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Ibn Al Arabi {r}: A Controversial Mystic - Part Two - His Ramblings and Makkan Revelations


By S. M. Pasha for New Age Islam

27 November, 2014



Shaikh al Akbar Ibn al Arabi spent a couple of years in Egypt.  Fresh from studies and immature in worldly wisdom, he was brutally frank and reckless in his public announcements, which appeared heretical to orthodox Ulema like Ibn Taymiyyah, Ibrahim Al Biqai and others. The opposition was so stiff that there was, it is said, a concrete attempt to assassinate him.  The Shaikh, obviously, instigated by the Ulema, was arrested. On being released, he wisely preferred to leave Egypt in search of calmer atmosphere in a safer haven.

During his ramblings, the Shaikh met his favourite and greatest disciple Shaikh Sadruddin of Qonia.  Syedina Najmuddin Razi, Syedina Muslihuddin Sa’adi, Syedina Abu’l Hassan al Maghribi al Shahdudhuli and Syedina JALALUDDIN RUMI were some of the Shaikh ul Akbar’s contemporary savants.  Syedina Ibn al Arabi sought and got the permission of Syedina Ibn al Jawzi to succeed him I his {JAWZI”S} work of reporting Hadith,

Shaikh Ibn al Farid, the famous author of “TA”IA” held the Shaikh al Akbar in great esteem. It is said that Ibn al Arabi, after writing the “Futhuhath Al Makkiyah” wrote to Ibn al Farid to permit him to write a commentary on the “TA’IA”  To this,  Ibn al Farid (R) replied: “ Your work “ Futhuhath Al Makkiyah is a sufficient commentary for my “TA’IA’

Syedina Abdullah bin Sa’id alYafai writes in his “Irshad” that the Shaikh al Akbar met the Sufi saint Syedina Shahabudin Shuharwardi. Each looked at the other for a time and then they parted without saying a word.  Later on, when asked about his opinion about Syedina Shuharwardi, the Shaikh al Akbar replied: “From horn to heel, he is saturated with Sunnah ( the Path of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.s)” Syedina Shuharwardi when similarly questioned remarked¨” Muhiyaddin  is an ocean of “Haqeeq” { Realities} “

Ibn al Arabi visited Baghdad in 601 H where he stayed for twelve days. From there he proceeded to Makkah al Mukarramah.

“A grain of genuine piety is better than a thousand fold weight of fasting and prayer” - Shaikh Hasan al Basri.



Makkan Revelations

After performing the Haj, the Shaikh ul Akbar settled down at Makkah al Mukarramah for seven years to write his renowned treatise ‘Futhuhath Al Makkiyah’ Ibn al Arabi writes that if he had not written the “FUTHUHATH” he would have gone mad. Once, while circumnutating the Holy Kaa’ba, the Shaikh claims to have met a “Mallak” {an angel or as celestial being}  in the form of a youth engaged in the same rite.  The Shaikh further says that the Mallak showed him the illuminating Living Ezoteric Masjid concealed under the Lifeless Black Exterior just as the External Substance of Divine Ideas Lie Hidden by the Veils of Popular Religion.  The Shaikh further says that he swooned at once and when he recovered, he was directed to contemplate the visionary form and to write down the mysteries which might reveal to his gaze.  The Shaikh further says that the celestial being breathed into his breast the knowledge of all things and bade him describe the heavenly form in which all mysteries are enshrined. Be that what it may, such is the reported origin of his “Makkan Revelations

Nine-tenth of devotion consists in flight from mankind and the remaining one tenth in silence”- Shaikh Fadayl bin Iya

URL of Chapter One: