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Articles and Papers in English, please also see his articles in Arabic.

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Treasury of Absolute Mercy

 

by Mohamed Haj Yousef

 

This paper was first presented at the MIAS Symposium, New York, 6–7 November 2009.

 

In the Name of Allah, the all-Merciful, the ever-Merciful

 

Ibn al-ʿArabī mentions in various places in the Futūhāt, and elsewhere, that the Throne of Allah has four principal pillars and is held aloft by four bearers in this world, and that they shall become eight in the Hereafter. Each of them supports one pillar of this Throne, which is indeed the entire universe – the kingdom of Allah. Although these four, or eight, Throne-bearers are the known archangels and some prophets, other 'human forms' may have considerable share in this honourable job. In Chapter 371 of the Futūhāt, Ibn al-ʿArabī declares that he is one of these forms and that Allah honoured him with the supreme pillar, that is 'the Treasury of Mercy'; thus Allah made him absolutely merciful despite his knowledge of hardship and suffering. Because of this, Ibn al-ʿArabī often states that the world was originated from absolute mercy, and to mercy it shall return; any pain or wretchedness is therefore temporal and apparent. We shall discuss in this article the origin of the world and its destiny, and the role of mercy, based on Ibn al-ʿArabī's cosmological model of creation.

 

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Outline of Ibn al-Arabi's Cosmology:
[extracts from The Single Monad Model of the Cosmos: Ibn Arabi's Concept of Time and Creation]

Ibn ‘Arabî (560-638/1165-1240) was a great Sufi thinker of the Middle Ages and one of the most influential authors in Islamic history, whose writings have deeply influenced Islamic civilisation for centuries, and have more recently attracted wide interest in the West. The full name of Ibn al-‘Arabî (more commonly referred to in English without the definite article) is Abû ‘Abd Allâh Muhammad Ibn al-‘Arabî al-Hâtimî al-Tâ’î. He was born in Murcia (in eastern Andalusia), into a very pious and cultured family. When he was seven they moved to Seville, and at the age of 16 he 'entered on the path' (of Sufism). Then he travelled throughout and between Andalusia and Morocco for some years before a vision compelled him to go to the East. In 1201 he travelled to Cairo, Al-Quds (Jerusalem), and finally to Mecca for pilgrimage. His many works eventually brought him fame, and sometimes notoriety, so that he was eventually sought out by Seljuq and Ayyubid princes and accompanied by a group of disciples. Later on he came to be popularly called Muhyî al-Dîn ('The Reviver of Religion') and al-Shaykh al-Akbar ('the Greatest Master'). He continued travelling throughout the Middle East until he settled in Damascus in 1224, where he remained until his death in 1240.[1]
Ibn ‘Arabî's two most famous and influential works are al-Futûhât al-Makkiyya ('The Meccan Illuminations'), which is an encyclopaedic discussion of Islamic wisdom,[2] and the shorter Fusûs al-Hikam ('The Bezels of Wisdom'), which comprises twenty-seven chapters named after prophets who characterize different spiritual types. But Ibn ‘Arabî also wrote many other lesser known works, many of them now available in printed versions, such as the Kitâb al-Tajalliyyât, Tarjumân al-Ashwâq, Mashâhid al-Asrâr al-Qudsiyya, Mawâqi‘ al-Nujûm, ‘Uqlat al-Mustawfiz, Inshâ’ al-Dawâ’ir and al-Tadbîrât al-Ilâhiyya, in addition to about 29 shorter treatises more recently published in the Hyderabad collection commonly known as the Rasâ’il Ibn ‘Arabî, and many other shorter books and treatises. In one of his treatises, Ibn ‘Arabî himself listed 289 works, but as many as 350 books have been attributed to him.[3]

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Zeno's Paradoxes and the Reality of Motion under Ibn al-Arabi's Re-creation Principle
  
  
  This paper was delivered at the First International Conference on the Concept of Time in Science, Philosophy and Theology", AlAin, UAE University, 24/2-4/3/2012.
  
 Abstract:
 
 
 Ibn al-‘Arabî (1165-1240 AD) has a unique and challenging view of time and creation that has never been discussed by any other philosopher or scientist. We have explained this view in other publications. One of the major principles of this eccentric view is the so called “re-creation principle” which postulates that the cosmos is being re-created every instant of time. This outlandish view may have tremendous consequences on our understanding of many basic natural phenomena and particularly motion on which all physics theories and cosmological models are based.
  

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Ibn Arabi versus Aristotle on the View of the Heavens

 

 

 

"The largest day is that for the fixed stars, and it is called fixed because (our) ages are too short to notice their motion”[1].

 

 

 

Preface:

 

Although Ibn Arabi was not an astronomer and he did not devote any special book to describe the heavens, but we can find plenty of paragraphs, in AlFutuhat AlMakiyya for example, that can be used to show his view of the cosmos. Based on his own rich mystic experience, Ibn Arabi’s view of the cosmos comes as a part of a much general view of the divine creation.

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The Secret of Speaking according to Al-Qûnawî and Ibn Al-‘Arabî

 

This paper was delivered at "The Second Qunawi International Symosium", Konia, Turkey, organized by II. ULUSLARARASI KONEVİ SEMPOZYUMU, 6-9/10/2011.

 

 

 

Abstract:

 

Like his stepfather, Ibn Al-‘Arabî, and all Sufis in general, Sadr-ud-Din Al-Qûnawî gives great importance to letters and words considering that the cosmos is made up of divine words that are composed of letters both as spoken sounds or inscribed characters, quite similar to human language. In his essential book: "the key for the unseen" (miftâh-ul-ghayb), Al-Qûnawî speaks about the secret of speaking and explains how the human's speech is initiated in the heart and manifested in the outside world, and then he relates all that to divine speaking which is nothing but the creation itself.