Two Minutes With Dr. Yahya: Series of articles on the Philosophy of Arab Manifesto.
ضمن مقالات فلسفة المشروع العربي
The Philosophy of the Arab Manifesto
Articles On Philosophy/ 3
Professor of Philosophy
1948 May 10, reporting on SAFED, north of Palestine, (Eretz Israel, a Jewish Newspaper) reads: (the picture added by the writer of this article)
After a difficult battle with house to house fighting, and the use of the Davidka, the Palmach succeeded in taking the city and the Metzudah (“fortress”). The Arab population fled. This enabled the Jewish Forces to take control of a continuous area in eastern and Upper Galilee.
COMMENT: (Many Israelis as well as many Arabs may agree that history of occupation (old or modern) cannot be easily forgotten, in Palestine or elsewhere, no matter how occupiers cover up to show innocence. Deceiving reports cannot convince the common person and will be uncovered by simple critical analysis, Ibn Khaldun five centuries ago told us-Hasan Yahya)
The Jewish Philosophical and theological world was closely linked to the Arabian intellectual tradition. The writings of Jewish authors were originally written in Arabic. Many, later translated to Hebrew and Latin. Beginning with Arabs and Jews philosophers who lived in an Islamic land, namely, Andalusia (Spain) for a long time, the intellect were educated in Arabic language. I studies Muslim, Jewish and Christian philosophers, for example in Islam I was fond of al-Kindi, al-Ghazali, al-Farabi, Ibn Sina (Avicenna), Ibn Rush (Averroes), In Judaism, Moses Maimonides, and Saadiah Gaon, and in Christianity, Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas. Because I believed that the best human state is to be a philosopher, because wise men of the world are philosophers. They dealt with every question through reason until proved true. For them, reasons of things are gathered from things around them. In the early years of my studies at the university I was fond of studying theories and their application. When philosophy pumped up in my mind one day, I was in a group discussing the relation between the two R’s (reason and revelation).
From Aristotle (384-322 B.C) to Al-Razi (865 /925), and Saadiah Gaon, or Saadiah bin Joseph (882-942), the Jewish philosopher, who wrote in Arabic in the 10th century, to Ibn Sina-Avecinna (980-1037) ?to Ibn Bajjah-Avempace (1090-1139), who was the first Muslim philosopher in Spain, who paved the way for both Jewish and Muslim philosophers, namely, Ibn Rushd (Averroes) 1126-1198, and Maimonides (1138-1204) in logic and Mathematics.
On the Christian side, the Latin translation of James of Venice in the 12th century and especially those of William of Moerbeke (1215-1285) at Paris proves fundamental to Christian assimilation of philosophy, these translations were used later by Thomas Aquinas ?(1225-1274)
On the Jewish side, Maimonides in the 12th century, born in Cordova was educated in philosophy by Arab Teachers, he sought to reconcile Aristotleism and Judaism in his ?Guide of Perplexity? to help those who are perplexed with conflicts between knowledge and the center of Jewish revelation. ?
Maimonides translated Averroes?s commentaries from Arabic to Hebrew, then later translated to Latin, Where it became available for Europe philosophers. ?
Geronides or Levi bin Gershom in the 14th century, his Super Commentaries? on Averroes was famous, he was an Aristotelian more than Aristotle himself, For many analysts, his book became the primary source.
The line of Jewish philosophy continued with Joseph Caspi, Moses of Norbonne, Judah Messer Leon and Elijah de Medigo in the 15th century.
Jews and Muslim philosophers in that period fought parallel battles concerning the study of philosophy especially in the subject of the? two R’s. Moses Maimonides in his treatise on Logic referred the debate between superiority of logic over grammar, portraying logic as universal grammar and distinguishing between generally accepted religious? opinions,? traditions and universally as necessary valid ones.
Al-Ghazali (1059-1111) can be viewed? as anti-philosophical, but in fact, he was not opposed to philosophy per say, but rather challenged the philosophical approaches of those who in uncritical way accepted too readily certain Greek philosophical positions. For example, Aristotelian theses concerning the natural world by affirming that God knows only universals, not particulars, and maintaining that the world and soul are eternal.
