By Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Mehdi Aminrazavi

The culture of philosophy within the Persian-speaking global is awfully wealthy, artistic and numerous. This anthology, that's divided into 3 volumes, goals to speak whatever of that richness and variety. The time period "philosophy" is known to in its widest experience to incorporate theological debate, philosophical Sufism and philosophical hermeneutics (ta'wil). Extending over a interval of greater than millennia, and showcasing translations through well-established students, the anthology bargains complete bibliographical references all through. For an individual attracted to exploring, in all their diverse manifestations, the attention-grabbing philosophical traditions of Persia, any such wide-ranging and impressive paintings can be an necessary source. quantity 2 covers 5 centuries of Ismaili philosophy, and contains extracts from awesome 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 serious importance that, within the early centuries of Islam, philosophers have been inspired by means of Pythagorean and airtight principles, that are frequently linked to Shi'i proposal normally and Ismailism specifically. Ismaili philosophy at the present used to be capable of combine strands of Greco-Alexandrian notion similar to Hermeticism and Neo-Pythagoreanism, in addition to points of Mazdaeism and Manichaeism. It additionally confirmed marked curiosity in Neo-Platonism.

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Extra info for An Anthology of Philosophy in Persia, Volume 2: Ismaili Thought in the Classical Age

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Dhu’l-fiqār is the Spirit of Faith, the Lord of the believers, the oppressed ones, the worthy ones and the paupers. Ṣamṣām is the Spirit of Preservation; Qamqām is the Reflective Spirit; and Ḍarghām is the Spirit of Knowledge. 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.

It was originally written in Arabic in the second half of the second/eighth century by a Shiʿi ghulāt sect called al-Mukhammisah (the Pentadists), and then rendered into an eccentric Persian style and preserved by the Nizārī Ismailis of Central Asia. Its origin is evident not only in the doctrinal and cosmological features of the treatise but also because of such nuances as its attribution of a major role in the rise of Islam to Salmān al-Fārisī, whose gnostic name here is al-Salsāl and who is regarded as a gate through whom one could gain access to Muḥammadan Light.

Bāqir replied, ‘By Muḥammad Muḥammad, by ʿAlī ʿAlī. We have not related this discourse anywhere, nor have we written it in any book. It is difficult [to believe], [369] so you should have confidence [in me]. O Jābir, any time the Pacified Spirit faces upwards and reaches the [sense] of touch, and from there to the Spirit which is enjoined by the Wind and gives its testimony, it is like reaching the assembly of the Najīb. When it reaches the [faculty of] speech, it is like reaching the assembly of the Naqīb; when it reaches the olfactory [sense] it is like reaching the assembly of Bā-Ḍharr; when it reaches the sense of sight it is like reaching the assembly of Salmān.

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