A Brief Biography of Some Muslim Scholars

Al-Farabi

Farabi (Al-Fārābī) (259-339 H.G) was born in the village “Vasij” near of Farab. Farabi is a great philosopher and founder of Islamic philosophy. He spent many years in Baghdad in which he wrote most of his books (Seyyed Arab, 2007). His works in his life have been mentioned about 400 (Reshnou zadeh, 2007).

He went to court of Seyfoddowleh Hamdani by his invitation and spent some time in Halab, and also traveled to Syria and Egypt. He passed away in Damascus (Seyyed Arab, 2007 & Husayni Dashti, 1997). In addition to intellectual aspect and knowledge Abunasr Farabi was morally higher than many other philosophers. He was a contented person and was accustomed and attached to solitude.

He was a man of charitable donation and almsgiving. He believed that the greatness and happiness of a philosopher was in forsaking of the world (worldly matters) and the happiness of the soul in forsaking worldly interests and seclusion.

Farabi considered morality as the result of knowledge and as the introduction of happiness, and considered no greatness, esteem and perfection for a scholar who had no morality. All happiness is obtained through morality virtues, and one whose knowledge has not been cause of moral refinement, is not happy or lucky. Farabi was not much interested in fame, and preferred truth to all other things (Dehkhoda, 1998).

Farabi first started to study and investigate Aristotle’s books. He summarized and improved Aristotle’s philosophy in such a manner that all people confessed his virtue, and so he made clear the errors of the translators of Aristotle’s works. That was the reason why he was called “the Second Teacher” (Aristotle was called the First Teacher) (Husayni Dashti, 1997). Islamic Neo- Platonist, philosopher of language, culture, and society, called ‘the Second Teacher’ for his achievements in logic. Of Turkish origin, al-Farabi studied under Christian thinkers. He settled in Baghdad, traveled in Byzantium, and died in Damascus.

His Arabic commentary on Aristotle’s Deinter- pretention argues that divine omniscience does not imply determinism, since the necessary implication of a fact by the corresponding knowledge is not transferred to the fact itself. This division of intrinsic from relational (hypothetical) necessity undergirds Avicenna’s essence existence distinction and his central claim that nature is contingent in itself, although necessary in relation to its causes.

Al-Farabi found the logic of Koranic promises and threats by seeing prophets in the role Plato had assigned to poets: naturalizing higher truths imagery and legislation. (Honderich, 2005)

Al-Fārābī is also called Abunaser, in Latin, Alpharabius (870- 950), studied and taught in Baghdad when it was the cultural capital of the Islamic world, responsive to the philosophical and scientific legacy of late antiquity. Al-Fārābī was highly instrumental in effecting a transition of Greek philosophy, last publicly known in its entirety in sixth-century Alexandria, into Islamic culture.

Despite ongoing opposition because of philosophy’s identification with pagan and Christian authors, al-Fārābī succeeded in naturalizing Western philosophy in the Islamic world, where it retained vitality for the next three hundred years. Al-Fārābī because known as “the second teacher,” after Aristotle the main source of philosophical information.

His summaries and interpretations of the teachings of Aristotle and Plato were widely read, and his attempt as synthesizing their views was very influential. Believing in the universal nature of truth and holding Plato and Aristotle in the highest esteem, he minimized their differences and adapted Neoplatonic teachings that incorporated elements of both traditions.

Unlike the first philosopher of the Islamic world, the ninth-century al-Kindī, al-Fārābī was in possession of full Arabic translations of many of the most important texts of classical times and of some major Hellenistic commentaries on them.

His own commentaries and digests of the works of Plato and Aristotle made them more accessible to later generations of scholars, even as his relatively independent treatises established a high standard of logical rigor and subtlety for later Muslim and Jewish philosophers.

Avicenna found his Metaphysics commentary indispensable for understanding Aristotle’s text, while Maimonides recommended all his writings, calling them “pure flour.” Medieval Scholastic thought, however, was more interested in Averroes and Avicenna than in al-Fārābī. Contemporary scholars such as Leo Strauss and Mushin Mahdi have emphasized the esoteric nature of al-Fārābī’s writings, seen as critical for understanding much of medieval Islamic and Jewish philosophy.

