Ibn al-'Arabi, by William C. Chittick (State University of New York) 

(In this version of Professor Chittick's article, all of the diacritical marks have been removed.  For his original article "EBN AL-'ARABI" with the complete  diacritical transliteration, see Encyclopaedia Iranica; you will also need to download and install the font "Iran Web2.")

       EBN AL-'ARABI, MOHYI-al-DIN Abu 'Abd-Allah Mohammad Ta'i Hatemi (b. 17
       Ramadan 560/28 July 1165; d. 22 Rabi' II 638/10 November 1240), the most
       influential Sufi author of later Islamic history, known to his supporters as al-Shaykh
       al-akbar, "the Greatest Master." Although the form "Ebn al-'Arabi," with the
       definite article, is found in his autographs and in the writings of his immediate
       followers, many later authors referred to him as 'Ebn 'Arabi', without the article, to
       differentiate him from Qadi Abu Bakr Ebn al-'Arabi (d. 543/1148). 

       Life, views, terminology.

       He was born in Murcia in Spain, and his family moved to Seville when he was eight.
       He experienced an extraordinary mystical "unveiling" (kashf) or "opening" (fotuh)
       at about the age of fifteen; this is mentioned in his famous account of his meeting
       with Averroes (Addas, pp. 53-58; Chittick, 1989, pp. xiii-xiv). Only after this original
       divine "attraction" (jadhba) did he begin disciplined Sufi practice (soluk), perhaps
       at the age of twenty (Addas, p. 53; Chittick, 1989, pp. 383-84). He studied the
       traditional sciences, Hadith in particular, with many masters; he mentions about
       ninety of these in an autobiographical note (Badawi). In 597/1200 he left Spain for
       good, with the intention of making the hajj. The following year in Mecca he began
       writing his monumental al-Fotuhat al-makkiya; the title, "The Meccan Openings,"
       alludes to the inspired nature of the book. In 601/1204 he set off from Mecca on his
       way to Anatolia with Majd-al-Din Eshaq, whose son Sadr-al-Din Qunawi (606-73/
       1210-74) would be his most influential disciple. After moving about for several years
       in the central Islamic lands, never going as far as Persia, he settled in Damascus in
       620/1223. There he taught and wrote until his death.

       Ebn al-'Arabi was an extraordinarily prolific author. Osman Yahia counts 850
       works attributed to him, of which 700 are extant and over 450 probably genuine.
       The second edition of the Fotuhat (Cairo, 1329/1911) covers 2,580 pages, while
       Yahia's new critical edition is projected to include thirty-seven volumes of about five
       hundred pages each (vol. 14, Cairo, 1992). By comparison, his most famous work,
       Fosus al-hekam (Bezels of widsom), is less than 180 pages long. Scores of his books
       and treatises have been published, mostly in uncritical editions; several have been
       translated into European languages.

       Although Ebn al-'Arabi claims that the Fotuhat is derived from divine
       "openings"ómystical unveilingsóand that the Fosus was handed to him in a
       vision by the Prophet, he would certainly admit that he expressed his visions in the
       language of his intellectual milieu. He cites the Koran and Hadith constantly; it
       would be no exaggeration to say that most of his works are commentaries on these
       two sources of the tradition. He sometimes quotes aphorisms from earlier Sufis, but
       never long passages. There is no evidence that he quotes without ascription, in the
       accepted style, from other authors. He was thoroughly familiar with the Islamic
       sciences, especially tafsir, feqh, and kalam. He does not seem to have studied
       the works of the philosophers, though many of his ideas are prefigured in the works
       of such authors as the Ekhwan-al-Safa' (q.v.; Rosenthal; Takeshita). He mentions on
       several occasions having read the Ehya' of GHazali, and he sometimes refers to such
       well known Sufi authors as Qoshayri.

