Asfār ʿan Risālat Al-anwār

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Inner Traditions International, Limited, 1981 - Religion - 116 pages
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Translators Preface
Glimpses of the Life of Ibn Arabi

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About the author (1981)

Muhammad ibn-'Ali ibn al-Arabi, also called Muhyi al-Din, was the celebrated Muslim philosopher who first formulated the esoteric mystical dimension of Islamic thought. Born in Murcia, Spain, he devoted 30 years to the study of traditional Islamic sciences in Seville. After travelling extensively in the East, he settled in Damascus, where he spent his last days in contemplation, teaching, and writing. Ibn al-Arabi composed two great mystical treatises, The Meccan Revelations and Wisdom of the Prophets (Fusus al-HikamFusus al-Hikam). Completed in Damascus, The Meccan Revelations is a personal encyclopedia of 560 chapters extending over all the esoteric sciences in Islam as he knew them, combined with valuable autobiographical information. Wisdom contains only 27 chapters, but, as the mature expression of ibn al-Arabi's mystical thought, it is regarded as one of the most important documents of its kind. However, he is best known for his mystical odes, wherein, like all Sufis, he expresses his longing for union with God in terms of passionate human love (in Mecca, he fell in love with a young beauty who came to personify wisdom for him). It is not clear whether his poetry is religious or erotic, an ambiguity also characteristic of the work of the great Persian lyricst Hafiz. Critics have found in ibn al-Arabi's poetry, as in most Sufi verse, elements of Muslim orthodoxy, Manichaeanism, Gnosticism, Neoplatonism, and Christianity.

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