HarAmbam (1135-1204) was born in Cordoba (Spain). During his life, he was known
as one of the greatest philosophers of Jewish jurisdiction and also as one of
the medieval philosophers. He is said to be even known as the most important and
principal factors in flourishing of the Islamic scientific and philosophic
though in 11th and 12th centuries.
According to the educations of this Jewish theorist, the religious law and
philosophy are two faces of wisdom and they have different nature and the
attempt to discover metaphysics must be made by those who expect it to be a
rational confirmation for a religious faith.
He accepts the Judaism instructions regarding the time-based creation and has
placed it as the base of his understanding in the creation of the world.
Contrary to Shlomo bin Gabirol, HaRambam accepts that pure minds are free from
any matter, (he believes that the heavenly bodies differ from the matter of
earthly bodies). He proves the existence of intellect. The higher nine
intellects that are nine bodies, and the tenth intellect which is the active
intellect, influences all human beings. Man only possesses the passive intellect
as his own entity, and it is the effect of the active intellect that the
acquired intellect is formed within him.
In this way, every human being gains a kind of intellectual wealth, being
different based on the grade of his merit and after death it will join the
active intellect and this is HaRambam's eternity instruction that advices us to
enrich our intellect through engagement in philosophy.
Based on his own Jewish inclinations, and in order to protect the exact and
complete Unity of God, HaRambam gives his Unity instruction: Though we are not
able to perceive the Divine Essence through our senses, but rather everybody can
see the evidences of his products in the world. He considers God as the ultimate
and agent cause of the world. He tries to prove the existence of the first
mover, i.e. the necessary being and for the same reason negates from God any
attributes of essence except the negative attributes. He says we know that there
is God, but we don’t know what he is like and if we want to talk about him, the
only way we have is to put the negative attributes next to each other. Negating
any deficiency from God, would clarify for us that at least what he is not like.
We should never forget that it is due to the thoughts and ideas of HaRambam that
in terms of thought, the 12th Jewish century stands in a higher rank than the
12th Christian century. Even his philosophical interpretation from Judaism
influenced the medieval Christian scientists like Albert the Great and Thomas
Aquinas, in addition to the Jewish writers and scholars. In the works of Ebn
Rushd, HarAmbam could find a complete technical mechanism from the concepts
derived from the Greeks and he used them too; and this is the common cultural
heritage of the Jews and Muslims. Moshe ben Maimon's life is an example of our
best common past and mankind's ability for overcoming the dogmatism, enmity and
ignorance. Though we need much more time to talk or write about such
personality, but as a sample we only mention a statement by Ahmad Mokhtar M'bow
(the former UNESCO Director General) about HaRambam and the philosophers of
Andelos golden age.
The importance of this long period of cultural coexistence, that later left its
advantages for the world and the medieval Christianity and in the second half of
the 12th century and in 13th century, is obvious in the works of the two
scientists, who were both born in Cordoba and both have written in Arabic:
1- Muslim Ebne Murshed
2- Jewish Ebn Maimon
In his book called (دلالة الحائرين), guidance for the lost, Ebn Maimon is an
intellectual with the highest ability; one who has collected the Arab science,
Islam, philosophy of Greece and Judaism's theology in a series of purposeful
Moshe ben Maimon's life is an example of our best common past and mankind's
ability for overcoming the dogmatism, enmity and ignorance.
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