       In short, Ebn al-'Arabi was firmly grounded in the mainstream of the Islamic
       tradition; the starting points of his discussions would have been familiar to the
       'olama' in his environment. At the same time he was enormously original, and he
       was fully aware of the newness of what he was doing. Most earlier Sufis had spoken
       about theoretical issues (as opposed to practical teachings) in a brief or allusive
       fashion. Ebn al-'Arabi breaks the dam with a torrent of exposition on every sort of
       theoretical issue related to the "divine things" (elahiyat). He maintains a uniformly
       high level of discourse and, in spite of going over the same basic themes constantly,
       he offers a different perspective in each fresh look at a question. For example, in
       the Fosus al-hekam, each of twenty-seven chapters deals with the divine wisdom
       revealed to a specific divine wordóa particular prophet. In each case, the wisdom is
       associated with a different divine attribute. Hence, each prophet represents a
       different mode of knowing and experiencing the reality of God. Most of the 560
       chapters of the Fotuhat are rooted in similar principles. Each chapter represents a
       "standpoint" or "station" (maqam) from which reality, or a specific dimension of
       reality, can be surveyed and brought into the overarching perspective of the
       "oneness of all things" (tawhid).

       Ebn al-'Arabi assumed and then verified through his own personal experience the
       validity of the re-velation that was given primarily in the Koran and secondarily in
       the Hadith. He objected to the limiting approaches of kalam and philosophy, which
       tied all understanding to reason ('aql), as well as to the approach of those Sufis
       who appealed only to unveiling (kashf). It may be fair to say that his major
       methodological contribution was to reject the stance of the kalam authorities, for
       whom tashbih (declaring God similar to creation) was a heresy, and to make
       tashbih the necessary complement of tanzih (declaring God incomparable with
       creation). This perspective leads to an epistemology that harmonizes reason and

       For Ebn al-'Arabi, reason functions through differentiation and discernment; it
       knows innately that God is absent from all things (tanzih). In contrast, unveiling
       functions through imagination, which perceives identity and sameness rather than
       difference; hence unveiling sees God's presence rather than his absenceótashbih.
       To maintain that God is either absent or present is, in his terms, to see with only one
       eye. Perfect knowledge of God involves seeing with both eyes, the eye of reason and
       the eye of unveiling (or imagination). This is the wisdom of the prophets; it is
       falsified by those theologians, philosophers, and Sufis who stress either tanzih or
       tashbih at the expense of the other.

       If Ebn al-'Arabi's methodology focuses on harmonizing two modes of knowing, his
       actual teachings focus more on bringing out the nature of human perfection and the
       means to achieve it. Although the term al-ensan al-kamel "the perfect human
       being" can be found in earlier authors, it is Ebn al-'Arabi who makes it a central
       theme of Sufism. Briefly, perfect human beings are those who live up to the
       potential that was placed in Adam when God "taught him all the names" (Koran
       2:30). These names designate every perfection found in God and the cosmos
       (al-'alam, defined as "everything other than God"). Ultimately, the names taught to
       Adam are identical with the divine attributes, such as life, awareness, desire, power,
       speech, generosity, and justice. By actualizing the names within themselves, human
       beings become perfect images of God and achieve God's purpose in creating the
       universe (Chittick, 1989, especially chap. 20). 

       Even though all perfect human beingsói.e., the prophets and the "friends" (awlia')
       of Godóare identical in one respect, each of them manifests God's uniqueness in
       another respect. In effect, each is dominated by one specific divine attributeóthis is
       the theme of the Fosus. Moreover, the path to human fulfillment is a never-ending
       progression whereby people come to embody God's infinite attributes successively
       and with ever-increasing intensity. Most of Ebn al-'Arabi's writings are devoted to
       explaining the nature of the knowledge that is unveiled to those who travel through
       the ascending stations or standpoints of human perfection. God's friends are those
       who inherit their knowledge, stations, and states from the prophets, the last of
       whom was Mohammad. When Ebn al-'Arabi claimed to be the "seal of the
       MoHammadan friends" (khatam al-awlia' al-mohammadiya), he was saying that no
       one after him would inherit fully from the prophet Mohammad. Muslim friends of
       God would continue to exist until the end of time, but now they would inherit from
       other prophets inasmuch as those prophets represent certain aspects of
       Mohammad's all-embracing message (Chodkiewicz, 1986).

       The most famous idea attributed to Ebn al-'Arabi is wahdat al-wojud "the oneness
       of being." Although he never employs the term, the idea is implicit throughout his
       writings. In the manner of both theologians and philosophers, Ebn al-'Arabi
       employs the term wojud to refer to God as the Necessary Being. Like them, he also
       attributes the term to everything other than God, but he insists that wojud does not
       belong to the things found in the cosmos in any real sense. Rather, the things
       borrow wojud from God, much as the earth borrows light from the sun. The issue
       is how wojud can rightfully be attributed to the things, also called "entities"
       (a'yan). From the perspective of tanzih, Ebn al-'Arabi declares that wojud
       belongs to God alone, and, in his famous phrase, the things "have never smelt a
       whiff of wojud." From the point of view of tashbih, he affirms that all things are
       wojud's self-disclosure (tajalli) or self-manifestation (zohur). In sum, all things
       are "He/not He" (howa la howa), which is to say that they are both God and other
       than God, both wojud and other than wojud. 

