Publication

  • Between Reason and Revelation: Twin Wisdoms Reconciled

    I. B. Tauris Publishers in association with The Institute of Ismaili Studies, 2012.

    ISBN HardBack:
    978-1780761329

  • View Publication page on Google Books

    This is the first English translation of the last known philosophical work of the great eleventh-century Ismaili thinker, poet, and Fatimid emissary,Nasir-i Khusraw. Appointed from Cairo by command of the Fatimid Imaminfo-icon-caliphinfo-icon al-Mustansir to serve first as a daʿi, and then as the hujjatinfo-icon, for the entire region of Khurasaninfo-icon, he maintained his allegiance to both his mission and his Imam for the rest of his life, even when threatened and driven into exile.


    Written during his exile in Badakhshan in the year 1070 CE, Nasir-i Khusraw here develops a powerful presentation of both Aristotelian philosophy and Ismaili exegesis, or taʾwil, and strives to show that they are ultimately in harmony. The work is presented as a learned commentary on a long philosophical poem, written in the previous century and sent to Nasir by the amirinfo-icon of Badakhshan, ʿAli b. Asad, who copied the poem out in his own hand from memory and asked the poet-philosopher to explicate it.


    In doing so, Nasir ranges over a huge span of topics from logic and language to the nature of the physical world, from the spheres of the highest heavens to the plants and animals of the earthly realm, and, most importantly, hidden spiritual realities: the esoteric (batininfo-icon) as well as the exoteric (zahirinfo-icon) realms. He thus discusses the nature of God, the creation of human beings, and the mysteries concealed in the physical world, itself a reflection of a higher, transcendent realm.

    Between Reason and Revelation: Twin Wisdoms Reconciled is an annotated translation of the Persian text prepared by Henry Corbin and Mohammed Muʿin based on the single surviving manuscript of the work, now in the Süleymaniye Mosque Library in Istanbul. It is a work of great philosophical and spiritual insight, which is also a pioneering attempt to tackle difficult intellectual problems in the Persian language; it is at once lucid and lyrical, precise and speculative. Nasir’s influence has been immense as both a poet and a thinker, and the Kitab-i Jamiʿ al-Hikmatayn is his crowning work.











































































































































































































  • Illustrations


    xi


    Abbreviations


    xii



    Introduction


    1



    Translation of Kitab-i Jamiʿ al-hikmatayn: The Book of Twin Wisdoms Reconciled




    Exordium


    19


    1


    The Reason for the Composition of this Book; its Title


    23


    2


    The Qasidainfo-icon of Ahmad b. Hasan al-Jurjani


    35


    3


    On the Proof of the Creator’s Existence with a Discussion of His Oneness, in Several Discourses


    41


    a. On the Creator’s existence


    41


    b. The Doctrine of the Dialectical Theologians of the Karramites on Tawhidinfo-icon


    51


    c. The Doctrine of the Theologians of the Muʿtazilite School on Tawhid


    56


    d. The Doctrine of the Metaphysical Philosophers on Tawhid


    67


    4


    Aristotle’s Teaching on the Four Parts of Speech


    73


    5


    On Form, Property, Definition and Description


    81


    6


    The Definition of ‘I’


    95


    7


    On the Body, on the Soul, on the Intelligence


    101


    8


    On the Seven Lights


    103


    9


    On Eternity, Truth, Pleasure, Life as it Passes, Perfection, and Occultation


    109


    10


    On Universal Nature


    117


    11


    On Angel, Pari, Demon


    127


    12


    A Commentary on ‘One’


    135


    13


    Of Species and Genus


    141


    14


    On Happiness and Unhappiness. And on Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow


    147


    15


    Properties of Minerals, Animals, and Places


    155


    16


    On Language, Discourse, Speech


    167


    17


    On Pre-Eternity, Duration, Eternity, and Eternity without End


    171


    18


    On the Moon’s Properties


    175


    19


    On the Necessity of Human Education


    183


    20


    About ibdaʿ (Origination)


    189


    21


    On the Emergence of the Species from the Individual


    205


    22


    On Intellect and Knowledge


    215


    23


    On the Difference between the Perceiver and the Act of Perception


    219


    24


    On the Creation of Heaven and Earth


    223


    25


    On the Circle, the Chicken and the Egg


    231


    26


    On the Whole and the Part


    235


    27


    On Saturn, Seed of Spring


    239


    28


    On the Houses of the Sun and the Moon


    243


    29


    On the Influence of Auspicious and Ominous Stars on the Soul and the Body


    257


    30


    On Spiritual Father and Mother


    261


    31


    On Questions without Answers about the Properties of the Elements


    265


    32


    On the Poet’s Resolve to Reply to his own Questions


    271


    33


    That the Learned Man is Alive, the Ignorant Man Dead


    275


    34


    Conclusion of the Book


    277


    Bibliography


    281


    Index


    286