J. K. Yusubov, reseacher,
National University of Uzbekistan
named after Mirzo Ulugbek,
Forobi shared his views on meaning of the concept philosophy, its origin and formation, what to learn before learning philosophy, ways of learning philosophical studies of Forobi, how to start this study and etc. Besides, the scientist illustrated the subject of philosophy, functions, all the characteristics philosophers should have, all the issues relating to responsibilities of the philosophers. These issues have been demonstrated in the books such as “About what to learn before studying philosophy”, “About ways of achieving happiness”, “The core of the issues”, “The concept of philosophy and its origin”, “Meaning of the wise sayings” and “Wise sayings of Forobi”.
Forobi stated in his own brochure “Meaning and origin of philosophy” (philosophy is orginated from Greek, philo – to award, sophy – wise saying) that philosophy means “to award with wise sayings”, moreover the word philosopher was originated from the Greek word “philosophes” [1, p. 130]. Historian during the Mid centuries, Ibn Abi Usaybia cited these views offered by Forobi and mentioned that the word “philosophy” represents “to love wisdom and wise saying” [2, p. 208]. According to what Forobi mentioned, the process of acquisition of the Greek philosophy, particularly philosophy of Aristotle started in Alexandriaafter Aristotle’s death.
As Forobi and other historians of the mid centuries found out that after that most scientists researched investigations of Aristotle there.
While thinking about what to learn before studying philosophy, Forobi focused on getting advantage of 9 things offered by Aristotle. These are: to know names of the different tendencies available in philosophy; to know each purpose of every book by Aristotle; to get the knowledge necessary to learn philosophy; to know which aim to achieve in order to learn philosophy; to know on the basis of which way and method people learning philosophy will do their tasks; to get introduced with the types of words used in the books of Aristotle; to learn the reasons for why Aristotle used indefinite notions in his books; to learn the state of the person trying to study philosophy; to identify what a person needs while learning the books of Aristotle. Forobi gave different opinions or the questions of what to begin with to start the process of learning philosophy. For instance, Plato and his contemporaries thought that it was required to learn geometry before learning philosophy, they even proved it edging this on the door frame of the mausoleum “Those who don’t know geometry shouldn’t dare to visit us”; another Greek philosopher mentioned that it would be required to start study of philosophy with cleansing own spirit and mind. While Saidli Banotis (Boet Sidonskiy) said that learning philosophy had to be started with the knowledge of the nature, Andronik preferred logics to nature [3, p. 23].
He didn’t ignore any of the above mentioned views, but he added that it would be better to enhance own behavior and manners too.
Forobi added “Behavior needs to be enhanced not only theoretically, but practically too. After that it is necessary to clean the spirit of the orator leading to understanding the right way preventing from mistakes”. After that a person might start learning sciences of geometry and logics, he added.
To the question what philosophy represents, Forobi first of all offered to have all the necessary documents-proofs. The scientist gave the following definition to the subject philosophy: “Philosophy is the result of the informationacquired after gaining the knowledge of a notion, a thing or a creature, teaching about wat it is, learning which type or species it belongs to, understanding the concept and meaning, gaining certain impression and confidence about that relevant thing”
While writing about the purpose of learning philosophy, Forobi stated:
“The purpose of learning philosophy is to know the immobile and unique creator of all things in the world, He is the reason for mobility of other things, He Is the controller of the world with His knowledge, justice and generosity” [4, p. 24].
According to Forobi’s opinion, study of philosophy is divided into two parts: theoretical philosophy and applied or civil philosophy. Whilst theoretical philosophy doesn’t deal with human life and activity, but learning the things in existence, applied philosophy deals with the subjects related to human activity as well as all things in existence. Theoretical philosophy is divided into three aspects: mathematics, physics, metaphysics (study of holy and sacred things). They deal with only the subjects relating to cognition. Applied philosophy is categorized in two aspects, the first of which represents positive behavioral manners and behavioral rules. This is also called as ethics in science. The second one is the science by means of which it is possible to achieve pleasant things. A person will be able to gain a positive thing or power he is dreaming about. This is actually called as political philosophy [5, p. 35].
Forobi also gave responses to the following questions: what characteristics a person wanting to learn philosophy should have, what kind of person is called as a philosopher, what knowledge and characteristics a real philosopher should have, how a real philosopher should differ from an artificial philosopher.
