for the Red Sulphur
Life of Ibn Arabi
PAPERBACK 348 Pages: size: 234 x 156mm
Glossary, Bibliography. Indexes.
Published by The Islamic Texts Society, Cambridge UK ISBN: 0 946621 45 4
Quest for the Red Sulphur: The Life of Ibn Arabi is undoubtedly a
landmark in Ibn Arabi studies. Until the publication of this book, anyone who
wanted to learn about the life of Ibn Arabi has had little choice of material to
work from. This major study by Claude Addas is based on a detailed analysis of a
whole range of Ibn Arabi’s own writings as well as a vast amount of secondary
literature in both Arabic and Persian. The result is the first-ever attempt to
reconstruct what proves to have been a double itinerary: on the one hand, the
journey that took Ibn Arabi from his native Andalusia to Damascus - and on the
other hand, the ‘Night Journey’ which carried him along the paths of
asceticism and prayer to the ultimate stage of revelation of his mystic quest.
Table of Contents
4.Ibn Arabi and the Savants of Andalusia.
5.God’s Vast Earth.
8.The Great Pilgrimage.
9.‘Counsel My Servants’
10.Damascus, ‘Refuge of the Prophets’.
Appendix I: Chronological Table of Ibn Arabi’s life.
Appendix II: Ibn Arabi and his Links with the Various Sufi Currents in the Muslim West.
Appendix III: The Teachers in Traditional Religious Discipline Frequented by Ibn Arabi in the Muslim West.
Appendix IV: The Men of Letters Frequented by Ibn Arabi in the Muslim West.
Appendix V: The Four silsilas of the khirqa akbariyya.
‘I read it like a novel, a novel
written in captivating style and with a seeming infinite love for its hero - a
novel distinguished by its meticulous care for details and full of trustworthy
information taken from manuscripts and printed sources...It is more than a
translation: with the author’s help some additions have been made, some points
Annemarie Schimmel (Journal of Islamic Studies)
‘The first serious biography of the
most influential figure in the history of Islamic mysticism. It is based on an
enormous amount of documentary evidence...In his voluminous writings Ibn `Arabi
recounted his visionary experiences, his journeys, real and imaginary, and his
meetings with other mystics, both alive and dead.’ TLS
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
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