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Ibn 'Arabi's Fiqh: Three Cases from the Futūhāt

by Eric Winkel Is there even any material for a study of Ibn 'Arabi's fiqh (legal discourse/jurisprudence)? Few people realize that Ibn 'Arabi had a fiqh! And yet a translation of just the extended fiqh section of the Futūhāt would run over two thousand pages. Yes there is an Akbarian fiqh: I have chosen here three particular cases he investigates and argues from a fiqh perspective. Although Western scholarship on Ibn 'Arabi has focused on the philosophical and mystical aspect of his thought, situating Ibn 'Arabi in a metaphysical, philosophical context, especially around his work Fusūs alHikam and the numerous commentaries and discourses produced by his brilliant disciples,[1] another aspect of his thought is now emerging. Chodkiewicz[2] and Addas[3] have charted the growth and influence of the "akbarian" tradition as it nurtured a more universal and "earthy" approach, exemplified in Amir 'Abd al-Qadir, for example. Chittick has bridged the "Eastern" Ibn 'Arabi with his more "Western" dimension through a translation of many short passages from the Futūhāt.[4, 5] Sells' work has been exploring the various formats traditionally found to be conducive to the effort of articulating divine truths: poetry, allusion, symbolism, and metaphor.[6] And finally, Morris' work on "spiritual literalism" has seized the importance of Ibn 'Arabi's appropriation of traditional forms of the Islamic sciences to "convert" those practitioners to a higher understanding.[7] By way of establishing a definition for fiqh here, Ibn 'Arabi seems to treat the fiqh as a superstructure erected upon the shari'ah, a superstructure of discourse conducted among the intellectual elites (the 'ulamā') of the community. It may be glossed "Islamic legal discourse". The central patterns in Ibn 'Arabi's fiqh discourse involve the roots '.b.r. (to cross over/interpret) and kh.l.f. (differ in opinion). The extended section here covers the "pillars of Islam", with tahārah (purity) as a prerequisite for the second pillar, salāh (prayer). Each subject has a lengthy poem, which, Ibn 'Arabi explains elsewhere, is not a summary of the chapter's contents; the poems in effect serve as an "overture", touching the highlights of the contents and adding a few ideas which will not actually be dealt with in the prose section. There are also prose overviews. But the main content of the extended section is two thousand pages of ikhtilāf al-'ulamā' and min qā'il: each issue is introduced with the statement "the 'ulamā' diverge over such and such", and the enumeration of the different positions and arguments with the ellipsis "min qā'il": "among those who argue there is one who argues for" or more fluidly, "there is a proponent for". The standard fiqh format is in fact the discussion and analysis of "differences of opinion" among the 'ulamā'. In the days of fiqh vitality, the scholars enjoyed entering the fray with their own views about the various positions held by previous scholars, with resounding phrases like "But he is a liar!" and "All of that is falsehood!" – in contrast to present-day fiqh, which wallows in the dead authority of past scholars. Ibn 'Arabi refrains completely from derogatory statements but does achieve the proper stance of skepticism and objectivity required of the fuqahā' (scholars of the legal discourse) by omitting, almost always, the name of the particular scholar whose views are being discussed by the anonymous phrase "there is a proponent that". Surprisingly perhaps, Ibn 'Arabi finds significance in every position – one gets the sneaking suspicion, however, that Ibn 'Arabi knew more about a particular position than its proponent!

b. The other theme is of metaphor.[10] ritual is the central means of re-creating the sacred world. or at the Side of the Real [janāb al-haqq]. to bring something across. 79:26]. the 'ibrah.. These writings are a perfect foil for Ibn 'Arabi's work. we have "So take warning [a'tabiru] of you endowed with understanding" [59:2]. of events) and another reality. the place where the universal and general revelation becomes applied and actualized in historical and contextual society. or divergence. '.] the wadi [arroyo] when you have forded it and traversed it. they could devote themselves to understanding the religion [li-yatafaqqahu fi'l-dīn]. as we shall see him argue. from among that which indicates [dall] God. This crossing over affirms both sides. I The first case under discussion is introduced by Ibn 'Arabi as follows: bāb [Chapter/Subject] . Ibn 'Arabi glosses this concept in this way: And so I have opened up for you the metaphor [i'tibār] according to the sharī'ah. as in "There is. the subject of "tayammum" has received a line here and there. understood in its root meaning of "metaphorein". and tahārah as a ritual addresses temporary imbalances(hadath) in order to restore a state of sacred purity – which for Ibn 'Arabi is a state conducive to the intimate conversation with God. The areas of disagreement are the grist of the scientific discourse. content with letting God "speak for Himself" in assigning priorities and hierarchies and subjects for reflection. while the subject of woman's'aurah has received books upon books. Water is a metaphor for knowledge. because it is here that the revelation's meaning is tested.b. in great contrast.r.[9] We do not find a neoPlatonic or Gnostic denigration of the body – in contrast. the mandate for fiqh comes from the Qur'anic passage "Nor should the believers all go forth together: if a contingent from every expedition remained behind. Let us take two cases from the issues involving "tayammum" (abluting with clean earth or sand) and a case concerning woman's 'aurah(imperfection/deficiency). is the link or bridge between one sort of reality (e.b. and 3:13. instruction (or admonishment) for those endowed with understanding [ūlū al-albāb]" [12:111. In modern Islamicist writings. This is the figurative meaning of the metaphor [i'tibār].r. The fiqh exists in the nexus of revelation and society. 23:21. Ibn 'Arabi does not deal in symbols. Ibn 'Arabi's treatment of the fiqh is true to its bodily and "earthy" ground. In verb form. and articles upon articles. because there interpretation and hermeneutics are pushed to the extreme in an effort to understand and apply the revelation. and admonish the people when they return to them – that thus they may guard themselves" [9:122]. and the discerning eye will be able to "cross over" from water to knowledge and back again. gives words such as the Qur'anic admonishment. the salāh. and in effect the '. treats the revelation as entirely meaningful. As Reinhart showed in his study of tahārah." For Ibn 'Arabi the "crossing over" does not negate or diminish the reality of the "sensory side". It is like "You have crossed over ['. For Ibn 'Arabi. as he. As Chittick has demonstrated thoroughly. 24:44. in their stories. ontologically prior and more real.g. and has launched movement after movement.r. 16:66. Ibn 'Arabi is opposed to ta'wīl (interpretation) and allegory.The heart of the discourse is the area of disagreement.[8] and it is the passage [jawāz] from the form which manifests its property in the sensory domain [al-hiss] to what is interrelated in your essence. Only the people who are endowed with discerning the kernel (lubb) of events are likely to understand the connection linking the superficial reality to the deeper reality.

