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About Mimonides




Mimonides (Abu Omran Moussa Ibn Maymoun Al-Qortoby) is considered to have been one of the greatest Jewish philosophers of the Middle Ages, and one of the greatest Jewish theologians of all time. Although he was brought up in the city of Cordoba, from where he received the name by which he is known, his family traveled all over the Islamic world, until they finally settled in Fustat in Egypt.

He became the personal physician of Al-Nasir Salah Al-Din Al-Ayyubi, and of his son Al-Adel, after him. Mimonides became chief of physicians at the time of Al-Afdal Ali ibn Al-Nasir Salah Al-Din. He wrote a thesis for Al-Afdal, which he called Al Afdaleyyah, on psychics and physical medicine. His book Dalalat al-ha'ereen (The Guide of the Perplexed) is the most important of his works. It is a philosophical work, written for people who are in doubt or dilemma, and who are not able to reconcile reason and inspiration. The purpose of the book was to help people to attain ultimate spiritual peace of mind.

Mimonides also wrote an interpretation of Al-Mashna (Book of Origin) which is the most important book for the Jews after the Old Testament. He called this interpretation Al-Seraj (The Lantern); it also dealt with other subjects, such as mathematics and astronomy. Another of his works is about the Law of Moses; in this book he wrote about what is permitted and what is forbidden in the Jewish religion.

Mimonides was the chief of the Jews in the Egyptian administration. He established for them a school of legislation in Alexandria, for those who desire to study Jewish law.

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