       The intermediateness of everything that can be perceived by the senses or the mind
       brings us back to imagination, a term that Ebn al-'Arabi applies not only to a mode
       of understanding that grasps identity rather than difference, but also to the World
       of Imagination, which is situated between the two fundamental worlds that make up
       the cosmosóthe world of spirits and the world of bodiesóand which brings
       together the qualities of the two sides. In addition, Ebn al-'Arabi refers to the whole
       cosmos as imagination, because it combines the attributes of wojud and utter
       nonexistence (Chittick, 1989).

       Influence on Persian Sufis and Philosophers. 

       Tracing Ebn al-'Arabi's influence in any detail must await an enormous amount of
       research into both his own writings and the works of later authors. Most modern
       scholars agree that his influence is obvious in much of the theoretical writing of
       later Sufism and discernible in works by theologians and philosophers.

       Wahdat al-wojud, invariably associated with Ebn al-'Arabi's name, is the most
       famous single theoretical issue in Sufi works of the later period, especially in the
       area under Persian cultural influence. Not everyone thought it was an appropriate
       concept, and scholars such as Ebn Taymiya (d. 728/1328) attacked it vehemently. In
       fact, Ebn Taymiya deserves much of the credit for associating this idea with Ebn
       al-'Arabi's name and for making it the criterion, as it were, of judging whether an
       author was for or against Ebn al-'Arabi (on this complex issue, see Chittick,

       Although Ebn al-'Arabi's name is typically associated with theoretical issues, this
       should not suggest that his influence reached only learned Sufis. He was the author
       of many practical works on Sufism, including collections of prayers, and he
       transmitted a kherqa that was worn by a number of later shaikhs of various orders.
       As M. Chodkiewicz (1991) has illustrated, his radiance permeated all levels of Sufi
       life and practice, from the most elite to the most popular, and this has continued
       down to modern times. Today, indeed, his influence seems to be on the increase,
       both in the Islamic world and in the West. The Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi Society, which
       publishes a journal in Oxford, is only one of many signs of a renewed attention to
       his teachings.

       Ebn al-'Arabi's first important contact with Persian Islam may have come through
       one of his teachers, Makin-al-Din Abu Shoja' Zaher  b. Rostam Esfahani, whom he
       met in Mecca in 598/1202 and with whom he studied the Sahih of Termedhi. He
       speaks especially highly of Makin-al-Din's elderly sister, whom he calls
       Shaykhat-al-Hejaz ("Mistress of Hejaz"), Fakhr-al-Nesa' ("Pride of womankind") bent
       Rostam, adding that she was also Fakhr-al-Rejal ("Pride of men") and that he had
       studied Hadith with her. It was Makin-al-Din's daughter, Nezam, who inspired Ebn
       al-'Arabi to write his famous collection of poetry, Tarjoman al-ashwaq (Nicholson,
       pp. 3-4; Jahangiri, pp. 59-62).

       In 602/1205 Ebn al-'Arabi met the well-known Sufi Awhad-al-Din Kermani (d.
       635/1238) in Konya and became his close friend; he mentions him on a number of
       occasions in the Fotuhat (Chodkiewicz et al., pp. 288, 563; Addas, pp. 269-73).
       Awhad-al-Din's biographer tells us that Ebn al-'Arabi entrusted his stepson Qunawi
       to Awhad-al-Din for training (Foruzanfar, pp. 86-87), and Qunawi confirms in a
       letter that he was Kermani's companion for two years, traveling with him as far as
       Shiraz (Chittick, 1992b, p. 261 ).

       Qunawi is the most important intermediary through which Ebn al-'Arabi's
       teachings passed into the Persian-speaking world. He taught Hadith for many years
       in Konya and was on good terms with Jalal-al-Din Rumi, but there is no evidence in
       Rumi's works to support the oft-repeated assertion that he was influenced by the
       ideas of Ebn al-'Arabi or Qunawi (Chittick, forthcoming). Nevertheless, Rumi's
       commentators typically interpreted him in terms of Ebn al-'Arabi's teachings, which
       had come to define the Sufi intellectual universe. 

