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The Symbol of Light as Sapiential Signifier in Suhrawardī’s Hikmat al-Ishrāq and Ghazāli’s Mishkāt al-Anwār Open Access

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Ghazāli’s Munqidh can be treated as a prolegomenon or as a groundwork for the metaphysics and ontology of light that is presented in Mishkāt al-Anwār. The latter text goes further and can be termed more esoteric, and if one takes the Munqidh as a sort of foundation, the Mishkāt can be seen to provide a rich set of corollaries, implications, and further questions that are then picked up in the course of the Ishrāqi project of Suhrawardī, epitomized by his Hikmat al-Ishrāq. Suhrawardī does not set out to abrogate the insights of Ghazāli, but he resolves some of the very questions raised explicitly or implicitly in the Mishkāt by way of a philosophical turn that was to shape the future of the Islamic Philosophical tradition. All of this was achieved on the basis of the philosophical foundation, first principle, and symbol of light.

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