Al-Farabi and his spiritual legacy
«Al-Farabi, the greatest thinker of the entire Muslim East, has done a great deal of work on many issues that his predecessors were only interested in. This is a wise man, advancing to the deepest facets of Greek philosophy. Therefore, anyone who really started the scientific study of philosophy in the East should not be called by another, but only by his name.»
- MUELLER, East German orientalist
The great thinker of the East Abu Nasir al-Farabi was born in 870 in the city of Farab, now called Otrar, at the confluence of the Arys and Syr rivers (now a medieval city near Otrar in the South Kazakhstan region). Farabi’s full name is Abu Nasr Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Tarkhan ibn Uzlag al-Farabi at-Turki. We know that Al-Farabi came from a wealthy Turkic tribe, which is understood by the term «Tarkhan» in his name. Otrar, the ancient Kazakh city of his birth, was called Barba-Farab by the Arabs, hence the name Abu Nasir al-Farabi, meaning Abu Nasir from Farab. According to the records of those who lived at that time, Otrar was the largest cultural center in the IX century at the conjunctions of historical relations and trade routes.
Abu Nasir grew up interested in science since childhood, and fortunately at that time there was a very rich library in Otrar. Al-Farabi studies Persian and Greek and reads scientific treatises in this language. After receiving his primary education in Farab and Bukhara, al-Farabi traveled to Baghdad to further his education. The scientific traditions and philosophical orientations of the Merv school influenced the formation of Farabi’s worldview. In Baghdad, al-Farabi studies science and various disciplines. Due to his passion for education, al-Farabi visited Damascus, Aleppo, Cairo, Shash, Samarkand, Bukhara, Merv, Nishapur, Rey, and Hamadan, which were the centers of science and education at that time, and constantly improved his knowledge. He studied and worked in those cities. In these cities of the East, he got acquainted with the most prominent scientists of his time, the facts of fiction. He learns from them.
Al-Farabi is an outstanding thinker, the greatest scientist, philosopher and the greatest representative of Eastern Aristotelianism among his contemporaries. Due to his knowledge and literacy, he was awarded the title of «Second Teacher». Al-Farabi’s creative legacy is huge (about 150 philosophical and scientific treatises), and his research interests include philosophy and logic, politics and ethics, music and astronomy. The most famous of his scientific works is called “Treatise on the views of the residents of the virtuous city». His famous work, “The Great Book of Music”, has been translated into many languages.
Al-Farabi commented on many works of the Greek philosopher Aristotle in the field of philosophy, such as «Categories», «Metaphysics», «Hermeneutics», «Rhetoric», «Poetics», the first and second «Analytics», «Topics» and others.
Abu Nasir’s book on the ideas of Plato and Aristotle’s philosophy proves that he was an outstanding scholar in the field of philosophy and had a deep knowledge of philosophy. Developing Aristotle’s social ideas, Farabi, for his part, wrote «Pearl of Wisdom», «The Vision of the People of the Good City», «The Origins of Problems», «The Rise of Scientists», » Happiness», «Civil Policy», «Sayings of a Statesman «. He wrote many constructive philosophical works. In these works, Farabi expresses modern views and opinions about the world, society, state and human relations.
According to Farabi scientists in the country, the scientist died of natural causes. He died in the month of Rajab in 339 AH (950 AD) at the age of more than eighty in the city of Sham. The emperor Sayf al-Dawla, who led fifteen of his servants, was in charge of sending the «second teacher» with honor. He was buried in the cemetery on the side of the city called «Small Gate» («Bab al-Saghir»). There is his monument.
Al-Farabi’s work has not lost its significance to this day. Al-Farabi’s views on the state, governance, socio-ethical and political views are especially important for today’s society. His works greatly contributed to the rise of the European Renaissance. Farabi played an important role in the transmission of science and ancient culture of the East and the West.
Al-Farabi’s scientific ideas have greatly influenced the philosophical, aesthetic, social and ethical thinking of the peoples of the East and Europe in his time, and the development of art, the development of common spiritual values. The spiritual world of the great philosopher of civilization Abu Nasir al-Farabi is the pinnacle of human civilization and spiritual values.
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