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Muhammad Ibn Arabi's Biography (Books) (Photos)

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Muhammad Ibn Arabi
Muhyi al-Din Ibn al-Arabi (or Ibn al-Arabi Muhyi ad-Din Muhammad bin Ali al-Hatimi at-Tai) (1165-1240) was an outstanding Spanish-born Moslem thinker and mystic. One of the most prolific writers of the Islamic Middle Ages on the subject of mysticism, he also wrote love poetry. Mystic, philosopher, poet, sage, Muhammad Ibn 'Arabi is one of the world's great spiritual teachers. Ibn 'Arabi was born in Murcia, Al-Andalus, in 1165 and his writings had an immense impact throughout the Islamic world and beyond. The universal ideas underlying his thought are of immediate relevance today.

Ibn Arabi was born in Murcia on July 28, 1165 CE (560 in the Islamic calendar), and his family moved to Seville when he was seven years old. In 1200 CE, at the age of thirty-five, he left Iberia for good, intending to make the hajj to Mecca. He lived in Mecca for some three years, where he began writing his Al-Futujat al-Makkiyya (The Meccan Illuminations). In 1204, he left Mecca for Anatolia with Majd al-Din Isaaq, whose son Sadr al-Din al-Qunawi (1210-1274) would be his most influential disciple.

In 1223, he settled in Damascus, where he lived the last seventeen years of his life. He died at the age of 76 on 22 Rabi' II 638 AH/November 10, 1240CE, and his tomb in Damascus is still an important place of pilgrimage.

Some 800 works are attributed to Ibn 'Araba, although only some have been authenticated. Recent research suggests that over 100 of his works have survived in manuscript form, although most printed versions have not yet been critically edited and include many errors.


* The Ringstones of Wisdom (also translated as The Bezels of Wisdom), or Fusus al-Hikam.
* The Meccan Illuminations (Al-Futujat al-Makkiyya), his largest work in 37 volumes originally and published in 4 or 8 volumes in modern times, discussing a wide range of topics from mystical philosophy to Sufi practices and records of his dreams/visions.
* The Diwan, his collection of poetry spanning five volumes, mostly unedited. The printed versions available are based on only one volume of the original work.
* The Holy Spirit in the Counselling of the Soul (Rut al-quds), a treatise on the soul which includes a summary of his experience from different spiritual masters in the Maghrib. Part of this has been translated as Sufis of Andalusia, reminiscences and spiritual anecdotes about many interesting people whom he met in al-Andalus.
* Contemplation of the Holy Mysteries (Mashahid al-Asrar), probably his first major work consisting of fourteen visions and dialogues with God.
* Divine Sayings (Mishkat al-Anwar), an important collection made by Ibn 'Arabi of 101 hadith qudsi
* The Book of Annihilation in Contemplation (K. al-Fana
' fi'l-Mushahada), a short treatise on the meaning of mystical annihilation (fana).
* Devotional Prayers (Awrad), a widely read collection of fourteen prayers for each day and night of the week.
* Journey to the Lord of Power (Risalat al-Anwar), a detailed technical manual and roadmap for the "journey without distance".
* The Book of God's Days (Ayyam al-Sha'n), a work on the nature of time and the different kinds of days experienced by gnostics
* The Fabulous Gryphon of the West ('Unqa' Mughrib), a book on the meaning of sainthood and its culmination in Jesus and the Mahdi
* The Universal Tree and the Four Birds (al-Ittihad al-Kawni), a poetic book on the Complete Human and the four principles of existence
* Prayer for Spiritual Elevation and Protection (al-Dawr al-A'la), a short prayer which is still widely used in the Muslim world
* The Interpreter of Desires (Tarjuman al-Ashwaq) love poetry (ghazals) which, in response to critics, Ibn Arabi republished with a commentary explaining the meaning of the poetic symbols
* The Four Pillars of Spiritual Transformation (Hilyat al-abdal), a short work on the essentials of the spiritual Path

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