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The Horizons of Being
The Metaphysics of Ibn al-ʿArabī in the Muqaddimat al-Qayṣarī
Translation and Commentary by Mukhtar H. Ali
The Horizons of Being explores the teachings of Ibn al-ʿArabī by examining Dāwūd al-Qayṣarī’s (d. 1350) Prolegomena (muqaddima) to his commentary, Maṭlaʿ khuṣūṣ al-kilam fī maʿānī Fuṣūṣ al-ḥikam (A Preamble of Select Discourse on the Meanings of the Fuṣūṣ al-ḥikam), referred to simply as Muqaddimat al-Qayṣarī. His commentary goes back to Ibn al-ʿArabī through Kāshānī, Jandī and Qūnawī, and remains very popular due to its thorough and accessible treatment of the Fuṣūṣ that frequently synthesizes the ideas of his predecessors.
In his introduction Dr Ali says:
“The Muqaddima stands on its own as an independent work and has been the subject of careful study. If the Futūḥāt contains the entirety of Ibn al-ʿArabī’s metaphysics which is distilled in the Fuṣūṣ, then Qayṣarī’s Muqaddima can be read not just as a précis of the Fuṣūṣ but as a summary of Ibn al-ʿArabī’s doctrine.
Qayṣarī writes in the preface to the Muqaddima that without comprehending all of these essential topics, it is not possible to understand the original text of the Fuṣūṣ. It is in light of this approach that he wrote the Muqaddima, which contains what he considers to be the fundamental issues in Sufism, such as Being, the divine names, prophethood, sainthood, unveiling, the Perfect Human and the Muḥammadan Reality.”
It was published by Brill in Hardback and E-Book editions on 18 June 2020. Pages: vi, 257 pp. (English and Arabic)
Two other editions Dr Ali is believed to have in preparation are ‘Abd al-Rahman Jami’s (d.1492) Selected Texts Commenting on “Naqsh al-Fusus” and Haydar Amuli’s (d.1385) The Compendium of Mysteries and Fountainhead of Lights.