An Account of Suhrawardī’s Allegories in Light of the Illuminationist Philosophy

International Journal of Platonic Tradition 16:1-20 (2022)
  Copy   BIBTEX


In this paper, I seek to explain Suhrawardī’s method of writing his allegories – how he draws upon his philosophical principles to construct forms and plots of his stories. To do so, I begin by delineating two key doctrines of his Illuminationist (Ishrāqī) ontology: the world of Forms (‘ālam al-muthul) and the discontinuous imaginal world (‘ālam al-mithāl al-munfaṣil). I provide an account of the history of these two doctrines and the nature of these two worlds, and then consider some of their functions for, and effects on, Suhrawardī’s explanations and analyses. I will then deal with Suhrawardī’s allegories, pinpointing particular effects of the belief in the world of Forms and the imaginal world on his symbolisms and allegories. Distinguishing three main spiritual-mystical notions in Suhrawardī’s allegories, I elaborate upon the role of the above two doctrines in his construction of characters and fictional events, whereby I demystify certain symbols in these stories. I conclude that there is a close tie between Suhrawardī’s allegories and his philosophical doctrines. Thus, his spiritual doctrines are presented in a symbolic form in certain allegorical characters and adventures. The deployment of characteristics of the world of Forms and the imaginal world plays a central role here.

Author's Profile

Mahdi Homazadeh
Iranian Institute of Philosophy


Added to PP

131 (#63,524)

6 months
53 (#37,372)

Historical graph of downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.
How can I increase my downloads?