Hikmah Muta’aliyah dan Sumber Asfar Arba’ah
Istilah ini, al-hikmah al-muta‘aliyah, telah digunakan jauh sebelum Mulla Shadra, oleh para sufi seperti al-Qaysari, bahkan terma ini telah muncul dalam karya-karya para filosof peripatetik. (lihat Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Sadr al-Din Syirazi and His Transcendent Theosophy (Tehran: 1978), h. 85). Ibn Sina menggunakan istilah ini dalam karyanya, Isyarat, ketika ia berbicara tentang jiwa dari makhluk-makhluk angkasa. Dia berkata bahwa hanya mereka yang memiliki kebijakan transendental (al-hikmah al-muta‘aliyyah) yang bisa memahaminya. Dalam komentarnya tentang hal ini dalam Isyarat, Thusi berkata: "Kebijakan peripatetik sepenuhnya diskursif, sedangkan permasalahan ini dan yang semacam ini hanya bisa dipecahkan sepenuhnya melalui diskusi dan penalaran yang disertai dengan penyingkapan (kasyf) dan intuisi (zawq); dan kebijaksanaan yang terkandung di dalamnya adalah kebijaksanaan yang transendental, berlawanan dengan kebijaksanaan peripatetik.” Al-Isyarat wa al-Tanbihat ma‘ al-Syarh Thusi, (Tehran: A.H. 1403), Vol. 3, h. 401.
Nama hikmah muta’aliyah adalah nama yang diberikan oleh si pengarang untuk kitab pilihannya sendiri. Tampaknya setelah kitab Syifa Ibnu Sina slah salatu satu kitab induk Mulla Shadra adalah kitab asfar arba’ah. Yang di zaman itu orang kurang memperhatikanya seperti zaman sekarang. Sepanjang sejarah para ulama besar terus mempelajarinya. Kitab ini sejak zaman Qazariyah sudah dikenal dan para alim intelektual sudah menyadari kehebatannya tapi hanya sedikit yang mempelajarinya karena selain kesulitannya.
Sehingga syaikh Muhammad Husain Isfahani (1292-1361) mengatakan, Kalau aku tahu, ada yang faham rahasia-rahasia asfar maka pasti aku akan menemuinya untuk menjadi muridnya walaupun ia berada di tempat yang sangat jauh.
DR Syayid Jafar Sajadi mengatakan
Istilah hikmat muta’aliyah (Transcendent Theosophy) ini dipakai oleh shadra, sebelum mulla shadra, Thusi juga menggunakan istilah ini dalam bukunya syarah isyarat. Shadra berulang kali dalam kitab asfarnya menyebutkan istilah hikmah muta’aliyah ini. Sebagian para cendekiawan menyebutkan berbagai analisa tentang penamaan hikmat muataliyah ini
Sebagian mengatakan, karena mula shadra menggunakan bahasa yang lebih tinggi dari bahasa filsafat peripatetic dan isyraq. Yang dimaksud lebih tinggg atau ta’ali adalah karena ia menggunakan bahasa yang berbeda dengan lain, yaitu karena Shadra mengangap bahwa poros seluruh filsafanya adalah wujud dan seluruh persoalan filsafat dapat diselesaikan dengan prinsip-prinsip tersebut. Menurut Shadra semua adalah martabat-martaba wujud, asma allah, sifat dan af’al adalah martabat-martabat wujud.
Sebagian lain mengatakan karena kelengkapannya yang meliputi semua aliran filsafat atau sintesa dari filsafat peripatetic, isyraqi dan ayat serta riwayat.
Mulla Shadra sendiri dalam beberapa tulisannya secara implicit menjelaskan tentang hikmat muta’aliyah. Misalnya ketika menjelaskan tentang ma’lul awal atau akal awal. Malul awal atau setiap malul adalah syuunat-syuunat nazilah wujud (konfigurasi-konfigurasi the lower of eksitensi). Wujud-wujud mereka sangat bergantung pada wujud kamil fauqo kamal ( wujud yang paling sempurna dan di atas sempurna). Hal ini akan bisa difahami dengan metoda hikmat muta’aliyah. Artinya akan jelas dengan metoda wujud. Di tempat lain ia mengatakan bahwa yang dimaksud dengan hikmat muta’aliyah adalah inti sari irfan; syuhud wujud dan di bagian lain ia mengatakan bahwa hikmat muta’aliyah adalah hikmat keimanan (wisdom of Faith).
