By Majid Fakhry
This is often an exceptional resource on a tough topic. Islamic neoplatonism is a posh internet of principles made fairly obtainable by way of this booklet. Thankyou for the scholarship it should have taken to give it.
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Additional resources for Al-Farabi, Founder of Islamic Neoplatonism: His Life, Works, and Influence
The only possible explanation is that he had access to some summary in Arabic, which listed the works of Plato and discussed them briefly and is now no longer extant; or that he came into contact with some Syriac scholar fluent in Greek who initiated him into the secrets of Plato’s philosophy. Be this as it may, we have a much more positive instance of al-Fa¯ra¯bi’s Platonic scholarship in his compendium or summary of the Laws (Talkhı¯s Nawa¯mı¯s Afla¯tun), which is extant. He opens this summary by stating in the ˙ preface that Plato, the Sage (Hakı¯m), as he puts it, did not wish to disclose the knowledge of the various sciences to everybody, and thus adopted the method of symbolism or mystification, so that the knowledge of these sciences is not made accessible to those who are unworthy of it; and is thereby demeaned.
18 Al-Fa¯ra¯bi pursues this Platonic–Plotinian line of thought, which is on the whole alien to Aristotle’s purpose in Metaphysics, Book XII, and comments on the way in which this First Being imparts existence, unity and truth to everything else. Being more worthy of the attributes of unity, being and truth than anything else, such a Being must be regarded as identical with God Almighty. Al-Fa¯ra¯bi then gives, along essentially Plotinian lines also, an account of how existing entities have derived their being from God, how they are ordered and how all His actions are entirely free from injustice, contradiction, imperfection or evil.
For the eclipse of the sun is due to the interposition of the moon between the sun and the earth, shutting the sun out. Thus, every time the light of the sun is shut out by a cloud a king should die or a grave calamity should happen on earth. 9 It cannot be denied, he then goes on to say, that the prognostications and auguries of astrologers sometimes prove to be true, sometimes not. If so, they can only be described as conjectures, probabilities or forms of fortune-telling. Finally, were astrology a science, why is it, al-Fa¯ra¯bi asks, that the most illustrious among astrologers are the least prone to manage their own affairs in the light of their own prognostications?
Al-Farabi, Founder of Islamic Neoplatonism: His Life, Works, and Influence by Majid Fakhry