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
16 October 2020
As for the praise the animals and the plants and the minerals offer, it is because these species know the movements that are called ʿabathan,* compared with the ones not so called. Everyone who moves among them with a movement that is ʿabathan according to the one affected by it – but not according to the mover – the animal, plant, or mineral observer who is witnessing this ʿabathan movement knows that he is indeed someone forgetting God.
* ʿabathan: of no account, worthless, for sport; see also the cognate bāṭilan in ṣād 38:27.
Book 4, Chapter 43 (p. 390)
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
Reality is described by Ibn ʿArabi as a web of relations in being, which are apprehended through the notional idea of ‘non-being’. Everything that is ‘found’ in being is thus correlated with both being and non-being, as implied by the status of thubūt (‘fixity, establishment’). Through various texts from his Futūḥāt al-Makkiyya, we will explore how Ibn ʿArabi links the notion of thubūt with ḥayra (‘perplexity’).
Online talks — Series 5
Series 5 of the online webinars begins with a talk by Cyrus Zargar (Al-Ghazali Distinguished Professor of Islamic Studies, University of Central Florida), entitled The Ambiguities of Union: Exploring the Relationship between Perception and Reality. It is on Saturday October 24th, at 16:00 UK time.
Subsequent talks are by Carlos Berbil and Luca Patrizi. Booking is 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 third talk in the series will be by Jane Clark (MIAS, UK) on “Ibn Arabi on the Idea of Perpetual Progress”, on Saturday, 7 November 2020. More information
Added to the Blog page, October 2020
Fitzroy Morrissey’s book details how ‘Abd al-Karim al-Jili expanded on this key subject in Ibn ‘Arabi’s writing.
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.