but only in the sense of extending a command concerning a small issue to include larger issues. When Islam introduced the repeatable ablution. Returning to the central text quoted above. which Ibn 'Arabi and his Andalusian near-contemporary Ibn Hazm both denounced with vigor. For Ibn 'Arabi. for the sick in whom arises a fear that his sickness would increase. The purification of tayammum is given by the text "Oh you who believe. or. It is the fiqh [legal discourse] in the religion [dīn]. then. despite its presence. and find no water. or he would die. and your feet to the ankles. for Ibn 'Arabi. sand) and rub therewith your faces and hands. inserting the property concerning this issue into a synopsis [mujmal] of that discourse. humility must suffice.) First. Ibn 'Arabi says that it rather is based on a derivation of the property concerning this issue from a plain text in the book or sunnah. or you have touched women. wash your faces. Of course the usual method of qiyās is to perform dramatic leaps of logic. There are two routes. the earth is tractable and lowly. there is a legitimate qiyās. and the entire discussion of tayammum may be linked metaphorically with the issue of taqlīd. we must still approach the divine.The 'ulamā' of the sharī'ah are in accord that tayammum is permitted for the sick and the traveler. More sophisticatedly. understood as "spotlessness" (nazafah). once discovered. or come from excreting.An unacceptable route.[13] some kind of empty gesture. Then he crosses over.[11] on the basis of the arrival of the plain text concerning that. when you prepare for salāh. in his example. take for yourselves [fa-tayammamu] clean sa'īd (earth. but this Ibn 'Arabi rejects as well. wash your entire body. But if you are sick or journeying. the analogical extension of a known text to cover yet another issue which the revelation is "silent" about. for attaining a state of purity conducive to the conversation with one's Lord. although the crossing over. Even when knowledge is lacking. God does not wish to place you in difficulty. Nor is it a "symbolic demonstration". The key offense in qiyās. water is knowledge. And according to us. so tayammum crosses over totaqlīd. knowledge (water) and taqlīd (tayammum). Second. when we do not find water. The only humble way to approach God when knowledge is lacking is taqlīd (following authority).[12] Ibn 'Arabi accepts the obvious fact that tayammum has nothing to do with cleanliness. God said. "Dust" metaphorically warns us about whence we came. and your hands to the elbows. traditional 'ulamā' conceived of tayammum as a substitute. The modern state 'ulamā' conceive of tayammum as a divine emphasis on the importance in Islam of hygiene: This tayammum is a symbolic demonstration of the importance of the ablution. So. is qiyās. we must "take for yourselves clean sand or earth". When arguing that tayammum is not a substitute. is its improper appropriation of lordship in creating a legal decision – because qiyās in effect creates a new text. The first issue the fuqahā' must deal with is the nature of tayammum and its relationship to the more intelligible forms of tahārah. it brought along with it the best hygienic formula which no other spiritual doctrine or medical prescription had anticipated. If you are in a state of ritual impurity. (How does he find this bridge? Through disclosure (kashf). "(Let a contingent from every expedition remain behind) to apply themselves [tafaqquh] to the religion (and admonish the people when they return to them – that thus they may learn to guard themselves [against evil])" [9:122] – and we do not need deduction [qiyās] for that! . in Ibn 'Arabi's thinking. Knowledge is the means by which one gains access to the divine. the command prohibiting saying a word of contempt to one's father extends to beating him with a stick. Ibn 'Arabi questions the purpose of tahārah (to make you clean) and the relationship of water to tahārah (if you find no water). which is so vital for both worship and health. if there is an absence of water. in the absence of water. rub your heads. may be articulated. the lowness where even the soles of the lowly's shoes tread. "or non-use of water". but to make you clean" [5:6].

