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Maʿrifa

(3,857 words)

Author(s): Arnaldez, R.
(a.) “Knowledge, cognition”. 1. as a term of epistemology and mysticism I. Lexicographical study. Like ʿirfān , the word maʿrifa is a noun derived from the verb ʿarafa . According to the lexicographers, it is a synonym of ʿilm [ q.v.]. Ibn Manẓūr ( LA) notes that ʿarafa may be used in place of iʿtarafa (“to recognise”), in the sense that maʿrifa is that which enables a person to recogriise, to identify a thing. On the other hand, iʿtarafa signifies “to ask somebody for information ( k̲h̲abar ) regarding something”. It is the reply which makes recognition of t…

Ibn Masarra

(4,438 words)

Author(s): Arnaldez, R.
, Muḥammad b. ʿAbd Allāh b. Masarra al-D̲j̲abalī , Andalusian philosopher and mystic, born at Cordova in 269/883 and died in 319/931 in a hermitage on the Sierra near this town, to which he had retired long before. He lived during a period in which Muslim Spain suffered a veritable inquisition conducted by the Mālikī fuḳahāʾ . His father, ʿAbd Allāh, who may have been of Christian descent, was a Muʿtazilī and in order to teach his doctrines had to take many precautions. The young Muḥammad became his pupil and received from him a…

al-Muḥāsibī

(1,205 words)

Author(s): Arnaldez, R.
, Abū ʿAbd Allāh al-Ḥārit̲h̲ (d. 243/857), Muslim mystic. Amongst these, he is the one whose contemplation is the most psychological; it is marked by attachment to moral values, and not by a more or less extreme ¶ theological system. In this sense, L. Massignon has legitimately described his mystical doctrine as “more circumspect” ( Passion 2, i, 120). He proceeds from introspection and confines himself to analysing and developing it in its relations with the circumstances of life. It is no doubt this which explains his cognomen of muḥāsibī , signifying “he who …

al-Ḳurṭubī

(1,821 words)

Author(s): Arnaldez, R.
, Abū ʿAbd Allāh Muḥammad b. Aḥmad b. Abī Bakr b. Farad̲j̲ al-Anṣārī al-K̲h̲azrad̲j̲ī al-Andalusī , Muslim scholar of the Mālik, law school, an expert on ḥadīt̲h̲ and well-known for his commentary on the Ḳurʾān. He is the subject of an article in the Dībād̲j̲ of Ibn Farḥūn, which is devoted to biography of the Mālikī fuḳahāʾ of Spain and the Mag̲h̲rib up till the 8th/14th century. He also features in an article in Nafḥ al-ṭīb of al-Maḳḳarī. Very little information is known concerning his life. Born in Spain, he was one of those who travelled outsi…

Falāsifa

(3,341 words)

Author(s): Arnaldez, R.
, pl. of faylasūf , formed from the Greek φιλόσοφος. By its origin this word primarily denotes the Greek thinkers. Al-S̲h̲ahrastānī gives a list of them: the seven Sages who are “the fount of philosophy ( falsafa ) and the beginning of wisdom ( ḥikma ) , then Thales, Anaxagoras, Anaximenes, Empedocles, Pythagoras, Socrates, Plato, Plutarch, Xenophanes, Zeno the elder, Democritus, the philosophers of the Academy, Heraclitus, Epicurus, Homer (the poet whose wisdom inspired Greece for, with the Greeks, poetry preceded ph…

Mā Baʿd al-Ṭabīʿa

(3,859 words)

Author(s): Arnaldez, R.
, or Mā Baʿd al-Ṭabīʿiyyāt , a translation of the Greek τα μετὰ τα φυσικά “the things which come after physical things”, i.e. metaphysics, an expression which can have two meanings, each of which envisages a particular conception of that science ( ʿilm or ṣināʿa ). It can either be a discipline which one embarks upon after physics, utilising the results of the natural sciences, or else it can be one whose goal lies beyond the apprehendable objects which are the concern of physics. ¶ The two meanings are not mutually self-exclusive, but the first tends to put the accent on the r…

K̲h̲alḳ

(10,078 words)

Author(s): Arnaldez, R.
(a.), creation. I.— Lexicographical data. K̲h̲alḳ, noun of action of the verb k̲h̲alaḳa , which properly means the act of creating, can also be used to designate Creation in its entirety: wa’l-k̲h̲alḳ yakūn al-maṣdar wa-yakūn al-mak̲h̲lūḳ ( LA). The noun of the agent, al-k̲h̲āliḳ , defined by the article, is applied only to God and is one of His Names. According to the LA, in the speech of the Arabs al-k̲h̲alḳ is used to designate the production of some new thing ( ibtidāʿ ) on a pattern which has not been previously employed ( ʿalā mit̲h̲āl lam yusbaḳ ilayh ). Abū

