Aql bi-l-fi'l

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Aql bi'l fil (عقل بالفعل) is a kind of intellect in the Islamic philosophy. This level deals with readiness of soul for acquiring the forms without receiving them again.[1]

Historical background[edit]

Al Kindi also pointed out to a kind of intellect could reach from the state of potentiality, to the state of actuality.[2] Farabi pointed out the first level of actualization of intellect is the potential intellect. the second stage is to Aql bi'l fil or actual intellect. The actual intellect reflects upon itself. in other word when intellect acquired forms and categories, reflects upon itself, this action called as actual intellect.[3] of course Groff classify the actual intellect as third.[4][full citation needed] meanwhile Farabi used the term Aql bi'l fil for intellect in full exercise of its powers.[5] also Iji, known theologian, referred to the actual intellect versus potential.[5] it seems that the term Aql bi'l fil for Avicenna is comparable with A ruh Al Aqli for Al Ghazali.[6]


If the intellect acquired its knowledge so that it could access them any time it wants then the intellect called as actual intellect.[7] in this degree, aql is in act which is compared to the absolute potency of the material Aql and has a first form of knowledge.[8] for Farabi, the potential intellect becomes the actual.[9] in fact the most important task of the actual intellect is to acquire secondary intelligible from primary intelligible and ready to employ them all at any time.this stage has similarities with al-‘aql bi al-malaka. but its task is so more.[4] actual intellect also called as cognitive and theoretical. this knod of intellect counted as a journey from general knowledge to special knowledge. this intellect also is the second perfection of intellect.[10] However, this kind of reason allows to human free themselves from illusion and errors.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "مدرسه فقاهت".
  2. ^ Shṿarts, Dov (2005). Central Problems of Medieval Jewish Philosophy. BRILL. p. 63. ISBN 90-04-14805-1.
  3. ^ "'AQL".
  4. ^ a b (Groff, 2007 & p.170)
  5. ^ a b Sweetman, James Windrow (2002). Islam and Christian Theology: A Study of the Interpretation of Theological Ideas in the Two Religions. James Clarke & Co. p. 348. ISBN 978-0-227-17203-2.
  6. ^ Whittingham, Martin (11 April 2007). Al-Ghazali and the Qur'an: One Book, Many Meanings. Routledge. p. 109. ISBN 978-1-134-18673-0.
  7. ^ Morrison, Robert (10 September 2007). Islam and Science: The Intellectual Career of Nizam Al-Din Al-Nisaburi. Routledge. p. 144. ISBN 978-1-135-98114-3.
  8. ^ Taylor, Richard C.; López-Farjeat, Luis Xavier (20 August 2015). The Routledge Companion to Islamic Philosophy. Routledge. p. 294. ISBN 978-1-317-48433-2.
  9. ^ Craig, Edward (1998). Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Taylor & Francis. p. 556. GGKEY:63C446DRRDG.
  10. ^ Endress, Gerhard; Arnzen, Rüdiger; Thielmann, Jörn (2004). Words, Texts, and Concepts Cruising the Mediterranean Sea: Studies on the Sources, Contents and Influences of Islamic Civilization and Arabic Philosophy and Science : Dedicated to Gerhard Endress on His Sixty-fifth Birthday. Peeters Publishers. p. 319. ISBN 978-90-429-1489-6.
  11. ^ Azadpur, Mohammad (1 August 2011). Reason Unbound: On Spiritual Practice in Islamic Peripatetic Philosophy. SUNY Press. p. 52. ISBN 978-1-4384-3764-4.