       Qunawi is the author of about fifteen Arabic works, including seven books and a
       number of relatively short treatises. These works are much more systematic and
       structured than those of his master. His focus on certain specific issues in Ebn
       al-'Arabi's writings, such as wojud and the perfect human being (al-ensan
       al-kamel), helped ensure that these would remain the central concern of the school.
       Certain terms typically ascribed to Ebn al-'Arabi, such as al-hadarat al-elahiya
       al-khams, "the five divine presences," seem to be Qunawi's coinages. In al-Fokuk
       (ed. M. Khúajavi, Tehran, 1371Sh./1992), Qunawi explains the significance of the
       chapter headings of the Fosus; this work was used directly or indirectly by
       practically all the Fosus commentators (Chittick, 1984). 

       Qunawi wrote a few minor Persian works, but probably not Tabserat al-mobtadi
       or Matale'-e iman, both of which have been printed in his name (Chittick, 1992b,
       pp. 255-59). However, from at least 643/1245 he taught the Ta'iya of Ebn al-Fared
       in Persian, and his lectures were put together as a systematic commentary on the
       poem by his student Sa'id-al-Din Fargani (d. 695/1296) as Mashareq al-darari (ed.
       S. J. Ashtiani, Mashhad, 1398/1978). This work was extremely popular, but even more
       so was his much expanded Arabic version of the same work, Montaha'l-madarek
       (Cairo, 1293/1876).

       The most widely read Persian work by Qunawi's students was no doubt the
       Lama'at of Fakhr-al-Din 'Eraqi (d. 688/1289), which is based on Qunawi's lectures
       on Ebn al-'Arabi's Fosus (Chittick and Wilson). Mo'ayyed-al-Din Jandi (d. ca.
       700/1300), who was initiated into Sufism by Qunawi, wrote in Arabic the first
       detailed commentary on the Fosus (ed. Ashtiani, Mashhad, 1361 Sh./1982) as well as a
       number of Persian works, including Nafhat al-ruh (ed. N. Mayel Heravi, Tehran,
       1362 Sh./1983; despite the editor's claim of a unique Tehran manuscript, there are at
       least two other copies in Istanbul [Shehit Ali Pasha 1439, Haci Mahmud Efendi 2447],
       the first an expanded version). 

       Jandi taught the Fosus to 'Abd-al-Razzaq Kashani (d. 730/1330), who wrote one of
       the most widely disseminated commentaries (Cairo, 1386/1966); it often summarizes
       or paraphrases Jandi's text. Kashani wrote several other important works, both in
       Arabic and Persian, all of which are rooted in Ebn al-'Arabi's universe of discourse.
       His Ta'wil al-Qor'an has been published in Ebn al-'Arabi's name (Beirut, 1968; for
       passages in English, see Murata); although permeated with Ebn al-'Arabi's basic
       world view, there are important differences of perspective that mark Kashani as an
       independent thinker (Lory; Morris, 1987, pp. 101-06). A Persian work on fotowwat
       (fotuwa) has also been published (Tohfat al-ekhwan fi khasa'es al-fetyan, ed. M.
       Sarraf in Rasa'el-e javanmardan, Tehran, 1973).