Al-Fārābī’s main interests lay in logic and political theory. He understood that the Organon was just that, a universal instrument for understanding and improving reasoning and logical discourse. Against the traditional grammarians of Islam, he argued for the value-free and neutral nature of Greek of logic, while against the theologians of Islam, the motakallimun, he emphasized the difference between their dialectical type of discourse and the preferred demonstrative syllogism of the philosophers.

Much of the responsibility for the separation between Islamic theology and philosophy may be attributed to al-Fārābī, who avoided engaging religious dogmas and specifically Muslim beliefs as much as possible.

He was able to accommodate belief in prophecy and revelation to a general theory of emanation, though he made no special claims for the prophet of Islam. His general view of Religion was that it was a popular and symbolic representation of philosophical ideas, often designed by philosophers.

The influence of Plato’s Republic in this and other areas of political philosophy is evident, though al-Fārābī’s Principles of the Views of the Citizens of the Best State manages to give an Islamic coloration to Platonic teachings. Al-Fārābī’s metaphysical beliefs are more problematical still, and he was reputed to have disowned his earlier belief in the immortality of the soul. (Audi, 2001)

He wrote extensively on logic, and expanded Aristotle’s description of the intellect. He also exhibits the influence of Neo-Platonism: creation is an emanation and it as the images of the world soul or animamundi that become bodies in space. His work The Virtuous City is a version of Plato’s Republic, a description of the ideal civic society in which all the virtues flourish. (Blackburn, 2005)

Avicenna (Ibn Sina)

Avicenna (Ibn Sina) (980-1037), Persian (Iranian) philosopher and Physician, regarded as the greatest of the medieval Islamic philosophers, served as court physician for the Sultan of Bukhara. He was deeply influenced by Aristotle and still maintained a Muslim faith. He is best known for his distinction between essence and existence, in which the essences of existing thing must be explained by their existing cause(s), whose reality is higher than the sophical and theological perspective. (Pojman, 2003)

Avicenna as a Persian philosopher, scientist, and physician, widely called ‘The Supreme Master’; held an unsurpassed position in Islamic philosophy. His works, including the Canon of Medicine, are cited throughout most Medieval Latin philosophical and medical texts. The subject of more commentaries, glosses, and super glosses than any other Islamic philosopher, they have inspired generations of thinkers, including Persian poets.

His philosophical works --- especially Healing: Directives and Remarks and Deliverance --- define Islamic Peripatetic philosophy, one of the three dominant schools of Islamic philosophy. His contributions to science and philosophy are extraordinary in scope. He is thought to be the first logician to clearly define temporal modalities in prepositions, to diagnose and identify many diseases, and to identify specific number of pulse beats in diagnosis. (Honderich, 2005)

His autobiography describes him as an intuitive student of philosophy and other Greek Sciences who could not see the point of Aristotle’s Metaphysics, until he read a tiny essay by al-Farabi (870-950), who showed him what it means to seek the nature of being as such. It was in metaphysics that Avicenna made his greatest contributions to philosophy, brilliantly synthesizing the rival approaches of the Aristotelian-Neo-Platonism tradition with the creationist monotheism of Islamic dialectical theology (kalām).

Where Aristotle sought and found being in its fullest sense in what was changeless in its nature (above all, in the cosmos as a whole), kalām understood being as the immediately given, allowing no inference beyond a single contingent datum to any necessary properties, correlatives, continuators, or successor. The result was a stringent atomist occasionalism resting ultimately on an early version of logical atomism.

Avicenna preserved an Aristotelian naturalism alongside the Scriptural idea of the contingency of the world by arguing that any finite being is contingent in itself but necessary in relation to its causes. He adapted al-Farabi’s Neopolatonic emanationism to this schematization and naturalized in philosophy his own distinctive version of the kalām argument from contingency: any being must be either necessary Being, which is therefore simple, the ultimate cause of all other things.

