According to this doctrine, all nature, including substances and accidents, is in motion. Nevertheless, the objects of divine knowledge exist at the level of Essence in a state of existential togetherness (wujud al-jam’i) with a higher grade of being than their existence as distinct essences in the created world. …especially in the teachings of Mulla Sadra (. According to this doctrine, though one simple reality, being comes in grades, in a similar way that sunlight and candlelight are the same reality of different grades. Sadradin Shirazi (1571 - 1640), known also as Mulla Sadra, spoke of the primacy of Being and promoted a new ontology, founding a new epistemology. He decided to leave Shiraz for a life of solitude and contemplation in Kahak, a quiet village near the city of Qom. The corollary to this conclusion is that, in its ontological unity with the infinite and necessary Reality of God, each Attribute must be infinite and necessary. Mulla Sadra studies particularly flourished after the Islamic Revolution of 1979. 0 likes. Mulla Sadra’s main contribution to Islamic epistemology lies in his diversion from the Aristotelian dualism of subject and object, in other words, knower and the known (̒aqil wa ma’quil). According to this doctrine that was accepted by all Peripatetic philosophers the universe was created in eternity, which means that creation had no beginning in time. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your subscription. His proof for the doctrine of bodily resurrection is a good example of this positive attitude. METAPHYSICS OF MULLA SADRA (ISLAMIC PHILOSOPHY - Hardcover **Mint Condition** Item specifics. Inspired by Suhrawardi’s challenge of classical philosophers such as Ibn Sina who would not allow gradation in the same essence, but in contrast to the former’s belief in the ontological primacy of essence or quiddity, Mulla Sadra replaced the hierarchical light of Suhrawardi with the hierarchical being. In effect, there are only differences by degrees, while essences, as concepts in the mind, reflect gradations as contrasts. Like “The only way there is to know God is through what he calls the `proof of existence' (al-burhan al-wujadt), which is a direct act of intuition and which does not … Later, the Shi’i seminaries of Iraq in the city of Najaf and some influential thinkers in Pakistan also welcomed Mulla Sadra’s philosophy. J.W. It is for this reason that he studies knowledge as a subject of first philosophy, namely, the study of being qua being. Some souls may be pardoned after serving their time in Hell by God’s Grace and the intermission of angels and nobler souls. The pivotal place of intuition in his philosophical methodology is especially reflected by the influence of Ibn Arabi (d. 1240) throughout his works and by the fact that he regarded Ibn Arabi’s writings as having a philosophical character with a “demonstrative force” (al-Asfar I 315). Prophets have a clearer vision of the Angel of revelation in comparison to the Imams and Saints (al-Shawahid al-rububiyya 480). On this ground, the real horse can give you a ride while the universal horse in the mind is incapable of that because real particularity, external properties and real effects are owing to being and cannot be in the mind. As bodily in its origin, the soul too moves from one form to another as long as it is living in this world. All Rights Reserved. Despite his efforts, Mulla Sadra’s picture of resurrection is not in complete conformity with that of theology. In 1601, upon the death of his father, Mulla Sadra returned to Shiraz. Philosophers such as Mir Damad and Mulla Sadra managed to get their voices heard by their contemporaries and posterities in spite of the conservative religiosity of the newly established Shi’ite rule partly owing to the religious and political state of affairs. However, he reinterprets bodily resurrection in terms of the imaginative creation of the otherworldly body by the soul. This period was followed by several journeys between Shiraz, Isfahan, Qom, Kashan, and most importantly, seven pilgrimages to Mecca. This doctrine has been criticised by theologians due to its conflict with the scriptural picture of creation, both in the Bible and the Qur’an. This is the way Mulla Sadra tried to resolve a long-held conflict between philosophy and theology regarding God’s detailed knowledge of the world. While focusing on Mulla Sadra’s metaphysics including his ontology, epistemology, psychology, this article also brings to light the philosopher’s solutions to theological problems. The third journey is from the Creator to the created with the Creator and is about God and His Attributes, and finally the journey from the created to the created with the Creator that is focused on the destiny of the humankind. Masheiyoon, eg Avisina argue that essence ( Mahiyat) is the smalest constituent of the matter that exhibits the property of the whole. Similar to form and matter in the physical world, there is no real separation between the knower (soul or mind) and the immediately known object of it, that is, the mental being. For example, his use of Qur’anic verses and religious ideas, though it is an important part of his system, is mainly confined to a secondary or supportive