Mulla Sadra’s Work (al-Hikmat al-muta‘aliyah fi’l-asfar al-arba‘ah)
The discussions in this book start with the issues of being and quiddity and continue with the issues of motion, time, perception, substance, and accident. A part is devoted to proving the existence of God and His attributes, and it ends with a discussion of man’s soul and the subjects of death and resurrection. The novelty of this interesting and important book is its classification of its themes in the mould of 4 stages of gnostics’ spiritual and mystic journeys, with each stage considered as one journey. Therefore, this book begins with existents and continues with the Hereafter, God, and the mustered people, because a gnostic’s journey in the first stage is from his self and people towards God; in the second and third stages from God to God (from His Essence to His Attributes and Acts); and in the fourth stage from God to people. The original book is in 4 big volumes which have been published in nine small volumes several times.
In fact, this book is, a philosophical encyclopedia and a collection of important issues discussed in Islamic philosophy, enriched by the ideas of preceding philosophers, from Pythagoras to Mulla Sadra’s contemporaries, and containing related responses on the basis of new and strong arguments. All these features have made it the book of choice for teaching at higher levels of philosophical education in scientific and religious centers.
The composition of this book gradually started from about 1015 A.H (1605 A.D), and its completion took almost 25 years, till some time after 1040 A.H (1630 A.D).