Save

Physics and Metaphysics in an Early Ottoman Madrasa: Dāwūd al-Qayṣarī on the Nature of Time

In: Oriens
Author:
Richard Todd Lecturer in Islamic Studies, Department of Theology and Religion, University of Birmingham Birmingham UK

Search for other papers by Richard Todd in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
Open Access

Abstract

Although overshadowed by his celebrated commentaries on Ibn ʿArabī and Ibn al-Fāriḍ, Dāwūd al-Qayṣarī’s (d. 750/1351) treatise on the philosophy of time – the Nihāyat al-bayān fī dirāyat al-zamān (The Utmost Elucidation Concerning Knowledge of Time) – is a notable milestone in the history of Islamic conceptions of temporality. Composed around the start of Qayṣarī’s tenure as head of the first Ottoman madrasa, the Nihāyat al-bayān rejects the Aristotelian definition of time as the number of motion in favor of Abū l-Barakāt al-Baghdādī’s concept of zamān as the measure of being. Challenging, likewise, portrayals of time as a flux or succession of fleeting instants, Qayṣarī propounds instead an absolutist vision of time as an integral, objectively existent whole. Qayṣarī’s reassessment of dominant medieval theories of temporality – including kalām atomism and the Neoplatonic distinction between time, perpetuity, and eternity – is thus shown to be a key early example of what was to become an abiding Ottoman interest in time and timekeeping.

Abstract

Although overshadowed by his celebrated commentaries on Ibn ʿArabī and Ibn al-Fāriḍ, Dāwūd al-Qayṣarī’s (d. 750/1351) treatise on the philosophy of time – the Nihāyat al-bayān fī dirāyat al-zamān (The Utmost Elucidation Concerning Knowledge of Time) – is a notable milestone in the history of Islamic conceptions of temporality. Composed around the start of Qayṣarī’s tenure as head of the first Ottoman madrasa, the Nihāyat al-bayān rejects the Aristotelian definition of time as the number of motion in favor of Abū l-Barakāt al-Baghdādī’s concept of zamān as the measure of being. Challenging, likewise, portrayals of time as a flux or succession of fleeting instants, Qayṣarī propounds instead an absolutist vision of time as an integral, objectively existent whole. Qayṣarī’s reassessment of dominant medieval theories of temporality – including kalām atomism and the Neoplatonic distinction between time, perpetuity, and eternity – is thus shown to be a key early example of what was to become an abiding Ottoman interest in time and timekeeping.

1 Introduction

Debates regarding the nature of time are a notably recurrent feature of classical Islamic thought. Faced with a plethora of competing theories – some rooted in Platonic or Aristotelian philosophy (with its concept of an eternal universe without temporal beginning or end), others in the creationist theology of the mutakallimūn – Muslim thinkers often grappled with the problem of how best to define time’s essence. Is time simply the measure or “number” of motion, as Aristotle – whose Physics (iv, 10–16) forms the bedrock of both Avicenna’s (d. 428/1037) and Averroes’s (d. 594/1198) treatment of this topic – proposes, or motion itself, as the Platonists seem to suggest? Or is it rather the measure of the act of being as Abū l-Barakāt al-Baghdādī (d. 559/1164) contends? Then there is the issue of time’s ontological status. Does time exist as a simultaneous whole or in fleeting, piecemeal fashion alone? Does time, for that matter, exist outside the mind or is it a purely imaginary construct as the Ikhwān al-Ṣafāʾ claim? Is there a first moment in time, as the early mutakallimūn argued, or is it without beginning or end as espoused by the Aristotelians? And how does the notion of time relate to the divine and angelic realms described in the scriptures?

A summary of these familiar aporias,1 and the different theories put forward in response to them, forms the starting point of a four-part treatise, the Nihāyat al-bayān fī dirāyat al-zamān (The Utmost Elucidation Concerning Knowledge of Time), by the Sufi thinker and head of the first Ottoman madrasa, Dāwūd ibn Maḥmūd al-Qayṣarī (d. 750/1351).2 Although the object of little scholarly attention hitherto,3 the ideas set forth in the Nihāyat al-bayān constitute, as we shall see, an interesting juncture in the history of Islamic conceptions of temporality. Proposing an absolutist vision of time as an integral whole, Qayṣarī challenges philosophical and theological conceptions that picture time as a flux of fleeting instants bounded by a non-existent past and future.

Famed primarily for his lengthy commentary on Ibn ʿArabī’s (d. 638/1240) Fuṣūṣ al-ḥikam,4 Qayṣarī wrote chiefly in the tradition of post-classical Sufi metaphysics associated with Ibn ʿArabī and his successors,5 notably al-Qūnawī (d. 673/1274),6 al-Jandī (d. 700/1300), and ʿAbd al-Razzāq al-Kāshānī (d. 730/ 1330), under whose tutelage Qayṣarī is known to have studied.7 His works – judging, at any rate, by all available evidence – are relatively few in number: scarcely more than half a dozen titles in all.8 These include, alongside his celebrated commentary on the Fuṣūṣ, two substantial and by all accounts widely-read commentaries on Sufi poems by Ibn al-Fāriḍ (a favorite with early members of Ibn ʿArabī’s school),9 and two original epistles of note: the Nihāyat al-bayān on the philosophy of time and a treatise entitled Taḥqīq māʾ al-ḥayāt wa-kashf astār al-ẓulumāt on whether al-Khiḍr is a prophet or a saint.10

Although he is chiefly associated in Ottoman historical sources with the directorship of the madrasa that the Ottoman sultan Orhan Gazi founded in Iznik in 731/1331 (or according to some sources 735/1335),11 Qayṣarī, who was of Persian lineage,12 spent an important part of his earlier career in Tabriz under the patronage of the Ilkhānid vizier Ghiyāth al-Dīn Muḥammad (d. 736/1336),13 the figure to whom he dedicated his commentary on the Fuṣūṣ.14 By the time, however, that he came to write the Nihāyat al-bayān, Qayṣarī, as Mehmet Bayrakdar has argued,15 had evidently switched patrons from Ghiyāth al-Dīn to Orhan – prompted, perhaps, by the increasing political instability of the Ilkhānate16 – since the alqāb or honorific titles (viz. al-mawlā l-muʿaẓẓam al-ṣāḥib al-aʿẓam mālik azimmat mawālī l-ʿālam) of the unnamed ruler to whom Qayṣarī dedicates the Nihāyat al-bayān17 are clearly variations on the signature alqāb of the Ottoman sultan, as preserved, for example, in the vakfiye or charter of a Sufi lodge (zāwiya) that Orhan endowed in Iznik in 761/136018 as well as in the text of a treatise ascribed (with a good measure of plausibility)19 to Qayṣarī, entitled al-Itḥāf al-Sulaymānī fī l-ʿahd al-Ūrkhānī, in which the author names his patrons as Orhan and his son Süleyman Paşa.20

As for when exactly the Nihāyat al-bayān was written,21 the extant manuscripts suggest that Qayṣarī may have produced two marginally different recensions within a few weeks or even a few days of one another. At any rate, the colophons of MS Tehran Majlis-i Shūrā 3321 (copied in 1081/1670–1 from Qayṣarī’s autograph) and MS Istanbul Hacı Mahmud Efendi 1511 (in which the text of the Nihāyat al-bayān appears slightly more polished than in the Tehran manuscript) state that the treatise was completed in Dhū l-Ḥijja 735 (August 1335) and Muḥarram 736 (September 1335) respectively.22 All things considered, therefore, such documentary evidence allows us to place, with a high degree of confidence, the composition of the Nihāyat al-bayān around the start of Qayṣarī’s tenure as the head of the Iznik madrasa, a position he held until his death in 750/1351. This may well account for its scholastic style, with its succession of points and counterpoints aimed at assessing the validity of diverse philosophical and theological opinions regarding a specific masʾala or disputed question.