position. Muhammad ibn Ibrahim ibn Yahya al-Qawami al-Shirazi, commonly known as Mulla Sadra, was born and grew up during the golden days of the Safavid period, Iran’s first Shi’ite dynasty (c. 1501-1736). With the exception of Risala-yi si asl (Treatise on the Three Principles) which is in Persian, he wrote all his works in Arabic that was the lingua franca of the Muslim world at that time. He even criticised Ibn Sina’s “proof of the righteous” (al–Asfar VI 13) because of its reliance on the concept rather than the reality of being. Mulla Sadra describes the soul as one simple but graded reality that in its unity includes diverse mental faculties. The Philosophy of Mulla Sadra (Sadr al-Din al-Shirazi) 0%. Mulla Sadra’s psychology is not an exception to this tradition; however, in his system, the human soul is given a more dominant role within the cosmic drama that unfolds along a salvific process of perfection. Except for God who exists in His own right, every other being is composed of essence and being, hence contingent in the sense of dependence on the Necessary Being for their existence. Great souls are not satisfied with carnal pleasures even in this world, so their reward in the next world cannot be a carnal one. At the cosmic level, the only independent being is the Absolute Being, while the rest, no matter of what intensity, are only relational. Mulla Sadra’s delineation of the soul’s journey resonates with ideas of Islamic mysticism which in turn is indebted for its theoretical formulation to Neoplatonic ideas. The inherent inclination toward reunion with the Active Intellect, that is, the realm of Divine Knowledge, puts the soul back on the “arch of ascent”. For Mulla Sadra, the “proof of the righteous” is called by this name because it has the privilege of arguing for the existence of God through God Himself. Later he related his experience during the time spent in Shiraz in a doleful and critical voice denouncing the intellectual atmosphere of the city for being hostile, suppressive, and philistine with regard to philosophy (al-Asfar I 7). Along with the expansion of knowledge and spiritual evolvement, the soul moves up to higher grades of being. Influenced by Ibn ‘Arabi’s doctrine of “the Perfect Human” and its incorporation into Shi’i imamate by Sayyid Haydar Amuli (d. 1385), Mulla Sadra explains prophethood, imamate, and sainthood as related aspects of the same reality. The title of his magnum opus, al-Asfar, together with its main divisions is a proof to the mystical attachment as the philosophical narrative unfolds in terms of the famous four journeys of the soul, namely, the quest in search of the ultimate Truth or God and the final reunion with Him. He also regards the soul as bodily in its origin, but spiritual in subsistence. Molla Sadra Shirazi This text presents the various definitions of moral constructivism given by philosophers like Aristotle, Hume, Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, and others; then it proceeds analyzing the moral philosophy of Mulla Sadra, that is one that combines features of the Islamic-peripatetic (masha’i) and Islamic mystical (‘irfani) traditions. Especially, in the late Safavid period due to the intellectually suppressive atmosphere created by influential clerics, most prominently Muhammad Baqir Majlisi (d. 1198), philosophical and particularly mystical thoughts were antagonized by the ruling system and the clerics alike. Starting with the concept of being, Mulla Sadra attributes two major characteristics to it. Thus, rather than correspondence between the external object and its represented form in the mind, for Mulla Sadra the credibility of knowledge lies in the existential unity of different grades of the same being, one created by the soul and the other existing in the external world. For Mulla Sadra, all knowledge is, at bottom, knowledge by presence because our knowledge of the world is a direct access to what is called mental beings. Mulla Sadra’s original philosophy blended and transformed Ibn Sina’s Neoplatonic Aristotelianism, al-Suhrawardi’s Illuminative wisdom, Ibn al-‘Arabi’s Sufism, and the theology of the Ash‘arite Sunnis and Twelver Shi‘ites in an even more ambitious and resourceful way than his teachers had imagined possible. As Mulla Sadra put it, The instances of being are different in terms of intensity and weakness as such, priority and posteriority as such; nobility and baseness as such, although the universal concepts applicable to it and abstracted from it, named quiddities, are in contrast essentially, in terms of genus, species, or accidents. Mulla Sadra’s ontology is an important philosophical turn and contribution to the understanding of the development of Muslim philosophy and thought. Moreover, informed by the Islamic doctrines and inspired by mysticism, Islamic philosophers regarded the human soul as capable of elevation through acquiring knowledge and spiritual practice. Following their work, Mulla Sadra has been translated, taught, and discussed in academic journals and circles both in Europe and North America. Motion is not an accidental property given to nature over and above its substance; rather, it is essential to it and caused at the same ‘time’ with the creation of the bodily substance. For