Avicenna found refuge at the court of one ‘Alāal-Dawla, who bravely resisted the military pressures of Mahmūd against his lands around Isfahan and made the philosopher and savant his vizier. Here Avicenna completed his famous philosophic work the Shifā’ (known in Latin as the Sufficientia) and his Qānūn fi Tibb, the Galenic Canon, which remained in use as a medical textbook until finally brought down by the weight of criticisms during the Renaissance.

Avicenna’s philosophy was the central target of the polemical critique of the Muslim theologian al-Ghazālī (1058-111) in his Incoherence of the philosophers, mainly on the ground that the philosopher’s retention of the Aristotelian doctrine of the eternity of the world was inconsistent with his claim that God was the author of the world.

Avicenna’s related affirmations of the necessity of causation and universality of God’s knowledge, al-Ghazālī argued, made miracles impossible and divine governance too impersonal to deserve the name. Yet Avicenna’s philosophic works (numbering over a hundred in their Arabic and sometimes Persian originals) continued to exercise a major influence on Muslim and Jewish philosophers and (through Latin translations) on philosophers in the West. (Audi, 2001)

One of his arguments concerning the nature of the soul postulates a full-grown man suddenly coming into existence although suspended in empty space, with eyes covered and limbs separated. This ‘flying man’ would have no sensation, but nevertheless be aware of his being and his self. The argument anticipates the cogito of Descartes.

Avicenna believed that being was an accident of essence, and that contingent beings require necessary causes sustaining their existence. This version of the cosmological argument was the accepted by Aquinas. It is in the theological substances as kinds of intelligence, that Neo-Platonism Surfaces in his work. (Blackburn, 2005)

Avicenna was born in the year 980 of the Christian era or in Mohammedan reckoning the years 370. On 13 October 1950, the Mohammedan year 1370 began; it will end on I October, 1951.

Therefore we are met together during the one thousandth anniversary of the birth of Avicenna, Mohammedan reckoning and that is in fact the occasion for these lectures, which thus form part of the celebration taking place all over the world, to commemorate the greatness of one of the outstanding philosophers and scientists of all times. (Wickens, 1952)

Al-Ghazali

Persian Abu Hamid Muhammad Ghazali (Alghazal in Latin texts) (1058- 1111) was the most influential Ash’arite theologian of his time. His role as head of the state-endowed Nizamiyya Madrasa, his monumental work Revival of Religious Sciences, and his time. His role as head of the state-endowed Nizamiyya Madrasa, his monumental work Revival of Religious Sciences, and his autobiographical account Deliverance from Error (often compared to Augustine’s Confessions) furthered the triumph of revelation over reason.

His specifically anti- philosophical works, Intentions of the philosophers and Incoherence of the philosophers, called on theologians to use philosophical technique to oppose ‘heretic’ arguments. However, the effects on philosophy proved positive. The study of logic gained widespread theological acceptance. The identification of twenty philosophical problems argued to be false (including eternity, immorality, and rational causality) was brilliantly rebutted by Averroës, thus leading to refinement of Aristotelian arguments, and Sohhravardī’s philosophy (Honderich, 2005).

Ghazali was on Islamic philosopher, theologian, jurist, and mystic. He was born in Khurasan and educated in Nishapur, then an intellectual center of eastern Islam. He was appointed the head of a seminary, the newly founded Nizamiyah of Baghdad, in which he taught law and theology with great success. Yet his exposure to logic and philosophy led him to seek a certainty in knowledge beyond that assumed by his profession.

At first he attempted to address his problem academically, but after five years in Baghdad he resigned, left his family, and embarked on the mystic’s solitary quest for al-Haqq (Arabic for ‘the true One’).

As a Sufi, he wandered for ten years through many of Islam’s major cities and centers of learning finally returning to Nishapur and to teaching theology before his death. Al-Ghazali’s literary and intellectual legacy is particularly of his work and the esteem in which he is held within Islam he may be compared to Aquinas and Maimonides in the Christian and Jewish traditions respectively.

