Photo: Tajik girl, Samarkand. 19th century.
I gaze upon forms with my optic eye,
Because the traces of spiritual meaning are to be found in forms.
This is the world of forms, and we reside in forms,
The spiritual meaning cannot but be seen in forms.
(Awhad al-Din Kirmani)
'Islamic Philosophy from Its Origin to the Present: Philosophy in the Land of Prophecy'
By Seyyed Hossein Nasr (Author)
slamic Philosophy from Its Origin to the Present offers a comprehensive overview of Islamic philosophy from the ninth century to the present day. As Seyyed Hossein Nasr attests, within this tradition, philosophizing is done in a world in which prophecy is the central reality of life—a reality related not only to the realms of action and ethics but also to the realm of knowledge. Comparisons with Jewish and Christian philosophies highlight the relation between reason and revelation, that is, philosophy and religion.
Nasr presents Islamic philosophy in relation to the Islamic tradition as a whole, but always treats this philosophy as philosophy, not simply as intellectual history. In addition to chapters dealing with the general historical development of Islamic philosophy, several chapters are devoted to later and mostly unknown philosophers. The work also pays particular attention to the Persian tradition.
Nasr stresses that the Islamic tradition is a living tradition with significance for the contemporary Islamic world and its relationship with the West. In providing this seminal introduction to a tradition little-understood in the West, Nasr also shows readers that Islamic philosophy has much to offer the contemporary world as a whole.
"One of the author’s great gifts is to set down the significance of what is fundamentally at issue in philosophical thinking and to show the relevance of that thinking to the human situation across the board. No one else in the field of Islamic philosophy has such a sweeping vision of what that philosophy has been and is all about, nor is there anyone else who can suggest as clearly why this and kindred traditions are utterly central to us as human beings today."
(William C. Chittick, author of The Self-Disclosure of God: Principles of Ibn al-Arabi’s Cosmology)