Abu Nasr al-Farabi: The Second Teacher! A Giant in Philosphy, Metaphysics and Teaching Methodology! (872 – 950)

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Professor, Consultant Pathologist, American Board Certified Pathologist, Fellow College of American Pathologists. Areas of interest Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology, Cytology, Cancer, Ethics, Islam, Humanity

Abu Nasr al-Farabi: The Second Teacher! A Giant in Philosphy, Metaphysics and Teaching Methodology! (872 – 950)

Anwar Ul Haque

Department of Pathology, AJ&K Medical College, Muzaffarabad

(Disclaimer:  Compilation of his account is based on various sources and it’s not an original research article. References and sources are given at the end. We are grateful to the original writers for their valuable work)

Abu Nasr Mohammad Ibn al-Farakh Farabi a great philosopher, renowned scholar and alchemist was born in a small village Wasij, near Farab in Turkistan in 259 A.H. (870 A.D.). He undertook the meticulous study of ancient philosophy, particularly of Plato and Aristotle. Farabi represents a turning-point in the history of Islamic philosophical thought, since he was the true first founder of epistemology (theory of knowledge; its methods, validity, scope, its distinction between justified belief and opinion) which relies upon ‘universal reason’ and the demonstrations. He served as a tremendous source of aspiration for intellectuals of all times and made great contributions in philosophy, logic and sociology; for which he stands out as an Encyclopedist. As a philosopher, he was the first to separate philosophy from theology. It is difficult to find a philosopher both in Muslim and Christian world from Middle Ages onwards who has not been influenced by his views.1 He placed heavy emphasis on logic and believed that each human individual possesses the ability to discern between good and evil, which he considered the basis for all morality. He is credited by historians for preserving the works of Aristotle that otherwise might have been forgotten and subsequently destroyed during the Dark Ages. He earned the nickname Muallamm-e-Sani (Second teacher), after Aristotle, who was considered the first master. He made study of logic easier by dividing it into two categories; idea and proof.2


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