CLASSIFICATION OF KNOWLEDGE IN ISLAM A Study in Islamic Philosophies of Science
CLASSIFICATION OF KNOWLEDGE IN ISLAM A Study in Islamic Philosophies of Science Dr. Osman Bakar The classification of knowledge is a recurring theme in Islamic scholarship. Successive generations of Muslim scholars, from al-Kindi in the ninth century to Shah Waliallah of Delhi in the eighteenth century, have devoted considerable efforts to the exposition of this theme. The lives and the ideas of the three thinkers discussed in Classification of Knowledge in Islam—Al-Farabi, Al-Ghazzali and Qutb al-Din al-Shirazi— cover the pivotal period of Islamic history from the first flourishing of the philosophical sciences to the sacking of Baghdad. Each of these three thinkers was either a founder or an eminent representative of a major intellectual school in Islam. Al-Farabi was the founder and one of the most prominent representatives of the mashshei’l (Peripatetic) school of philosopher-scientists. Al-Ghazzali is still recognised as the most famous theologian/Sufi of Islam. Qutb al-Din al-Shirazi represents the Isbrdqi (Illuminationists) school of philosophy.
“Dr. Bakar’s method in the present work is to go back to the original texts and let the primary sources speak for themselves. Then on the basis of the words of the masters, Dr Bakar provides an analysis that is based upon both scholarship and a genuinely Islamic philosophical perspective. Such a combination is indeed rare today. Osman Bakar is to be congratulated for having achieved such a work ” —Seyyed Hossein Nasr