1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Perhaps the only available study in English of the Ikhwan al-Safa,
This review is from: Muslim Neoplatonists: An Introduction to the Thought of the Brethren of Purity (Hardcover)A book well worth tracking down for anyone with an interest in the development of Islamic philosophy and to some extent theology.
Professor Netton has done an excellent job in presenting to us the English reader with an introduction to the Ikhwan al-Safa, a group whom there is little known of in Arabic let alone English. They were a small group that developed their own philosophical thought and influenced many including the Fatimads (and by default the Nizari Ismailis, better known as the Assassins) and a large body of twelver Shia Islam.
I understand that Professor Netton with an interest in philosophy took to the study of classical Arabic in order to study the teachings of the Ikhwan and so has the duel qualification of being well versed in both philosophy and Arabic. While the book is rather short it does give the reader a clear introduction into the origins of the group, their intellectual development, their teachings and those who followed them including their influence on the greater Islamic world.
Well worth finding, I would also recommend the books of Corbin who also studied the Ismaili Muslims.