As recent studies have demonstrated, the topics of time and timekeeping held a special place in Ottoman thought and culture.23 Admittedly, scholarship devoted to this subject thus far has tended to deal primarily with the Ottomans’ interest in calendars and their adoption of modern methods of timekeeping,24 whereas the philosophical treatment of time has received minimal attention. Both the existence, however, and provenance of the Nihāyat al-bayān suggest that philosophical discussions, too, had a part to play in the development of official Ottoman interest in chronology.

2 Qayṣarī’s Critique of the Aristotelian and Avicennan Definitions of Time

Qayṣarī’s treatise is motivated primarily by dissatisfaction with the theories of time proposed by Avicenna and his later commentator Naṣīr al-Dīn al-Ṭūsī (d. 673/1274). That said, it should be noted that the Nihāyat al-bayān is by no means anti-philosophical per se. In undertaking his critique of Avicenna’s ideas, our author draws chiefly, as we shall see, upon objections formulated, not by Avicenna’s opponents among the mutakallimūn, but by the philosopher Abū l-Barakāt al-Baghdādī. Since the Avicennan theories in question are based largely on Aristotle’s treatment of time in the Physics,25 Qayṣarī’s critique is also, like that of Abū l-Barakāt,26 implicitly an expression of dissatisfaction with the basic Aristotelian concept of time. When reconstructing Qayṣarī’s argument it seems appropriate, therefore, to begin with his paraphrasing (albeit somewhat loose in places) and criticism of Aristotle.

Aristotle and those who follow him, so Qayṣarī reminds us, conceive of time (zamān), not as a substance (jawhar) or entity in its own right, but as an accident (ʿaraḍ), namely the magnitude (miqdār) of the motion of the diurnal sphere (ḥarakat muʿaddil al-nahār).27 Made up as it is of equal or comparable parts, time must therefore be a quantity (kamm); and since each part of it is connected to the next, without break or separation, the quantity in question must be of the continuous (muttaṣil) kind and hence different as such from a discrete quantity (kamm munfaṣil) like arithmetical number (ʿadad).28 Now any quantity, so Qayṣarī’s summary continues, presupposes some matter (mādda) which it serves to measure. In the case of time, this matter cannot simply be the distance covered by a moving body nor can it be the speed or slowness with which a body moves, as two bodies that differ in terms of their distance or speed may well be alike in terms of their temporal duration. Time, for the Aristotelians, is therefore the measure of motion envisaged solely in respect of its anteriority and posteriority, not its distance or speed.29 Finally, although a continuous magnitude, time (unlike space) does not exist as a simultaneous whole lest past, present, and future coincide.30

Our author, it should be noted, does not reject this definition outright. Qayṣarī agrees with Aristotle and the Peripatetic falāsifa generally in regarding time as an accident (ʿaraḍ)31 and as a continuous magnitude capable of indefinite division.32 He differs from them, however, on two fundamental counts. Firstly, like the anti-Avicennan philosopher Abū l-Barakāt al-Baghdādī33 and the celebrated Ashʿarī theologian Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī (d. 606/1209),34 he challenges the idea that temporal duration is a function of motion alone; and secondly, adopting an absolutist view of time, he refuses to accept the successive view advocated by Aristotle and Avicenna. In this latter respect, Qayṣarī focuses on the premise underpinning Aristotle’s successive conception of time, namely that past, present, and future would coincide if time were a single continuous “now.” It is true, Qayṣarī concedes, that individual events cannot all supervene at the same time, but this of itself does not mean that time exists only as a succession of transitory instants; after all, past, present, and future are merely relative concepts, meaningful solely from the limited perspective of the human observer, and not actually intrinsic as such to time’s objective reality.35

Qayṣarī’s absolutist theory appears to contain echoes – whether conscious or otherwise – of late antique antecedents, most notably the concept of time attributed to the late Neoplatonist, Damascius. Although the latter’s theories have come down to us solely through the intermediary of his student, Simplicius,36 it seems clear that Damascius was especially dissatisfied with the idea – inherent, as he saw it, in the successive view espoused by the Aristotelians – that time, quite unlike space, exists in a transitory fashion alone, as evanescent parts in a non-existent whole.37 Space, in other words, clearly exists as a totality, not just a succession of fleeting points. So why should the same not be true of time? It seemed absurd to suggest that only a given part of time may be said to exist, whereas the whole does not. Against this view, Damascius propounded the theory that just as there is a total place so is there a total time, i.e., time as a whole existing in abstraction of our piecemeal perception thereof.38

To be sure, Aristotle himself, though opposed to the absolutist view, seems troubled by the logical repercussions of the successive theory, which apparently reduce time to nothing more than a flux of fleeting instants bounded by a non-existent past and future. Time, so the Stagirite observed, hardly seems to exist at all: the past no longer exists, and the future has not yet come into being. Only the fleeting “now” may be said to be, and even that is questionable.39

For Qayṣarī, this perceived evanescence has been brought to the fore in the Arabic Aristotelianism of Avicenna and his followers, becoming central to their concept of time40 – a development our author feels especially bound to challenge. On this score, he focuses on two key passages in the Kitāb al-Ishārāt wa-l-tanbīhāt in which Avicenna (to whom Qayṣarī refers nonetheless by the honorific title of al-shaykh al-raʾīs) elaborates upon the Aristotelian concept of time as the quantity of motion “not in respect of distance but in respect of anteriority and posteriority.” Since the prior and posterior of temporal progression can never co-exist – a premise, as we have seen, fundamental to the dynamic view of time – time’s existence, according to Qayṣarī’s reading of these passages, consists in nothing more than a ceaseless flux of “before” and “after.”41 Qayṣarī quotes Avicenna’s treatment of this point in extenso, and in view of their importance it is worth revisiting in detail the relevant passages from the Ishārāt (introduced by Qayṣarī’s preamble):

