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Biographical Data :

Name :Ibn Arabi
Period :1165 - 1240
Biographical detail : A celebrated Spanish philosopher and mystic who travelled extensively in the Muslim empire.

Ibn Arabi studied at Seville for about thirty years and travelled a great deal in search of the Sufi path. He urged Muslims to discover the alam al-mithal within them, and taught that the way to Allah lay through the creative imagination. He believed that anybody could be a Sufi, and that everybody should look for the symbolic, hidden meaning of scripture.

Ibn Arabi urged Muslims as their duty to create their own theophanies, by training their imaginations to see below the surface to the sacred presence that resides in everything and everyone. Every single human being was a unique and unrepeatable revelation of one of Allah’s hidden attributes, and the only Allah we will ever know was the Divine Name inscribed in our inmost self. Thus the mystic must see all faiths as equally valid, and is at home in a synagogues, mosques, temples or church, for as Allah says in the Qura’an: “Wheresoever ye turn, there is the face of Allah.”

During one of these trips Ibn Arabi met Ibn Rushd, in Cordoba, who was greatly impressed by the young boy. Ibn Arabi went to Makkah, in 1201, where he met a young girl and wrote a collection of love poems called Tarjuman al Ashwaq. This act drew on him the wrath of Muslim orthodoxy. From Makkah he went to Egypt in 1201, Qunia, Baghdad, Aleppo and Damascus in 1223. After coming to Damascus, he wrote Fasus al Hikam (the bezels of wise precepts). His other book Al Futuhat al Makiyah too was well known.

Ibn Arabi who was a prolific and highly influential writer preached a unitive and pluralistic theological vision, in which spirituality is fused indissolubly with his philosophy, and spent the rest of his life teaching and writing. His books were not easy and appealed to the more intellectual Muslims.

Ibn Arabi was born Muid ad-Din Abu Abdullah Muhammad Ibn Ali near Valencia, Spain. His tomb at the foot of Mt. Qasiyun in Damascus encloses a large mosque bearing his name.
 (Compiler : M. Nauman Khan / Ghulam Mohiuddin)


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