The Epistle on Animals of the Brethren in Purity (Iḫwān al-ṣafā) classifies the rhino in the bird family. Starting with such a taxonomic incongruity, the present article aims to write the history of the revolution of animal classification in Arabic zoology. Such a paradigm shift was initiated by the Epistles of the Brethren in Purity then accomplished by Ibn Abī al-Ašʿaṯ and consisted in the substitution of eco-biological criteria by an anthropological one. This shift points out the clear consciousness that Man was a leading force of nature, for he became the organizing principle of the animal world.
Karkadan, classification, taxonomy, Arabic zoology, Islamic zoology, Iḫwān al-ṣafā, Epistles of the Brethren in Purity, Ibn Abī al-Ašʿaṯ.