Hayy bin Yaqdhan is the story of a man who reaches the age of fifty before coming into contact with another human being. However, despite his isolation, his intuition and innate intelligence enable him to learn first about himself, then about the animal kingdom, then the material world, then the movements and nature of the cosmos, then the existence of God.
Finally, he discovers truths about the nature of God and the Ultimate Reality which mirror those revealed to mankind through the messengers and prophets. Before Hayy makes his appearance the author speculates on how he came into the world.
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Two possibilities are considered. One is that he was formed on an equatorial island when a bubble of viscous, fermenting mud became charged by the Spirit, which flows unceasingly from Allah - the Sublime, the Almighty - and may be compared to sunlight, which flows constantly onto the world. When the spirit attached itself to the mud, the resulting entity developed into a human baby, which emerged onto the surface of the island when the outer shell of its mud womb dried and cracked.
After a time the baby became hungry and began to wail. Its cries were heard by a nearby gazelle who had lost her young. The other possibility is that Hayy was the child of a secret marriage between the sister of the arrogant ruler of a nearby island and a man called Yaqdhan. To hide the fact from her brother, the sister placed her baby in a chest at dead of night and entrusted it to the waves. The sea carried the chest over to the other island and deposited it in a sheltered thicket on the shore.
At this point the two versions of the babys origin merge and the story of Hayy bin Yaqdhan begins. The gazelle adopted Hayy as her own and Hayy grew up to regard her as his mother. Yet as the years went by, he gradually discovered that he was different from the animals on the island. At first he felt inferior when he saw they were stronger and faster than him, and that they had natural weapons like horns, spurs and tusks, as well as natural coverings like fur, hair or feathers, while he was naked, unarmed, physically weak and a poor runner.
The cave is the model of a new kind of learning, as Ibn Tufayl's translator notes.
The cave in our [Western] tradition, which owes more to Athens on this point than to the East, is a symbol of darkness and dogmatic slumber, not of personal enlightenment but of ignorance and unconcern. The great awakening is the moment when a solitary individual stumbles out of the hidden darkness of the cave and away from the cave-thoughts into the sunlight. Ibn Tufayl stands at a crossroads between Muhammadan and Platonic conceptions. For him the cave is not the social womb but the sacred solitude of a man and his creator. Yet the mission imparted is not public recognition but private enlightenment.
The means remain those of Muhammad, but the end has become the end of Islamized philosophy: salvation by the intellectual approach to God. The two models of the cave are explicit in their differences. In Plato's Republic, the cave is darkness and ignorance contrasts with coming out of the cave into sunlight and enlightenment. But here Ibn Tufayl proposes that the cave is not darkness but inner solitude and reflection, and coming out of this womb-like symbol is not to embrace public and social life but for one's self-knowledge and understanding.
The cave retains this image of inner exploration and enlightenment in the Far East, linked, perhaps, to geography. Caves are prominent in the traditions of India and Tibet. But the cell, the anchorhold, the hut and cottage, are all related to the same configuring of places of nurturing solitude. Such places of solitude have the same function in the entire range of solitary perception, be it enlightenment or harmony with nature.
At this point, Ibn Tufayl's Hayy Ibn Yaqzan reaches the end of the first of two sections, though the author does not so delineate his narrative. Comparative settings The story of living on an uninhabited island or in social isolation conjures comparison with a number of later well-known instances of literature and speculation, ranging from those concerning human origins and human nature on the one hand and narratives of shipwreck, abandonment, survival, and social isolation on the other.
The abstract philosophical tale of Iby Tufayl is the historically first of a series of such reflections on the nature of human behavior and learning. For though by modern psychological criteria, the intellectual development of Hayy as feral child is quite impossible, Ibn Tufayl's purpose is to offer the trajectory of right thinking given the absence of contrived culture and society.
Ibn Tufayl attempts to show that natural reason alone can engender ethics and a knowledge of the universe that is in harmony with revelation, in this case the revealed scriptures of Islam. But a feral child, will, of course, not develop in the trajectory of the protagonist Hayy. However, Rousseau does not see socialization, given its present form, as yielding much better results than being left in nature.
Prejudice, authority, necessity, example, all the social conditions into which we are plunged, would stifle nature in him and put nothing in her place. She would be like a sapling by chance sown in the midst of the highway, bent hither and thither and soon crushed by the passers-by. Rousseau is more emphatic in his celebrated opening phrases of Emile. God makes all things good; man meddles with them and they become evil. Man forces one soil to yield the products of another, one tree to bear another's fruit. He confuses and confounds time, place, and natural conditions.
He mutilates his dog, his horse, and his slave. He destroys and defaces all things; he loves all that is deformed and monstrous; he will have nothing as nature made it, not even man himself, who must learn his paces like a saddle-horse, and be shaped to his master's taste like the trees in his garden. For Rousseau the perversion of human nature by society is only offset by the close nurturing of a kind and attentive mother, who alone can engender the psychological values that will make the child perceptive, thoughtful, and ultimately independent and free.
