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By Ibn 'Arabi interpreted by Tosun Bayrak
Size: 216 x 138 mm
Pages: 245 Binding: paper
Publication Archetype UK
The Tree of Being (Shajarat al-Kawn) is a
treatise written by Ibn Arabi (1165-1240), one of the greatest figures in both
universal mysticism. He wrote close to five hundred books and manuscripts. Many
of them are short, but some, like Fusus al Hikam
and Futuhat al Makkiyah, are books of many volumes. Ibn Arabi knew and
influenced the great men of his time, Ibn Rushd (Averroes), Jalaluddin Rumi,
Suhrawardi, and others.
His influence spread beyond the Islamic world and entered medieval Europe. Asin Palacios and Salverda di Grave have pointed out that Dante in the Divina Comedia derived from Ibn Arabi the great design of Hell and Paradise and also the image of the beautified young woman as guide to the Divine.
The Tree of Being is an inspired description of the cosmos and the perfect man as microcosm, expressed in beautiful metaphysical and poetic imagery. Ibn Arabi's devotion to the Prophet Muhammad as the perfect man provides instruction in Islam for the ones who are interested in learning the essence of this religion.
The book has five sections. First is the translator's introduction including a biography of Ibn Arabi and a discussion of his approach
to Sufism. Second is an interpretation of Ibn Arabi's Tree of Being, a commentary on the mystical elements of the Qur'an and Islam. Third is Ibn 'Arabi's description of the character and actions of the Prophet Muhammad. The fourth section is his listing of the two hundred names and attributes of the Prophet.
Sheikh Tosun Bayrak, born in Istanbul, Turkey, studied Biological Sciences, BSC, Robert College, Istanbul; Architecture at the University of California at Berkeley; and History of Art, Courtauld Institute of Art, London. He received a Masters in Fine Arts from Rutgers University. Sheikh Bayrak served as a government official in Ankara, Honorary Consul of Turkey in Morocco, and was also an international businessman. He has exhibited widely in the USA as an artist and art educator. He is a retired professor of art and art history, from Fairleigh Dickenson University, New Jersey. He has devoted the last forty years of his life to Sufism and is the Sheikh of the Jerrahi-Halveti Order in the USA.
In addition to two books of poetry in Turkish
and many articles about art and religion in both the USA and Turkey, Sheikh
Bayrak has published following books:
The Way of the Sufi Chivalry, Inner Traditions International , The Most Beautiful Names, Threshold Books
Inspiration on the Path of Blame, Threshold Books
Secret of Secrets, Islamic Text Society, London, UK
Divine Governance of the Human Kingdom, Fons Vitae
The Name and the Named, Fons Vitae
The Shape of Light, Fons Vitae
About Muhyiddin, Ibn Arabi
Mystic, philosopher, poet, sage, Muhammad b. Ali Ibn 'Arabi is one of the world's great spiritual teachers. Known as Muhyiddin (the Revivifier of Religion) and the Shaykh al-Akbar (the Greatest Master), he was born in 560 AH (1165 AD) into the Moorish culture of Andalusian Spain, the centre of an extraordinary flourishing and cross-fertilization of Jewish, Christian and Islamic thought, through which the major scientific and philosophical works of antiquity were transmitted to Northern Europe. Ibn 'Arabi's spiritual attainments were evident from an early age, and he was renowned for his great visionary capacity as well as being a superlative teacher. He travelled extensively in the Islamic world and died in Damascus in 1240 AD.
He wrote over 350 works including the Fusûs al-Hikam, an exposition of the inner meaning of the wisdom of the prophets in the Judaic/ Christian/ Islamic line, and the Futûhât al-Makkiyya, a vast encyclopaedia of spiritual knowledge which unites and distinguishes the three strands of tradition, reason and mystical insight. In his Diwân and Tarjumân al-Ashwâq he also wrote some of the finest poetry in the Arabic language. These extensive writings provide a beautiful exposition of the Unity of Being, the single and indivisible reality which simultaneously transcends and is manifested in all the images of the world. Ibn 'Arabi shows how Man, in perfection, is the complete image of this reality and how those who truly know their essential self, know God.
Firmly rooted in the Quran, his
work is universal, accepting that each person has a unique path to the truth,
which unites all paths in itself. He has profoundly influenced the development
of Islam since his time, as well as significant aspects of the philosophy and
literature of the West. His wisdom has much to offer us in the modern world in
terms of understanding what it means to be human.
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