Lāhūt and Nāsūt

(3,432 words)

Author(s): Arnaldez, R.
(a.), two terms meaning divinity (or deity) and humanity, and forming a pair which plays an important role in the theology of certain Muslim mystics and in the theosophical conceptions of the extremist Imāmate. ¶ 1. Philological considerations. The termination -ūt of these two words may be traced to an Aramaic origin. It is also present in the words malakūt (which is Ḳurʾānic, XXXVI, 83), and d̲j̲abarūt which appears in the ḥadīt̲h̲ : “Glory to the One to whom belongs Ruling Power ( d̲j̲abarūt) and Kingship ( malakūt ).” So malakūt was already Arabised in the time of the Prophet. It …

al-Insān al-Kāmil

(3,347 words)

Author(s): Arnaldez, R.
the Perfect Man. 1). General observations on this concept. The idea of the Perfect Man, which occurs in Muslim esoteric mysticism, is not derived directly from the Ḳurʾān. It may be compared with gnostic conceptions which have assumed various forms: that of the πρῶτος ἄνθρωπος linked with Hermetism (cf. Poimandres ) and the hellenistic gnoses, might be the purest original source; another origin may be found in the Mazdaean myth of Gayomart, the primordial Man. These two currents come together in Manichaeism with the doctrine of the first Man ( al-insān al-ḳadīm ) …

Maʿād

(2,619 words)

Author(s): Arnaldez, R.
(a.), place of return, a technical term in religious and philosophical vocabulary. The verb ʿadā , ʿawdan signifies “to return to a place”. Al-D̲j̲awharī treats it as a synonym of rad̲j̲aʿa . The action of ʿawd is the movement whereby one. returns to the point of departure: rad̲j̲aʿa ʿalā badʾihi , or ilā ḥāfiratihi , either through a continuous progress, in describing a circle for example, or stopping at a certain point and retracing one’s steps (cf. Sībawayh, cited by LA), whence the idea of a return to the origin, to the source. The verb rad̲j̲aʿa is used in many Ḳurʾānic verses to ind…

Māhiyya

(3,090 words)

Author(s): Arnaldez, R.
(A.) “quiddity”. On the construction of this technical term, al-Tahānawī provides interesting information. There are several explanations. One of them derives this word from the interrogative mā huwa? (“what is it?”). In this case, it is to be noted that the yāʾ of the nisba has been added, the wāw suppressed and the tāʾ marbūṭa termination given in order to change the word from the adjectival to the substantive form. Another explanation derives it from , with the addition of the yāʾ of the nisba and of the tāʾ marbūṭa. The original form would then be māʾiyya ; the hamza

Falsafa

(6,538 words)

Author(s): Arnaldez, R.
1.—Origins. The origins of falsafa are purely Greek; the activity of the falāsifa [ q.v.] begins with Arabic translations of the Greek philosophical texts (whether direct or through a Syriac intermediary). Thus falsafa\appears first as the continuation of φιλοσοφία in Muslim surroundings. But this definition leads at once to a more precise formulation: since strictly orthodox Sunnī Islam has never welcomed philosophic thought, falsafa developed from the first especially among thinkers influenced by the sects, and particularly by the S̲h̲īʿa; and this arose …

Is̲h̲rāḳ

(1,083 words)

Author(s): Arnaldez, R.
the name given to illuminative Wisdom, advocated by S̲h̲ihāb al-Dīn Suhrawardī (d. 587/1191) who himself indicated its sources (cf. table). By “sources” should be understood not so much the historical origins of his ideas as the springing forth of a Wisdom which, in the fieid of mysticism, has inspired lines of initiates comparable with the initiatory isnād s of the Ṣūfīs, though without the explicit granting of any “delegation” by the Masters to the disciples. However that may be, one can discern Western, Greek elements, as well…

Ibn Ḥazm

(10,362 words)

Author(s): Arnaldez, R.
, Abū Muḥammad ʿAlī b. Aḥmad b. Saʿīd , born at Cordova in 384/994, died at Manta Līs̲h̲am in 456/1064, Andalusian poet, historian, jurist, philosopher and theologian, one of the greatest thinkers of Arabo-Muslim civilization, who codified the Ẓāhirī [see ẓāhiriyya ] doctrine and applied its method to all the Ḳurʾānic sciences. The life of Ibn Ḥazm and the political events of his time. E. García Gómez has pointed out that the period in which Ibn Ḥazm lived corresponds to the “most tragic moments of Muslim Spain” and to “the decisive crisis of Isl…