       Persian commentaries on the Fosus are frequently based on the Arabic
       commentary of Kashani's student, Dawud Qaysari (d. 751/1350), author of a dozen
       other Arabic works. His systematic philosophical introduction to Sharh al-Fosus
       (Tehran, 1299/1882; Bombay, 1300/1883) itself became the object of commentaries
       (for the latest, see Ashtiani, 1385/1966). Certainly, Qaysari's influence is obvious and
       acknowledged in the first Persian commentary on the Fosus, Nosus al-khosus
       (partly edited by R. Mazlumi, Tehran, 1359 Sh./ 1980), written by his student Baba
       Rokn-al-Din Shirazi (d. 769/1367). The Persian commentary by Taj-al-Din Hosayn b.
       Hasan Khwarazmi (d. ca. 835/1432; ed. N. Mayel Heravi, Tehran, 1364 Sh./1985) is
       almost a verbatim translation of Qaysari. Other Persian commentaries include
       Hall-e Fosus by Sayyed 'Ali Hamadani (d. 786/1385); this work has been wrongly
       attributed to Khwaja Parsa in its printed edition (ed. J. Mesgarneëad, Tehran, 1366
       Sh./1987; see Mayel Heravi, 1988, pp. xxi-xxvii). In his comprehensive list of the more
       than one hundred commentaries on the Fosus, Osman Yahia mentions ten in
       Persian, some of which, however, may be repeats (introduction to Amoli, pp. 16-36).
       Persian commentaries that he does not mention include the following: 1. Khatam
       al-Fosus, attributed to Shah Ne'mat-Allah Wali (d. 834/1437); this is much longer
       than any of Shah Ne'mat-Allah's printed rasa'el (manuscripts include Nadwat
       al-'Olama' 35; Andhra Pradesh State Oriental Manuscript Library, Tasawwof 254,
       Jadid 715; Khodabakhsh, Farsi 1371). 2. Another long commentary is also attributed to
       Shah Ne'mat-Allah (Andhra Pradesh, Tasawwof 185). 3. Shaikh Mohebb-Allah
       Mobarez Elahabadi (d. 1048/1648), Ebn al-'Arabi's most faithful Indian follower,
       wrote a lengthy Persian commentary and a shorter Arabic commentary. 4. Hafez
       GHolam-Mostáafa b. Mo-hammad-Akbar from Thaneswar wrote Shokhus al-hemam fi
       sharh Fosus al-hekam, a commentary of 1024 pages in the Andhra Pradesh copy
       (Tasawwof 296), apparently in the 11th/18th century. The last Persian commentary
       on the Fosus in India seems to be al-Ta'wil al-mohkam fi motashabah Fosus
       al-hekam by Mawlawi Mohammad-Hasan Saheb Amruhawi; he was living in
       Hyderabad (Deccan) when this 500-page work was published in Lucknow in 1893. 

       A number of Qunawi's contemporaries not directly connected to his circle were
       important in making at least some of Ebn al-'Arabi's teachings available to Persian
       speakers. Sa'd-al-Din Hamuya (d. 649/1252), a Persian disciple of Najm-al-Din
       Kobra, corresponded with Ebn al-'Arabi and spent several years in Damascus,
       where he met both Ebn al-'Arabi and Qunawi. He wrote works in both Arabic and
       Persian; these are often extremely difficult, especially because the author delighted
       in letter symbolism (for a Persian work, see al-Mesbah fi'l-tasawwof, ed. N. Mayel
       Heravi, Tehran, 1362 Sh./1983). His disciple 'Aziz-al-Din Nasafi (d. before 700/1300)
       was responsible for making some of Ebn al-'Arabi's terminology well-known in
       Persian; his popularizing works can hardly be compared in sophistication to those of
       'Eraqi or Fargani (see, e.g., his Ensan-e kamel, ed. M. MoleÇ, Tehran, 1962; an
       English paraphrase of his Maqsad-e aqsa was published by E. H. Palmer as
       Oriental Mysticism, London, 1867; see also Morris, pp. 745-51). Shams-al-Din
       Ebrahim Abarquhi began to write Majma' al-bahrayn (ed. N. Mayel Heravi,
       Tehran, 1364 Sh./1985) in 714/1314. The work represents an early effort to integrate
       Ebn al-'Arabi's teachings into Persian Sufism; more sophisticated than Nasafi, the
       author does not have the strong philosophical orientation typical of Qunawi and his

       Among early Persian poets influenced by Ebn al-'Arabi's teachings and terminology
       were 'Eraqi, Maghrebi, and Mahmud Shabestari (d. ca. 720/1320). Mohammad Lahiji
       (d. 912/1506) commented on Shabestari's thousand-verse Golshan-e raz in Sharh-e
       Golshan-e raz, a long Persian work rooted in the writings of Kashani and Qaysari.
       One of Ebn al-'Arabi's most learned and successful popularizers was the poet
       'Abd-al-Rahman Jami (d. 898/1492), especially through his gazals and mathnawis;
       about 1,000 verses of his Selselat al-dhahab carefully follow the text of Ebn
       al-'Arabi's Helyat al-abdal (Mayel Heravi, 1988, pp. xxxvii-xl). Jami's Persian
       prose works dealing with Ebn al-'Arabi's teachingsóthe Lawa'eh, Lawame',
       Ashe''at al-lama'at, and Naqd al-nosus fi sharh Naqsh al-Fosusóas well as his
       Arabic commentary on the Fosus, were also widely read (see introduction to Jami,
       1977). Jami was especially popular in India, and most of the numerous followers of
       Ebn al-'Arabi in the subcontinentówho were much more likely to write in Persian
       than in Arabicóare indebted to his explications of the Shaikh's works (Chittick,
       1992d). Mohammad b. Mohammad, who was known as Shaikh-e Makki (d.
       926/1020) and considered himself a disciple of Jami, defended Ebn al-'Arabi against
       attacks by narrow-minded critics in his Persian al-Janeb al-garbi fi hall moshkelat
       al-shaykh Mohyi-al-Din Ebn 'Arabi (ed. Mayel Heravi, Tehran, 1364 Sh./1985).

