The concept of hikmah in early Islamic thought
by Yaman, Hikmet, Ph.D., HARVARD UNIVERSITY, 2008, 349 pages; 3295951


In classical Islamic scholarly disciplines, a thorough knowledge of "technical concepts" is of paramount importance. These terms constitute a highly organized technical system within a complex network of multiple conceptual interrelationships in the cross-disciplinary context of Muslim works. The dissertation examines this situation in the case of the concept of h&dotbelow;ikmah (wisdom) in the scholarly sources written during the formative period of the Islamic intellectual fields. The word h&dotbelow;ikmah has a wide spectrum of connotations in these texts, as it basically contains all knowledge within human reach, and accordingly, received a range of diverse scholarly treatments. This subtle and elusive notion has not been adequately addressed in western scholarship, nor has its potential contribution to presenting the mentality of earliest Muslim scholars been explored. While the dissertation centers on the notion of h&dotbelow;ikmah, it also sheds light on other key epistemological concepts found in the Qur'an, including 'ilm (knowledge), ma'rifah (gnosis), 'aql (intellect), qalb (heart), and fiqh (comprehension). It thus contextualizes h&dotbelow;ikmah in a nuanced fashion in the collective usage of early Muslim authors.

The dissertation first investigates the lexicographical meanings of h&dotbelow;ikmah and analyzes its terminological meanings in the works on the technical vocabulary of Islamic disciplines. It then examines h&dotbelow;ikmah in the literatures of Qur'anic exegesis and Sufism, and contextualizes h&dotbelow;ikmah within a network of associated concepts. In the particular example of h&dotbelow;ikmah, therefore, the dissertation focuses on contextual peculiarities of the technical terms in early Muslim writings and analyzes the relational semantic components of h&dotbelow;ikmah in these texts. It also discusses interdisciplinary elements of h&dotbelow;ikmah therein deriving information from diverse Muslim intellectual fields. Finally, the dissertation elaborates the earliest Muslim philosophers' reception and conception of philosophy in its particular relation to h&dotbelow;ikmah as it is mentioned in the primary authoritative Muslim scriptures.

SourceDAI/A 69-01, Apr 2008
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsMedieval literature; Middle Eastern literature
Publication Number3295951
Adobe PDF Access the complete dissertation:

» Find an electronic copy at your library.
  Use the link below to access a full citation record of this graduate work:
  If your library subscribes to the ProQuest Dissertations & Theses (PQDT) database, you may be entitled to a free electronic version of this graduate work. If not, you will have the option to purchase one, and access a 24 page preview for free (if available).

About ProQuest Dissertations & Theses
With over 2.3 million records, the ProQuest Dissertations & Theses (PQDT) database is the most comprehensive collection of dissertations and theses in the world. It is the database of record for graduate research.

The database includes citations of graduate works ranging from the first U.S. dissertation, accepted in 1861, to those accepted as recently as last semester. Of the 2.3 million graduate works included in the database, ProQuest offers more than 1.9 million in full text formats. Of those, over 860,000 are available in PDF format. More than 60,000 dissertations and theses are added to the database each year.

If you have questions, please feel free to visit the ProQuest Web site - - or call ProQuest Hotline Customer Support at 1-800-521-3042.