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Mir Damad in India: Islamic philosophical traditions and the problem of creation.

The history of Islamic philosophy and theology in India has yet to be properly written. The learned culture of the high Mughal period has increasingly attracted attention, with a focus on the role of the Dars-i Niz[]m[] curriculum, devised in the eighteenth century to produce cohorts of capable imperial administrators, and on the intellectual life of Delhi, Lucknow, and the Doab in the middle to late Mughal period. (1) Some have identified the significant role of M[]r Fathull[]h Sh[]r[]z[], (d. 997/1589), a philosopher trained in the school of Sh[]r[]z, a student of the philosopher and sometime sadr of the Safavid empire, M[]r Ghiy[]thudd[]n Mans[]r Dashtak[] (d. 949/1542), and emigrant to the court of Akbar (r. 1556-1605). (2) Numerous works, both academic and popular, stress his role as the foremost philosopher and scientist of his time in the Persianate world, and attribute to him a series of important technological innovations and reforms of the administration, including the adoption of Persian as the official language of the Mughal chancellery; he is also regarded as the main conduit for the serious study of philosophy and theology in India, laying the foundations for the Dars-i Niz[]m[] curriculum, which emphasized the study of the intellectual disciplines (cilium catiliyya). It is common, therefore, for intellectual historians of Islamic thought in India to trace a lineage from Sh[]r[]z[] (and, indeed, from the ishr[]q[] Avicennan tradition that he inherited) to the "founder" of the Dars-i Niz[]m[], Mulla Niz[]mudd[]n Sihalvi Farang[]-Mahalli (d. 1161/1748) (3) It was in this early Mughal period that Islamic philosophical traditions seriously began to penetrate Indian scholarly circles. (4)

Sb[]r[]z[] is praised in the biographical literature by friend and foe; the universal approval reflects his significant political status at the court of Akbar.(5) His friend Abu 1-Fail wrote:
  He was so learned that if all the previous books of philosophy
  disappeared, he could have laid a new foundation for knowledge and
  would not have desired what had preceded.(6)

Another contemporary and an official historian at court, Khw[]ja Niz[]m al-D[]n Ahrnad Bakhsh[] (d. 1003/1594), wrote:
  He was superior to all the ulema of Persia, Iraq, and India in his
  knowledge of the scriptural and intellectual sciences. Among his
  contemporaries, he had no equal. He was an expert in the occult
  sciences including the preparation of talismans and white magic. (7)

Sh[]r[]z[] did play a critical role in the dissemination of the works and teachings of the key figures of the philosophical school of Sh[]r[]z: the Dashtak[]s and Jalaludd[]n Dav[]n[] (d.908/1502); it is no accident that establishing their work in the curricula of educational institutions accounts for the numerous manuscript copies of their philosophical, logical, and theological works in Indian libraries. (8) But, arguably, his most important legacy was bequeathing a curriculum that combined the study of the scriptures, the traditional religious sciences, and the intellectual sciences, laying the basis for the Dars-i Niz[.bar]m[]. The eighteenth-century intellectual M[]r Ghulam 'Al[] ("[]z[]d") Sag[]m[] (d. 1200/1785) claimed that Sh[]r[]z[] was the leading teacher of the intellectual sciences in his time, and his curricular reconciliation of the traditional and the intellectual (manq[]l[]t, ma'qalat) was his great achievement that he transmitted to his student Mu11[], 'Abd al-Sal[]m L[]h[]r[] (d. 1037/1627-8), who was also an eminent Mughal jurist judging cases and teaching in Lahore. (9)

Once the taste for philosophical speculation became critical to the Indian (Sunni) madrasa, it was the twin schools of Mull[] Sadra, particularly disseminated through the study of his Sharp al-Hid[]ya, and of Mir D[]m[]d that dominated the intellectual curriculum of the late Mughal period. This paper is a study of the latter and the debates that arose on the nature of God's creative agency, which were inspired by the doctrine of the perpetual incipience of the cosmos (huduth dahri). I will first examine briefly M[]r D[]m[]d's teaching and give an overview of his argument. I will then discuss the formation of a school of "Yemeni philosophy" in India, and, finally, analyze elements of the debate on the argument within the learned culture of the North Indian towns loosely within the framework of the Dars-i Nizami and its Lucknow and Kh[]yrab[]d variants.


Mir Muhammad B[]qir D[]m[]d Astar[]b[]d[] was an eminent philosopher of the Safavid period, a companion of Shah 'Abb[]s I (r. 1587-1629) and later shaykh al-isl[]m of Isfah[]n, involved in the coronation of Sh[]h Saf[] in January 1629. (10) Accompanying the shah to the Shiite shrine cities in Iraq, he died there in 1040/1631 and was buried in the precinct of the shrine of 'Al[] in Najaf. He trained a number of prominent thinkers, including the most famous philosopher of the Safavid period, Mulla Sadler). Shirazi (d. ca. 1045/1635). However, it was his son-in-law, Sayyid Ahmad 'Alaw[] (d. ca. 1060/1650), and Mull[] Shams[] Gil[]n[] (d. 1098/1687) who are best known for perpetuating his school of thought, not least his doctrines on the nature of existence and the thorny problem of the relationship between being and time, or rather how to reconcile the Neoplatonizing Aristotelian account of the cosmos that is an instrumental, even logical product of a Principle, an unmoved Mover, with the Islamic and Queanic account of a personal god who creates volitionally. A prolific, if somewhat obscure, philosopher, prone to an opaque and rather baroque style of writing, he was best known for his metaphysical doctrines relating to time and creation, returning to the topic repeatedly in his works. In particular, he was known for his theory that divine creative agency is neither temporal in this world nor eternal in the world of immutability, but rather takes place in an intermediate mode of time and existence known as perpetuity (dahr). This is the concept of perpetual creation or h[]dath dahr[]. (11) The theory is expounded in his two major works. Al-Qabas[]t ("Blazing Brands" or Qabas[]t haqq al-yaq[]n f[] hud[]th al-'[]lam), which remained more popular in Iran, is notoriously obscure in some of its formulations; it was written in a six-month period at the beginning of 1625. (12) It was extensively commented upon and glossed by his students Sayyid Ahmad 'Alaw[], Mull[] Shams[] G[]l[]n[], Muhammad b. 'Al[]-Rii[] []q[]jan[], as well as other major philosophers of the Safavid and QaljAr periods, such as Acia Husayn Khwansiul (d. 1098/1687), Mu 'Al[] Nun (d. 1831), and Mirza Abu 1-Hasan Jilveh (d. 1896). (13) Al-Ufug al-mubin ("The Clear Horizon") was an earlier, incomplete text, covering the totality of issues within metaphysics, which he abandoned before 1025/1615, but it became a major school text in India and was glossed by members of the Firangi-Mahall family as well as the Khayrdb[]d[] philosophers, as we shall see shortly. (14)

D[]m[]d's theory represents a conscious middle path between the medieval philosophers and theologians, an attempt by a thinker to articulate an "Islamic" philosophy, a propheti-cally inspired way of wisdom, as the concept of "Yemeni philosophy" indicated. Theologians in Islam had broadly insisted that the Queanic notion of a creator god was one who produced the cosmos ex nihilo in time. (15) Inspired by John Philoponus's famous attack on Proclus (d. 485) and Aristotle's defense of eternalism, they have asserted that not only was the concept of an eternal cosmos coeval with God absurd, it was also heretical; al-Ghaz[]l[] (d. 505/1111) in his Tah[]fut al-fal[]sifa ("Incoherence of the Philosophers") anathematized philosophers for believing precisely this. (16) Philoponus (d. ca. 570), as a Christian, was followed by other theologians in using Aristotelian principles to deconstruct the argument for eternity. (17) His refutation relied on three premises. First, if the existence of something requires the pre-existence of something else, then the first thing will not come to be without the prior existence of the second. This was a major axiom in later Islamic metaphysics and was known as the "rule of subordination" (q[]-ida far'iyya). Second, based on sound Aristotelian science, an infinite number cannot exist in actuality, nor be traversed in counting, nor be increased. The medieval rule that actual infinites do not obtain was upheld. Third, something cannot come into being if its existence requires the pre-existence of an infinite number of other things, one arising out of the other. From these Aristotelian premises, Philoponus deduced that the conception of a temporally infinite universe, understood as a successive causal chain, is impossible. The celestial spheres of Aristotelian theory have different periods of revolution, and in any given number of years they undergo different numbers of revolutions, some larger than others. The assumption of their motion having gone on for all eternity leads to the conclusion that infinity can be increased, even multiplied, which Aristotle, too, held to be absurd.