Ibn 'Arabi explains that we decide [h. He writes. there is a hierarchy. Specifically. but the Sick person. traveling. because their progression to water was through practice ('amal). when the text seems to pass over something in silence. Ibn 'Arabi links the "traveling as far as China" theme with "traveling". also. He is a traveler with his reflection [fikr] through way-stations of his excursions [manāzil muqadimat] and along a path of their hierarchies.k. Tayammum. the practitioner journeys with his practice.] except with the plain text.k. the qualifications of people (sick. through the metaphor of earth and dust. or Woman. at first. is a tahārah set down by the revelation based on humility. he [still] desires to investigate the considerative proofs which he believed in – [but] not because of doubt. so that the property for the issue sought would enter [the path] for him. Beating with a stick is not one of the kindnesses which has been commanded by the revelation in our relationships with our parents. And it has been mentioned that "The knowledgeable ['ulamā'] are the inheritors of the prophets" – and so we call them "'ulamā'" – and "The prophets did not bequeath dinars and dirhams. menstruating. he says that the master of consideration. and explores its inwardness in the wasl (summary).So. The master of practice is greater as he is "upon insight" in what he knows. but in examining the entire synopsis of the revelation and "understanding and applying" (tafaqqah) the religion. but they bequeathed knowledge" – and taking [akhdh] knowledge is through spiritual struggle [mujāhadah] – and practices. The issue before us is whether a sick person may do tayammum instead of washing with water. so we extract from this synopsis [mujmal] the property about everything which is not a "kindness". Travelers who do tayammum are searchers for knowledge who follow someone else's authority. and it is the word of God: "treat with kindness your parents" [2:83] – and the address is undifferentiated [ajmal]. The travelers who were not content with tayammum but sought out water vigorously with their own efforts and through applying their own ideas about how to find this water are below the travelers who based their efforts on practice.m. The second group are "upon insight". and doubt does not enter into him. technically the maskūt. Then they find knowledge (water!) and gain a state which is pure from the point of view of the sharī'ah and of the intellect – the first purity of tayammum was so according to the sharī'ah. he is not talking about a sick person. the solution is not in identifying an articulated text (mantūq) and performing qiyās. not consideration (nazar). In this discussion. outlined in the bāb above. The concept of rihlah (journey). mature) are bridges. [but] in order to achieve for himself knowledge in the proof which he examines [consideratively. but not according to the intellect. But among the "travelers". So we do not decide [h. As such. The master . then. even if he believed first through following authority. are a journey. then yet another irony emerges: his dearest thesis found in the sufi thought he wrote off as psychosexual irrationality!) Instead. For Ibn 'Arabi. So just as the intellect journeys with its reflective consideration [nazar al-fikri] in the cosmos. (If this was Fazlur Rahman's life-long thesis. female.] with what is mentioned. also affirms this link. and we do not need qiyās. on the hypothetical case of the lawfulness of beating one's father with a stick. while the second (with water) is purity from both points of view. nazar]. and they both come together at the end result [natījah]. especially as traveling in order to gather hadīth from Companions and Successors.And so he emerges from following authority [taqlīd][14] to knowledge ['ilm]. The first group are never quite sure whether the water they eventually found was produced by their own efforts or is straight from God. He now takes the case. or a woman. wasl Its metaphor in the inwardness is that the "traveler" is a master [sāhib] of consideration [nazar] concerning proof.m.

and if he finds water before the departure of the moment[15] he shall do ablution and repeat [the salāh]. Although I explained that anyone in a university environment would have to learn to deal with critical thinking. and departing from the religion. this means that "proofs of God" are available. exposed for the first time to the powerful and critical methodology of the traditional fuqaha' . Some of them. rational fiqh thinking. The likes of these took. if he were to examine [nazar] them [the proofs]. but the "sick" fears it. and he need not repeat [the salāh]. but the "sick" is worried about using them. I was teaching fiqh methodology to some students in Malaysia. in that.of consideration does not lack doubt entering upon him in his proof. just as they took the properties through following authority. Ibn 'Arabi says he is "fearful of destruction. and about what is not permitted. Water is available. The "sick". they had unconsciously been aware of the following observation: We have seen the majority of them departing from the religion through consideration [nazar]. as their primordial natures were weak and they were presuming themselves to be. and its inadequacy in reaching the intent [maqsūd] with consideration [nazar]. but they should follow the authority of the people . given what he knows of his unfortunate primordial nature. And there is a proponent that he shall not do tayammum with the finding [wujūd] of water. we have already seen. He continues: The sick is the one to whose primordial nature was not bestowed consideration of proofs. is "the one to whose inherent nature was not bestowed the [capacity for] consideration [nazar] [of proofs]". of their hold on the religion. rather it is obligatory that he be restrained from consideration and be commanded to follow authority [taqlīd]. regardless of the sickness and the fear about that. the articles of faith ['aqā'id] through following authority. and I argue for it. So the "sick" should not attempt to deal with potent water–knowledge. Soon after I had first seen this passage. bāb The 'ulamā' of the sharī'ah diverge concerning the sick who finds water but fears using it. in [the chapter on] "the salāh of the journeyer" in this book. Crossed over. upon correct knowledge. And there is a proponent that he do tayammum. II In this next case. and if he finds water after the departure of the moment he need not repeat [the salāh]. on account of his inadequacy". if they desired deliverance. told me they were fearful. There is a proponent for permitting tayammum for him. Ibn 'Arabi examines the sick person who fears that using cold water would cause harm. The key elements which will undergo "cross over" are "sick" and "fear". He summarizes as follows. Rather they should remain with taqlīd– tayammum. And there is a proponent with respect to them both that he do tayammum and he repeat thesalāh when he finds water. So the master of practice is first in [deserving] the name "knower" compared to the master of consideration. and they are as God said: "(Shall We tell you of those whose works are lost? Those whose efforts have been wasted in this life. if God so wills. And I will give the discourse about what is permitted in the "journey". while) they reckoned that they were doing themselves good by their works" [18:104]. in the face of strong.

