Contemplation of the Holy Mysteries
136 pages, 234 x 156 mm
ISBN: 0 9534513 4 8
Published: 2001 ANQA, OXFORD
Thought to be possibly Ibn 'Arabi's first book, the Contemplation of the
Holy Mysteries is a major work of mystical literature. It was composed in
Andalusia in 1194 (590 AH).
It consists of a series of 14 visions, in the form of dramatic conversations
with the Divine, interspersed with dazzling visionary episodes. It is written in
a style similar to that of the Mawaqif of al-Niffari, the famous
tenth-century Iraqi saint.
These contemplations are full of astounding insights into the nature of
existence, our relationship with Reality, and the way to achieve true happiness.
The English translation has been prepared by Pablo Beneito (who edited the
original Arabic text) and Cecilia Twinch. It includes a full introduction and
notes based on the commentary of one of Ibn 'Arabi's disciples.
You are yourself the
cloud veiling your own sun! So recognize the essential Reality of your being!
Cecilia Twinch has been studying the work of Ibn ‘Arabi since
1972, and works as a freelance translator for the Muhyiddin Ibn ‘Arabi Society.
Pablo Beneito is Professor at the Department of Arabic and
Islamic Studies, University of Seville, Spain. He has edited and translated Ibn
‘Arabi’s Mashahid al-asrar and Kashf al-ma’na.
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.
God, how often do I cry out to You as one who calls, when [in truth] You are the
One who calls the caller