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Ibn al-Hussain

Bidāyah al-Ḥikmah – A Commentary & Study Guide

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:salam:

I've been working on a study guide and explanatory notes for those interested in Islamic metaphysics, but do not have readily available material to understand it. The book I am making this study guide for is Bidāyah al-Ḥikmah. This is an instructional philosophy book written by ‘Allāmah Ṭabāṭabāī (d. 1981), to be made use of in the seminary. In many schools, it is still used as one of the first books for getting introduced to philosophy, and while some schools have replaced the text with Āmuzesh-e Falsafeh of Āyatullah Miṣbāḥ, anyone interested in studying philosophy as a specialist will eventually have to consider studying ‘Allāmah’s Bidāyah al-Ḥikmah. Both ‘Allāmah’s and Āyatullah Miṣbāḥ's works can be found online in PDF format for those interested. For those interested in purchasing a physical copy, the Bidāyah al-Ḥikmah has been translated into English by Sayyid ‘Alī Quli Qara’ī as ‘The Elements of Islamic Metaphysics’ and can be purchased at the Islamic College store.

A lot of Shi'i brothers and sisters are interested in what they presume to be "philosophy" or "philosophical discussions". However, I always felt there was a misunderstanding regarding what is studied as philosophy in the seminary as opposed to what is perceived as philosophical discourse in the West. Philosophy in the seminaries is essentially metaphysics and is the foundation upon which other discussions are formulated upon.

It's still a work in progress, however, I would love feedback from those who are interested in these discussions: https://www.iqraonline.net/translations/bidayah-al-ḥikmah-commentary-study-guide/

Wasalam

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Salam Ibn Al-Hussain, thanks for this, and also for the other useful articles on your website.  

In section 1.5 you write:

Quote

 

1) Many scholars including Mullā Ṣadrā believed that existence is gradational and everything is one reality. Thus, if the sky exists and man exists, they all receive their existence from one thing, the only thing that is different is the intensity of their existence as existence is gradational.17

...

2) Those who believe that all of reality is constituted by one existence where different existences merely differ in their intensity.

 

I'm having trouble understanding the difference between these two.  No. 2 just sounds like another way of stating no. 1.  Could you clarify?

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11 hours ago, .InshAllah. said:

I'm having trouble understanding the difference between these two.  No. 2 just sounds like another way of stating no. 1.  Could you clarify?

 

:ws:

Thanks for pointing it out, that is a mistake. I have made a slight change to it to make it more clear. The second view is referring to the view of the Sufis, who accept that existence is one, but believe that gradation that we see is merely imaginal (wahm) and not real. The response that is usually given to this (which I have not written yet) is that this goes against that which is self-evident for us and in fact results in skepticism. 

Wasalam

Edited by Ibn al-Hussain

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2 hours ago, ali_fatheroforphans said:

@Ibn al-Hussain

I can't find the book in pdf format online. Would you have the link by any chance?

 
 
 
 

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