Hayy ibn Yaqzan—An Allegorical Tale

Ibn Tufayl / Lenn Evan Goodmann

Hayy ibn Yaqzan, and Arabic title meaning literally “Alive, Son of Awake”, is a an allegorical novel by the 12th-century Spanish philosopher Ibn Tufayl.

I have not left the secrets set down in these few pages entirely without a veil—a sheer one, easily pierced by those fit to do so, but capable of growing so thick to those unworthy of passing beyond that they will never breach it. Of my brothers who read these words, I ask indulgence for my loose exposition and lack of rigor in demonstration. My only excuse is that I had risen to pinnacles higher than the eye can see, and I wanted to try, at least, to approach them in words so as to excite desire and inspire a passion to start out along this road.

Click here to read an English translation.

Click here for the very influential Latin-Arabic 17th-century edition by Pococke.

For the full publication with introduction and notes, see Lenn E. Goodmann (translator), Ibn Tufayl’s Hayy ibn Yaqzan: a philosophical tale, The University of Chicago Press, 2003.

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