Ibn 'Arabi mentions briefly here a point whose importance is clear in the terse chapter later on usūl al-fiqh (the foundations of Islamic jurisprudence): there. woman's body is the scene of great contestation. lack of male dominance!) are almost ludicrous in their modern form: First we condone female public exposure. next. and which explains why Ibn 'Arabi must be unique in his argument. irresponsible strikes. position. next. fear and mutual mistrust. more frequent cases of rape. is that 'aurah has been conflated with covering. requiring later historical redemption: instead. The first response to doubt is taqwā. he naturally turns to a consideration of Adam and Eve. wild abandon. The result: broken laws.(Ibn 'Arabi's fondness for hadīth is amply demonstrated by Morris' article on "Esotericism". There is a proponent that all of her is 'aurah. whatever "lifestyle" they had was by definition "Islamic". is an argument for a completely unique.[22] Then. Even his position that a woman may lead thesalāh when men are in the ranks.e. with a summary of positions. the dramatic increase of publicly educated young women and the burgeoning surge of unemployed educated young men. III Finally. but they realize not. uncontrolled inflation. not for the past. The second response is taqlīd. This is the "sick" who finds water but fears using it.. as bizarre as it sounds to most Muslims. next. and fearful images of gender anarchy – i. he gives his argument. especially in the verse promising further guidance.. The standard narrative of woes attending woman's liberation (where glosses of the modern Arabic hurriyah descend rapidly from liberty to licentiousness. except the face and the palms. and especially so in social and cultural milieus of modernization and its concomitant economic deprivation. Just one factor mentioned in Leila Ahmed's[16] careful study of "fundamentalist" thinking on woman. unusually. wide-spread corruption. as God promises to teach the one who fears him. Usually. adding to its great insights through "crossing over". as far as I know.) Under no circumstances does Ibn 'Arabi accept recourse to opinion (ra'y). is found in a handful of eminent scholars. aggressively masculine society under their domination. in regard to the metaphor [i'tibār].. is enough to get a grasp of the societal upheavals which sustain "fundamentalism".[20] and there is a proponent for that and additionally that her feet are not 'aurah. .of hadīth and no one but them. a criminal climate. He begins. Quite clearly. he posits a list of things to do when in doubt. but for a super-modern. which he links to the scholars of hadīth. The Qur'an quite clearly describes God's attention to Adam and Eve's well-being. blood relations torn apart.[21] there is a proponent that all of her is 'aurah. Sachiko Murata's[17] description of fundamentalist desire. but one must follow the authority of the ahl al-dhikr (the people of remembrance). next dating and easy mixing. let us examine his discourse on woman's 'aurah.[18] similarly goes far in explaining much of the polemics around woman. uni-sex marriages. Assuming that 'aurah is "fitric". and next. Ibn 'Arabi argues for a position which others have argued for. and the threat of depression and bankruptcy. a disquieting sense of insecurity. Upon this [kind of incorrect taqlīd] are most of the common people.. But what has happened for this case. This is the background for Ibn 'Arabi's argument. extramarital relations and open marriages. pre-marital "games". as usual. the elevation of open homosexuality to an acceptable normal status. Adam and Eve were not in a "state of sin"..[19] Ibn 'Arabi's discussion of man and woman's 'aurah. The profusion of literature and discourse surrounding woman's body and 'aurah is astonishing. or based on our primordial selves. deep dissatisfaction.

and even her voice and scent. The importance of this distinction is automatic: it deals with determining the revelation's intent by asking if there are two different categories concerned with covering. "(When they had tasted of the tree. that is. that area is not necessarily his 'aurah. If the "rational consideration [nazar]"[25] quits its terrestrial being. anything but the two private parts [sau'ah]. it is our school that yet [she does not do so] given the fact that it is 'aurah. It is not imperative that the thing be covered given its [supposedly] being'aurah. rather because that is a property set down by the revelation mentioning the covering.[23] Translation of Tayammum Chapters [370/507] Tayammum is the striving [qasd] for clean earth. but that they are not delimitations of 'aurah. in fact. and submitting to his commands. Even though the woman is commanded with covering. and halting upon the formalities of his master and his [master's] limits. and so on. while a man is enjoined to cover from navel to knees. the dust is the lowest of the elements. for the woman. or stone. Thus. And . her proper relegation to very private and shameful realms. orzarnikh). and the two parts are the two 'aurahs. But the distinction also has societal importance as well. since servanthood is humility [dhillah]. To label woman's entirety 'aurah. as God said. And this [occasion for tayammum] does not arise except in the absence of finding [wijdan] water. they did not necessarily fulfill prescriptions of later revelations.[24] If any of these things – each of them or their like – quits the earth. That such discourses are sponsored with the semblance of fiqh argument makes it all the more imperative to transform an easily manipulated fossil-like fiqh into a tafaqquk rūhānī (spiritual understanding) along the lines revived by Ibn 'Arabi. "May the hand of the man be dusted".As for our school. and elders are supposed to cover with clothes.[26] and he became poor. the covering of 'aurah (which is primordial) and the covering of the body which is peculiar to this sharī'ah (in the way a man having a beard is peculiar to this sharī'ah). the 'aurah is not. tayammum is not permitted with what quits the earth from among those. and service ['ibādah] is part of it. Implied in Ibn 'Arabi's argument is that these hadīth are the dictates for covering of the last sharī'ah. children. as some modern groups do. in respect to its being tractable [dhalūlan]. Then. as the saying of the Arabs. so the servant halts with his reality in respect to his configuration. so tahārah of the servant is rather fulfilling what the servant is obligated with by way of humility and dependency [on God]. But while Adam and Eve fulfilled the primordial injunctions of the dīn al-fitrah (primordial religion). And here Ibn 'Arabi finds a distinction. on account of an appearance of a plain text about it and about the earth. or sand. the absolute striving for servanthood ['ubudiyyah] absolutely. including poverty and indigence. There are numerous hadīth concerned with what men. wasl Its metaphor in the inwardness: striving for earth is. since from dust was created the one of whom we are his offspring [Adam]. women. whether that earth is – from among the [things] called "earth" – dust. then one may not do tayammum with that – except with dust. her "place". his purification being from everyhadath ["temporary ritual impurity"] expelling him from this station. and what remains thereof. 'Aurah is not simply a dry abstract concept: it carries a sense of shame and embarrassment. whether it quits the earth or does not quit [it]. is to erect a massive discourse around woman. It sufficed for Adam and Eve for covering their two private parts. apparent to them became their private parts) and they began to sew together the leaves of the garden over them" [7:22]. except dust specifically.

