By M. Salim McCarron ([email protected])
Neo-platonic philosophy has had a lasting and deep affect on Islamic thought, philosophy and mystical traditions. I will be examining the similarities between the philosophy of Plotinus and that of the Islamic Isma’ili movement, Sadrian, Shaykhi, and Sufi movements, and the teachings of the 19th Century Iranian reformist movement of ‘Ali-Muhammad Shirazi (al-Bab) and Mirza Husayn-’Ali Nur (Baha’u’llah) (hereafter referred to collectively as the Baha`i movement) in detail. For my study I shall be looking at Plotinus’ Eannead No. V and comparing it to the Hierocosmos of the Isma’ili and teachings on the Divine Presence of Iranian thought. Specifically examining the concepts of the Oneness of Divinity, Cosmogenesis, Symbolic Hierocosmos and the Five Divine Presences. My initial investigation shall be in regards to the Qur’anic or Orthodox understanding of Creation in it’s many modes and a philosophical interpretation of this Creation archetype. Afterwards shall follow a sketch of the philosophy of the Isma’ili and Islamic mystical traditions including the writings of Husayn-’Ali Nuri and Sayyid ‘Ali-Muhammad-i Shiraz. I shall be dealing with their particular understanding of the Islamic creation archetype and how it is applied in their Cosmology, addressing in particular the role of hierachic symbolic (hierocosmic) cosmologies in their interpretations.