Photo: Woman wearing elaborate headress, bracelets and other jewelry on the road to Ouled Nails; Biskra, Algeria (1860-1890).
And We made the son of Mary and his mother a sign
From the water of Mary or from the breath of Gabriel,
In the form of a mortal fashioned of clay,
The Spirit came to be in an essence
Purified of nature, which you call Sijjin...
A Spirit from God, not from anything else.
Thus he raised up the dead and made birds from clay...
God purified him in body and exalted him in spirit,
And made of him a symbol of engendering.
'Ringstones of Wisdom (Fusus al-hikam)'
By Ibn Al'Arabi and Caner K. Dagli
The Ringstones of Wisdom (Fusus al-hikam) is one of the most influential and controversial books of Islamic civilization. This relatively brief but far-reaching text covers topics such as creation, prayer, the relationship of God with the world, and the interpretation of dreams. Its author, the thirteenth century Andalusian mystic philosopher Ibn al-Arabi, remains a towering figure both in the intellectual and spiritual life of the Muslim world.
Along with this entirely new translation, Caner Dagli, provides readers with a detailed introduction and running commentary almost equal in length to the text itself. These glosses draw from the centuries-old tradition of commentary upon the Fusus, and are presented in unencumbered philosophical language and supplemented with new material. They explain Ibn al-Arabi's metaphysical ideas, his technical vocabulary, and even the frequently difficult structure of his prose and poetry. As a precise and technically consistent translation of a notoriously difficult work, The Ringstones of Wisdom is an important addition to the study of Sufism and Islamic philosophy. Scholars in the field will find new insights into Ibn al-Arabi's technical terms and aspects of the text which previously have gone unstudied. Those without a previous knowledge of Sufism or Islam will find that the commentary and the clarity of the translation make the book accessible to non-specialists as well.