Memories with my Moula over 50 glorious years. The smiling young one between bewe Moulas has witnessed the glorious and eventful 50 years. At the Shabab outing managed to evoke smile on Moula's radiant face, with a silly Chinese skit. At the Star Sporting Club outing got a walk the talk opportunity. Treasured memories.

Monday, October 28, 2013


Abu Ali al Husain Ibn Abd Allah Ibn Hasan Ibn Ali Ibn Sina ( known to medieval scholars as Avicenna) was born in August 980 (Safar 370AH) in Kharmaithan near Bukhara. 

His father was devoted to the Fatemi Imams. With the help of his teacher Nateli, at a very young age he mastered Greek philosophy. After mastering Greek philosophy, he started learning about medicine, and read all available books. He did not find it a difficult science and within a short time, he excelled in it, using methods of treatment often extremely practical. 

At the same time he studied logic and Religious laws and Metaphysics. According to him, whenever, he found himself into difficulty in academic issues, he hastily went to Masjid, contemplated and prayed, and this gave him insight into solving the problem on hand. 
He had a habit of studying late into the night. 

The following episode from his life, is a cause for reflection. 

One day a bookseller offered him a cheap volume, which he reluctantly bought. It turned out to be the work of Farabi, and it helped him in better understanding of the Metaphysics of Aristotle. He was so elated, that he immediately set out of the house to distribute alms to the poor. The thirst of knowledge made him one of the most influential scholars, for the coming generations. 

He got an opportunity to treat the Prince who had taken severely ill, and in return, as a token of favour, he got permission to access the famous library of Samanid rulers. 

At the age of 21 he authored his first book titled Majmu ( Compendium) Next he wrote on Jurisprudence in about twenty volumes titled al- Hasil wa al - Mahsul ( the Import and Substance) followed by a work on ethics called al Birr wa al Ithm ( Good work and Evil) of which, he never made copies but presented it to his learned friend in original. 

He is the author of the famous and one of his longest work Kitab al Shifa, and while he was writing this, he also wrote Qanun ( Cannon) Each night his disciples would gather late into the night and his closest disciple and biographer would read, portions from both the Books. 

He suffered many tribulations and upheavals in his life, went into hiding, was imprisoned, had to move from one Principality to other, all on account of his political allegiances, but non the less he continued to write. 

His book Kitab al Insaf ( The book of Equitable Judgement) was destroyed by the invading army of Sultan Masud, but certain fragments have survived. 

He died at the age of fifty eight on June or July 1037 AD at Hamadhan. He was indeed a man of rare gifts and scintillating mind. However, he had streak of violent temper, and merciless scorn for the mediocre. 

He is said to have written more than a hundred books, fortunately many have survived. Nasir Khosrow his young contemporary and Ismaili poet and philosopher, was greatly influenced by him. 

Bu Ali Sina wrote some poetry also. His Arabic poem including the Ode to the Human Soul, although not great in terms of literary value, is elevating in thought and theme. 

Some excerpts from the Ode to the Human Soul by Ibn Sina 

It descended upon thee from out of the regions above, 
That exalted, ineffable, glorious, heavenly Dove 

Midst the sign posts and ruined abodes of this desolate world 
It weeps, when it thinks of its home and the peace it possesed 
Thick nets detain it, and strong is the cage whereby 
It is held from seeking the lofty spacious sky 
Until, when the hour of of its homeward flight draws near, 
And it is time for it to return to it ampler sphere, 
It carols with joy, for the veil is raised, and it spies 
Such things as cannot be witnessed by waking eyes. 

On the lofty height doth it warble it's song of praise 
And so it returneth aware of all hidden things 
In the Universe, while no stain to its garment clings 

Now why from its perch on high was it cast like this 
To the lowest Nadir's gloomy and drear abyss ? 

The benign saya of Muharram 1435 H is casting its radiance. We mumineen know that our souls have left their lofty perch and for ever yearn to return from this ruined abodes and desolate place. It wants to carol with joy, to witness the veil raised, and to spy on things that cannot be witnessed by waking eyes. 

The nine days of Muharram when each day a mumin hears the recitation of shadaat, when he is lost in wailing and matam, at such times, when his waking eyes are closed, and tears flows : 

His soul carols with joy, for the veil is raised, and it spies 
Such things as cannot be witnessed by waking eyes. 

