Abu al-?Ala? al-Ma?arri (Author of The Epistle of Forgiveness)Abul ?Ala Al-Ma?arri (Arabic ??? ?????? ?????? Abu al-?Ala? al-Ma?arri, full name ??? ?????? ???? ?? ??? ???? ?? ?????? ??????? ?????? Abu al-?Ala? A?mad ibn ?Abd Allah ibn Sulaiman al-Tanu?i al-Ma?arri, born 973 CE / AH 363, died 1058 CE/ AH 449) was a blind Syrian philosopher, poet, and writer.
He was a controversial rationalist of his time, attacking the dogmas of religion rejecting the claim that Islam or any other religion possessed the truths they claim and considered the speech of prophets as a lie (literally, forge) and impossible to be true. He was equally sarcastic towards the religions of Muslims, Jews, and Christians. He was also a vegan who argued for animal rights.
In 2013, almost a thousand years after his death, a Jihadist group beheaded the statue of Al Maarri during the conflict in Syria. Al Maarri remains widely cited among modern Arab atheists.
Al-Ma?arri was a skeptic in his beliefs and denounced superstition and dogmatism in religion. Thus, he has been described as a pessimistic freethinker. One of the recurring themes of his philosophy was the rights of reason against the claims of custom, tradition, and authority.
Al-Ma?arri taught that religion was a fable invented by the ancients, worthless except for those who exploit the credulous masses.
Do not suppose the statements of the prophets to be true; they are all fabrications. Men lived comfortably till they came and spoiled life. The sacred books are only such a set of idle tales as any age could have and indeed did actually produce.
Al-Ma?arri criticized many of the dogmas of Islam, such as the Hajj, which he called, a heathens journey.
He rejected claims of any divine revelation. His creed was that of a philosopher and ascetic, for whom reason provides a moral guide, and virtue is its own reward.
His religious skepticism and positively anti-religious views are expressed in a poem which states, The inhabitants of the earth are of two sorts: those with brains, but no religion, and those with religion, but no brains.
He was equally sarcastic towards the religion of Islam as he was towards Judaism and Christianity. Al-Maarri remarked that monks in their cloisters or devotees in their mosques were blindly following the beliefs of their locality: if they were born among Magians or Sabians they would have become Magians or Sabians.
"ISLAMOPHOBIA"? - Arab Philosopher Al MA'ARRI on Islam, Muhammad and the Quran.
Abu-L-Ala al-Maarri Facts
Authors born between and CE. Sanctity of Life. Reason and Truth. Those Who Falsely Lead Us. Religion and Superstition. A l-Ma 'arri was stricken with smallpox when four and became blind. As he grew older, he was able to travel to Aleppo, Antioch and other Syrian cities, learning by heart the manuscripts preserved there.
Calligraphy The Arabs developed the arts of calligraphy and arabesque which adorn the Alhambra palace in Grenada, Spain, with some of the best examples today in Read More. View Results. He was one of my literary heroes. I was angry and tormented when I reflected on the destruction that these pre-Stone Age thugs had committed to the memory of this great historical figure. His poetry whether in the original Arabic or translated into English such as the following verse had through the years kept me enthralled:.
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But in the first half-millennium of its existence, especially during the Abbasid period , there was within the Islamic empire an extraordinary flourishing of philosophical debate and of freethinking, of a kind unseen since the heights of Greek philosophy, and that would be unseen again until the Enlightenment. Most influential were the Rationalists, who were dedicated to the ideal of falsafah , by which they meant not simply the discipline of philosophy, but rather a way of living rationally in accordance with the laws of the cosmos. The faylasufs saw learning as an ethical duty, in much the same way as Enlightenment philosophes who were deeply indebted to Muslim Rationalists were to do years later. The movement emerged as the newly created Islamic empire discovered within its borders a treasure house of Greek and Persian learning and began a comprehensive project of translating into Arabic all the works of Greek and Persian philosophers. The faylasufs took from the Greeks not just their spirit of rational inquiry but also their faith in the boundless power of human intellect and its ability to derive the ultimate truths through reason alone. But they challenged the idea that religious truths could be accessed only through divine revelation, many insisting that reason alone would suffice.
A childhood disease left him virtually blind. He studied literature and Islam in Aleppo , and he may have also traveled to study in Antioch and Tripoli , although some historians dispute this. He soon began his literary career, supported by a small private income. In Baghdad he had been well received at first in prestigious literary salons, but, when he refused to sell his panegyrics , he was unable to find a dependable patron. He renounced material wealth and retired to a secluded dwelling, living there on a restrictive diet. He also maintained an active correspondence. Brackenbury, Risalat ul Ghufran , a Divine Comedy, , in which the poet visits paradise and meets his predecessors, heathen poets who have found forgiveness.