The adventures of Robinson Crusoe and Friday fascinated and intrigued many of us.
However long before Daniel Defoe, a novel of self discovery and “improvement of the human reason” was written by Ibn Tufail (c. 1105 – 1185), named Hayy ibn Yaqdhan, also known as Philosophus Autodidactus in the Western world.
Ibn Tufail’s full name was Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Abd al-Malik ibn Muhammad ibn Tufail al-Qaisi al-Andalusi. Let’s stick to Ibn Tufail!
He was an Andalusian Muslim writer, novelist, philosopher, theologian, physician, vizier, and court official. As a physician, he was an early supporter of dissection and autopsy, which was expressed in his novel.
His novel tells the story of an autodidactic feral child, raised by a gazelle and living alone on a desert island, who, without contact with other human beings, discovers ultimate truth through a systematic process of reasoned inquiry. Hayy ultimately comes into contact with civilization and religion when he meets a castaway named Absal…
A Latin translation of the work, entitled Philosophus Autodidactus, first appeared in 1671, the first English translation was published in 1708. These translations later inspired Daniel Defoe to write Robinson Crusoe. – Reference: Wikipedia
What does all of this have to do with me and my name?
My first surname is Tufail or as the Arabic tradition goes, I am “Bint Tufail”, the daughter of (a) Tufail :)! A name to be proud of and humbling! No, for obvious reasons, I would not rename myself 🙂
And: one of my engagement presents was the English translation of the novel Hayy ibn Yaqdhan. And if someone was wondering: Hanel is my husband’s surname, acquired by me as second surname.
This is my contribution to the “Say your name” challenge