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al-‘Ilm al-Huduri: knowledge by Presence – Sayyed Hejazi (2012)

“This book is a comparative study of the epistemology of Suhrawardî and Mullâ Sadrâ Shîrâzî, two Muslim thinkers of the 6th/12th and 11th/17th century.” This sounded interesting. Suhrawardi and Mulla Sadra are two Muslim thinkers I liked to read more of/about, so both of them in one book sounded like a good idea. Perhaps the word “epistemology” in the description should have sounded an alarm.

The book is very academic. Can I even say “philosophical” in the modern, Western explanation of the word? How many times on each page can you use words such as “epistemological” and “ontological”?

Hejazi focuses on two phrases: “knowledge by presence (al-‘ilm al-hudûrî)” and “formal, empirical, or conceptual knowledge (al-‘ilm husuli)”. Judging the title mostly the former. It takes about a book to explain the concepts and the different interpretations of the two mentioned, but also a few other authors.

The book is somewhat interesting, but too ‘philosophical’ and academic to my liking and too limited in scope. I would have liked to learn more about Suhrawardi’s and Mulla Sadra’s thinking. I guess I do not belong to the intended audience of this book.

As a closing remark. The Kindle version is quite flawed with disappearing sentences.

2012 ISRA Academy Press, isbn 1453779043

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