The Reality of Ibn Sina (Avicenna), Famous Scientist and Philosopher

In the Name of Allaah, the Most Gracious, the Ever Merciful…

The famous fifth-century medical expert and philosopher, Ibn Sina, known to the West as “Avicenna”, is often credited as being one of the greatest Muslim scientists in history. His name is a celebrated one in many Muslim circles, and even hospitals and institutions of learning are named after him out of respect and admiration for his achievements.

While many Muslim scientists throughout history truly did pioneer many important medical and scientific breakthroughs, Muslims need to step back and re-examine what they have been led to believe about Ibn Sina specifically – Is it factually correct? Was he even a Muslim?

Shaykh al-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah on Ibn Sina

Aboo ‘Alee Al-Husayn ibn ‘Abdillaah ibn al-Hasan ibn ‘Alee ibn Sina (d.428) was born to a severely deviant Ismaa’eelee (Shiite) family, known for their severe blasphemy and hypocrisy, as mentioned by Shaykh al-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah.[1] In fact, as Ibn Taymiyyah said:

وأحسن ما يُظهرون دين الرفض وهم في الباطن يُبطنون الكفر المحض

“The best thing they showed openly was ar-Rafdh (being Raafhidah Shiites), while they concealed pure, absolute disbelief inwardly.” [1]

Ibn Taymiyyah confirmed this by mentioning that Ibn Sina himself identified his own family, his father, and his brother to all be from this severely deviant group that was exposed and declared outside of Islam by many scholars.

Ibn Taymiyyah further detailed how Ibn Sina attempted to blend what he learned from the deviant claimants to Islam, the Mu’tazliah and Raafidhah, with the polytheistic philosophy of Aristotle, and when he did so he deviated even further, inventing new sets of beliefs so blasphemous that they surpassed some of the falsehood of the Jahmiyyah and even the pagan philosophers themselves! [2]

After listing a number of Ibn Sina’s philosophical deviations, Ibn Taymiyyah went on to say:

لا يقوله إلا من هو من أجهل الناس وأضلهم وأشبههم بالبهائم من الحيوان

No one says these things other than the most ignorant of people, the most astray, and those who most resemble farm animals! [3]

The Great Scholar Ibn al-Qayyim on Ibn Sina

And the great scholar, Ibn Qayyim al-Jowziyyah, said:

He (Ibn Sina) was from the Qaraamitah Baatiniyyah [Sect], those who do not believe in a beginning (of the creation) nor an end, nor do they believe in a Lord of the creation, nor any prophet sent from Allaah, the Most High.

Such deviant hypocrites (zanaadiqah) pretend to be Raafidhah, whilst they conceal pure, absolute disbelief inwardly, claiming to be descendants of the family of the Messenger (may Allaah raise his rank and grant him and his family peace). He and his family are all free of them in terms of both lineage and religion… [4]

Ibn al-Qayyim also referred to Ibn Sina as the imaam of the severe deviants (إمام الملحدين), and said, “This deviant and his followers are disbelievers in Allaah, the Angels, the Books, the Messengers, and the Last Day.” [5] Read this article to find out how he came to this conclusion.

Comparing Ibn Sina’s and other philosophers’ disbelief to that of the pagan Arabs of pre-Islamic Makkah, he concluded that the beliefs of the pagan Arabs were less offensive than the beliefs of Ibn Sina and the philosophers. [6]

He further compared the blasphemy of the most deviant of the Jahmiyyah cults to the ideas of Ibn Sina and concluded that Ibn Sina’s beliefs were even more deviant.[7]

After explaining how Ibn Sina denied basic pillars of belief, he concluded with the verdict:

فالرجل معطل مشرك جاحد للنبوات والمعاد، لا مبدأ عنده، ولا معاد، ولا رسول ولا كتاب

The man was a denier (of Allaah’s Attributes), a polytheist, a rejecter of matters related to prophethood and the Ma’aad (the Last Day), having no belief in the beginning or end of creation, nor any belief in a messenger or a book. [8]

For those who wish for more specific information on the heretical blasphemy of Ibn Sina, they are welcome to investigate the detailed documentation of how he rejected each pillar of Faith, one by one, explained by Ibn al-Qayyim himself. [9]

Other Scholars on Ibn Sina

Ibn Hajr quotes an early Shaafi’ee scholar, Ibn Abid-Damm al-Hamawee, as saying:

All the scholars have agreed that Ibn Sina held that the universe was infinite and there would be no physical resurrection, while he did not reject (the concept of) a spiritual resurrection, and that he is reported to have said that Allaah does not know every detailed piece of knowledge, rather He knows things in general.

Thus, the scholars of his time and those after him whose statements are relied upon in all matters have spoken decisively about his disbelief and the disbelief of Aboo Nasr al-Farabi as well, due to their positions on these matters in contradiction to the beliefs of the Muslims. [10]

One of today’s senior scholars, a member of the Permanent Committee for Research and Fatwaa in Saudi Arabia, Shaykh Saalih al-Fowzaan (may Allaah preserve him), was asked about someone who praises Ibn Sina and lists him among the scholars of Islam. He replied:

He is one of two cases:

1. He may be ignorant, and thus he does not know about the condition of Ibn Sina. Such a person has no right to speak, rather he must keep silent.

2. Or perhaps he knows about Ibn Sina and his teachings of disbelief and he agrees with him, praising him for that reason. In this case, his ruling is the same ruling as Ibn Sina (i.e. disbeliever), and refuge with Allah is sought. This is because he has agreed with him and praised him for that (his disbelief).

So this is a very serious issue!

However, some people may praise Ibn Sina strictly because he was a doctor. This is a worldly profession, and he was really a doctor. However, there were many non-Muslim doctors more proficient in the medical field than him, so why the specific focus on Ibn Sina? They say: “Because he ascribed to Islam, and so this is something for Muslims to be proud of.”

We say: Islam is free from him, and Islam does not need him!

To conclude: He is not to be praised or spoken of highly because he was one of the Baatiniyyah [Cult], a severely deviant philosopher who claimed that the universe may be infinite (having no beginning or end). [11]

Also, Shaykh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez ar-Raajihee explained why Muslims who know about him are required to consider him a disbeliever. [click here]

Naming Schools and Hospitals After Ibn Sina?

Additionally, Shaykh Saalih al-Fowzaan, Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, and others mentioned that it is not permissible to name schools, hospitals, or health clinics after him (in his honor). [click here]

Modern Attempts to Include Ibn Sina Among the Muslim Scientists

Muslims today may come across unreliable websites and other sources of misinformation claiming that Ibn Sina was a great Muslim scientist and/or scholar. Some clinics and schools in the Muslim lands are even named after him to honor him, which is not permissible, as mentioned by Shaykh Saalih al-Fowzaan.

What exactly is the cause of this serious mistake? It could be rooted in one or any number of the following causes:

  • Speaking / writing about matters without knowledge of the Religion
  • Passing on information carelessly
  • Intended promotion of the Shiite Religion
  • Intended promotion of philosophy as an Islamic science
  • Gross neglect or total lack of concern for issues of ‘aqeedah (belief)
  • Blind ambition to please everyone
  • Justifying what people have already said or written

Muslims who have mistakenly praised this severely deviant disbelieving philosopher, Ibn Sina, are urged to hasten to repent to Allah and free themselves of this serious error, lest they be counted alongside of Ibn Sina as a disbeliever in this life and the Next, and refuge with Allaah is sought.

And Allaah knows best.

Written by: Moosaa Richardson 

FOOTNOTES:

[1] ar-Radd ‘alal-Muntiqiyyeen (pp.141-142), Majmoo’ al-Fataawee (9/134)

[2] ar-Radd ‘alal-Mantiqiyyeen (pp.143-146), Majmoo’ al-Fataawee (9/135-138)

[3] Dar’ Ta’aarud al-‘Aql wan-Naql (5/65)

[4] Eghaathat al-Lah-faan (2/286, checking of Muhammad Haamid Faqee)

[5] Eghaathat al-Lah-faan (2/287, checking of Muhammad Haamid Faqee)

[6] Eghaathat al-Lah-faan (2/288, checking of Muhammad Haamid Faqee)

[7] Eghaathat al-Lah-faan (2/280, checking of Muhammad Haamid Faqee)

[8] Eghaathat al-Lah-faan (2/282, checking of Muhammad Haamid Faqee)

[9] Eghaathat al-Lah-faan (2/279-282, checking of Muhammad Haamid Faqee)

[10] Lisaan al-Meezaan (2/293)

[11] At-Ta’leeq al-Mukhtasir ‘alal-Qaseedah an-Nooniyyah (3/1328). (Arabic)

rev.EP.DA.AR.HS.QM

30 thoughts on “The Reality of Ibn Sina (Avicenna), Famous Scientist and Philosopher

  1. This is an interesting piece, i hope it will educate more muslim ummah with the hope that his atrocities are revealed the more so that he can be put in his right position.

