Nadim Pabani: The Intellectual Tradition of Shia Ismāʿīlī Islam: The Fatimids and their Approaches to Knowledge

1. Introduction

“We ought not to be ashamed of appreciating the truth and of acquiring it wherever it comes from, even if it comes from races distant and nations different from us…” –Abū Yūsuf Yaʿqūb ibn Isḥāq al-Kindī (c. 800-866)

ICM-14 Fatimid 11th cent. CE detail SVI270107
ICM-14 Fatimid 11th cent. CE detail SVI270107

These words, uttered by one of the greatest Islamic philosophers within the medieval period, speak volumes. His statement appears as a calling; a calling to the truth, a truth which is enshrined within the knowledge of those who may indeed have been, and may continue to be,‘races distant and nations different from us’. What strikes the reader from al-Kindi’s statement however is the uncompromising attitude of openness towards knowledge which seems to underpin it, as he admits that truth can indeed be found in places far and wide.

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Author: ismailimail

Independent, civil society media featuring Ismaili Muslim community, its achievements and humanitarian works.

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