His Revivification of the Religious Sciences is considered to this day a major theological compendium. His mystical treatises also have retained their popularity, The Deliverance from Error. This book chronicles his lifelong quest for truth and certainty, and his disappointment with the premises of dogmatic theology, both orthodox Sunni and heterodox Shiite thought, as well as with the teachings of the philosophers. The light of truth came to him, he believed, only through divine grace; he considered his senses and reasoning powers all susceptible to error. (Audi, 2001)

Al-Tusi

Khajeh Naseeroddin Tusi was from the great scholars of mathematics, astrology and wisdom in Iran in the seventh century (Hejri). He was also of the ministers of that time and he was also one of the great jurisprudents of Shiite in the religion of Islam. Khajeh has written numerous books regarding different sciences (Moin, 1992).

Khajeh Naseer Tusi has also very valuable works in ethics and education (Beheshti, Abuja’afari & Faqihi, 2000, P. 113). He was born at 597 (H. G.) [in Tus, or in Jahrud of Qom] and died at 672(H.G.) [in Baghded] (Modarresi, 2000). Khajeh Naseer spent his childhood with those ones, according to him, who were pious and religious, and who were aware of some sciences, occupations and crafts.

His father was an experienced person, and always encouraged him to learning different techniques and sciences, and listening to the speech of the aware persons in religiosity. Naseeroddin emigrated from Tus to Neishabur and some other cities to complete his education. Two of his important activities were making the very great observatory of Maragheh, and establishment of a very great library in Maragheh which had 400 thousands books.

He planned that the thinkers could continue and extend their researches, and keep the great heritage of Islam. Tusi wrote about 274 books. Most of his writings are concerning philosophy, theosophy, mathematics, astrology, and ethics. His writings can be classified under the following ten titles: mathematics, ethics, interpretation, religious jurisprudence, history, geography, medicine, logics, theosophy, and philosophy (Beheshti, Abuja’afari & Faqihi, 2000, PP. 113-121).

In spite of this fact that khajeh Naseer Tusi was making much effort to promote his own religion and belief (Shiite, Islam), was very kind to other religious groups of Islam, and respected scholars from each class or religion and refrained from rigid religious intolerance and dogmatism. That’s the reason why some Christian orientalists and some of the Sunni scholars and all of Shiite scientists have described his spiritual greatness, religiosity, humbleness and good manners (Modarresi, 2000).

Al-Rumi

Jalāl al-Dīn Rūmī (Rumi, or Moulavi or Moulana), author of a vast collection of Persian odes and lyrics, of which a selection is here offered in translation, was born in A.D. 1207 at Balkh, which now lies within the frontiers of Afghanistan, and died in 1273 at Konya, in Asiatic Turkey.

For an account of his Rūmī’s Fīhi mā fīhi, published by John Murray in 1961 under the title Discourses of Rumi; there is nothing I wish to add to what is written there, except by way of stressing the curios circumstances, which attended Rūmī’s transformation from sober theologian and preacher into ecstatic dancer and enraptured poet. Rūmī’s father, Bahā’ al-Dīn Valad, had attained eminence in religious circles in Khorasan before his headlong flight to Saljūg Turkey on the eve of the Mongol invasions; in Konya, where he died in 1230, he enjoyed royal patronage and popular esteem as preacher and teacher.

From 1240 to 1244, having completed his long formal education in 1244, when Rūmī was already thirty-seven years of age and seemingly set in his ways as a conventional mullah, a wandering dervish named Shams al-Dīn, a native of Tabriz apparently of artisan origin, suddenly arrived in the Saljūq capital and attracted attention by the wildness of his demeanor. (Arberry, 2002)

Al-Sadi

Sa’di’s full name is Mosharraf-edin bin Moslehedin- Abdullah, and he was born in Shiraz, a city in Iran, in 1184 and died there in 1291. He adopted the pen name of Sa’di in honor of his patron, Abu-Bakr Sa’di, a contemporary king of the Atabakan dynasty in Fars, another province of Iran. He lost his father at an early age, and came under the protection of this Atabak at his accession in 1195.

