al-Shahrazuri, Shams al-Din


al-Shahrazuri, Shams al-Din
(d. after 687/1288): Al-Shahrazuri was the first major Illuminationist thinker after the founder of the school, al-Suhrawardi. Indeed, most of what we know about the latter’s life comes to us through the former’s great biographical history of ancient Greek and Islamic philosophers, The Pleasure Place of Spirits and the Garden of Rejoicing (Nuzhat al-arwah wa rawdat al-afrah). Al-Shahrazuri was a prolific writer, penning numerous ishraqi treatises, as well as an encyclopedia of philosophy and the sciences entitled The Divine [Metaphysical] Tree (al-Shajara al-ilahiyya). However, he is best known for his formative commentaries on al- Suhrawardi’s Philosophy of Illumination (Sharh Hikmat al-ishraq) and Intimations (Sharh al-Talwihat), which unfolded the Master’s thought in great detail, setting the stage for subsequent ishraqiyyun such as Ibn Kammuna and Qutb al-Din al-Shirazi. Al-Shahrazuri exemplifies the mystical, symbolic and anti-Peripatetic strand of Illuminationist philosophy, which historically proved more influential than Ibn Kammuna’s discursive-analytic approach. Although he viewed himself as the ‘upholder’ (qayyim) of the science of lights, he was by no means a mere imitator or dogmatic partisan. His treatments of other philosophers are objective and even-handed, and despite his own intellectual commitments, he defended the importance of studying Peripatetic thought at a time when the orthodox Ash‘arite backlash against the falasifa had made such pursuits highly questionable.
   See Ibn Kammuna; Illuminationism; al-Shirazi; al-Suhrawardi
   Further reading: Aminrazavi 1997; Nasr 2006; Walbridge 2000b; Ziai 1990

Islamic Philosophy. . 2007.

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