  2. I would like to make it clear and its obvious that Ibn Sina was one of the greatest scientists during the golden era of Islam. His family might be secular or atheists as described by your research. However its clear from Ibn Sina writing that he was Muslim… [comment abridged by admin]

    • The scholars of Islam – the likes of Ibn Taymiyyah – are not so shallow that they would cast people outside of Islam because of their family’s beliefs! Khaled, please know it is clear from Ibn Sina’s writings that he believed:

      [1] Allah exists without attributes, actions, or even knowledge.
      [2] Angels are mere figures of people’s imagination.
      [3] Divine books were the result of the imagination of “prophets”.
      [4] Prophets were people who imagined they heard voices and believed those voices…

      These are the pillars of Eemaan in Islam. and any one of these things would violate a person’s Islam. How exactly is it clear that he was a Muslim? Perhaps you could benefit from a simple review of this detailed explanation of his actual beliefs:

      http://www.bakkah.net/en/ibn-al-qayyim-explains-the-disbelief-of-ibn-sina-avicenna.htm

  3. For several years I thought Ibn e Sina was a great muslim scholar. Then I learnd he was from the Batini sect. So I was wondering, why should we consider him a muslim intellectual. Thank Allah, my doubt has been cleared.

  4. According to me Ibn Sina and Al khawarizmi and many of muslims scientists … are better than Ibn tayymiyah and Ibn qayyim… [comment abridged by admin]

    • Doesn’t it matter what a person believes at all? I mean, even if someone believes that Allaah is just a manifestation of cosmic energy [!?] (may He be exalted) and His Messengers were people who saw esoteric lights from another plane of existence and interpreted those lights to be revelation [!?], a person can still be a Muslim believing that?! If we lose concern for our ‘aqeedah (beliefs) like this, then we would become just like Christians who lost the essence of their message and went astray. Ibn Sina was a disbeliever. Not because Ibn Taymiyyah was “harsh”. But because Ibn Sina’s beliefs were not anything close to the beliefs of a Muslim. It is documented, so upon us is to read and learn before speaking. And Allaah knows best.

  5. …For most of us, it is enough that he believed in ALLAH and the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as the last Prophet of Allah. All this rubbish that he was either a Shia or a Sunni or some other sect is useless and illogical. [comment abridged]

    • If you take the time to read the explanation of the topic by Ibn al-Qayyim (see this), you could learn that he actually did not believe in Allaah nor the Prophet (we send salaat and salaam upon him, not “PBUH” or “SAWS, see this). Rather, he believed in cosmic energy in the universe in place of Allaah, and he believed in a deluded man whose imagination allowed him to interpret lights and bursts of cosmic energy as “revelation”. This is in NO WAY considered belief in Allaah and His Messenger (may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace). I understand that you are disappointed and perhaps frustrated with this new information, but try your best to remember that Allaah (not cosmic energy) is an All-Watcher over you, and He is testing you, and to Him you shall return to face the consequences of your reactions. May Allaah give you success.

  6. Assalaamalikum, I always wonder why are we preaching hate? Why are we alienating… [question abridged by admin]

    • Wa ‘alaykas-salaamu wa rahmatullaah. We preach both love and hatred for the sake of Allaah, as this is required in our Religion. We must have religious hatred for disbelief and its people. Our Prophet said (sallallaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam): أوثق عرى الإيمان أن تحب في الله وتبغض في الله “The strongest handhold of faith is that you love for Allaah, and that you hate for Allaah.” [Musnad Ahmad, authentic] Hatred may alienate people who do not understand their religion properly. A Muslim does not get offended or alienated when a disbeliever is recognized as a disbeliever. Muslims do not need to rewrite history to take credit for the glory of a non-Muslim scientist, we have a rich history of science and civilization, wal-hamdulillaah. Claiming what is not ours makes us look desperate and deprived. So let us take honor in our religion and in our true accomplishments, and may Allaah bless the Muslims.

