sciences

Religious sciences

Philosophical sciences

The subdivisions of philosophy

Comparison of the systems

 

5 SYNCRETISM

The Greek heritage

Persian and Indian influences

Reconciling profane and sacred wisdom

The interpretation of the Qur'an

The leveling of sacred authorities

The ultimate books

 

6 IDEALISM

Other confessions

Religious law

The true imam

Imagined propaganda

The sessions of science

Metaphors for Utopia

 

Epilogue

Guide to further reading

Index of passages from the Rasa'il Ikhwan al-Safa'

General index

Additional Information

Subject Religion: Islam
Series Makers of the Muslim World
Pages 160
Imprint Oneworld Academic

 

About the Author

Author Godefroid de Callatay is Professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Louvain.