Philosophy of Divinity and Soul (Ya'qub Ibn Ishaq Al-Kindi)

Philosophy of Divinity and Soul (Ya'qub Ibn Ishaq Al-Kindi)
Al-Kindi originated from Kindah in Yemen, but he was born in Iraq (Kufa) in the year 796 AD. He was born into an affluent family; his parents were governors in Basra. Upon reaching adulthood, Al-Kindi moved to Baghdad, where he received protection from Caliph Al-Ma'mun (813-833 AD) and Caliph Al-Mu'tasim (833-842 AD). Al-Kindi was a follower of the Mu'tazilah school of thought.

During the reign of Caliph Harun Ar-Rashid, there was a movement to translate scientific books from outside the Islamic world. This initiative continued during the time of Caliph Al-Ma'mun. Al-Kindi actively participated in translating books from Greek, although he often provided more summaries than literal translations. Due to his privileged background, Al-Kindi could afford to pay people to translate the books he needed. He was also an active writer, with Ibn al-Nadim mentioning that Al-Kindi authored 241 books. His works, especially in optics, gained fame and were translated into Latin, influencing figures like Roger Bacon. Al-Kindi passed away in the year 873 AD.

Philosophy of Divinity by Al-Kindi

Al-Kindi was a proficient philosopher and a scholar in various sciences. He divided knowledge into two categories. First, divine knowledge, which comes directly from God to the prophets, based on faith. Second, human knowledge or philosophy, rooted in reasoning.

For Al-Kindi, philosophy is knowledge of the truth, showing a similarity between philosophy and religion. Philosophy and religion, according to Al-Kindi, are not in conflict; they share the same goal of discovering the right path. The highest form of philosophy, in Al-Kindi's view, is the philosophy of God. According to him, God is The First Truth, the first and only truth.

Al-Kindi argued that the nature of God does not have a specific essence (aniyah) or universal essence (mahiyah). God does not possess those characteristics because He is unique, the first and only truth.

While Aristotle considered God as the prime mover, Al-Kindi believed that God is the creator, not just the first mover as Aristotle thought. Al-Kindi asserted that the world is not eternal; it has a beginning. Only God is eternal.

Philosophy of the Soul by Al-Kindi

According to Al-Kindi, the soul is simple, not composed, but it holds significant meaning. This is because the substance of the soul comes from the substance of God. The relationship between the soul and God is comparable to the relationship between light and the sun. Through the substance of the soul, humans can attain true knowledge, meaning knowledge from God.

The soul is eternal. It does not perish like the body. As mentioned earlier, the substance of the soul comes from God. A soul that has not separated from the body will not experience true pleasure, and its knowledge will be incomplete. Only after parting from the body will the soul enter the realm of truth or the realm of intellect. However, only a pure soul can enter this realm. A soul that is still impure goes first to the moon, cleanses itself there, and then proceeds to Mercury, ascending from one level to another for purification. Only after becoming completely pure does it reach the eternal realm or the realm of intellect.

Writer : Mushpih Kawakibil Hijaj
Job : Shariavest Writer
Editor : Sibangbara.