Sa’di’s life may be divided in to three periods:

The period of study, lasting until 1226 when he was sent to the famous Nezamieh College of Baghdad to study. There he was deeply influenced by the eminent Sufi, Suhravardi, as well as Idn-e-Jowzi, another great teacher, whose name appears in some of his poems.

The period of travel beginning in 1226 and lasting till 1256, during which he traveled widely to many parts of India, Yemen, Hejaz, Arabia, Syria, Abyssinia, North Africa and Asia Minor, and had many opportunities of mingling with peoples of those countries and gaining rich experiences which are reflected in all his works; (Pazargadi, 2000)

Sa’di of Shiraz, or Sheikh Moslehedin Abdullah Sa’di Shirazi, poet, writer and distinguished thinker of the 13th century A.D. (7th century A.H.) is one of the few men of letters of Iran who has acquired fame in not only in Persian-speaking regions, but whose renown has spread well beyond Iran, and has become known in the wider literary circles of the world, as a familiar and recognized literary figure.

Sa’di was born in Shiraz, according to himself “in a household, all the members of which, were theologians stepped in religious learning.” The first years of his childhood and early youth were spent in his own hometown where he got a grounding in the sciences and learning of his own times. He then moved on to Baghdad to continue his studies at the “Nizamieh” which was the University of his Day.

Over a period of twenty years, Sa’di pursued and completed his studies in theology and literature and then left on a long journey covering Iraq, the Hejaz and North Africa and, according to some sources, India, Asia Minor and Azerbaijan as well, It was during the course of these travels that, while adding to his valuable experiences, he came across personalities such as Mowlana Jalaludin Muhammad Moulavi, the great poet of Balkh, Sheikh Safiudin of Ardabil, Hamam Tabriz and Amir Khosro of Delhi. (Hakimi, 2005)

Hafez

Khajeh Shamseddin Muhammad Hafez Shirazi, the shining star of the rich Persian literature, was born in Shiraz in 726 AH. He presented his great Gnostic and poetic services to the Persian literature and Iranian culture during the 77 years of his prolific life.

Hafez created the best literary and Gnostic concepts in the form of eloquent and pithy lyrics. His concepts surpassed those of other contemporary philosophers, thinkers and scholars. His marvelous poems, not complying with the existing norms of his time, contributed a valuable and unique treasure to the Persian literature. He made excellent use of allusions, metaphors, parables and other figures of speech, never achieved before or after him.

Hafez is one of the rare poets capable of expressing the lover’s grief, the feeling of burning butterflies, a candle’s sigh and a nightingale’s love with great eloquence. He has preserved his words in an ocean of accessible and unique definitions and images, which are an honor for the Persian culture.

From His Large collection of poems, nearly 400 well-Known verses and lyrics has so far been rewritten and printed thousands of times and translated into tens of other languages. Hafez recited the Qur’an beautifully and cited Qur’anic passages by heart according to all the seven reliable related versions of pronunciations.

Hafez died in 803 AH. He buried adjacent to the public prayer ground in a suburb of Shiraz. His shrine is the place of pilgrimage for the yearning mystics, lovers of poetic perfection and the seekers of truth and humanism.

The poetic heritage of Hafez includes approximately 4000-5000 verses, 400-500 lyric-poems, several long elegies, short couplets and a few pieces of 9th century inscriptions.

His lyrics, attributed to divine grace and the complete messages of the great Qur’an, have always been held in great esteem by Persian speakers, enthusiasts and Muslims. People’s respect for this great poet is so great tat his Divan is found in almost every house.

Before beginning any new venture, or when hesitant about any particular decision, people consult his Divan to seek convincing answer, which they often find. (Salehpour, 2003)

It is a common knowledge that Khajeh Shams od-Din Muhammad was a gifted Persian poet who left a poetic legacy of approximately 5000 verses, 500 lyric poems, several long elegies, short couplets, and a number of 9-century inscriptions.

