Islamic Morality and Gnosticism

Professor Misbah-Yazdi

Lust for wealth, no matter how much the wealth may be, is a blameworthy trait. Seeking worldly wealth, however, is praiseworthy if one¨s aim is merely satisfying one¨s needs and ensuring one¨s livelihood.

When one, out of parsimony, makes the least use of one¨s wealth or money it is undesirable, but when, one¨s intention is to abandon worldliness and indulgence in transient joys in this world, then it is a praiseworthy act, through which one reaches the rank of an ascetic.

Considering the moral side of the issue, extreme fondness of worldly riches can drive one to take the way of misdeeds and vices.

Other than the relation of man with wealth, there is the relation between man and his fellow creatures, which is of vital imoprtance. It is recommended that when dealing with others, one should neither be stern and rough nor too gentle and submissive. One should avoid both extremes and try to be moderate, and thus emulating the believers and the pious.

This article, which is concerned with Imam Sadiq¨s advice to Abd Allah ibn Jundob, presents valuable pieces of advice.

A Critique of Greek Philosophy and Early Muslim Philosophers

Ali Falah Rafi¨

Some denies that there is something called Islamic philosphy, an assumption based on the fact that Muslim philosophers¨ whole attention was directed to learning Aristotle and Plate¨s thoughts and that their acquintance with the works of these two was through translated versions which were often not accurate.

Though the Greek philosophy had undoubtedly formed the framework of the philosophical thoughts in the Islamic world , this doesn¨t mean that the philosophers who developed their ideas according to Islam were merely imitating Greek philosophers and dissiminating their ideas and views.

Many historians admit that after Islamic philosophers had been introduced to the philosophical views of the Greek which they had reviewed and made analytical studies on, the Greek philosohpy due to the hard efforts made by Muslim philosophers reached an outstanding status and won a great renown. without these efforts, Greek philosophy would not have gained the eminence which it has now, or perhaps it might have been subject to decay.

It was through the works of al - Farabi and Ibn Sina (Avicenna) that Christian thinkers in the middle ages came into contact with Aristotle and Plato¨s philosophy, and it was owing to al - Farabi¨s wide knowledge of the philosophical ideas of the first teacher, Aristotle, that he came to be knowe as " the second teacher."

Inspired by their religious principles, Muslim thinkers learnt to benefit from others¨ thoughts and ideas keeping their own practical and ideological thoughts safe by depending on mind and revelation in measuring things or in taking decisions.

After introducing a historical account of the spread of philosophical works, the translated texts about this subject, the translators, the the factors and motives related to it, the article reviews some of the philosophical views, critical remarks and new valuable comments of anciant Muslim philosophers.

Ibn Rushd (Averroes) and Philosophy of Religion

Muhammad Sahafiyan

One of Ibn Rushd¨s products was the attempt he made to prove that there is an agreement between faith and philosophy about world perspective, or that mind and faith are in good terms. Therefore, the issue to which he pays special attention, as his valuable works indicate, is the close relation between mind and faith and between religion and philosophy.

The focal point in Ibn Rushd¨s views is that philosophy is something related to elite people only while faith is for people in general, and the main aim of faith is bringing about happiness to all people, whereas a certain type of people find joy in philosophy. The outcome of Ibn Rushd¨s reseaches on the agreement between faith and philosohpy indicates that these two are cosely related to one another just like intimate friends.

The Two Components of Knowledge: Judgement (Tasd§q) and Representation (Tasawwur) According to Mulla Sadra

Askari - Sulaymani - Amiri

Logic, which consists of two components: judgement and representation, functions as a means for discerning unknown representations and judgements through the knowm ones. These two conponents come weder under we call, empirical knowledge.

The article which starts with a debate by the Sheikh of Ishraq (illumination) on the idea of dividing knowledge into judgement and represention, casts light on some issues like the idea of dividing knowledge into two components, the basis of this division with a disscusion on it, the question whether judgement is regarded simple or complex and whether, in case it is complex, the already - mentioned classification of knowledge is true or not.

This article ends with Mulla Sadra ¨s views which serve as suitable replies to the point in question pointing to the basis of his philosophy of the classification.

Ethical Propositions - Relative or Absolute?

Muhsin Gharawyan

One of the issues which has received special attention in the philosophy of ethics, is the question whether ethical propositions are relative or absolute. Western thinkers and, lately, Muslim thinkers have expressed their views about it.

At the outset , the writer reviews the view points of each of the three sages: Ja¨fari, Mutahari and Misbah. At the end of his discussion, the writer judges these views and gives his remaks. Then he presents his perspective of the issue using a new method.

Kant¨s Philosophy of Woman

Hassan Frahani

Kant, who in considered one of the greatest philosophers in the west, has left a lot of works. From among his views which are worth considering is his perspective of woman¨s position in society and family. Kant introduces a number of evidences to support the idea that woman is not able to play an effective role in society. He points out that the mutual relations between man and woman suggest the absence of equality between man and woman. The idea that man is superior to woman and man¨s being the master of family represents one of the distinctive features of Kant¨s philosophy. The idea of woman¨s independance has been ignored by kant, and the calls for woman¨s freedom and equality with men have been viewed as a threat.

Finding himself between two different trends - political philosophy and moral philosophy - Kant was not able to think freely which was the cause of his failure in realizing the contradictions in his own views about woman. Having been influnced by the biases prevailing at that period, his decisions on this question and his support of others¨ views were groundless.