During Muharram the longing and the thirst of the soul is quenched to some extent.
It experiences bliss when a mumin pines and cries out loud for his MOULA HUSSAIN ! For these nine days of Muharram, the body becomes the khadim of the soul, matam and tears nourishes his soul.

On waqt e asr when mumin beholds his Moula on takht going down in sujood, the soul feels 
quenched, the veil is lifted, it cries out in ecstasy, it senses its emancipation.

Now those who attend Vaaz with awareness and ma'refat know the answer to the question posed by Bu Ali Sina. 

Now why from its perch on high, was it cast like this 
To the lowest Nadir's gloomy and drear abyss 

Aqa Moula ( TUS) and with his Raza Mubaraka his Mansoosehi A'li Qdr Muffadal Moula Saifuddin ( TUS) and all the vaezeen across the globe each year narrate the answer, lest we forget, that this world is not our everlasting abode, our perch is on high, where our Aqa 
Moula (TUS) will surely take us.  

Aza e Hussain (SA) is the journey of the soul, if one cares to reflect. 

Book Ref : Avicenna - His life and works by Soheil M Afnan. Ph.D ( Cantab.) 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this enlightening post Asgar uncle. Hakim Bu Ali Sina is undoubtedly one of our hudood kiraam from Imam Hakim's (AS) time. A scholar par excellence, a scientist, mathematician, logician, doctor and astronomer whose penchant for knowledge and logical accuracy is still unmatched, Ibn Sina is a philosophical giant. As Jon McGinnis, a reputed scholar and professor of philosophy at Oxford University and one of Bu Sina's most ardent admirers says, 'Not knowing Avicenna or his works is a philosophical travesty of our times.' Possibly the most popular and admired Fatemi philosopher in the Western world, Avicenna inspired many Western thinkers of the late Renaissance movement, the all important Existentialist movement which included theists such as Soren Kierkegaard, the Christian saint Thomas of Aquinas who based the entire shift of Christianity from a deist and anthropomorphic God to an intellectual source solely on Avicenna's treatises and the Ikhwan us Safa. In fact, Hakim Bu Ali Sina's Kitab al Shifa and Canon of Medicine is still used at many medical universities across the world and was the major textbook at all European medicine universities till the late 18th century.

    Until the rogue philosophers of the so-called Enlightenment, Structuralist movements rubbished and abandoned logic and reasoning for perception and absurdity, Bu Sina's treatises on modal logic and metaphysics were regarded as sacred and unquestionable which they indeed are. By Ali Sina is the first human being to have developed a system of modal logic - a system that was later bettered by Rene Descartes, Gottlieb Frege and the man-legend Kurt Godel. In fact, it is modal logic that has inspired the development of Boolean Algebra which is the basis for Google's search algorithms. Avicenna also inspired Immanuel Kant and many other logicians throughout history. Sadly, a man of such great repute is - as expected - unheard of or not even mentioned in passing in popular culture, his reputation has been hijacked by doctored texts of his disciple Juzjani and his texts are now regarded as mere medieval philosophy and are subjected to time as a criteria for ascertaining their relevance and validity. This is the bankruptcy of our times. Other notable achievement of Ibn Sina including being the first human being to have performed an open brain surgery, the first to have proposed the idea of the sub-conscious and unconscious mind and the first to propose the Nature and Nurture theory in human development. The list is endless. He is the first to author extant encyclopaedias (6 of them- if I'm not wrong- after Ikhwan us Safa), the most reliable source of Aristotelian and Neoplatonic metaphysics, the first to prove the existence of Time, etc etc etc. He is regarded by Encyclopaedia Britannica and the Institute for Advanced Studies where Einstein studied and taunt as one of the 6 most important logicians in human history along with Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Godel and Frege. Not surprisingly, 4 of them are sahebs of Haq and all 6 of them including Avicenna are 'convinced theists'. So much for the intelligent and rational being atheists.

    But as expected, it is only through the priceless khazanas of Dawat and the radiant, truly enlightened ilm of Aqa Moula TUS and the Doaat Mutlaqeen (AQ) that the serene flames of knowledge Avicenna and Imam Hakim (AS) ignited live on. As expected, it is only through The house of Aale Mohammed and their Doaat that fundamental knowledge and free thinking still shines in this world.