Abu'l-Barakāt Hibat Allah ibn Malkā al-Baghdādī (Arabic: أبو البركات هبة الله بن ملكا البغدادي; c. 1080 – 1164 or 1165 CE) was an Islamic philosopher and physician of Jewish descent from Baghdad, Iraq. Abu'l-Barakāt, an older contemporary of Maimonides, was originally known by his Hebrew birth name Baruch ben Malka and was given the name of Nathanel by his pupil Isaac ben Ezra before his conversion from Judaism to Islam towards the end of his life.
His writings include the anti-Aristotelian philosophical work Kitāb al-Muʿtabar ("The Book of What Has Been Established by Personal Reflection"); a philosophical commentary on the Kohelet; and the treatise "On the Reason Why the Stars Are Visible at Night and Hidden in Daytime". Abu'l-Barakāt was an Aristotelian philosopher who in many respects followed Ibn Sina, but also developed his own ideas. He proposed an explanation of the acceleration of falling bodies by the accumulation of successive increments of power with successive increments of velocity.
His thought influenced the Illuminationist school of classical Islamic philosophy, the medieval Jewish philosopher Ibn Kammuna, and the medieval Christian philosophers Jean Buridan and Albert of Saxony.
Abu'l-Barakāt Hibat Allah ibn Malkā al-Baghdādī
(Unique One of his Time)
|Born||c. 1080 CE|
Balad (near Mosul, present-day Iraq)
|Died||1164 or 1165 CE|
Baghdad, present-day Iraq
|Era||Islamic Golden Age|
|Main interest(s)||Islamic philosophy, medicine|
|Notable idea(s)||Physics of motion, concept of time|
Abu'l-Barakāt, famed as Awḥad al-Zamān (Unique One of his Time), was born in Balad, a town on the Tigris above Mosul in modern-day Iraq. As a renowned physician, he served at the courts of the caliphs of Baghdad and the Seljuk sultans.
He converted to Islam in old age. Abu'l Barakat does not refer to his conversion in his writings, and the historical sources give contradictory episodes of his conversion. According to the various reports, he converted either out of "wounded pride", fear of the personal consequences of the death of Sultan Mahmud's wife while under his care as a physician or fear of execution when he was taken prisoner in a battle between the armies of the caliph and that of the sultan. Ayala Eliyahu argues that the conversion was "probably motivated by convenience reasons".
Isaac, the son of the Abraham Ibn Ezra and the son-in-law of Judah Halevi, was one of his pupils, to whom Abu'l-Barakāt, Jewish at the time, dictated a long philosophical commentary on Ecclesiastes, written in Arabic using Hebrew aleph bet. Isaac wrote a poem in his honour as introduction to this work.
"Because of the frequency of the experience, these judgements may be regarded as certain, even without our knowing the reason [for the phenomenon]. For there is certain knowledge that the effect in question is not due to chance. It must accordingly be supposed that it is due to nature or to some modality thereof. Thus the cause qua cause, though not its species or mode of operation, is known. For experimental science is also constituted by a knowledge of the cause and by an induction based on all the data of sensation; whereby a general science is reached. ... But in the cases in which an experiment has not been completed, because of its not having been repeated in such a way that the persons, the time and the circumstances varied in everything that did not cause the determining cause, whereas this cause [remained invariable], the experiment does not prove certain knowledge, but only probably opinion."
the oldest negation of Aristotle's fundamental dynamic law [namely, that a constant force produces a uniform motion], [and is thus an] anticipation in a vague fashion of the fundamental law of classical mechanics [namely, that a force applied continuously produces acceleration].
Al-Baghdaadi's theory of motion distinguished between velocity and acceleration and showed that force is proportional to acceleration rather than velocity. The 14th-century philosophers Jean Buridan and Albert of Saxony later refer to Abu'l-Barakat in explaining that the acceleration of a falling body is a result of its increasing impetus. Abu'l-Barakat also modified Ibn Sina's theory of projectile motion, and stated that the mover imparts a violent inclination (mayl qasri) on the moved and that this diminishes as the moving object distances itself from the mover.