  7. Assalaamalikum,
    May Allah bless all on this earth, Muslims or Non Muslims. May Allah bring kindness and mercy in our hearts to show the same in return to HIS creatures including fellow human beings.
    Really, I pray for you to see the peaceful straight path with out any clouds. This is more than just recognizing a scientist, it has to do with inciting unnecessary ugly feelings among the Ummah. May Allah allow you to see through the dark clouds lingering upon us.

    • Wa ‘alaykas-salaam. Dear visitor, thank you for visiting. May Allaah truly open our hearts to His Truth, and may He give us understanding of His Glorious Book, the one that has absolutely no falsehood in it from any angle. Allaah did not ask us to love everyone; This is not the Religion of Islaam. Allaah sent His Prophets as examples and summarized their missions in His Lofty and Noble Quran, like when He encouraged us to take the mission of Ibraaheem as an example to follow:

      قَدْ كانَتْ لَكُمْ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ فِي إِبْراهِيمَ وَالَّذِينَ مَعَهُ إِذْ قالُوا لِقَوْمِهِمْ إِنَّا بُرَآؤُا مِنْكُمْ وَمِمَّا تَعْبُدُونَ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ كَفَرْنا بِكُمْ وَبَدا بَيْنَنا وَبَيْنَكُمُ الْعَداوَةُ وَالْبَغْضاءُ أَبَداً حَتَّى تُؤْمِنُوا بِاللَّهِ وَحْدَهُ

      “There has been a fine example to follow in Ibraaheem and those with him, when they said to their people: Indeed we are free of you and what you worship besides Allaah. We reject you, and animosity and hatred have appeared (and remain) between us and you always, until you believe in Allaah alone.” [60:3]

      If we are sincerely looking for “the peaceful straight path” of Islaam, then the Book of Allaah is our guide. We must not take the way of the astray Christians who say: We love everyone. Rather, Muslims are required to love and hate for Allaah’s Sake, with real religious loyalty. Hatred for Allaah’s sake is eemaan and light, not “dark clouds lingering upon us”. The Messenger (may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace) said: ( أوثق عرى الإيمان أن تحب في الله وتبغض في الله ) “The strongest handhold of eemaan is to love for Allaah and to hate for Allaah.” [Musnad Ahmad]

      To identify a non-Muslim who has been mistakenly referred to as a Muslim is merely correcting a historical error. It is not “inciting unnecessary ugly feelings among the Ummah” because the non-Muslims are not from our Ummah in the first place. Nor is identifying things for what they are and taking the appropriate stances on them based on that something ugly, rather it is a requirement in Islaam. And Allaah knows best.

      May Allaah make us from those who learn and embrace His Glorious Book and His Perfect Deen.

  8. salam brother

    i perfectly agree to the batini agenda of ibn sina as well as al razi , al biruni etc and the verdict of ibn taymiyyah on this issue, however my queestion is this , for ibn taymiyyah’s case, after he was grounded firmly on aqeedat al salaf and manhaj, he studied the methods and deviancy of ilm kalam in order to refute them but did he refute them from sunnah and quran with ilm kalam or onyl the naql because nowadays i listen and see dawah organisations that utilize the ilm kalam as a dawah arsenal to refute the zanadiqa and athiests , philosophers etc to such a degree that the naql is somewhat made mutazila friendly i.e moulding philosophy with aqeeda to a dangerous degree, could you elaborate on that ?

    • Shaykh Al Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah mastered the Islaamic sciences and was from the firmly grounded scholars who were able to go into the books of philosophy, rhetoric, and other forms of misguidance, and use their statements against them. This is not for students of knowledge or preachers. Ibn Taymiyyah said, “Rhetoric is something not needed by intelligent people, nor do ignorant people gain anything from it.” He warned the Muslims throughout his writings against the harms of the books of misguidance. Yet people today, unqualified and poor in understanding their own levels, delve into such books and end up more confused than they were before reading them, all the while claiming to be similar to Ibn Taymiyyah! And Allaah knows best.