In the Ishārāt the shaykh al-raʾīs has alluded to time’s existence (wujūd al-zamān) in [two passages]. In the first he says: “In relation to the event which comes into being after not having existed, there is thus a before in which it did not exist. Now [the before in question] is not, therefore, like the anteriority of the number one over two, as this [logical] priority admits of that which is before [namely, one] and that which is after [namely, two] coexisting. On the contrary, [temporal] anteriority is that of a before which cannot coexist with an after. You could thus [conceive of the event which comes into being] as the coming into being of a posteriority after an anteriority that no longer exists. This, however, is not to equate such [evanescent] anteriority with non-existence per se since non-existence can equally come afterwards too. Nor is it the same as the efficient cause, since this can exist before, simultaneously, or after. It is therefore something else – something in which renewal (tajaddud) and extinction (taṣarrum) occur continuously (ʿalā l-ittiṣāl). [Given what we have already said about the continuous nature of bodies and motion] you will understand that a continuity such as this, whose measure matches that of motion, cannot be composed of indivisible parts.”42 Then, confirming time’s essence, he says in a pointer which follows these remarks: “Because renewal is not possible except through a change of state – and a change of state can occur only in that which has the capacity to change, namely a substrate – it follows that this continuum is inevitably linked to motion and the mobile, by which I mean change and that which changes, especially of the continuous, uninterrupted kind, namely circular motion. This continuum, moreover, is measurable (yaḥtamil al-taqdīr), as one before may be further away and another may be nearer. Hence it is a quantity that measures change.43 This then is time. It is the quantity of motion, not in respect of distance, but in respect of a priority and posteriority which never coincide.”44

What Qayṣarī finds especially troublesome about these passages is the inherent contradiction, as he sees it, between the Avicennan notions of time as a series of “renewals” (tajaddudāt) and “extinctions” (taṣarrumāt) on the one hand45 and time as an unbroken continuum on the other. In particular, he takes issue with Avicenna’s use of the phrase ʿalā l-ittiṣāl or “continuously.” A series of fleeting renewals and extinctions, so Qayṣarī argues, is not an actual continuum in the proper sense, indefinitely divisible as such, but rather a taʿāqub or succession of transient instants.46 While purporting, therefore, to subscribe to the Aristotelian concept of time as a continuous quantity, consistent as such with the continuous nature of circular motion, what Avicenna is really proposing, according to Qayṣarī, is a form of temporal atomism. Qayṣarī writes:

To speak of a succession of renewals and evanescences amounts to saying that time (zamān) is made up of consecutive instants each following the other, which necessarily presupposes the existence of indivisible parts (al-juzʾ alladhī lā yatajazzaʾ). This is because each of these renewals must occur perforce in a single moment (ān) of time, since they are each an originated event (ḥādith) preceded by time.47

Given what we know of Avicenna’s insistence on the idea that the continuum of time is indefinitely divisible (like that of spatial distance to which it is linked via motion), the accusation of implicit atomism is, at first sight, surprising. Indeed, as Andreas Lammer has observed, Avicenna repeatedly asserts that, insofar as it is conceived of as an indivisible division of time, the now has no objective existence outside the mind.48 Instead, it is merely mapped onto time’s indefinitely divisible continuum in the same way that a hypothetical point is mapped onto the continuum of space. In both cases, for Avicenna, it is the continuous magnitude that exists objectively, not its hypothetical divisions.49

Yet it is also true – again as Lammer has shown – that Avicenna often portrays time as a reality which, though required in order to account for the “beforeness” and “afterness” of change or motion,50 is nonetheless in a constant state of coming-to-be and passing away51 ; and as such, its parts, which can never co-exist, are each as transitory as those of motion, to which it is tied.52

For Qayṣarī, then, the two recurrent images in Avicenna’s account – viz. time as an objectively real continuum on the one hand and as a succession of renewals on the other – are mutually exclusive. Rather than existing objectively, albeit with a “weak” form of existence as Avicenna admits,53 Avicenna’s temporal continuum cannot possibly exist as such, on Qayṣarī’s view, so long as it is conceived of as ghayr qārr or non-integral.54 Having dismissed it on these grounds, what remains in Avicenna’s portrayal of time, for Qayṣarī, is the succession of extinctions and renewals reminiscent of temporal atomism.

Although Qayṣarī refrains, in the Nihāyat al-bayān, from referring explicitly to the mutakallimūn (echoing thereby the general tendency of later representatives of Ibn ʿArabī’s school to engage with the falāsifa but marginalize the views of the theologians)55 there are certainly instances, such as the remarks quoted above, where it seems possible to discern tacit references to the kalām treatment of time. Having invoked the notion of temporal atomism – a concept inevitably associated in Islam with Muʿtazilite and Ashʿarite theology56 – Qayṣarī then, in effect at any rate, indicates a key respect in which Avicenna’s implicit atomism (as Qayṣarī construes it) differs from the explicit brand of the mutakallimūn. In the Avicennan succession of temporal renewals, so Qayṣarī observes, there can be no logical justification for asserting that a particular renewal will occur in a given instant as opposed to any other. “To assert,” says Qayṣarī, “that a given event will not occur in a particular instant while another will, can be no more than an arbitrary preference in the absence of any compelling reason otherwise.”57 In other words, unlike the atomistic occasionalism of the mutakallimūn – which is predicated precisely upon a divine agency recreating the world with each instant and thus producing the impression of temporal and ontological continuity58 – the implicit atomism of Avicenna simply assumes that the series of renewals will follow on from each other in an apparently continuous and natural fashion, without sudden breaks or changes of state.

But that is not all. If Avicenna’s succession of temporal renewals is hard to square with the concept of a continuum then it must, by the same token, be equally hard to reconcile with the continuous nature of motion,59 of which – according to the Peripatetic definition of time to which Avicenna subscribed – it is nonetheless supposed to be the measure or quantity. Now some might argue, so Qayṣarī anticipates, that the Avicennan concept of time is in fact compatible with motion, since the latter, likewise, consists of a continuous process of extinction and renewal as a body progresses from one point in space to another.60 The problem, however, with this argument is that the image of motion thus described is nothing more in reality than a purely mental construct – a product of the human estimative faculty (wahm) alone.61 It is only one’s imagination, so Qayṣarī explains, that pictures movement as a sequence in which each successive part is annihilated, making way for the part immediately connected to it. But since annihilation equates to non-existence (inʿidām), it cannot denote an actual reality existing outside the mind, and nor can it be connected (yattaṣil) to anything existing in re extra (fī l-khārij).62 The idea of a continuum of interconnected extinctions and renewals is therefore, so we are told, a figment of the human mind; and what this means for Qayṣarī is that time as conceived of by Avicenna is likewise nothing more than a mental construct with no basis in objective reality.

