To begin with, it is necessary to mention that the title of 'teacher' was given to Aristotle by the Muslims and not by the Greeks, and that the use
60 The Islamic Intellectual Tradition in Persia of this title, particularly by the Western philosophers (as it appears in the famous poem of Dante at the beginning of this article), is due to the influence of the Islamic intellectual tradition upon the West. The title of 'teacher' in this particular context is directly related to the Islamic view of science and knowledge, whose origin cannot be attributed to Greek sources. When one looks at the Islamic sources, both old and new, it can be seen that there are different accounts as to the meaning of the word 'teacher', and reasons why al-Hirabi has been referred to as the 'Second Teacher' have been offered. These references may be summarized and divided into four categories:
1. There are those who say that since al-Farabi was the most learned philosopher after Aristotle, and since he was a great commentator of the 'First Teacher', he was called the 'Second Teacher'. Among the advocates of this view, one can name Mul;1ammad Lu!fi Jum'ah, the contemporary Egyptian writer, and the Dutch scholar T. J. de Boer. 4 The main objection to this theory is that its advocates do not explain why Aristotle himself was called the 'First Teacher'. Also, if the criteria for granting of this title was that one must be a commentator or have a distinguished position in philosophy, then why was Ibn Rushd the greatest Muslim commentator of Aristotle in history, or Ibn Sina, the most distinguished Peripatetic philosopher in history, not called the 'Second Teacher'?