Mulla shadra dalam asfar jilid 3 halaman 14 mengatakan
Wahai ikhwan aku telah menyampaikan mukadimah-mukadimah thariq yang berupa cahaya-cayaha hikmah, kata-kata yang latif, mabadi aqliyah (rational principle), dhawabit kulliah (general principle), qawanin mizaniyah ( rule of measuremen) dan ahkam dzihniyah ( mental principle) mukadimah-mukadimah ini mengandung faidah yang sangat banyak dan derajat-derajat untuk berjalan menuju Allah dengan kekuatan nalar dan himmah dan itu adalah tangga-tangga untuk melejitkan diri menuju makrifat ilahiyah dan meningkatkan diri untuk menyaksikan jamaliyah ahadiyah dan sifat wajibiyah dan berdampingan dengan orang-orang suci dan munadamah Ahli malakuti dan iliyyina ang menjadi maqasid ashabul wahy dan tanzil dan rahasia-rahasia ahli takwil yang muhkam yang mengambil ilmu-ilmu mereka dari malaikat muqarabin dan yang menjaga kiramil katibin. SEsungguhnya maksud-maksud yang tinggi, dan paling mulia adalah dari Allah yang disediakan di qalam agung dan lauh karim yang membacanya adalah yang mengetahui ilmu qalam, man lam yakun ya’lamu wa kalamahu bikalimatihi (dan ia berbicara dengan kalimat-kalimatnya), Ia mengilhamkan muhkamat ayat-ayat-Nya, memberi petunjuk dengan cahaya-Nya, Ia memilihnya dan menjadikannya sebagai khalifah-Nya di alam malakut samawi. Dengan ilmu ini membuat manusia memiliki malakah dahsyat, sebab ia adalah al-iksir agung yang akan menyebabkan kecukupuan untuk keseluruhan ( almujiba lil giha kulliy) dan kebahagiaan yang besar dan kekal dalam ahwal yang paling utama. Dan dapat menyerupai (tasyabuh) dengan kebaikan yang terpuncak dan berakhlak denga akhlak Allah. Karena itu turun dalam Suhuf (kitab-kitab) samawi bahwa Allah swt berfirman, “Wahai ibnu Adam aku menciptakanmu untuk kekal dan Aaku adalah hayuun la yamutu, taatilah apa yang aku perintahkan dan jauhi larangan-larangan-Ku, maka aku akan menjadikan dirimu seperti diri-Ku, hidup tidak mati dan dalam hadis Muhammad disebutkan tentang sifat-sifat ahlu surga bahwa akan datang malaikat kepadanya dan ia akan menyerahkan kitab dari sisi Allah setelah ia menyampaikan salam dari Allah kepadanya.
Kata Abu Abdillah Zanjani Shadra telah menghidupkan pemikiran filsafat sebelumnya seperti ibnu Sina dari timbunan tanah kematian akibat serangan ghazali, Hambali, dan pengikut asyari).
Dengan dengan demikian Shadra adalah gambar sempurna dari karakteristik filsafat Islam karena karakteristik filsafat islam adalah adalah : Tauhid, rekonsiliasi antara akal dan wahyu dan menerima berbagai sumber pengetahuan fisik, intelek dan intuisi.
Sabzawari mengatakan bahwa safar adalah harakah dari suatu tempat menuju sebuah tujuan dengan melewati marhalah-marhalah dan manazil-manazil. Menurut para ahli syuhud safar yang bersifat maknawi (spiritual) itu ada empat marhalah : ( Banyak para airf dan filsuf yang mengelaborasi tentang safar arba’ah ini diantaranya Muhammad Ridha Qumshehi (d. 1889/ guru Sabzawari) atau Mirza Hasan Nuri dan Sabzawari sendiri.
Safar pertama safar dari
KEtahuilah bahwa safar adalah harakat dari mautin atau mauqif menuju maqsad dengan melalui marhalah-marhalah dan melewati manzilah-manzilah dan itu adalah shuri (form) yang tidak perlu dijelaskan lagi, adapun safar makwani seperti yang dilukiskan oleh ahli shuhud itu ada empat marhalah.
Safar pertama dari khalq menuju al-haq (from creation to the Truth) dengan menyingkapkan hijab-hijab zulmaniyah dan nuriyyah yang ada di antara salik dan antara hakikat yang selalu bersamanya azali dan abadi. Atau dengan kata lain dengan melejitkan diri dari maqam nafsi di maqam qalbi pada maqam ruh dan dari maqam ruh ke maksad yang lebih tinggi dan kebahagiaan yang lebih besar. Yaitu surga yang disediakan untuk orang-orang yang bertakwa ( wa uzlifat jannatu lil mutaqin : syuara : 90). Yaitu mutaqin dari kotoran-kotoran maqam nafs, yaitu hijab zulmaniyah dam anwar maqam kalbu, wa adhwa maqamruh yaitu hijan cahaya nuraniyah, sesungguhnya maqam-maqam kulliyah (maqam umum) bagi manusia itu ada tiga . Dan adapun yang sering dikatakan abhwa antara hamba dan rabba itu ada ribuah hijab, ribuan itu sebenarnya kembali pada tiga hal tadi. Jika seorang hamba sampai pada maksud tadi dengan menyingkapkan hijab-hijab tadi maka ia akan melihat keindahahan al-haq (jamal al-Haq) dan fana dalam dzar-Nya
Kadang-kadang maqam ruh diiktibarkan sebagai akal, karena menjelaskan syuhud maqulat maka maqam-maqam itu menjadi tujuh yaitu maqam nafs, maqam qalbu, maqam akal, maqam ruh, maqam sirr, maqam khafiy,maqam al-akhfa, dan maqam-maqam itu disebut dengan nama-nama itu karena itu adalah malakah bagi si salik karena kalau belum menjadi malakah tidak disebut maqam yaitu martabat-martaba wila, biladuls isyq, mahabbah seperti yang diisyarat oleh Rumi :
Tujuh kota cinta telah dilewati Athar, sementara kami masih tetap berada dalam khom kekerdilan.
(Haft syahre isq athar ghast mo hanuz andar khom yik kuceim)
Ketika seorang salik fana di dalam dzat-Nya maka selesailah safar pertama maka wujudnya menjadi wujud hakiki (divine wujud), Ia akan didatangi mahwu dan akan keluar darinya syathu (syatahiyat) (ya’ridu lahu mahw wa yashdur anhu syathu). Ia (mungkin) dihukum sebagai kufur dan diberi had, jika ia dianugerahi ilahiyah maka lenyaplah mahwunya dan ia akan diliputi oleh shahwu (Kesadaran) dan mengakui akan dosanya dan kehambaannya setelah ditampakan rububiyah. Abu yazid Busthami berkata ilahi, jika suatu hari aku berkata subhana alangkah agungnya syanuku maka hari itu aku kafir, majusi maka putuslah zanariku, dan aku aku bersaksi tidak ada tuhan selain Allah dan aku bersaksi bahwa Muhammad itu utusan Allah.
