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Political philosophy in classical Islam

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-H012-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved July 23, 2024, from

Article Summary

Political philosophy in Islam is the application of Greek political theorizing upon an understanding of Muhammad’s revelation as legislative in intent. In lieu of Aristotle’s Politics, unknown in medieval Islam, Plato’s political philosophy assumed the primary role in an explanation of the nature and purpose of the Islamic state. Al-Farabi conceived of the prophet as a latter day philosopher-king, Ibn Bajja and Ibn Tufayl took their cue from Socrates’ fate and cautioned the philosopher against the possibility of successfully engaging in a philosophical mission to the vulgar masses, and Ibn Rushd presented philosophy as a duty enjoined by the law upon those able to philosophize.

Citing this article:
Frank, Daniel H.. Political philosophy in classical Islam, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-H012-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
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