Saadiah GAON, (882-942) the 10 century Egyptian expert in Jewish Law, Hebrew grammar and the translator ?from Arabic and commentator on biblical books, introduced dialectical theology into the medieval Jewish community, but the challenges faced the Jews in that period, were from both internal and external forces, From within was the perplexity due to the Karaites, (from Qar?a, read) Jews who rejected the authority of the oral rabbinical tradition, and considered the role of rational judgment of religion. The external, however were coming from both Muslims and Christians and Plutonian circles. His book Doctrines of Beliefs? to enhance Jewish belief. He provided ?Attributes of God? like Muslims who made ?the 99 Best God?s? names? Both? al-Ghazali and Saadiah? denunciated the Christian Trinity, and defended the four Aristotelian arguments about: Creation-nihilo, but opposed Aristotle?s theory of eternity of the world. For him, philosophy became a necessary instrument in facing these perplexities. The main conflict between philosophy and theology in Islam was similar to the Jewish experience in terms of the two Rs ?and reached their highest intensity when philosophy, is taken in its strictest sense, referring to the Platonic Philosophy in the earlier medieval conflicts, that led to the philosophy of Aristotle when his non-logical works become translated into Arabic and Latin.?
Al-Kindi,(d. 870) earlier, however, a Muslim philosopher, began at Baghdad,? where the translations of Aristotle?s ?Metaphysics?? and ?On the Heavens? made and became available other philosophers east and west.
Binyamin Abrahamov, Islamic Theology: Traditionalism and Rationalism (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1998).
A.J. Arberry, Revelation and Reason in Islam, London, 1956.
Arnaldez, Roger, Averroes: A Rationalist in Islam (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 2000).
Atiyeh, George, al-Kindi: The Philosopher of the Arab, (Islamabad: Islamic Research Institute, 1966).
Charles E. Butterworth (ed), The Political Aspects of Islamic Philosophy: Essays in Honor of Muhsin S. Mahdi (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1992).
W. Chittick, The Heart of Islamic Philosophy: The Quest for Self-Knowledge in the Teachings of Afdal al-Din Kashani (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001).
——-, The Self-Disclosure of God: Principles of Ibn al-Arabi’s Cosmology, (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1998).
——-, The Sufi Path of Knowledge: Ibn al-Arabi’s Metaphysics of Imagination, (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1989).
H. Corbin (with S.H. Nasr and O. Yahya), History of Islamic Philosophy, (London, 1993).
——-, Avicenna and the Visionary Recital (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990).
W.L. Craig, The Kalam Cosmological Argument, (New York, 1979).
Eretz Israel, a Jewish Newspaper, May 10, 1948 reporting.
Majid Fakhry, Ethical Theories in Islam (Leiden/New York: E.J. Brill, 1994).
R. Frank, The Metaphysics of Created Being According to Abu’l‑‑Hudhayl al‑Allaf, (Istanbul, 1966).
L. Gardet and G.C. Anawati, Introduction a la theologie musulmane, (Paris, 1948).
Al-Ghazzali, Deliverance from Error (and other texts), translated by R. McCarthy, (Louisville, 2000).
——-, The Incoherence of the Philosophers, (Tahafut al-Falasifah), translated by M.E. Marmura, (Provo, 1997).
I. Goldziher, Muslim Studies (trans. of Muhammedanische Studien), (Chicago, 1966).
L.E. Goodman, Jewish and Islamic Philosophy: Crosspollinations in the Classic Age (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1999).
——-, Avicenna, (London: Routledge, 1992).
M. Horten, Die philosophischen Ansichten von Razi und Tusi, (Bonn, 1910).
G. Hourani, Islamic Rationalism: The Ethics of ‘Abd al Jabbar, (Oxford, 1971).
——- (ed.), Essays on Islamic Philosophy and Science, (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1975).
A.C. Hunsburger, Nasir Khusraw, (London, 2000).
Mohammed `Abed al-Jabri, Arab-Islamic Philosophy: A Contemporary Critique, translated from the French by Aziz Abbassi (Austin: Center for Middle Eastern Studies, University of Texas at Austin, 1999).
al-Kindi, Metaphysics, a translation of Yaqub ibn Ishaq al-Kindi’s treatise “On First Philosophy” (fi al-falsafah al-ula) with introduction and commentary by Alfred L. Ivry. (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1974).
