Classical Arabic Philosophy

Question 1

Al-Kindi playes a key role in ensuring incorporation and appropriation of Greek philosophy and science (Jon & David, 2007). He outlines his views concerning various issues without worrying about what others would fill or how they would react. Al-Kindi is determined to en ensure that people the acceptable ways of life where everyone is respected, valued, and no one is favored or discriminated. By observing his determination in his work, which is related to Greek science and philosophy, it is possible to say that Al-Kindi is not a fatalist. The reason Al-Kindi is not a fatalist is that he can maintain his stand without being influenced by other people in the society. He believes in one true being, in God. However, despite acknowledging the existence of God, he is still able to identify what is right for him. This helps him in ensuring that he does not blindly follow the Greeks (Jon & David, 2007). Al-Kindi is a person who is always determined to make the best choice without any influence from anywhere. His work is a key proof that Al-Kindi is not fatalistic. He is sure of his work and cannot copy or imitate other people’s work, since he believes in what he does and is not afraid that his mission would fail. His work shows uniqueness, particularly in optics and medicine. This is a clear indication that knows what he does and is dedicated  to prove his viewpoints to other people in the society.

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Al-Kindi’s position concerning different matters can easily be reconciled with Islam. Since Al-Kindi believes in God’s existence, it is true that he can assimilate his beliefs into Islam, which is the religion Muslims believe in. They believe that God is one and unsurpassed, and that the purpose of being alive is to worship Him. Islam is a comprehensive and collective version of a prehistoric faith that was discovered numerous times through different prophets, including Noah, Adam, Abraham, and Moses. Al-Kindi position can be reconciled with Islam by accepting his work that include teaching people about the importance of shunning different evils that make people deviate from the acceptable way of life. In his works, Al-Kindi discourages people from taking part in oppressive activities, for example, corruption (Jon & David, 2007). Therefore, Al-Kindi always fights negative practices that people in the society by teaching that associating oneself with immoral activities, for example getting involved in corruption, is ungodly.

Question 2

The positions of Al-Kindi and Ar-Razi have some similarities and differences. The key similarity is that they both focused on the way of life of an individual in the society. The positions of Al-Kindi and Ar-Razi involve the explanation of how people should live. Both emphasize the importance of avoiding things that oppress or discriminate other people in the community. Additionally, both Al-Kindi and Ar-Razi focuse on teaching people about importance of believing in God. They maintain that God, from whom all people in the world expect reward, fear, and punishment, is merciful, watches us, and does not try to harm us. He dislikes our injustice and unawareness, and adores our justice and knowledge (Jon & David, 2007). This means that both Al-Kindi and Ar-Razi teach people about the importance of following pious way of life.

The key difference in stand is that unlike Ar-Razi, Al-Kindi does not follow the way of life as outlined in moral standards of the society. Al-Kindi always wants to do things the way he believes are correct, without the influence of the society. Ar-Razi, on the other hand, is extremely careful of ensuring that he does not deviate from the acceptable standards of life in the society (Jon & David, 2007). 

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Al-Kindi and Ar-Razi take different stands with respect to different issues in the society. On the one hand, Al-Kindi always wants to be unique in his work and always ensures that he does not follow things blindly. On the other hand, Ar-Razi wants to be a good example to other people in the society by teaching them how to observe the acceptable way of life (Jon & David, 2007). Also,  Al-Kindi and Ar-Razi take different stands on moderation and asceticism. Moderation involves the process of eradicating or reducing extremes. Through moderation one can restore normality. Asceticism deals with lifestyle characterized by moderation from worldly likings, often with the intention of following spiritual goals.

The sources for Al-Kindi and Ar-Razi ethics are different. For instance, the source of ethics of Al-Kindi is God’s teaching. Al-Kindi believes in it and his work recognizes the power of God. On the other hand, Ar-Razi’s source of ethics is the teaching of eternal life (Jon & David, 2007). They interpret these sources differently as Al-Kindi emphasizes on the importance of avoiding evil activities, while Ar-Razi focuses on the importance of observing moral behaviors in order to acquire eternal life.

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Question 3

The exists a relationship between Al-Kindi and Ar-Razi’s explanations of essential nature of life and the world that involves it, since  Al-Kindi focuses on God’s teaching, while Ar-Razi focuses on the eternal life. Thus, there is a connection between metaphysics, which is related to the spiritual, in Al-Kindi and Ar-Razi works because eternal life is realized when one observes God’s teaching. In issues relating to materialism, Al-Kindi and Ar-Razi use a similar teaching to ensure that people do not concentrate on finding material wealth and forget about the moral that govern them. Both Kindi and Ar-Razi teach people about importance of avoiding unacceptable way of life. Explaining the effects of corruption to people, Al-Kindi maintains that corruption affects only the people below the sphere of the Moon (Jon & David, 2007). This means that Al-Kindi accepts that corruption is unethical and it does not affect God. By this, he means that God is not among those who are below the sphere of the Moon.


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