Transmigration in the Philosophical System of Sheikh Ishraq and Muhammad bin Zakariya Razi

Nasrin Tawakkoli / Assistant Professor of Theology and Islamic Sciences in Payam-e Noor University

Received: 2018/12/01 - Accepted: 2019/05/21


Transmigration as a philosophical idea to answer the issue of the destiny of man’s soul after his death is among the important issues in the sphere of studying the soul. Most Muslim philosophers have regarded transmigration as an impossible idea, putting forward arguments for their view. Muhammad bin zakariya and Shahabuddin Suhrawardi, however, have a special position in this regard. Thus, the present article deals with their views. Here, it is clarified that Muhammad bin Zakariya Razi is regarded as the first prominent philosopher supporting the idea of transmigration in the Islamic world, and this doctrine has its roots in his philosophical worldview in the realm of eternity of the soul and matter. In most of his works, Sheikh Ishraq mentions the theory of impossibility of transmigration, but in Hikmat al-Ishraq, he considers the arguments of adherents of both impossibility and possibility of transmigration as weak. Between these two views, there are disagreements on ‘the amount of paying attention to transmigration’, ‘the sphere of possibility of transmigration’, ‘the amount of innovation in this issue’, ‘the methodology of discussion’, and ‘the relationship between transmigration and temporality or eternity of the soul’. These two views are common in ‘possibility of freedom from cycle of transmigration’ and ‘negation of impossibility of some types of transmigration’.

KEY WORDS: transmigration, ascending transmigration, similar transmigration, Sheikh Ishraq, Muhammad bin Zakariya Razi.

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