[28] and I will give [371/510] the detailed explanation [tafsīl] in the sections [fasūl] of this subject [bāb]. And the majority of the Mutakallimin [proponents of Kalām] argue for it. There is a proponent that this tahārah. And so just as permitted for him is tayammum concerning this minor tahārah according to "substitute". so understand that! wasl The 'ulamā' of the sharī'ah are in accord that tayammum is a substitute for the minor tahārah.e. As for the school of the one who does not see that tayammum is a substitute for the major tahārah. meaning the tahārah of dust. and the follower of authority. so. and as. This is according to the school of the one who sees that tayammum is also a substitute for the major tahārah.water is knowledge. permitted for him is deduction [qiyās] concerning the property of this issue. according to us. There is no difference between tayammum and every other tahārah set down by the revelation. then he is a believer based on intellectual proof – and it is like finding water. like that. when the revelation produces some command about divine knowledge. just as in water is the life of the earth. and the "major" hadath is every hadath obligating washing. an amount [sufficient] for its use. and in knowledge is the life of the heart.. concerning knowledge of God. is a substitute for the major [tahārah]. i. that tayammum is a substitute. it is that a hadath maligns for him a designated issue. not faith. He is the one who does not see following authority in [matters of] faith. inevitably for [matters of] gnosis of God. with faith. on account of the general meaning ['illah al-jāmi'ah] between this issue for which there is no property concerning it articulating it . no. tahārah is imposed on him. which is the renewer of faith in knowledge: if he is one of the people of consideration [ahl al-nazar] concerning intellectual proofs. he sees that the one in a state of janābah does not do tayammum. but is a follower of authority. But we. so the "minor" hadath [temporary ritual impurity] is the one obligating wudū'. from that hadath which removes the faith from him by the [sword] or a good surmise [hasan al-zann]. but rather we argue that it is a tahārah set down by the revelation specified with preconditions given expression by the revelation. And as it [tayammum] is the state of the follower of authority [al-muqallad] concerning knowledge of God. wasl Every hadath maligning faith obligates washing from it with water. is the one who follows his intellect in his rational consideration [nazar] concerning his gnosis in God in respect to his reflection [fikr]. or an absence of an amount [sufficient] for the water to be used. ghusl]. We rather say "set down by the revelation" since it is not a tahārah linguistically. and there is a proponent that it is not a substitute for the major [tahārah] – where the linguistic relationship of "minor" and "major" in tahārah is to the general tahārah of washing the entire body [i. As for its being – meaning tayammum – a substitute for the minor tahārah. And if he is not one of the people of consideration concerning proofs. when the one doing tayammum finds water. we do not argue about it that it is a substitute for anything. in the absence of a plain text from the book or sunnah or consensus [ ijma']. And so he is a possessor of revelation and intellect simultaneously. ghusl] and to the specific [tahārah] of [washing] some of the bodily parts in wudū'. It is not mentioned by the Prophet. they see tayammum for the one in a state of janābah [major ritual impurity]. nor by the exalted Book. and he does not obligate him – whether it is possible or impossible – with considerative proofs.[27] but they diverge on the major [tahārah. in this issue..e. falsified is taqlīd [following authority] of the intellect for the sake of his rational consideration about knowledge of God for this issue. especially when the return to the revelation with the proof of the intellect is not in accordance with his proof. if God so wills. may God give him blessings and peace. like Ibn Mas'ud and others. He is the one doing tayammum with dust in the loss of water. tayammum is falsified. concerning that. or an amount [sufficient] for his use.

