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Falsafa (Arabic falsafa from Greek philosophia)
is the pursuit of philosophy in Islam. The Muslin delight in philosophy,
especially in the early centuries, resides on the prevalent concept of divine
creation; that is, God is the creator of all things, and that knowledge,
ilm, leads to a deeper understanding of him and his works. Thus falsafa
is, or was, a commitment to wisdom in which every science is necessarily
involved, but falsafa, philosophy is predominant because it heads the rest.
This pursuit of philosophy helped to rescue and translate many Grecian works
which were about to be lost. However, this philosophical study eventually
raised suspicion that it might lead to the judgment of God by human reason,
and to the subordination of revelation to reason. So the influence began
to be reversed; reason was subordinated for revelation, the concept being
the wisest knowledge of God lies in devotion to him, thus spread Sufism. A.G.H.
Bowker, John, The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions,
New York, Oxford University Press, 1997, p. 435