10 Principles of Mantiq

Al-Mabādīy’at al-ʽAšharah are the ten fundamentals which every student should know before delving into a particular subject. This helps in knowing what it is about and what can be achieved from the subject.

Indeed the fundamentals of every science are ten:

The definition, the subject, and the fruits,

Its merit, relationship and founder,

The name, basis, and ruling of the lawgiver,

And the legal cases. Though some is sufficient,

The one who obtains it all gains nobility.

  1. Definition
    The science that enables us to conclude from something that is known to something that was previously unknown.
  2. Subject
    Logic is the science that directs our mental operations and these are three: 1) reasoning, which is the most complex operation of the mind 2) judgment; to judge is to affirm or deny 3) simple apprehension, which means understanding and perception This brings us to the subject of the science of logic.
  3. Fruit
    Ghazali said “Logic is an introduction to all knowledge and the one who hasn’t mastered it can’t be relied upon for his knowledge at all.”
  4. Merit
    The status of manṭiq is that it is an overarching science given its importance. It is actually a necessary science because it is a means to sound knowledge, a tool to begin your studies. Other sciences surpass logic in rank though. In terms of means it is one of the most important sciences but in terms of ends it is of lesser importance.
  5. Relation to other disciplines
    Every science has parts of logic in it. No science can do without it. It is the introductory discipline for philosophy and kalām. For this latter science it is a sister science traditionally.
  6. Founder
    Imam al-ʿAskarī says logic was first codified by the ancients and this remained hidden/latent. Abū Naṣr al-Fārābī17 (d. 951 AH) is one of the founding Islamic teachers. He developed the science and explained it. It was said he mastered seventy languages.
  7. Name
    Manṭiq has three meanings: 1.) the ability to speak 2.) the ability to comprehend universals 3.) the power of comprehension itself.

    A distinction can be made between two forms of logic: – Material logic: the context of what you are reasoning about; this is the greater/major logic. – Formal logic: formulas, rules of reasoning; this is the lesser/minor logic.
  8. Sources
    This science is not derived from any other science, it is an independent science. Its source is reason or the intellect (al-ʿaql).
  9. Ruling
    Manṭiq is in two classes: 1.) the manṭiq of the muta’akhkhirūn: scholars like al-Abharī, al-Sanūsī, Ibn ʿArafah 2.) the manṭiq of the mutaqaddimūn: Aristotle, al-Fārābī and Ibn Sīnā.

    According to al-Bājūrī there was no disagreement over the manṭiq of the first class, it is a farḍ kifāyah (communal obligation).

    Imam al-Akhḍarī presents three opinions for the escond type 1.) the opinion of imams Ibn al-Ṣalāḥ and al-Nawawī that it is ḥarām (forbidden). Imams Ibn Taymiyyah and al-Suyūtī also held this opinion. 2.) the opinion that it is necessarily studied. This was the opinion of al- Bājūrī, and also al-Ghazālī. There was some disagreement whether it was farḍ kifāyah or mandūb (strongly recommended). Quṭb al-Dīn Taḥtānī and Quṭb al-Dīn al-Fawqānī considered it farḍ kifāyah. 3.) the third opinion that it is permissible (jawāz) which al-Akhḍarī called mashhūr and ṣaḥīḥ. This was the opinion of Taqī ul-Dīn al-Subkī amongst others. Imam al-Yusī said manṭiq is farḍ ʿaynī: an individual obligation. He refuted the opinion of imam al-Suyuṭī on logic in his commentary on the Sanūsiyyah al-Kubrā by imam al- Sanūsī.
  10. Purpose
    Major logic: categories, five universals (al-kullīyāt al-khams) and the five arts (al-ṣināʿāt al-khams): the way we argue.

    Minor logic: this is about simple apprehensions, concepts, terms, definitions, divisions, judgments, propositions, conversions, syllogisms, inductions

Foundational works in Taṣawwuf:

  • Al-Assas fi Al-Mantiq by Aseer Ad-deen
  • Al-Mantiq al-Jilani: A Primer In Classical Logic by Muhammad Zarqani
  • Introduction to Logic by Sayyid Ali murada
  • Logic and Critical Thinking by Moad

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