(33,683 words)

al-Fārābī, Abū Naṣr Muḥammad (d. Rajab 339/December 950–January 951), Muslim philosopher, one of the ‘founders’ of the falsafa tradition, sometimes referred to as ‘al-Muʿallim al-Thānī’ (lit. ‘The Second Teacher’, Aristotle being the First). 

Part I: Life and Works


Scholars hold differing opinions about his father’s name and his ethnic background. The earliest source of information about al-Fārābī’s life and works is Ibn al-Nadīm (d. 385/995), who gives hi…

Cite this page
Sadeq Sajjadi and Sayyed Javad Tabatabai, “al-Fārābī”, in: Encyclopaedia Islamica, Editors-in-Chief: Wilferd Madelung and, Farhad Daftary. Consulted online on 19 March 2018 <>
First published online: 2018
First print edition: 20180110

▲   Back to top   ▲