Usual Storyline



Don´t you think that the Islamic world is in need of a movement like ILLUMINISM? by Julius Galih

Answer by Julius Galih:

Muslim had it, let me share small chunk about Ikhwan al- Safa’ or Brethren of Purity[1]

It was a curious but fascinating mixture of the Qur’anic, the Aristotelian and the Neoplatonic. The group wrote fifty-two epistles, which are encyclopedic in range, covering matters as diverse as arithmetic, theology, magic and embryology.

Their numerology owes a debt to Pythagoras, their metaphysics are Aristotelian and Neoplatonic and they incorporate also a few Platonic notions into their philosophy. The latter, however, is more than a mere synthesis of elements from Greek philosophy, for it is underpinned by a considerable Qur’anic substratum. There are profound links between the epistemology and the soteriology (doctrine of salvation) of the Ikhwan, and it would not be an exaggeration to say that the former feeds the latter.

In the history of Islamic philosophy the Ikhwan illustrate a group where the Aristotelian and the Neoplatonic clash head-on and where no attempt is made to reconcile competing and contradictory notions of God, whom the Epistles treat in both Qur’anic and Neoplatonic fashion.

The final goal of the Ikhwan is salvation; their Brotherhood is the ship of that salvation, and they foster a spirit of asceticism and good living accompanied by ‘actual knowledge’ as aids to that longed-for salvation.

The Brethren of Purity (Arabic: اخوان‌الصفا‎‎ ikhwãn al-safã; also The Brethren of Sincerity) were a secret society of Muslim philosophers in Basra, Iraq, in the 8th or 10th century CE. The structure of this mysterious organization and the identities of its members have never been clear.

Their esoteric teachings and philosophy are expounded in an epistolary style in the Encyclopedia of the Brethren of Purity(Rasa’il Ikhwan al-safa’), a giant compendium of 52 epistles that would greatly influence later encyclopedias. A good deal of Muslim and Western scholarship has been spent on just pinning down the identities of the Brethren and the century in which they were active. [2]


[1] Ikhwan al-Safa’

[2] Ikhwân al-Safâ’ (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

Don´t you think that the Islamic world is in need of a movement like ILLUMINISM?


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This entry was posted on September 27, 2016 by in Review.
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