In his critique, then, of both Avicenna’s and Ṭūsī’s theories, our author touches on some of the broader vexed issues which frequently appear in medieval discussions of time. This topic’s connection with the wider debate between the proponents of kalām atomism, on the one hand, and Aristotelian causality on the other has already been indicated.63 Significant too is its bearing on another key controversy of medieval thought, that of nominalism versus realism.64 From his comments in the Nihāyat al-bayān it is clear that Qayṣarī holds a strictly realist view of time. For him there can be no question of time’s existing in the mind alone as “advocated by some earlier thinkers.”65 On the contrary, time is “something real” (amr ḥaqīqī)66 “existing in re extra.”67 But as a real continuum existing independently of human cognition, time’s nature, on Qayṣarī’s view, must clearly differ from the sequence of extinctions and renewals described by Avicenna, since for Qayṣarī such a sequence can exist in the estimative faculty alone. Hence, so our author argues, instead of claiming that time exists objectively,68 Avicenna and Ṭūsī should at least, for the sake of consistency, have thrown in their lot with the subjectivist camp and defined zamān as a “continuous quantity imagined in the estimative faculty (wahm) and resulting from renewed and elapsed movements.”69 To do so, however, so we are told, would entail logical consequences which jar fundamentally with the Peripatetic premises to which Avicenna and his commentator still profess to adhere. Firstly, if time existed solely in the mind then time past and time future would not exist at all, such that the term “time,” when applied to them, would be no more than a metaphor (majāz).70 Secondly, if time were actually identified, by contrast, with the renewals and extinctions of movement, this would amount to the equating of time with motion,71 which is the concept of time espoused by the Platonists. And finally, if, having reduced time to nothing but a fleeting present, Avicenna and Ṭūsī were in fact equating time with the instant then – devoid of magnitude as the latter is – it could not possibly be deemed a quantity of any kind,72 which again would depart from Aristotle’s basic definition.

3 Qayṣarī and Abū l-Barakāt

In his attempt at reaching a satisfactory and consistent definition of time, Qayṣarī aims to avoid what he sees as the pitfalls of Avicenna’s approach by constructing an absolutist theory in which zamān is a fixed, universal reality existing outside the mind and forming the ambience or container (ẓarf)73 – a concept he probably adopted from Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī74 – in which events supervene. With this end in view, Qayṣarī addresses his second major point of contention with the Peripatetic conception of time, namely the idea that time is a function of motion. Frustrated with what he sees as too restrictive a view of a fundamental condition of existence, Qayṣarī turns instead to a well-known critic of Avicenna, Abū l-Barakāt al-Baghdādī.75 For Abū l-Barakāt (as articulated in his Kitāb al-Muʿtabar fī l-ḥikma),76 all that exists, irrespective of whether it is at motion or rest, cannot continue to exist save in continuous time77 ; hence zamān is the measure, not of motion, but of the act of being.78 Although at ease with the core idea of an intrinsic link between time and existence, Qayṣarī finds Abū l-Barakāt’s definition in need of refinement. Being (wujūd), he argues, is not actually measurable or quantifiable, as measure applies only to that which has extension and parts, whether static or dynamic. Instead, one should say that time is the measure, not of being per se, but of its continuance (baqāʾ) and duration (dawām).79 If one were then to object that such a definition implies a logical circularity – since continuance presupposes time – the response would be that for everything else continuance is indeed an expression of its endurance (thubūt) from one time to another, but this is not the case with being, whose continuance is an expression of its endurance through its very nature.80

Within the broad context of late medieval thought, Qayṣarī is not alone, therefore, in his sense of dissatisfaction with the Peripatetic link between time and motion. We have already noted the case of Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī; and similar sentiments are to be found in Jewish philosophy and Christian scholasticism too.81 In his explicit reliance upon Abū l-Barakāt there is, however, potential cause for surprise. By signing up to the idea of zamān as a concomitant aspect of being, our author is thus obliged to follow Abū l-Barakāt in making the scope of zamān co-extensive with that of wujūd,82 which means extending it beyond the lower world encompassed by the movements of the celestial spheres into the realms of the purely intelligible and the divine. This move naturally sets Qayṣarī apart from the classical Islamic consensus – broadly shared by the Peripatetic philosophers, mutakallimūn, and Sufis alike – which holds that God necessarily transcends time.83 More specifically, in terms of its bearing on philosophy, it amounts to a rejection of the basic Neoplatonic distinction between physical and metaphysical modes of duration.

This distinction – which underpins much of the philosophical treatment of duration in both the medieval Arabic tradition and Latin scholasticism84 – is especially prominent in the foundational texts of Arabic Neoplatonism. Both the Theologia (Uthūlūjiyā) and the Liber de Causis (Kitāb al-Īḍāḥ fī l-khayr al-maḥḍ) stress the atemporal character of the transcendent One, while also highlighting the difference between the modes of duration specific to the world of generation and corruption, on the one hand, and the everlasting celestial intellects and souls on the other. Hence, in the opening pages of the Theologia we are told that the purpose of that work is to “treat and elucidate divine lordship, demonstrating that it is synonymous with the First Cause and that perpetuity (dahr) and time (zamān) are beneath it.”85 The De Causis, for its part, elaborates upon the distinction between zamān and dahr (terms rendered as tempus and aevum respectively in medieval Latin translation), seeing the constant flux that characterizes time proper as consistent with the world of generation and corruption to which it belongs, whereas the everlasting intellects and souls are deemed to endure in a state of all-comprehending simultaneity (the tuta simul of the scholastic tradition):

From such proofs it is clear that duration (dawām) is of two kinds: one perpetual (dahrī), the other temporal (zamānī) – notwithstanding that the first kind of duration is static and at peace, whilst the other is in motion; and the first is a simultaneous whole whose acts exist all together without some preceding others, whilst the second flows and extends, such that some of its acts are before others.86

For Qayṣarī, by contrast, the notions of perpetuity (dahr) and eternity (sarmad) appear to be logically subsumed under the core concept of zamān, conceived of as an attribute of the divine being.87 Here again, it seems possible to detect the influence of Abū l-Barakāt who – anticipating Hobbes by several centuries88 – famously opines that such durational distinctions89 are, all told, mere sophistry, arguing instead that all things, however lofty, endure in time alone. Abū l-Barakāt writes:

The mind cannot in fact conceive of an existence that has no extension or time, regardless of whether it be the existence of a Creator or that of a created being. It matters little, then, what the tongues [of people] are accustomed to saying [regarding timeless existence] if the mind and reason have played no part therein! Those who have entertained such notions, namely that God exists outside of time, are the same people who hold that time is the measure of motion – and since the Creator does not move, He therefore does not exist in time. For our part, we have shown that the existence of every being [whether motionless or mobile] abides in an extension, which is time, and that an existence which is not in time is inconceivable. Those, however, who have stripped their Creator’s existence of time, assert by contrast that He exists in perpetuity (dahr) and eternity (sarmad), nay that His very existence is synonymous with perpetuity and eternity, thus changing the term time (zamān) [for another] without actually changing the meaning […] When they are asked what then is perpetuity and what is eternity they reply that it is motionless, enduring continuance (al-baqāʾ al-dāʾim alladhī laysa maʿahu ḥaraka). But duration (dawām, from the same root as dāʾim) is an attribute of extension and time; hence it is merely the name that has changed whereas what it denotes remains the same, irrespective of whether it refers to that which moves or that which is motionless.90

