Article

A New Source for Al-‘Amirı Studies: al-Majalis al-sab‘ bayna al-Shaykh wa al-‘Amirı

Abstract

The unique copy of al-Majālis al-sab‘ bayna al-Shaykh wa al-‘Āmirī (Ragıp Paşa Library 1461, ff. 150a-162b) consists of seven sessions including fourty-one questions and answers. While the name of al-‘Āmirī (d. 381/992) does not appear in the texts except for the title, we understand from the phrases at the end that the al-Shaykh in the title corresponds to Ibn Sīnā (d. 428/1037). In this article, I will broadly describe structural characteristics of al-Majālis and examine the historical and geographical possibility of the philosophical debate between al-‘Āmirī and Ibn Sīnā outlined in al-Majālis. Then, I will compare the philosophical approach in the first three sessions of al-Majālis, where the stages of the coming of the universe into being are treated, with al-‘Āmirī’s extant works. I can talk two principal conclusions of the article: (i) It was historically and geographically possible that young Ibn Sînâ and his older contemporary al-‘Āmirī could make the debate told in al-Majālis. (ii) The examination and comparison for the first three sessions of al-Majālis shows that the answers are mostly consistent with the approach of al-‘Āmirī according to his extant works and this leads me to conclude that the one asks questions or comments is Ibn Sînâ while the one answers is al-‘Āmirī.

Keywords

al-‘Āmirī Ibn Sīnā metaphysics hierarchy of beings creation al-Bārī command intellect soul nature body