indigenous Aleppan scholarly class, which was very hostile toward the brilliant successful outsider.40 Whatever the case, Saladin, in an atypical exposition of intolerance, ordered his son, the ruler of Aleppo al-Malik al-åhir, to execute the philosopher. The special relationship between al-Suhraward and al-åhir was undoubtedly one of the reasons for Saladins alarm,41 and may explain the envy of the scholars, who advised that he be eliminated lest he attempt to realize his pretension to assume the role of the perfect philosopher-king, or, at least, that of the enlightened mentor of the ruler.42 Yet none of the medieval biographers explicitly accuses al-Suhraward of planning to usurp power. Most of them accent his derision of the shara and the accepted dogma. In the interrogatory majlis that was convened to clarify the matter, al-Suhraward was accused of denying the nality of Muªammads prophethood; perhaps a misinterpretation of his claim that prophecy could be acquired (maks¨ba), or of his denial of the claim that God could not create a prophet after Muªammad.43 The epistle he had composed in the defense of the philosophers (risåla f itiqåd al-ªukamå) succeeded neither in cleansing his reputation, nor in saving his life. In it he attempted to refute, one-by-one, the oftrepeated allegations that philosophers deny, as it were, the Creator and the prophets, resurrection, paradise and hell; presenting them as faithful, pious Muslims.44 Indictments such as those disclaimed in the epistle were indeed prevalent in the discourse on philosophy, as indicated in autobiographical excerpts by Sad Allåh b. Ab al-Fatª al-å al-Manbij (d. 651/1254) and Abd al-La†f al-Baghdåd (d. 629/1231). The two scholars confess their youthful infatuation with the sciences of the ancients (ul¨m alawåil) from the perspective of the penitent, referring to their erstwhile
supported by royalty (al-muayyad bi-l-malak¨t); or declare pretentiously I am destined to rule the world (la budda an amluka al-dunyå). Al-Mardn, who valued al-Suhrawards intelligence and learning, was wary that his arrogance would cause him trouble (Dhahab, Siyar, 21:208–211). 40 Marcotte, Suhraward, 404, 408. 41 Ibn Shaddåd, Srat al-Sul†ån, 61; trans. in Richards, Rare and Excellent, 20; Ab¨ Shåma, al-Rawatayn, 2:304; Sib† ibn al-Jawz, Miråt, 8:427; Dhahab, Siyar, 207–211; Ibn Khallikån, Wafayåt, 6:268–274; al-Shahraz¨r, Nuzhat al-Arwåª in Thackston, Three, 1–4. 42 Ziai, Source and Nature, 336–344. 43 Cahen, Chronique, 150–151. 44 Al-Suhraward, Risåla f Itiqåd al-Óukamå, 2:262–271.