The Bird Essay

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This essay is one of the works of great Persian scholar, Avicenna (Ibn Sina); written in Arabic, on human sciences, especially self-discovery. Like his another work, “The Tale of Hayy Ibn Yaqzan”, this essay is also a philosophical allegory which concerns the intellectual and spiritual self enlightenment in Sufism.

The author
Avicenna, one of the greatest Muslim scientists and philosophers, known in the East as Abu Ali Sina and also Ibn ####Sina (980 – 1037). He was born near Bukhara, probably with Persian as his native language. At the age of eighteen he had mastered all the then known sciences. After the death of his father, an official of the Samanid adminstration, and the overthrow of the Samanids by the Ilekhans in 1005, he first wandered through Persia and then, from 1021 until shortly before his death, he lived at Isfahan as court physician of the Buyid rulers Shams al-Dawla and Sama al-Dawla, who by then had come under Kakuid suzerainty. He is known primarily as a philosopher and physician, Avicenna contributed also to all the sciences that were accessible in his day: natural history, physics, chemistry, astronomy, mathematics and music. He studied mathematics under “Abu Abdullah Natli”, then continued metaphysics, physics and medicine in the presence of “Abu Soheyl Masihi”. He wrote on economics, politics, moral and religious questions, Quranic exegesis and poetry. In 1654, 131 authentic and 110 doubtful works were listed in his bibliography. The following are his most famous works:
1- Book of Healing ‘of the soul’ (a vast philosophical and scientific encyclopeida)
2- The Canon of Medicine (one of the most famous books in the history of medicine)
3- The Tale of Hayy Ibn Yaqzan (a philosophical allegory)

Avicenna’s influence on medieval European philosophers such as Michael Scot, Albertus Magnus, Rager Bacon, Duns Scotus and Thomas Aquinas is undeniable. He died as the result of colic, in Hamedan – Iran where a monument was erected to celebrate the millennium of his birth.

Structure of the book
The manuscript of this essay is available at the beginning of the book, then there is the text and translation and at last the explanation of the essay which has been done by “Amr Ibn Sahlan Savi”.

Sources

The Bird Essay

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