Title: Avicennovo učení o lásce
Avicenna's teachings on love
Source document: Religio. 2012, vol. 20, iss. 1, pp. -122
ISSN1210-3640 (print)2336-4475 (online)
License: Not specified license
Avicenna (Ibn Sina, 980-1037) was one of the most highly regarded philosophers in eastern Islamic lands. This article analyses the theme of love (ḥubb / 'ishq) in the broader context of Avicenna's psychological and cosmological teachings. This analysis is mainly based on the interpretation of two of the philosopher's works dealing with this theme, namely The Treatise on Love (Risala fi 'l- 'ishq) and The Living, Son of the Vigilant (Hayy ibn Yaqdhan). In the first part of the article attention is paid to the phenomenon of love as a means to achieving the perfection of form (i.e. the soul), proceeding in a hierarchy of beings from the roughest to the purest. The second part draws a brief picture of Avicenna's opinion on love between humans, describing gazing at a beautiful face and embracing and kissing a beloved person as ennobling activities. The third part is dedicated to love between man and God, a topic which was always considered controversial. While Islamic philosophy denounced the possibility of God's love for man, Islamic mysticism (Sufism) focused on this motif. Avicenna seems to stand just on the boundary between these two different attitudes, when he describes God as loving his own manifestation in the Universe.