SHAFAQNA- What follows is Shafaqna’s review of the article entitled as ‘Tradition and philosophy’, written by Muhsin Mu’ini, which is published as Chapter 5 of the book ‘Hadith: An Entry from Encyclopaedia of the World of Islam’, Edited by Gholamali Haddad Adel, Mohammad Jafar Elmi, Hassan Taromi-Rad.
Even if the fountainhead, form, and issues of Islamic philosophy have been the same Aristotelian and Neoplatonic systems of philosophy and other Greek and Hellenic philosophical schools of thought, nevertheless, many themes of Islamic philosophy have their roots in the Quran and tradition.
Islamic philosophy has had less recourse to the Quran and traditions than other Islamic sciences and some critics of Islamic philosophy have considered a number of philosophical teachings to be in conflict with categorical themes of the Quran and tradition. However, reference to traditions are rarely attested in philosophical books as seen in the works of Peripatetic philosophers in which compatibility between religion and philosophy is proved.
Ibn Rushd believes that there are two kinds of statements in religion: the exoteric or manifest (Zahir) and the esoteric or arcane (Batin) which the second one cannot be understood except through intellectual argument (Burhan). He has also referred to the quranic verse which says that God is settled on the Throne and to the tradition which says that every night God descends to the earth’s sky.
Among the former philosophers, Ibn Sina has accounted only one prophetic tradition and Abul-Hasan Amiri has adduced many traditions. Illuminationist (Ishraqi) philosophers, such as Shihab al-Din Suhrawardi have accorded further attention to traditions. From the sixteenth century onwards, Shia Philosophers besides their erudition in philosophy also became well-versed in other Islamic sciences including tradition. Mirdamad has cited and explained and interpreted quranic verses and traditions in the fourth part of his book titled al-Qabasat.
Sadr Al-Din Shirazi wrote a commentary on kufi‘s collection of traditions and has adduced traditions in his philosophical books and has also explained and interpreted the traditions. Fayd Kashani has also made a balance among the philosophical methodology, the knowledge therefrom, and the science is transmitted from the Prophet (SAW) and the Ahlal-Bayt (AS) and has proved that there is no disagreement between them. He has also cited some traditions in his philosophical books and he has been faithful to Mulla Sadra’s philosophical inclination.
During the era of Sadr al-Din Shirazi, philosophical interpretation of traditions reached its peak. His students and followers of his philosophical school of thought wrote philosophical commentaries, explanations, and interpretations of traditions, after his demise. In the contemporary era, Seyyed Muhammad Hussain Tabatabai (RA) has written explanations and annotations with a philosophical approach on the initial volumes of Majlisi‘s Bihar al-Anwar. And, Seyyie Kazim Assar has also adduced traditions in philosophical discussions such as the discourse on Predestination and Free will and Change in an earlier Decree.