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Ibn ʿArabī (Arabic: ( )ابن عربيMurcia July 28, 1165 – Damascus November 10, 1240) was an Andalusian Moorish Sufi mystic andphilosopher. His full name was Abū 'Abdillāh Muḥammad ibn 'Alī ibn Muḥammad ibn `Arabī. ibn ‘Arabī was born into a respectable family in Murcia, Taifa of Murcia on the 17th of Ramaḍān 561 AH (27th or 28 July 1165 AD). Muḥyiddin Muḥammad ibn ‘Alī ibn Muḥammad ibn ‘Arabī was widely known as al-Shaykh al-Akbar; in medieval Europe he was called Doctor Maximus. His father, ‘Ali ibn Muḥammad, served in the Army of ibn Mardanīsh. When ibn Mardanīsh died in 1172 AD, ‘Ali ibn Muḥammad swiftly shifted his allegiance to the Almohad Sultan, Abū Ya’qūb Yūsuf I, and became one of his military advisers. His family then relocated from Murcia to Seville. ibn ‘Arabī’s dogmatic and intellectual training began in Seville, then the cultural and civilized center of Muslim Iberia, in 578 AH. Most of his teachers were the clergy of the Almohad era and some of them also held the official posts of Qadi or Khatib. He was a young boy when his father sent him to the renowned jurist Abū Bakr ibn Khalaf to study the Qur'an. ibn ‘Arabī learned the recitation of the Qur'an from the book of Al-Kafi in the seven different Qira'at. The same work was also transmitted to him by another ‘Abd al-Raḥmān ibn Ghālib ibn al-Sharrāt. At the age of ten, he was well-versed in the Qira’āt; afterwards he learned the sciences of Hadith, Fiqh and Sirah from the famous scholars of the time such as Al-Suhayli. Ibn ‘Arabī was about sixteen when he went into seclusion. There is a story that ibn ‘Arabī was at a dinner party which ended with a round of wine. As he took the wine cup to his lips, he heard a voice: O Muḥammad, it was not for this that you were created! This gave him an urge to quit worldly pursuits and to embark upon the search of God. Another important cause of this retreat was a vision of the three great Prophets, Jesus, Moses and Muḥammad. As a consequence of this retreat and the spiritual insights granted to him, ibn ‘Arabī was sent by his father to meet the great philosopher Averroes. The meeting was very significant in that ibn ‘Arabī answered his questions in ‘Yes’ and ‘No.’ Ibn Rushd declared: I myself was of the opinion that spiritual knowledge without learning is possible, but never met anyone who had experienced it. Ibn ‘Arabī claimed to have met with Khidr, The Green Man, a personification of an ancient fertility deity connected with spring, and a prophet in Islam, three times over the course of his life. The first occurred while `Ibn Arabi was a youth in the service of the king, Shaykh al-‘Uryabī. Ibn ‘Arabī said of their encounter: I met Khidr in Qūs al-haniyya in Seville, and he said to me: 'Accept what the Shaykh says!' I immediately turned to the Shaykh ‘Uryabī and before I spoke he said: 'O Muḥammad, does that mean that every time you contradict me, I will have to ask Khidr to instruct you in submission to the masters?' I replied: 'Master, was that person Khidr?' He answered: 'Yes!' (I, 331; Addas 63) In 1193 at the age of 28 Ibn ‘Arabī visited Tunis to meet the disciples of Abu Madyan, notably ‘Abd al-‘Aziz alMahdawī and Abū Muḥammad ‘Abdallāh al-Kinānī. He stayed there for less than a year. Ibn `Arabi met Khidr for the second time while he was returning from Tunis. One night, traveling by boat, he saw a man walking on the water towards him. Upon reaching the boat, Khidr stood on the sea and showed him that his feet were still dry. After that Khiḍr conversed with Ibn ‘Arabī in a language which is peculiar to him (OY: III, 182). Ibn ‘Arabī had his third meeting with Khidr upon reaching Andalusia in late 590 AH. Khidr performed a miracle to provide evidence for a skeptical companion of Ibn ‘Arabī. In the year 586, while visiting the dying saint al-Qabā’ili in Cordoba, Ibn ‘Arabī had a vision in which he met all the Prophets from the time of Adam to Muḥammad in their spiritual reality. Hud spoke to him and explained him the reason for their gathering: “We came to visit Abū Muḥammad Makhlūf al-Qabā’ili” (Ibn ‘Arabī, “Rūh al-Quds” 116). However, according to a tradition among the direct disciples of Ibn ‘Arabī, Hūd explained that the real reason for their gathering was to welcome him (Ibn ‘Arabī) as the Seal of Muhammadan Sainthood (khatm al-wilāya almuḥammadiyya), the supreme heir (Addas 76). Stephen Hartenstein writes in his book Unlimited Mercifier: “It is from his return from Tunis, we find the first evidence of Ibn ‘Arabī beginning to write; later in 1194, he wrote one of his first major works, Mashāhid al-Asrār alQudusiyya (Contemplation of the Holy Mysteries) for the companions of al-Mahdawī and perhaps around the same time, in a space of four days, also composed the voluminous Tadbīrāt al-Ilāhiyya (Divine Governance) in Mawrūr for Shaykh Abū Muḥammad al-Mawrūrī.” (Hirtenstein 91) The next five years were a time when Ibn ‘Arabī entered into a different world. Having been brought up under the instruction and guidance of various spiritual masters of the West, he now came into his own as a Muhammadan
and like a full moon (badr) without eclipse. Later Ibn ‘Arabī finds Abū ‘Abd al-Raḥmān al-Sulamī in it and he told Ibn ‘Arabī that this station is called. On his way to Marrakesh of that year he entered the Station of Proximity (maqām al-qurba). his name was Ibn Ja’dūn. Having left behind all the traces of his past. This shows that he had finally completed his training under the teachers of his early years and was now ready to go to a new world. Isḥāq ibn Muḥammad. His word is true.” due to a withered hand). he assigns to each his right. In that vision. 