Chapter Two (The Spirit and The Soul )
The Soul According to Moslem Scholars
It is hardly a strange thing that the Soviet Union established an academy and a scientific research centre after the great scientist Ibn Sina, as well as building a statue for him. They consider him to be a rather prominent Russian intellectual. Spain did the same thing for the scientist Ibn Rushed whom they consider to be an outstanding figure and an important part of the Spanish civilization.
The earlier Moslem scholars had great achievements in the field of psychology which western researchers and historians ignore. They usually start by studying the Greek scholars, especially Plato and Aristotle, then directly move to the European intellectuals during the Middle Ages, and following that they study the modern European Renaissance. They completely ignore the achievements of Moslem scholars in the field of psychology, despite the fact that many of their studies were translated into Latin and had a great impact on European scholars throughout the different ages. Ignoring the achievements of Moslem scholars and intellectuals is not only restricted to western historians. Nowadays, many Arab scholars who teach courses dealing with the history of psychological studies in the Arab universities also ignore mentioning the achievements of Arab scholars, whereby they imitate the westerners.
Arab and non-Arab historians of Islamic philosophy are the only source that gets credit for knowing the great achievements of the scientists of the Moslem nation. They provided us with useful synopsis of the theories of Moslem scientists regarding human psychology. However, despite the importance of these synopses, the present scientists need to learn more about the views of the early Moslem scholars regarding the various psychological issues to estimate the true scientific value of their contributions. Following is a brief summary of the scholars who were interested in human psychology and introduced valuable definitions of the nature of man’s soul.