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The evolution of the concept of spiritual/religious wisdom (ḥikamt) by the Iranian Muslim philosophers from the 10th to 12th century, may be studied under three main trends namely Mashā’i (Peripatetic), Kalām (theology), and Ishrāq (Illumination). Despite the correlation among these trends each of them grew independently. Among the three, the Hikmat-i Ishrāq (Illumination Wisdom) which is also known as Ḥikamt-i Dhawqi (Intuitive Wisdom) of Shahab al-Din Suhrawardi (1153-1191) found a special place as it tended to bring together the philosophical and theological aspects of wisdom. This survey would address the development of ikmat (wisdom) among Iranian philosophers (hukamā). It will focus on three outstanding thinkers namely Ibn Sina (980-1037), Ghazali (1058-1111) and Suhrawardi. Ibn Sina represents the Islamized version of Aristotelian Peripatetic philosophy. Ghazali benefited from Ibn Sina’s writing but took a different direction, distancing himself from philosophy by giving more weight to theology. Suhrawardi adopted ‘light’ – a strong symbolic expression used in both pre-Islamic and Islamic sources – and gave ‘wisdom’ a different edge that involved intuition as a reliable source of receiving guidance. In the study of the theoretical and philosophical aspects of the Illumination Wisdom (Ḥikmat-i Ishrāq) one can find traces of the evolution of the concept of wisdom as perceived by Ibn Sina and Ghazali.


Iran, Peripatetic Philosophy (Ḥikmat-i Mashā’), Illumination Wisdom (Ḥikmat-i Ishrāq), Ibn Sina, Ghazali, Suhrawardi.


Copyright © 2019 Leyla H Tajer and Amir H Zekrgoo

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