72. They traveled again to Almeria. This companion was Muḥammad al-Haṣṣār of Fes. I no longer had a back or the nape of a neck. where they settled. Shortly after his return to Andalusia from North Africa in 1194 AD. 261). When the coffin was loaded upon a beast of burden. Perhaps in Almeria also. where he started visiting his masters for the last time. would be my companion and you as well” (Hirtenstein 127). saying that he should take him as his companion to the East. He acknowledges each person’s right and renders it to him. both internal and external. and he collected his writings and ensured that he must at least have a single copy of all of his works as now he was departing toward the East forever. It was a happy period of his life. His cousin came to him with the request that he should take up his wordly duties. Ibn ‘Arabī was in Cordoba. Now the responsibility of the upbringing of his two young sisters fell upon his shoulders. without going further. In the year 597 AH/1200 AD. the town of his birth and stayed with an old friend Abū Ahmed Ibn Saydabūn.heir. where he could utterly dedicate himself to spiritual work. whom once he met some 18 years earlier. One bird greeted Ibn ‘Arabī. It was a time of great uncertainty for Seville because of War. he is a Ḥabashī named ‘Abdallāh. ‘Abdallāh Badr al-Habshi first met Ibn ‘Arabī and for the rest of his life became a soul mate and a faithful friend. From Granada to Murcia. he started writing ‘Anqā’ Mughrib where full explanation about the Seal of Saints can be found. I felt anxiety at the solitude. Abū Yūsuf Ya’qūb al Manṣūr offered him a job but Ibn ‘Arabī refused both the job and an offer to marry off his sisters and within days he left Seville heading toward Fes. a pure light. and give up the spiritual life (Hirtenstein 110). one of them was a sufi Pillar (awtād). He was purified at the time of fusion like pure gold. He started travelling with his friends . In Fes Ibn ‘Arabī met two men of remarkable spirituality. as if I had been completely spherical (dimensionless). The second was known as al-Ashall (literally “the withered. there his works – Would that I know if his hopes have been fulfilled!" From Cordoba they traveled to Granada and met with ‘Abdallāh al-Mawrūrī and Abū Muḥammad al-Shakkāz. I had no sense of direction. who was living in the village of Salé at that time. Hirtenstein 123). right through to the end of my days. Ibn ‘Arabī’s father died and within a few months his mother also died. where they spent the month of Ramadan in 595 AH and Ibn ‘Arabī wrote Mawāqi‘ alNujūm over a period of eleven nights. In December 595 AH. his works were placed upon the other side to counterbalance it. but on finding absolutely no one else in it. at the funeral of Ibn Rushd. When he left Andalusia for the last time he appeared to have a vision of his future destiny at the shores of the Mediterranean as he later told his stepson Ṣadr al-dīn al-Qūnawī: “I turned towards God with total concentration and in a state of contemplation and vigilance that was perfect: God then showed me all of my future states. In Fes in 593 AH. he experienced a vision of light: “I lost the sense of behind [or front]. “I entered this station in the month of Muḥarram in 597 AH… In joy I began to explore it. when he was leading a Prayer in the al-Azhar Mosque. He has attained the degree of true discrimination.” (II. Ibn ‘Arabī began his long journey to the East from Marrakesh where he had a marvelous vision of the Divine Throne. accepting Ibn ‘Arabī as his master and guide. The third Sultan. In the year 595 AH Ibn ‘Arabī returned to the Iberian Peninsula for the last time and it seems he had two intentions: to introduce al-Habashī to his friends and masters and to depart finally from the land of his birth. These were his last days in the West. the station of proximity (maqām al-qurba) (Hirtenstein 128). 486) In Fes 594 AH. he saw the treasures beneath the Throne and the beautiful birds flying about within them. I saw that your father. he was in Morocco and took his final leave from his master Yūsuf al-Kūmī. Al-Shaykh al-Akbar said about him in Futūḥāt: “[He is a man] of unadulterated clarity. his promise sincere” (OY: I. As from this point the real genius of Ibn ‘Arabī began to emerge and he became universal. Ibn ‘Arabī said the following verse on that day: "Here the master. but I still did not know its name” (II. a famous disciple of Abū Madyan who at the time of their meeting was evidently going through a period of fatra or suspension. While the vision lasted. Although I was realized in [this station].
he encountered the son of Caliph Hārūn al-Rashīd. Shaykh heard the voice of Kaaba loud and clear. He saw two bricks – one of Gold and the other of Silver – were missing from two rows of the wall of Kaaba. marrying and becoming a father. Kaaba ordered him to circumambulate it and the Zamzam told him to drink this pure water but a soft refusal made Kaaba angry and he took revenge on a cold and rainy night in the year 600 AH. the mother of all cities. His next stop was Tunis 598 AH where he happened to see Syakh ‘Abd al-‘Aziz al-Mahdawī whom he had met about six years before. the Tāj alRasā’il. where Abraham and other Prophets are buried. he met the mysterious figure who had appeared at the beginning of his ascension and here at Makkah. Perhaps the death of his companion Muḥammad al-Haṣṣār was due to this plague. so that you may take from my constitution that which you write in your book and transmit to your readers (OY: I. he spent 36 years of his life in the West and the upcoming 36 years in the East. and he united with all of them (Ibn ‘Arabī. (Hirtenstein. It was in Makkah that he first savoured the pleasures of married life. (Ibn ‘Arabī. It was in Makkah that he started writing the very best of his works Al-Futūḥāt al-Makkiyya.towards the East. the Rūḥ al-Quds. in 598 AH (July 1202 AD). in the year 599 AH in Makkah Ibn ‘Arabī saw a dream which confirms once again his accession to the office of the Seal of the Muhammadian Sainthood. father of the beautiful Niẓām and Yūnus ibn Yaḥyā al-Ḥāshimī. Jerusalem. terriblefamine and plague for Egypt. with about 3 years in Makkah in between. In the second vision. Elmore “Mantle of Initiation” 1-33). Ibn ‘Arabī resumed travelling toward Palestine. and his route took him to all the major burial places of the great Prophets: Hebron. 149) who became the personification of wisdom and beauty. His first wife was Fāṭima bint Yūnus and their first son Muḥammad ‘Imāduddin was probably born in Makkah (Hirtenstein 150). He says: “In the mean time I was observing that. during his circumambulations of the Kaaba. the final resting place of Prophet Muhammad. In the year 599 AH during circumambulating the Kaaba. like the first chapters of Futūḥāt. “Nasab al-Khirqa”. Yūnus ibn Yaḥyā also invested him in front of the Ka‘ba with the Khirqa (Mantle) of ‘Abd al-Qādir al-Jīlānī. the two brothers. the city of David and the later Prophets. entitled the Tāj al-Rasā’il. I feel without doubt that I was these two bricks and these two bricks were me …. Ibn ‘Arabī saw this devastation with his own eyes and a passage of Rūh al-Quds tells us that when people made light of Allāh’s statutes He imposes the strictures of His Law upon them (yūsuf 240). after the stars the letters were given his union. 