• RECONCILING ISLAM AND PHILOSOPHY IN THE VIRTUOUS CITY: REREADING AL-FARABI'S AL-MADINAH AL-FADILAH WITHIN 10TH-CENTURY ISLAMIC THOUGHT

      Blankinship, Khalid Yahya; Limberis, Vasiliki, 1954- (Temple University. Libraries, 2017)
      In his tenth-century work, al-Madīnah al-Fāḍilah, the Muslim philosopher Abū Naṣr al-Fārābī posits a solution to the internecine hostilities between Muslim intellectual communities which occurred as a result of conflicting positions on the relationship between revelation and reason, religion and philosophy. In this work al-Fārābī demonstrates that both religion and philosophy are derived from, and dependent upon, divine revelation from Allah to the Prophet. Modern scholars of al-Fārābī interpret his work differently, reading him as an enemy of religion who subordinates Islam to philosophy. In this thesis, after establishing al-Fārābī within the historical and ideological context of tenth-century Islamic thought I analyze al-Madīnah al-Fāḍilah in light of a commentary on the text by Richard Walzer, who is among those scholars who read al-Fārābī as an enemy of Islam who merely reproduces Greek philosophy in Arabic. Contrasting the original Arabic text with Walzer’s English translation and commentary I apply readings of several of al-Fārābī’s other works as an interpretive lens, through which the correct reading of al-Madīnah al-Fāḍilah is made clear. I further analyze the text in light of Islamic Scripture, by which I demonstrate that the foundation on which al-Fārābī’s cosmology is founded has precedence within the Qur’ān. Working in the tenth century al-Fārābī sought to reconcile the conflicting views of his fellow Muslims, in order to bring peace to the community, the Muslim Ummah. Al-Madīnah al-Fāḍilah should be regarded as his crowning achievement in these efforts.