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In: Philosophical Theology in Islam
In: Philosophical Theology in Islam
In: The Libraries of the Neoplatonists


The Greek heritage nourished and deeply influenced a philosophical tradition in Arabic. This Greek heritage was reinterpreted by Muslim philosophers during the period from the ninth to the twelfth century. The approach by the latter, called falāsifa, towards the question of prophecy will have a decisive influence on certain Ashʿarite theologians, and the Avicennian synthesis constitutes a major step in the constitution of an Islamic prophetology, so that one may consider that there is a before and an after Avicenna, with regard to the doctrine of prophecy in the Muslim world. It is not possible to outline the contours of a prophetology that would be common to all falāsifa: Al-Kindī (after 870), Abū Bakr al-Rāzī (864–925), al-Fārābī (d. 950), Avicenna (980–1037), Ibn Bājja (around 1138), Ibn Ṭufayl (1110–1185) and Averroes (1126–1198). Nevertheless, despite their differences and their disagreements, they have tried to rationally report the phenomenon of prophecy, integrating it – for some of them – into a complex emanative cosmology. Finally, and despite their differences, we find in Avicenna and in Averroes the affirmation of the ethical and political function of the prophet.

Open Access
In: The Presence of the Prophet in Early Modern and Contemporary Islam


La question du mal problème pose un problème aigu au sein de la doctrine de l’âme d’Avicenne. Comment l’âme humaine qui est une substance spirituelle inaltérable impassible peut-elle être affectée par le mal commis ? Répondre à cette question nécessite l’étude de l’eschatologie avicennienne de même que celle du statut des normes éthiques. Ces dernières ne sont, selon Avicenne, pas universelles et donc pas accessibles à l’intellect mais sont données par la révélation. On ne peut comprendre la question du mal moral chez Avicenne sans la replacer dans le système métaphysique et éthique du philosophe persan.

The question of evil poses an acute problem within Avicenna’s doctrine of the soul. How can the human soul, which is an unalterable spiritual substance, be affected by the evil committed? Answering this question requires the study of Avicenna’s eschatology as well as the study of the status of ethical norms. The latter, according to Avicenna, are not universal and therefore not accessible to the intellect but are given by revelation. The question of moral evil in Avicenna cannot be understood without placing it in the metaphysical and ethical system of the Persian philosopher.

In: Oriens
In: Intellectual History of the Islamicate World