218). After visiting the tombs of his uncle Yaḥyā and Abū Madyan in ‘Ubbād near Tlemcen. several visions were granted to him in Makkah. the Ḥilyat al-Abdāl and a collections of hadīth qudsī named “Mishkat al-Anwār”. he stopped at Bijāya (Bougie) during Ramaḍān and saw a remarkable dream about the secrets of letters and stars. That was a period of great devastation. (Hirtenstein 148) it was in Makkah that the love of women was first evoked in his heart by the beautiful Niẓām. This three year period both connects and differentiates the two halves of his life. It was in Makkah that his status as Seal of Muhammadian sainthood was confirmed in the glorious vision of the Prophet. ‘Abdallāh Muhammad al-Khayyāt and Abū al-Abbās Aḥmad al-Ḥarrārī and stayed at their house in the month of Ramaḍān. He not only introduced Ibn ‘Arabī to the Prophetic tradition but also transmitted to him the teachings of the most famous saint in Egypt in the ninth century. The third vision also occurs at Kaaba in a spiritual conversation with the Ḥaram and the Zamzam stream. The Makkan period of Ibn ‘Arabī’s life can be viewed as the fulcrum of his earthly existence. And perhaps it is through me that God has sealed sainthood” (Addas 213). Ibn ‘Arabī asked him: “Who are you?” He replied: “I am al-Sabtī ibn Hārūn al-Rashīd. you should circumambulate in my footstep and observe me in the light of my moon. who had been dead for four centuries and was famous for choosing Saturday for work to gather food for rest of the week. in homage to the Kaaba. At the same time he continued writing works like Inshā’ al-Dawā’ir for his friend alḤabashī. He said to Ibn ‘Arabī. who had been a pupil of the great ‘Abd al-Qādir al-Jīlānī in Baghdad. The next vision is also related to Kaaba. “Kitāb al-Bā’” 10-11).” Later Ibn ‘Arabī asked him: “What was the reason of choosing Saturday for work?” He replied: “As God has made this universe in six days from Sunday to . At the end of his long journey he finally arrived at Makkah. It is also worth mentioning that in Makkah he met some of the eminent scholars of Ḥadīth of his time. and then Medina. Amongst them was Abū Shujā’ Ẓāhir bin Rustam. Again it was in Makkah that he produced the very best of his works. This dream was later interpreted as the great Divine knowledge which was bestowed upon Ibn ‘Arabī. He saw himself united like the union in marriage with all the stars of heavens. Resuming his travels. standing there. later in a meditation God taught him the lesson and to express this gratitude Ibn ‘Arabī composed a collection of letters in rhymed prose. he arrived in Cairo in 598 AH/1202 AD where he met his childhood friends. Apart from all this. Dhū’l-Nūn al-Miṣrī. It is believed that after wearing this Khirqa Ibn ‘Arabī formally joined the Qadriyya Tarīqa. it was in Makkah that he had the dream of the two bricks and his encounter with the Ka‘ba. The first took place at night during his circumambulations of the Kaaba when he met a young beautiful girl Qurrat al-‘Ayn (Hirtenstein 148).
Faithful to this assurance he would spend the rest of his life giving advice to people from all walks of life. he continued writing. The two dimension activity had indeed the same spiritual provenance and was motivated by the sublime purpose of higher life unrelated to egocentricity. nor did any sense of weariness touch Us" (50:38)). so I. Finally. It was his first time that he passed through Syria. He said: “I was standing in front of my Lord. In Jerusalem. in a passage of Kitab al-Mubashshirāt Ibn ‘Arabī admits that one evening in Makkah he experienced a brief spell of despondency on the face of his disciples. Anatolia. This time Ibn ‘Arabī was travelling north. After spending 9 months in Konya. Egypt. he returned to Malatya where Kaykā’ūs. This vision probably occurred in the year 600 AH at Makkah. and 5 more works were completed.Friday. direct disciples. visiting Aleppo and Damascus. He left value-oriented commentaries on the works of Ibn ‘Arabī notably Mashāhid al-Asrār. who became his friend like Majduddīn. abandon men to their fate and to devote his future efforts to himself alone as those who truly enter the Path are rare. Later the group travelled north and arrived at Malatya. 376. with the reader this time being a young man named Ismā’il ibn Sawdakīn al-Nūrī (Yūsuf 309). as the very first page of the Rūḥ al-Quds. In Konya Ibn ‘Arabī met with Awḥaduddīn Ḥamīd Kirmānī. Majduddīn was appointed as his tutor and Ibn ‘Arabī also became involved in the young prince’s education. These are: Kitāb al-Bā’. According to Osman Yahia. In May 602 AH he visited Hebron. he saw himself in dream facing God on the Day of Judgment. Iraq and the Hejaz. Ibn Sawdakīn attached himself to Ibn ‘Arabī forever. fear nothing! All I ask of you is that you should counsel My servants” (Addas 218). Like Badr al-Ḥabashī. behind the wall of Hanbalites. There he spent the month of Ramaḍan and composed Tanazzulāt al-Mawṣiliyya. The following year he headed toward Cairo.” Ibn Arabī’s life. His house in Aleppo was often used for the reading of Ibn ‘Arabī’s works over the next 40 years (Yūsuf 311). one of the Kaykhusraw’s sons. Majduddīn’s hometown and then to Konya. Ibn ‘Arabī produced 50 of his works after this Divine order. he thought of leaving all counselling. . In Cairo Rūḥ al-Quds and Kitāb Ayyām al-Sha’n were read again before Ibn ‘Arabī. He transmitted to Ibn ‘Arabī teachings and stories of the many great spiritual masters of the East. a disciple of Qaḍīb al-Bān. Kitāb al-Isrā’ and the Kitāb al-Tajalliyāt. including Abū al-‘Abbās al-Ḥarrār. Ibn ‘Arabī was granted the privilege of being able to join a meeting of the seven Abdāl (Addas 216). and he rested on Saturday(This is refuted by the Quranic verse "We created the heavens and the earth and all that is between them in six days. Makkah and Egypt. religious authorities and political rulers. transmitted to him by ‘Alī ibn ‘Abdallāh ibn Jāmi’. This visit besides other benefits offered him a chance to meet the direct disciples of Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qādir Jīlānī. Ibn Arabi stayed there only for 12 days because he wanted to visit Mosul to see his friend ‘Alī ibn ‘Abdallāh ibn Jāmi’. some of which are short epistles of less than 10 pages but all of these are rooted in the Divine order: “Counsel My servants. had been made ruler of Malatya.” In another glorious vision at Kaaba Ibn ‘Arabī saw his forefathers and asked one of them his time. including the beautiful Niẓām (II. his brother Muḥammad al-Khayyāt and ‘Abdallāh alMawrūrī. The next 4 to 5 years of Ibn ‘Arabī’s life were spent in these lands and he also kept travelling and holding the reading sessions of his works in his own presence. The year 600 AH witnessed a meeting between Ibn Arabi and Shaykh Majduddīn Isḥāq ibn Yūsuf. first they visited the city of Muḥammad and in 601 AH they entered