The Journey of the Soul

The Story of Hai Bin Yaqzan

Recommended by Jason Webster, and 1 others. See all reviews

Ranked #48 in Sufism

The Story of Hai bin Yaqzan is a truly remarkable product of 12th-century Moorish Spain. It is widely regarded as the prototype for Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe. Best described, perhaps, as a philosophical romance, it tells the story of a young man, cast upon a deserted island as an infant, suckled and reared by a doe, who succeeds by his own efforts in fitting himself for life in his natural environment. The author, bin Tufail, was one of the outstanding philosophers and scientists of his day, and hence many strands are woven into the fabric of the tale. Hai's physical development is... more

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Jason Webster I think it is an extraordinary book. Many people see it as one of the inspirations behind Robinson Crusoe. There was a translation done of it from the Arabic into Latin just a few years before Defoe wrote Crusoe and there are various parallels between the two books….For me it’s really interesting because there is something quite modern about this book that was written in the 12th century – he talks about vivisection and how blood flows through the body. There is almost an understanding of evolution there. And also I think it is an incredible work of imagination. (Source)

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