Abdullah Ibn Al Muqaffa: words of wisdom for the kings | GulfNews.com

Ibn al-MuqaffaWhile it is not clear whether the Ibn Al Muqaffa rendition included the Sanskrit principle of Mitra Laabha (Gaining Friends), the standard became a unifying goal of the Ikhwan Al Safah (Brethren of Purity) that, in turn, fed the anonymous 9th-century CE encyclopaedists whose prodigious literary effort, the “Encyclopedia of the Brethren of Sincerity”, codified Indian, Persian and Greek knowledge. Leading authors, including the Hungarian Orientalist Ignác Goldziher, considered one of the founders of modern Islamic studies in Europe in the 19th century, as well as Philip K. Hitti, the Lebanese-American scholar of Islam who introduced the field of Arab Studies to the United States, affirmed that the Ikhwan Al Safah appellation was presumably taken from the story of the ringdove in “Kalilah wa-Dimnah”, where a group of animals act as faithful friends to escape the snares of the hunter.

It must be emphasised that the rendition of animal fables by Ibn Al Muqaffa was not a conscious attempt to start a new literary trend. Rather, this may well have been what was available in the Sassanid court, though his genius was in sharpening the prose to illustrate what should or should not be done by those aiming at political and social success.

via Abdullah Ibn Al Muqaffa: words of wisdom for the kings | GulfNews.com.


Author: ismailimail

Independent, civil society media featuring Ismaili Muslim community, inter and intra faith endeavors, achievements and humanitarian works.

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