M[]r D[]m[]d's solution is not primarily concerned with this strand of the argument. Influenced by Avicenna, he was convinced by the argument that God does not create in time since that leads to a petitio principii; the cause of time must transcend time. Avicenna reduces the relationship of the cosmos to the world to one of contingency (imk[]n) dependent on the Necessary Existent One (w[]jib al-wuj[]d). Further, he distinguishes three levels of "temporality," or rather conscious states that entities possess: z[]man, dahr, and sarmad. In al-Ta'l[]q[]t, a late work based on discussions and questions of his close students, Avicenna wrote:
  The intellect grasps three types of entities. The first is in time
  (z[]mnn) and expressed by "when" and describes mutables that
  have a beginning and an end, although its beginning is not its end
  but necessitates it. It is in permanent flux and requires states and
  renewal of states. The second is being with time and is called
  perpetuity (dahr) and it surrounds time. It is the existence of the
  heavens with time and time is in that existence because it issues
  from the motion of the heavens. It is the relationship of the
  immutable to the mutable although one's imagination cannot grasp it
  because it sees everything in time and thinks that everything "is,"
  "will be," and "was"--past, present, and future--and sees everything
  as "when" either in the past or the present or the future. The third
  is the being of the immutable with the immutable and is called
  eternity (sarmad) and it surrounds perpetuity [...]. Perpetuity is a
  container of time as it surrounds it. Time is a weak existence as it
  is in fluz and motion. (18)

Our linguistic limitations make these notions of temporality rather difficult to grasp, especially as our language makes and represents our experience and our world, which are inexorably tensed. These three degrees of temporality also indicate three increasingly intense modes of existence. For Avicenna, radical contingents are utterly dependent on the Necessary and are in a sense somewhat unreal or non-existent. The higher intelligible beings are more real and ultimately the Necessary is the Real. In simple terms, sensibilia are purely temporal, intelligibilia are perpetual and "share" in eternality, and God is eternal. The eternality of the cosmos is borrowed and a reflection of an eternal God and His eternal agency as creator in the higher world of intelligibles. In effect, Avicenna does not retain the neat tripartite division and tends to collapse the distinction between eternal and perpetual. (19) Mir Damnad insists on separating the levels and expresses this hierarchy and how human consciousness conceives of it in ai-Q[]basat in the following manner:
  In existence that obtains, there are three types of containers: (1)
  the container (wi'[]) of an existence that has extension and is
  in flux and a non-existence that is continuous and has extension that
  belong to mutable entities insofar as they are mutable in time
  (z[]man); (2) container of a pure existence that is preceded by
  pure non-existence and that transcends the horizon of extension and
  non-existence and belongs to immutahies insofar as they arc immutable
  while embracing actuality is perpetuity (dahr); (3) container of a
  pure Real immutable Existence absolutely devoid of accidentality of
  change and transcendent above any sense of being preceded by
  nonexistence, pure and sheer activity, is eternity (sarmad). Just as
  perpetuity transcends and is more vast than time, so, too, is
  eternity higher, more majestic, more holy, and greater than
  perpetuity (20)

Contingency is therefore defined not by what did not exist at a prior point in time but rather as being preceded by non-existence. These three levels of temporality lead to three conceptions of existence (and, indeed, of non-existence). Before Mir Drnad, there was a basic dichotomy: either the cosmos has a beginning in time, in which case it possesses temporal incipience (hud[.bar]th zain[]n[]), or it is purely preceded by non-existence, and not by time in which it merely logically succeeds the divine essence, in which case it possesses lued[]th dh[]t[]. God as the purely immutable existence only acts at the level of the eternal and interacts with immutable intellects. He does not intervene in this world of sensibilia nor does he know the particularity of things in this world; rather, His omniscience is mediated by an Aristotelian epistemology of essences and universals through which one knows and recognizes particulars. This absolute alterity of the divine and His "inability" to intervene in the mutable and the temporal because He is neither mutable nor temporal posed a major problem, not least for our understanding of theodicy and the relationship between God's knowledge and His agency.

Mir D[]m[]d's concept of the cosmos unfolding at the level of perpetuity is thus a compromise intended to save the face of divine agency and divine knowledge. He does not deny that there are types of contingents that have a beginning in time. But the cosmos and creation as such have a beginning in perpetuity, not in time nor in the fleeting moment extensively glossed by Avicenna. The contingency and incipience of the world lies at the level of perpetuity, a mode of temporality that is metatemporal yet not eternal. Just as the theological doctrine of creation in time was rejected by M[]r D[]m[]d, so, too, did he want to avoid the Avicennan notion of contingency based on the priority of an essential non-existence (sibq al-dh[]t[]). In al-Qabastit, which is his most extensive discussion of the problem, he presents six arguments for perpetual creation. The first proof is based on three kinds of creation (hud[]th) and non-existence and the postulation of three modes or containers of existence Or temporality, namely, time, perpetuity, and eternity, which draw on Avicenna. The second is founded upon an analysis of the relationship between essence and existence in contingents and Mir DArnacl's position on the ontological priority of essence and three types of priority. The third examines types of posteriority. The fourth proof is scriptural corroboration from the Qur'an and the sayings of the Prophet and the imams. The fifth is based on the notion of pure, unqualified natures. The sixth is founded upon the continuities of time, space, and motion.

Here I will concern myself with the first proof, based on the twin premises of three types of creation and the different senses of non-existence.(21) M[]r D[]m[]d's solution is to allow for contingents in this world to be preceded not by conceptual or essential non-existence but by a "real non-existence" ('adam siar[]h), which is located at the level of perpetuity (dahr) and which constitutes a real contradictory for existence.(22) This is a level of ontological consciousness devoid of extension or change and rather difficult for the mind to grasp, a point repeatedly made by Mir Damad's opponents. It can only make sense if we accept Mir Damad's position that essences are ontologically prior (ac[.bar]lat al-m[.bar]hiyya), meaning that within the conceptual dyads that are contingents composed of existence and essence, it is the latter that is the prior principle, and the former only obtains once the thing possesses actuaiity.(23) M[]r D[]m[.bar]d's student, Sayyid Ahmad (Ala.wi, explains the point: the everyday notion of non-existence considers something that is devoid of extension and matter either in this world or in the supralunary world and thus it is a conceptual version that is opposed to existence found in this world. (24) However, M[]r D[]m[]d is concerned with a real and not conceptual type of non-existence that has neither space nor time and is beyond extension, but his solution allows one to insist upon the unreality of everything other than the One posited by monism, yet at the same time to affirm true plurality of contingents. Thus, contingents possess within themselves a temporal beginning as well as a perpetual eternality (al-hud[]th al-zama[]n[] wa-l-azaliyya al-dahriyya). In this sense, the concept of hudath dahri is akin to his student Mulla Sadra's attempt at resolving the opposition of monism and pluralism through his dynamic twinned conception of substances in processual motion existing within a singular but graded hierarchy of existence (haraka jawhariyya, tashk[]k al-wuj[]d). At the end of the argument, M[]r D[]m[]d demonstrates that all things that are contingent (or possible in themselves) are preceded by a real, contradictory non-existence, and this requires their actualization at the level of perpetuity and denies the possibility of their existence at the level of eternity which is unique to God. (25) This is the primary achievement of his school of Yemeni philosophy.


The school of Mir D[]m[]d was known as the Yemeni philosophy (al-hikma al-yam[]niyya). His method involved a presentation of philosophy that existed before him primarily from the school of Avicenna, which he labels "Greek philosophy" (hikma yun[]niyya), and then a critical exposition of the position, replacing it with his improved argument which he described as "Yemeni," based on the famous saying attributed to the Prophet: "Faith is Yemeni and wisdom is Yemeni" (al-[]mun yam[]n[] wa-l-hikma yam[]niyya). (26) He considered all previous schools of thought (Peripatetic and Illuminationist philosophy, Ashcan theology, and even Twelver Shiite theology) to be incomplete and unreliable in their understanding of reality. His Yemeni position is not a purely ratiocinative one and it extends knowledge and understanding beyond the confines of discourse (bahth) and reason to the non-propositional, intuitive (dhawq), immediate, and mystically disclosed (kashn. Often he presents his argument by stating that he will first examine the "Greek" philosophical position and then move on to the Yemeni one. As his primary concern is with the philosophy of theistic creation, his Yemeni philosophy is deployed to solve the problems of time and creation.