Ketika selesai safar pertama si salik memulai safar kedua yaitu safar dari hak kepada haq dengan al-haq, (safar minal haq, ilal haq, bil haq/ through the Truth in th Truth ). Ia akan bersama haq karena ia menjadi wali wujudnya dan wujudnya wujud haqaniyan, maka ia akan melakukan suluk dari mauqif dzat-dzat sampai kamalat-kamalat. Satu persatu sehingga ia melihat seluruh kesempurnaanya, maka ia mengetahui semua asma-asma-Nya. maka ia menjadi wilayah-Nya secara sempurna dan fana lah dzat, af’al dan sifatnya dalam dzar al-Haq dan sifat serta afal-nya maka dengann-Nya ia mendengar dan dengann-Na ia melihat berjalan dan menyentuh. Sirr itu fana dzatnya, khafa itu fana sifat dan af’alnya, ikhtifa itu fana kedua fananya, atau kalau mau engkau katakana bahwa sirr itu adalah fana di dzat, yaitu akhir dari safar pertama, dan asal safar kedua. Khafa itu fana dalam Uluhiyah (annihilation in lordship), Akhfa yaitu fana dengan kedua fana maka sempurnalah dairah wilayah dan berakhir safar kedua dan berhentilah fananya dan ia memulai safar ketiga. Yaitu safar dari dari al-Haq, ilal haH wa bil-Haq,ia melakukan suluk dalam martabat-martaba af’al lenyapnyalah mahwunya dan terhasilah shahwunya secara sempurna, ia baqa dengan baqa Allah dan ia melakukan safar di alam di alam jabarut, malakut dan nasut dan ia melihat di ala ini seluruhnya dengan realita (a’yannya) dan lawazimnya.
Adapun mengharmonisasikan safar ar’baah ini dalam kitab ini dalah dengan cara bahwa Ummur amah ( tema-tema metafisika secara umum) seperti jawahir dan a’radl , ahwalil maujud, a’yan mahiyat itu adalah safar awal
Atau dari khalqi pada al-Haq. Masalah ketuhann yang dibahas seperti mengitsbatkan alhaq ,sifat dan asma-asmanya adalah safar kedua,Yaitu fil alhaq bi al-haq, adapun safar kedua mengandung safar keempat, yaitu bil haq fil haq, safar ketiga yatiu safar nafs yaitu mengetahui hal ihwal nafs dari takwiniyanya sampai tujuan ruju nya ke al-Haq, dan batasan kekurangan sampai ke sempurnaan puncak, dan kelemahan sampai pada kekuatan
Syaikh Muhaqiq kamaluddin abdur raziq kasyi (pensyarah Fushus al-Hikam) berkata safar adalah tawajuh kalbu kepada al-Haq ta’ala dan asfar arba’ah adalah : pertama sayr ila llah min manazil nafs ila wushul ila ufuqil mubin, yaitu ujung maqam kalbu, dan mabda tajaliya asmaiyah. KEdua yaitu safar fi llah dengan menerima sifat-sifat dan tahaquq (realisasi) asma-asmanya ila ufuqil ala dan puncak hadrat al-wahidiyah. Ketiga yaitu taraqi ila aenil jam’I wa hadrat ahadiyah yaitu maqam qaba qausaeni ma baqiyat itsnaeni jika terangkt maka itu adlaah maqam au adna, itu adalah nihayah wilayah (puncak sainthood) dan keempat yaitu safar billahi ‘anillah litamil yati maqa baqa setelah fana dan farqa setelah jam’.
KItab ini ketika berbicara tentang umurun amah ( metaphysica generalis) seperti jauhar-jauhar, ‘aradh itu adalah bagian dari safar awal, dan ketika berbicara untuk mengitsbatkan dzat ta’ala bidzatihi dan itsbat sifat-sifat-Nya maka itu adalah bagian dari safar tsani dan untuk membuktikan jawahir al-qudsiyah dan nufusul mujarradah maka itu adalah bagian dari safar ketiga dan ketika berbicara ahwal nafs-nafs dan apa yang akan didapati, yang akan menimpa di hari kiamat maka itu adalah bagian dari safar keempat. Shadra sendiri mengatakan ketahuilah bahwa bagi para ahli suluk dari para arif dan auliya akan menempuh empat safar : Yang pertaa safar dari khalq ke al-Haq, yang kedua safar bil haq fi al-Haq dan ketiga kebalikan dari yang pertama karena ini adalah safar dari al-Haq kepada khalq bil haq dan keempat kebalikan dari kedua sebab itu adalah safar dari bil-haq fi al-khalq. Dan aku menyusun kitab ini berdasarkan harakat-harakat dalam anwar dan atsar` dalam empat safar dan atau dinamai dengan hikmat muta’aliyah fi al-asfar aqliyah, di dalamnya aku mencurahkan tujuan dengan meminta kepada al-Haq ‘alma’bud ashamad al –wujud ( tuhan yang disembah dan tempat bergantung wujud).
Sayid Haidar Amuli (wafat setelah 1385) juga berbicara tentang asfar arba’ah dalam magnum opusnya Jami al-Asrar. Dan ia berusaha membuat koneksi antara Asfar arba’ah dengan tradisi Sufi. Tambahan pula koneksi antara filsafat dan misticisme bisa ditemukan sebelum Shadra,yaitu dalam karya pemikir abad ke 16, bernama Shams Al-Din Khafari.
