Some Characteristics of Suhrawardi’sIlluminationist Philosophy

Ali Nazarialiabadi, Fathali Akbari, Seyyed Hashem Golestani


Perhaps one of the most distinctive features of Suhrawardi’s school of thinking is the belief that anyone who does not grasp onto the divine string would necessarily have gone astray. In fact, one would find out that reconciling neo-Platonic ideas with pre-Platonic ideas and incorporating Peripatetic philosophy into the religious foundations of Islam and Iran, Suhrawardi has successfully pursued a very ambitious objective. For Suhrawardi, the followers of the Eternal Wisdom deal with revelation and intuition rather than argumentation and philosophizing. It is important to note that the key to resolving ambiguities in understanding the ideas of philosophers such as Suhrawardi is in clarifying the corresponding terminology in another language. From the point of view of Suhrawardi, all the levels of existence and wisdom as well as the beginning and the continuity of the world, and the bliss and salvation of human beings are parts of the evolution of the Light. Unlike the Peripatetic philosophers, Shaikh al-ʿIshraq (Suhrawardi, master of Illumination) considers the Most High God’s knowledge of objects in an inclusively illuminated manner. Here, we will investigate some characteristics of the Illuminationist philosophy of Suhrawardi; some of which are heeding the scripture and Sunnah, reconciliation of ideas, language networks, expressions of mystery, Perennialism, illumination metaphysics, sympathetic encounters with the ancestors, revelation/intuition and gradation/skepticism.


Shaikh al-ʿIshraq (Suhrawardi), Light, Darkness, Mystery, Perennialism, Intuitionism.

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