Al-Farabi, Abu Nasr
A preeminent Muslim philosopher born in the region known as Turkestan. In Medieval Latin texts, al-Farabi was referred to as Alfarabius or Avennasar. Being an outstanding philosopher, he became known as al-mu‘allim al-thani (the second master), placed alongside Aristotle, (the first master). Early in his life, al-Farabi moved from Central Asia to Baghdad, where most of his works were written. More than one hundred works are attributed by the Arab bibliographers to al-Farabi among which are al-Madina al-Fadila (The Virtuous City), al-Siyasa al-Madaniya (Civil Policy), and Ihsa’ al-‘Ulum (Survey of the Sciences). Al-Farabi aimed at developing a capacity within Islamic culture for the integration of philosophy as a method of analysis and as an intellectual discipline. Al-Farabi was also a musician who invented a musical instrument called al-qanun/ al-qithara (the zither). He also wrote a notable book on music, Kitab al-Musiqa al-Kabir (The Great Book of Music). In 942 CE, al-Farabi was invited by Sayf al-Dawla al-Hamadani to live in his entourage mainly in Aleppo. Later he died in Damascus in 950 CE.