In Jadhav[]t va m[]waq[]t ("Flaming Embers and Epiphanies"), a thoughtful contemplation written in Persian (his only major work in that language) of Moses's encounter with the theophany of the burning bush on Mount Sinai, he describes different conceptions and level of creation:
  Causation--which is a term for emanation, "making," and bringing into
  existence in the doctrine of "those rooted in knowledge" (rasikhin
  culam[]') and of the metaphysicians of Greek and of Yemeni
  philosophy is of four types: ibda' (origination, creatio ex
  nihilo), ikhtirir (production), sun' (fashioning or creation in the
  higher intelligible world), and takwin (generation or creation in
  the sublunar world). (27)

Later in the same text, he analyses the Yemeni philosophical understanding of numerical order and the existence of Platonic numbers as first-order emanations from the One, an important element of the argument concerning levels of creation from the One. (28)

In one of his most important works on philosophical theology, al-Sir[]t al-mustaq[]m ("The Straight Path")--primarily concerned with the problem of creation and, like many others, left unfinished--M[]r D[]m[]d sets out what he intends to accomplish with the work:
  The one most desirous among creation for his Lord the
  Self-Sufficient, Muhammad b. Muhammad known as Balk-Damad
  al-Husayn[]--may God make his afterlife good--presents to you,
  0 brothers of mysticism, and expounds for you, O brothers of retreat
  and solitude, a solution to the confusion caused in you by the mass
  of teachers attempting to reveal the difficult relationship between
  the Eternal and the incipient, and [aims] to ease its difficulties
  with clear thought according to the method of Greek philosophy and of
  Yemeni philosophy, and to investigate the discourse of those
  expounders and make them wither with firm writing and forthright
  exposition. (29)

He clearly thought that those who had written before him on the issue of creation and time, including Avicenna, had failed to convince, and he felt that he could produce a more robust argument and pin his Yemeni philosophy on the central doctrine of perpetual creation. Later in the text, before he embarks on the main discussion of the doctrine, he distinguishes three types of prior non-existence based on Yemeni philosophy:
  According to what we have acquired from the mature Yemeni philosophy
  ripened by the faculty of the intellect, obtained through
  demonstrative syllogisms and divine inspirations, it appears that
  incipience has three possible meanings: The first of them is the
  priority of the existence of a thing by essential non-existence
  and this is called, according to the philosophers, "essential
  creation" (huduth dhati) [...]. The second of them is the priority
  of a thing by its non-existence in perpetuity and eternity that is
  atemporal such that the thing is non-existent in a real sense through
  pure non-existence which is not qualified by continuity and its
  opposite. It then moves from this pure non-existence to existence
  and would appear to be most appropriately termed [incipience], that
  is, perpetual creation (huduth dahri). The third of them is the
  priority of the existence of the thing by its non-existence in time
  so that its existence is preceded by an element of time, and this
  is called by the theologians "temporal creation" (hud[]th
  zam[][]ni). (30)

The very notion of perpetual creation is directly related to his school of Yemeni philosophy. In al-Ufuq al-mub[.bar]n, the text that was so popular in India, he begins by saying that the work on the nature of the metaphysics of theistic creation is the result of what came to him from "matured Yemeni philosophy and the pure, ecstatic philosophy of faith." (31)

The first person to take up his school systematically in India and to engage fully and critically with the theory of perpetual creation was the leading philosopher of the Mughal period, M[.bar]ll[] Mahm[.bar]d Jawnp[.bar]r[.bar], to whom I now turn.


Following upon the legacy of M[]r FathuIlah Shir[]z[], Jawnpur in the Gangetic plain in North India became an intellectual center in the seventeenth century and was famously described as Sh[]r[]z-i Hind by the emperor Shahjahan (r. 1627-1658). (32) The key figure in this process was Mahmad b. Muhammad Brag, who was born in V[]lidpar in district A'zamgarh in R[]madan 1015/1603. (33) A child prodigy, by the age of seventeen he had mastered the intellectual sciences with his maternal grandfather Shaykh Sh[]h Muhammad (d. 1032/1623) and a renowned philosopher in Jawnp[]r, Shaykh Muhammad Af2a1Radawli (d. 1062/1652), and was already teaching philosophy by twenty. (34) Bilgrami describes him as the unique and probably greatest of the ulema of the east (of Delhi) and as the best to combine the methods of the Illuminationists (ishr[]qiyyin) and the Peripatetics (mashsha'iyyin). (35)

Jawnp[]r[] was allegedly the student of M[]r Findiriski (d. 1050/1640), the itinerant savant who spent most of his life in India. At the latter's behest, Jawnpuri apparently stopped in Isfahan on his way to the hall to study with Mir Damad and there imbibed the "hikma yamaniyya"--his main work, al-Shams al-bazigha, is influenced by al-Ufuq al-mubin. (36) Bilgrami stresses that al-Shams is a work in the tradition of hikma yamCmiyya. (37) Sources particularly note the disagreement on the question of creation, hudfith dahri; in fact, Bilgrami, among others, replicates the whole critique of Jawnpfiri, to which I will return later. (38)

In order to promote the new capital of Sh[]hj[]h[]n[]b[]d as an intellectual and imperial center, Shahjahan collected around himself a coterie of intellectual figures, including Miyan Mir (d. 1045/1635), the famous Sufi from Lahore, the philosopher and theologian cAbd al-Hakim SiyalkUti (d. 1067/1656), and Mahmad Jawnpar1. (39) The latter was invited to build a new observatory in Delhi by the courtier Asaf Khan. (40) However, as ShAhjahan was soon distracted by matters of state--in particular the Balkh campaign in the west against the Uzbeks in 1645-48 for recovery of the Mughals' ancestral homelands--Jawnpuri returned to his hometown where he established a seminary, Madrasa-yi Mahmiidiyya, which specialized in the study of the intellectual sciences. (41) There he designed a school text for the study and dissemination of philosophy entitled al-Ilikma al-baligha, on which he wrote his own commentary al-Shams al-b[]zigha. (42) Although the text was intended to be a comprehensive encyclopedia much akin to al-Hidaya of al-Abhari and its famous commentary by Mull[] Sadr[] comprising a section on logic, physics, and metaphysics, it was only the physics section that was ever completed. It is, in fact, one of the peculiarities of the intellectual sciences in India that physics remained the focus of the philosophical curriculum well into the late nineteenth century. (43)

Later, Jawnpuri became the tutor of Shuj[]', the son and would-be heir of Shahjahan, and accompanied him to the governorate of Bengal. There he is reported to have met the Sufi shaykh N[]'matullah F[]r[]hab[]d[] and to have taken over the tar[]qa from him in 1052/1641. Prominent students of his included Abu Talib Sha'ista Khan, Shaykh Niiruddin Jawnpuri, and Shaykh 'Abd al-B[]q[] Sidd[]q[], author of a popular commentary on the rhetoric and polemics of Shams al-D[]n Samargandi (d. 1310) entitled al-[]arab al-b[]qiya. (44)

Bilgrami notes that Jawnp[]ri had a humble style of teaching and was renowned for his reflective and thoughtful approach to learning. Contemporary biographers would note that there are two famous Fartaqis in Indian history: Sirhindi known for his Sufi teachings and Jawnpuri known for his teaching of philosophy and literature. He died on 21 Rabic I 1.062/ March 2, 1652. The popularity of his text is attested by the many manuscripts of the work available in Indian and Indian-sourced libraries (like the British Library). (45) It has also repeatedly been published in lithograph from the nineteenth century on and then offset by printers such as Niz[]m[] in Lucknow.

Al-Shams al-b[]zigha and the rehearsal of philosophical dogma were later considered to be symptomatic of intellectual stagnation. The famed reformer J[]maludd[]n al-Afgh[]n[.bar] (d. 1897) condemned the study of the text. as irrelevant to the new intellectual and scientific challenges of the modern world that Muslims faced. (46) Indeed, the advent of the new learning and the new science which came with the colonial encounter, especially after the 1857 revolt, did seem to make the Ptolemaic cosmology on which much of the metaphysics and physics were predicated seem increasingly obsolete.