Al-Baghdaadi also suggested that motion is relative, writing that "there is motion only if the relative positions of the bodies in question change." He also stated that "each type of body has a characteristic velocity that reaches its maximum when its motion encounters no resistance."
Al-Baghdaadi criticized Aristotle's concept of time as "the measure of motion" and instead redefines the concept with his own definition of time as "the measure of being", thus distinguishing between space and time, and reclassifying time as a metaphysical concept rather than a physical one. The scholar Y. Tzvi Langermann writes:
Dissatisfied with the regnant approach, which treated time as an accident of the cosmos, al-Baghdadi drew the conclusion that time is an entity whose conception (ma'qul al-zaman) is a priori and almost as general as that of being, encompassing the sensible and the non-sensible, that which moves and that which is at rest. Our idea of time results not from abstraction, stripping accidents from perceived objects, but from a mental representation based on an innate idea. Al-Baghdadi stops short of offering a precise definition of time, stating only that 'were it to be said that time is the measure of being (miqdar al-wujud), that would be better than saying [as Aristotle does] that it is the measure of motion'. His reclassification of time as a subject for metaphysics rather than for physics represents a major conceptual shift, not a mere formalistic correction. It also breaks the traditional linkage between time and space. Concerning space, al-Baghdadi held unconventional views as well, but he did not remove its investigation from the domain of physics.
In his view, there is just one time which is similar for all beings, including God. Abu'l-Barakāt also regarded space as three-dimensional and infinite.
He upheld the unity of the soul, denying that there is a distinction between it and the intellect. For him, the soul's awareness of itself is the definitive proof that the soul is independent of the body and will not perish with it. On his contributions to Islamic psychology, Langermann writes:
Al-Baghdadi's most significant departure in psychology concerns human self-awareness. Ibn Sina had raised the issue of our consciousness of our own psychic activities, but he had not fully pursued the implications for Aristotelian psychology of his approach. Al-Baghdadi took the matter much further, dispensing with the traditional psychological faculties and pressing his investigations in the direction of what we would call the unconscious.
He wrote a critique of Aristotelian philosophy and Aristotelian physics entitled Kitab al-Mu'tabar (the title may be translated as "The Book of What Has Been Established by Personal Reflection"). According to Abu'l-Barakāt, Kitāb al-Muʿtabar consists in the main of critical remarks jotted down by him over the years while reading philosophical text, and published at the insistence of his friends, in the form of a philosophical work. The work "presented a serious philosophical alternative to, and criticism of, Ibn Sina". He also developed concepts which resemble several modern theories in physics.
All that we possess in the way of medical writing by Abu'l-Barakāt are a few prescriptions for remedies. These remain in manuscript and are as yet unstudied.
Abu'l-Barakāt's thought had a deep influence on Islamic philosophy but none on Jewish thought. His works were not translated into Hebrew, and he is seldom cited in Jewish philosophy, probably because of his conversion to Islam.
The famous theologian and philosopher Fakhr al-Din al-Razi was one of Abu'l-Barakāt's eminent disciples. The influence of Al-Baghdadi's views appears especially in Al-Razi's chief work Al-Mabāḥith al-Mashriqiyyah (Oriental Discourses). Abu'l-Barakāt influenced certain conceptions of Suhrawardi.
Muhadhdhabuddin Abd al-Rahim bin Ali bin Hamid al-Dimashqi (Arabic: مهذب الدين عبد الرحيم بن علي بن حامد الدمشقي) known as al-Dakhwar (Arabic: الدخوار) (1170–1230) was a leading Arab physician in the 13th century where he served various rulers of the Ayyubid dynasty. He was also administratively responsible for medicine in Cairo and Damascus. Al-Dakhwar educated or influenced most of the prominent physicians of Egypt and Syria in the century, including writer Ibn Abi Usaibia and Ibn al-Nafis, the discoverer of blood circulation in the human body.Albert of Saxony (philosopher)
Albert of Saxony (Latin: Albertus de Saxonia; c. 1320 – 8 July 1390) was a German philosopher known for his contributions to logic and physics. He was bishop of Halberstadt from 1366 until his death.Aristotelian physics
Aristotelian physics is a form of natural science described in the works of the Greek philosopher Aristotle (384–322 BCE). In his work Physics, Aristotle intended to establish general principles of change that govern all natural bodies, both living and inanimate, celestial and terrestrial – including all motion (change with respect to place), quantitative change (change with respect to size or number), qualitative change, and substantial change ("coming to be" (coming into existence, "generation") or "passing away" (no longer existing, "corruption")).
