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Avicenna's Allegory on the Soul: An Ismaili Interpretation

Avicenna's Allegory on the Soul: An Ismaili Interpretation

Edited by: Toby Mayer, Wilferd Madelung | Translated by: Toby Mayer, Toby Mayer

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The Persian philosopher Ibn Sina (d. 1037), known in Europe as Avicenna, was arguably the greatest master of Aristotelian thought in the Muslim world. The symbolical Poem on the Soul (Qasidat al-nafs), which portrays all earthly human souls as in temporary exile from heaven, is traditionally attributed to Avicenna, and was received with enthusiasm by its commentators. A highly significant commentary on the Qasida was written by ?Ali b. Muhammad b. al-Walid (d. 1215 CE), a major early representative of the Tayyibi Ismaili tradition, which emerged and flourished in medieval Yemen. In his view, the poem encapsulated Tayyibi beliefs, whose doctrines bear striking parallels with late antique Gnosticism. Avicenna s Allegory on the Soul presents the first edition of the Arabic text of Ibn al-Walid s commentary, The Useful Epistle (al-Risala al-mufida), alongside an English translation and extended introduction. It offers invaluable insight into the intricacies of Muslim thought and a deeper understanding of Avicenna s substantial intellectual legacy."

Author Info

Professor Wilferd Madelung is a leading contemporary Islamicist, who has made significant contributions to scholarship on medieval Islamic communities and movements, including those of the Twelver, Ismaili and Zaydi Shi is. He was previously the Laudian Professor of Arabic at the University of Oxford. He is currently a Senior Research Fellow at The Institute of Ismaili Studies."

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd.
Series: Ismaili Texts and Translations

ISBN: 9781784530884
Publication Date: 30 Oct 2015
Number of Pages: 192
Height: 216
Width: 138

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