W. Klein, The Elucidation of Islam’s Foundation, New Haven, 1940.
Joel L. Kraemer, Philosophy in the Renaissance of Islam: Abu Sulayman Al-Sijistani and His Circle (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1986).
O. Leaman, Averroes and His Philosophy, (Oxford, 1988).
——-, An Introduction to Medieval Islamic Philosophy, (Cambridge/New York: Cambridge University Press, 1985).
D.B. MacDonald, The Development of Muslim Theology, Jurisprudence and Constitutional Theory, (New York, 1965).
Mahdi, Muhsin, Alfarabi and the Foundation of Islamic Political Philosophy: Essays in Interpretation, (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 2001).
G. Makdisi (ed.), Ibn Qudamah, Censure of Speculative Theology, (London, 1962).
M.E. Marmura (ed.), Islamic Theology and Philosophy, (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1984).
R. McCarthy, Freedom and Fulfillment, (Boston, 1980).
——-, The Theology of al‑Ash’ari, (Beirut, 1953).
M. McDermott, The Theology of Al‑Shaikh al‑Mufid, (Beirut, 1978).
R. Martin et al. Defenders of Reason in Islam, (Oxford, 1997).
W. Montgomery Watt, Free Will and Pre‑destination in Early Islam, (London, 1948).
P. Morewedge (ed.), Islamic Philosophy and Mysticism, (Delmar, 1981).
S. Munk, Melanges de philosophie juive et arabe, (Paris, 1859).
S.H. Nasr, (with M. Aminrazavi), Anthology of Philosophy in Persia, vol. 1 and 2, (New York/Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999-2000).
——-, An Introduction to Islamic Cosmological Doctrines , (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1993).
——-, Science and Civilization in Islam, (Chicago, 2000).
Ian Netton, Allah Transcendent: Studies in the Structure and Semiotics of Islamic Philosophy, Theology, and Cosmology, (London: Routledge, 1989).
——-, Muslim Neoplatonists: An Introduction to the Thought of the Brethren of Purity (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1991).
S. Pines, Beitrage zur islamischen Atomenlehre, Berlin, 1938.
C.A. Qadir, Philosophy and Science in the Islamic World , (London: Routledge, 1988).
Fazlur Rahman, Prophecy in Islam: Philosophy and Orthodoxy, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1979).
F. Rosenthal, Knowledge Triumphant: The Concept of Knowledge in Medieval Islam, Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1970).
M. M. Sharif, A History of Muslim Philosophy, 2 vols., (Wiesbaden, 1963‑1966).
D. Urvoy, Ibn Rushd (Averroes), (London, 1991).
J. van Ess, Die Erkenntnisslehre des ‘Adudaddin al‑Iji, (Wies‑baden, 1966).
John Walbridge, The Wisdom of the Mystic East: Suhrawardi and Platonic Orientalism, (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2001).
——-, The Science of Mystic Lights: Qutb al-Din Shirazi and the Illuminationist Tradition in Islamic Philosophy, (Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1992).
R. Walzer, Greek into Arabic, (Oxford, 1962).
——-, Al‑Farabi on the Perfect State, (New York, 1985)
W.M. Watt, Islamic Philosophy & Theology, (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press)
H.A. Wolfson, The Philosophy of the Kalam, (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1976).
——-, Studies in the History of Philosophy and Religion, 2 vols., (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1973‑77).
G. Ha’iri Yazdi, The Principles of Epistemology in Islamic Philosophy, (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1992).
H. Ziai, Knowledge and Illumination, (Atlanta, 1990).
H. Yahya, philosophy-religious-thoughts-islam-judaism-christianity at muslimthought.com
H. Yahya, Philosophy-and-religious-thoughts-in-islam-judaism-and-christianity-Part 1 at: thephilosopherschair.com/
H. Yahya, Persons-i-admire-ibn-sina-a-great-muslim-philosopher/ at muslimthought.com/
@Hasan Yahya, Michigan, April 2012
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