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BASRA AND IKHWAN AL-SAFA SCHOOL OF THOUGHT AS REPRESENTATIVE OF SILK ROAD CIVILIZATIONS

  • KOROGLU, BURHAN (Department of Philosophy, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, at Ibn Haldun University)
  • Published : 2017.06.15

Abstract

The city of Basra, established on the shore of Basra Bay in the south of modern Iraq, played an important role in agriculture and trade for centuries, with its geography and its position where two great rivers of Mesopotamia flow. Before being established with its current name by the Muslim Arabs, the city was known as Teredon in the Chaldean period and VehiŞtebad ErdeŞir in the Sasanid period. It was reestablished with the name Basra in the early period of Islam by Arabs between Hijri 14-16 (635-637 CE). Afterward, the city became one of the most important centers of trade, science and thought; had a perfect cultural diversity; and hosted important schools of Arabic language and thought for centuries. Besides the commercial effects of its being a transfer point on the axis of Europe, Mesopotamia, Iran, and India, the schools of thought which emerged here were affected by this mobility. In this paper, we try to reveal the philosophical-religious approach which the Ikhwan al-Safa school of thought in Basra, one of the most important cities of the Silk Road, created in parallel with the characteristics of this city. Shiite Ismaili beliefs and thoughts in the region and its characteristics which feed different religions and traditions emerging from Egypt and with the scientific approach of Greek thought; with Indian-Iranian teachings that merge Greek thought and Neoplatonic philosophy, give us the summary of Silk Road civilizations.

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