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Paper Information

Journal:   MAQALAT WA BARRASIHA   Spring-Summer 2004 , Volume 37 , Number 75(2); Page(s) 127 To 146.
 
Paper: 

THE THEORY OF IKHWAN AL-SAFA ON THE MODE OF GENERATION OF MULTIPLE FROM THE ONE (EMANATION SYSTEM)

 
 
Author(s):  KHADEMI- A.
 
* 
 
Abstract: 
In treatises of Ikhwan al-Safa, after mentioning historical background of the discussion of emanation system, two theories are expressed on the mode of generation of multiple from the one. According to the first theory, vertical levels of emanation are as follows: God > active intellect >passive intellect (universal soul) >prime matter >absolute body (second matter). According to the second theory, there is a correspondence between vertical levels of emanation and the chain of numbers (from 1 to 9), and that vertical chain is as follows: God >intellect >soul >matter >nature >body of sphere >four-fold pillars and four-fold natures >three-fold produced things. The first theory indicates debts of Ikhwan al-Safa to Plotinus, and the second one containing logical order of expressing history of emanation system expounds their debt to Pythagoreans. Making some changes in theories of Plotinus and Pythagoreans, Ikhwan al-Safa accepted them. Between the first and the second theories of Ikhwan al-Safa there is similarity from some aspects and distinction from some others. Ikhwan al-Safa offered the first theory in order to indicate tolerance for and proximity to philosophers. Because of being endowed with mysterious language and correspondence between the chain of levels of emanation and the chain of numbers as well as some other evidence in Rasail Ikhwan al-Safa and Mujmal al-Hikmah, the second theory is to be considered the final theory of Ikhwan al-Safa.
 
Keyword(s): THE THEORY OF EMANATION, IKHWAN AL-SAFA, PLOTINUS, PYTHAGOREANS, GOD, INTELLECT, SOUL, MATTER, NATURE, BODY, SPHERE.
 
References: 
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