Baghdad. The message was clear and it was from God. In that dream. On the same night. he frequently kept crossing and re-crossing Syria. as His servant worked on Saturday and devoted myself to worshipping Lord for the rest of the week. spending his time with his friend Abū Shujā bin Rustem and family. Over the next 20 years Ibn ‘Arabī and Kirmānī remained close friends and companions (Hirtenstein 179). a native of Malatya and a man of great standing at the Seljuk court. he replied he had been dead around forty thousand years ago. Later in 604 AH he returned to Makkah where he continued to study and write. Palestine. staying there with his old Andalusian friends . Hirtenstein 181). where he wrote Kitāb al-Yaqīn at Masjīd al-Yaqīn near the tomb of Ibrāhīm (Yūsuf 307). at Kaaba. In the year 602 AH he visited Jerusalem. Here he was invested with the khirqa of Khiḍr . Ishārāt al-Qur'an. Kitāb al-Jalāl wa’l-Jamāl and Kunh mā lā Budda lil-MurīdMinhu (Hirtenstein 176). head lowered and fearing that He would punish me for my short comings but he said to me: “Servant of Mine. spanning between 600 to 617 AH is full of journeys. yet this physical activity stood in no way in his spiritual pursuits and obligations. written following this revelational order mentions it vividly.
Later Ibn ‘Arabī returned to Malatya and according to Stephen Hartenstein he met Bahā’uddīn Walad. with lowered heads and departed without exchanging a single word. where his friend Abū Shujā had died two years before. Al-Maqsid alAsmá. Kitāb al-Tajalliyāt was one of these first books to record such a certificate (sima‘) in the presence of his disciple Ibn Sawdakīn. Ibn ‘Arabī took charge of the upbringing of the young Ṣadruddīn and married the widow as it was necessary according to the customs of the time. 632). (Hirtenstein 189). After criss-crossing the east for a period of 20 years Ibn ‘Arabī now decided to settle in Syria and spent the last 17 years of his life in Damascus. traveller on the way of God Badr al-Ḥabashī died. In Aleppo this work caused uproar and consternation in certain quarters. He studied and discussed with Ibn ‘Arabī no less than 40 works. father of the famous Persian Poet Jallaluddin Rumi.In the year 608 we find him in Baghdad with his friend Majduddīn Isḥāq and there he met the famous historian Ibn al-Dubaythī and his disciple Ibn al-Najjār. where in 615 AH. he had several contacts with leading notables there. In Damascus. During this period of his life. In Baghdad. The period of extensive travelling came to an end and for the next few years he seems to have made his home in the Seljuk Kingdom. Ibn ‘Arabī performed Ḥajj and started compilation of his most famous poetic work the Tarjumān al-Ashwāq. finalization of The Tarjumān al-Ashwāq and compilation of a short epistle on the technical terms of Sufism: the Iṣṭilāhāt al-ṣūfiyya. Ibn Sawdakīn and Badr al-Ḥabashī he wrote a commentary on these poems by the title of “Dhakhā’ir al-A’lāq” in a great hurry. he had a terrifying vision regarding the Divine deception (makr). He awoke terrified and looked for a way of being safe from these deceptions. many volumes of this book came into being in this period. Ibn ‘Arabī had several visions of Muḥammad at Damascus. He wrote a poem in which he enlightened the Sultan of the vision and his future victory. which made his disciples very upset. He was brought up alongside Ibn ‘Arabī own family in Malatya and after the death of his real father Qūnawī joined Shaykh al-Akbar in Damascus. we find hearings of Rūḥ al-Quds. The jurists from Aleppo severely criticized the claim that this poetry was a mystical or expresses Divine realities. In the same year. In 624 AH he had been told by Muhammad that angels are superior to men. . 527. Ibn ‘Arabī devoted his attention to complete the lengthy Futūḥāt. The year 617 was the year of mourning for him as he lost one of his best friends Majduddīn Isḥāq. In his private collection Ṣadruddīn wrote that he had studied 10 works of Ibn ‘Arabī under him and later Ibn ‘Arabī gave him a certificate to freely relate them on his authority. including the whole text of Futūḥāt in 20 volumes. The city was already known quite well to him. the famous Persian poet of that time. among these were: Kitāb al-Yaqīn. a sea followed by an ocean!” (Hirtenstein 188). at Sivas he had a vision anticipating Kaykā’ūs victory at Antioch over the Franks. since he came under the blame of writing erotic verses under the cover of poetic allusions. His reading and writings continued in Malatya. The only safe way he found is by knowing the balance of the Divine law. he devoted himself to writing and teaching to fulfil the commandment of his Lord: “Counsel My servants. When the jurists heard this commentary. At the same time. Hijaz and Iran. friend and fellow. He was greeted in Damascus as a spiritual master and a spacious house was provided to him by the Grand Qadi of the town Ibn Zakī. they stayed together for a while. In which he saw the gates of heaven open and the treasures of Divine deception fell like rain on everyone. In this meeting. Kitāb al-Mīm wal-Wāw wal-Nun. In the year 612 AH. It was completed in Anatolia in 612. copies were made and reading sessions took place in his house. According to Osman Yahia in Baghdad Ibn ‘Arabī met with the famous Sufi Shihābuddīn Suharwardī (d. Later on the request of his two disciples. he imparted direct instructions to many of his disciples including Ṣadruddīn alQūnawī. Lastly his close companion and valet. author of the ‘Awārif al-ma’ārif who was personal advisor to Caliph al-Nāṣir. probably Konya or Malatya and in the year 610/611 he returned toAleppo.” (I. After Ḥajj Ibn ‘Arabī left Makkah. this time Muḥammad replied to him regarding the resurrection of animals: “Animals will not be resurrected on the Day of Judgement. In the year 621 AH eight more works bore these hearing certificates. travelling north towards the Roman lands. he had another discussion with Muḥammad. Later Ibn ‘Arabī said about Suharwardī: “He is impregnated with the Sunna from tip to toe” and Suharwardī said about Ibn ‘Arabī: “He is an ocean of essential truths (baḥr al-Ḥaqāiq). In the year 611 he was again in Makkah. they felt sorry for unjustly exposing Ibn ‘Arabī to scathing criticism (Yūsuf 335). He accompanied and served Kirmānī on his travels in Egypt. Little Rūmī was with his father and after the meeting when Bahā’uddīn left with his son tagging along behind him.” The first thing he did was to collect and disseminate the works which had already been written. Mafātīh al-Ghayūb and Kitāb al-Ḥaqq. Shaykh al-Akbar said: “What an extraordinary sight.
