THEORY OF VIRTUOUS CIVILIZATION IN FARABI?S PHILOSOPHY

Abstract

Author(s): Ay?e S?d?ka OKTAY

Farabi was the first Islamic philosopher who worked out his views on the relationship between civic life, civilization, religion, and philosophy. This article will focus on Farabi's idea of a virtuous civilization developed on a global scale and the philosophical and religious sources upon which it is based. It will analyze various concepts of religion as well as the relation between philosophy and religion, prophethood and philosopher, and theories of intellect. It will also discuss the responsibilities of the first ruler, who teaches and provides the ultimate example of moral living, the characteristics of harmonious and virtuous world civilization and the and the conditions under which it can come about. Farabi’s virtuous city is the first step in his theory of civilization. From here, he achieves the establishment of the utopia of the universal world state in which eternal happiness can be obtained. The rules of his virtuous civilization are given through revelation. The first ruler is responsible for instilling virtue into both people and the city as a whole. He must, therefore, have different abilities than other people. As a prophet-philosopher, he needs to have an original understanding of the relationship between religion and philosophy. If there are harmony and order among the organs of the body, then also in the city and the world. God manages the virtuous city and all the communities of the earth and helps them to achieve eternal happiness by transmitting moral rules and laws to the ruler through revelation. Farabi does not object to people who have different religious beliefs living in the same city, nor does he think that this hinders its virtuous development. Instead, all of this merely aids are the reflection of God’s unity and the result of thedivine order which God aims to bring about in the Universe.

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