Early Islamic Philosophy: Human Beings are by Nature Political Animals.

, it is important to note that they have brought forward similar theories and findings as Aristotle’s well-known statement, “Humans are political animals.” Throughout their texts, the three philosophers conceptualize the idea that human beings are by nature the most valuable creation of God, endowed with excellence and superiority, and equipped with human intellect that allows rationalization and political justice.

According to Al-Farabi’s text On the Perfect State, humans have the most valuable existence, ranking in the world below and above the moon. As highly operational animals, humans have been placed at the apex of the ascending order of excellence — above plants and animals. In signifying that humans have the greatest ability to excel and become closer to the First Himself, Al-Farabi states, “There is nothing after the animals which are endowed with speech and thought that surpasses it in excellence.”1 The purpose of human existence is to masterfully navigate the environment that surrounds them, miming and becoming closer to the heavenly bodies that exist above. The Islamic philosophers understood that through speech and thought, humans are able to create their own means of communication. This communication includes spoken and body language and — for some other “perfect humans” or prophets — the exceptional tongue that speaks the words of God.

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Being God’s only creation that is equipped with speech and thought both provides humans significance in the world and prepares them to implement their thoughts into actions. Humans take upon the visceral response of an animal and the nutritive quality of a plant and combine these elements to heighten their distinction and become self-sufficient. Their ability to communicate with each other, expressing themselves through conversation, conscious behavior and moral action, leads them to civility and knowledge. 

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