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.
Recently Added Quotation
Futūḥāt Translation Project
21 October 2021
He separated apart the spiritual faculties in my dhát* just as He separated the skies, one from another; and He revealed to each sky her command, which He placed in each of the faculties of my skies.
* dhát: essence, core; essential identity
Book 6, Chapter 69 (p. 351)
22 October 2021
He separated apart my limbs and gave to the eye a ruling command, and to the ear a command, and to the rest of the bodily parts command after command. And this is His word, And He measured out her nutrients there (fuṣṣilat 41:10) – and this is what the human intellect is nourished by, such as knowledge that is provided through the senses, by whatever of this the reflective faculty composes together in order to understand God and to understand what God commanded to be understood about Him.
Book 6, Chapter 69 (p. 351-52)
Ibn ‘Arabī’s work on Dhū-l-Nūn the Egyptian. Ibn ‘Arabī carefully collected the stories and sayings of Dhū-l-Nūn and the saintly people he met, and verified them through texts and through the oral tradition, meticulously recording the chains of transmission.
William C. Chittick
Ibn Arabi has commonly been called al-Shaykh al-Akbar, “the Greatest Teacher”, not least because he explained in unprecedented detail and at the highest level of discourse all the implications of the Islamic worldview. The result was a vast synthesis of the basic fields of learning, including Quran, Hadith, language, law, psychology, cosmology, theology, philosophy, and metaphysics. In delving into these subjects, he wanted to show how each can act as an aid in the actualization of true human nature. But what exactly is true human nature? This is what I am calling “anthropology” – the science of the anthropos – the explication of which lies at the heart of Ibn Arabi’s writings. A version of the talk later printed in the Society Journal is also available on this website.
What Ibn ‘Arabi says about fana’ and baqa’ is put beside the Buddhist notion of sunyata (emptiness). These two descriptions of ‘negation’, despite being rooted in very different traditions, can generate strikingly similar articulations of the spiritual life. Through the persons of the saint (walī) and the Bodhisattva (‘enlightenment-being’), true ‘knowing’ is understood, not as a closed philosophy, but as expression of spiritual and ethical harmony.
The Society has announced an MIAS Translation Prize competition. For this first competition, submissions For this first competition, submissions are invited for original translations of prose texts by Ibn ‘Arabi.Entries are due by 1 September 2022.
The Prize of US$ 3,000 is being sponsored by the Ibn ‘Arabi Societies in the UK and the USA, by MIAS AP (Asia Pacific), the Monash University Ibn Arabi Interreligious Research Initiative (IAI), and by private donors.
October 28, 2021
This event will explore how Ibn ‘Arabi’s creative imagination crosses philosophical, poetic, linguistic and artistic borders, and how his ideas continue to inspire contemporary poetry, film, art and music. It will comprise short talks by Cecilia Twinch and Rim Feriani, poetry readings, a round-table discussion, and an opportunity for questions.
This Zoom seminar is jointly hosted by Language Acts and Worldmaking and the Muhyiddin Ibn ‘Arabi Society. It will take place on Thursday, 28th October 2021, from 17:00-19:45 BST (London time).
November 6th – November 27th
Mahmud Erol Kılıç will be the first speaker in our autumn online seminar series, running on consecutive Saturdays in November. These will presented by the Institute for Ibn ‘Arabi Studies (based at the Kerim Foundation) and the Institute for Sufi Studies at Üsküdar University, in collaboration with the Muhyiddin Ibn ‘Arabi Society.
Added to the Blog page, 1 July 2021
A critical edition of the text of Ibn al-ʿArabī’s Diwān, produced by ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz Sulṭān al-Manṣūb, has been published by Ninawa, Damascus, Syria, in five hardback volumes. The printed Diwāns available up till now have been reproductions of the “Bulaq edition” (1855), containing about 25% of the total.
The last online seminar in the Hidden Treasure Series, organised by the Ibn Arabi Interreligious Research Initiative (IAI) at Monash University, Australia, was delivered by Dr Eric Winkel, on Saturday 4 September 2021. After a break, the series will resume in 2022. More information
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 3 (comprising Books 5 and 6) has just been launched.