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Ibn Masarra, Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Allah (883–931)

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-H032-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved April 12, 2024, from

Article Summary

Muhammad ibn Masarra is said to be responsible for the first structuring of Andalusian Spanish Muslim philosophy. The thrust of his philosophy was to show the agreement between reason and revelation. The two paths taken by honest philosophers and prophets lead to the same goal of reaching the knowledge of the oneness of God. We can only know that God exists but not what His nature is. Ibn Masarra held that the divine attributes of knowledge, will and power are a distinct aspect of the simple and ineffable essence of God, and the Neoplatonic theory that all beings have emanated from him through the First Intellect and are either invisible or apparent. There are two sciences, one of the invisible, transcendental world, the other of the apparent and sensible world. The inner meanings in the sciences can be learned through the science of letters. By studying the enigmatic letters at the beginning of the Qur’anic surahs, one can decipher the secret knowledge of the truth symbolized by them.

Citing this article:
Atiyeh, George N.. Ibn Masarra, Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Allah (883–931), 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-H032-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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