The whole legacy is considered as a heavenly vehicle that carries that carries the reader of his poems to the heavens, and introduces his soul to the most delicate human feelings. Some consider it as a unique treasure of the Persian literature. His unparalleled use of allusions, metaphors, parables, and other figures of speech was never achieved before or after him.

He acquired the surname Hafiz from having memorized the Qur’an at an early age. Later on, he could recite it according to all the reliable versions of pronunciation (7 versions and 14 versions, according to various sources). Despite his deep love for family life, he lived alone nearly half of his life, mainly because of personal and social complications:

Not, in all the cloisters of tile magi, is like me a distraught one (In) one place, the Khirka (my existence is) the pledge for wine; the book (the heart in) another place.
The heart, which is a riyal mirror, hath (by worldly affairs and by the dross of sin) a great dust, (the prohibitor of divine bounty); From God, I seek the society of one, luminous of opinion.
By the hand of idol, wine-selling, repentance I ‌have made;
That again wine I drink not without the face of a banquet-adorner.
If of the way of its (beauteous) eye, the narcissus boasted, grieve not (for, version, it hath not);
The mystery of this subtlety, perchance, the candle will bring to its tongue;
If not, for speech, the moth hath not (even) a little solicitude.
From my eye to the skirt, H have established streams (of tears), so that, perchance,
In my bosom, they may one, straight of stature.
The bark (shaped) cup, bring; for without the beloved’s face,
From the heart’s grief, very corner of the eye hath become a great Ocean (of tears).
To me, mistress-worshipping, speak not of aught beside;
For, beyond her and the cup of wine, for none is mine, (even) a little solicitude.
How pleasantly to me came this tale when in the morning time, side,
At the door of the wine-house, with drum and reed, a Christian: “If the being a Musulman be of this sort that Hafiz is,
“Alas. If, after to-day, be a to-morrow.”

His lyric poetry as acclaimed as the finest ever written in Persian. His lyric poems, especially his passionate lines as allegorical, while critics in the West inclined to construe them literally. He enlivened the conventional imagery of the ghazal, form love poetry in rhyming couplets, comparable to the sonnat. His poetry, in ghazal and in the other poetic forms of qasideh (long rhyming poem) mathnavi (couplets), and rubayyat (quatrains), survive in his Divan, a collection that prompted numerous commentaries.

After marriage, he became the father of a family with one son. However, his son died before reaching the age of twenty.

The event was followed by the death of his beloved wife, Shakh-e-Nabat, a woman of learning:

That friend, by whom our house the (happy) dwelling of the Pari was,
Head to foot, free from defect, a Pari was.
(My) heart said: “In hope of her in this city, I Will sojourn:”
Helpless, it knew not that its friend, a traveler was.

His Divan was so popular that nowadays it is used for bibliomancy: predictions are made from randomly selected verses. When Hafiz died, some tried to refrain from or prevent burial of body according to Islamic shari’at:

From the bier of Hafiz, keep not back thy foot:
For though he be immersed in sin, he goeth to paradise.

Goethe’s Westostlicher Diwan (1819) was inspired by Hafiz. Hafiz is buried in a splendid tomb to the north of Shiraz. (Clarck, 2002)

Ibn Khaldun

Ibn Khaldūn (Ibn Khaldun) (1332- 1406), was an Arab historian, scholar, and politician, the first thinker to articulate a comprehensive theory of historiography of history in his Muqad dime (final revision 1402), the introductory volume to his Universal History (Kitāb al-‘ibar, 1377-82). Born and raised in Tunis, he spent the politically active first part of his life in northwestern Africa and Muslim Spain. He moved to Cairo in 1382 to pursue a career as professor of Mālikī law and judge.

Ibn Khaldūn created in the ­Muqaddima (English translation by F.Rosenthal, 1967) what he called an “entirely original science.” He established a scientific methodology for historiography by providing a theory of the basic laws orating in history so that not only could the occurrences of the past be registered but also “the how and why of events” could be understood.

