Suhrawardi as an Avicennian Sciartist

Document Type : Original Article


Fleshing philosophical issues out by allegory, Suhrawardi constitutes the founder of the Illumination School. And his allegorical issues are deemed Avicennian all the way down the line, requiring us to point his other face out: Avicennian Suhrawardi.
I set forth three issues of sense perception, emanation, and cosmology which ever since Aristotle’s age has captured the attention of philosophers.
In the field of sense perception, ten interior and exterior senses are allegorized by ten towers, ten wide straps, ten graves, ten flyers, ten wardens, five chambers and five gates.
In the theory of emanation, the ten Separate Intellects are allegorized by the ten old men, whereas the Active Intellect by the father, the master, and the Red Intellect.
In cosmology, the spheres are symbolized by nine shells, eleven layers of a basin, eleven mountains, sons, and mills.
Ten sense perceptions, ten intellects, and nine or eleven spheres are modules of Avicenna’s philosophy, forcing us to reckon Suhrawardi as an Avicennian sciartist.

All of these allegories allude to Avicenna’s views. That being the case, Suhrawardi is reckoned as an Avicennian sciartist writ large, due to encrypt Avicenna’s stance by allegory, in lieu of his own illumationist views.


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