These issues he much better highlighted in his own book called “Ways of Achieving Happiness”. First of all, a person intending to become a philosopher should follow certain rules of behavior. Moreover, a philosopher should have gained theoretical knowledge, shouldn’t be selfish, should stand all the challenges, should be fair, shouldn’t be greedy, stubborn, self-assured, should have strong dignity and integrity. Forobi also stated: A philosopher should have theoretical knowledge, only in this case he will have power and energy to gain both theoretical applied knowledge, he will be able to use this knowledge in all situations and in all fields...
It means that a scientist thought that a philosopher should have complete theoretical knowledge and opportunities to use them. It is also important to know whether he could use this knowledge in other fields.
If this ability to use the knowledge is perfect and well-developed, we can call call this kind of philosopher can be called as the person of high perfection and strongest disposition. Therefore a philosopher of high perfection should be the person who has gained theoretical and applied knowledge with clear proof and evidence as well as documents and with patience, should be able to confirm all theories to other people in cities and countrysides without any suspection”. Besides the scientist described interrelationship and differences between philosophy and religion, importance of religion in social development and upbringing of young people. Viewpoints of the philosopher differ from those of the sophists and artificial scientists.
The scientist Forobi tried to show interrelation as well as differences between the religion, philosophy and sacred part of life and their core meaning, their role in the society. In his opinion, religion is the beginning of the things and matters or the way they are seen in the souls of the people. As it is hard enough to understand existence of the things and subjects in reality, scholars tried to explain them by means of different items, methods, particularly imitating characters [6, p. 135]. Acording to views of the philosopher Forobi, if philosophers accept and understand the world through the notions, religious people will understand them through their own impressions and imaginations. The philosopher could exactly and clearly demonstrate the difference between the philosophical and religious knowledge. Religious studies mean imitating philosophy as people believed in the ancient period. They both cover the same occasions and the same subject of study, they both deal with the initial cognition about the things and occasions, they both deal with the main reasons for formation of the things in the world. Philosophical and religious knowledge showed the positive aim of human existence, which means achieving happiness. “If philosophy is taught through meaning and notions which can cover all of them, the religious studies show them by means of the imaginations. As a result, philosophy will prove all these facts, religious studies will persuade about their truth” [7, p. 338], – mentioned Forobi.
A famous philosopher A. V. Sagadeev investigated interrelations between the philosophy, theology and religion in the books by Abu Nasr Forobi and Ibn Rushd, revealed oppositions and contrasts between all of them. According to what this scientist thinks, if the religion based on philosophy (rules) of a certain nation is offered to another nation in a symbolic form, all the truth which is similar to reality in this religion will seem like a real truth for the observer nation. If just philosophy of one certain nation is offered to investigate to another nation, then it will cause some misunderstandings, contrasts in interpreting philosophy and religion. These contrasts are as follows: Philosophers will understand that religion is based on philosophy and will stop opposing that completely. Representatives of religion may start opposing the philosophy in this case. If philosophers could prove that philosophy doesn’t oppose religion, the society and the country would be always peaceful with all the right disciplines set and controlled. “According to opinion of Abu Nasr Forobi, if philosophers could prove that, they would admit the religion, and religion wouldn’t pose so much threat to them” [8, p. 133], – mentioned A. V. Sagadeev. In this case philosophers would be able to prove that the philosophy is reality, the real source of knowledge. Besides Forobi also confirmed availability of contrasts between philosophy and the religion. If any religion from the outside of the country is based on immoral philosophy and applied in a certain country rhetoric, dialectic and sophistic methods, in that case there can be stronger contrasts between the religion and philosophy.
Forobi referred to theologists while writing about the fighters against the sophism and dialectics. They should be outside the law in the state. Because they can not give the right knowledge about the objective world. Especially sophistics gives wrong information about the things and occasions and it may confuse the people. Therefore the philosopher opposed all the dialectic and sophistic methods. He counted philosophy as the most perfect method of learning the world.
