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Ibn Arabi: At root the servant was created

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Ibn Arabi: At root the servant was created
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At root the servant was created only to belong to God and to be a servant perpetually. He was not created to be a lord. So when God clothes him in the robe of mastership and commands him to appear in it, he appears as a servant in himself and a master in the view of the observer. This is the ornament of the Lord, the robe that He has placed upon him. Someone objected to Abu Yazid al-Bistami that the people touched him with their hands and sought blessing from him (fî tamassuh al-nâs wa tabarrukihim). He replied, "They are not touching me, they are only touching an adornment with which my Lord has adorned me. Should I forbid them from that, when it does not belong to me?"
  
(Ibn Arabi)
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Recommended Reading:

'The Sufi Path of Knowledge: Ibn Al-Arabi's Metaphysics of Imagination'
By William C. Chittick  (Author)

Purchase:


Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk

Description:

"For the first time in the history of Orientalism, a thorough study of Ibn al-'Arabi's thought is now available. William Chittick has given us a translation of numerous passages from the work of the Magister Magnus and placed them in their theological context, thus removing many misunderstandings that have prevailed both among Muslims and in the West when interpreting Ibn al-'Arabi's mystical worldview. Chittick has done this with admirable clarity, and his book will always remain a most important milestone in the study of Islamic mystical theology." -- Annemarie Schimmel, Harvard University

Ibn al-'Arabi is still known as "the Great Sheik" among the surviving Sufi orders. Born in Muslim Spain, he has become famous in the West as the greatest mystical thinker of Islamic civilization. He was a great philosopher, theologian, and poet.

William Chittick takes a major step toward exposing the breadth and depth of Ibn al-'Arabi's vision. The book offers his view of spiritual perfection and explains his theology, ontology, epistemology, hermeneutics, and soteriology. The clear language, unencumbered by methodological jargon, makes it accessible to those familiar with other spiritual traditions, while its scholarly precision will appeal to specialists.

Beginning with a survey of Ibn al-'Arabi's major teachings, the book gradually introduces the most important facets of his thought, devoting attention to definitions of his basic terminology. His teachings are illustrated with many translated passages introducing readers to fascinating byways of spiritual life that would not ordinarily be encountered in an account of a thinker's ideas. Ibn al-'Arabi is allowed to describe in detail the visionary world from which his knowledge derives and to express his teachings in his own words.

More than 600 passages from his major work, al-Futuhat al-Makkivva, are translated here, practically for the first time. These alone provide twice the text of the Fusus al-hikam. The exhaustive indexes make the work an invaluable reference tool for research in Sufism and Islamic thought in general.


"For the first time in the history of Orientalism, a thorough study of Ibn al-'Arabi's thought is now available. William Chittick has given us a translation of numerous passages from the work of the Magister Magnus and placed them in their theological context, thus removing many misunderstandings that have prevailed both among Muslims and in the West when interpreting Ibn al-'Arabi's mystical worldview. Chittick has done this with admirable clarity, and his book will always remain a most important milestone in the study of Islamic mystical theology."

(Annemarie Schimmel, Harvard University)

 
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