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By Nasr, Seyyed Hossein

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Without doubt a certain kind of profound intellectual tradition of a "philosophical" or rather theosophical type did exist in pre-Islamic Persia, but within the total world view of the religious traditions, such as Manicheanism, Mithraism and above all Zoroastrianism, themselves. This combination of wisdom and the religious world view is itself the outstanding characteristic of all the traditional civilizations of Asia, or those civilizations which have taken a set of divine principles as the sOurce for all of their activity, modes of thought and way of life.

In any case Muslim cosmology and the angelology to which it is closely related are derived for the most part directly from the Quran. 32. tes, trad. parT. Burckhardt, Paris, 1955, pp. 37 and 108. 33. This work has been published many times in Arabic and Persian and in German by F. Wiistenfeld, Cosmographie, Gottingen, 1848-49. Our references are to the Tehran lithographed edition of 1283. 34. 'Ajii'ib al-makhluqiit, pp. 33-41. 35. Khusraw, Kitiib-jiimi' al-fJikmatayn, ed. by H. Corbin and M. Mo'in, TehranParis, 1953, p.

As pointed out in the "Etudes preliminaires" by Corbin (pp. 93-94), this pentade bears much resemblance to the pentade of Manichaean cosmogony. 37. , p. 112. As revelation has a cosmic as well as a social aspect the coming of Islam implied also an Islamization of the cosmos in which Islam was to breathe. So we find Na~ir-i Khusraw comparing the angelic order with the prophets of the Abrahamic tradition, or mi, in his al-Insiin al-kiimil, making the prophets correspond to the planets, starting with Adam, whose dwelling place is the moon.

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