Such is your manner of speaking. Beating with a stick is not one of the kindnesses which has been commanded by the revelation in our relationships with our parents. For this reason we argue that the tahārah with dust – and it is tayammum – is not a substitute. Rather it is set down by the revelation. Wudū' and ghusl are not like that. and we do not need qiyās. God said. or consensus.] except with the plain text. and it is God and his messenger. And it has been established that disrespect to parents is one of the great sins. The people of qiyās say "There is no plain text. If he will not refer to the articulation [nutq] of the revelation other than this. The religion is perfect.k. We argue. (but address them in terms of honor)"[17:23]. nor repel them.m. may God give him blessings and peace. and does what his parents do not approve of. It is appropriate that the substitute take the place of the thing it is substituting for. nor has He made your wives whom you divorce by repudiating them as 'mothers'. inserting the property concerning this issue into a synopsis [mujmal] of that discourse. Rather it is based on a derivation of the property concerning this issue from a plain text in the book or sunnah. just as [the command about] water was revealed. that we do not have the exercise of governing control [tahakkum] over the Law-giver concerning anything [even] among the things it is permitted that we be responsible for. and especially not in the likes of this. so we seek "the striking with a stick" – the thing the text has passed over in silence [almaskūt] – in the "saying of oof" – the thing the text articulated [al-mantūq]. so we extract from this synopsis [mujmal] the property about everything which is not a"kindness".k. Our school concerning our argument that tayammum is not a substitute but rather a tahārah set down by the revelation. if there is an absence of water. we. So we do not decide [h.m. so it is not a substitute.] with what is mentioned. we do not impose qiyās. And it has a specific description for [its] practice – it is explicated to us that we do not practice it except on the face and hands. we argue that when it [the revelation] mentioned the prohibition of saying "oof" – and it is a little thing. bāb The 'ulamā' of the sharī'ah are in accord that tayammum is permitted for the sick and the traveler. [tayammum is permitted. according to us [for this situation]. or sunnah.[al-mantūq] and the other issue for which there is a property articulated concerning it by the book.. And according to us. the one who revealed it [also] revealed the use of water for this specified [act of] worship. but) God says what is really true and He shows the way" [33:4].[30] nor do we have the exercise of governing control [with no plain text of the Law-giver]. It is the fiqh [legal discourse] in the religion [dīn]. The "saying of oof" and the striking with a stick bring together the wrong.. specified and designated for a specific state. just as subtracting from it is not permitted. and the one who does not treat his parents kindly has rejected what God commanded of him. and we do not argue for it. and so there is inevitably something of qiyās on it. "(Let a contingent from every expedition remain behind) to apply themselves [tafaqqah] to the religion (and admonish the people when they return to them – that thus they may learn to guard themselves [against evil])" [9:122] – and we do not need deduction [qiyās] for that! The similitude of that [qiyās] is a man striking his father with a stick. something which is [nevertheless] permissible for him to leave off. nor has He made your adopted sons your 'sons'. "(God has not made for any man 'two hearts in one body'. nor do we augment it from "the saying of oof". if there is an absence of water] or non- . So the one who beats his father with a stick has not treated him kindly. that he practice [kindness] toward his parents.[31] and adding to it is not permitted. and beating with a stick is severer – the admonishment [tanbīh] from the Law-giver is with the lesser toward the uppermost. or whatever it may be. And the one who opposes the word of his parents. and this is the taking the place of the thing it is substituting for in the act. has in fact been disrespectful to them both. and it is the word of God: "treat with kindness your parents" [2:83] – and the address is undifferentiated [ajmal]."[29] But as God said "Say not (to your parents) 'oof' [a sound of contempt]. Rather we decide [h.

and if he finds water after the departure of the moment he need not repeat [the salāh]. nazar]. . And there is a proponent that he do tayammum. and I argue for it. regardless of the sickness and the fear about that. We have already said in what preceded that the follower of authority concerning faith is like the one doing tayammum with dust. also. given what he knows of his unfortunate primordial nature. Ourselves and to whom We had taught knowledge from Our presence" [18:65]. purification with water] a purification according to the sharī'ah and the intellect. bāb The 'ulamā' of the sharī'ah diverge concerning the sick who finds water but fears using it.e. The master of practice is greater as he is "upon insight" in what he knows. not through following authority about it.]. so that the property for the issue sought would enter [the path] for him. but they bequeathed knowledge" – and taking [akhdh] knowledge is through spiritual struggle [mujāhadah] – and practices. The master of consideration does not lack doubt entering upon him in his proof. the practitioner journeys with his practice. And there is a proponent with respect to them both that he do tayammum and he repeat the salāh when he finds water.use of water. "(So they came across one of Our servants. and He will teach you" [2:282] and He said. It is the disclosed [kashf] knowledge. for the sick in whom arises a fear that his sickness would increase. So. and about what is not permitted. he [still] desires to investigate the considerative proofs which he believed in – [but] not because of doubt. "Oh you who believe. And yet we call it a purification according to the sharī'ah – meaning dust – specifically. wasl Its metaphor in the inwardness is that the "traveler" is a master [sāhib] of consideration [nazar] concerning proof. So the master of practice is first in [deserving] the name "knower" compared to the master of consideration. the master [372/521] of consideration. are a journey. There is a proponent for permitting tayammum for him. and He said. despite its presence. "The merciful/who taught the Qur'an/created humankind/taught them the message" [55:1ff. or he would die. in contrast [khilāf][33] with water. And I will give the discourse about what is permitted in the "journey". and doubt does not enter into him. if God so wills. with a correct insight. and thus he differentiates therewith between the real and the false.. The sick is the one to whose primordial nature was not bestowed consideration of proofs. and I call it [i. He is a traveler with his reflection [fikr] through way-stations of his excursions [manāzil muqadimat] and along a path of their hierarchies. [but] in order to achieve for himself knowledge in the proof which he examines [consideratively. even if he believed first through following authority. rather it is obligatory that he be restrained from consideration and be commanded to follow authority [taqlīd]. and they both come together at the end result [natījah]. if you have taqwā of God.) on whom We had bestowed mercy from. So just as the intellect journeys with its reflective consideration [nazar al-fikri] in the cosmos. And there is a proponent that he shall not do tayammum with the finding [wujūd] of water. God said. And so he emerges from following authority [taqlīd][34] to knowledge ['ilm].[32] on the basis of the arrival of the plain text concerning that. He will make for you a criterion" [8:29] – it is an entity of what we said about it – "Be in taqwā of God. since dust is not for the sake of tahārah – meaning [in the sense of] spotlessness [nazafah] – like water is. and if he finds water before the departure of the moment[35] he shall do ablution and repeat [the salāh]. Or he practices with the authority he was following and so is produced for him by that practice knowledge in God. and its inadequacy in reaching the intent [maqsūd] with consideration [nazar]. And it has been mentioned that "The knowledgeable ['ulamā'] are the inheritors of the prophets" – and so we call them "'ulamā'" – and "The prophets did not bequeath dinars and dirhams. in [the chapter on] "the salāh of the journeyer" in this book. and he need not repeat [the salāh].