Syaik Muhaqiq Kamaluddin Abdura RAziq al-KAsyi mengatakan bahwa martabat ahadiyah adalah I’tibar dzati dengan menafikan asma-asma,sifat-sifat dan ta’ayunat, sementara martabat al-wahidiyah Seorang salik yang telah menyempurnakan empat asfar (four journey) ini seperti para nabi karena mereka telah melihat al-Hak dan tahu akhir dari perjalanan manusia. Karena itu mereka mempersiapkan diri in moral exhortation and commanding the God. Seorang filsuf islam berpendapat bahwa kesempurnaan filsafat adalah kenabian. Seorang filsuf yang tercerahkan adalah tidak berbeda dengan seorang nabi sebab ia tahu realitas tapi masih tinggal di dunia ini. Karena itu ia juga memiliki tanggung jawab terhadap umat dan juga terhadap masyarakatnya. Kebutuhan terhadap seorang nabi memang tampaknya masih tetap diperlukan dan itu bisa dipenuhi oleh seorang wali. Tetapi bukan nabi yang membawa syariat dan nabi yang diturunkan dari Allah, sebab iitu telah berakhir dengan kenabian Muhammad saw.
Al-quran mengatakan, Matsala nurihi kamisykatin fiha misbahun,almisbahu fi zujajatin, az-zujajatu kannaha kaukabun durriyun yuqadu min syajarotin mubarokatin zaytuniyatin la syarqiyyatin wala gharbiyah …. (Nur :35).
Sajarah = nafs, misykat = badan, nafs menurut urafa adalah bukhara latif (uap lembut) yang lahir dari kalbu yang menerima hayat,hiss (sensual) dan harakat yang disebut di kalangan para dokter sebagai ruh. Ruh menurut mereka adalah latifah insaniyah mujarradah (immaterial)..
 Latar belakang
Before introducing Mulla Sadra’s school, it is first necessary to take a glance at the historical background of Islamic philosophy in Iran, and that of other schools of philosophy all over the world.
Nowadays, it is a proven fact to researchers that, unlike what was believed before, philosophy did not originate from Greece; rather, it started in the east, particularly, in Iran, and later it went to different regions of Asia Minor and Mediterranean, Greece, Ionia, Syria, and Lebanon. The school of philosophy developed before Aristotle was called Illuminationist philosophy, which is sometimes called as Pythagorean, Platonic, and, perhaps, gnostic and Orpheistic philosophy, as well.
For some reasons, Aristotle did not agree with the foundations of this school and, as a result, Peripatetic philosophy was developed alongside it. After Aristotle, although his school (Peripatetic philosophy) was forgotten, it was not completely destroyed. The books written by philosophers following this schools and their students, as well as those of Plotinus and his disciples, moved from hand to hand in the academic centers of the Middle East till Muslems, persuaded by one of Abbasi vicegerents (7th century A.D), translated them into Arabic.
Farabi (258-339 A.H/ 870-950 A.D), the Iranian philosopher, was the first one who gave a philosophical system to the scattered translations of books written on Illuminationist and Peripatetic philosophies and other fields. That is why he was nicknamed the ‘Second Teacher’. He also wrote a number of books and commentaries on the philosophical problems of his time.
After Farabi, some other philosophers appeared; however, none of them was as conversant as Ibn-Sina (370-428 A.H/ 980-1037 A.D). He was a genius, and this aided him in creating a school of philosophy on the basis of Aristotle’s limited principles at a very young age. This new school was greatly superior to that of Aristotle (introduced through his translated works) due to its depth of approach, its monotheistic perspective, and the plurality of the issues and problems discussed therein. It was in the light of Ibn-Sina’s endeavors that the peripatetic Aristotelian philosophy reached its zenith. At the beginning of his studies, Ibn-Sina did not pay attention to Illuminationist philosophy. In his period, the political atmosphere of this vast Islamic country was so turbulent.
With the coming of Abbasi vicegerency to power and their cruel oppression of Shi’ites, and, particularly, their torturing and killing of their leaders, a secret movement was started, called Batiniyyah (Esotericism). The ideology of this movement was rooted in the Qur’an and the hadiths narrated by the holy Prophet and his descendants. The followers of this movement, in addition to being completely familiar with Peripatetic and Illuminationist philosophies, actually believed in sophism and held ideas similar to those of Pythagoras and Hermes. They tried to publicize their views by philosophical and logical reasoning. This group can be considered as preservers of different periods of philosophy among Muslims. One example of their propagandistic works includes a number of treatises, called Rasai’l Ikhwan al-safa’, which is a simple and concise collection of issues related to philosophy and other sciences. The title of this work was a cover term for the party and its leaders.
The government which supported the vicegerents in Iran and Iraq (the dynasty of Saljuk Turks, with the ministry of Khwajah Nizam al-Mulk) harshly confronted this apparently philosophical and gnostic but, in fact, Shi’ite and anti-vicegerency movement. Fir instance it founded a number of schools in the forms of seminaries in Khorasan and Baqdad, called Nizamiyyah, mainly employing those scholars and theologians who were against Shi’isim for opposing esoterics’ propagandas.
The most famous of all such theologians is Abu Hamid Gazzali (450-504 A.H / 1111-1059 A.D), who was born in Khorasan (Neyshabur) and was involved in teaching, training missionaries, and propagating against Shi’ism in its famous Nizamiyyah School. Later he came to Baqdad and founded a school of thought that was in sharp contrast and opposition to Batiniyyah (esotericism).
