Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Some Recent Titles on Mullā Ṣadrā

Of course, visiting Iran provides opportunities to see what’s recently been published (although I’m lucky to receive books all the time from generous friends). A few more titles have been published by the Sadra Islamic Philosophy Research Institute (SIPRIn) including a new edition of Risāla ittiḥād al-ʿāqil wa-l-maʿqūl edited by Biyūk ʿAlīzāda. The edition itself is prefaced with practically 200 pages of discussion. No doubt it should be used alongside Ibrahim Kalin’s new translation which is embedded in his recent book on Mullā Ṣadrā’s epistemology published by OUP.

Since I am currently writing a series of pieces on Mullā Ṣadrā’s noetics including the issue of eschatology and the final destination of the human, I finally got hold of the famous explanation and commentary by the late (and greatly missed) Sayyid Jalālodīn Āshtiyānī (d. 2006). All of Āshtiyānī’s works on Mullā Ṣadrā as well as his various editions of texts have been reprinted by the press of the Ḥawzeh in Qum since the late 1990s (Daftar-i tablīghāt – now known as Bustān-i kitāb). The importance of the Sharḥ bar Zād al-musāfir is all the more because the actual text of Mullā Ṣadrā (to my knowledge) has yet to be published in the critical edition – and Āshtiyānī is always worth reading. He begins by replicating the original text – around eight pages of Arabic. This text takes up the issue of corporeal resurrection in a brief manner discussing twelve principles required to understand the issue – and as such mirrors the final volume of al-Ḥikma al-mutaʿāliya where Mullā Ṣadrā mentions eleven principles needed to understand corporeal resurrection and abandon metempsychosis. This is then followed by over 500 pages of Āshtiyānī’s commentary that given his style and interests constitutes a full history of the ḥikmat tradition on this issue. Mullā Ṣadrā’s position is, of course, controversial and has often been criticised and condemned, not least by the school of uṣūlīs hostile to philosophy known as the maktab-i tafkīk. Therefore, I also acquired a new defence of Mullā Ṣadrā published by Bustān-i kitāb. Murtażā Pūʾīyān’s Maʿād-i jismānī dar ḥikmat-i mutaʿāliya published for the first time in 2009 addresses the criticisms by first showing that Mullā Ṣadrā’s position is both defensible rationally and scripturally, and then criticising the refutations or modification proposed by Mullā Ismāʿīl Khājūʾī (18th C), Mullā Muḥammad Taqī Āmulī (a famed teacher of Sabzavārī’s Sharḥ al-manẓūma), Muṭahharī, ʿAllāma Ṭabāṭabāʾī, and the maktab-i tafkīk especially Mullā Mahdī Iṣfahānī, Muḥammad Riżā Ḥakīmī, and Shaykh Mujtabā Qazwīnī.

Other acquisitions included:

· Hastī va chīstī dar maktab-i Mullā Ṣadrā on the central issue of the relationship between existence and essence in contingents written by Ghulām-Riżā Fayyāżī, a well-known ḥawzeh teacher and published by Pazhūhishgāh-i ḥawzeh va dānishgāh last year in 2009.

· Zamān dar falsafa-yi Ṣadr al-mutaʾallihīn va Saint Augustine by Mahdī Munfarid is also published in the current year by the ḥawzeh and tackles a central issue of the reality of time and its relationship to motion within a comparative context that is so popular in Iran. The comparison with Augustine is quite interesting and appropriate.

· Mabānī, uṣūl va ravish-i tafsīrī-yi Mullā Ṣadrā by Majīd Falāḥpūr is a recent contribution to the question of his hermeneutics and should be read alongside two other recent works published by SIPRIn.

· Khayāl az naẓar-i Ibn Sīnā va Ṣadr al-mutaʾallihīn by Zohreh Burqeʿī tackles a central issue in noetics relating to the imagination – which for Ibn Sīnā is the key internal sense and the one most heightened in prophets, and for Mullā Ṣadrā the one which is the seat of the creative power of the soul whence it reproduces the bodies of the afterlife. This is another offering from the ḥawzeh.

· Natāʾij-i kalāmī-yi ḥikmat-i Ṣadrāʾī, also published by the ḥawzeh and written by Muḥammad Amīn Ṣādiqī addresses a further issue of the implications of philosophy for theology – I noticed other more basic titles in this vein published by the many pazhūhishgāhs now in Qum.

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