Al-Farabi meseum

Al-Farabi museum

By the task of N.A.Nazarbayev, the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan and in accordance with the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Kazakhstan № 629, dated 23 October 1991, Kazakh National University was given a name of a great thinker of the East, the son of Kazakh steppe – Abu Nasr al-Farabi (870-950).

The idea of the exhibition is the harmony of al-Farabi’s world

Thematic sections: Ancient Otrar is the treasury of remembrance. Young ages of al-Farabi; On a Great Silk Road. The years of wisdom acquisition, perception of the world. Study in Middle East countries; Al-Farabi. Dialogue of East and West; Works of al-Farabi are golden heritage of a mankind. Al-Farabi and thinkers of Turkic world; Spiritual heritage of al-Farabi and modern Kazakhstan.

The exhibition is created on the basis of usage of the original copies of artifacts from library and museum resources of Kazakhstan and the world, new publications and books by “Мәдени мұра” (Cultural heritage), the State program; scientific research results; scientific and auxiliary materials as maps, schemes, historical utensils and etc.

The al-Farabi Museum is the center of scientific and educational development, cultivation of spiritual, moral and patriotic values in Kazakhstani youth. Its organization in al-Farabi KazNU corresponds to its strategic transformation into a Research University.

Ancient otrar is the treasury of remembrance. Young ages of al-Farabi

Abu Nasr Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Tarkhan ibn Awzalagh (at-Turki) al-Farabi was born 12 centries ago, in 870, within the territory of Central Asia in the city named Farab (Otrar), in the military fortress of Vesij. Al-Farabi is the son of turcik ethnos, the son of Kazakh lands.

During his young ages al-Farabi had an opportunity to get acquainted with the treasury of world literature in the library of Otrar. Turcik garments, relevant buildings of those far years, the utensils items and materials of medieval household activities, a wealth of book collection in a library, and a lot of other details reflect the breath of that period and spirit of the epoch.

Historical artifacts of XII-XIV centuries which were brought from Southern Kazakhstan by the employees of university museum and which were gifted by Otrar state archeological museum, as well as materials and museum objects from Aziret Sultan and Historical cultural centre of Turkestan are located within these window show cases, 2011.  

Along the great silk road. Years of attainment of wisdom, world cognition. Studying in the countries of the middle east

The diorama persuasively tells about one of the most significant achievements in the history of world civilization, which for the centuries has built a “living chain” between the cultures of West and East. The longest part of the Silk Road lied through the territory of Central Asia, including Kazakhstan. New wealthy cities, as Otrar or Turkestan, trade and craft settlements and caravanserais started to appear and expand on the caravan ways along the whole Silk Road. In front of us you may see important structures of those cities of the Great Silk Road, where Al-Farabi made his way.

According to the legend, Al-Farabi, who travelled with his caravans, lavishly quenched the thirst for his own knowledge, learned the mysteries of life-being, explored life and customs of other nations. Abu Nasir aimed to get the knowledge from the original source; he never stopped learning and never felt ashamed of being the student, even in the years of adolescence; he thoroughly studied Arabic language and logic.

In the showcases of the section there is the map of Al-Farabi’s way along the Great Silk Road, information regarding his studies in Khorasan with Yuhanna ibn-Haylan, in Baghdad with Muhammad-ibn Jallad and Abu Bishr Matta, pages of his life in Aleppo and Damascus (Syria), Cairo (Egypt), books of modern scientists regarding the levels of knowledge about Al-Farabi, pictures of cultural monuments and etc.

Al-Farabi. Dialogue between east and west

Diorama vividly shows the primacy of the Thinker in the union of Eastern and Western philosophy. Al-Farabi studied the legacy of Plato, Aristotle, who were considered as his teachers, and developed ancient philosophy, created new theories and philosophical doctrines. In exposition of this section due attention is paid to showcases, where materials about ancient Greek philosophers, particularly about Aristotle, are placed. Ancient Greek scientific views, metaphysics and logic had tremendous impact on the formation of Al-Farabi’s scientific point of view.

Al-Farabi had great influence on Ibn Sina (Avicenna), ibn Badja, ibn Tufail, ibn Rushd, who had become his followers and other Eastern philosophers. An important manifestation of the lasted for centuries dialogue between East and West on bringing together the cultures was the Renaissance. During this period, Europe regained the treasures of classical Greek philosophy to a great extent due to al-Farabi. It was used in the next centuries by the following European scientists: R. Bacon, D. Skot, Spinoza, and others. Thanks to the works and translations of al-Farabi European culture learned creations of Oriental sages.

The subject of the dialogue is the issue of great importance today as well. It carries presumption of tolerance and develops within the European context, inter-religious dialogue and civilization.

Works of al-Farabi are the golden heritage of a mankind. Al-Farabi and thinkers of the turkic world

This section is devoted to the invaluable creatures of al-Farabi within different spheres of humanities and sciences.

The cholar, philosopher and encyclopedist al-Farabi mastered 70 languages and he was an author of the first notes and created the most significant work on theory of music which is titled “Big Book of Music”. His wide horizon of knowledge and erudition attained him a fame of a “Second Master”.

The range of his interests is very wide: philosophy and logic, politics and ethics, music and astronomy. He gives the descendants his unique heritage, about 200 treatises, enriching the global knowledge with enormous enlightenment. The "Pearls of Wisdom", "Sources of questions", and other works are presented within the showcases in Arabic and Kazakh languages, as well as his scientific treatises, books of scientists around the world on the al-Farabi heritage studies, the materials of the expeditions to the universities and museums in Turkey.         The value of this section is magnified by exposure of the materials of our great ancestors, prominent thinkers of Turkic world such as Tony Kok, Bilge Kagan, Korkyt, Zhusip Balasagun, Mohammed Haydar Dulati, Mahmud al-Kashgari, Ahmet Yassaui, Asan Kaigy and others. The main purpose of the composition of this thematic section is to show the richness of the cultural heritage of Central Asian Turkic peoples, the light of enlightenment thought which lit up the life of the Great Steppe and gave a fertile ground for the development of modern Kazakhstan.

Spiritual heritage of al-Farabi and modern Kazakhstan

Diorama and showcase of the section shape up the common concept "Spiritual Heritage of al-Farabi and modern Kazakhstan”. This section is a logical conclusion of the exhibition and includes an extensive documentary material on the social and cultural modernization of present-day Kazakhstan, spiritual and scientific and educational development, the safety and effective use of the cultural heritage of the country under the implementation of the remarkable initiative of Nursultan Nazarbayev, the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, “Madeni Mura” State Program.  

Materials on the present state of al-Farabi Study in Kazakhstan, research results of al-Farabi philosophy impact on the development of Kazakh culture, the development of younger generation’s attitudes towards spiritual traditions are presented here. Students’ papers and researches such as “Thinker’s worldview through the eyes of today’ youth”,   “ХХI century - descendants of the great ancestor” and others speak for the continuity of generations and interest of young people in the heritage of al-Farabi and other Kazakh prominent ancestors.

This showcase represents the works of famous Kazakh scholars like A. Mashani, A. Kasymzhanov, A. Derbisali, F. Kobesov, A. Alimzhanov, V. Burabayev, R. Zharykbayev, K. Tadzhikova, F. Nysanbayev, G. Kurmangalyeva and others, as well as research works of university faculties, staff of al-Farabi museum and Center; young researchers; PhD doctoral and Master’s degree students and materials of conferences.