Comparative Islamic Studies, Vol 3, No 2 (2007)

Al-Farabi and Ibn-Rushd on the Correlation between Philosophy and Religion

Ainur D. Kurmanalieva


Al-Farabi and Ibn Rushd interpreted religion and philosophy as two forms of knowledge which complete rather than nullify each other. This point of view was unique and novel. In this regard, both of them emphasized that, if philosophy were an instrument of a select few people for the comprehension of the meaning of existence, then religion is what gives the general populace a way to express their understanding of life. Ibn Rushd strove to draw the attention of representatives of religious teaching to philosophy, and aimed together with them at the understanding of the world which surrounds humankind. While al-Farabi tried by means of logical arguments to establish the priority of philosophy with reference to religion, Ibn Rushd did not restrict himself to the harmonizing of religion and philosophy, but attempted to use religion for the popularization of philosophy, as well as the raising of its prestige. Ibn Rushd fully realized that it was not necessary for science to argue with religious orthodoxy.

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DOI: 10.1558/cis.v3i2.247

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