Jawnp[]ri's critique. covers various elements. (47) He begins by presenting Mir D[]m[]d's argument, agreeing that creation cannot be temporal as the idea of priority based on temporal units or temporal continuity is absurd because it requires there to be a time before time. Tem-poral non-existence that precedes existence is not a true contradictory of it. His presentation is based on aspects of Mir D[]m[]d's first, third, and sixth proofs. (48)

First, he examines the notions of priority. Real and opposing notions of priority and posteriority require the conception of some continuity, whether it is real or imagined (muhaqqaq aw mawh[]m). It is difficult for the mind to imagine continuity outside of temporal units and it thus tends to make an absolute distinction between non-existence and existence. But then the question arises: whence creation, because Aristotelian philosophy does not permit something out of nothing? (49)

Second, if perpetuity is a container beyond temporal existence and beyond both continuity and lack of continuity, then how can existence obtain in it after it was not? The absurdity of the situation relates to the example of a point in time and whether two bodies can obtain the same place in the small point in time within the paradoxical need to infinitely divide units of time. Besides, non-existence cannot exist at the same point or priority as existence by definition. It is even more problematic to associate that priority in which the non-existence of the cosmos is, with the priority in which the existence of God obtains. For Jawnp[]r[], perpetuity is not a container in which God can at times be manifest and at others not be devoid of notions of continuity. (50) The law of non-contradiction applies to this point. Non-existence qua non-existence and existence qua existence do not possess the properties of priority and posteriority. So what arises in perpetuity? If it is the notion of a prior non-existence associated with the posterior existence, then one is left with the coincidence of contradictories. But in this objection, Jawnp[]ri is not taking into consideration M[]r D[]m[]d's position on essence, which allows for a real non-existence in perpetuity to obtain.

Third, he moves onto the God world relationship. One of the theological problems with perpetual creation is that it seems to posit a class of contingents (such as the higher intellects) that are eternal and perpetual with God such that there is no relation of them being preceded by a prior state. This seems to pose a problem for the monotheist. There cannot be a difference in number for a temporal thing between its temporal existence and its occurrence in perpetuity. It makes no sense for a thing to have existence in perpetuity before its existence after its creation. (51) Once again, an assumption that essences are ontologically prior would obviate the objection. Further, he argues that if we say that God can only precede contingents either by perpetuity or eternity, not by time, then we face a problem in their definitions. The state in which God is together with those contingents in perpetuity negates the possibility of notions of priority and posteriority. "Togetherness" (md'iyya) cannot contain within it the idea of some being prior and posterior in the relation. We would therefore be left with a position in which we cannot affirm that God is prior to the world. (52) Here Jawnp[]ri thinks that Mir Damad is too harsh on the Peripatetic position. One possible objection to Jawnp[]ri is that the notion of mdiyya to some need not be monological. His contemporary, Mulla Sadra, after all, allows for the togetherness of God and the world as well as graded stages of priority and posteriority pertaining to the same pyramid of being.

Finally, Jawnp[]ri makes a comment that has since been reiterated by an Iranian philosopher, Jal[]luddin []shtiyAni (d. 2005), relating to the nature of causation. (53) If an effect is dependent upon its cause, then--following the rules of Aristotelian science--it must exist in a more perfect state at the stage of the existence of its cause. Therefore, the creation cannot be totally non-existent or possess pure non-existence at the level of eternity. This amounts to a defense of the traditional Avicennan doctrine of essential creation (huduth dhoti). Jawnp[]ri praises the effort of the intellectually dextrous and able Mir Damad to solve the problem, but for him it is rather simpler: the real question for "believing philosophers" (al-mu'min[]n min al-fal[]sifa) is to reconcile the Qur'anic account and sayings of the prophets and "those who have arrived at the unseen," that is, reconciling temporal math) ex nihilo with hud[]th dh[]ti. But in that they should follow al-F[]rab[] (d. 339/950), who shows Plato's reconciliation of creation and emanation in his al-Jam' bayna ra'yay al-hakimayn. (54) For Jawnpri, there are two senses of essential creation, one invalid because it instrumentalizes God and makes creation eternal as such and in itself with a continuity from the divine, and the other valid since it insists upon the radical contingency of creation because only God is everlasting and self-sufficient (al-b[]q[]) and all else is perishing (h[]lik). The only reason that prophets spoke the language of temporal creation was because of the need to communicate their utter dependence on God in simple, communicative language. It is always open for intelligent interpreters to make sense of the scripture as they will, even to defend hudath dahri (as, indeed, Mir D[]m[]d did in his fourth proof, which Jawnpari does not discuss). (55)

Jawnp[]r[]'s critique is representative of a school gloss and shows how traditions can be intellectually dynamic. 56 He praises the master, is fair in his evaluation, and even agrees with the sentiment but begs to differ on specific points. The real test of an argument in philosophy is whether it is logically sound; after all, the mastery of logic that was central to the intellectual sciences in India precluded the easy reliance upon rhetorical argumentation. Thus, despite his remaining unconvinced by Mir D[]m[]d's solution to the problem of time and creation, Jawnpyri remained very much a follower of his school tradition. In the later debate, he had his own followers: Muhammad Barkat H[]h[]b[]d[] (d. 1780) wrote a short treatise, Risala fi huduth al-dh[]t, which defended Jawnpuri's only interpretation of the Avicennan doctrine.(57)


The school of Mir D[]m[]d in India is primarily associated with the Khayrabadi philosophers of the nineteenth century who had settled in Delhi. But this famous family was not the first to comment on these works. Around a century after M[]r D[]m[]d, an []ranian philosopher living in India, Anwar al-Din al-Husayn[], wrote a commentary entitled al-Tanwirat fi shark at-Imadat, copies of which survive in the Raza Library in Rampur, and the former Asafiyya collection (MS Arabic 67) and the Salar Jung Museum in Hyderabad (MS Arabic 11).(58) Another Iranian philosopher, 'Abd al-Ham[]d Tabr[]z[], the author of a wonderful mystical work on the nature of being, al-B[]wariq al-n[]riyya, was a student who settled in India in the middle of the seventeenth century, as attested in his own work; no mention is made of him in the biographical dictionaries. (59) The stories of Jawnp[]r[] travelling to Isfahan to sit at the feet of the philosoph er are probably apocryphal; the first Indian to transmit the school and to have studied with him was Mulla Sabbagh of Kashm[]r. (60)

There are three lines of influence discernable in the transmission of M[]r D[]m[]d's school. First, there is the influence of al-Ufuq al-mub[]n in India, numerous manuscripts of which survive in libraries. This was mediated through citations of the work in metaphysical commentaries on the Sadra, the famous commentary on al-Hid[]ya by Mulla Sadr[] Sh[]raz[]. Examples include the renowned intellectual Muhibbull[]h Bih[]r[] (d. 1119/1707) in his Musallam al-'ul[]m, Muhammad Amjad Sidd[]q[] Qannawj[] (d. 1140/1727), QAdi Mubarak Gopamawi (d. 1162/1749), Muhammad A'lam Sand[]lv[] (d. 1198/1784), Muhammad Irtiz[] Kh[]n Gop[]m[]w[] (d. 1251/1835), Barkat Ahmad (d. 1922), and members of the famed Luck-now Farang[]-Mahall[] family, such as the founder Mull[] Niz[]mudd[]n Sih[]lv[] (d. 1161/1748), his son 'Abd 'Al[] Bahr al-'Ul[]m (d. 1225/1810), Mu11[] Muhamm[]d klasan (d. 1198/1784), Waliullah Ansari (d. 1854), Muhammad Yusuf Ansari (d. 1186/1772), 'Abd (d. 1868), and Ab[] 1-Hasan[]t 'Abd al-I-jayy (d. 1886). (61) Others who engaged critically with M[]r D[]m[]d were two controversial and independent Shiite philosophers from Ghazipur in East-ern U.P., Sayyid Husayn klusayni Nawnehravi (d. 1855) and his son Sayyid Murtai[],' who wrote a fascinating work Mi'r[]j al-'Uq[]l fi sharh Du'[]' al-mashl[]l. (62)