To Aristotle, "physics" was a broad field that included subjects such as the philosophy of mind, sensory experience, memory, anatomy and biology. It constitutes the foundation of the thought underlying many of his works.Avicennism
Avicennism is a school in Islamic philosophy which was established by Avicenna. He developed his philosophy throughout the course of his life after being deeply moved and concerned by the Metaphysics of Aristotle and studying it for over a year. According to Henry Corbin and Seyyed Hossein Nasr, there are two kind of Avicennism: Islamic or Iranian Avicennism, and Latin Avicennism. According to Nasr, the Latin Avicennism was based on the former philosophical works of Avicenna. This school followed the Peripatetic school of philosophy and tried to describe the structure of reality with a rational system of thinking. In the twelfth century AD, It became influential in Europe, particularly in Oxford and Paris, and affected some notable philosophers such as Thomas Aquinas, Roger Bacon and Duns Scotus. While the Latin Avicennism was weak in comparison with Latin Averroism, according to Étienne Gilson there was a "Avicennising Augustinism". On the other hand, Islamic Avicennism is based on his later works which is known as "The oriental philosophy" (حکمت المشرقیین). Therefore, philosophy in the eastern Islamic civilization providing became close to gnosis and tried to provide a vision of a spiritual universe. This approach paved the road for the Iranian school of Illuminationism (حکمت الاشراق) by Suhrawardi.Henry Corbin referred to divergences between Iranian Avicennism and Latin Avicennism. Besides he showed that we can see three different schools in Avicennism, which he called Avicennising Augustinism, Latin Avicennism and Iranian Avicennism.Ephraim ibn al-Za'faran
Ephraim ibn al-Za'faran was a Jewish physician who lived in Cairo in the eleventh century. He was renowned for his extensive library of medical and other scientific texts, and at some point was appointed court physician for the Fatimid Caliph Ma'ad al-Mustansir. Ephraim died around 1068 CE.Fakhr al-Din al-Razi
Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī or Fakhruddin Razi (Persian: فخر الدين رازي) was an Iranian Sunni Muslim theologian and philosopher He was born in 1149 in Rey (in modern-day Iran), and died in 1209 in Herat (in modern-day Afghanistan). He also wrote on medicine, physics, astronomy, literature, history and law.
He left a very rich corpus of philosophical and theological works that reveals influence from the works of Ibn Sīnā, Abu'l-Barakāt al-Baghdādī and al-Ghazali. Two of his works titled Mabāhith al-mashriqiyya fī ‘ilm al-ilāhiyyāt wa-'l-tabi‘iyyāt (Eastern Studies in Metaphysics and Physics) and al-Matālib al-‘Aliya (The Higher Issues) are usually regarded as his most important philosophical works.Hacı Bayram-ı Veli
Hacı Bayram-ı Veli or Haji Bayram Wali (Arabic: الحاج بيرم ولي) (1352–1430) was a Turkish poet, a Sufi, and the founder of the Bayrami Sufi order. He also composed a number of hymns.Ibn Arabi
Ibn ʿArabi (Arabic: إبن عربـي) (26 July 1165 – 16 November 1240), full name Abū ʿAbd Allāh Muḥammad ibn ʿAlī ibn Muḥammad ibnʿArabī al-Ḥātimī aṭ-Ṭāʾī (Arabic: أبو عبد الله محـمـد بن علي بن محمـد إبن عربـي الحاتمي الطائي), was an Arab Andalusian Muslim scholar, mystic, poet, and philosopher, whose works have grown to be very influential beyond the Muslim world. Of the over 800 works which are attributed to him, 100 survive in the original manuscript. His cosmological teachings became the dominant worldview in many parts of the Islamic world.Index of physics articles (A)
The index of physics articles is split into multiple pages due to its size.
