The Five Lessons of the Chief Sheikh.. How is Ibn Sina’s philosophy and life path manifested in our contemporary civilization?

Avicenna’s saturation with philosophy was what motivated him to accept the position of vizier, as he was convinced that the administration of the state must be supported by a deep knowledge of man.

Are you looking for a modern book that delves into the life of the physician and philosopher Avicenna? Book “Avicenne ou l’Islam des Lumières” (Avicenne ou l’Islam des Lumières), published in March 2021.

The book is a biography of the life of the Persian physician Avicenna, written by the researcher Omar Marzouk, who holds a doctorate in philosophy, and teaches Islamic philosophy and civilization at the Al-Ghazali Institute for the training of imams of the Great Mosque in Paris.

In the 12th and 13th centuries AD, the Europeans rediscovered the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle (384-322 BC), but not by reading his texts directly, but thanks to the translation of Arabic manuscripts by the Muslim scholars Avicenna and Ibn Rushd, according to a previous report by the “Loops” website. (L’OBS) French.

and in Blog Published by the French website Le Club du Mediapart, writer Pascal Mayar says that what distinguishes this work is Omar Marzouk’s ability to create a balance between academic research and composing a story that is easy for anyone to read and understand its details, in this biography that tells In it are the phases of the life of the physician, poet and philosopher Ibn Sina (370-427 AH / 980-1037 AD), nicknamed the chief Sheikh.

The writer mentioned that Omar Marzouk alternated between describing this philosopher’s many travels across the Islamic world and the interpretation of his philosophical vision, to make readers imagine cities, landscapes and people, while at the same time absorbing the ideas of the philosopher doctor Abi Ali Al-Hussein Al-Balkhi Al-Bukhari, known as “Avicenna”, and in the West as Avicenne.

Through this biography of a Muslim scholar who lived about 10 centuries ago, the thought of the Persian world resonates strongly in our present, and this book is full of lessons we need for our current era, the most prominent of which are 5 lessons that this report touches on.

Avicenna’s thought resonates strongly in our present (websites)

Mixing generations and connecting with the truth

The writer mentioned that the first lesson that the reader can learn is the virtue of mixing between generations, which we sorely lack in our time, and this is what we discover through Ibn Sina’s path and life, and the experiences and challenges he went through, and the people he met and the journeys he undertook.

In his youth, Ibn Sina refined his personality and refined his spirit through his contact with “Tajiks, Hindus, Afghans, Tatars, Turkmen, Arabs, Jews and Persians.” His birthplace, Bukhara (in present-day Uzbekistan) was also credited with what he reached, because it was a city known to welcome “exotic sciences”. In this way, Ibn Sina was able to hybridize his thought and culture in what Omar Marzouk calls “the sublime spirit and Greek genius”.

The second lesson is the connection with facts and truth that can only be established through the exercise of reason. Ibn Sina lived in a time of crises and divisions and the clash of fanaticism with rationality. Omar Marzouk explains how this philosopher opposed myths through logical reasoning, and moved away from vulgarity by choosing the most spiritual and lofty languages.

The golden age of science.. Mishaal Al-Razi and Ibn Sina who enlightened modern medicineIbn Sina (right) yearned for knowledge during his formative years and was able to absorb many of its fields (Al-Jazeera)

The interdependence of knowledge, the exchange of roles and politics

The third lesson of Avicenna, which resonates in Omar Marzouk’s book, lies in the interconnectedness of knowledge. The author touched on the young philosopher’s yearning for knowledge during his formative years, and his ability to absorb many fields of knowledge, including medicine, astronomy, logic, physics and philosophy, as well as arts and literature. For Avicenna, limiting knowledge to only one science is ruin for the soul.

According to Avicenna, authentic knowledge is based on a comprehensive view and the rejection of all binaries and the separation of disciplines. In other words, medicine cannot be separated from philosophy, and politics from ethics. This theory of Ibn Sina applies to literature as well, as he organized his huge book “The Canon of Medicine” in Urjoza, which was a shortened version of it.

As for the fourth lesson, according to Ibn Sina, it is the possibility of exchanging roles between the philosopher and the physician, as philosophy is considered a cure for the soul, while medicine cannot be dispensed with in our lives, and this is what he touched upon in the “Book of Healing.”

It is not surprising that Ibn Sina was one of the first doctors to confirm the psychophysical dimension of some diseases, and some ideas in his book “The Canon of Medicine” can be projected onto our contemporary world, such as that application is an essential factor for correcting theoretical errors, the importance of hygiene, and the impact of climate on health. Air quality is considered as one of the transmission factors.

The fifth lesson of Ibn Sina revolves around what motivates a man or a woman to engage in politics, which is what the physician and philosopher did. This lesson was summed up by Omar Marzouk by saying that motivation is not through “promoting political ambitions or planning for a certain position, but rather in being well prepared to assume this responsibility and providing the appropriate conditions for that.”

It was Ibn Sina’s saturation with philosophy that motivated him to accept the position of vizier, as he was convinced that the administration of the state must be supported by a deep knowledge of man. Marzouk states in his book that “there is only a difference in degree between the management of political affairs and self-control,” and perhaps this lesson is the most important of our time.

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