Hayy Ibn Yaqzan: Too Radical For Its Time?



Usman Butt



Original Date

August 17, 2019


Hayy Ibn Yaqzan is a novel that takes us on a journey from infancy to old age of a man who grows up isolated from human civilisation. Written in 12th century Andalusia by Ibn Tufail, it offers a radical take on the essence of human nature, spirituality and self-awareness. Hayy, a baby abandoned by his mother and who ends up on an island uninhabited by people, he is taken in by a doe and raised as an animal. Hayy is completely unaware of the existence of other humans until he reaches middle age, yet he develops insight into existence, rationality and God without the influence of human civilisation.

Sources & Future References

  • Ibn Tufayl (Translated by Lenn Goodman) Hayy Ibn Yaqzan: A Philosophical Tale

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