Second, those who wrote on al-Ufuq al-mub[]n were the major philosophers of the Kh[]yrab[]d school such as Fail-i Im[]m (d. 1824), his son Fail-i klagq (d. 1861), and his grandson 'Abd al-Haqq (d. 1900).(63) The most eminent of these was Fail-i Haig, who wrote a number of important works in philosophy: al-Jins al-ghali ft shark al-Jawhar al-'an; al-Hadiya al-sdidiyya on physics, which was written for the Nawab Muhammad Sa'id Khan (r. 1840-1855) of Rampur and became a major textbook, due to its pithy nature, in Rampur and other madrasas devoted to the study of the intellectual sciences; al-Rawd al-mujawwad f[] haq[.bar]qat al-wuj[]d, a short analysis of ontology; Hashiya 'ala Talkhis al-Shifa, a gloss on his father's commentary on Avicenna's compendium; and H[]shiya 'al[] 1-Ufuq al-mub[]n, which is most salient to us here. (64) These leading public intellectuals represented the learned culture of the North Indian towns (qasbahs), nurtured by the Mughal empire and its successor states and principalities, and later refined in opposition and service to the East India Company and the British Raj. (65) These towns produced many a learned Sunni scholar. The salons of Delhi reverberated with the study of Mir D[]m[]d led by the Khayr[]b[]d[]s and their friends among the intellectual elites, such as Sadr al-D[]n Khan "[]zurda" (d. 1868), Imam Bakhsh 'Sehbat (d. 1857), Mustafa Kh[]n 'Sh[]fta' (d. 1869), and the great Persian and Urdu poet Asadullah Khan Ghalib (d. 1869), all of whom in their own way straddled the old learning and the new, not least through their association with Delhi College, the former Gh[]ziudd[]n Kh[]n madrasa. (66) The College taught "traditional" philosophy alongside the idealism, romanticism, and rationalism of European schools of philosophy. The friends shared and corrected one another's poetry, discussed matters of theological dispute, and debated metaphysics. Most of them had a prior training in the metaphysics of the school of Mir Damad from Fail-i Imam Khayr[]b[]d[]. (67) Collectively, in the post-1857 accounts of the lost glories of Delhi, they were described as the luminaries of the "Delhi renaissance," both cultural and Intellectual. (68) Before the rivalry with the new European learning, the Khayr[]b[]d[] stress upon the rational clashed with the puritanical neo-Wahhabis and the hadith-based Rattimiyya madrasa founded and controlled by the family of Sh[]h Walxull[]h (d. 1762). Al-Ufuq al-mub[]n was the main philosophical text in the Khayr[]b[]d[] curriculum, replacing the Sadr[] and al-Shams al-b[]zigha, which were the main texts of the Dars-i NiVimi. Even during his exiled detention on the Andaman Islands, Fail-i Haqq is said to have continued to teach and discuss the work of Mir D[]m[]d. Apart from the Khayr[]b[]d[] family, a set of glosses (ta'liq[]t) on al-Ufuq al-mub[]n was also composed by the famous philosopher of the Farang[]-Mahall, 'Abd 'Al[] Bahr al-'Ul[]m. (69) He also referred to the text in his own important summary of philosophy, al-'Uj[]la al-n[]fi'a ("The Beneficial Illumination").

Finally, there were those who expressed their adherence to the school of Mir D[]m[]d through their commentaries on al-Shams al-b[]zigha. Hamdull[]b b. Shukrull[]h (d. 1160/1747), a well-known Shi'ite scholar from one of the major qasbahs, Sand[]la, cites "Baqir al-'ul[]m" from al-Qahas[]t and Tagivim extensively. Ahmadullah Radawi Khayr[]b[]d[] (d. 1167/1753) was a well-known teacher of the Sadra who also wrote glosses on al-Shams. Main" Muhammad Hasa!) Lakhnavi (d. 1 198/1784), a major philosopher of the Farang[]-Mahan family, defended M[]r D[]m[]d against the criticisms of Jawnpa[][] on the issue of the creation of the world. (70) On the whole, philosophers upheld the Avicennan doctrine, but most of the school of M[]r D[]m[]d clung to the possibility of perpetual creation as a solution to the problem of creation.

RIZVI: M[]r D[]m[]d in India

The significance of the debate in India is all the more, because in Iran the concept of huduth dahri was on the whole ignored. Even M[]r D[]m[]d's famous student Mu11[] Sadr[] failed to discuss it in his own defense of a paradoxical hud[]th that was both temporal in its constant renewal and eternal in the activity of its renewal, a position on time and creation that reflects his doctrine of substantial motion (haraka jawhariyya). The other main students, 'Alawi and G[]lan[], defended the position. Later, two philosophers engaged in the debate: Aqa Jamaluddin Khw[]ns[]r[] (d. 1125/1713) attacked the doctrine in his set of glosses on the ontology of al-Tajrid of Khw[]ja Nas[]rudd[]n al-T[]s[], and Mull[] Ism[]'il M[]zandar[]n[] KhwAj[]'[] (d. 1173/1759) defended him by responding in his Ris[]la ibt[]l al-zam[]n al-mawh[]m. (71) Ithwans[]r[]ts position was similar to some Indian criticisms: M[]r D[]m[]d's position makes little sense and fails to solve the problem of creation. Khw[]j[][]'s response is consistent with his understanding of existence: time is a measure of existence and not of motion; in fact, he argues that Mir D[]m[]d's position on time draws upon Ab[]i 1-BarakAt al-B[]ghd[]d[]. (72) So we come full circle from the views of Avicenna and al-Baghd[]d[] through the Safavid and Mughal periods into the aftermath on the question of creation, which still remains elusive.


The school of Mir D[]m[]d is somewhat of a historical relic across the Persianate world, including in Iran. The dominance of Mull[] Sadr[] in contemporary Iranian intellectual circles and the perception of the notorious difficulty of Mir D[]m[]d make the teacher neglected. In India, the old traditions of the intellectual sciences nurtured by the Dars-i Niz[]m[] are dead; the philosophy departments of the major universities, including Aligarh Muslim University and Jamia Millia Islamia, show no interest in Mull[] Sadr[], M[]r D[]m[]d, or even Jawnp[]r[]. The reformed and revised Dars-i Niz[]m[.bar] in most Indian madrasas has little space for the study of philosophy and even if the texts, mainly the Sadr[] and al-Shams, are present, it is a mere genuflection to tradition with little critical or analytical engagement. There is no attempt to rethink the issues of existence, cosmology, and psychology. The impact of the new learning from the British period has been such that the prejudices of late nineteenth-and twentieth-century British philosophy, rather hostile to any metaphysics and seeking to extend the domain of science while whittling down the command of metaphysics, have been internalized. But a good deal of the nineteenth century was more creative: the Delhi renaissance was much enamored and engaged with the old tziknza traditions at the heart of which lay M[]r D[]m[]d's teaching. The new science, permeating through the translations into Urdu produced and disseminated at Fort William College and at Delhi College, posed direct challenges to the old physics found in al-Shams and other texts. (73) This context makes the study of the debates on hucl[]th dahr[] all the more salient and the rise in interest indicates ways in which traditional education and learning made attempts to revive and make tradition relevant in a changing world.

(1.) Jamal Malik, Islamische Gelehrtenkultur ire Nordindien: Entwicklungsgeschichte and Tendenzen am Beispiel von Lucknow (Leiden: Brill, 1997); Francis Robinson, The 'Ulama of Farangi-Mahall and Islamic Culture in South Asia (Delhi: Permanent Black, 2001); Farhan Nizami, "Madrasahs, Scholars, and Saints: Muslim Responses to the British Presence in Delhi and the Upper Doab, 1803-1857," Ph.D. dins., Univ. of Oxford, 1983; Margrit Pernau, ed., The Delhi College: Traditional Elites, the Colonial State, and Education before 1857 (New Delhi: Oxford Univ. Press, 2006); Mushirul Hasan, From Pluralism to Separatism: Qasbas in Colonial Awadh (New Delhi: Oxford Univ. Press, 2004); idem, A Moral Reckoning: Muslim Intellectuals in Nineteenth-Century Delhi (New Delhi: Oxford Univ. Press, 2005). On the Dars-i Niz[]m[] itself, see Malik, Islamische Gelehrtenkultur in Nordindien, 522-35; cf. Francis Robinson, "Ottomans-Safavids-Mughals: Shared Knowledge and Connective Systems," Journal of Islamic Studies 8 (1997): 152-56; idem, The 'Ulama of Farangi Mahall, 48-50, 248-51; Qamarudd[]n, Hindust[]n k[] d[]n[] darsg[]h[]n (New Delhi: Hamdard Education Society, 1996), 345-52; on pedagogical disciplines, texts, and authors, see Muft[] Riz[] Ash[]r[], Bani-yi dars-i nizami ustad al-hind Mullet Niz[]mudd[]n Muhammad Farang[]-Mahall[] (Aligarh: Aligarh Muslim Univ., 1973), 257-65; Jam[]l Ahmad, Harakat al-ta'-lif-bi-t-lugha al-'arabiyya f[] 1-iql[]m al-shim[]l[] al-hind[] (Karachi: J[]mi'at al-Dir[]s[]t al-Isl[]miyya, n.d.), 17-22; Alt[]f al-Rahm[]n Qiy[]m-i, nizant-i ta'l[]m (Lucknow: Niz[]m[] Press, 1924); Barbara Metcalf, Islamic Revival in British India: Deoband, 1860-1900 (Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1982), 16-45; Muhammad Umar, Islam in Northern India in the Eighteenth Century (Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal, 1993), 259-305; Habiburrahm[]n Maz[]hir[]. Khayr[]abad[], Tadhkirat al-musannif[]n: Dars-i niz[]m[]yya aur dars-i '[]liyya aur tam[]m 'arabi nis[]ban m[]n sh[]mil jumla kutub k[] musannif[]n k[] mukammal tadhkira (n.p: Maktaba-yi Na'[]miyya, n.d.); Muhammad Han[]f Gangoh[], Zalar ba-ahv[]l-i musannif[]n, ydni h[]l[]t-i musannif[]n-i dars-i niz[]m[] (Deoband: Han[]f Book Depot, 1996); Akhtar R[]h[], Tadhkira-yi musannifin-i dars-i niz[]m[] (Lahore: Maktaba-yi Rahm[]nlyya, 1978).