We have seen the majority of them departing from the religion through consideration [nazar]. and departing from the religion. it is a requirement during salāh and during other times. "I become his ear and his eye and his tongue. but they should follow the authority of the people of hadīth and no one but them. Translation of 'Aurah Chapter [VI: 172] The 'ulamā' are in accord that it is obligatory to cover the "shameful part" ('aurah). The metaphor for that in the inwardness is that it is obligatory on every reasoning person to cover the divine mystery which if disclosed. if they desired deliverance. but they realize not. upon correct knowledge. just as God covered it [the mystery] with His words " Truly. Likewise. with His words: "Yet they were not 'aurah (exposed): they intended nothing but to run away" [33:13]. like corporeal indwelling [hulūl] or delimiting [tahdīd]. just as they took the properties through following authority. a one-eyed man. "We are nearer to him than his jugular vein" [50:16]. and His words. despite the wujūd of proofs. but he was fearful of destruction."[37] So let the knowledgeable cover up knowledge of a mystery from the ignorant and not add to what was said by way of explanation [tafsīr] by God. and He inclines – glorified and exalted be He. the articles of faith [ 'aqā'id] through following authority. since God has given in this explanation [tafsīr] to the 'ulamā' in God another knowledge about Him – may He be exalted through it! – that they did not previously have. it is appropriate that the knowledgeable person cover before the ignorant person the mysteries of the Real. that is."[38] This statement is more difficult than the first one. while) they reckoned that they were doing themselves good by their works" [18:104]. you will find Me there before him. That is. This following of authority of the prophetic hadīth concerning God is "upon knowledge of God" concerning it with no allegorical interpretation [ta'wīl] through [excessive] designatedtanzīh [declaration of incomparability]. most unapproachable. praised and sanctified be He – in His speeches to things which necessitate God's sublimity of total self-sufficiency and independence from the world. and that is that in the first statement. and if you visit him. the inclination was to cancel [their promise] after they had volunteered to go on the expedition. with no divergence. such as "There is not a secret conversation among three people but God is the fourth" [58:17]. I will indicate its limit for the man and for the woman. most mighty. when there is someone sick. This is the "sick" who finds water but fears using it. "I was hungry and you fed Me not. . and therefore the one who said it said "Truly Our houses are 'aurah (exposed)" [33:13]. on account of his inadequacy.. as their primordial natures were weak and they were presuming themselves to be. But God called them liars before His messenger. in that. and His words. I was sick and you visited Me not. and absolutely. and no [declaration of] similarities [tashbīh]. in regard to the metaphor [i'tibār]."[36] In fact. the ignorant person. and indeed his outlook inclines to a single perspective.. to His words on the tongue of His messenger. So it is appropriate that what God used to gladden the hearts of the 'ulamā' be covered up. may God give him blessings and peace. And another [meaning of 'aurah] is a'war. The reality of 'aurah is "inclination" [mail]. The likes of these took. it leads him to forbidden interpretations [fahm] [about God].wasl The metaphor of that in the inwardness is that the sick is the one to whose inherent nature was not bestowed the [capacity for] consideration [nazar] [of proofs] – he is sick chronically. I was thirsty and you gave Me nothing to drink. when he hears that. Upon this [kind of incorrect taqlīd] are most of the common people. its disclosure would lead someone neither knowledgeable nor reasoning to a lack of reverence [ihtiram] for the divine Side. meaning with this word [those who intended nothing but to run away] from what you [Muhammad] had called them to. and they are as God said: "(Shall We tell you of those whose works are lost? Those whose efforts have been wasted in this life. if he were to examine [nazar] them [the proofs].

His views on the Bātiniyyah heresy are clear. See Claude Addas (1989) Ibn 'Arabi. in that whoever visits a sick person is in fact "there before him". Chittick (1989) The Sufi Path of Knowledge (Albany). Notes 1.God made Himself the "sick" and the "hungry"Himself. (1989) Mystical Union and Monotheistic Faith (New York). He has said [for them] "I am sitting with the one who is remembering Me. 8. published in JAOS numbers 106-7 (1986-7). See Michael Sells (1984) "Ibn 'Arabi's Garden Among the Flames". his contribution in Moshe Idel and Bernard McGinn. it is that he should say to him about God's words "you would find Me there before him"that the state of the sick person is always one of dependency and needing the one who has in his hands the cure – and he is none other than God! The most part of medicine is remembering God and being patient. William C. his translation and discussion of Amir 'Abd alQadir's "kitāb al-mawāqif" published in 1982 and entitled Écrits spirituels. . and Cyrille Chodkiewicz. As for the covering which is for that. and to every truth there is its reality. 2:287-315.. The definitive study of Ibn 'Arabi's interpreters is Morris'. Chittick (1991) "Ibn 'Arabi and His School". Gril. and an article published in 1991 entitled "The Diffusion of Ibn 'Arabi's Doctrine". For the spread of Ibn 'Arabi's teachings. Contributors included Chittick. God made Himself the "visitor of the sick".. 5. and for mystical language in general. He writes. in that He was "there before him". Morris. What a difference between the [second statement and the first statement] where God makes himself the sick person! Each statement is true. see Osman Yahia and Henry Corbin (1975) Le Texte des Textes (Teheran and Paris). ou la Quête du Soufre Rouge (Paris). see Seyyed Hossein Nasr's (1972) Sufi Essays (London). The Beyazid MS. 2. editors. before the common person. 4. History of Religions 24. Journal of the Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi SocietyIX: 36-57. Masataka Takeshita's Ibn 'Arabi's Theory of the Perfect Man and its Place in the History of Islamic Thought. See Michel Chodkiewicz (1986) Le Sceau des Saints (Paris). 7. World Spirituality (New York). and the common person will be satisfied with it. Sells (1988) "Ibn 'Arabi's Polished Mirror: Perspective Shift and Meaning Event". but in His explanation. in order to repel what has befallen him which is different for healthy people. 9. James Winston Morris (1990) "Ibn 'Arabi's 'Esotericism': The Problem of Spiritual Authority". Studia Islamica 62:121.49." This is a correct perspective. Studia Islamica 71:37-64. But the knowledgeable person will remain with what he knows of that according to his knowledge. and for an extensive list of all the 'ulamā' who have spoken "for" or "against" Ibn 'Arabi's Fusūs. Osman Yahia (1964) Histoire et classification de l'oeuvre d'lbn 'Arabi (Damascus). 6. 3. 49-79. William C. See also Michel Chodkiewicz. has "to the extent of your capability in this path – may you carry out what you are responsible for through i'tibar". editor (1988) Les Illuminations de La Mecque (Paris). and this is the covering of the "divine inclination" from the sight of the common person.