4 Qayṣarī’s Theory in Relation to Concepts of Time in Ibn ʿArabī’s School

Qayṣarī’s apparent empathy with Abū l-Barakāt in this regard is all the more significant as it serves to set him apart from other representatives of Ibn ʿArabī’s school, who generally concur with the Avicennan philosophers in echoing the Neoplatonic distinctions between physical and metaphysical modes of duration. Thus, in the writings of Ibn ʿArabī and his student Qūnawī, zamān is peculiar to the physical world alone. As for the modes of continuance specific to the intelligible and spiritual domains beyond the world of nature, Qūnawī in particular is quite clear on this point, identifying a universal source of duration, denoted by the divine name al-dahr (Perpetuity), whose sway extends over all worlds, higher and lower alike. Accordingly, and in keeping with his conception of God’s creation as a hierarchical chain of being in which intelligible realities and divine attributes are made manifest in a mode consistent with the degree of existence in question,91 Qūnawī conceives of al-dahr as having manifold modes (zamān being but one thereof) consistent with different realms; and this being the case, the numerous applications in the scriptures of temporal terminology to the divine and the angelic – such as references in the Hadith to the idea that spirits were created two thousand years before bodies – are interpreted as metaphorical indications of higher modes of duration distinct from that of zamān.92

The differences, moreover, between Qayṣarī’s treatment of time and those of his Akbarian predecessors do not end there. Closer inspection reveals radical disparities between Qayṣarī’s and Ibn ʿArabī’s basic concepts of zamān. In stark contrast to Qayṣarī’s realist view of time as an objective continuum, Ibn ʿArabī, as Böwering has shown,93 articulates throughout his magnum opus, al-Futūḥāt al-makkiyya, a subjectivist position whereby time has no more than a notional existence: “time (zamān),” says Ibn ʿArabī, “is but a relationship (nisba) with no real existence in itself; yet at what length and for how long have people discussed its nature!”94 Elaborating upon the substance of such discussions, Ibn ʿArabī writes:

People differ over what is understood and denoted by the term time. Thus, the philosophers (ḥukamāʾ) apply it to different things, though the majority agree that it is an imaginary extension numbered by the movements of the celestial spheres.95 The theologians, for their part, apply it to something else, namely the linking of one event (ḥādith) to another about which one asks the question “when?” (matā).96 As for the desert Arabs, they apply it to, and mean by it, the night-time and the daytime, which is the sense we are concerned with in this chapter. Accordingly, the night-time and daytime are the two sections of the complete day; from sunrise to sunset being called a daytime (nahār), from sunset to sunrise a night-time (layl), and the complete ensemble being called a day (yawm). Now although the day is made manifest by the existence of the great movement [of the diurnal sphere], the only thing [in this process] that actually exists [outside the mind] is the moving [celestial body], which is not the same as time – whence it follows, once again, that time is a notional thing with no real essence (lā ḥaqīqa lahu).97

5 Qayṣarī’s Definition of Time

Although at odds with Ibn ʿArabī over the basic concept of zamān, Qayṣarī sets out nonetheless to graft Abū l-Barakāt’s theory onto the principles of Ibn ʿArabī’s ontology. Steeped as he was in the Akbarian vision of existence as a continual theophany or revelation of God’s being,98 Qayṣarī seems comfortable with the notion of zamān as an objective reality issuing, along with the effusion of existence, from the divine essence. Indeed, in his view, as we shall see, it is this perspective alone which elucidates the fundamental aporias surrounding time’s nature. For if knowledge of time’s essence has historically proven so problematic, this is consistent, so we are told, with its link with being – of which it has been said that nothing is more apparent to our mind and perception, and yet nothing is more difficult to define.99 For Qayṣarī, then, as for Abū l-Barakāt and Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī before him,100 the objective reality of time, like that of being, is self-evident, though its quiddity is elusive and obscure.101 Relying, however, on the premise that zamān is the measure of being’s continuance and duration, Qayṣarī offers the following definition:

Time (zamān) is an accidental reality (ḥaqīqa ʿaraḍiyya)102 attendant upon the divine essence (lāzima li-l-dhāt al-ilāhiyya) and issuing therefrom so that through it may be measured the duration of the being of all entities, whether non-generated (mubdaʿāt) or generated creatures (makhlūqāt). In terms of its existence, time is an abiding, continuous quantity (kamm) inhering objectively in concrete existence outside [the mind].103

Conceived of as a concomitant (lāzim) of God’s essence, time, like all divine attributes and acts, is thus deemed by Qayṣarī to be logically anterior to God’s creation, the material and the spiritual alike104 ; and as such, it is too lofty a reality to be identified either with a substance (jawhar)105 – a rebuttal, no doubt, on Qayṣarī’s part, of the views of the two Rāzīs, Abū Bakr (d. 313/925)106 and Fakhr al-Dīn, both of whom held that time was a spiritual jawhar107 – or with one of a corporeal substance’s concomitants (such as motion),108 as espoused by the Aristotelian falāsifa.

6 Time and the Eternity of the World

Like Abū l-Barakāt before him,109 Qayṣarī takes the view that just as wujūd endures perpetually, so must its measure endure likewise. Hence, though he rejects the Peripatetic definition of time as the measure of motion, Qayṣarī’s commitment to the concept of a fundamental link between time and being entails, nonetheless, a significant and potentially surprising point where he and Aristotle concur, namely their sharing the view that time endures without beginning or end.110 From this point of agreement alone, of course, it does not automatically follow that our author was also a supporter of the ancient Greek (and pre-eminently Aristotelian) doctrine of the eternity of the world in general111 – a proposition which Abū Ḥāmid al-Ghazālī (d. 505/1111) famously condemned in his Tahāfut al-falāsifa – though there are, as we shall see shortly, persuasive grounds for assuming that this was in fact the case. What does follow clearly, however, from Qayṣarī’s notion of beginningless time is that he rejects the kalām theory – driven by the tenets of creationist scripture – of there being a first temporal instant.112

Initially voiced by John Philoponus (d. 570 CE) and later emulated by the mutakallimūn and the pioneering Muslim philosopher al-Kindī (d. ca. 260/873),113 the theory of a first instant marking the start of time – which was conceived of as a creationist counter-argument to Greek notions of the beginninglessness of both time and the cosmos – was founded, as is well known, on the assertion that an eternity a parte ante would mean that an infinite past would have to be traversed in order to reach the present, which, so the theologians argue, is impossible.114 While Qayṣarī, admittedly, makes no explicit mention of this argument, it does seem possible to detect a tacit rebuttal of its underlying rationale in his remarks regarding the wholly relative nature of the concept of azal or eternity a parte ante. Just as the very notions – so he observes – of past and future are nothing more in truth than subjective, relative concepts, dependent on the human observer and divorced as such from the objective reality of time as a whole, so too is its notional division at any given point into azal or past without beginning and abad or future without end.115

