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By Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-Malik Ibn Tufayl

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And for my own part, you will find me, according to your own Hearts desire, just such an one as you could wish; and I hope that I shall lead you in the right way, free from Evils and Dangers: and really I perceive some Glimmerings now, by the help of which I shall inflame your Desire, and put you upon entring this way, by telling you the Story of Hai Ebn Yokdhan and Asâl, and Salâman (as Avicenna calls them); in which, those that understand themselves right will find matter of Improvement, and worthy their Imitation.

It seems not to be known among them till about the 200 Year of the Hegira. The most probable Interpretation of it is from the Arabick word Sûph, which signifies Wool, because those that followed this Sect refused to wear Silk, and Cloathed themselves only with Wool. Dr. Pocock and Golius follow this Interpretation; tho' the latter in his Lexicon seems to doubt whether it is deriv'd from the [Greek: sophos] or from the Arabick Sûph. The Sultan of Persia is often call'd the Sophy, because Ismaël the first Sultan of that Family now in Persia who began to Reign in the 605 Year of the Hegira, that is of our Lord the 1554/5 was of this Sect.

Samuel Aben Tybbon, gives him a great Character. Abu'l Hasen Ali, who collected all his Works, and reduced them into One Volume, prefers him before all the Mahometan Philosophers whatsoever. He was famous for his Poetry as well as Philosophy; he died young, being prison'd at Fez, in the Year of the Hegira 533. e. of Christ, 1138, or 39, others in the Year 525, which answers to 1131. Most of his Works are imperfect. See Dr. ] [Footnote 11: The Hanifitick Sect, and the Mahometan Religion,—That is, not only the Hanifitick Sect, but even the Mahometan Religion too, of which that Sect is a Branch, does forbid the over curious enquiring into these abstruse Matters.

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