Mulla Sadra, though essences are not genuine in their existence, they still exist as delimitations of the Real Being that is the ground of all that exists. Ahani, Isfahan, 1962; trans. Mulla Sadra’s use of mirror imagery with respect to other-worldly bodies is his response to Suhrawardi on the same issue and draws on the endeavours of Ibn’Arabi and his commentator Dawoud al-Qaysari (d. 1350) to solve an earlier problem in Islamic philosophy (Rustom 2007). Because, philosophically the effect, that is the history of an object, can’t … Previously, mental form was defined as a psychic quality that occurs to the immaterial substance of the soul as a mere accident (̒arad), incapable of making any changes to the soul’s essence. In many cases philosophers have resorted to the Qur’an in order to reinforce their philosophical arguments. A scion of a notable Shīrāzī family, Mullā Ṣadrā completed his education at Eṣfahān, then the leading cultural and intellectual centre of Iran. The contemporary generation of Mulla Sadra scholars, though approaching Mulla Sadra from different points of view, are illuminating various aspects of the philosopher’s work. In contrast to the Peripatetic mental form or concept as a universal produced by abstraction, mental being is an immaterial and particular mode of existence with a higher intensity than the external object corresponding to it. The rational human soul is actualized when we reach maturity (around the age of forty), but this is not the end. Mulla Sadra takes a middle path between reason and revelation by resorting to his doctrine of substantial motion. Apart from several commentaries on chapters and verses from the Qur’an, Mulla Sadra also wrote about the theoretical and practical criteria of exegesis. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Mulla Sadra’s school of philosophy, like all other philosophies, exceeds the borders of nationality and geography. He resolves this theological paradox of diversity in unity with regard to God’s Essence by resorting to the simple reality of God’s Being. After his studies with scholars there, he produced several works, the most famous of which was his Asfār (“Journeys”). In particular, he followed Suhrawardi by adopting a holistic method of philosophy in which reason is accompanied by intuition, and intellection is the realization of the quintessence of the human soul, with prophecy (nubuwwa) and sainthood (wilaya) as the noblest manifestations of it. Mulla Sadra [Sadr al-Din al-Shirazi] (c.1628) al-Hikma al-'arshiyya (The Wisdom of the Throne), ed. Islamic philosophy is rooted in the early endeavours of Mu’tazilite theologians who borrowed the instrument of Greek logic and terminology in order to formulate the doctrines of faith in a manner palatable for human reason. Mulla Sadra’s formulation of causality reveals the strong influence of Ibn Arabi’s unity of being (wahdat al-wujud). The faculty of sense perception is a potentiality of the soul that is unified with the perceptible forms (or beings) in the occasion of contact with the sensible world. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). At this stage, we are actually human but potentially angels or devils. It was also during this period that Mulla Sadra accepted the invitation to teach at Khan School, which was built in Shiraz on the order of the new governor, Allahwirdi Khan, in Mulla Sadra’s honour and for the purpose of his lectures. Though immaterial, the imaginal body is possessed of the three dimensions of the physical body that make it subject to a variety of feelings similar to our dream-world experiences. Updates? Whether we understand Mulla Sadra’s use of intuition as “a higher form of reason” in the Platonic sense (Rahman 1975, 6), or as a prophetic experience that turns philosophy into “theosophy” (Nasr 1997, 57), in reality there is no actual separation between reason and intuition in Mulla Sadra’s philosophy. The Mullasadra's partial philosophy system ( partial since it has not covered all the 5 topics of a full philosophy system) on " Change In Essence that Avisina calls Mahiyat) is arguing that Essence Changes too. Therefore, the individual human soul, though starting as a bodily being in the world, is still invested with an otherworldly spirituality due to the noble state of the universal soul before the descent. Similar to his past philosophical masters Ibn Sina (d. 103… Moreover, unlike his philosophical predecessors, he did not leave any religious doctrine to mere faith and believed in the possibility of rational explanation for all. He is the Light and the rest are the streaks of that Light…” (al-Masha’ir 450). NOW 50% OFF! His major theoretical work is Mafatih al-ghayb (Keys to the Invisible). Author: Dr. Fazlur Rahman Publisher: State University of New York Press Category: Islamic Philosophy ISBN: 0-87395-300-2 and 0-87395-301-0 Not only have different schools of theology offered divergent solutions to theological problems, but also theology has been in conflict with philosophy over several key issues. For Mulla Sadra, the ultimate happiness of the human souls is to join in the beatific life of the Intellects. The same unification holds at the level of intellection between the intelligible forms (beings) as the actual