Ibn Bajjah’s “Ilm-Al-Nafs”

FREE Delivery
Express Shipping
(20% off)
Express Shipping: Guaranteed Dispatch in 24 hours
Delivery Ships in 1-3 days
Item Code: NAI229
Author: M.S. Hasan Ma’sumi
Language: English
Edition: 2009
ISBN: 8171511422
Pages: 195
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 8.7 inch x 5.7 inch
Weight 390 gm
Fully insured
Fully insured
Shipped to 153 countries
Shipped to 153 countries
More than 1M+ customers worldwide
More than 1M+ customers worldwide
100% Made in India
100% Made in India
23 years in business
23 years in business
Book Description
About the book

It is philosophical treatise translated into English of Ibn Bajjah’s Kitab al-Nafs. The book has been divided into four faculties contains eleven chapters. In the end of this work the commentator has given the notes and reference about the main points to make it applicable and comprehensive.



Ibn Bajjah’s Kitab al-Nafs is now ready for the English readers. The Arabic text with the Arabic version of the Introduction and Notes prepared by the writer himself was sent to the “Revue de I” academic Arabe de Damas” Syria, long after the English translation together with the Arabic Text was submitted for publication to the Pakistan Historical Society of Karachi. The Arabic version, however, came out in the Arab World before the original work could see the light of the day.

In the year 1950, when the writer was in Oxford to do some research work in the field of Arabic Philosophy under the kind supervision of Dr. R. Walzar, the latter very kindly mentioned the Bodleian manuscript of Ibn Bajjah to the writer and advised him to select a portion thereof with a view to collate the same with the corresponding portion of the only other available manuscript writer and approved by the authorities concerned, it was discovered that the Berlin manuscript would not be available, as it was lost in the last Great World War.

It was only through the valuable criticism of Prof. S. Van Den Berg, the encouragement and kind care of Sir H.A.R. Gibb, and the very effective supervision of Dr. R. Walzar that the writer succeeded in completing the edition which was submitted to the University of Oxford under the title “IBN BAJJAH’S PARAPHRASE OF ARISTOTLES’S DE ANIMA” for the Degree of D.Phil. in 1952-53.

On the recommendation of Professor Paul Kahle, who visited Pakistan in 1956, the Pakistan Historical Society approved this small book to be included in its series of publications.

The writer feels deeply indebted to the above mentioned distinguished orientalist and to the office-brarers and members of the Pakistan Historical Society through whose kind encouragement, supervision and assistance this work is now in the hands of the readers.

The writer also records his deep indebtedness to Dr. Serajul Huq, Head of the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies; to Professor S.M.Hossain, former Head of the Department, and ex-Vice-Chancellor, University of Dacca; and to the University of Dacca, for their help, encouragement and grant of Study Advance.

In the end, the writer also offers sincere thanks and gratitude to Dr. Beeton (now the Laudean Professor of Arabic in Oxford), and other Assistants in the Oriental Section, Bodleian Library, Oxford; to Dr. S. Moinul Haq, General Secretary and Director of Research, Pakistan Historical Society, Karachi; to the proof reader, printer, and assistants of the Society; for their very kind assistance in preparing the work, and bringing it out of the press.



The subject of this volume is the first edition of Ibn Bajjah’s Kitab al-Nafs with an English translation and historico-philosophical notes. The second volume will present Ibn Bajjah’s other psychological treatises.

Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Yahya ibn al-sa’igh, known as Ibn Bajjah (dd. 533/1138), the fore-runner of Averroes, “the commentator par excellence”, has been unanimously regarded as one of the chief representatives of Arabic philosophy. He has been referred to by his contemporaries as the greatest exponent of Aristotelian philosophy after Ibn Sina, the shaykh al-Rais. But the world has hitherto remained so inadequately informed of and acquainted with his works as to know only a few tractates and Kitab TadbIr al-mutawahhid which last has been known through its Hebrew translation to Europe since the Middle Ages.