A. in his book [entitled] Kitāb al-Mustazhiri refuting them. In some cases we see that Muslims have adopted the worst and most negative tendencies of the modern world as their own. 11. Majmu' 111:175. except her face alone". all felicity. Majmu' 111:175. They are called Bātiniyyah. 20. Imam Abu Hamid indicated. writes that "The 'aurah of a free woman is all of her body except the face and palms. 17. the sufi they love to hate. Imam Nawawi writes that Ahmad (Ibn Hanbal) says that "All of her body is 'aurah. and they are. this from Ibn 'Arabi. 12." 19. 10. Hammadah Ablati (1975) Islam in Focus (Indiana). Muhammad Abdul-Rauf (1977) The Islamic View of Women and the Family (New York).. Time period. For instance. is with the group who combine the outward and inward. something of their schools and has explicated their errors in them.. Kevin Reinhart (1990) "Impurity/No Danger".. 22. 14. 18. opposing their pretence with literal and strict exegesis.e. If he should use the cold water and get chilled. Sachiko Murata (1992) The Tao of Islam (Albany. and "al-Mawardi and al-Mutawali take from Abu Bakr ibn 'Abd al-Rahman al-Tabi'i (i. That taint has undoubtedly hindered the feminist struggle within Muslim societies. and Malik says this. "Many Islamic movements in the modern world seem unwilling or unable to grasp the nuanced appreciation of masculine and feminine provided by the intellectual tradition. al-Thauri.. All the problems of the ecological crisis – which are the clear results of a negative masculinity run amuck – are being adopted with glee. NY). in various schools.. rendering it suspect in Arab eyes. and al-Mazni say her foot is not in fact 'aurah". in that. they are "'ulamā' in God" and his [legal] properties. Ibn 'Arabi's contemporary. 23. One sees yet again the irony of Ibn 'Arabi rejecting the allegories and symbolisms so beloved by modern state fundamentalists. 21. 15. Felicity is with "outward people". History of Religions. 1-24. and they left nothing of the properties of the sharī'ahfor their outwardnesses. but "Muslims will be . who distort Islam atrociously to make it fit their perversions. 13. Imam Nawawi records that "Abu Hanifah. we see a headlong rush into a position of power and domination found in technology. Leila Ahmed (1992) Women and Gender in Islam: Historical Roots of a Modern Debate (New Haven). 16. They are diametrically opposite "inward people"..[They] take the [legal] properties of the sharī'ah and discharge them in their inwardnesses. 35. that "the rigidly 'patriarchal' stress of some contemporary Muslims is to be softened". 57. The Beyazid MS. But felicity.... as do al-Auza'i and Abu Thaur" in his alMajmu' III:175. has "until he emerges from the noose of taqlīd"." This is Murata's premise too. from the second generation after the Prophet) that all of her body is 'aurah". for salāh. Leila Ahmed understands the failing of non-Islamic feminism: "colonialism's use of feminism to promote the culture of the colonizers and undermine native culture has ever since imparted to feminism in non-Western societies the taint of having served as an instrument of colonial domination. Imam Nawawi...

e. The Beyazid MS. This hadīth qudsī has been in effect split by Ibn 'Arabi into two columns. pigmented by a compound including arsenic. and you did not visit him? Did you not know that if you had visited him. 172-4. 26. The Beyazid MS. how could I visit You. Or "divergence". you would have found Me with him?' " . Yellow and red earth. The saying is an imprecation which recalls the dusty look of an impoverished person." See William A. 'Oh son of Adam. I. his hand with which he grasps. wudū' 28. and his foot with which he walks. If he should use the cold water and get chilled. Complete..' He says. when You are the Lord of all beings?' He says. 32. 35. 'Oh my Lord. I become his ear with which he hears.able to do this as Muslims – not as imitation Westerners – only if they look once again at the spiritual and intellectual dimensions of their own tradition. Rubbing dust on the face and hands is not an act of cleansing and purification in the customary usage and linguistic sense of the word. Or "We have no plain text". 29. 25. for salāh. The format of the entire hadīth is "God says on the day of resurrection. has "until he emerges from the noose of taqlīd". 27. 31. "My servant continues drawing nearer to Me through supererogatory acts until I love him. I was sick and you did not visit Me. 38. Exercising governing control. Graham (1977) Divine Word and Prophetic Word in Early Islam (The Hague). and when I love him. i.. has "earth". 36." 24.e. 34. Graham (1977) 179-80. 37. 30. 'Did you not know that My servant so-and-so was sick. 33. the second ("you would find Me there before him") a cover-up explanation which placates the confused person. making decisions that the revelation allows us to make. the first ("I was hungry") a confusing mystery. Time period. his eye with which he sees.