A Dictionary of Muslim Philosophy


        This dictionary is an aid to the readers of Muslim philosophical works many of which are in Arabic. It includes most of the terminology that was developed by Muslim philosophers in their works and the terms that they borrowed -and sometimes translated- from the Greek philosophical works. Also included are concepts that are Islamic but of a philosophical nature and were used by Muslim philosophers. Strictly Fiqhi and Sufi concepts are not necessarily included in this dictionary.

        The dictionary also includes the Arabized names of the philosophers and scientist of Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Origin -namely those that worked with Greek works of science, mathematics and philosophy.

        At times it only includes the names of the non-Muslim scholars and little else, as very little is known about them. Also the Greek schools of thoughts are included and briefly defined. There are philosophers and ideas that were erroneously attributed by the philosophers who worked in Arabic -Muslim and non-Muslim- and that is brought to light. An example of this is some the works of Poltinus was attributed to Aristotle.

        This dictionary is exclusively based on the work by Prof. M. Saeed Sheikh "Dictionary of Muslim Philosophy" published by the Institute of Islamic Culture -of Lahore, Pakistan- first published in 1970.

Using the Dictionary:

At the bottom of this page you will find the Arabic alphabet. select the letter and that will open up the page with list of definitions. Note all the links on this (frame free) page will open up new windows. Please note that when you are done with a page just close it. Do not use the button on the bottom of the definitions page as that will take you the frames version of the dictionary. This page will stay open in order that you may navigate the dictionary from it. If this page should take a long time to load it is because it it loading up the graphic representation of the Arabic alphabet. For the frames version click here.

Primary Sources of Reference:

  1. Ta’rifat by Ali ibn Muhammad al-Jurjani, (Beirut: Matkabat Lebanon, 1978).
  2. Mafatih al-‘Ulum by Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Khawarizmi.
  3. Maqasid al-Falasifah by Imam Ghazali (ed. S. Duyna, Dar al-Maraif Cairo, 1960).
  4. Kashf ‘Istilahat al-Funun by Muhammad Ali bin Ali at-Tahwani, (Beirut: Dar Sadr, 1961).

Supplementary Texts:

  1. Al-Fhirist by al-Nadim. (The work is in Arabic and has been translated into English by the late B. Dodge).
  2. Tarikh al-Hukama by Al-Qifti.
  3. ‘Uyun al-‘Anba if Tabaqat al-‘Atibba by Ibn abi ‘Usaibi’ah.
  4. Mustalihat Falsafi Sadr ad-Din Shirazi by Sayyid Ja’far Sajjadi.
  5. al-Mu'jam al-Falsafi by Jamil Salibah, (Beirut: Dar al-Kitab al-Lubanani, 1982).
  6. Studies in the History of Arabic Logic by Nicholas Rescher.
  7. Lexique de la Langue Philosophique d’ Ibn Sina by A. M. Goichon.

Any questions or comments please e-mail me: Muhammad Hozien

Here is a list of the Arabic Letters, click on the letter to go to the page containing the definitions:

 Yah-Hah-Waw-Nun-Mim-lam-Kaf-Qaf-Fah-Aah-Tah-Dad- Sad-Sheen-Seen-Zayn-Raa-Dhal-Dal-Khaa-Haa-Jeem-Tha-Taa-Bah-Alef

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