An Anthology of Philosophy in Persia, Volume 2: Ismaili by Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Mehdi Aminrazavi

By Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Mehdi Aminrazavi

The culture of philosophy within the Persian-speaking global is very wealthy, artistic and various. This anthology, that is divided into 3 volumes, goals to speak anything of that richness and variety. The time period "philosophy" is known to in its widest feel to incorporate theological debate, philosophical Sufism and philosophical hermeneutics (ta'wil). Extending over a interval of greater than millennia, and showcasing translations via well-established students, the anthology deals complete bibliographical references all through. For somebody drawn to exploring, in all their different manifestations, the interesting philosophical traditions of Persia, this kind of wide-ranging and impressive paintings could be an fundamental source. quantity 2 covers 5 centuries of Ismaili philosophy, and comprises extracts from amazing Ismaili works together with the Rasa'il Ikhwan al-Safa (Treatises of the Brethren of Purity) and the philosophical odes of Nasir Khusraw. it's of significant importance that, within the early centuries of Islam, philosophers have been prompted via Pythagorean and airtight principles, that are often linked to Shi'i concept as a rule and Ismailism particularly. Ismaili philosophy at present was once in a position to combine strands of Greco-Alexandrian inspiration comparable to Hermeticism and Neo-Pythagoreanism, in addition to features of Mazdaeism and Manichaeism. It additionally confirmed marked curiosity in Neo-Platonism.

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The Moon is the Captive Vital Spirit. [365] When this Spirit reaches the Moon it is cultivated by the light of the Moon. The six lights are connected to the six veins which are the locus of smell, hearing, sight, speech, which in turn are connected to the heart, and from there to the arteries of the head which surround this Spirit. They persist in that state so that outwardly they see, hear and speak everything, and also inwardly they see and hear things and speak. When this Spirit rises from the heart, it is like rising from the Occident of the horizon.

When it detaches from them, they fall in the sleep of heedlessness. ’ [Qurʾān, 7:171] Jesus [symbolizes] [276] the Spirit of the brain; his mother Mary is the Spirit of Faith. At the time of giving birth [to Jesus] she went to the Siloan fountain. At 26 Ismaili Thought in the Classical Age the edge of the fountain was a palm tree which was dried up. The fountain which was also dried up, started flowing with water by the grace of Jesus, and the tree also became green and fresh. Jesus could not separate from his mother, so God the Exalted and Sublime sent His Spirit of Revelation to Jesus that he should tell his mother to shake the palm tree so that the ripe dates fall down which she should eat so that her labour pain eases.

Islam and the [state] of being a Muslim becomes complete by the four swords of ʿAlī, [287] as the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, ‘Islam becomes complete by the four swords of ʿAlī’. A Muslim is the one who follows Islam. The four swords [of ʿAlī], Ḥasan, Ḥusayn, [and] Muḥammad ibn Ḥanafiyyah, the meaning of the Qāʾim (Resurrector, or Messiah), the miracles of the Qāʾim also signify the Vital Spirit of the brain. The miracle of the fire means the manifestation of the [Spirit of] Faith. The Qāʾim will carry a red flag which signifies the Sacred Spirit.

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