In the Conference of “The Philosophical School of Shiraz”, the President of the Sadra Islamic Philosophy Institute Said, “Ishraqi Philosophy has Turned into a Means for Defending Shi’ism.          23.8.2008


In the Conference of “The Philosophical School of Shiraz”, Ayatullah Seyyed Mohammed Khamenei analyzed the historical features of philosophy in Iran and said, "Batiniyyah or Isma’iliyyah was one of the trends developed in Imam Sadiq’s time and at the same time with Abbasid and Umayyad dynasties, and a great number of Shi’i great figures were associated with it. However, not enough attention has been paid in history to the role of Shi’ism in this regard."

 He maintained that the attention to rational sciences was one of the features of the secret Shi’i trend, specifically, during the Seljuq period and Ghazzali’s time. He also said that the development of these sciences can be studied in three parts including the Peripatetic Philosophy, Ishraqi wisdom, and gnosis. At that time, Shiraz had turned into one of the reliable and trustworthy centers for guarding wisdom and philosophy, specifically, Ishraqi wisdom, and the domain of this trust extended to the whole Islamic country and even to Damascus and Spain.

 Ayatullah Khamenei also said, “Philosophy for Shi’ism is always like a weapon which, in addition to disseminating and intensifying Islamic beliefs, blocks the way to deception and political sophistry.”

He also continued, “Philosophy and even Ishraqi wisdom enjoy certain characteristics that have turned them into a tool for defending Shi’ism and the legacy of guardianship. That is why the caliphs strongly opposed philosophy.”

By resorting to the fact that when Safawids came to the throne, everything was ready for the penetration of Shi’ism, the President of the Sadra Islamic Philosophy Institute referred to the history of the Safawid Dynasty and said, “During the Safawids’ reign, the Shi’i law and judgment system did not exist. Therefore, the king invited some scholars from other countries to train judges. However, we see that there was no need to teach philosophy because gnosis and philosophy had been preserved since years ago in Fars Province and already exited in the country."

He also referred to some historical sources indicating the presence of about 1000 gnostics during this historical period in Shiraz and said that some of them were involved in business and some in ascetic practice and worship.

By emphasizing the necessity of protecting the great cultural and philosophical legacy of Iran, Ayatullah Khamenei said, one of the characteristics of the rulers of Fars Province at the time of Mongol’s attack was that they guarded the safety of this region with good policies and did not allow Mongols to destroy the heritage of this land. As a result, the philosophical school of Shiraz, which had become active two centuries before their attack, continued its life for half a century after that in Shiraz.

He also added that this helped to protect knowledge, culture, and cultural legacy at that time, and this safety paved the ground for the gathering of scholars in Fars. On the other hand, because of their belief in Imamat in opposition to caliphate and their mental readiness for Shi’ism in Fars, the scholars of this region hid Shi’ism in their minds and hearts and protected it under various covers.

He also said that knowledge and science owe a great to Fars, and that many sciences existed in the interior of wisdom which Shi’ism guided relying on revelation and religion. He added that Shiraz must continue to remain the guardian and forerunner of ‘Alawi and Islamic wisdom and spread its messages everywhere. Moreover, it should spread the teachings and gnostic messages of the Qur’an to others. He emphasized that this city must turn into an academic center so that people from other lands travel there in order to learn sciences such as philosophy and wisdom.




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