       The poet and Sufi master Shah Ne'mat-Allah Wali was one of Ebn al-'Arabi's most
       fervent admirers and followed closely in the tracks of Kashani and Qaysari. He
       wrote over one hundred rasalas (treatises) on theoretical and practical Sufism that
       fit squarely into Ebn al-'Arabi's universe; four of these comment on the Fosus or
       Naqsh al-Fosus, Ebn al-'Arabi's own treatise on the essential ideas of the Fosus.
       The Perso-Indian poet Mirza 'Abd-al-Qader Bidel (=Be@dil, q.v.; d. 1133/1721)
       demonstrates an intimate knowledge of Ebn al-'Arabi's school in such mathnawis
       as 'Erfan. 

       Even Sufi authors critical of Ebn al-'Arabi's teachings adopted much of his
       terminology and world view. Thus in Persia 'Ala'-al-Dawla Semnani (d. 736/1337)
       and in India Shaikh Mohammad Hosayni, known as Gisu-Deraz (d. 825/1422), and
       Shaikh Ahmad Serhendi (d. 1034/1634) do not diverge markedly from most of the
       teachings established by him and his immediate followers. Most Sufis did not take
       the criticisms of these authors too seriously. Typical are the remarks of Sayyed
       Ashraf Jahangir Semnani (d. probably in 829/1425), who studied with 'Ala'-al-Dawla
       Semnani but sided with Kashani in his defense of Ebn al-'Arabi against Semnani's
       criticisms (see Landolt, 1973). After providing the views of the participants in this
       debate and those of a number of observers, Sayyed Ashraf tells us that Semnani had
       not understood what Ebn al-'Arabi was saying and that he had retracted his
       criticisms before the end of his life (Yamani, Latáa'ef-e ashrafi, latáifa 28, pp.
       139-45; Mayel Heravi, 1367, pp. xxxi-xxxv). In a similar manner, Shah Wali-Allah
       Dehlawi (d. 1176/1762) wrote a work showing that there was no fundamental
       difference between Ebn al-'Arabi's wahdat al-wojud and Serhendi's wahdat

       From the 8th/14th century onward Ebn al-'Arabi's influence is clearly present in
       many works written by authors known primarily as theologians or philosophers.
       Among Shi'ites, Sayyed Haydar Amoli (d. 787/1385) was especially important in
       bringing Ebn al-'Arabi into the mainstream of Shi'ite thought. He wrote an
       enormous commentary on the Fosus, Nass al-nosus, the 500-page introduction of
       which has been published (representing about 10 percent of the text). Amoli
       investigates the meaning of the Fosus on three levels: naql (the Koran and Hadith,
       making special use here of Shi'ite sources), 'aql (meaning kalam and falsafa),
       and kashf (referring both to his own experience and the writings of major members
       of Ebn al-'Arabi's school). Amoli also wrote several Arabic works on metaphysics;
       especially significant is Jame' al-asrar (ed. Corbin and Yahia, Tehran, 1347 Sh./1969;
       see Morris, 106-08), which was written in his youth during his initial movement into
       Ebn al-'Arabi's universe. 