To navigate by individual letter use the table of contents below.Islamic philosophy
Two terms traditionally used in the Islamic world are sometimes translated as philosophy—falsafa (literally: "philosophy"), which refers to philosophy as well as logic, mathematics, and physics; and Kalam (literally "speech"), which refers to a rationalist form of Islamic theology.
Early Islamic philosophy began with al-Kindi in the 2nd century of the Islamic calendar (early 9th century CE) and ended with Averroes (Ibn Rushd) in the 6th century AH (late 12th century CE), broadly coinciding with the period known as the Golden Age of Islam. The death of Averroes effectively marked the end of a particular discipline of Islamic philosophy usually called the Peripatetic Arabic School, and philosophical activity declined significantly in Western Islamic countries such as Islamic Iberia and North Africa.
Islamic philosophy persisted for much longer in Muslim Eastern countries, in particular Safavid Persia, Ottoman and Mughal Empires, where several schools of philosophy continued to flourish: Avicennism, Averroism, Illuminationist philosophy, Mystical philosophy, Transcendent theosophy, and Isfahan philosophy. Ibn Khaldun, in his Muqaddimah, made important contributions to the philosophy of history. Interest in Islamic philosophy revived during the Nahda ("Awakening") movement in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and continues to the present day.
Islamic philosophy had a major impact in Christian Europe, where translation of Arabic philosophical texts into Latin "led to the transformation of almost all philosophical disciplines in the medieval Latin world", with a particularly strong influence of Muslim philosophers being felt in natural philosophy, psychology and metaphysics.Jewish philosophy
Jewish philosophy (Hebrew: פילוסופיה יהודית) includes all philosophy carried out by Jews, or in relation to the religion of Judaism. Until modern Haskalah (Jewish Enlightenment) and Jewish emancipation, Jewish philosophy was preoccupied with attempts to reconcile coherent new ideas into the tradition of Rabbinic Judaism, thus organizing emergent ideas that are not necessarily Jewish into a uniquely Jewish scholastic framework and world-view. With their acceptance into modern society, Jews with secular educations embraced or developed entirely new philosophies to meet the demands of the world in which they now found themselves.
Medieval re-discovery of ancient Greek philosophy among the Geonim of 10th century Babylonian academies brought rationalist philosophy into Biblical-Talmudic Judaism. The philosophy was generally in competition with Kabbalah. Both schools would become part of classic Rabbinic literature, though the decline of scholastic rationalism coincided with historical events which drew Jews to the Kabbalistic approach. For Ashkenazi Jews, emancipation and encounter with secular thought from the 18th century onwards altered how philosophy was viewed. Ashkenazi and Sephardi communities had later more ambivalent interaction with secular culture than in Western Europe. In the varied responses to modernity, Jewish philosophical ideas were developed across the range of emerging religious movements. These developments could be seen as either continuations of or breaks from the canon of Rabbinic philosophy of the Middle Ages, as well as the other historical dialectic aspects of Jewish thought, and resulted in diverse contemporary Jewish attitudes to philosophical methods.List of Iraqis
This list of Iraqis includes people who were born in Iraq and people who are of Iraqi ancestry, who are significantly notable for their life and/or work.Mahmud Hudayi
Aziz Mahmud Hudayi (1541–1628), (b. Şereflikoçhisar, d. Üsküdar), is amongst the most famous sufi ermiş (Muslim saint) of the Ottoman Empire. He was a mystic, poet, composer, author, statesman and Islamic scholar.Physics in the medieval Islamic world
The natural sciences saw various advancements during the Golden Age of Islam (from roughly the mid 8th to the mid 13th centuries), adding a number of innovations to the Transmission of the Classics (such as Aristotle, Ptolemy, Euclid, Neoplatonism).