Manṭiḳ

(13,716 words)

Author(s): Arnaldez, R.
(a.), a technical term denoting logic. 1. Etymology. The LA gives manṭiḳ as a synonym of kalām in the sense of “language”; a book is described as being nāṭiḳ bayyin as if it does itself speak; God says in the Ḳurʾān (XXII, 62): “And before Us is a Book which tells the truth ( yanṭiḳu bi ’l-ḥaḳḳ )”. This telling of the truth also has a quality of judgment; thus (XLV, 29): “This is Our Book; it pronounces against you in all truth ( yanṭiḳu ʿalaykum bi ’l-ḥaḳḳ )” Metaphorically, manṭiḳ expresses the language of all things, for example the language of birds (Ḳurʾān, XXVII, 16: manṭiḳ al-ṭayr

Iḥdāt̲h̲

(1,711 words)

Author(s): Arnaldez, R.
, maṣdar of aḥdat̲h̲a , from the root . t̲h̲ ., which expresses the idea of an innovation in time. Ḥadīt̲h̲ is the opposite of ḳadīm , “ancient”, whence “eternal” a parte ante; ḥudūt̲h̲ is the opposite of ḳudma . In the Ḳurʾān the fourth form ( yuḥdit̲h̲ , muḥdat̲h̲ ) is used with the direct object d̲h̲ikr . Commenting on XX, 113, Fak̲h̲r al-Dīn al-Rāzī considers why the Word of God produces a d̲h̲ikr and not a taḳwā ; the reason, he suggests, is that “ taḳwā denotes the act of not doing evil, and it consists in remaining in a fundamental negativeness” ( wa-d̲h̲ālika ‘stimrār ʿala ’l-ʿadam al-aṣlī

Hayʾa

(1,294 words)

Author(s): Arnaldez, R.
(a.), synonym (see LA; TA) for ‘shape’ ( s̲h̲akl ) and ‘form’ ( ṣūra ), and also for ‘state’ ( ḥāl ) and quality’ ( kayfiyya ). Al-Kindī states that, according to Hippocrates, one of the meanings of the word “nature’ applies to the configuration ( hayʾa ) of the human body. In the Rasāʾil Ik̲h̲wān al-Ṣafaʾ we find: hayʾat al-arkān : the configuration of the elements; they use this word also to discuss the thesis of the materialists who think that the Living and All-powerful Being is a body, since he exists in a configuration that is distinguished by accidents, such as life, power, knowledge ( ʿalā ha…

Ḳidam

(5,061 words)

Author(s): Arnaldez, R.
(a.) in the technical vocabulary of philosophy and theology denotes eternity. It must be distinguished from azal and from abad [ q.v.]. Al-Tāhānawī writes: “ Azal is the constant duration of existence in the past, as abad is its constant duration in the future.” As opposed to temporal origin ( ḥudūt̲h̲ ), it is the fact of having been preceded by nothing else ( al-lā masbūḳiyya bil-g̲h̲ayr ): azal implies the negation of a first beginning ( nafy al-awwaliyya ); it is therefore a case of eternity a parte ante, and abad is eternity a parte post. Azal and abad are essentially identical in God ( inna a…

Insān

(2,108 words)

Author(s): Arnaldez, R.
(a.), man ( homo ). The Ḳurʾān states ¶ that God created man weak (IV, 28). Several verses describe his psychology: in trouble he cries to God, and when the trouble has passed, he forgets (X, 12; XXXIX, 8 and 49); he is very unjust ( ẓalūm , XIV, 34; XXXIII, 72); much inclined to be precipitate ( ʿad̲j̲ūl XVII, 11); versatile ( halūʿ , LXX, 19); rebellious (XLVI, 6); a subtle reasoner and given to argument (XVIII, 54, XXXVI, 77). The LA echoes this Ḳurʾānic teaching: all beings who are endowed with intelligence, angels and d̲j̲inns, are given to argument, but man is more so t…

al-Muḥāsibī

(1,177 words)

Author(s): Arnaldez, R.
, Abū ʿAbd Allāh al-Ḥārit̲h̲ (m. 243/857) est, parmi les mystiques musulmans, celui dont la réflexion est la plus psychologique; elle est marquée par l’attachement aux valeurs morales, et non par un système theologique plus ou moins extrémiste. En ce sens, L. Massignon a pu qualifier sa doctrine mystique de «plus prudente» ( Passion 2, I, 120), Il part de l’introspection et se borne à l’analyser et à la développer dans ses rapports avec les situations de la vie. C’est sans doute ce qui explique son surnom de muḥāsibī, qui signifie «celui qui fait le compte de ses actions», c’est-à-…
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