The Harvest of the thoughts of the Ancients and Moderns from scholars, philosophers and theologians

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Another one of the Fakhr Razi’a works (the great scholar and writer) is the book of “The Harvest of the thoughts of the Ancients and Moderns from scholars, philosophers and theologians (Muhassal Afkär Al-mutaqaddimin wal muta’akhkhrin) that has been written in Arabic. This book containing theological opinions which the writer has related the different groups’ opinions from scholars, philosophers and theologians. One of those who has given his views (in the following of this book) is khaje Nasir Al-din Tusi which in this regard, he has a book by the name of “Talkhis Al-####Muhassal” (summary of the Harvest). In this book, Khaje Nasir explains some words of the book by Razi and has mentioned the things which probably the book’s author has not related (them), also criticized the Razi’s book that has been enclosed in the form of footnote.

The author’s brief biography:
Imam Fakhr Al-Din Abu Abdullah … Muhammad the son of Omar the son of Hussein the son of Hassan the son of Ali Tay-mi Tabarestani, known as an Ibn Khatib Razi and also Imam Al-Mushakekin, is one of the greatest “theologians” (kalam specialist), orators and well-known philosopher of the sixth century A.H, who was born in 1149/2/4 or 1150/1/24A.D. (543 or 544A.H.) in "Ray". Muhammad the son of Omar Fakhr Razi is considered as one of the Islamic scientific and literary celebrities, and in his time, has been considered as one of the greatest scholars and sages of Islam. In rational and transmitted sciences (Maghol and Manghol sciences) such as: philosophy, “theology” (kalam), mathematics, “jurisprudence and methodology” (fegh and usul), Quranic commentary and literature, has been considered master, authority and a source for scholars of his time. At first, he studied under the supervision of his father who was a celebrated orator, then the preliminary sciences under Kamal Semani (Semnani), “theology” (science of kalam) and philosophy under Majdoldin Jabali and the other sciences under Ziyaul Din Omar and Mahmud the son of Hassan Hamasi. For learning the Avicenna and Farabi’s philosophy, he went to the khorasan and completely benefited, and after that, traveled to “Transoxiana” (Mavaronnahr). In "branches of the religion" he was "Shafi’ism" follower and in the “theologian” (kalami) "principles of faith", was the Ash’arism follower, but he always was in controversy and polemic with his fellow (co-religionist) scholars. He also has composed sparse poems in Persian and Arabic that contains instructive subjects. Imam Fakhr’s life, despite the difficulty and poverty in youth age, improved after going to the khwarazm, “Transoxiana” (Mavaronnahr) and perennial living in court of khwaraz kings. One of the painful events of Imam Fakhr, during his final years, was about his young son’s death by the name of Muhammad that had occurred in the middle of 1205A.D. (601A.H.) in “Harat”. He had three sons by the name of Muhammad, Ziyaoldin and Shamsuldin and two daughters. In final years of his life, he lived in “Harat”. Early in the year of 1210A.D.(606A.H.) he got a serious illness and finally at the age of sixty two of that year, in the Eyd-e Fetr day, passed away in “Harat”. The text of Imam Fakhr’s “will” has mentioned in the books such as “Tabaghate Al-Shäfeiyeh Sabki” and “Tabaghäte Al-Atebä”. About eight month before his death, means in 1209/1/26 A.D(606/1/21A.H.), he has written this “will”, addressing to his student “Abubakr Ibrahim the son of Abibakr the son of Ali Isfahani”. His “will” involves the gist of his ideas about religion, philosophy and Quran with concise words. In the end, with the addressing to his executor and student, he has written a subject about looking after of his children.

The book structure:

This book including the following titles:
-the author’s biography and works
-the Khaje Nasir Tusi’s biography and works
-the pillars or foundations of kalam

*First pillar or foundation: preliminaries
-preface one: imaginations- affirmation
-preface two: the injunctions of viewpoint
-preface three: reason and its kinds

*Second pillar or foundation: division of “objects of knowledge” (ma’loomät),
-division of living beings or creatures
-the properties of “contingent in itself” (momken be zät) and its definition
-the theologians’ viewpoint in division of living beings or creatures
-the properties of “pre-eternal”(ghadim) and “brought into being” (mohaddes),
-the philosophers’ viewpoint in division of “possibilities”(momkenät),
-the theologians’ viewpoint in division of “brought into beings” (mohaddesät),
-division of bodies

*Third pillar or foundation: “theology” (divine sciences) and a look to the Essence, Attributes, Actions and Names
-part one: Essence
-part two: Attributes – talk about “positive Attributes”(sefäte sobutiye),
-part three: Acts or Actions
-part four: Names
first pillar: prophecy
second pillar: resurrection
third pillar: Names and injunctions
fourth pillar: imamate

Sources

The Harvest of the thoughts of the Ancients and Moderns from scholars, philosophers and theologians by Fakhr Razi

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