Abu Imran Musa bin Maimun
bin Abd Allah
, born in Cordoba
, March 30, 1135; died in Cairo
, Dec 13, 1204. Talmud
, and physician
Musa came to be called the second Musa at that time he was living due to his contribution to Jewish
literacy. Musa received much of his learning from his father, Maimun
, a highly merited scholar. Moreover, Maimun guided Musa to outstanding Arabian scholars consequently enriching Musa's intellect with all branches of science of that time. When Musa was 13, Cordoba
fell to the zealous Almohades
Islamic sect. Almohades gave Jewish communities two options, conversion to Islam or exile. Maimun and his family chose exile, and for 12 years lived a nomadic life in Spain.
In 1160 Maimun, his family, and 25 year old Musa settled in Fez
. Musa and his family eagerness to pass as Muslims in Fez was met with failure. In Fez Musa encountered many Jews who were forced into conversion to Islam but practiced Judaism in secrecy. Musa's name because of his intellect and young age was growing increasingly, plus enquires by authorities to his religious nature was mounting. An informant charged Musa with the crime of reversion from Islam. However, because of negotiations by a Muslim friend, theologian and poet Abu Al-Arab Al-Mu'ishah
, Musa would have shared his friend Judah bin Shoshan destiny of death sentence on a parallel charge. The state of things caused the family to wander again 5 years later in 1165 to Acre
, then Jerusalem
, then to Fostat
), where they settled permanently.
Life in Egypt was met with hardships, after Maimun's death, Musa's brother David
, supported the family by trading of precious stones. David’s ship sank in the Indian Ocean
. This double heartbreak affected Musa’s health, and resulted in bad health for a long time. Obligated to support himself, and considering it sinful to gain money through religion, he went into the medical career. After becoming proficient in medical matters and establishing a reputation, he became personal doctor to Sultan Saladin
's wazir (minister) Al-Kadi Al-Fadil Al-Baisami
, the wazir suggested him to the royal family. Later Musa became personal doctor to Saladin
. According to Al-Kitti
, an Arab
historian, a similar offer was given to serve the king of the Franks
(Richard I. of England), nonetheless, it was rejected.
During 1158 toward 1190 Musa wrote the following books dealing heavily in Philosophy. Kitab (book) Al-Siraj (Precept), a commentary on the Mishnah
. Kitab (book) Al-fara'id (orders), code of Mishneh Torah
, described by Jewish admirers in Hebrew as Yad ha-hazakah
. Dalalat (Guides) Ha'irin (Perplexed), known in Hebrew translations as Moreh Nebukim
. Guide to the Perplexed is one of his most famous rational works. Musa declared on the subject of Guide to the Perplexed, "I have composed this work neither for the common people, nor for beginners, nor for those who occupy themselves only with the Law as it is handed down without concerning themselves with its principles. The design of this work is rather to promote the true understanding of the real spirit of the Law, to guide those religious persons who, adhering to the Torah, have studied philosophy and are embarrassed by the contradictions between the teachings of philosophy and the literal sense of the Torah."
Musa proves the existence of God through four arguments. First, Motion produced by cause and affect, with the series of causes being finite. Second, because some things send and receive motion, and other things receive motions without sending it, there must be a being that sends motion with out receiving motion. Third, existing beings are partly permanent and partly transient, there must be a being whose existence is permanent. Fourth, nothing can pass from state of potential to actual without a cause, this cause requires another cause, and so on until we arrive at a cause that is constant. Further, the unity of God is proven by the following arguments. First, two Gods is irrational; they would have a common element which makes them Gods, and another element that makes them distinguishable from each other, moreover, both Gods can not have an independent existence, but both would themselves have to be created. Second, the whole world is one body of interdependence. The earth is dependent on the forces coming from the heavens, the affects must be because of one cause.
Musa final years was stacked with increasing physical illness, he died in his 70th year. Both Jews and Muslims observed public mourning for 3 days in Cairo. After his death, the Dalalat Al-Ha'irin (Guide for the perplexed), Moreh Nebukim in Hebrew translations sparked a bitter fight between conservative and liberal Jews in France
. Very bitter was this fight that finally in 1234, the disagreement was referred to Christian authorities, it was resolved by ordering Musa's works to be burned. Because of the strong opposition from the orthodox Jews, the Moreh produced Philosophers such as Spinoza
, Solomon Maimon
, and Moses Mendelssohn