       Sa'en-al-Din 'Ali Torka Esfahani (d. 835/1432) completed a commentary on the
       Fosus in 831/1427; his treatise on wojud "being," Tamhid al-qawa'ed (ed. S. J.
       Ashtiani, Tehran, 1396/1976), frequently paraphrases Jandi's Fosus commentary. A
       number of Torka's Persian treatises (Ùahardah rasa'el, eds. S. 'A. Musawi
       Behbahani and S. E. Dibaji, Tehran, 1351 Sh./1972) make explicit or implicit
       reference to Ebn al-'Arabi's teachings. Molla Sadra (d. 1050/1641) frequently
       quotes at length from the Fotuhat in his Asfar. His student Molla Mohsen Fayd
       Kashani (d. 1090/1679) wrote an epitome of the Fotuhat and frequently quotes from
       Ebn al-'Arabi in his works (EI2 V, p. 476). Even Molla Mohammad-Baqer Majlesi
       (d. 1110/1669), well-known as a critic of Sufis in general and Ebn al-'Arabi in
       particular, quotes on occasion from Ebn al-'Arabi in his monumental Behar
       al-anwar (Beirut, 1983; e.g., ba'd ahl al-ma'refa in vol. 67, p. 339, refers to Ebn
       al-'Arabi in the Fotuhat, Cairo, 1911, vol. 2, p. 328.15). In the modern period,
       Ayat-Allah Khomeini differentiated himself from many other influential 'olama'
       by his intense interest in Ebn al-'Arabi (Knysh, 1992b). 

       The first of Ebn al-'Arabi's works to be translated into Persian was the Fosus, not
       as an independent work, but rather in the midst of the commentaries by Baba
       Rokn-al-Din and others. A translation without commentary was made by
       'Abd-al-Ghaffar b. Mohammad-'Ali; an autograph version, written in 1008/1685, is
       found in the Salar Jung Library in Hyderabad (Deccan) (Tasawwof 33; other
       copies are found in the Andhra Pradesh State Library, Tasawwof 464 and Jadid
       4248). Several short works by Ebn al-'Arabi on Sufi practice, including al-Anwar,
       Asrar al-khalwa, Haqiqat al-haqa'eq, and Helyat al-awlia' were translated in the
       8-9th/14-15th centuries (for the Persian text of these and other minor works, see
       Mayel Heravi, 1988). A manuscript (Andhra Pradesh, Jadid 1461) called Sharh-e
       Fotuhat, probably by Shaikh Mohebb-Allah Elahabadi, is the second volume (fols.
       357-747) of a work that includes translations of and commentary on long passages
       from the Fotuhat. Several of Elahabadi's long Persian works provide extensive
       translations from the Fotuhat.

       Among Persian Sufis who were especially influential in the Arabic-speaking
       countries of Islam, one can mention 'Abd-al-Karim Jili (d. 832/1428), author of
       numerous independently-minded works, who settled in the Yemen and contributed to
       the widespread interest in Ebn al-'Arabi's writings there (see Knysh, 1992a).
       Finally, it is worth noting that most followers of Ebn al-'Arabi in Persia wrote their
       theoretical works in Arabic. In contrast, the Indian subcontinent witnessed an
       enormous outpouring of Persian writing pertaining to this school of thought, a
       legacy largely ignored by modern scholars, even in the subcontinent itself (Chittick,

