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  • 5/3/2005

Dictionary of Islamic Philosophical Terms


Al-ajsad al-saba'ah:"

The seven bodies": an expression used by the philosophers to denote seven kinds of minerals or metals: gold , silver, lead, black lead, iron , copper and a hard glass substance.

Al-ajnas al-'ashr:The ten genera, the name given sometimes to the ten Aristotelian categories ( see al-maqulat al-‘ashr).

Ihtijaj:To give a logical argument or proof; it has three major modes or kinds: syllogistic argument (qiyas), inductive argument (istiqra) and argument by analogy (tamthil).
Ihdath:Coming into temporal existence (see ibda').

Ihdath al-jaww: "The events of the firmament", i.e. the meteorological phenomena such as meteors, thunder, lightning, seasons, rain, snow, hailstorm, dew, formation of minerals etc. The term is often used for the science of meteorology.( See also al-athar al-‘ulwiyah).

Ihsar: The quantification of a proposition through the use of one of the quantity indicators (al-faz al-musawirah; see al-qadiyat al-mahsurah).

Akhadha juz’ al-‘illah makan al-‘illah:The fallacy of taking a part of the cause or only one condition of the cause as the whole cause.

Akhadha mabi' l-'ard makan bi'l-dhat:
The fallacy of accident; it consists in confounding an essential with an accidental difference as in the following example. "‘Is Plato different from Socrates?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Is Socrates a man?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Then Plato is different from man.’" The fallacy lies in assuming that whatever is different from a given subject must be different from it in all respects, so that it is impossible for them to have a common predicate.

Al-akhlat al-arba'ah:The four humours, i.e. the four chief fluids of the body, viz. blood, phlegm, choler orbile and melancholy or black bile; the theory of four humours, quite common with Muslim philosophers and physicians, originated from Hippocrates .

Ikhwan al-Safa:"the Brethren of Purity" a free scholarly association of scientists and philosophers established atBasra in about 373/983 with a branch in Baghdad. They authored fifty-one treatises know as Rasa’il Iknwan al-Safa’ (Treatises of the Brethren of Purity) which form an Arabic Encyclopedia of science, philosophy and religion, probably the first of its kind in the world of literature.

Idrak:Perception or apprehension; the term is used, however to denote any kind of cognitive experience of the particular objects whether it is due to external sense-organs (i.e. idrak al-hiss) or on account of internal senses such as formative faculty (al-quwwat al-mustasawwirah or khayal), estimative faculty (al-quwwaat al-mutawahhimah), imagination (al-quwwat al-mutakhayyilah) or rational faculty (al-quwwat al-‘aqliyyah). Sometimes cognition, through the external senses, is distinguished from that through the internal senses by calling the former mahsusat and latter wajdaniyat.

Adwar-o-akwar: The recurrent or cyclic periods in the history of cosmic evolution; a term used mostly by the philosophers of illuminationism (ishraqiyun).


Heraclitus Though generally called the "Obscure," he was one of the most brilliant of the pre-Socratic philosophers. He maintained that all things change and nothing is permanent.Irkhila'us:Archelaus – Greek philosopher, the disciple of Anaxagoras (Anaksaghuras).Aristatalis: Aristotle(384–322 B.C.) pupil of Plato and teacher of Alexander… almost all of the works of Aristotle except his Dialogues (about 27) were available to the Muslim philosophers in their Arabic translation. The called Aristotle al-mu‘allim al-awwal, i.e. the “the first teacher”, and keenly studies his works either directly or through his commentators such as as Alexander of Aphrodisias (Iskandar Ifrudisi), Themistius (Thamistiyus), Simplicus(Sinbliqiyus) and others. Muslim Philosophers are not to be blamed for being not altogether able to distinguish between the genuine and apocryphal works of Aristotle. More important of the later current among are: “The Theology of Aristotle” (Uthulujiya Aristatalis), Liber de Causis” (Kitab Khair al-Mahd) and Secreta Secretorum (Sirr al-Asrar).


Aristarchus: Greek astronomer of 3rd century B.C.Aristifus:Aristippus of Cyrene (c. 435-366 B.C.);Greek philosopher, disciple of Socrates and founder of the school of Cyrenaicism (Qaurniyah). He taught that seeking of pleasures is the true end of life and those pleasures are to be judged by their intensity and duration alone. Physical pleasures are the keenest, and present pleasures are sure and as good as that of the future; so why not pluck pleasures as they pass?

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