Logic

Posted on 05/19/2012 by marina

LOGIC. Arabic ‘Ilmu ‘l-mantiq علم المنطق
“the science of rational speech,” from nataq, “to speak “; ‘Ilmu ‘l-rnizan علم المزان”the science of weighing” (evidence), from mazan, “scales.”
The author of the Akhlaq-i-Jalali says “the ancient sages, whose wisdom had borrowed: its lustre from the loop-hole of prophecy, always directed the seeker after excellence to cultivate first ‘Ilmu ‘l-akhlaq, ‘the science of moral culture,’ then ‘Ilmu ‘l-mantiq, ‘the science of logic,’ then ‘Ilmu ‘l-riyaziyat, ‘mathematics,’ then ‘Ilmu ‘l-hikmah, ‘physics,’ and, lastly, ‘Ilmu ‘l-Ilahi, ‘theology.’ But Hakirn Abu ‘Ali al-Masqawi (A.D. 10), would place mathematics before logic, which seems the preferable course. This will explain the inscription placed by Plato over the door of his house, ‘He who knows not geometry, let bun not enter here.’” (See Thompson’s ed. p. 31.)
The Arabs, being suddenly called from the desert of Arabia to all the duties and dignities of civilized life, were at first much pressed to reconcile the simplicity of the precepts of their Prophet with the surroundings oftheir new state of existence; and consequently the multitude of distinctions, both in morals and jurisprudence, they were obliged to adopt, gave the study of dialectics an importance in the religion of Islam which it never lost. The Imam Malik said of the groat teacher Abu Hanifah, that be was such a master of logic, that if he were to assert that a pillar of wood was made of gold, he would prove it to you by the rules of logic.
The first Muslim of note who gave his attentiorn to the study of logic was Khalid Yazid (A.H. 60). who is reported to have been a man of great learning, and who ordered certain Greek works on logic to be translated into Arabic. The Khalifah Ma’mun (A.H. 198) gave great attention to this and to every other branch of learning, and ordered the translation of several Greek books of logic, brought from the library of Constantinople, into the Arabic tongue. Mulla Kaitib Chalpi gives a long list of those who have translated works on logic. Stephen, named Istifanu ‘l-Qadim, translated a book for Khalid ibn Yazid. Batriq did one for the Khalifah al-Mansur. Ibn Yahya rendered a Persian book on logic into Arabic for the Kalifah al-Ma’mun, also Ibn Na imah’Abdu’ l-Masih (a Christian), Husain bin Bahriq, Hilal ibn Abi Hilell of Hims, and many others translated books on logic from the Persian. Musa and Yusuf, two sons of Khalid, and Hasan ibn Sahl are mentioned as having translated from the language of Hind (India) into Arabic. Amongst the philosophers who rendered Greek books on logic into Arabic are mentioned Hunain, Abu ‘l-Faraj, Abu ‘l-Sulaiman as-Sanjari, Yahya an-Nahwi, Ya’qub ibn Ishaq al-Kindi, Abu Zaid Ahmad ibn Sahl al-Balkhi, Ibn Sinä’ (Avicenna), and very many others.
An Arabic treatise of logic has been translated into English by the Bengal Asiatic Society.

Based on Hughes, Dictionary of Islam