The connection of Iranian philosophy after Islam and wisdom with spirituality and religion does not mean that Post-Islamic Philosophy in Iran did not have a solid logical and argumentative aspect, but, on the contrary, this philosophy is comparable to any other philosophy in terms of logistic power and depth of thought.
Undoubtedly, the flourishing of abstract thought in general and philosophy in Iran in particular, quantitatively and qualitatively, is related to the Post-Islamic Philosophy in Iran. Just as the ancient Iranians reached the highest levels of prosperity in governance, government, various techniques, and art, Post-Islamic Philosophy in Iran was a period of glory for science and viewpoint in history.
The number of mathematicians, astronomers, physicians, poets, historians, and philosophers that arose in our land at that time is more valuable and attentive in terms of the history of thought than it was a few thousand years ago. The presence of only a few people like Avicenne and Al-Biruni is enough to show the peak of brilliance and glory of Post-Islamic Philosophy in Iran and thinking. Not only their rich taste and talent changed science and philosophy’s course in Iran, but it also changed them on a global scale. Human thought would have moved the history of Western thought in another direction if it were not for Avicenne.
It is enough to see in Post-Islamic Philosophy in Iran what effect “The Book of Healing” had on “St. Thomas,” the founder of the Scholastic philosophy or other teachers in Europe at that time, such as Albert the Great and Dons Scoti, let alone the works of dozens of others such as Al-Farabi and Al-Ghazali. From the third century AH onwards, Post-Islamic Philosophy in Iran became an extensive intellectual activity, and from that time until now, we have a written history of one thousand two hundred years of philosophy. Unfortunately, we must admit that we have not studied ninety percent of these philosophical works.
We can break Post-Islamic Philosophy in Iran into four chronological periods. First, the beginning of the philosophical movement in Post-Islamic Iran from the second to the fifth century, like the advent of Avicenne, which is the culmination of Post-Islamic Philosophy in Iran. The second place is the emergence of new philosophical schools and fields like the Illuminationism school in the fifth and sixth centuries. Also, it was the time where scholars and theologians opposed the Peripatetic school. Then we have the Mongol invasion in the seventh century to the Safavid period. And finally, from the Safavid dynasty to the present age.
The first period is the most famous age of Post-Islamic Philosophy in Iran that has a strong unity, and it has spread in various Islamic countries, its mainland has been Iran because even if “Al-Kindi” was the first philosopher of this school and the only prominent figure who was an Arab, he studied under the cultural influence of Iran. Moreover, most of the great men of this period, such as Abu al-Hassan Ameri and Avicenne, were pure Iranians, and some, like Al-Farabi, grew up entirely in the cultural environment of Iran. During this period, most of the school of “peripatetic” philosophy was prevalent.
Sheikh al-Ra’is Avicenne has taught Peripatetic philosophy at the stage of its maturity and perfection. It is noteworthy that forty years after him, they taught his book “The Book of Healing” in Latin at the University of Paris. The Seljuks opposed philosophy and some of the rational sciences. Nizam al-Mulk, the charismatic Seljuk Vizier whose territory stretched from India to Syria and the Mediterranean Sea, when he established military universities in Neishabour, Baghdad, Isfahan, and other cities, stated that they shout teach all sciences except philosophy at his schools.
For this reason, for nearly two hundred years, from Avicenne and his disciples until about 600 AH, Kalam grew stronger than Post-Islamic Philosophy in Iran. Of course, this discourse stretched its borders with some famous figures like Al-Ghazali. Al-Ghazali is undoubtedly a great thinker, although he was hostile to Peripatetic philosophy. This period was the domination of mysticism, Sufism, and theology. In these two centuries, except Suhrawardi, only one other brilliant figure in the field of Post-Islamic Philosophy in Iran and science appeared, and he is Omar Khayyam, whose philosophy, unfortunately, has remained largely unknown.
The Mongol invasion indirectly revived philosophy and art in Iran. The spread of intellectual sciences was because the Mongols had no political opposition to philosophy, and another reason was that an extraordinary person in the intellectual history of Iran named Nasir al-Din al-Tusi appeared in this period and became the Vizier of the Mongols and was able to use the opportunity and revive Post-Islamic Philosophy in Iran.
The philosophy of Sheikh Ishraq Shahab al-Din Suhrawardi had a direct relationship with Iran and even the culture of ancient Iran, and it expressed complex and philosophical problems in Persian. His book is one of the most beautiful writings of the Persian language and one of the most valuable treasures of Iranian literature. He combined the pillars and exchanges of the philosophy of ancient Iran and ancient Greece and made a change in them, and built the school of Illuminationism based on it. Suhrawardi is the reviver of the wisdom of ancient Iran within the Islamic culture. He created a strange unity between Iran’s ancient and Islamic civilization and founded a new school in Post-Islamic Philosophy in Iran.
After the theologians attacked Peripatetic philosophy and the death of Suhrawardi, Illuminationism continued in Spain for a short time, where the great Peripatetic philosopher Averroes appeared. This movement did not last long, philosophy returned to its original homeland, Iran, and after that, the branch of influence of this philosophy always extended further east to the Indian subcontinent.
The period between Khajeh Nasir and the beginning of the Safavid rule has been very active and fruitful in terms of intellectual and narrative sciences. Khajeh Nasir Tusi, Qutbuddin Shirazi, Qutbuddin Razi, Jalal-ud-Din Davani, Ghias-ud-Din Dashtaki, and many other great thinkers of this period have tried to destroy the various schools of Peripatetic, Enlightenment, theology, mysticism, and so on. During this period, Shiraz was the great center of Post-Islamic Philosophy in Iran. The fourth period is now known as the “Isfahan School” because the core of philosophy and the beginning of this new intellectual period started within Isfahan with the emergence of one of the leading Iranian scientists, Mir Damad.
For thirty years, he taught the philosophy of Avicenne in the color of Illuminationism and was a reviver of philosophy, and had a close relationship with Shah Abbas. In this period, people like Sheikh Baha’ al-din al-‘Amili and Mir Fendereski were alongside Mir Damad. But the one who elevated this school in Post-Islamic Philosophy in Iran to the peak was Mulla Sadra. Undoubtedly, he is the greatest theologian and engaged in divine wisdom in recent times in the history of Iram, who was contemporary with Descartes and Leibniz, the famous philosophers of modern Europe.
He brought the sense of Post-Islamic Philosophy in Iran to the point where it was possible to make the final combination of religion, philosophy, and mysticism and to combine the various ways that man has always had to connect to the truth, such as logic, reasoning, revelation, religion, enlightenment, and intuition. Post-Islamic Philosophy in Iran says that philosophy is still alive and is the supreme achievement of our nation’s cultural independence and the most significant pillar of our intellectual inheritance.