Circa the year 1030 A.D., Abu Ali Ibn Sina – may God bless him well – in a letter addressed to a close disciple of his named Bahmanyar, after reminding the latter of the long experience he has had in philosophy, advised the student as follows:
You should [as a result] engage in more such discussions [with me] on any [topic that] you wish, because in them lies pleasure and benefit [for the soul]. Whatever I am able to bring to light I will do so either openly, or from behind a veil which will act as a useful kind of stimulus and drill for it; whatever I am unable to do so, I will excuse myself and admit it, since what is known to mankind is limited.
The above succinctly conveys the intentions which motivate this blog, namely, to engage, as Bahmanyar was encouraged to do, in discussions about the philosophy of the Shaykh al-Ra’is. Pleasure and benefit for the soul, we’re told, are in doing this. Having said that, an important proviso ought to be noted; piety, ignorance, and the inherently difficult and ultimately salvific nature of wisdom (hikmah) demand that the task be undertaken all the while meekly asking God, as was Ibn Sina’s own customary practice, “for inspiration [of] the truth (ilham al–haqq) through its verification (bi–tahqiqihi).”