On Companionship and Belief: An Arabic Critical Edition and English Translation of Epistles 43-45 by Toby Mayer

On Companionship and Belief: An Arabic Critical Edition and English Translation of Epistles 43-45

EditorToby Mayer, Ian Richard Netton, Samer F. Traboulsi

Hardcover | May 13, 2017

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The Ikhwan al-Safa' (Brethren of Purity), the anonymous adepts of a tenth-century esoteric fraternity based in Basra and Baghdad, hold an eminent position in the history of science and philosophy in Islam due to the wide reception and assimilation of their monumental encyclopaedia, the Rasa'il Ikhwan al-Safa' (Epistles of the Brethren of Purity). This compendium contains fifty-two epistles offering synoptic accounts of the classical sciences and philosophies of the age; divided into four classificatory parts, it treats themes in mathematics, logic, natural philosophy, psychology,metaphysics, and theology, in addition to didactic fables. Epistles 43-45 succeed the extended description of religions and creeds that opens the final section of the corpus, on the theological sciences. Epistle 43 explains briefly the need for purifying one's soul by performing virtuous acts, after which one can follow the "straight path" to God. The extremely diverse Epistle 44 is no dry exercise in abstruse theology; rather, it is characterized by the most delightful anecdotes, designed to inform the reader of a deeper truth, that of the hereafter following the soul's separation from the body at death. Alongside references to many of theProphets encountered in the Qur'an, this Epistle shows a familiarity with other religions such as Christianity, Judaism, and Buddhism. Epistle 45 focuses on companionship and friendship, resonating strongly with the word "Brethren" by which the authors distinguish themselves. The volume overall isunited in its underlying themes of the immortality of the soul and the profound need for mutual cooperation, informed in parts by the general Neoplatonism of the entire corpus, as well as by Aristotelian and Platonic motifs.

About The Author

After completing his undergraduate degree in Indian Studies at the University of Cambridge, Toby Mayer went on to study Medieval Arabic Thought at the University of Oxford, where he did his doctoral thesis on Ibn Sina's Book of Allusions (al-Isharat) and its commentaries. He has taught courses on medieval Muslim philosophy, scriptural ...
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Title:On Companionship and Belief: An Arabic Critical Edition and English Translation of Epistles 43-45Format:HardcoverDimensions:400 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.03 inPublished:May 13, 2017Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198784678

ISBN - 13:9780198784678

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Table of Contents

ForewordEpistle 43IntroductionEnglish TranslationEpistles 44 and 45IntroductionEnglish TranslationEnglish TranslationIndexBibliographyArabic Edition of Rasail 43-45Arabic AppendicesArabic Index