Edited and Slides by Omar K Neusser
23 Translation of ʿaql – Intelligence or Intellect – as Reason - No!
Western historians are inclined to classify Muslim philosophers as rationalists. In order to make this claim, they need to translate the word ʿaql – intelligence or intellect – as reason.
Unless we are careful about qualifying this translation, we will end up suggesting that ʿaql for Avicenna meant the same as raison for Descartes. This is to ignore the ontological dimension of intelligence, which is much discussed by the philosophers and central to the Islamic worldview.
Muhyiddin Ibn `Arabi; Presentation of Some 29 Texts