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Thursday, 07 August 2014 07:24

Iranian Notables, Sources of Global Honor (11)

Iranian Notables, Sources of Global Honor (11)

Now we are with you with the second chapter of the series Iranian Notables, Sources of Global Honor. In the first chapter of this series, we briefed you upon Iran’s cultural and geographical boundaries in the course of history.


In the second chapter of this series, we make you familiar with the Iranian notables and thinkers, who lived within the cultural boundary of Iran; the Iranian figures, whose numerous works have been highly influential and effective in Iran and across the world and are considered being part of global heritage. Prominent figures, such as Molavi, Nezami Ganjei, Sheikh Shahaab Ed-Din Sohravardi, Abu-Rayhan Birouni, and Khaje Nasir Ed-Din Tousi are a number of Iranian figures, whose thoughts have highly benefited the international community. Today, we become familiar with one of the major Iranian philosophers of 3rd and 4th Centuries AH, Farabi.

Abu Nasr Mohammad ibn Mohammad Farabi was born in Farab in 870 AD. A number of historians believe he was born in Farab, south of Kazakhstan, while other historians opine that he was born in Fareyab, in present day Afghanistan. Nonetheless, all Iranian and foreign researchers and historians are certain that Farabi was an Iranian figure and have emphasized on the Iranian nationality of his parents.

The Arab historian, Ibn-e Abi Ozaybieh, in his books, has emphasized on the Iranian nationality of Farabi. Moreover, Farabi has commented on a number of sources and books of reference in Farsi and Greek languages. However, no Turkish term is observed in his works. The Iranian nationality of Farabi has also been confirmed by a number of other informed sources. The Oxford University Professor, Dr. Clifford Edmund Bosworth, writes prominent figures such as Farabi, Birouni, and Avicenna, have been wrongly named as Turkish figures by Turkish researchers.

The prominent Iranian literary figure, Ali Akbar Dehkhodaa, has cited the lecturer of Farsi literature, Badi az-Zaman Foruzaanfar, as saying not much is known about Farabi’s childhood and teenage life.

The literary figure of 7th Century AH, Ibn-e Abi Osaybea, has cited two contradictory reports about Farabi, saying that initially Farabi was the guard of an orchard in Damascus, while later on working as a judge at a young age. After a while, he left this job, and started his in-depth studies.

At a young age, Farabi was highly interested in learning philosophy, attending scientific centers to boost his knowledge.

It has been said that roughly at the age of 40 years, Farabi traveled to Baghdad to acquire sciences. At that time, he was a well-known hadith scholar and grammarian, but was yet to further study logic and philosophy. Upon arrival in Baghdad, he started to learn logic and philosophy. Thereafter, he traveled to present day southeast Turkey, and attended the classes of Yuhanaa bin Hilaan. Right from the very beginning, his immense talent, intelligence, and diligence assisted him in swiftly and appropriately learning all of his scientific courses. He catapulted into fame as a philosopher and scientist, grooming countless students upon returning to Baghdad.

In the year 941 AD, he went to Damascus, gaining entry to the court of ruler of the city of Halab, Seif Od-Dollah Hamdaani. In the year 950 AD, Farabi passed away at the age of 80 years.

Some believe that when Farabi was on a journey from Damascus to Asqalaan, he encountered bandits, who intended to kill him. Abu Nasr was forced to fight them and was murdered. The rulers of Greater Syria were informed of this incident and laid him to rest in Damascus, while hanging the bandits next to Farabi’s tomb.

Islamic historians believe that Farabi was a pious individual, who was highly eager to research and compile books.

Farabi mastered a number of fields, including mathematics, alchemy, military sciences, music, natural sciences, theology, and logic.

Although Yaqoub bin Isshaq Kendi has been known as the first Islamic philosopher, who paved the way for others; the fact of the matter is that he didn’t found a philosophical school of thought and failed to establish unity between the topics he discussed. However, Farabi managed to establish a philosophical school of thought. Farabi also familiarized Arabic language with philosophy.

The prominent Iranian scientist and philosopher, Avicenna, considered Farabi as his teacher, while Islamic and Arab figures such as Ibn-e Roshd highly respected Farabi.

Farabi lived in a period of Islamic culture and history, which was concurrent with the revival of science and philosophy. In fact, he revived philosophy and founded Islamic philosophy, which in turn covered the World of Islam and has continued to this day.

Farabi had fully studied Greek philosophy and was influenced by Aristotle. Among the thoughts of Farabi, one can mention his plan for establishment of a utopia, which has been emphasized in one of his books, titled: “Thoughts of Residents of Utopia”. In this book, he displays a utopia that is ruled based on Islamic laws, which in turn regulate relations between the people and their rulers.

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