Mulla Sadra’s contribution to philosophy

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Pakistan
Saturday, 25 December 2010


mulla_sadraMulla Sadra’s most important contribution to philosophy is his synthesis of different strands of human ideas or knowledge and branches of philosophy and presenting it in a complete unified system of thought, known as his transcendent philosophy.

A leading Islamic scholar, Ayatollah Syed Aqeel ul Gharavi, said this while addressing a seminar on “Man and Transcendent Philosophy” at the Sheikh Zayed Islamic Institute, University of Karachi, on Friday
The main topic of Mr Gharavi’s discussion was Mulla Sadra’s theory of substantial motion. He said Mulla Sadra was the first philosopher who presented the idea of motion in substance.

“If we take just this single theory, it can be described as one of the greatest achievements of man, made in pursuit of truth,” he said.

This theory resolved many age-old problems of philosophy and it could still play a seminal role in settling modern physics problems as well, he added.

According to this theory, change occurs in substance itself. This was a revolutionary concept because the general belief among philosophers since Aristotle was contrary to this, Mr Gharavi said.

“Everything is in motion and undergoes a change,” Mr Gharavi said expounding Mulla Sadra’s theory.

He gave the example of a seed “which undergoes a change — from a seed into a plant and then into a fully-grown tree and then it gives fruit and the fruit itself undergoes a change as it gradually grows and becomes ripe — in this way this whole process provides an example of a substantial motion.” “And this whole process is guided by God,” he said.

Ahmed Javaid began his discourse in chaste Urdu by saying that the theme by its very nature was indeed difficult.

“Definition of transcendent philosophy and its comparison with other trends of reasoning” was his topic. He presented a comparative study of transcendent philosophy with epistemological, ontological and philosophic perspectives and positions taken by Muslim philosophers on these issues. He said that in al-hikmat al-muta’li (transcendent philosophy), al-muta’li was additional. He said “the objective of reasoning is to strike a balance between knowledge and existence”. He said only two men in the history of Muslim philosophy were able to shape and present a complete system of philosophy. They were Bu-Ali Sina and Mulla Sadra.

Mr Javaid criticised the difference between secular and religious education. He said: “All knowledge in itself is religious because it is about the work and creation of God.” Maulana S.A. Salman Naqavi of the Hikmah Foundation, Dr Zahid Ali Zahidi, S. Alam Shah, Dr Shakil Auj and Dr Mohammad Hasnain and others also spoke.

Islamic Learning Department’s chairperson Rehana Firdos delivered a vote of thanks.

"> . Eminent scholars Ahmed Javaid and the Ayatollah were two keynote speakers at the seminar organised by the Hikmah Foundation and the Islamic Learning Department, KU. The seminar was well-attended. Mr Gharavi said that Mulla Sadra (1571–1641), a Persian Islamic philosopher, theologian and thinker, was hugely popular and taught in seminaries and discussed in academic circles of the subcontinent until just half a century ago. However, he regretted that “now the great philosopher is hardly given the attention we ought to pay him”.

The main topic of Mr Gharavi’s discussion was Mulla Sadra’s theory of substantial motion. He said Mulla Sadra was the first philosopher who presented the idea of motion in substance.

“If we take just this single theory, it can be described as one of the greatest achievements of man, made in pursuit of truth,” he said.

This theory resolved many age-old problems of philosophy and it could still play a seminal role in settling modern physics problems as well, he added.

According to this theory, change occurs in substance itself. This was a revolutionary concept because the general belief among philosophers since Aristotle was contrary to this, Mr Gharavi said.

“Everything is in motion and undergoes a change,” Mr Gharavi said expounding Mulla Sadra’s theory.

He gave the example of a seed “which undergoes a change — from a seed into a plant and then into a fully-grown tree and then it gives fruit and the fruit itself undergoes a change as it gradually grows and becomes ripe — in this way this whole process provides an example of a substantial motion.” “And this whole process is guided by God,” he said.

Ahmed Javaid began his discourse in chaste Urdu by saying that the theme by its very nature was indeed difficult.

“Definition of transcendent philosophy and its comparison with other trends of reasoning” was his topic. He presented a comparative study of transcendent philosophy with epistemological, ontological and philosophic perspectives and positions taken by Muslim philosophers on these issues. He said that in al-hikmat al-muta’li (transcendent philosophy), al-muta’li was additional. He said “the objective of reasoning is to strike a balance between knowledge and existence”. He said only two men in the history of Muslim philosophy were able to shape and present a complete system of philosophy. They were Bu-Ali Sina and Mulla Sadra.

Mr Javaid criticised the difference between secular and religious education. He said: “All knowledge in itself is religious because it is about the work and creation of God.” Maulana S.A. Salman Naqavi of the Hikmah Foundation, Dr Zahid Ali Zahidi, S. Alam Shah, Dr Shakil Auj and Dr Mohammad Hasnain and others also spoke.

Islamic Learning Department’s chairperson Rehana Firdos delivered a vote of thanks.

Rating: 5 Read 1300 times Last modified on Monday, 27 December 2010

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