Among Islamic conceptions of time, the kalām theory outlined above was not the only creationist-inflected alternative to Aristotelian eternalism, for the Muslim Platonist, Abū Bakr al-Rāzī had famously challenged the Peripatetic mainstream by arguing that, whilst time may exist perpetually, the world for its part was created at a certain point in time’s indefinite span.116 Might Qayṣarī, then, have held a similar view? On balance, this is unlikely. True, one phrase in particular (taken at face value and in isolation from the rest of the Nihāyat al-bayān) may appear to suggest otherwise, namely an assertion that both non-generated entities (mubdaʿāt) – such as the universal intellects on the top rungs of the cosmological ladder – and generated creatures (makhlūqāt) alike are “preceded” (masbūq) by time.117 Immediately afterwards, however, our author – invoking Avicenna’s well-known distinction between priority in essence (bi-l-dhāt) and temporal anteriority – explains that in the case of the mubdaʿāt the anteriority in question is simply an expression of time’s essential priority (as a concomitant of the divine essence) over God’s creation, not a temporal priority as such.118 In terms, then, of their manifest existence – as distinct from their respective metaphysical ranks – time and the mubdaʿāt, so we are told, endure co-extensively. Hence, rather than coming into being in time, the universal intellects are deemed instead to abide along with time119 ; and since time is everlasting,120 the mubdaʿāt must endure sempiternally without temporal beginning or end.121 Having explained this nuance, Qayṣarī then feels free to modify his earlier assertion about the non-generated entities, stating in a subsequent passage (quoted below) that the mubdaʿāt are not, in fact, preceded by time; providing, that is, that one takes into account the distinction between temporal priority and priority in essence:

You should know that the continuous existential magnitude, which has no beginning or end, is divisible, as we have already seen, by dint of the events which supervene therein, into days, weeks, months and years – so that, through such [divisions], one may know the duration of transient beings [subject to generation and corruption]; and through [these divisions], likewise, the existential duration of transient creatures preceded by time may be distinguished from that of the non-generated entities which are not preceded by it, in terms of existence at least.122

All told, such evidence suggests that Qayṣarī did in fact broadly share with the Avicennan falāsifa the view that the cosmos, or at least its higher echelons, endured without temporal beginning or end. Like Avicenna, however, he is also keen to show that such a view is not incompatible in and of itself with the concept of a Creator who, “through His essence (dhāt) and all His names and attributes, is prior to (muqaddam ʿalā) all the beings (mawjūdāt) that emanate from Him.”123

7 Qayṣarī’s Synthesis

Qayṣarī’s concept of time is, therefore, an eclectic hybrid composed of elements selected from a range of divergent theories. Like Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī before him (though without al-Rāzī’s exhaustive rigor), he sifts through the competing temporal models of his day with the aim, not of discarding them altogether, but of identifying and combining their respective strengths and of filtering out their respective weaknesses. We have seen, for example, that in its stance towards the account of time elaborated by Avicenna and the Arabic Aristotelians, the Nihāyat al-bayān is by no means wholly critical. Thus, whilst accusing Avicenna of implicit temporal atomism in the Ishārāt, Qayṣarī still sides with him in rejecting the claim – supported by the mutakallimūn in general – that time admits of a first instant. Likewise, though he joins Abū l-Barakāt al-Baghdādī and Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī in challenging the definition of time as the number of motion, our author remains attached nonetheless to the Peripatetic categorization of time as an accident (albeit of the divine essence, in Qayṣarī’s case, rather than the diurnal sphere) not a self-subsisting substance as Fakhr al-Dīn contends.

Where Qayṣarī differs appreciably, however, from the standard accounts of time in the Muslim world is in his assertion that, despite appearances to the contrary, time is in fact a static (qārr) and integral whole, rather than a dynamic (ghayr qārr) flux that exists only as a succession of elapsing parts or instants. Responding to the familiar Aristotelian objection that if time were static then past, present, and future would coincide, Qayṣarī writes:

If by saying that it is impossible for [time] to be essentially static (qārr al-dhāt), since today would be together with the past and the future, you mean that something happening today would – if [time] were static – coincide with something happening in the past and the future, then that much is granted. But if what you mean thereby is that the part [of time] in which the events of today occur would therefore exist along with the part in which occur the events of the past or future, we cannot accept that this is impossible. For the parts of this static thing [that is time] all exist together, and none of them is [intrinsically] past, future, or present, which is why it has been said that for God there is no morning or evening, no past or future. Rather, such things [as past and future] exist only in relation to us. The illusory impression (tawahhum) that there is a segment of parts called the past merely arises from the impression that [time] is not essentially static, or from the passing away of what happened therein. Hence time’s threefold division [into past, present, and future] is through the events that occur therein, not through time as it is in itself.124

In this connection, it is to be noted, Qayṣarī even departs from his own previously-held view – evidenced by a brief remark in his commentary on Ibn ʿArabī’s Fuṣūṣ al-ḥikam – which endorsed the mainstream categorization of time as ghayr qārr or dynamic.125 What kinds of considerations, then, might have persuaded our author to revise his opinion? First and foremost – one may venture – there is the problem of how to square, on the one hand, the commonplace premise that time is a succession of elapsing instants with, on the other, his mature conviction that time is not only objectively real but is an extended ambience or vessel (ẓarf) in which events supervene – a concept, as we have seen, that he appears to have borrowed from Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī. Although Qayṣarī does not elaborate on the concept of the ẓarf at length, brief indications in the Nihāyat al-bayān (as preserved in the text of the Hacı Mahmud Efendi manuscript) suggest nonetheless that he thought a static account of time’s nature suited this concept better than a dynamic one. The remarks in question come during Qayṣarī’s critique of the idea that time is a succession of extinctions and renewals. In what is possibly an allusion to the views of Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī – who, whilst deeming time a ẓarf, categorizes it nevertheless as non-static – Qayṣarī argues that “time is something real (amr ḥaqīqī) because it is a vessel for real things,”126 whereas if time were nothing but an indivisible instant between a non-existent past and future it “would not be a vessel for events.”127

8 Conclusion

Although Qayṣarī’s treatment of time is derivative to a large extent – reliant as it is on Abū l-Barakāt and Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī’s reactions to the Avicennan tradition – it is another telling example, nonetheless, of a late medieval tendency away from the Aristotelian view of time as the measure of motion, a tendency that gathered pace not only in the Muslim world but in Jewish philosophy and Christian scholasticism as well. This, however, is not to say that Qayṣarī’s treatise is devoid of originality. For one thing, we have noted how he modifies Abū l-Barakāt’s concept of time, whilst also melding it with features of Ibn ʿArabī’s ontology; and for another, he takes the unusual position of arguing that Avicenna’s account of time in the Ishārāt is a betrayal of the basic Aristotelian premise that time is a continuous quantity, a premise that Qayṣarī, for his part, is keen to defend despite his opposition to other aspects of Aristotle’s discussion of time’s nature.

The most original element, though, in Qayṣarī’s conception of zamān would also appear to be the most problematic, namely his bold claim that time is qārr al-dhāt or essentially static. Though he sees this categorization as better suited, than the conventional dynamic view, to the notion of time as both an indefinitely divisible continuum and an objectively existent vessel for events, it jars fundamentally nonetheless with our basic experience of time as something that elapses.

Finally, for a figure who is associated primarily with the Akbarian school, it is noticeable that Qayṣarī’s staunchly realist account of time is at odds with the subjectivist stance adopted by Ibn ʿArabī. It is possible that Qayṣarī’s critical independence on this score may have been encouraged by Ibn ʿArabī’s expression of tolerance towards different traditional definitions of time, in recognition of its conceptually elusive character. Either way, it seems clear that, where this notoriously subtle topic was concerned, Qayṣarī felt at liberty to look elsewhere and draw on a wider array of philosophical sources.