(2.) Rahm[]n 'Al[], Tuhfat al-fudal[]' fi tar[]jim al-kumal[]' [Tadhkira-yi cularne-yi Hind] (Lucknow: Nawal Kishore, 1333/1914), 160; cAbd al-B[]q[] Nihavandi, Ma'[]thir-i Rahimi, ed. M. Hid[]yat Husayn (Calcutta: The Asiatic Society, 1910), 2: 550; Sayyid Ghul[]m 'Al[] Azad Bilgrami, Ma'[]thir-i kir[]m, ed. M. Lyallp[]r[] (Lahore: Maktaba-yi Ihy[]-yi 'Ul[]m-i Sharqiyya, 1971), 226, 228-29; Sayyid tAbdulhayy al-Hasan[], Nuzhat al-khaw[]tir wa-bahjat al-mas[]mi' wa-l-naw[]zir (Rai Bareilly: Maktabat D[]r 'Araf[]t, 1992), 5: 539-44; Saiyid Athar Abbas Rizvi, A Socio-Intellectual History of the Isn[] 'Ashari Shr[]'[]s in India (Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal, 1986), 2: 196-97; G. M. D. Sufi, Al-Minh[]j, Being the Evolution of the Curriculum in the Muslim Educational Institutions of India (Lahore: Shaikh Muhammad Ashraf, 1941), 54-55; M. A. Alvi and A. Rahman, Path Allah Shirazi: A Sixteenth Century Indian Scientist (Delhi: National Institute of the Sciences of India, 1968); Sharif Husain Qasimi, "Fathullah S[]raz[]," in Encyclopaedia Iranica, ed. E. Yarshater (New York: dist. by Eisenbrauns, 1982-); Malik, Islamische Gelehrtenkultur in Nordindien, 86-95; cf. Zubaid Ahmad, The Contribution of Indo-Pakistan to Arabic Literature, from Ancient Times to 1857 (Lahore: Sh. Muhammad Ashraf, 1968), 127-56.

(3.) al-Hasan[] Altizhat al-khavvatir, 6: 394-96; Malik, Islamische Gelehrtenkultur in Nordindien, 86-95: Ans[]r[] (R[]n[]-yi oars-i niz[]tn[], 42) presents the following important intellectual lineage for the philosophical curriculum in India: .Mulla Muhammad Nizamuddin Sihalvi (d, 1161/1748)--his father, MuIla Qutbuddin Sihalvi (d. 121/1710)--M[]lla D[]niy[]l Chawriisi 'Abd al-Sal[]m D[]w[] (d. 1039/1629)--Abd al-Sal[]m L[]h[]r[] (d. 1037/1627)--M[]r Fathullah Shirazi (d. 997/1589)--Jamaluddin Mahmud Shirazi Jalaluddin Davani (d. 1502) Muhyiuddin KUshktari Khwaja Hasan Shah Baqqal Sharif 'Ali Jurjani (d. 816/1413)--MubarakSha Bukhari (d. 740/1340)--Qutbuddin Razi Tahtani (d. 766/1364). One could continue this lineage to Avicenna in the following manner: Tahtani--the eminent Shiite theologian 'Allama Ibn Mutahhar (d. 725/1325)--his teacher, the Shiite theologian, philosopher, and scientist Khwaja Nasir al-Din Muhammad Tusi (d. 672/1274)--Fariduddin Damad Nisaburi Sadruddin al-Sarakhsi Afdaluddin trnar al-Ghaylani (d. after 523/1128)--AbO 1-(Abbas al-Lawkari (d. after 503/1109)--Bahmanyar b. Marzuban (d. 458/1066)--Avicenna ((l. 428/1037). On this latter section of the lineage, see Ahmed al-Rahim, "Avicenna's Immediate Disciples: Their Lives and Works." in Avicenna and His Legacy: A Golden. Age of Science and Philosophy, ed. Tzvi Langerrnann (Turnhout: Brepols, 2009), 1-25; idem, "The Twelves-Sri Reception of Avicenna in the Mongol Period," in Before and After Avicenna, ed. David C. Reisman, with Ahmed H. al-Rahim (Leiden: Brill, 2003), 219-32.

(4.) Shirazi was one of a number of students of the "school of Shirt" who found fame and fortune in India. Others included Abu I-Fath Gilani (d. 997/1589), Shaykh Ahmad Thattavi (d. 996/1588). Sayyid cInayatullah Shirazi (d. 988/1580), Shaykh Muhammad Yazdi (d. 998/1588), Mir Murtada Sharifi (d. 972/1564). and Shaykh Hihatullah Shirazi; see al-Hasani, Nuzhat al-khawatir, 2-3: 11-12,26-27,223-24,293.312,346.

(5.) 'Abd al-Qadir h. Malikshah Badayuni 44iintakhab al-tavarikh, ed. Ahmad 'Ali et al. (rpt., Tehran: Anjuman-i Athar va Malakhir-i Farhangi, 1379 sh/2000), 3: 105. Cf. Rini, A Socio-Intellectual History, 2: 196-97; al-Hasani, Mahal al-khawatir, 2-3: 226-27.

(6.) Abu Akbarnnma (Calcutta: Biblioteca Indica at the Baptist. Mission Press, 1873-87), 3: 401; cf. Rini. A Sodo-Intellectual History, 2: 197.

(7.) Nizamuddin Badakhshi, Tabaqat-i Akbari, ed. Barun De (Calcutta: The Asiatic Society. 1927-29), 2: 357.

(8.) There are very few extant works of Sh[]raz[] himself. One work that does suggest his introduction into India of the important cycle of kalam texts around the Tajrid al-i'tiq[]d of Nasrruddin T[]s[] is Hashiya 'al[] sharh Jad[]d li-l-Tafr[]d, MS British Library Asian and African Studies (India Office Delhi Arabic) 961a (forty if. of eighteenth-century nasta'l[]q in the collected tome; as the author is not identified, the attribution is tentative). The only other work that I have found is Risala darjavab-i savalat-i hiktniyya va kcilarnlyya, MS Raza Library (Rampur) 466b[]. (ff. lv-35v). Another important manuscript for the Avicennan tradition is MS Raza Library (Rampur) 3476 of al-Shifa' of Avicenna which belonged to the Dashtak[] family and was brought to India by Sh[]r[]z[] and later lodged in the Mu ghal royal library from which it transferred to Ra mpur.

(9.) Bilgrami, Ma'[]thir-i kiram, 226, 228-29; al-klasan[], Nuzhat al-khaw[]tir, 5: 243-44.

(10.) The best accounts are 'Al[] Awjab[], M[]r D[]m[]d: Buny[]nguz[]r-i hikmat-i yam[]n[] (Tehran: SAbat, 2004), and Sayyid 'Ali Musawi-Bihbahani, Astarabad, Mir Damad (Tehran: Tehran Univ. Press, 1998).

(11.) For a more detailed study, see Keven A. Brown, "Time, Perpetuity, and Eternity: Mir Damad's Theory of Perpetual Creation and the Trifold Division of Existence. An Analysis of Kitab al-Qabasat: The Book of Blazing Brands," Ph.D. diss., Univ. of California, Los Angeles, 2006; Fazlur Rahman, "Mir Damad's Concept of huduth dahri: A Contribution to the Study of the God-World Relationship in Safavid Iran," Journal of Near Eastern Studies 39 (1980): 139-51; Sajjad H. Rizvi, "Between Time and Eternity: Mir Damdd on God's Creative Agency," Journal of Islamic Studies 12 (2006): 158-76.

(12.) Mtisaw[]-Bihbah[]n[], Astarab[]d, 165-66.

(13.) Sayyid Atimad 'Alaw[] Vlarla Kit[]b al-Qabas[]t, ed. H. N. Isfah[]n[] (Tehran: ISTAC, 1997), 26-27.