During this period, Islamic theology was encouraging of thinkers to find knowledge, . Thinkers from this period included Al-Farabi, Abu Bishr Matta, Ibn Sina, al-Hassan Ibn al-Haytham and Ibn Bajjah.
These works and the important commentaries on them were the wellspring of science during the medieval period. They were translated into Arabic, the lingua franca of this period.
Islamic scholarship had inherited Aristotelian physics from the Greeks and during the Islamic Golden Age developed it further. However the Islamic world had a greater respect for knowledge gained from empirical observation, and believed that the universe is governed by a single set of laws. Their use of empirical observation led to the formation of crude forms of the scientific method.
The study of physics in the Islamic world started in Iraq and Egypt.
Fields of physics studied in this period include optics, mechanics (including statics, dynamics, kinematics and motion), and astronomy.Science in the medieval Islamic world
Science in the medieval Islamic world was the science developed and practised during the Islamic Golden Age under the Umayyads of Córdoba, the Abbadids of Seville, the Samanids, the Ziyarids, the Buyids in Persia, the Abbasid Caliphate and beyond, spanning the period c. 800 to 1250. Islamic scientific achievements encompassed a wide range of subject areas, especially astronomy, mathematics, and medicine. Other subjects of scientific inquiry included alchemy and chemistry, botany, geography and cartography, ophthalmology, pharmacology, physics, and zoology.
Medieval Islamic science had practical purposes as well as the goal of understanding. For example, astronomy was useful for determining the Qibla, the direction in which to pray, botany had practical application in agriculture, as in the works of Ibn Bassal and Ibn al-'Awwam, and geography enabled Abu Zayd al-Balkhi to make accurate maps. Islamic mathematicians such as al-Khwarizmi, Avicenna and Jamshīd al-Kāshī developed methods in algebra, geometry and trigonometry. Islamic doctors described diseases like smallpox and measles and challenged classical Greek medical theory. Al-Biruni, Avicenna and others described the preparation of hundreds of drugs made from medicinal plants and chemical compounds. Islamic physicists studied optics and mechanics (as well as astronomy) and criticised Aristotle's view of motion.
The significance of medieval Islamic science has been debated by historians. The traditionalist view holds that it lacked innovation, and was mainly important for handing on ancient knowledge to medieval Europe. The revisionist view holds that it constituted a scientific revolution. Whatever the case, science flourished across a wide area around the Mediterranean and further afield, for several centuries, in a wide range of institutions.Shams Tabrizi
Shams-i-Tabrīzī (Persian: شمس تبریزی) or Shams al-Din Mohammad (1185–1248) was a Persian Muslim, who is credited as the spiritual instructor of Mewlānā Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Balkhi, also known as Rumi and is referenced with great reverence in Rumi’s poetic collection, in particular Diwan-i Shams-i Tabrīzī (The Works of Shams of Tabriz). Tradition holds that Shams taught Rumi in seclusion in Konya for a period of forty days, before fleeing for Damascus. The tomb of Shams-i Tabrīzī was recently nominated to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site.Sharaf al-Zaman al-Marwazi
Sharaf al-Zamān Ṭāhir al-Marwazī or Marvazī (Arabic: شرف الزمان طاهر المروزي; fl. 1056/57–1124/25 CE) was a physician and author of Nature of Animals (كتاب طبائع الحيوان البحري والبري Kitāb Ṭabāʾiʿ al-Ḥayawān al-Baḥrī wa-al-Barrī).
He was a native of Merv, Khurasan, Persia.Yunus Emre
Yunus Emre (Turkish pronunciation: [juˈnus emˈɾe]) (1238–1320) was a Turkish poet and Sufi mystic who greatly influenced Anatolian culture. His name, Yunus, is equivalent to the English name Jonas. He wrote in the Old Anatolian Turkish language, an early stage of modern Turkish. The UNESCO General Conference unanimously passed a resolution declaring 1991, the 750th anniversary of the poet's birth, "The International Yunus Emre Year".
See also Renaissance philosophy