  9. The truth has come falsehood perishes. My advice to the admin is that just as u said not every body we are expected to love. same thing to those accepting this fact. not everybody will accept this fact dt he is infedel. i really learned alot from the write up its thought provocking. jazaakallahu khairan

  10. As for as the concepts of cosmic energy and lightning from that is concerned, all of the sufi school of thoughts have such like interpretations and meanings to concepts of Allah, Revelation and maa’d… [comment abridged by admin]

    • This is why Muslims who care about their brothers and sisters warn them of ALL sufi paths, as ALL of them are misguidance, and all of them lead to the Fire. The claims of piety, abstinence, and “purification” (tazkiyah) is a mere curtain screening their reality – a plethora of misguidance that rips a person’s soul into shreds. They call to their way with attractive words (ihsaan, zuhd, etc.), yet their followers end up believing that Allaah is just some cosmic energy and prophets were cosmic light interpreters. From introspection and piety, downhill into sci-fi kufr, beliefs that cause any real Muslim to shudder and cringe, seeking refuge with Allaah. May Allaah protect us from what destroys us in this life and the next.

  11. I believe the sect which Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn Qayyim belonged to are and were considered to be outside the Ahl al Sunnah wal Jamaah… [long comment full of takfeer and other accusations against Shaykh al-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah]

    • The deviants (sufis and others) who are exposed by the strong evidence-based writings of the scholars of Ahlus-Sunnah (like Ibn Taymiyah) turn takfeeree easily and cast the scholars outside of Islaam in order to protect the disbelief on their figureheads. This is the result of severe misguidance, when truth is seen as falsehood, and falsehood is seen as truth.

    • @ ahmed who commented on oct 6

      Shaikh Ibn Taymiyya and Ibn Qayyim were among the greatest scholars of Ahlus-Sunnah during the middle era of the Muslim History.

      Both Shaikhs followed the Athar Creed and reminded the Ummah that the pious salaf always objected to the use of philosophical kalam.

      In fact the groups that use kalam (such as ashariyya, mu’tazila and maturidiyya) are the sects that are outside the Ahl al Sunnah wal Jamaah. This is because kalam is bida.

    • Sara, all quotes are clearly sourced. I am the author, and I took all quotes directly from the source materials quoted, and all scholars quoted are recognized scholars of Ahlus-Sunnah, known for their reliability, precision, and balance. Furthermore, I had no less than five of my peers review this article critically. I understand that this article challenges what many people have been led to believe that Ibn Sina was one of the premier examples of Muslim scholarship. However, historical accuracy is more beloved to a true Muslim than just beating our drum blindly about how great our historical figures were, when they are the furthest of examples of upright scholarship. Think critically and may Allaah give you success.

      • Thanks for your reply Moosaa, however, the element of bias comes from not having referenced any of Avicenna’s actual teachings – all your references are of other scholars of Ahlus-Sunnah.

        • The Religion of Islaam is inherited from the scholars of Islaam, they warn us from the evil of people like Ibn Sina, and we thank Allaah for that, and that we do not need to dig into the books of disbelievers to verify and confirm what our scholars say. I’m sure this is not compatible with some Western, non-Muslim so-called “scientific method” but we say: We are pleased with Allaah as our Lord, Islaam as our Deen, and Muhammad (may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace) as our Prophet and Messenger! And Allaah knows best.

  12. Assalamu Alaikum, JazakAllahu Khair brother Moosa and the bakkah team. Only Allah knows how much you exerted to bring these pieces of knowledge to us, especially in English language. I also liked your patience with some odd comments, based on ignorance of basic tenets/ pillars of Islam.

  13. jazaakumuLlaahu khayran… i am

    really happy withbl this work…..

    commend your patience in reply and the beauty of going straight to the point… only Allah can reward you…… baarakaLlaahu fihi

  14. wasn’t Avicenna born in 980 A.D which would make him a famous 11th Century scientist, if you can’t get your basic facts straight how can we trust other information you provided.

    • Thanks for visiting us, Neutral. I believe you mean: according to the Christian calendar. This article is for Muslims, written by a Muslim researcher, and the dates quoted are according to the Muslim (Hijri) calendar.

  15. JazakALLAHU khayran for this calarity, I was just searching into Islamic Medicine and this name Ibn Sina came up. Some claimed him to be a prodigy, because he had supposedly mastered things from a young age. Alhamdulilah I checked his name amongst those who are firmly grounded in aqeedah and came across this. BarakALLAHU feek. Do you have any information on Ar-Razi who is also suppose to be a ‘prominent muslim scientist’.

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