islamic philosophy

From the very early days of Islam, philosophy has been central to the thought and practice of the religion. Philosophy in Islam falls into two broad overlapping categories, natural philosophy (or science), and theology. Modern theological norms in Islam came about due to philosophical arguments which occurred more than a thousand years ago, and understanding those arguments is one of the best ways to learn about the religion today.

They forbid rational speculation, and strive to kill their adversaries. This is why truth became throughly silenced and concealed.

-Al Razi 854 CE

Please note: these books, videos and resources do not necessarily reflect the opinion and position of members of the Muslim Collective. They are intended for exploration of ideas and not as position statements.


REformation of Islamic thought: A Critical historical analysis (Nasr abu Zayd)

Ever since the dramatic events of September 11, 2001 the fundamentalist and exclusivist trend prevails in most presentations of Islamic thinking. Indeed, these events have given extremists and fundamentalists a much more prominent position than they might ever have dreamt of. In Reformation of Islamic Thought, the prominent Egyptian scholar Nasr Ab� Zayd examines the positive, liberal, and inclusive reaction embedded in the writings of Muslim thinkers. He takes the reader on a critical journey across the Muslim World, where Muslim thinkers from Egypt and Iran to Indonesia seek to divest Islam of traditionalistic and legalistic interpretation. Instead, these thinkers stress the value of a cultural, enlightened Islam, and an individualistic faith. For many, the dogmatic Islam established by the conservatives and supported by totalitarian political regimes is outdated; they want it replaced by a spiritual and ethical Islam. To what extent are these reformist thinkers engaged in a genuine renewal of Islamic thought? Do they succeed in escaping the traditionalist trap of presenting a purely negative image of the West?

Al-Kindi : The Father of Islamic Philosophy

Al-Kindi is believed by many scholars to be the first Islamic philosopher. At a time when Europe was plunged into the Dark Ages, the Islamic world was experiencing an important time of cultural growth and scientific advancement. While many considered Muslim students of ancient Greek philosophers to be infidels, al-Kindi was able to master the scholarship while interpreting it through his Muslim faith. His conclusions always supported the teachings of Islam, but the methods that he drew upon to reach these conclusions were rooted in science, math, and principles accepted by many other cultures and faiths.

The Philosophy of Ecstasy : Rumi and the Sufi Tradition

Jalal al-Din Rumi (1207-73), founder of the Mevlevi Sufi order of Whirling Dervishes," is the best-selling poet in America today. The wide-ranging appeal of his work is such that UNESCO declared 2007 to be International Rumi Year." However, his writings represent much more than love poetry. Rumi was one of the preeminent thinkers of Sufism, the esoteric form of Islam. In this groundbreaking collection of 13 essays on Rumi, many of the world's leading authorities in the field of Islamic Studies and Persian Literature discuss the major religious themes in his poetry and teachings. In addition to discussing the ideas of love, ecstasy, and music in Rumi's Sufi poetry, the essays offer new historical and theological perspectives on his work. The immortality of the soul, freewill, the nature of punishment and reward, and the relationship of Islam to Christianity are all covered, in order to bring Rumi's poetry properly into the context of the Sufi tradition to which he belonged.



A general introduction to the writers and philosophers of Islamic thought and philosophy during the Medieval period.

Rana Dajani, Science Communicator and Associate Professor in Molecular Biology at the Hashimite University in Jordan, gives a lecture to the Farady Institute for Science and Religion on the history and relationship between Islam and Evolution.

It has been said Ibn Rushd, Ibn Sina and Ghazali were amongst some of the most profound thinkers of the time, with the impact of their work extending to other religious denominations such as the Christians and the Jews. Experts say Islamic philosophy taught these other groups how to reconcile religion and philosophy. For instance, in the Middle Ages, Ibn Rushd's ideas influenced the transformation of thought in medieval Europe. According to experts, his beliefs were to have an effect on the minds of many of the Middle Ages intellectuals, living well beyond the borders of Moorish Spain.

Muslim Theology and Islamic Mysticism - Part 1 of 2

(Understanding Islam Series: Session 5)



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