Friday, December 8, 2006

11)Ikhwan al-Safa: An early attempt to balance revelation and reason.

This august group of scholars wrote and researched during the era of our our 4th and 5th Imams and their work is a fine example of the harmonious balance achieved between revelation and reason in early Ismailism. They also began the process of philosophical Ismailism, which came to full fruition during the golden century of Shia Islam(865-965CE) with the Iranian cosmologists, typified by Abu Yakub Al-Sijistani, during the Imamats of the 7th to the 14th Imams:

Rasa’il Ikhwan al-Safa’ The Ikhwan al-Safa’ (Brethren of Purity) were a coterie of scholars and thinkers affiliated with Ismailism who, in the late ninth and early tenth centuries, produced an encyclopaedic corpus of fifty-two epistles (Rasa’il). These epistles, on a wide range of subjects show awareness of Hermetic, Pythagorean, Platonic, and Aristotelian ideas, as well as elements of Iranian and Indian origins. They are grouped into four books or sections: mathematical sciences, natural sciences, intellectual sciences and theological sciences. The Library possesses a number of copies of this encyclopaedic work of which this manuscript, written in elegant naskhi script with an illuminated opening double-page, was most probably copied in Persia.


Islam, eminently logical, placing the greatest emphasis on knowledge, purports to understand God's creation:Aga Khan 4.
The God of the Quran is the One whose Ayats(Signs) are the Universe in which we live, move and have our being:Aga Khan 3