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 ĎArabi since 1972, and works as a freelance translator for the Muhyiddin Ibn ĎArabi Society.
Pablo Beneito is Professor at the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies, University of Seville, Spain. He has edited and translated Ibn ĎArabiís Mashahid al-asrar and Kashf al-maína.
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 FusŻs al-Hikam, an exposition of the inner meaning of the wisdom of the prophets in the Judaic/ Christian/ Islamic line, and the FutŻh‚t al-Makkiyya, a vast encyclopaedia of spiritual knowledge which unites and distinguishes the three strands of tradition, reason and mystical insight. In his Diw‚n and Tarjum‚n al-Ashw‚q 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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But whatever the situation may be, in the recollection of death there is reward and merit. For even the man engrossed in the world benefits from it by acquiring an aversion to this world, since it spoils his contentment and the fullness of his pleasure; and everything which spoils for man his pleasures and his appetites is one of the means of deliverance. From :Al Ghazali on The Remembrance of Death & the Afterlife From Ihya Ilum Ud Din