Ibn ‘Arabī started writing this book with all the purity of his intentions and his deepest aspirations. included a number of additions and a number of deletions as compared with the previous draft. consisting of fourteen visions and dialogues with God. Ibn ‘Arabī’s terrestrial life came to an end. The book is divided into six sections and these are: •13. In the 48th chapter of the Futūhāt. Recent research suggests that over 100 of his works have survived in manuscript form. •The Holy Spirit in the Counselling of the Soul (Rūḥ al-quds). at the end of Muḥarram 627 AH the Prophet came to him once again and handed him the book Fuṣūṣ al-Ḥikam (The Bezels of Wisdoms). reminiscences and spiritual anecdotes about many interesting people whom he met in al-Andalus. or Fusus al-Hikam. a short treatise on the meaning of mystical annihilation (fana). he started teaching it to his disciples. Spiritual Stations (al-maqāmāt) Chapter 559 contains the mysteries and secrets of all the chapters of the book (some may deem it a summary of the whole Futūḥāt). Spiritual Encounters (al-munāzalāt) •18. and I labour for my future life” (Ibn ‘Arabī. This revision completed in the year 636 (Addas 286). which has only one Samā’ given to only Ṣadruddīn al-Qūnawī. a treatise on the soul which includes a summary of his experience from different spiritual masters in the Maghrib. al-Fanā' fi'l-Mushāhada). this he explained. 267). •The Ringstones of Wisdom (also translated as The Bezels of Wisdom). I am not a Prophet nor a Messenger but simply an inheritor. although most printed versions have not yet been critically edited and include many errors. Osman Yahia has mentioned hundreds of these hearings or public readings that occur between the year 633 AH and 638 AH. •The Meccan Illuminations (Al-Futūḥāt al-Makkiyya). I write nothing except what has been inspired in me. Finally on 22 Rabī‘ al-Thānī 638 AH at the age of seventy-five. ‘Imād Ibn Naḥḥās and his son ‘Imāduddīn performed his funeral rites. it’s exterior and interior which he had not seen before in any of his witnessings. . an important collection made by Ibn 'Arabī of 101 hadīth qudsī •The Book of Annihilation in Contemplation (K. In the fourth vision. These hearings show that the Futūḥāt was a primary document of his concepts and was widespread in his life in comparison with the Fuṣūṣ al-Hikam. he says that the content of the message and the form of its presentation have been determined by Divine Inspiration. He said: “I state nothing that has not been projected toward me. Spiritual Abodes (al-manāzil) •17. This book had taken the best part of his thirty years and Ibn ‘Arabī dedicated it to his eldest son. He was buried in the family tomb of the Banū Zakī in the small beautiful district of Al-Salihiyah at Jabal Qāsiyūn. ‘Imāduddīn Muḥammad. although only some have been authenticated. mostly unedited. Spiritual Knowledge (al-ma‘ārif) •14. The book has hundreds of manuscript in various libraries of the world. After completion of this 2nd draft. •The Dīwān. his collection of poetry spanning five volumes. Part of this has been translated as Sufis of Andalusia. Spiritual States (al-aḥwāl) •16. written by its author. Dr. In this vision Ibn ‘Arabī was informed that his mother was from al-Anṣār’s tribe (I. Some 800 works are attributed to Ibn Arabi. In the same year just over two months after receiving the book of the Fuṣūṣ he had a vision of Divine Ipseity. Jamāluddīn ibn ‘Abd al-Khāliq. discussing a wide range of topics from mystical philosophy to Sufi practices and records of his dreams/visions. •Divine Sayings Mishkāt al-Anwār. the most important of them is the manuscript of Konya. on the first of Muḥarram. In 629 AH the first draft of al-Futūḥāt al-Makkiyya was completed. “Fuṣūṣ alḤikam” 47).Addas 275) In the third vision he was ordered by the Prophet to write a poem in favour of al-Anṣār. Three years later in 632 AH. He was present at the house of Qaḍī Ibn Zakī at the time of death. Spiritual Behaviour (al-ma‘lūmāt) •15. •Contemplation of the Holy Mysteries Mashāhid al-Asrār probably his first major work. It contains 560 chapters of esoteric knowledge and is truly the encyclopaedia of Islamic Sufism. The printed versions available are based on only one volume of the original work. Ibn ‘Arabī embarked on a second draft of the Futūḥāt. his largest work in 37 volumes originally and published in 4 or 8 volumes in modern times.
