Shiism and Prophetic Philosophy
DOI link for Shiism and Prophetic Philosophy
Shiism and Prophetic Philosophy book
The observations that we have already made concerning the ta 'wil of the Quran as the fount of philosophical meditation have already indicated that it would be constricting to reduce the schema of speculative and spiritual life in Islam to the Hellenizing philosophers (falasifah}, to the theologians of the Sunni kalam, or to the SUfis. It is astonishing that in the general accounts of Islamic philosophy, no consideration, one might say, has been given to the role and decisive importance of Shiite thinking in the development of Islamic philosophical thought. There have even existed certain reservations or prejudices on the part of orientalists which border on hostility, and which moreover accord perfectly with the ignorance evinced in Sunni Islam concerning the real problems of Shiism. It is no longer possible to invoke the difficulty of gaining access to the texts, since it is already thirty years since some of the great Ismaili texts began to be published. For their part, the Iranian publishers have increased the number of their printings of the great Twelver Shiite texts. The situation calls for some preliminary remarks. 1. Instead of embarking on the study of Shiite theology and philosophy through the great texts, which extend from the traditions of the Imams down to the commentaries written on them over the centuries, scholars have been content to find political and social explanations which relate only to external history, and which aim at deriving and deducing the cause of the Shiite religious phenomenon from something else-in other words, which aim at reducing it to something other than what it is. For no matter how many external circumstances are collated, the sum of them, or their product, will never give the initial religious ph en omenon (the U.rphaenomen}, which is as irreducible as the perception of a sound or a colour. Shiism is explained first and last by the Shiite consciousness itself, by the Shiite sense and perception of the world.