Poets, Oracles, and Nabıs as Messengers: An Evaluation of the Philosophy of al-Farabı and Avicenna


Due to the inequality regarding the susceptibility level of people’s souls as well as their temperamental balance, differences occur in how they accept news containing messages arriving from the celestial realm. People who have a more competent mind, stronger intuition (hadth), and higher imitation (muhākāt) ability compared to others more strongly accept what is revealed from the celestial realm. This article provides information about people who accept what is conveyed from metaphysical substances and who’ve been informed about unknown events in three stages: (i) The place of Plato’s distinction among poets, oracles, and lovers in Aristotelian and Plutarchian philosophy; (ii) the position of poets and oracles in the pre-Islamic period, polytheists’ attribution of both poetry and divination to Prophet Muhammad, and the description of Muhammad as a nabī in the Qur’an; and (iii) the meanings al-Fārābī and Avicenna attributed to oracles, poets, lovers, and nabīs (prophet). In this context, the article attempts to find answers to the questions of what the philosophical basis of both al-Fārābī’s and Avicenna’s ideas is regarding poets and oracles and what the religious basis of their views is regarding the concept of nabī. While trying to find answers to these questions, the study also aims to determine how a nabī differs from poets, oracles, and lovers by considering the superiority nubuwwa (prophecy) has over poetry and divination.


Poetry divination love nubuwwa poet oracle lover nabī