the oral traditions. He founded the Salimiyah Muslim theological school. This eventually culminated in a direct and intimate rapport with God with whom he considered himself a special friend and one of the spiritual elect.. constant remembrance of God (dhikr). In Urdu. Ṣadr al-Dīn al-Qunawī. most of which only exist in manuscript form. a widely read collection of fourteen prayers for each day and night of the week. It is estimated that there are over fifty commentaries on the Fuṣūṣ. who had studied the book with Ibn 'Arabī.(283 AH)).g. Ibn Arabi republished with a commentary explaining the meaning of the poetic symbols..... The only major commentary to have been translated into English so far is entitled Ismail Hakki Bursevi's translation and commentary on Fusus al-hikam by Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi. a detailed technical manual and roadmap for the "journey without distance".c896 C.. Maulvi Abdul Qadeer Siddiqui has made an interpretive translation and explained the terms and grammar while clarifying the Shaikh's opinions. in response to critics... The first English translation was done in partial form by Angela Culme-Seymour from the French translation ofTitus Burckhardt as Wisdom of the Prophets (1975). the third by Jandī's student. above all.. translated from Ottoman Turkish by Bulent Rauf in 4 volumes (1985–1991). the Arab world (e.. Tustari is most famous for his controversial claim that "I am the Proof of God for the created beings and I am a proof for the saints (awliya) of my time" and for his well-known Tafsir. which was the first line-by-line commentary. in the Ottoman world (e. was written by his stepson and heir. The Fuṣūṣ was first critically edited in Arabic by 'Afīfī (1946). entitled Le livre des chatons des sagesses (1997).g. Sahl al-Tustari (or al-Tustari. a short prayer which is still widely used in the Muslim world •The Interpreter of Desires (Tarjumān al-Ashwāq) love poetry (ghazals) which. He practised repentance (tawbah) and. From an early age he led an ascetic life with frequent fasting and study of the Qur'an and Hadith... the most widespread and authentic translation was made by Bahr-ul-uloom Hazrat Muhammad Abdul Qadeer Siddiqi Qadri Hasrat. 'Abdullah al-Bosnawī).. Mu'ayyad al-Dīn al-Jandī. . •The Book of God's Days (Ayyām al-Sha'n). Hyderabad. It is due to this reason that his translation is in the curriculum of Punjab University... which was named after his disciple Muhammad ibn Salim. •Journey to the Lord of Power (Risālat al-Anwār). 'Abd al-Ghanī al-Nabulusī) and the Persian world (e. the former Dean and Professor of Theology of the Osmania University.. The more famous (such as Qunawī's Fukūk) have been printed in recent years in Iran..  and the first full translation was by Ralph Austin as Bezels of Wisdom (1980). was a arab Muslim scholar and early classical Sufi mystic. born Abu Muhammed Sahl ibn 'Abd Allah (c818 C. the second by Qunawī's student.E. by William Chittick was published in Volume 1 of the Journal of the Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi Society (1982). al-Fukūk.. a book on the meaning of sainthood and its culmination in Jesus and the Mahdī •The Universal Tree and the Four Birds al-Ittihād al-Kawnī.. a commentary on and interpretation of the Qur'an. (203 AH) . Haydar Āmolī). •Divine Governance of the Human Kingdom (At-Tadbidrat al-ilahiyyah fi islah al-mamlakat al-insaniyyah). which became very influential in the Persian-speaking world... Naqd al-Nuṣūṣ fī Sharḥ Naqsh al-Fuṣūṣ (1459). There were many others. Dawūd al-Qaysarī.E. of the Prophet Muhammad. A recent English translation of Ibn 'Arabī's own summary of the Fuṣūṣ. •The Four Pillars of Spiritual Transformation Hilyat al-abdāl a short work on the essentials of the spiritual Path There have been many commentaries on Ibn 'Arabī's Fuṣūṣ al-Ḥikam: the first. a poetic book on the Complete Human and the four principles of existence •Prayer for Spiritual Elevation and Protection ('al-Dawr al-A'lā. Naqsh al-Fuṣūṣ (The Imprint or Pattern of the Fusus) as well a commentary on this work by 'Abd al-Raḥmān Jāmī.. .. a work on the nature of time and the different kinds of days experienced by gnostics •The Fabulous Gryphon of the West ('Unqā' Mughrib)... Sahl Al-Tustari was born in the fortress town of Tustar (Arabic) or Shushtar (arabistan) in Khūzestān Province in what is now southwestern Iran..g. There is also a complete French translation by Charles-Andre Gilis.•Devotional Prayers Awrād.
.Tustari was under the direction of the Sufi saint Dhul-Nun al-Misri for a time. In these early days when the Sufis were becoming established mostly in Baghdad (the capital of modern Iraq). •"I am the Proof of God for the created beings and I am a proof for the saints (awliya) of my time" •Asked "What is food?" Tustari replied: "Food is contemplation of the Living One." Tustari also "was the first to put" the Sufi exercise of remembrance of God. and that being held in good esteem would lead to worldly attachment.. The Malāmatiyya were first written about by Abu ‘Abd ar-Rahman as-Sulamī and Shaykh Abu al-Hasan al-Hujwīrī in the 11th century AD (4th–5th century AH). which included the outer or zahirand the inner or batin.... Ali (translators) (Dec. by contrast.." •"Whoever wakes up worrying about what he will eat -. that piety should be a private matter. Nicholson in his Studies in Islamic Mysticism. or the heart. Another key idea that he unravelled was the meaning of the Prohet Muhammad's saying "I am He and He is I... the Malāmatīs are considered. Al-Tirmidhi in Central Asia and the Malamatiyya or "People of Blame".. but they preserved perfect purity of thought and loved God without second thought" (Schimmel 86)....] it became clear to the recollector that the true agent of recollection was not the believer engaged in recollection but God Himself. Sulamī is much more positive about them than Hujwīrī.. the attachment to the perception of one's own piety constituting a formidable barrier to genuine self-realisation.. people whose deep inward piety is concealed not only from the eyes of men but ultimately from themselves. God in turn wishes to keep him preserved and sheltered in divine occultation. Yousef (editor). In fact. but on the road he publicly started urinating in an unlawful way so that all of them left him and no longer believed in his high spiritual rank" (quoted in Schimmel 86). and He is He". called the sirr ('the secret'). who according to Schimmel mistakenly accuses them of spiritual ostentation. Both have their thought fixed on mankind [as opposed to God] and do not pass beyond that sphere" (quoted in Schimmel 87). According to Annemarie Schimmel. they concealed their knowledge