Abu al-Hassan al-Amiri
Abu al-Hassan Muhammad ibn Yusuf al-Amiri (Arabic: أبو الحسن محمد ابن يوسف العامري) (died 992) was a Muslim theologian and philosopher of Persian origin, who attempted to reconcile philosophy with religion, and Sufism with conventional Islam. While al-'Amiri believed the revealed truths of Islam were superior to the logical conclusions of philosophy, he argued that the two did not contradict each other. Al-'Amiri consistently sought to find areas of agreement and synthesis between disparate Islamic sects. However, he believed Islam to be morally superior to other religions, notably Zoroastrianism and Manicheism.
Al-Amiri was the most prominent Muslim philosopher following the tradition of Kindi in Islamic Philosophy. He was contemporary of Ibn Miskawayh and his friend, and lived in a half century between Al-Farabi and Ibn Sina. He was a polymath who wrote on "...logic, physics, psychology, metaphysics, ethics, biology and medicine, different religions, Sufism and interpretation of the Qurʾān, as well as of dreams."
Life and education
Abu'l Hasan Muhammad ibn Yusuf al-'Amiri was born in Nishapur, Khorasan, in modern-day Iran. He began his career studying under Abu Zayd al-Balkhi in Khurasan, before moving to Rey and ultimately Baghdad. It was in Baghdad where he met noted 10th century intellectuals such as al-Tawhidi and Ibn Miskawayh.
Al 'Amiri retired in Bukhara, where he had access to the Samani library, and died in Nishapur in 992. He believed that philosophy did not contradict the teachings of Islam and tried to focus and base his beliefs on both philosophy and Islam. However many people believed that the philosophy teachings/beliefs are much different from Islam's or any other cultures. Al-'Amiri argued that revealed truth must be superior to philosophy. His beliefs involved the Greeks too. In Abu'l Hasan Muhammad Ibn Yusuf al-'Amiri believed that the Greeks did not have a final say because they as a society, lacked a prophet who had a final say in all forms. Abu'l Hasan Muhammad Ibn Yusuf al-'Amiri's main purpose was to defend Islam against a form of philosophy which was regarded as independent of revelation.
- al-I'lam bi manaqib al-Islam (An Exposition on the Merits of Islam)
- Inqadh al-bashar min al jahr wa'l-qadar (Deliverance of Mankind from the Problem of Predestination and Free Will). Here al-'Amiri attempts a resolution of the problem of free will by the application of Aristotelian principles.
- al-Taqrir li-awjuh al-taqdir (The Determination of the Various Aspects of Predestination) al-'Amiri continues to address the problem of free will.
- Kitab al-amad 'ala'l-abad (On the Afterlife).
- Elvira Wakelnig in Henrik Lagerlund (ed.), Encyclopedia of Medieval Philosophy : Volume 1, Springer Science & Business Media (2010), p. 73
- Tom Gaskell, 1998. Web. 27 Sept. 2009. <http://www.muslimphilosophy.com/ip/rep/H041>.
- Al-'Amiri, Abu'l Hasan Muhammad ibn Yusuf (d. 992). Tom Gaskell, 1998. Web. 27 Sept. 2009. <http://www.muslimphilosophy.com/ip/rep/H041>.
- History of Islamic Philosophy (Routledge History of World Philosophies) by Seyyed Hossein Nasr