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  • 4/4/2005

Dictionary of Islamic Philosophical Terms



bliss; ecstasy; happiness; to enjoy God, i.e. to have the bliss and beatitude of the experience of the Divine.


Eternala parte post, i.e. eternal without end as opposed toazal(q.v.), eternal a parte ante, i.e. eternal without beginning. Sometimes used synonymous withdahr(q.v.), i.e. time in the absolute sense. According to the philosophers the two termsabad andazal imply each other and the world is both pre-eternal and post-eternal, a view very seriously challenged by the orthodox (notably by Imam Ghazali) for according to them God alone is abadi andazali.Ibda':Creation from absolute nothingness; to be distinguished from the cognate terms khalq,takwin andihdath, all of which presuppose the temporal priority of cause to effect. InIbda‘ there is no priority of cause to effect; there is only priority in essence so that effect comes tobe after not-being with a posteriority in essence.Ibda‘ again is of higher order thanihdath ortakwin in so far as it signifies granting existence without an intermediary, be it time, or motion, or matter one or other of which is necessarily presupposed inihdath andtakwin. FurtherIbda‘ is specific to the creation of intelligences,khalq to that of the natural beings andtakwin to that of the “corruptible” among them.

Ab'ad- e-thalathe:

The three dimensions of a material body: length, width, and depth. These dimensions do not enter into the definition of a thing; they are just some of its accidents and not part of its existence, even though they determine its state.ittihad fi' l-idafah, also called ittihad fi’ l-nisbah:Union by relation, said of two or more pairs of things when the terms or parts of each pair have the same relation or ratio as the terms or parts of the other pair, e.g. the relation individually of two brothers to their father or the relation of ration 2 : 4 to the ration 3 : 6 ; the relation between such pairs is technically called to be that ofmunasabah (q.v.).ittihad fi' l-jins:Union by genus, said of two or more things when they belong to the same genus, e.g. man and horse belonging to the genus animal; relation between them is technically called to be that ofmujanasah (q.v.).

ittihad fi’ l-khassah:

Union by property (proprium), said of two or more things when they have a common property, e.g. triangles of all kinds have the sum of their two sides greater than the third; this relation between them is technically called to be that of mushakalah (q.v.).ittihad fi’ l-kamm:Union by quantity, said of two or more things when they are of equal quantity, e.g. two seers of cotton and two seers of gold with reference to weight, or one yard of cloth and one yard of a tape or stick with reference to length; the relation between such things is technically called to be that ofmusawah (q.v.)

ittihad fi’ l-kayf:

Union by quality, said of two or more things of the same quality: color, taste, smell or any other quality; the relation between them is technically called to be that of mushabahah (q.v.)

ittihad fi’ l-naw’:

Union by species, said of two or more things or individuals belonging to the same species, e.g. Zaid, Bakr and ‘Umar subsumed under the species "man"; the relation between them is technically called to be that ofmumathalah (q.v.).ittihad fi’ l-mawdu': Union with reference to "subject", said to be of two or more predicates when they pertain to the same subject in a proposition for example when it is said, "Honey is yellow and sweet and soft".

ittihad fi’ l-wad’:

Union with reference to the composition of parts of constituents of two or more bodies, for example the skeletal systems of two mammalians or vertebrata; this similarity in the composition of parts of two or more bodies is technically known asmuwazanah (q.v.).ittisal:A term used in logic to denote the connection between the antecedent and the consequent in a conditional or hypothetical proposition. Also means continuous.  see al-qadiyat al-shartiyahr.al-athar al-‘elwiyah: "The things on high": an expression used by Muslim philosophers and scientists for meteorological phenomena such as meteors, thunder, lightning, seasons, rain, snow, hailstorm, dew, etc. Quite often it is used as title of works on the study of these phenomena and more particularly for Aristotle’s work Meteorological containing four books.

ithbat al-Bari:

Proving the existence of God. Muslim philosophers seem to be fully conversant in their own way with the so-called traditional arguments for the existence of God, viz. the cosmological argument, the teleological argument and the ontological argument; it is, however, the first which they have emphasized most and of which they have given many more variant forms than those of the others.Ijtima' al-naqidayn: Bringing two contradictories together, which is a logical impossibility; for two contradictories cannot be predicated of the same subject at the same time in the same respect, as contradictories in their very nature exclude each other. This is however, done to reduce the argument of an adversary in a discussion to a logical absurdity. See also muqati’ and naqidayn.

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