There are only two manuscripts of Ibn Bajjah’s works known, preserved in the libraries of Oxford and Berlin. I started reading Ibn Bajjah’s Kitab al-Nafs in Oxford with the hope of collating it with the Berlin manuscript which had been, as I learned afterwards from the Librarian of the Berlin Library and through the good services of Prof. P.E. Kahle, shifted to the Eastern zone of Germany during the World War II and lost. Now I have no other excuse for editing an Arabic text from single manuscripts, but the one which Mr. D. M. Dunlop offers in the beginning of his article entitled “Ibn Bajjah’s TadbIr al-Mutawahhid” when he says: “ if the difficulties and hazards involved in attempting to edit an Arabic text, particularly of an abstract character, from a single manuscript should have been pointed out, the reply was ready to hand that if the work were to be edited at all, it must be from the Bodleian manuscript and that alone.”

In these circumstances, I have had no choice but to decipher the whole manuscript which consists of 222 folios and to establish as far as possible the text of obscure passages with the help of parallels. The text of the kitab al-nafs was originally complete but, late on, Ibn Bajjah’s friend and disciple, al-Wazir ‘Abu al-Hasan ‘Ali Ibn al-Imam through whom his writings have survived, lost a few pages from the end of the book. Ibn al-Imam himself has expressed his regret for this book. Ibn Tufayl also, in the preface to his famous philosophical romance, Hayy Ibn Yaqzan, mentions that Ibn Bajjah’s kitab al-Nafs and most of his works are incomplete.

Like kitab TadbIr al-Mutawahhid, kitab al-Nafs is always referred to by the author himself in terms that clearly indicate that it is his original and independent work, while he refers to other works of his as notes or commentaries on the works of Aristotle. Kitab al-Nafs is evidently an original work and is neither a commentary nor a paraphrase. But since in the arrangement of contents, and in the exposition of the fundamental psychological theories, it is more or less in conformity with most of the second and third books of the De Anima of Aristotle, it is not entirely wrong to call it a paraphrase of Aristotle’s De Anima composed by Ibn Bajjah.




I : The Subject 1
II: The Manuscript 10
Chapter I : On the Soul 13
Chapter II : Discourse on the Nutritive Faculty 29
Chapter III: Discourse on the Faculties of Sense Perception 43
Chapter IV: Discourse on Sight 79
Chapter V : Discourse on Hearing 88
Chapter VI: Discourse on Smell 92
Chapter VII: Discourse on Taste 96
Chapter VIII: Discourse on Touch 98
Chapter IX : On common Sense 103
Chapter X : Discourse on the Faculty of Imagination 106
Chapter XI : Discourse on Reasoning Faculty 117
Notes :  
Introduction: 122
Chapter I : On the Soul 125
Chapter II : Discourse on the Nutritive Faculty 143
Chapter III: Discourse on the Faculties of Sense Perception 157
Chapter IV: Discourse on Sight 172
Chapter V : Discourse on Hearing 176
Chapter VI: Discourse on Smell 178
Chapter VII: Discourse on Taste 181
Chapter VIII: Discourse on Touch 182
Chapter IX : On common Sense 185
Chapter X : Discourse on the Faculty of Imagination 187
Chapter XI : Discourse on Reasoning Faculty 192
Bibliography 195
Appendix 199
Index 203

Sample Pages

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Q. What locations do you deliver to ?
    A. Exotic India delivers orders to all countries having diplomatic relations with India.
  • Q. Do you offer free shipping ?
    A. Exotic India offers free shipping on all orders of value of $30 USD or more.
  • Q. Can I return the book?
    A. All returns must be postmarked within seven (7) days of the delivery date. All returned items must be in new and unused condition, with all original tags and labels attached. To know more please view our return policy
  • Q. Do you offer express shipping ?
    A. Yes, we do have a chargeable express shipping facility available. You can select express shipping while checking out on the website.
  • Q. I accidentally entered wrong delivery address, can I change the address ?
    A. Delivery addresses can only be changed only incase the order has not been shipped yet. Incase of an address change, you can reach us at help@exoticindia.com
  • Q. How do I track my order ?
    A. You can track your orders simply entering your order number through here or through your past orders if you are signed in on the website.
  • Q. How can I cancel an order ?
    A. An order can only be cancelled if it has not been shipped. To cancel an order, kindly reach out to us through help@exoticindia.com.
Add a review
Have A Question

For privacy concerns, please view our Privacy Policy