The tenth or eleventh century group of the Brethren of Purity (Ikhwan al Safa) are as well known in the Arab world as Darwin, Marx and Freud in the west. Designed as an introduction to their ideas, this book concentrates on the Brethren's writings, analyzing the impact on them of thinkers such as Pythagoras, Plato, Aristotle and the Neoplatonists. Ian Netton traces the influences of Judaism and Christianity, and controversially this book argues that the Brethren of Purity did not belong to the Ismaili branch of Islam as is generally believed.
Preface and Acknowledgments Preface to this Edition 1. The Ikhwan al-Safa and their Rasa'il 2. The Legacy of Greece I Pythagoras Plato Aristotle 3. The Legacy of Greece II Neoplatanism 4. The Christian and Judaic Substrate Christianity and the Rasa'il Judaism and the Rasa'il 5. Uses of Literature The Cloak of the Qur'an Indian Literature 6. The Ikhwan al-Safa and the Isma'ilis Conclusion The Ship of Salvation Abbreviations Notes Bibliography Index