and made sure their faults would be known. those who "know and are not known". The Arabic word malāma ( )ملمهmeans "to blame". unorthodox . Believing in the value of self-blame... The Malamati's "sins" are considered to be on the outward shell of his being whereas the "pious" but ignorant man sins in the kernel of his. calls the Malamatiyya "the most perfect of the gnostics". while the malāmatī purposely acts in such a way that people reject him. save that I am I. saying: "The ostentatious men purposely act in such a way as to win popularity.. Meri. in one of his Odes quoted by R. Keeler. and they have approved my ignominy and thought well of my disgrace". Sahl ibn 'Abd Allah. Ibn al-'Arabi. who commemorated Himself in the heart of the believer. Sayings 2009). he despises personal piety.. Farid. ISBN 1891785192..shun him!" •"If any one shuts his eye to God for a single moment. This realisation of God's control over the heart led the believer to the state of complete trust in the Divine. as the ultimate Sufis.. Dhikr.A. even unlawful. Fons Vitae. Works •al-Tustari. "on a firm theoretical basis. but as a consistent involuntary witness of his own "pious hypocrisy".. The Malamati is one for whom the doctrine of "spiritual states" is fraught with subtle deceptions of the most despicable kind. by one of the better known Sufi Masters. The nature of this sheltering may be occasioned by a "public fall from grace" or a scandal that involves public opprobrium.. "the Malāmatīs deliberately tried to draw the contempt of the world upon themselves by committing unseemly.. and Tustari in his turn was one of the Sufi mystic and later martyr Mansur Al-Hallaj's early teachers. But as already observed. the term Malamati if used to denote a set of unconventional. Ibn al-'Arabi. where existence joins Being. they tried to accompany the great saint. Schimmel goes on to relate a story illustrative of such actions: "One of them was hailed by a large crowd when he entered a town. actions. Annabel and Keeler. An Islamic scholar who commented on and interpreted the Qur'an. not because he is focused on the perceptions or reactions of people. he will never be rightly guided all his life long" . Tafsir Al-Tustari: Great Commentaries of the Holy Qur'an. reminding them of their imperfection (Encyclopædia Britannica)..... explaining it "as a mystery of union and realization at the center of the Saint's personality.. the most notable Sufis of the time elsewhere were: Tustari in southwestern Iran." [Tustari] maintained that ultimately [. The Malāmatiyya ( )ملميهor Malamatis are a Sufi (Muslim mystic) group that was active in 8th-century Samanid Iran (Encyclopædia Britannica). Tustari maintained that the Qur'an "contained several levels of meaning". describes the Malamatiyya thus: "My fellows in the religion of love are those who love...
874). as it did in Aramaic where it also means "fish" (See also Nun (Bible) and Nun (letter)). this additional demarcation is confirmed by the most learned of the greatest Sufi Masters as the single most important distinction in the movement towards the penultimate stages of the Sufi spiritual hierarchy. The Muslim scholar and Sufi Sahl al-Tustari was one of Dhul-Nun al-Misri's students.. but after examination he was released on the caliph's orders to return to Cairo. as "nun" in ancient Arabic meant "big fish"/"whale".. He studied under various teachers and travelled extensively in Arabia and Syria... drawn-out investigation. full name Abū al-Muġīṭ Husayn Manṣūr al-Ḥallāğ) (c... 922) (Hijri c.. as well as to certain of the EasternSyriac Christians. His nickname al-Misri means 'the Egyptian'. sayings.. None of his written works have survived. 858 – March 26.. some of the tales concerning Nasreddin bear some similarity to the practices of the Malāmatiyya... Dhul-Nun al-Misri (Arabic: .. emphasize knowledge or gnosis (marifah) more than fear (makhafah) or love (mahabbah). A legendary alchemist and thaumaturge. the other two major paths of spiritual realization in Sufism. is a sharp one from a Malamati point of view. . or during his travels outside of Egypt. insofar as Nasreddin's wisdom is rather well hidden behind a foolish façade. died 859) was an Egyptian Sufi saint. . a name apparently given to him by his fellows who were not themselves of Coptic descent as he was... The distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic sincerity.... his tombstone has been preserved..أبوالفيض ثوبان بن إبراهيم Dhul-Nun.ذو النون المصريborn in 796 in Akhmim.. Dhul-Nun al-Misri is considered among the most prominent saints of early Sufism and holds a position in the Sufi chronicles as high as Junayd (d. In their actions.. where he died in 859.. 910) and Bayazid (d. but a vast collection of poems.. he is supposed to have known the secret of the Egyptian hieroglyphs. His full name is Dhul-Nun Abu Faid Thawban ibn Ibrahim .. revolutionary writer and pious teacher of Sufism most famous for his poetry..... and aphorisms attributed to him continues to live on in oral tradition. Mansur al-Hallaj (Arabic: – منصور الحلجMansūr al-Hallāj.. which are extremely dense and rich in mystical imagery.. the malamati bore much resemblance to the Greek Cynics.. His sayings and poems. such as Isaac the Syrian. 244 AH-309 AH) was a Persian mystic.. accusation of heresy and for his execution at the orders of the Abbasid Caliph Al-Muqtadir after a long. In 829 he was arrested on a charge of heresy and sent to prison in Baghdad. literately "Of the Nun"........ such as Diogenes of Sinope and Dionysius the Areopagite. Sohag Governorate..... He was considered the Patron Saint of the Physicians in the early Islamic era of Egypt... Within the Islamic tradition.or even antinomian practices. is a name that is also given to the Prophet Jonah in Islamic folklore. .. Persian: – منصور حلجMansūr-e Ḥallāj. includes involuntary acts that do not arise from individual self-will or decisionmaking and therefore cannot serve to define the term as is commonly perceived by the rudimentary standards of popular Islamic mysticism or Sufism. and is credited with having specialized the concept of Gnosis in Islam.. between outward "spirituality" and subtle wordliness..
arrest and impris onmen t • 3 Wor ks • 4 Belie fs and princip les • 4 • 4 • 4 • 5 Deat h • 6 Cont empor ary views • 7 Possi ble influen ce on Mason ic guilds • 8 See also • 9 Refe rences • 10 Fur ther readin g • 11 Ext ernal links Early life Al-Hallaj was born around 858 in Fars province of Persia to a cotton-carder (Hallaj means "cotton-carder" in Arabic). and this form of lifestyle greatly .Contents [hide] • 1 Earl y life • 2 Teac hings. His father lived a simple life. His grandfather was a Zoroastrian.