(14.) 'Abdulli[]h M[][]m[] published a non-critical edition of the text in Iran in 2006. Hamid N[]j[] Isfahilni, who ediled Sayyid Atunad 'Alaw[]'s Shalt al-Qabasat, has prepared a critical edition of al-tlfuq al-mttb[]n, which is in press. Despite the many manuscripts of the text in India, there is neither a lithograph nor a modern edition of the text.

(15.) For a wonderfully creative study of how Islamic intellectual traditions have shifted from an initial "Qur'anic creator paradigm," see Ian Netton, Allah Transcendent: Studies in the Structure and Semiotics of Islamic Philosophy, Theology and Cosmology (Richmond: Curzon Press, 1989). The standard reference for the arguments for and against. eternity in medieval Islam is Herbert Davidson, Proofs for Eternity, Creation, and Existence of God in Medieval Islamic and Jewish Philosophy (New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1987).

(16.) Ab[.bar] H[]mid al-Ghaz[]l[], Tah[]fut al-fal[]sifa (The Incoherence of the Philosophers), ed. and tr. Michael Marmura (Provo, Utah: Brigham Young Univ. Press, 2000), 12-46.

(17.) On Philoponus's argument, see Richard Sorabji, Time, Creation and the Continuum (London: Duckworth, 1983), 193-231; Samuel Sambursky, The Physical World of Late Antiquity (London: Routledge, Kegan and Paul, 1962), 154-75.

(18.) Ibn S[]n[], ai-Ta'liqat, ed. 'A. Badawi (Cairo: a1-Hay'a al-Misriyya a1-Amma k-L-Kith, 1974), 141-42; cf. M[]r Damad, Kit[]b at-Qahas[]t, ed. Mehdi Mohaghegh, Toshihiko izutsu. and Sayyid 'A1i Musawi-Bihbah[]n[] (Tehran: Tehran Univ. Press, 1977), 7-8.

(19.) Mir D[]m[]d. Kit[]b al-Qahas[]t, 326-29.

(20.) Mir D[]m[]d, Kit[]b al-Qab[]sat, 7.

(21.) Cf. Brown, "Time. Perpetuity, and Eternity," 66-149.

(22.) M[]r [Naiad, Kit[]b al-Qahas[]t, 220-26.

(23.) M[]r D[]m[]d, Tagw[]m al-im[]n. ed. 'Al[] Awjabi (Tehran: Mir[]th-i Makt[]b, 1997), 323.

(24.) 'Alaw[], Sharh al-Qahas[]t, 472-73.

(25.) Brown, "Time, Perpetuity, and Eternity," 504.

(26.) Awjab[], Mir Damad, 97.

(27.) Mir D[]m[]d, Jadhav[]t va mav[]q[]t, ed. 'Al[] Awjab[] (Tehran: M[]r[]th-i Makt[]b, 2001), 99.

(28.) Mir D[]m[]d, Jadhav[]t, 170.

(29.) M[.bar]r Dam[]d, al-Sir[]t al-mustaq[]m fi rabt al-h[]d[]th wa-l-qad[]m, ed. 'Al[] Awjab[] (Tehran: Mir[]th-i Makt[]b, 2002), 3.

(30.) Mir D[]m[]d, al-Sir[]t al-mutatq[]m, 195.

(31.) Mir D[]m[]d, Musannaf[]t al-Ulug al-mub[]n, ed. 'Abdull[]h N[]ran[] (Tehran: Anjuman-i []th[]r va Maf[]khir-i Farhang[], 2006), 5.

(32.) Bilgr[]mi, Ma'[]thir-i 12; Hafiz A. Ghaffar Khan, "India," in History of Islamic Philosophy, vol. 1, ed. S. FL Nasr and 0. Leaman (London: Routledge, 1996), 1059; Hasan, From Pluralism to Separatism, 24.

(33.) Ghul[]m Habib Suhhani, 101 'Ulama'-yi P[]kistan a Hind (Lahore: Ta'lici[]t, 2002), 622-27; Sayyid Ghulam 'Al[] Az[]d Bilgram[], Subh[]t al-matjan.f[] []th[]r Hindustan, ed. M. Fail al-Rahm[]n Nadwi (Aligarh: Institute of Islamic Studies, Aligarh Muslim Univ., 1972), 2: 142-70; al-Hasan[] (Nuzhat al-kh[]watir, 5: 429-31) mentions a birth year of 993 A.H.; GAL, 2: 554, S II: 621.

(34.) See al-Hasani, Anchat al-khaw[]tir, 5: 359; 'Al[], Tadhkira-yi 'ulam[]'-yi Hind, 417; Malik, Islamische Gelehrtenkultur in Nordindien, 98-99.

(35.) Bilgr[]m[], Subhat al-marj[]n, 2: 142.

(36.) 'Al[] Awjab[] ("Hikm[]t-i yamrtni dar Hind," []yina-yi mir[]th 32 [2006]: 84), Robinson ("Ottomans-SafavidsMughals," 159), and Khan ("India," 1065) cite this but do not provide any source.

(37.) Bilgr[]m[], Subhat al-m[]rjan, 2: 145.

(38.) Bilgr[]m[.bar], Subhat al-m[]rgm, 2: 145-62.

(39.) Bilgr[]m[], Subhat at-rnarj[]n, 1: 170-72. Siy[]lk[]t[] is famed for his commentary on three major works of philosophical theology: the glosses of Ahmad al-Khayali (d. 870/1465) and Jalaluddin al-Dawani (d. 907/1501) on the creed of Najmuddin 'Umar al-Nasafi (d. 537/1142); Shad; al-Mawaqif of al-Jurjani (d. 816/1413); and Tawa lie al-anwar min matali' al-anzar of al-Baydawi (d. 685/1286). He also wrote a gloss on the philosophical commentary of Mir Husayn Maybudi on al-Hidaya of al-Abhari. See al-Hasani, Nuzhat al-khawatir, 5: 229-31; GAL, 2: 550.

(40.) As noted in the famous account of Jawnpitri's student Muhammad S[]diq Isfah[]ni s[]diy, f. 521, and reported in al-Hasani, Nuzhat al-khawatir, and Bilgr[]m[], Subhat al-marj[]n, 2: 144.

(41.) For discussions on the Balkh campaign and its failures, see Jos Gommans, Mughal Warfare (London: Rout-ledge, 2002), 179-87; M. Athar Ali, Mughal India: Studies in Polity, Ideas, Society and Culture (New Delhi: Oxford Univ. Press, 2006), 327-33; and John F Richards, The New Cambridge History of India, vol. 1.5: The Mughal Empire (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1993), 132-33.

(42.) Apart from the many manuscripts, the text was printed in lithograph in 1280/1863 in Lucknow by Ninmi Press along with the glosses of Hamdullah on the margins. There is no modern critical edition of the text, although Sayyid 'Aq[]; Rozv[] Gharav[] in Delhi has begun one based on an autograph manuscript in the Khud[] Bakhsh Library in Patna.

(43.) Al-Shams al-b[]zigha is one of four important original Islamic philosophical texts produced in India. The others are al-iiirwa al-uthqa, a short epitome of philosophy written by K[]maluddin Sihfilwi (d. 1760); al-'Uj[]la al-nlifica, a most. detailed excursus on metaphysics by the famous philosopher of Farangi-Mahall, 'Abd 'Al[] Bahr al-'111.11m (d. 1810); and al-iladiva al-sdidiyya by the nineteenth-century philosopher of Delhi, Fa*.1-i Haim Khayrabadi (d. 1861). Another short text from the late nineteenth century, which is somewhat like a student's primer, is Taswilett a1-Maclfa by the Patna philosopher Abu Sdid Zuhrir al-Hagq 'AzirnAbadi, of which an autograph copy is MS Khudii Bakhsh 2742. These texts are all commonly found in Indian library collections. For a discussion of these texts in the Dars-i NizItmi, see my forthcoming article, "Calibrating Empires of the Mind: Natural Philosophy in the D[]rs-i niz[]m[]

(44.) Cf. MS Delhi Arabic (British library) 1550, ff. 76v-169v.

(45.) There are far too many copies of al-Shams al-b[]zigha to provide a full inventory (and in the absence of a critical edition it is worth referring to the manuscript traditions), but here are some of the manuscripts that I have consulted or am aware of:

British Library: India Office Islamic 201 (129 ff., nasta'l[]q-shikaste, 1129/1717), Delhi Arabic 1618 (175 ff., nastd/ig, 1263/1847), Delhi Arabic 1624 (nineteenth century?), Delhi Arabic 1672 (nineteenth century?).

