Al-Farabi was an impeccable early Islamic philosopher and music theorist, and has been designated the Father of Islamic Neoplatonism, and Founder of Islamic Political Philosophy.
26 Facts About Al-Farabi
Al-Farabi was an expert in both practical musicianship and music theory, and although he was not intrinsically a scientist, his works incorporate astronomy, mathematics, cosmology, and physics.
Al-Farabi is credited as the first Muslim who presented philosophy as a coherent system in the Islamic World, and created a philosophical system of his own, which developed a philosophical system that went far beyond the scholastic interests of his Greco-Roman Neoplatonism and Syriac Aristotelian precursors.
Al-Farabi was known in the Latin West, as well as the Islamic World.
Al-Farabi's grandfather was not known among his contemporaries, but a name Awzalagh, in Arabic, suddenly appears later in the writings of Ibn Abi Usaybi'a, and of his great-grandfather in those of Ibn Khallikan.
Al-Farabi made contributions to the fields of logic, mathematics, music, philosophy, psychology, and education.
Al-Farabi wrote: The Necessity of the Art of the Elixir.
Al-Farabi discussed the topics of future contingents, the number and relation of the categories, the relation between logic and grammar, and non-Aristotelian forms of inference.
Al-Farabi is credited with categorizing logic into two separate groups, the first being "idea" and the second being "proof".
Al-Farabi considered the theories of conditional syllogisms and analogical inference, which were part of the Stoic tradition of logic rather than the Aristotelian.
Al-Farabi wrote a book on music titled Kitab al-Musiqi al-Kabir.
Al-Farabi had great influence on science and philosophy for several centuries, and was widely considered second only to Aristotle in knowledge, in his time.
Al-Farabi's work, aimed at synthesis of philosophy and Sufism, paved the way for the work of Avicenna.
Al-Farabi wrote a commentary on Aristotle's work, and one of his most notable works is Ara Ahl al-Madina al-Fadila, where he theorized an ideal state, supposedly modelled on Plato's The Republic.
Al-Farabi argued that religion rendered truth through symbols and persuasion, and, like Plato, saw it as the duty of the philosopher to provide guidance to the state.
Al-Farabi incorporated the Platonic view, drawing a parallel from within the Islamic context, in that he regarded the ideal state to be ruled by the Prophet-Imam, instead of the philosopher-king envisaged by Plato.
Al-Farabi argued that the ideal state was the city-state of Medina when it was governed by the prophet Muhammad as its head of state, as he was in direct communion with Allah whose law was revealed to him.
Al-Farabi wrote a short treatise "On Vacuum", where he thought about the nature of the existence of void.
Al-Farabi's ideas are marked by their coherency, despite drawing together of many different philosophical disciplines and traditions.
Al-Farabi had a great influence on Maimonides, the most important Jewish thinker of the middle ages.
Al-Farabi's cosmology is essentially based upon three pillars: Aristotelian metaphysics of causation, highly developed Plotinian emanational cosmology and the Ptolemaic astronomy.
Al-Farabi says that it cannot be known by intellectual means, such as dialectical division or definition, because the terms used in these processes to define a thing constitute its substance.
Al-Farabi says it is composed of four faculties: The appetitive, the sensitive, the imaginative, and the rational, which is the faculty of intellection.
Al-Farabi compared the philosopher's role in relation to society with a physician in relation to the body; the body's health is affected by the "balance of its humours" just as the city is determined by the moral habits of its people.
Al-Farabi divided those "vicious" societies, which have fallen short of the ideal "virtuous" society, into three categories: ignorant, wicked and errant.
Al-Farabi argues that al-Farabi was using different types of society as examples, in the context of an ethical discussion, to show what effect correct or incorrect thinking could have.