Analyzing a Hadith on Four Cardinal Virtues
In this paper, the writer tries to analyze a hadith (i.e. tradition) on the virtues which is attributed to Imam Ali (p.b.u.h). According to this hadith, the cardinal virtues are: wisdom, courage, temperance, and justice. Tracing this tradition the author wants to show that this tradition is a brief account of Greek virtue ethics rather than Islamic ethics, and also is a translation of Socratic and Platonic thoughts on virtues. He first analyses the meaning of arête (virtue) in Greek culture, and the importance of those above mentioned four virtues. Then he describes the transmission of these virtues into Islamic culture and their acceptance by some Muslim ethicists. Finally he compares these virtues with the main virtues introduced and emphasized by the Holy Quran and argues that this tradition is, probably, defective and apocryphal one.
Key words: Islamic ethics, Islamic virtues, virtue ethics, apocryphal tradition, Islamic moral philosophy.
This paper is published in: Ulum-Hadith, no. 43, Summer 2007.
- پنجشنبه, ۱۶ خرداد ۱۳۹۲، ۰۷:۲۴ ق.ظ