Appendix

The Arabic text of Qayṣarī’s dedication to his patron: from an 11th/17th century manuscript of the Nihāyat al-bayān fī dirāyat al-zamān (MS Tehran, Majlis-i shūrā-yi islāmī, no. 3321, fol. 342), copied from Qayṣarī’s autograph, dated the end of Dhū l-Ḥijja 735 (August 1335).

‫ولما فرغت من تحريرها شرّفتها بألقاب المولى المعظّم الصاحب الأعظم مالك أزمّة موالي العالم128 أعلم علماء العصر فريد حكماء الدهر مربّي الضعفاء والمساكين معين الفقراء السالكين مشير أرباب الدول القاهرة نصير أصحاب الحُلَل الفاخرة ظهير الملّة والحقّ والدين129 أدام الله ظلال جلاله على العالمين130 لا زال الحقّ نصيراً لجناب عزّه ودولته وظهيراً لأعوان ملكه ورفعته لتدوم بدوام إقباله وتسعد بجمال جلاله … ليُصلِح ما فيها من الخلل بآرائه الزاهرة بالنور الباهرة ويصحّح ما فيها من الزلل بأنظاره الثاقبة للدُرَر الفاخرة.131

“When I had finished composing it I ennobled it with the honorific titles (alqāb) of the august sovereign (al-mawlā l-muʿaẓẓam), the grand companion (al-ṣāḥib al-aʿẓam), holder of the reins of the sovereigns of the world (mālik azimmat mawālī l-ʿālam), most learned scholar of our age, the singular philosopher of all time, succour of the weak and destitute, helper of the poor wayfarers [on the Sufi path], commander of the patriarchs of victorious dynasties, patron of the wearers of splendid raiment, supporter of the faithful, of the truth, and of religion (ẓahīr al-milla wa-l-ḥaqq wa-l-dīn), long may God preserve the shadow of his majesty over the worlds, and may God remain the protector of his renown and his dynasty and remain the supporter of the servants of his kingdom and high rank, that they might abide through His watchful care and achieve felicity [in the hereafter] through the beauty of His majesty […] And may he correct any disturbance [that occurs] therein through his judgements made radiant with brilliant light, and may he set aright any lapses [that happen] therein with his insight that penetrates the most splendid pearls.”

Acknowledgements

I am grateful to Professor Mohammed Rustom and Professor Peter Adamson for their comments on earlier drafts of this article.

Bibliography

Manuscripts

  • Jildakī, Aydamir al-. Kitāb al-Burhān fī asrār ʿilm al-mīzān. Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Berlin, MS Sprenger 1916.

  • Kāshānī, ʿAbd al-Razzāq al-. Risāla fī bayān miqdār al-sana al-sarmadiyya wa-taʿyīn al-ayyām al-ilāhiyya. Princeton University Library, Princeton, MS Garrett 3604Yq.

  • Qayṣarī, Sharaf al-Dīn Dāwūd ibn Maḥmūd al-Rūmī al-. Nihāyat al-bayān fī dirāyat al-zamān. Süleymaniye Library, Istanbul, MS Hacı Mahmud Efendi 1511.

  • Qayṣarī, Sharaf al-Dīn Dāwūd ibn Maḥmūd al-Rūmī al-. Nihāyat al-bayān fī dirāyat al-zamān. Kitābkhānā-yi majlis-i shūrā-yi islāmī, Tehran, MS Majlis-i shūrā-yi islāmī, no. 3321.

  • Qayṣarī, Sharaf al-Dīn Dāwūd ibn Maḥmūd al-Rūmī al-. Taḥqīq māʾ al-ḥayāt wa-kashf astār al-ẓulumāt. Princeton University Library, Princeton, MS Garrett 464H.

Printed Sources

  • Badawī, ʿAbd al-Raḥmān (ed.). al-Aflāṭūniyya al-muḥdatha ʿinda l-ʿarab. Cairo: Maktabat al-nahḍa al-miṣriyya, 1955.

  • Badawī, ʿAbd al-Raḥmān (ed.). Aflūṭīn ʿinda l-ʿArab. Cairo: Maktabat al-nahḍa al-miṣriyya, 1955.

  • Baghdādī, Abū l-Barakāt Hibat Allāh ibn ʿAlī al-. Kitāb al-Muʿtabar fī l-ḥikma. Ed. by Muḥammad ʿUthmān. Cairo: Maktabat al-thaqāfa al-dīniyya, 2015.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ibn al-ʿArabī, Muḥyī l-Dīn. al-Futūḥāt al-makkiyya. Ed. by Osman Yahia. Beirut: Dār iḥyāʾ al-turāth al-ʿarabī, 1998.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ibn Sīnā, Abū ʿAlī al-Ḥusayn. Kitāb al-Ishārāt wa-l-tanbīhāt. Ed. by Sulaymān Dunyā. Cairo: Dār al-maʿārif, 1958.

  • Ibn Sīnā, Abū ʿAlī al-Ḥusayn. Avicenna. The Physics of The Healing: A Parallel English-Arabic Text in Two Volumes. Trans. by Jon McGinnis. Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University Press, 2009.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Khalīfa, Ḥājjī. Kashf al-ẓunūn ʿan asāmi l-kutub wa-l-funūn. Ed. by Muḥammad Yāltaqāyā and Rifʿat al-Kilīsī. Istanbul: Wikālat al-maʿārif, 1941–43.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pseudo-Aristotle (Plotinus). Uthūlūjiyā. In Aflūṭīn ʿinda l-ʿarab. Ed. by ʿAbd al-Raḥmān al-Badawī. Cairo: Maktabat al-nahḍa al-miṣriyya, 1955, pp. 3164.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Qayṣarī, Sharaf al-Dīn Dāwūd ibn Maḥmūd al-Rūmī al-. Nihāyat al-bayān fī dirāyat al-zamān. In Rasā’il-i Qayṣarī bā ḥavāshī-i Muḥammad Riz̤ā Qumshāhī. Ed. by Jalāl al-Dīn Āshtīyānī. Mashhad: Mu’assasah-i chāp va intishārāt va girāfīk-i dānishgāh-i firdawsī, 1974.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Qayṣarī, Sharaf al-Dīn Dāwūd ibn Maḥmūd al-Rūmī al-. Sharḥ-i Fuṣūṣ al-ḥikam. Ed. by Jalāl al-Dīn Āshtīyānī. Tehran: Sharikat-i intishārāt-i ʿilmī va farhangī, 1996.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Qayṣarī, Sharaf al-Dīn Dāwūd ibn Maḥmūd al-Rūmī al-. Zamān az dū nigāh: tarjumah-i risālah-i Qayṣarī az zamān va ta‘līqah-i mu‘ammā-yi zamān / taʾlīf-i Dāvud ibn Maḥmūd ibn Muḥammad Qayṣarī; tarjumah-i Ṭūbá Kirmānī. Trans. by Ṭūbá Kirmānī. Tehran: Dānishgāh-i Tihrān, 2000.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Qūnawī, Ṣadr al-Dīn al-. Iʿjāz al-bayān fī taʾwīl umm al-Qurʾān. Ed. by M. Ahmed. Hyderabad: Maṭbaʿat jamʿiyyat dāʾirat al-maʿārif al-ʿuthmāniyya, 1988.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Rāzī, Fakhr al-Dīn al-. al-Mabāḥith al-mashriqiyya fī ʿilm al-ilāhiyyāt wa-l-ṭabīʿiyyāt. Hyderabad: Dāʾirat al-maʿārif al-niẓāmiyya, 1924.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Rāzī, Fakhr al-Dīn al-. al-Maṭālib al-ʿāliya min al-ʿilm al-ilāhī. Ed. by Aḥmad Ḥijāzī al-Saqqā. Beirut: Dār al-kitāb al-ʿarabī, 1987.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ṭūsī, Naṣīr al-Dīn al-. Sharḥ al-Ishārāt wa-l-tanbīhāt. In Kitāb al-Ishārāt wa-l-tanbīhāt. Ed. by Sulaymān Dunyā. Cairo: Dār al-maʿārif, 1958.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation

Secondary Literature

  • Abū Saʿda, Muḥammad Ḥusaynī. al-Wujūd wa-l-khulūd fī falsafat Abī l-Barakāt al-Baghdādī. Cairo: Dār Abū Hurayra li-l-ṭibāʿa, 1993.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Adamson, Peter. “Galen and Abū Bakr al-Rāzī on Time.” In Medieval Arabic Thought: Essays in Honour of Fritz Zimmermann. Ed. by Rotraud Hansberger, M. Afifi al-Akiti, and Charles Burnett. London: Warburg Institute, 2012, pp. 114.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Adamson, Peter. “The Existence of Time in Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī’s Maṭālib al-ʿāliya.” In The Arabic, Hebrew and Latin Reception of Avicenna’s Physics and Cosmology. Ed. by Dag Nikolaus Hasse and Amos Bertolacci. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2018, pp. 65100.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Adamson, Peter, and Andreas Lammer. “Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī’s Platonist Account of the Essence of Time.” In Philosophical Theology in Islam: Later Ashʿarism East and West. Ed. by Ayman Shihadeh and Jan Thiele. Leiden [a.o.]: Brill, 2020, pp. 95122.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ali, Mukhtar H. The Horizons of Being: The Metaphysics of Ibn al-ʿArabī in the Muqaddimat Al-Qayṣarī. Leiden [a.o.]: Brill, 2020.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ali, Mukhtar H. Philosophical Sufism: an Introduction to the School of Ibn al-‘Arabi. London & New York: Routledge, 2021.

  • Bayrakdar, Mehmet. La philosophie mystique chez Dawud de Kayseri. Ankara: Editions Ministère de la Culture, 1990.

  • Bayrakdar, Mehmet. “Dâvûd-i Kayseri.” In Türkiye Diyânet Vakfı Islâm Ansiklopedisi. Istanbul: Türkiye Diyânet Vakfı, 1995, vol. IX, pp. 3335.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bayrakdar, Mehmet. Dâvûd el-Kayserî. Istanbul: Kurtuba Kitap, 2009.

  • Behler, Ernst. Die Ewigkeit der Welt: problemgeschichtliche Untersuchungen zu den Kontroversen um Weltanfang und Weltunendlichkeit im Mittelalter, 1: Die Problemstellung in der arabischen und jüdischen Philosophie des Mittelalters. München: F. Schöningh, 1965.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Boulnois, Olivier. “Du Temps Cosmique à la Durée Ontologique? Duns Scot, le Temps, l’Aevum et l’Éternité.” In The Medieval Concept of Time: the Scholastic Debate and its Reception in Early Modern Philosophy. Ed. by Pasquale Porro. Leiden [a.o.]: Brill, 2001, pp. 161188.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Böwering, Gerhard. “Ideas of Time in Persian Sufism.” Iran 30.1 (1992): 7789.

  • Böwering, Gerhard. “Ibn al-ʿArabī’s Concept of Time.” In Gott ist schön und Er liebt die Schönheit (Festschrift für Annemarie Schimmel). Ed. by Alma Giese and J. Christoph Bürgel. Bern & New York: Peter Lang, 1994, pp. 7191.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Böwering, Gerhard. “The Concept of Time in Islam.” Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society Held at Philadelphia for Promoting Useful Knowledge 141.1 (1997): 5566.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Brockelmann, Carl. Geschichte der arabischen Litteratur (Supplementband II). Leiden [a.o.]: Brill, 1938.

  • Chittick, William. “The Five Divine Presences: From al-Qunawi to al-Qayseri.” Muslim World 72 (1982): 107128.

  • Chittick, William. The Sufi Path of Knowledge: Ibn al-‘Arabi’s Metaphysics of Imagination. Albany, N.Y.: State University of New York Press, 1989.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Chittick, William. “The School of Ibn ʿArabī.” In History of Islamic Philosophy. Ed. by Seyyed Hossein Nasr and Oliver Leaman. London & New York: Routledge, 2001, pp. 510523.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Coope, Ursula. Time for Aristotle: Physics IV. 10–14. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005.

  • Dagli, Caner K. Ibn al-ʿArabī and Islamic Intellectual Culture: From Mysticism to Philosophy. London & New York: Routledge, 2016.

  • Davidson, Herbert. Proofs for Eternity, Creation and the Existence of God in Medieval Islamic and Jewish Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Dhanani, Alnoor. “The Impact of Ibn Sīnā’s Critique of Atomism on Subsequent Kalām Discussions of Atomism.” Arabic Sciences and Philosophy 25.1 (2015): 79104.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Dhanani, Alnoor. “Atomism.” In EI³. Ed. by Kate Fleet, Gudrun Krämer, Denis Matringe, John Nawas and Everett Rowson. Retrieved January 11, 2022, via http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1573-3912_ei3_COM_24249.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fazlıoğlu, Ihsan. “What Happened in Iznik? The Shaping of Ottoman Intellectual Life and Dāwūd Kaysari.” Nazariyat: Journal for the History of Islamic Philosophy and Sciences 4.1 (2017): 161.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Georgeon, François, and Frédéric Hitzel (eds.). Les Ottomans et le temps. Leiden [a.o.]: Brill, 2012.

  • Ghisalberti, Alessandro. “Categories of Temporality in William Ockham and John Buridan.” In The Medieval Concept of Time: the Scholastic Debate and its Reception in Early Modern Philosophy. Ed. by Pasquale Porro. Leiden [a.o.]: Brill, 2001, pp. 255286.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Goodman, Lenn E.Time in Islam.” Asian Philosophy 2.1 (1992): 319.

  • Gorham, Geoffrey. “‘The Twin-Brother of Space’: Spatial Analogy in the Emergence of Absolute Time.” Intellectual History Review 22.1 (2012): 2339.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gorham, Geoffrey. “Hobbes on the Reality of Time.” Hobbes Studies 27.1 (2014): 80103.

    • Crossref