Initially, he wrote a book as a summary of the principles of Peripatetic philosophy and, later, in another book, he included the controversies it involved in his own view. This book and his other books were fast spread all over the lands ruled by Saljuk governments (from the present Afqanistan to the Mediterranean). Such endeavors resulted in the confinement of philosophy to the majority of the society (non-Shi’ite people). However, heedless to what was going on, Shi’ite philosophers continued teaching, writing, and publicizing philosophy and gnosis, and Shi’ite seminaries were officially involved in teaching Peripatetic and Illuminationist schools of philosophy and mysticism and writing the related books.
The other well-known theologian who continued Gazzali’s work more profoundly and on the basis of philosophical arguments Farkhr Razi (543-605 A.H / 1149-1209 A.D). He wrote a commentary on Ibn-Sina’s famous book, al-Isharat, which was, in fact, on the rejection of the ideas therein.
In that century, two prominent Shi’ite philosophers and luminous stars of the sky of philosophy appeared in Iran. The first was Suhrawardi, Shahab al-Din Yahya (549-587 A.H / 1153-1191 A.D), who revived the ancient Iranian Illuminationist philosophy and wrote a book on Illuminationism. He became famous as ‘Shaykh Ishraq’. Some have proved that he was a member of Batiniyyah movement, and was, in fact, martyred by Ayyubi government due to political reasons (but apparently due to being excommunicated by those jurisprudents who were against Shi’ism in Syria). However, his school of philosophy still lives on.
The next philosopher who stepped into the domain of philosophy shortly after Fakhr-Razi and Suhrawardi was Khwajah Nasir al-Din Tusi. He strongly defended philosophy against the attacks of Sunni theologians, and can be considered as the reviver of philosophy after the assaults made by Gazzali and Razi, as well as the founder of the most complicated form of the science of theology ever developed. He was also a master of all the sciences of his time to the level of perfection, and his works in astronomy and mathematics are world famous.
The Andalusian Ibn-Rushd (the Spanish Muslim philosopher, 520-595 A.H / 1126-1198 A.D) is the other figure who has become well-known in the west and among Christians through the translation of Islamic Arabic books in Andalusia into Latin during the period of Scholasticism. One of his most famous books is on the rejection of Gazzali’s book, Tahafat al-falasafah. He chose the title of Tahafat al-tahafat for his own book, meaning the controversies of Gazzali’s book.
After Tusi, a great number of Muslim philosophers and theologians appeared (mainly in Iran); however, none of them succeeded to attain Mulla Sadra’s sublime status. Some of Tusi’s students (such as Qutb al-Din Shirazi) founded a vast center for publicizing the Peripatetic and Illuminationist schools of philosophy, theology, and gnosis. This center was called ‘Shiraz school’. It continued its activities for several years and produced some well-known philosophers and theologians.
Although Mulla Sadra had left Shiraz in childhood, he was greatly influenced by this school and, as we will discuss later, his thoughts were the outcome of a synthesis of all the philosophical theories taught there, and the fruit of the works of all the philosophers who where involved in research and study in that school.
Simultaneous with the development of philosophy in Iran and in the Islamic world, two other major schools of thought were in the process of flourishment. The first was mysticism (Islamic gnosis), which was rooted in the Qur’anic worldview and the Prophet’s tradition. Later it was intermixed with the Illuminationist philosophy of ancient Iran and Plotinist philosophy and gnosis, and propagated piety, ascetic practice, and practical ethics. As a result, it turned into a powerful and independent school against Peripatetic philosophy and developed several scientific and theoretical dimensions after Muhyaddin Ibn-Arabi Andalusian (from southern Spain). The lives of some of the proponents of this school remind the reader of Diogenes, Pythagoras, Xenophanes, and Plotinus.
The other school was Islamic theology, which was started by the descendants and people of the Prophet (p.b.u.h) and his successor, Imam Ali (AS), and consisted of a collection of the interpretations these two holy leaders had presented in response to people’s inquiries. The most reputable propagandist of this school was a man called Hasan Basari. In his time, one of his students, called Vasil, separated from him and founded the school of I’tizal or Mu’tazilah. Later, one of Vasil’s students established another school of thought against Mu’tazilah which is known as Asha’rites.
In the years to come, the followers of Mu’tazilah greatly benefited from those works of Greek philosophers which had been translated into Arabic and learnt a lot from their ideas. However, it did not take long before they were suppressed under the pressure of different governments and the domination of Ash’arites theology.
From then on, theology continued its existence in two branches: Shi’ite theology (current among the Prophet’s descendants and people), which had a longer history, and Ash’arites theology, which was, at times, strongly supported by vicegerents. Finally, Khwajah Nasir al-Din Tusi cast theology in the mould of philosophy. Mulla Sadra, too, resorted to its principles in developing his own school of thought.
. Farabi’s father was originally Iranian and served as a sirdar (commander) under one of the rulers of Turkistan. He went from Khorasan to Farab, where Farabi was born.
. All the problems of Peripatetic philosophy, before the translation of its related books by Muslims, amounted to 200; however, this was increased to 700 by Islamic philosophers, and, later, they propounded a number of complicated problems which had never been discussed in Greece previously.
 Suhraward is one of the towns in Iran in Azerbaijan province. There is another man who was a contemporary to Suhrawardi and was called by the same name. This person was a sophist.
Origins of Mulla Sadra’s School
Mulla Sadra’s philosophy is an independent school of thought, possessing a specific system of its own. He has established a philosophical system which comprises all philosophical problems, so that one can claim that this school, in the light of its basic principles, could efficiently solve even those peripheral problems which might arise in field of philosophy in future. The available documents strongly indicate that, apart from the ancient Illuminationist school, Peripatetic philosophy, and gnosis, no other independent school of philosophy, except for Transcendent Philosophy, has been developed either in the East or the West to possess such universality, all-inclusiveness, and answerability to problems.