In the social and philosophical viewpoints Forobi focused on the philosophy. In the city of educated people philosophers should work out rules of understanding philosophy and they should have great tendency towards the theoretical subjects. Philosopher stated in his book “About what to learn before studying philosophy”: “As for the purpose of studying philosophy, this is first of all to know and admit the unique and immobile creator, God. He is the reason for mobility of all the other things in the world, he is the controller of the world with his own knowledge, justice and generosity.
Whatever the philosopher does, he does it to look like the creator with his human abilities and chances” [9, p. 24]. To achieve this aim a philosopher should gain enough knowledge, learn the nature and develop his own abilities and skills.
In his own book “About ways of achieving happiness” the philosopher discussed the issue of what characteristics a philosopher should have. The philosopher should understand the real core of all the things and occasions, have strong intelligence, be patient with anxiety and tortures, love the truth, should be fair and shouldn’t be greedy, selfish, stubborn and engrossed in wealth and money. Moreover the person wanting to be a philosopher should be brave, well-behaved and have all the good characters. “A person wanting to be a philosopher should first of all meet all requirements with his good behavior and characteristics, only after that he can learn philosophy and teach it to other people” [10, p. 85], – stated Forobi.
While analyzing the interrelation between religion and philosophy offered by the philosopher in his own book called “From the History of Islamic Mentality” Sayyid Mohamed Hotami wrote: “The great contribution of Forobi is not only in the fact that his philosophy is deeply organized and he gave new ideas, but it is in his identification of the interrelations between the religion and philosophy distinctly and his evidence for the fact that these two notions can be simultaneously imposed in the souls of people. Due to all these contributions he was awarded with the nomination “the founder of philosophy in the Islamic world” [11, p. 69]. Indeed Abu Nasr Forobi could deeply understand and comprehend the core of the religion, he tried to infuse it with philosophy, he could analyze internal core of Islamic law instead of opposing the external meaning of this law.
While investigating philosophy and religion comparatively, Abu nasr Forobi considered philosophy prior to the religion. Religion is the weapon of philosophy, is a simple form of philosophy which is easier to accept and understand. The philosopher confirmed priority of philosophy to religion. But he never said that religion was not needed for society, but he considered it to be useful and quite necessary for each individual [12, p. 77].
One of the most valued opinions of Forobi is that he supported the view about administrating the government by philosophers. Like Plato and Arastoo Forobi supported the fact that philosophers should govern the country where educated people lead their lives. In his opinion only the King who is a philosopher could govern the country fairly, with wise decisions, he could lead the people towards happy and peaceful life. сингари,
From all the viewpoints cited above it is possible to infer the followings:
Firstly, Forobi confirmed the fact that all the living, not living things, creatures in the world had been created by God;
Secondly, he didn’t approve of the way that different scientists and sophists artificially defended the religion and they could harm the society in that way;
Thirdly he mentioned that religion and philosophy didn’t oppose each other, but they could also exist and complete each other.
Fourthly, he pointed out that philosophy requires evidences and documents, but religion requires belief;
Fifthly, Forobi highly respected Islamic religion and sacred Koran. He counted them as a source of teaching people to the right behavior norms and manners.
Forobi was one of the scientist that made great contribution to ddevelopment of Islamic philosophy.
1. Abu Nasr Forobi. The Core of Philosophy and Its Origin. Brochures. – Т. : Fan. 1975. – P. 130.
2. Bayhaqi’s Studies About Forobi. Abu Nasr Forobi. The City of Educated People. – Т. : The Publishing Company Khalq Merosi named after Abdulla Kodiriy. 1993. – P. 208.
3. Abu Nasr Forobi. About What to Learn Before Studying Philosophy. Brochures.–Т.: Fan. 1975. P. 23.
4. Abu Nasr Forobi. About What to Learn Before Studying Philosophy. Brochures. – Т. : Fan. 1975. – P. 24.
5. Al-Forobi Abu Nasr. Aphorisms of the Government Person. Social-ethicaltracts.–Alma-Ata : Nauka. 1975. – P. 35.
6. Abu Nasr Forobi. About The Ways of Achieving Happiness. The City of Educated People. – Т. : The Publishing Company Khalq Merosi named after Abdulla Kodiriy. 1993. – P. 135.
7. Look: Al-Forobi. Civil Politics.Social-ethical tracts. – Alma-Ata. Nauka. 1973. – P. 338.