Ebn Meskavayh bigraphy, stories - Philosophers

Ebn Meskavayh : biography

932 - 1030

Abu 'Ali Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Ya'qub Ibn Miskawayh (Persian: ابن مسكوويه), also known as Ibn Miskawayh (932–1030) or Ebn Meskavayh, was a PersianC. Edmund Bosworth, "MESKAVAYH, ABU ʿALI AḤMAD " in Encyclopaedia Iranica chancery official of the Buwayhid era, and philosopher and historian from Rey, Iran. As a neo-platonist, his influence on Islamic philosophy is primarily in the area of ethics. He was the author of the first major Islamic work on philosophical ethics, entitled Tahdhib al-akhlaq (تهذيب الأخلاق: Refinement of Morals), focusing on practical ethics, conduct, and refinement of character. He separated personal ethics from the public realm, and contrasted the liberating nature of reason with the deception and temptation of nature.


Ebn Meskavayh was a prominent figure in the intellectual and cultural life of his time. Miskawayh may have been a Mazdaean convert to Islam, but it seems more likely that it was one of his ancestors who converted He was fluent enough in Middle Persian to have translated some pre-Islamic texts in that language into Arabic. He worked as a secretary and librarian for a sequence of viziers, including Adud al-Dawla. Some contemporary sources associated him with the Brethren of Purity, claiming that some of his writings were used in the compilation of the Encyclopedia of the Brethren of Purity.


Ibn Miskawayh was one of the first to clearly describe a version of the idea of evolution. Muhammad Hamidullah describes the evolutionary ideas found in Ibn Miskawayh's al-Fawz al-Asghar as follows:

Arabic manuscripts of the al-Fawz al-Asghar were available in European universities by the 19th century. This work is believed to have been studied by Charles Darwin, who was a student of Arabic, and it is thought to have had an influence on his inception of Darwinism.[1]

In his Tajarib al-umam (Experiences of Nations) he was one of the first major Muslim historians to write a chronicle of contemporary events as an eyewitness. As a Buwayhid bureaucrat, he worked under the vizier al-Muhallabi and had access to the internal happenings of the court. The chronicle is a universal history from the beginning of Islam, but it cuts off near the end of the reign of Adud al-Dawla.

His major work in the field of philosophy is his Tahḏib al-aḵlāq wa-taṭhir al-aʿrāq. The book is meant to provide students of philosophy and ethics an exposition of the main elements of philosophy.

' (Book of Eternal Wisdom) is an Arabic translation of a Persian work called ' ("Eternal Wisdom"). One manuscript of which bears the title (lit. "Book of Literatures of the Arabs and Persians").

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