It is a widely accepted fact that the independence of a school does not indicate that it has put up with all the ideas and theories of previous schools, since each and every new philosophical system certainly requires some input from preceding ones to be able to utilize them as its components and building blocks. However, it normally puts the previous coherence governing the combination of those constituent parts aside, grants them new versatility, and transforms them quite efficiently in the light of its own principles.
Mulla Sadra’s creative soul and scientific power and perfection allowed him to create a school which was independent of all philosophical, gnostic, and theological schools and, at the same time, enjoyed all their strength and positive aspects.
Sadrian philosophy is similar to Peripatetic philosophy in its surface form. In fact, one can say that the body of his philosophy is Peripatetic, while its soul is Illuminationist. At the same time, most of the problems of the science of Islamic theology can be found there in a philosophical form. Mulla Sadra’s Transcendent Philosophy, on the one hand, comprises all schools of philosophy, gnosis, theology, and the like, and connects them to each other; on the other hand, it reacts as a rival against all of them.
The other important point which is worth a mention here is Mulla Sadra’s strong and logical belief in the Qur’an and hadith. He is inspired by the spirit of the Qur’an in solving some complexities and problems and tries to expand the dimensions of his philosophical and theological ideas and thoughts by resorting to the hadith and Sunna (traditions) of the Holy Prophet (p.b.u.h) and his descendants. At the same time, he sometimes directly refers to some Qur’anic verses as evidence for his arguments or, perhaps, for demonstrating the rationality of this Holy Book.
Unlike other heavenly books, the Qur’an involves some very profound and discussion raising verses and statements on theology, worldview, and anthropology. This Holy Book, from the very early days of the prevalence of Islam - when there was no word of Greek or Oriental philosophy – could introduce a series of important philosophical issues such as God’s knowledge, the meaning of His Will and Attributes, the concepts of Divine Decree and Destiny, predestination, renunciation, life after death, resurrection, and the Hereafter to the field of thought and philosophy. Moreover, it makes references to the quality of the creation of the material world, the birth of prime matter, the end of world, the annihilation of matter, and, basically, cosmology.
It is true that the collection of such verses and their interpretations, which had been given by the Prophet (p.b.u.h), Imam Ali (AS) and Muhammed’s descendants, planted the seeds for the growth of Shi’ite theology and, later, for the so-called science of theology; however, it was not limited to theologians’ use. The gate of knowledge and teaching in the Qur’an has always been open to all, as it became a source of inspiration for Mulla Sadra, too. Our great philosopher, who always criticized theologians’ ideas, viewed Qur’anic verses and the interpretations given by Muhammed’s (P.b.u.h) descendants with utter respect, relied on them, and was inspired by their heavenly words.
The other point to be emphasized here is Mulla Sadra’s power of intuition in the sense of communicating with the hidden world and unveiling the realities. This was a power possessed by all prominent masters of Ishraqi philosophy. In some of his books, Mulla Sadra emphasizes that he first perceives the truth of every philosophical and rational problem through intuition, and then demonstrates it on the basis of rational and philosophical arguments.
He claims that he is the only philosopher who has been able to transform the issues that Ishraqi philosophers had perceived through unveiling and intuition, and presented as undemonstrated theories into logical and philosophical arguments. He does this so conversantly that even those who do not believe in intuitive perception surrender to his ideas. As we will discuss later, a great number of his well-known theories and ideas had been previously stated by Ishraqi sages; however, they had not been philosophically proved.
Mulla Sadra has profoundly benefited from Peripatetic, Ishraqi, theological, and sophist schools of thought and can be said to owe a great part of this knowledge to the masters of these schools. Apart from the Qur’an, the Prophet (p.b.u.h), Imam Ali (As), and the Prophet’s descendants, he has a deep-rooted belief in Muhyaddin, Ibn-Sina, Aristotle, Plotinus, Suhrawardi, Tusi, Sadr al-Din, Qiyath al-Din Dashtaki, Dawani, and pre-Socratic philosophers, particularly Pythagoras and Empedocles. He also agrees with Qazzali’s ideas concerning ethics, and favors Fakhr Razi’s method of analyzing theological and philosophical problems; nevertheless, he does not consider them as philosophers and refutes their philosophical ideas in many respects. However, in cases where he agrees with their views, he never hesitates to praise them, and, in order to show his confirmation and acceptance of their ideas, he quotes from them verbatim, as if he himself has originally uttered those words.
One of the sources of Mulla Sadra’s philosophy is the pre-Socratic history of philosophy. The philosophers of that time mainly consisted of Ishraqi sages, who followed Oriental and Iranian ancient philosophies to a great extent.
Generally speaking, unlike the case with Peripatetic philosophy, Mulla Sadra’s sources of philosophy were not merely confined to the intellect, so that he would ignore other sources such as revelation and inspiration. In the same way, he did not limit himself only to inspiration and illumination, so that, like gnostics and sophists, he would regard the intellect as being incapable of the perception of realities. He even considered revelation as the most important, valid, and reliable source of knowledge, and, as we mentioned previously, he also attached too much importance to what can be learnt from the Qur’an and hadith.
Mulla Sadra is one of the exceptional philosophers who has graded these sources. He believes that the first basis for accessing truth is the intellect; however, he does not consider it as being capable of solving the subtle problems of metaphysics. Therefore, a philosopher or sage should not stop halfway through seeking the reality and deprive himself from intuition and using prophets’ revelation.
