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Letter to the Pupil of Abu Yusuf Ya‘Qub Ibn Ishaq Coursework

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I was recently on a journey to find myself amongst the life that exists in this world and I came across an old man. The man spoke of many things he had experienced in his lifetime. He spoke of his wife, his son, his faith in Allah, his belief in the divine of this world. Among all that he spoke of he also mentioned a certain philosopher who was a visionary in the fields of music, medicine, physics and psychology. He spoke of how this man researches various liquids and creates such sweet smelling concoctions (Abboud, 2006).

On speaking to other people about him I also found out his interest in the art of cryptography and mathematics and how he had attempted to disprove the value of infinity as an absurd notion. How he has also written on the method of creating various medications to treat ailments among the population. How he respects various western philosophers as well but does not follow their teachings until he can prove they are true in his own eyes. How as a musician he not only added a fifth string to the Oud and would use it to alleviate the suffering of those around him (Abboud, 2006). They also spoke of how he valued intellectualism so much that he saw it as the one thing in this world that could never be taken away from a person no matter what pain is caused by the loss of materials or loved ones.

However what truly caught my eyes was when one man spoke of how this philosopher believed in the divine providence of the universe, how everything was created in obedience to the worship of Allah. How the planets revolving around us is proof of this. On asking more the man told me that this philosopher believed that everything in the universe is not only created by God but that God is also integral in the main function of that creation. He believed that God brought life to man out of sheer force of will.

This man is your master Abu Yusuf Ya‘qub ibn Ishaq. The reason I am writing you this letter is because I have heard of his teachings and I wanted to speak to him about his belief in the intellectual above all else. I have heard that your master does not believe in the existence of the physical world but rather tells people to see the soul and the mind as it is. I wish to speak to him of this because in my viewpoint I do not understand how your master has come to this conclusion ( Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy site, 2001).

He believes that the existence of this world and the interest of human beings in it is the cause of true sadness within them. He believes that if an individual creates an attachment with this world and then loses it that is the true cause of sadness. I do not understand how he has come to this conclusion. If he believes as hi science proves and his books say that everything in this world, that everything in this Universe is created by God. That everything in this existence including the mind, soul and even the body that is temporary is created by God. Then why should we fear it, why should we separate ourselves from it. Should we not instead embrace it as we embrace God? Should we not love everything and anything in this world and this universe not because it is a part of this world, rather because it is a reflection of the creator?

I do understand and believe in the word of your master Al-Kindi. That the true essence of creation is not in the temporary bodies that inhabit this world instead it is in the soul. And that the only way we can reach our true potential is to pursue our intellect in search of the divine in all things. However, as I said before I do not believe that pursuit of all that is in this world is contrary to our existence as humans. That doing so will cause our internal mechanisms to be out of place and cause our bodies’ profound pain. If we truly look at this world the way it is meant to be, as an extension of the Al-mighty that exists then what pain is there in truly endeavoring to know the one that created you.

I apologize for sending your master a message this way. However, I simply wanted to avoid any insult I might cause him by approaching him directly. As one of his pupils I believed that you would not only understand the words that I am speaking but would also be able to request your master to meet with me so that we may discuss our beliefs and share our knowledge of the universe. It would greatly honor me if you would please take my request into consideration.

References

Abboud, T. (2006). Al Kindi: The father of the Arab philiosophy. New York: The Rosen Publishing.

Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy site. (2001). al-Kindi, Abu Yusuf Ya‘qub ibn Ishaq (d. c.866–73). Web.

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