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Towards a New Definition of Ḥikma

Assist. Prof. Dr. Mukhtar H. Ali (University of Illinois)

online lecture │12 April 2024 │ 6:00 pm (CET)

Based on the pioneering teachings of Dr. Akram Almajid on the concept of ḥikma (“wisdom”), this presentation critically examines the semantic, literary, philosophical and mystical aspects of ḥikma in classical Islamic scholarship. Almajid advances the argument that wisdom is an important epistemological framework for establishing validity and ascertaining truth. Although there is consensus that Islamic epistemology consists of the transmitted (Qurʾān), the rational (burhān) and the mystical (ʿirfān), wisdom is seldom, if ever, included in these methods. This fresh perspective on wisdom can expand our epistemological horizons in the same way that Sufism had once redefined Islamic theories of knowledge.


Dr. Mukhtar H. Ali is Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He specializes Islamic philosophy, Sufism and ethics and his areas of interest include Arabic and Persian literature, Qurʾānic studies, theology, traditional medicine and comparative religion. He is the author of Philosophical Sufism: An Introduction to the School of Ibn al-ʿArabī (Routledge, 2021) and The Horizons of Being: The Metaphysics of Ibn al-ʿArabī in the Muqaddimat al-Qayṣarī (Brill, 2020) and his forthcoming work is a meta-commentary on Jāmī’s Naqd al-nuṣūṣ fī sharḥ Naqsh al-Fuṣūṣ, which is distillation of Ibn al-ʿArabī’s masterpiece, Fuṣūṣ al-ḥikam. He has also translated two works in contemporary Islamic metaphysics, Dr. Akram Almajid’s The Law of Correspondence (2021) and The New Creation (2018). His current research program focuses on theories of knowledge in Islam.

You can find more information about the lecture series here.

Contact: Dr. Raid Al-Daghistani – raid.aldaghistani@uni-muenster.de

ZOOM-Code: https://wwu.zoom-x.de/j/68440994551