He states that man’s intellect confirms revelation, and revelation completes the intellect. One who has a religion and depends on revelation must accept the role of the intellect in discovering the truth; likewise, one who follows the intellect and wisdom, must confirm and accept revelation. Intuition and illumination can be demonstrated by means of argumentation and reasoning and, as a result, grant universality to personal experiences, exactly in the same way that the hidden principles of nature could be proved by resorting to mathematical laws.
However, one must admit that the power of wisdom is limited, but intuition and love have no boundaries and can aid man in attaining the truth. The vastness and breadth of Mulla Sadra’s domain of views, and the plurality of the origins of his thoughts granted more freedom to him to expand the realm of philosophy. As a result, there is no trace of different types of narrow-mindedness witnessed in other schools of philosophy in his philosophy.
. Among the philosophers of the modern era, Hegel is said to have been able to develop an independent and systematic school of philosophy. Unfortunately, this Hegelian system involves a series of controversies that disrupt its orderliness; therefore, it cannot be considered a perfect philosophical system.
. For example, Mulla Sadra has been inspired by one of the verses in the Qur’an in formulating his famous and important theory of the ‘trans-substantial motion’. He has also resorted to other verses in his other works.
Mulla Sadra’s philosophical methodology can be inferred from what we have so far stated concerning his school of thought. In Asfar, when dealing with almost every problem, he firstly presents its Peripatetic sketch, and propounds it within the framework of the principles that conform to it in the Peripatetic school. Then he restates the different old and new ideas which are related to that problem. Following this, he rejects, modifies, confirms, or completes it, or presents a series of new and more comprehensive arguments.
Moreover, when necessary, he provides evidences from sophism, particularly from Muhyaddin, Ibn-Arabi, and Plotinus (like other Muslim philosophers preceding him, Mulla Sadra sometimes mistakes him for Aristotle, because, even until recently, Plotinus’s book of Tasu’at (Ennead) was considered to have been written by Aristotle).
Mulla Sadra has his eyes on the Qur’an in dealing with all major philosophical problems, and benefits from its Divine Graces so much so that some assume that he employs the Qur’anic verses in his philosophical reasonings. This is totally absurd; however, as mentioned before, the Qur’an was always a source of inspiration for him. Accordingly, he managed to discover certain realities that were not accessible to others.
Mulla Sadra’s most important characteristic, which can rarely be seen (if at all) even in Ishraqi philosophers, is his reliance on intuition, unveiling, and perception of the realities of the world, and solving intricate philosophical problems through ascetic practice, worship, and connecting to the world beyond the matter and sense, which he believes means the real sense. However, he neither suffices to this, nor gives a decree in this regard to others; rather, his methodology is to dress the realities that have been unveiled to him through intuition, and that have been hidden under the cover of logical reasoning in guise of a kind of reasoning which employs the common terminology used in Peripatetic philosophy. He, himself, has referred to this unique method of his in the introduction of Asfar.
As discussed above, he cast even those theories and ideas of his preceding philosophers (whether before or after Socrates) which also enjoyed an intuitive aspect, and which had not assumed an inferential nature into the mould of common (or Peripatetic) philosophical problems, and presented a series of philosophical arguments and reasonings for them. Mulla Sadra prefers to call his school of thought as one of wisdom rather than philosophy. As the readers are well aware, he chose the name of Transcendent Wisdom for his school. This is because, firstly, wisdom has an outstandingly long historical record, and is assumed to be the same as what was called ‘Sophia’ in the past. Secondly, long ago, wisdom consisted of a vast field of knowledge embracing all natural and mathematical sciences, and possessed a worldview which was wider than that of modern scholars. Thirdly, wisdom has been frequently praised in the Qur’an and hadith, while there is no word of philosophy thereinside.
The subtle point here is that we can employ wisdom as a bridge to fill the gap between philosophy and gnosis, which are two totally different fields of knowledge. Wisdom was Mulla Sadra’s secret key for having access to and mastering the philosophical and gnostic schools of his time, and making peace between them.
The Peripatetics agreed that wisdom or philosophical journey is, in fact, a process of becoming which comes to an end through the development and growth of material intelligence (intellectus materialis) into intellectus in habitu and, then, into actual reason (intellectus in actu) and acquired reason (intellectus adeptus or acquisitus), and through connection to the origin of knowledge (perhaps the same Promete of ancient Greece), which Aristotle called active intellect. The end result of this process is man’s transforming into a wiseman.
Gnostics and sophists, too, believed that gaining knowledge or becoming a wiseman means knowing the world, passing through the sense and material world (which they called traversing the heavens and Unity of Divine Acts), beginning the process of knowing the human self (or traversing the soul), and passing through the immaterial depth of the world: that is, the Ideal and rational world, or traversing the Unity of Acts and observing the pre-eternal beauty and eternal truth, which is usually referred to as the four-fold spiritual journey; a journey whose first stage is moving from existents and creatures towards absolute reality (the Truth); the second is moving towards the Truth, accompanied with and aided by the Truth; the third is traversing in the Truth and attaining all existential realities; the fourth is returning towards creatures and existents with a new outlook and fresh step.
Wisdom is consistent with both interpretations of knowledge and the real and beyond-matter knowledge of the world. Accordingly, Mulla Sadra innovated a method which was based on both philosophy and gnosis, and employed it to solve the problems related to the knowledge of the world. It is from here that one can grasp the reason behind calling his philosophical school as ‘Transcendent Wisdom’ or superior philosophy. Therefore, it was not just by accident that he named his magnum opus as ‘Transcendent Wisdom in Four-Fold Journeys’. The superiority of his school lies in his smart methodology, through which he could make peace between two opposite schools of thought, namely, Peripatetic and Ishraqi philosophies (and sophism), and brought them into unity and, in fact, to transcendence – he showed this superiority by means of employing the word ‘transcendence’.