and the intellect as potential. He was also heir to a long tradition of philosophy in Persia which had adopted the methodology of Greek philosophy and interpreted it not only in accordance with the Islamic faith, but also implicitly and partly in continuation of the antique Persian traditions. He died on a pilgrimage to Arabia. Although Aristotle identifies the external existence of a thing with its primary substance, he distinguishes between two questions we can ask with respect to everything: “What it is” and “whether it is (or exists)”. While Mulla Sadra’s philosophical character evolved in conversation and debates with Mir Damad, he owed to Shayk Baha’i his broad knowledge of exegesis (tafsir), tradition (hadith), mysticism (irfan) and jurisprudence (fiqh). Since then, Islamic philosophers have roughly been categorized as adherents of either the primacy of essence or the primacy of being. Mulla Sadra Intellectual historian with major interest in philosophy and theology, both in history and in the contemporary Muslim world View my complete profile Mulla Sadra is a special case as a philosopher who has dedicated independent treatises to Qur’anic commentaries. An a priori proof (burhan-i limmi) does not infer the existence of the Creator (cause) from the existence of any particular created thing (effect). The esoteric side of prophecy is not only the innermost spiritual meaning of it, but also the purpose of creation. Therefore, the Absolute Being or God must necessarily exist. As the most intense and the only independent being, God is inclusive of every form of existence while excluding only the imperfections and contingencies. In al-Asfar, the first journey that is from the created to the Creator is devoted to the concept and reality of being. He rejected the dominant theory of knowledge as the representation of the abstracted and universal form of particular objects to the mind. This existential unification holds at all the levels of knowledge that is confined by Mulla Sadra to sense perception, imagination, and intellection. Since then, he has been widely taught both at the religious seminaries and universities with governmental funds supporting the foundation of institutes and international conferences. In this exploration of his philosophy, Sajjad H. Rizvi examines the central doctrine of the modulation of being, and contextualises his work within the intellectual history of philosophical traditions in the Islamic East. After Mulla Sadra’s death, India was the first place outside Iran to show his influence. Though Shiraz had a glorious past with regard to philosophy, in Mulla Sadra’s day it was not the best place for satisfying his intellectual desire. Mulla Sadra has become the dominant philosopher of the Islamic Eastand his approach to the nature of philosophy has been exceptionallyinfluential. However, the ascent toward reunion is not guaranteed for each and every human soul since there are many phases that each soul should pass successfully in order to substantially evolve and reach up to higher ranks of being. After a pious life of dedication to acquiring and expanding philosophy and Islamic sciences, Mulla Sadra died in Basra on the way to his seventh pilgrimage to Mecca. Islamic philosophy originated in the rational endeavours to reconcile reason and revelation though the results did not always satisfy theologians, but ironically widened the gaps between reason and revelation. Mulla Sadra's ontology is an important philosophical turn and contribution to the understanding of the development of Muslim philosophy and thought. In a similar way to the unity of the soul with the diverse psychic properties like knowledge and will, all the Attributes of God are not only unified with the Essence, but unified with each other. Upon encounter with the external world, the soul creates mental beings in a similar manner that God creates the world of substantial forms both material and immaterial (al-Shawahid al-rububiyya 43). Based on these two premises, one could conclude that diversity is not real. Gradation, or modulation, of being (tashkik al-wujud) is Mulla Sadra’s way to avoid this counterintuitive result and to create a system in which the monistic worldview of Sufism is reconciled with the realistic pluralism of classical philosophy and our common sense. His ontology was based on light as the hierarchical reality of universe with realms of existence as different ranks of it. Thus, the hierarchy of resurrected souls in the next world corresponds to the hierarchy of souls in this world. 1933) from Iran, led to a full-fledged introduction of Mulla Sadra into Western academia as part of a wider project of reviving “perennial wisdom”. All his sons became scholars and his daughters were married to three of Sadra’s students whom he treated as family even prior to the marriages. Mulla Sadra, too, was deeply concerned about both reason and revelation, and he tried a new way of reconciliation by openly employing a synthetic methodology in which mysticism played an important part. This conceptual distinction was later extended to the extra-mental realm of contingent beings by Islamic philosophers, most insistently Ibn Sina, and following him scholastic philosophers such as Aquinas (d. 1274).