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Ibn 'Arabi

Heir to the Prophets

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The importance of Muhyi al-Din Ibn al-Arabi (1165-1240) for Islamic mysticism lies in the fact that he was a speculative thinker of the highest order, albeit diffuse and difficult to understand. His central doctrine is the unity of all existence. In this text, William Chittick explores how, through the work of Ibn Al-Arabi, Sufism moves away from anguished and ascetic searchings of the heart and conscience and becomes a matter of speculative philsophy and theosophy.

CONTENTS


INTRODUCTION

Ibn ‘Arabi’s Life

Abbreviations Used in the Text

1 THE MUHAMMADAN INHERITANCE

Inheritance

Opening

The Muhammadan Seal

Reading the Qur’an

Understanding God

Knowing Self

God’s Wide Earth

The Inheritor



2 THE LOVER OF GOD

Assuming the Traits of the Names

The Divine and Human Form

Imperfect Love



3 THE DIVINE ROOTS OF LOVE

Wujud

The Nonexistent Beloved

The Entities

The Genesis of Love

Love’s Throne

Human Love

Felicity

Poverty

Perfection



4 THE COSMOLOGY OF REMEMBRANCE

Remembrance

Prophecy

The Book of the Soul

The Breath of the All-Merciful

Knowledge of the Names

All-Comprehensiveness

Achieving the Status of Adam

The Perfect Servant

The House of God



5 KNOWLEDGE AND REALIZATION

Knowledge

Benefit

The Form of God

Reliable Knowledge

Following Authority

Realization

The Ambiguity of Creation

Giving Things their Haqq

The Rights of God and Man

The Soul’s Haqq



6 TIME, SPACE, AND THE OBJECTIVITY OF ETHICAL NORMS

The Methodology of Realization

Time and Space

Location

Time

Eternity

Constant Transformation

Ethics

Lost in the Cosmos

7 THE IN-BETWEEN

Relativity

The Worldview of In-Betweenness

Cosmic Imagination

The Soul

The Soul’s Root

Controversies

The Gods of Belief



8 THE DISCLOSURE OF THE INTERVENING IMAGE

Self-Awareness

Death

Love



9 THE HERMENEUTICS OF MERCY

Interpreting the Qur’an

Good Opinions of God

The Return to the All-Merciful

The Mercy of Wujud

Mercy’s Precedence

Essential Servanthood

Primordial Nature

Sweet Torment

Constitutional Diversity

Surrender



Resources

Index

William C. Chittick is professor of Persian Languages at Stony Brook University, New York. He is the author and translator of twenty-five books and one hundred articles on Islamic thought, Sufism, Shi'ism, and Persian literature.

"Full of quotes of Ibn al-Arabi, makes interesting reading"

– Islam and Christianity

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