" (Mason. After his stay at the city. Teachings. This was exacerbated by occasions when he would fall into trances which he attributed to being in the presence of God.interested the young Al-Hallaj. and he thus "spoke of the spiritual efficacy and legitimacy of symbolic pilgrimage in one's own home." (Massignon: "Perspective Transhistorique. Arabic ( . Beliefs and principles universalism Mystical His method was one of "universalist mystical introspection: It was at the bottom of the heart that he looked for God and wanted to make others find Him. ما في جبتي إل اللهMā fī jubbatī illā l-Lāh "There is nothing in my cloak but God. which he." These utterances led to a long trial. Al-Hallaj stated in this book: If you do not recognize God. Works Hallaj wrote many works in both prose and poetry. Hallaj criticizes the staleness of his adoration (Mason. whereas man's prayer was to be one of kun. which was characteristic for him. he would utter Arabic: أنا الحقAnā l-Ḥaqq "I am The Truth. During his early lifetime he was a disciple of Junayd Baghdadi and Amr al-Makki." p. 74) He spoke of God as his "Beloved. As a youngster he memorized the Qur'an and would often retreat from worldly pursuits to join other mystics in study. He thus began to make enemies. In another controversial statement. many of whom accompanied him on his second and third trips to Mecca. p. and his subsequent imprisonment for 11 years in a Baghdad prison." (Mason. Spiritual meaning of the pilgrimage to Mecca In the trial that led to his execution. facing the mosque. commemorating the sacrifice of Abraham in an offering of oneself. patient and shameful. During one of these trances. Al-Hallaj was an anomaly. 922. he settled down in the Abbasid capital of Baghdad. Al-Hallaj later married and made a pilgrimage to Mecca. He believed one had to go beyond the forms of religious rites to reach divine reality. yet Al-Hallaj openly did so in his writings and through his teachings. 25) For him. he traveled extensively and wrote and taught along the way. since al-Ḥaqq "the Truth" is one of the Ninety Nine Names of Allah. Many Sufi masters felt that it was inappropriate to share mysticism with the masses. In reality. which he set right and refined." and felt that "his only self was (God). 76) Even beyond the Muslim faith." "Friend" "You." (Massignon. His best known written work is the Kitab al Tawasin. Thus. in fasting and total silence. I am eternal truth. had performed three times. 77) This was the reason for his voyage beyond the Muslim world (shafa'a) to India and China. as he desired to communicate to them "that strange." which was taken to mean that he was claiming to be God. the most important part of the pilgrimage to Mecca was the prayer at Mount Arafat. where Satan refuses to bow to Adam. surrender to his will: "Love means to stand next to the Beloved." to the point that he could not even remember his own name. After this period of travel. although God asks him to do so. He was publicly executed on March 26. he used without hesitation the terminology of his opponents. He traveled as far as India andCentral Asia gaining many followers.)كتاب الطواسينwhich includes two brief chapters devoted to a dialogue of Satan (Iblis) and God." and similarly he would point to his cloak and say. His refusal is due to a misconceived idea of God's uniqueness and because of his refusal to abandon himself to God in love. Sahl al-Tustari was also one of Al-Hallaj's early teachers. I am the creative truth -Ana al-Haqq-. 26) . arrest and imprisonment Among other Sufis. al-Hallaj claimed "There is nothing wrapped in my turban but God. his concern was more with the spiritual meaning of Hajj. 51-3). Hallaj was concerned with the whole of humanity. at least recognise His sign. desire for God. because through the truth. but was later rejected by them both. where he stayed for one year." (Massignon. he was accused of preaching against the pilgrimage to Mecca (the Hajj). Re-interpretation of the tawhid and desire for unification with God Al-Hallaj believed that it was only God who could pronounce the Tawhid. however. renouncing oneself entirely and transforming oneself in accordance to Him. ready to make himself hostage of the denominational logic of others.
His legs were cut off. However." (Mason. the Afghan scholar Idries Shah suggested that Mansur al-Hallaj might have been the origin of the character Hiram Abiff in the Freemasonic Master Mason ritual. cut that if you can. The link. was through the Sufi sect Al-Banna ("The Builders") who built the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem." (Massignon. many Muslims criticized him as a "'crypto-Christian' for distorting the monotheistic revelation in a Christian way. that God was within him. His example is seen by some as one that should be emulated." According to them. Louis Massignon. 41) Like Christ. He was executed in public in Baghdad.} .Death Mansur believed in union with the Divine. saying that "what is important for the ecstatic is for the One to reduce him to oneness. "God has emptied me of everything but Himself." They killed him that day. His life was studied extensively by the French scholar of Islam. even as they chopped off his head. . when asked why. 79) and accepting his execution. He kept repeating "I am the Truth" as they kept cutting his arms. and that he and God had become one and the same. They cut him into pieces and then they burnt his remains. a Sufi asks him:"What is love?" He answers: "You will see it today. p. saying he also wanted to die "in the supreme confession of the cross" (Olivier Clément. The supporters of Mansur have interpreted his statement as meaning. He was smiling.Dio è carita. he smiled and said. he gave his execution a redemptive significance. burned him the next day and threw his ashes to the wind the day after that. lead to a blissful unification with him." And when his hands were cut off he paints his face with his own blood. scholars of the other Islamic schools of thought continue to see him as a heretic and a deviant. now there's only one step to heaven. Mansur never denied God's Oneness and was a strict monotheist. Al-Hallaj wanted to testify of this relationship to God to others thus even asking his fellow Muslims to kill him (Massignon. tongue and finally his head. and the day after tomorrow. I don't want to look pale-faced (as of fear). Possible influence on Masonic guilds In his book The Sufis. 25). especially his calm demeanor in the face of torture and his forgiving of his tormentors." (Mason.." Contemporary views The writings of al-Hallaj are important to Sufi groups. he believed that the actions of man when performed in total accordance with God's pleasure. While many Sufis theorize that Hallaj was a reflection of God's truth. 87) He also referred to the martyrdom of Christ. This fraternity could have influenced some early masonic guilds which borrowed heavily from the Oriental architecture in the creation of the Gothic style. Mansur was cut into many pieces because in the state of ecstacy he exclaimed Ana al Haq "I am the truth". believing as he did that his death "was uniting his beloved God and His community of Muslims against himself and thereby bore witness in extremis to the tawhid (the oneness) of both. 25) For his desire of oneness with God. and I know my face has turned yellow. legs. His death is described by Attar as a heroic act. "I used to walk the earth with these legs. as when they are taking him to court.." Attar says. he believes. he says: "I have lost a lot of blood. tomorrow. Many honor him as an adept who came to realize the inherent divine nature of all men and women. "This is love.