Who is Ibn Tufayl?June 25, 2021
Andalusian physician, lawyer and philosopher. His full name is Abu Bakr Mohammed bin Abdal Malik bin Mohammed bin Tufail al-Qaisi al-Andalusian. Also known as Abentofail in the Latin world. He is one of the well-known Islamic philosophers.
Ibn Tufayl was born in Vadiü’l-Aş, near Granada, in 1106, and died in Marrakech in 1186. He is one of the most important representatives of the Israki philosophy in Andalusia. He was trained by Ibn Bacce. The main subjects he dealt with and produced important works were medicine, philosophy and astronomy.
His work, which has survived and made it known all over the world, is Hayy bin Yakzan, also known as Esrarü’l-Hikmeti’l-Meşrikiye. Hayy bin Yakzan, the first example of the philosophical novel and the first “robinsonad” in the world, has been translated into all the major languages of the world starting from the 14th century, and has influenced many Western artists and thinkers, especially Daniel Defoe, the author of Robinson Crusoe. In the period when Ibn Tufayl lived (12th century), the humanities were quite advanced besides the positive sciences, especially in Andalusia. Contrary to the medieval Christian western world, there was a belief in the Islamic-Andalusian society that scientific knowledge would be compatible with the Qur’an.
For this reason, while the contributions of non-Muslims to science were not turned away in Andalusia, contributions were made to science within the framework of the truths in the Qur’an. In particular, the Andalusian society, which was quite advanced in the field of Sufism, raised Sufis such as Ibn Arabi and was influenced by their views. According to the Qur’an, which is the main source of philosophers, the first creature of Allah, the seed of the creature, “aql-ı first” or, in mystical terms, “Nur-u Muhammedî”; The last creature is the “Holy Human” who owns this seed.
The purpose of the creature is man, and man is the most honorable creature because of his divine breath, divine breath. Man is connected to the material world with his body and to the spiritual world with his soul. Man is the representative of God on earth, and everything created is subject to man’s use. The responsibility of this representation also belongs to all humanity. All humanity; it is under a collective responsibility to show that every person has the opportunity to activate and realize the potential and possibilities that exist in him.
In Ibn Tufayl’s epistemology, the possibility of knowledge is based on the relationship between man and nature. Hay type in Hayy bin Yakzan’s work is essentially a part of nature with its physical existence, observing nature with its possibilities of perception and knowing, thinking about the basic order and functioning in the field of natural existence, making sense of its existence on earth as an intelligent creature, reaching the idea of metaphysical existence beyond the field of observation, and finally It represents the ideal subject who reaches some metaphysical knowledge through spiritual experiences. The natural field of existence is the ontological possibility that provides information about the physical and metaphysical laws of the order on which it is based and the functioning it maintains to this subject, who can turn to himself with a conscious knowing activity. When it comes to man’s knowledge possibilities and abilities, the principle of comprehension in him is nafs.
Ibn Tufayl’s ideas about the nafs and its knowledge abilities bear a great resemblance to the views of Avicenna. The hero in the work of the philosopher is a type with an investigative spirit who always asks questions about his own existence and his natural environment. While trying to solve every theoretical and practical problem that arises due to his relationship with nature with a fully conscious activity, Hay makes progress that can be explained within the framework of developmental psychology. The senses, observation and experiment and reason are the means of knowledge that play an indispensable role in Hayy’s theoretical development. The continuous features of beings and phenomena perceived by the senses are discovered step by step through observation and experimentation. In the meantime, technical knowledge, which is the necessities of practical reason, and even moral consciousness, as in the development of the feeling of shame in Hay, is reached. Hay, who tries to make sense of existence as well as making various tools in order to sustain his life in the bosom of nature, will reach the intelligible and abstract reality of the functioning, integrity, order and purpose in nature through logical deduction, and will reach the idea of the creator God with all these cosmological evidences.
Ibn Tufayl wanted to base his system of thought on the concept of fitra by constructing a hero who learned everything by himself in a completely untouched natural environment without being subjected to any sociocultural conditioning. However, Ibn Tufayl inevitably refers to the anthropological developmental stages that humanity has traversed while addressing the intellectual development of man in these environments and conditions. As a matter of fact, the symbolism of the number seven, which is used from time to time to express degrees, stages and layers in Islamic culture, was also used by Ibn Tufayl to indicate the developmental stages of Hayy, and a developmental understanding was revealed in which each stage was recorded at the ages expressed as seven and its multiples. The first stage, which lasts until the age of seven, is the initial stage of physical and psychological development. seven-yi