Khud[] Bakhsh Wankipore] 2393 (81 if nasta'l[]q, eighteenth century). 2394 (251 ff., nastdliq of Najaf 'Ali Ridwi, 1246 A.H., gold borders, inscription of lisiin al-sultan Mahmal al-Dawla Munshi Safdar (Ali Khan-BahAdur), 2395 (134 ff., nastactiq, nineteenth century), 2399 (gloss of Mu11A NizAtfluddin Sihalwi, 107 ff., nastdliq, nineteenth century). 2400 (gloss of Mu115 Hasan Lakhnawi, d. 1189/1783, 198 ff., nastdliq, nineteenth century).

Asiatic Society (Kolkata) Calcutta Maclrasa Collection Arabic 58 (170 ff., nasidllq, eighteenth century).

Rampur Raza Library 3616 (67 ff.. nasidIrq, 1251/1835), 3617 (135 ff., nastdliq, nineteenth century), 3549 (232 Ii.. nastactiq, nineteenth century).

Princeton (New Series) 379 (131 ff., nastdliq, nineteenth century), 547 (incomplete, nasta't[]q of Mirza 'Abbas, 1249/1834), 1845 (incomplete, nineteenth century). Salar Jung (Hyderabad) 80, 81.

(46.) Charles Kurzman, ed., Modernist Islam, 1840-1940 (New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 2002), 106-7.

(47). Mal mud Jawnp[]ri, al-Shams al-b[]zigha shard al-Hikma al-b[]ligha, MS British Library Asian and African Studies (Delhi Arabic) 1618, if. 127v-135v.

(48.) Jawnp[]r[], al-Shams, ff. 127v-129v.

(49.) Jawnp[]r[], al-Shams, ff. 129v-130r.

(50.) Jawnp[]r[], al-Shams, f. 130v.

(51.) Jawnp[]r[], al-Shams, f. 132v.

(52.) Jawnp[]r[], al-Shams, ff. 133v-134r.

(53.) Sayyid Jal[]ludd[]n []shtiy[]n[], ed., Muntakhah[]t[] az []thar-i 13ukama'-yi Ir[]n (Tehran: Institut Franco-Iranien,

(54.) Jawnp[]ri, al-Shams, f. 134v; cf. Ab[] Nasr al-F[]r[]b[], al-Jam 'bayna ray'ay al-hakumayn (L'harmonie entre les opinions de Platon et d'Aristote), ed. and tr. Fawz[] Najj[]r and Dominique Mallet (Damascus: Institut Francais, 1999), 126-50: the reconciliation is made easier because he was comparing Plato to the Neoplatonic pseudo-Aristotle of the Theologia.

(55.) Jawnp[]ri, al-Shams, ff. 135r-v.

(56.) He wrote a separate treatise on the topic related to this discussion in al-Shams: RisOla fr. 1-hudath al-dahri (MS Raza Library, Rampur 1775, ff. 1v-5r).

(57.) For example, MS Raza Library 3620, ff. 225v-231r.

(58.) Imtiy[]z 'Al[]'Arshi, Catalogue of the Arabic Manuscripts in the Raw Library, Rampur (Rampur: Raza Library Trust. 1963-77), 4: 494-95; M. Nizamuddin, A Catalogue of the Arabic Manuscripts in the Salar Jung Collection (Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh Government, 1957), 1: 8: cf. 'Al[] Awjab[], "Hikmat-i yam[]n[]," 79.

(59.) According to Brockelmann, GAL, S 11: 585, this is 'Abd al-Hamid b. Mu'[]n al-D[]n b. Muhammad Hashim al-Nayrizi. Sayyid Fjaz klusayn Kintfiri (Kashf al-hujub wa-l-astar 'an asma' al-kutub wa-l-asfar [Calcutta: Baptist Mission Press, 1911], 89, 402) gives 'Abd al-klamid b. Mucin al-Din b. Muhammad Hashim al-Qattali al-Tabrizi. I am preparing a critical edition of this text based on four manuscripts: Delhi Arabic (British Library) 1778, Khudd Bakhsh 1287, Lucknow Nasiriyya 356 (from the microfilm in the Noor Library in New Delhi, as the Nasiriyya is inaccessible), Asiatic Society (Kolkata) Arabic 1161.

(60.) Muhammad A'zam, T[]r[]kh-i Kashm[]r (Lahore, 1886), 148; Rizvi, A Socio-Intellectual History, 2: 215.

(61.) al-klasan[], Mahal al-khaw[]tir, 6: 255, 257-59, 281, 284-85, 304-5; 7: 313-18; GAL, S II: 618-24. On the Farangi-Mahall, see Robinson, The 'Mama' of Farangi-Mahall; Ashf[]q 'Al[], Mull[] J[]wan k[] mu'[]sir 'ulctma') (Lucknow: Matba'-yi Nizami, 1982); Malik, lslamische Gelehrtenkultur in Nordindien.

(62.) This work in Arabic is a wonderfully independent-minded study of philosophy and theology engaging with Mulla Sadra and Mir DArnad as well as the great rnutakallinzan; it includes a thorough critique of the views of the Ashcan school as well as the famous theological compendium of the famed mujtahid of Lucknow Sayyid Dild[]r 'Al[] Naqvi Nas[]r[]b[]d[] (d. 1235/1820) entitled "Im[]d al-Isl[]m. The text was published by the author in 1915 and has been re-typeset by Mand[] Kh[]je-p[]r[] with an introduction by Akbar Subfit and will be shortly published by the Iran Culture House in New Delhi. flmad al-Islam was published in five volumes, corresponding to the five divisions of theological discussion in Shiite Islam, lithographed in Lucknow by Newal Kishore in 1902, edited by his maternal grandson []q[] Sayyid klasan (d. 1348/1929), a leading theologian of his time.

(63.) Muft[] Intiz[]mull[]h Shah[]bi Mawl[]na Haqq aur 'Abd al-klaqq sahib Khayr[]b[]d[] (B[]dayun: Matbac'-yi Ni[]m[.bar], 1920); Alla' klaqq Qarsh[], ed., Fazl-i Haqq Khayr[]b[]d[]: []k tahq[]q[] mutalda (Lahore: al-Faisal, 1992); al-klasan[], Nuzhat al-khaw[]tir, 7: 412-15.

(64.) Al-Hadiya al-sdidiyya is commonly found in major Indian libraries (e.g., MS Khud[] Bakhsh Arabic 1924), not least the autograph copy in the Raza Library in Rampur (MS Arabic 3627). It was continually printed in lithograph in Lucknow, the first time in 1866 by Newal Kishore Press with the gloss of his son (Raza Library Arabic Printed Books 62) and the last time in 1912 by Ahmadi Press, which is the copy in the British Library (14540.e.19). It was also printed in Rampur in 1902 along with the glosses of his son 'AM al-Haqq. There is a copy of al-Rawl al-nutjawwad in Raza Library in Rampur (MS 3459, ff. Iv-23r).

(65.) See Hasan, From Pluralism to Separatism; Malik, Islamische Gelehrtenkultur in Nordindien, 105-62; Rizvi, A Socio-Intellectual History, 2: 52-53.

(66.) Pernau, ed., The Delhi College, especially chs. 4 and 5; 'Abd al-Haqq Marh[]m Dill[] k[]lij (Delhi: Anjuman-i Taraqq[]-yi Urdu Hind, 1989); Mufti Intiz[]mullah Shah[]bi, Ghadar k[] cand 'ulama (Delhi: D[]n[] Book Depot, 1979).

(67.) Hasan, A Moral Reckoning, 53-55.

(68.) Hasan, A Moral Reckoning, 66.

(69.) For example. MS Raza Library (Rampur) Arabic 3639.

(70.) Mabm[]d Jawnp[]ri, al-Shams al-b[]zigha (Lucknow: Lodiana, 1863), 19,185,189 on the margins.

(71.) Jalaluddin Davani, Sab' rasa'il, ed. A. Tuysirkani (Tehran: Mirath-i Makifib, 2002), 229-37, 241-83; cf. Awjabi, "klikmat-i yamani," 118.

(72.) Davani, Sab' rasa'il, 243.

(73.) Consider, for example, two works written in Urdu on philosophy: Gobind Prashad "Aftab", Aftetb-i bikmat (Lucknow: Newal Kishore, 1971), and Sayyid Imdad Imam, Mir'at al-hukama' ma'ruf bih Guldasta-yi farhang (Patna: Subb-i Sadiq Press, 1906).

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Author:Rizvi, Sajjad H.
Publication:The Journal of the American Oriental Society
Article Type:Essay
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Jan 1, 2011
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