Ibn Tufayl's version of a mother for his purposes is represented by the mother doe, meeting the infant's own biological and psychological needs in conformity given the different context to the criteria of Rousseau. Ibn Tufayl took the Arabic tradition of child-rearing for example, two years minimum of breastfeeding and applied its practices to the beneficent surrogate mother of his character Hayy.
Hayy's development from feral to thinking, acting human being has parallels in literary lore, such as Kipling and Burroughs, the British writers. Rudyard Kipling's Mowgli in The Jungle Book, is a feral child raised by benign jungle animals in the recesses of India, the one country where reports of feral children were most numerous. Edgar Rice Burroughs presents a feral Caucasian boy in the African jungle who would be called Tarzan. In neither case are these fictional characters more than literary entertainments, of course.
There is no interest on the part of these authors to explore deeper issues of social isolation and human development.
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But they attest to the enduring interest in the topic. However, one survival tale does attempt to address some deeper issues, but in doing so must sacrifice the device of feralness. Daniel Defoe's Adventures of Robinson Crusoe depict a mature young man thrust into the solitude of a desert island after shipwreck. Defoe was reportedly influenced by the report of a marooned Alexander Selkirk, who in published an account of his experiences.
Because Defoe was such a voracious reader, it is not unlikely that he had read Ibn Tufayl as well. Of Selkirk's model tale, Defoe scholar John Richetti notes: Selkirk's story celebrates the virtues of isolation: regression to a primitive or natural state accompanied by sentimental, unworldly contentment in delicious solitude. Selkirk himself related that, as Richetti notes, he "frequently bewailed his return to the world" which could not "with all its enjoyments, restore him to the tranquility of his solitude.
Similarly, Rousseau's tutor of Emile allows young Emile to read only one book, namely Defoe's Robinson Crusoe , for to Rousseau Crusoe's island is a "virtuous retreat from social corruption. But to Defoe's character the island is an odious prison and a providential test of worthiness. Crusoe is a reluctant candidate for solitude. Defoe's tale is often presented as a lesson in acquiring survival skills, of ingenuity and physical adaptability, but there is no intellectual component to Crusoe's progress. Crusoe has already brought his cultural and social values with him, and they are merely suspended on the island, while Crusoe awaited rescue and return to society.
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Crusoe having survived and progressed in skills and self-confidence, applying technology and entrepreneurship, the island becomes a productive colony and material resource to Crusoe. The reader might well be disappointed at the end of the novel to learn that Crusoe's solitude has only been a device for his turn of fortune and real goal of making money. Upon rescue, Crusoe profits from selling the loyal Xury into slavery and is pleased to learn that his Brazilian plantation, with its slave labor, is doing nicely. As Richetti notes:.
Hayy Bin Yaqdhan: Ibn Tufail - J.M. Budd - Google книги
Crusoe's transformation from terrified and confused survivor to colonial master and avenging overlord of his island marks Robinson Crusoe as one of the key modern myths of English and even of European culture. The baggage of social and cultural values carried into solitude or fictional settings of isolation are further explored by modern writers such as William Golding in his Lord of the Flies.
In this novel, adolescent boys shipwrecked on an island revert to the worst instincts, lacking social authority to enforce order. This cautionary tale proposes not so much a vision of solitude but a vision of society in its barest form. The predatory behavior on the uninhabited island is to be taken as human's natural tendency and the violent potential of aggression and power when stripped of the contrivances of class, caste, and civilization civilization as in " civitas ," meaning city or city life.
In Golding's scenario there is no opportunity to explore refinements of reason and the attainment of enlightenment, for his characters are already formed, immaturely incapable of profound thought. The necessity of sheer survival easily overwhelms the group. The scenario is what Rousseau predicted of the collective. But Crusoe, alone, doesn't get much further intellectually from his experience, either. The second part of Ibn Tufayl's Hayy Ibn Yaqzan makes a thoughtful foray into the social dimension of his now finely-honed protagonist, anticipating what the later writers cited above do in laying out social consequences for their respective protagonists.
By now, Hayy is fifty years old. The narrator describes an island near Hayy's uninhabited one. The character of the people in this society "where true religion reigns," -- that is, Islam -- is shaped by their culture, as would be expected, and religion is an integral part of this culture.
Absal "loved contemplativeness in Law" and deeply "devoted himself to the quest for solitude. Absal was attracted to the uninhabited island and went "to live there in solitude. Eventually, recognizing their common purpose, the two hermits get along for years. Absal teaches Hayy to speak and Hayy shares both his survival skills and his philosophic and mystic insight. Hayy could not comprehend society or the use of rituals and laws of which Absal tells him, finding them superficial in the light of mystical experience.