The Ikhwan al-Safaʾ (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 Rasaʾil Ikhwan al-Safaʾ (Epistles of the Brethren of Purity).
This volume contributes to the broad theme of Islamic Thought. Most of the articles deal with theology, philosophy or mysticism – or the interaction of all three. There are also a few studies of purely historical or historiographical interest. Contemporary tastes are disinclined to see historical problems in the light — or the shade — of theological and spiritual concerns.