Historiography is based on the criticism of sources; the criteria to be used are inherent probability of the historical exports (khabar; plural: khbār)- to be judged on the basis of an understanding of significant political, economic, and cultural factors- and their conformity with reality and the nature of the historical process. The latter he analyzed as the cyclical (every three generations, c.120 years) rise and decline of human societies (‘umrān) insofar as they exhibit a political cohesiveness (‘asabīya) in accepting the authority of a dynastic head of state.

Ibn Khaldūn’s sources were the actual course of Islamic history and the injunctions about political and social behavior found in the Greek/ Persian/ Arab mirrors for princes and wisdom literature, welded together by an Aristotelian teleological realism/ empiricism; by contrast, he was critical of the metaphysical platonic utopias of thinkers like al-Fārābī.

His influence is to be felt in later Arab authors and in particular in Ottoman historiography. In the West, were he has been intensely studied since the eighteenth century, he has been variously seen as the founder of sociology, economic history, and other modern theories of state (Audi, 2001).

The Islamic historian is remembered in philosophy principally for a simple version of the cyclical view of history. He believed that in a period of about 120 years a people would pass thought the cycle of primitivism, nomadic life, and civilization, the last of which would fall as a new cycle commenced. He is regarded as the first (and still the greatest) historian of Arabic logic, possibly the most outstanding figure in the social sciences between Aristotle ad Machiavelli (Blackburn, 2005).

Ibn Khaldun was one of the most creative of Muslim statesmen and political thinkers, widely acclaimed by modern historians as the greatest philosopher- historian. In this major theoretical work, The Prolegomena, he introduced the notion of natural causality in history, in contrast to Islamic theology, and called for the definition and study of sociological and political processes (considered to be the principles of historical methodology) with the express investigative intention of recovering historical accuracy.

He defined and claimed to be the originator of a ‘science of culture’ (‘umrān) that would study cultures in multiple stages in their natural human, social, and political development. His methodology emphasizes the study of environmental impact on social organization and economic processes that define value, prosperity, and culture. (Honderich, 2005)

Muhammad Husayn Tabatabai

Muhammad Husayn Tabataba’i (1281- 1360 AH), after spending the elementary levels of Howzeh’s (Islamic Seminary’s) education, went to Najaf, and took different scholars` lessons, and after the attainment of Ijtihad returned to Tabriz and taught there for ten years, and then emigrated to Qom (Husayni Tehrani, 2002).

Tabataba’i was a great Islamic researcher who was involved in researching in different Islamic sciences. He also humiliated and lived an ascetic life for purification and adornment of the soul with admirable properties, trimmed away from vices (Sobhani; cited in Goli zavareh, 1996).

Tabataba’i’s manners, morality, thought, knowledge and mysticism were indicators of immaculate Imams of Islam’s morality and knowledge (Husayni Tehrani, 2004). He forgave individuals’ scientific errors and always kept scientific courtesy in correction and criticism of them. He was a very much humble person and too kind to his students and people. He had a very great power of creativity, and was insistent on being generous with his knowledge (Mokhtari, 1998).

Tabataba’i answered the questions of people and his students according to their power of understanding. He stated the scientific matters in short statements (Mokhtari, 1998).

Mortaza Mutahhari

Mortaza Mutahhari was born in 1919 in Fariman of Mashad in Iran. He had religious parents. He was intelligent from the very beginning of his childhood, and interested in reading books. Mutahhari learned the preliminaries of Islamic science from his father and then went to Mashad to continue his studies for two years. He returned to Fariman and studied his father’s books for two years. In 1936 he went to Qom and inhabited Feiziyyeh School –one of the greatest Islamic seminaries or howzehes in the world of Islam. He was the student of Tabataba’i.

He continued his Islamic studies with much enthusiasm and used from the teachings of greatest scholars of Islam. He started his scientific, cultural and propagandistic activities from the early years of his inhabitance in Qom. He traveled to Tehran in 1952, and started his teaching in seminaries (howzeh) and university of Tehran. He also continued his cultural, scientific and political activities there. He had many lectures and wrote many books. He martyred in 1979 (Nasri, 2003) in Tehran.