Ibn ‘Arabi: al-Futūḥāt al-Makkiyya, Ch. 372
Mystic, philosopher, poet, sage, Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi (1165–1240) was one of the world’s great spiritual teachers.
Ibn Arabi was born in Murcia in Arab al-Andalus, and his writings had an immense impact throughout the Islamic world and beyond. The universal ideas underlying his thought are of immediate relevance today.
The Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi Society (MIAS) was founded in 1977 to promote a greater understanding of the work of Ibn Arabi and his followers.
It is an international association with its headquarters in Oxford England and a branch in Berkeley California. The Society is funded by the annual subscriptions of its members. It collaborates with affiliated societies in Spain and Australia.
» Publications: The Society has published a Journal since 1982, which is now peer-reviewed and appears twice a year. It has published books, particularly a translation into English of the Fuṣūṣ al-ḥikam. Its website provides over 200 articles, mainly from the Journal.
» Events: The Society has organised conferences in the UK and the USA since 1984. Podcasts and videos of more than 100 talks from Society events are available on this website.
» Historic manuscript project: Since 2002 the Society has been engaged in collecting copies of historic manuscripts of the works of Ibn Arabi. A version of the catalogue is available on this website.
If you are interested in Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi, his work and his teachings, you are welcome to join the Society. Among other benefits, Members receive the Society Journal, have discounted entry to Society events, and free admission to live online talks.
The author of this treatise, ‘Abdallah Badr al-Habashi, would have remained unknown to us had he not been one of the closest disciples of the Shaykh al-Akbar Muhyiddin Ibn ‘Arabi, to whom we owe the little that we do know about him. The biographical and bibliographical compilations are almost totally unaware of this freed slave of Ethiopian origin. His humble background may explain the sources’ silence in relation to him, but it is also a reflection of the spirituality, in terms of humility and self-effacement, with which the Kitâb al-inbâh is stamped. It is significant that in his only work, the disciple stands aside completely for the master, and contents himself with quoting his words. Moreover, Ibn ‘Arabi responded to these qualities with deep affection and lavish praise
The heavenly ascension (miʿrāj) of the prophet Muhammad is, in Sufism, the model of spiritual realisation. Its culminating moment, when he was at ‘the distance of two arcs or closer’, became the subject of profound meditations, and we will explore its treatment in texts from the school of Ibn ‘Arabi.
Recently Added Quotation
Futūḥāt Translation Project
21 September 2020
You should take knowledge from Me, not from your thinking and the lessons you have learned.
Book 4, Chapter 41 (p. 356)
Online talks — Series 4
The next talk in Series 4 is by Professor Alexander Knysh, entitled Tasting, Drinking and Quenching Thirst: From Mystical Experience to Mystical Metaphysics. It is on Saturday September 26th, at 16:00 UK time. The terms ‘tasting’ (dhawq), ‘drinking’ (shirb/shurb) and ‘quenching of thirst’ (riyy) are widely used in early Sufi writings to denote a special type of mystical perception of God and His creation. Booking open now.
The recently established Ibn Arabi Interreligious Research Initiative (IAI) at Monash University is organising a series of online seminars on Ibn ʿArabi, entitled ‘The Hidden Treasure’. These seminars are open to the public, aiming to present an accessible introduction to Ibn ʿArabi, his teachings, and his relevance to the contemporary world. The second talk in the series will be by Prof. Pablo Beneito, on “Letters, Numbers and Lexical Roots in Ibn Arabi”, on Saturday 3 October. More information
Added to the Blog page, September 2020
James Morris puts in context a quotation from Ibn ‘Arabi on discovering and deepening Compassion.
Dr Eric Winkel is engaged in a translation into English of Ibn al-‘Arabi’s Futūḥāt al-Makkīyah, from beginning to end. It is being published progressively by the Pir Press, and Volume 2 has just appeared.