Epistles of the Brethren of Purity: the Ikhwān al-Ṣafāʼ and their Rasāʼil : an introduction
Ikhwan al-Safa' (The Brethren of Purity) were the anonymous adepts of a tenth-century esoteric fraternity of lettered urbanites that was principally based in Basra and Baghdad. This brotherhood occupied a prominent station in the history of science and philosophy in Islam due to the wide reception and assimilation of their monumental encyclopedia: Rasa'il Ikhwan al-Safa' (The Epistles of the Brethren of Purity). This compendium contained fifty-two epistles that offered synoptic explications of the classical sciences and philosophies of the age. Divided into four classificatory parts, it treated themes in mathematics, logic, natural philosophy, psychology, metaphysics and theology, in addition to moral and didactic fables. The Ikhwan were learned compilers of scientific and philosophical knowledge, and their Rasa'il constituted a paradigmatic legacy in the canonization of philosophy and the sciences in mediaeval Islamic civilization.
This present volume gathers studies by leading philosophers, historians and scholars of Islamic Studies, who are also the editors and translators of the first Arabic critical editions and first complete annotated English translations of the Rasa'il Ikhwan al-Safa', which will be published in the OUP Series that this present volume initiates, as well as being members of the Editorial Board.
The chapters of this present volume explore the conceptual and historical aspects of the philosophical and scientific contents of the Rasa'il and their classification, as well as investigating the authorship and dating of this corpus and the impact that the Ikhwan's intellectual tradition exercised in the unfolding of the history of ideas in Islam.
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Why We Need an Arabic Critical Edition with an Annotated
The Classification of Knowledge in the Rasail
The Arrangement of the Rasail Ikhwan alafa
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Abbas Hamdani Abbasid Abd Allah Abu Hayyan al-Tawhidi Ahmad ibn al-'ulum al-Din al-Farabi al-Ghazali al-Kindi al-Risdla al-jdmi'a al-Sijistani animals Arabic Aristotle arithmetic arithmos authors authorship Beirut Brethren of Purity Buyid Cairo Carmela Baffioni century chapter classification compiled composition contents corpus critical edition cycles divine doctrine encyclopaedia Epistle esotericists Euclid's Elements faith Fatimid caliphate Fihrist geometry Godefroid de Callatay Greek hadith hereafter cited human Ibid ibn Abd Ibn Sab'in Ibn Taymiyya ideas Ikhwan al-$afa Imam Institute of Ismaili intellect Islamic Ismaili Ismaili Studies Kitab al-Imta knowledge logic manuscripts mathematical mediaeval mentioned Michot Mu'tazili Muhammad ibn Muslim Nader El-Bizri namely nature Neoplatonic Nicomachus number adad philosophy present volume Prophet Pythagorean Qarmatis Qur'an Rasa'il Ikhwan al-$afa Rasd'il reference religion religious rhythmic risdla scholars sciences Shaykh Shi'i soul Sufi theologian theology Tibawi tion tradition translation treatise University Press Yves Marquet