. He uses this method mainly for preventing students’ confusion in problem solving.
. This word had been previously used as an adjective in mystic works of Ibn-Sina and Qaysari, the well-known commentator of Ibn-Arabi’s Fusus. However, Mulla Sadra used it formally as the title of his great book.
 Khalid al al-Walid TAsawud Mulla Shadra
 al-Sabzawari, al-Hajj Mulla Hadi (1797/8-1873)al-Sabzawari, al-Hajj Mulla Hadi
Al-Sabzawari was the most influential nineteenth-century Iranian philosopher.
His reputation rests in part on his Sharh al-manzuma, a commentary on his own
Ghurar al-fara'id (The Blazes of the Gems), a didactic poem (manzuma)
encapsulating in a systematic fashion an exposition of the existentialist
philosophy of Mulla Sadra. He was also the most sought-after teacher of
philosophy in his day, and many students travelled to Sabzavar to be taught by
him. Famous for his saintliness as well as his erudition, he set the tone for
much of twentieth-century Iranian philosophy.
Al-Hajj Mulla Hadi al-Sabzawari, the most famous of the philosophers of the
Qajar period in Iran, was born in ah 1212/ad 1797-8 in Sabzavar in northeastern
Iran. He studied logic, mathematics, law and metaphysics in Mashhad, where he
moved at the age of ten after completing his preliminary education in Sabzavar.
He pursued his interests in philosophy by moving to Isfahan to study for seven
years with, among others, Mulla 'Ali Nuri (d. ah 1246/ad 1830-1), the foremost
interpreter of his day of the philosophy of Mulla Sadra. He returned to Mashhad
to teach for five years, and then accomplished the pilgrimage to Mecca (hajj).
On his way back from pilgrimage he spent a year in Kirman, where he married,
before returning to Sabzavar where he spent the rest of his life devoted to
teaching and writing. A remarkable number of students of philosophy came to
study with him, not only from Iran but from Arab countries and India as well. So
great was his reputation that Nasir al-Din Shah, for whom he wrote his Asrar
al-hikam (Secrets of the Wisdoms), came to visit him in ah 1284/ad 1867, but
al-Sabzawari's pious and ascetic way of life (several minor miracles are
attributed to him), led him to refuse direct royal patronage. He died in ah
1289/ad 1873, having turned Mulla Sadra's legacy into the predominant
philosophical school of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Al-Sabzawari's fame rests primarily on one work, his Ghurar al-fara'id (The
Blazes of the Gems), a poem in which he gives a systematic and complete
presentation of the philosophy of the school of Mulla Sadra, together with the
Sharh al-manzuma, his own commentary on this poem, which he composed despairing
of the philosophical ignorance of his contemporaries. The merit of this work
lies not so much in any radically new theories, but in its plan and
organization, which have made it the standard text for students of philosophy in
Shi'i madrasas until the present day. The situation is now changing and new
teaching texts are appearing, but most of these are still influenced by the
Sharh al-manzuma in both structure and content.
In the centuries after Mulla Sadra, philosophers were on the whole inclined to
write on specific topics, thus leaving a gap in so far as there was no text that
treated the whole of post-Sadrian philosophy in a systematic and assimilable
fashion to which students could turn. Al-Sabzawari filled this gap, first with
his didactic poem, which was to be memorized, and second with his commentary,
which elaborates the poem in the manner of a traditional teacher in the Islamic
religious sciences. The completeness of the work can be gauged by its contents,
which give a good idea of what subjects philosophy encompasses for the
contemporary religious student in a Shi'i madrasa.
The first part is on logic, with the commentary separately subtitled al-La'ali
al-muntazima (The Well-Ordered Nights). The second part (with commentary
subtitled Ghurar al-fara'id), is divided into seven sections: (1) general
principles (al-umur al-'amma), covering existence and related matters (unity,
systematic ambiguity, modality, actuality and so on), quiddity and causality;
(2) substance and accident; (3) metaphysical theology (al-ilahiyyat bi-'l-ma'na
al-akhass), God's essence, attributes and acts; (4) natural philosophy,
including discussions of matter and motion and a section on psychology; (5)
certain supernatural phenomena, including dreams, miracles and prophecy; (6) the
resurrection (ma'ad); and (7) ethics (akhlaq), with a brief treatment of
spiritual values. It should be noted that (2) is essentially part of (1), that
(1-4) form the core of the work, and that (5-7) are relatively short sections.
The commentary is amply provided with proofs and arguments, but there is also a
marked emphasis on intuitive and mystical perception. This aspect of
al-Sabzawari's thought is even more evident in his other works, which included
commentaries on two of the key supplications in Shi'i devotional literature and
the above-mentioned Asrar al-hikam, in Persian, in which eschatology is
elucidated through metaphysical theology, psychology, ethics and the law
(shari'a). This latter work is threaded through with poetic quotations.
Al-Sabzawari was not only a poet in his own right (he has a Persian diwan, or
collection of poems), but he also produced an elaborate metaphysical commentary
on passages from Jalal al-Din al-Rumi's Mathnavi which amply reflects his own
Because of the elegance of his exposition of the entire scope of the Sadrian
philosophy of his time, al-Sabzawari has attracted the attention of a number of
modern scholars who, under the influence of his manifestly esoteric outlook,
have tended to emphasize the mystical approach in nineteenth-century Iranian
philosophy. Although this influence has tended to obscure other philosophical
currents of the time and their legacy to twentieth-century Iranian philosophy,
it cannot be denied that al-Sabzawari was the most significant philosopher of
this period and the one who, through the large number of his students, exerted
the most powerful effect on later generations.