       Bibliography: (For cited works not given in detail, see "Short References.") The
       most comprehensive and best documented account of Ebn al-'Arabi's life is C.
       Addas, Ibn 'Arabi ou La quête du Soufre Rouge, Paris, 1989; tr. as Quest for the
       Red Sulphur, Cambridge, 1993. N. Z. Abu Zayd, Falsafat al-ta'wil, Cairo, 1983.
       H. Algar, "Reflections of Ibn 'Arabi in Early Naqshbandi Tradition," Journal of
       the Muhyiddin ibn 'Arabi Society 10, 1991, pp. 45-66. Sayyed Haydar Amoli,
       al-Moqaddemat men nass al-nosus, eds. H. Corbin and O. Yahia, Tehran, 1975. M.
       Asin Palacios, El Islam cristianizado, Madrid, 1931. S. J. Ashtiani, Sharh-e
       moqaddema-ye Qaysari bar Fosus al-hekam, Mashhad, 1385/1966. Idem, Rasa'el-e
       Qaysari, Mashhad, 1357 Sh./1978. A. Badawi, "Autobibliografía de Ibn 'Arabi,"
       al-Andalus 20, 1955, pp. 107-28. Awhad-al-Din Balyani, Épître sur l'uniciteÇ
       absolue, tr. M. Chodkiewicz, Paris, 1982. M. Bayrakdar, La philosophie mystique
       chez Dawud de Kayseri, Ankara, 1990. W. C. Chittick, "The Last Will and
       Testament of Ibn 'Arabi's Foremost Disciple and Some Notes on its Author,"
       Sophia Perennis 4/1, 1978, pp. 43-58. Idem, "The Perfect Man as the Prototype of
       the Self in the Sufism of Jami," Stud. Isl. 49, 1979, pp. 135-57. Idem, "The Five
       Divine Presences. From al-Qunawi to al-Qaysari," Muslim World 72, 1982a, pp.
       107-28. Idem, "Ibn 'Arabi's own Summary of the Fusus. 'The Imprint of the Bezels
       of Wisdom'," Journal of the Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi Society 1, 1982b, pp. 30-93.
       Idem, "The Chapter Headings of the Fusus," Journal of the Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi
       Society 2, 1984, pp. 41-94. Idem, The Sufi Path of Knowledge. Ibn al-'Arabi's
       Metaphysics of Imagination, Albany, 1989. Idem, "Ibn al-'Arabi and his School,"
       in Islamic Spirituality. Manifestations, ed. S. H. Nasr, New York, 1991, pp. 49-79.
       Idem, "The Circle of Spiritual Ascent According to al-Qunawi," Neoplatonism and
       Islamic Thought, ed. P. Morewedge, Albany, 1992a, pp. 179-209. Idem, Faith and
       Practice of Islam. Three Thirteenth Century Sufi Texts, Albany, 1992b. Idem,
       "Spectrums of Islamic Thought. Sa'id al-Din Farghani on the Implications of
       Oneness and Manyness," in The Legacy of Medieval Persian Sufism, ed. L.
       Lewisohn, London, 1992c, pp. 203-17. Idem, "Notes on Ibn al-'Arabi's Influence in
       India," Muslim World 82, 1992d, pp. 218-41. Idem, "Rumi and Wahdat al-Wujud,"
       in The Heritage of Rumi, ed. A. Banani and G. Sabagh, Cambridge, forthcoming.
       Idem and P. L. Wilson, Fakhruddin 'Iraqi. Divine Flashes, New York, 1982. M.
       Chodkiewicz, Le sceau des saints. Prophetie et sainteteÇ dans la doctrine d'Ibn
       Arabi, Paris, 1986; tr. as The Seal of the Saints, Cambridge, 1993. Idem, "The
       Diffusion of Ibn 'Arabi's Doctrine," Journal of the Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi Society
       9, 1991a, pp. 36-57. Idem, "The Futuhat Makkiya and its Commentators. Some
       Unresolved Enigmas," in The Legacy of Medieval Persian Sufism, ed. L. Lewisohn,
       London, 1991b, pp. 219-32. Idem, Un ocean sans rivage. Ibn 'Arabi, le Livre et la
       Loi, Paris, 1992; tr. as An Ocean without Shore, Albany, 1993. M. Chodkiewicz et
       al., Les Illuminations de la Mecque/The Meccan Illuminations. Textes
       choisis/Selected Texts, Paris, 1988. H. Corbin, Creative Imagination in the Sufism
       of Ibn 'Arabi, Princeton, 1969. Idem, En Islam iranien, III, Paris, 1973. Idem,
       Spiritual Body and Celestial Earth, Princeton, 1977. B. Foruzanfar, ed.,
       Manaqeb-e Awhad-al-Din ... Kermani, Tehran, 1347 Sh./1968. Y. Friedmann,
       Shaykh Ahmad Sirhindi. An Outline of His Thought and a Study of His Image in
       the Eyes of Posterity, Montreal, 1971. S. Hakim, al-Mo'jam al-sufi, Beirut, 1981.
       N. L. Heer, The Precious Pearl. al-Jami's al-Durrat al-Fakhirah, Albany, 1979. S.
       Hirtenstein and M. Notcutt, eds., Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi. A Commemorative
       Volume, Shaftesbury, Dorset, 1993. T. Izutsu, Sufism and Taoism, Los Angeles,
       1983. M. Jahangiri, Mohyi-al-Din Ebn al-'Arabi, Tehran, 1361 Sh./1982.
       'Abd-al-Rahman Jami, Naqd al-nosus fi sharh Naqsh al-Fosus, ed. W. C. Chittick,
       Tehran, 1977. Idem, Lawa'eh, text and French tr. Y. Richard, Les jaillissements de
       lumieàre, Paris, 1982; text and English tr. E. H. Whinfield and M. M. Kazwini,
       London, 1906. A. Knysh, "Ibn 'Arabi in the Yemen. His Admirers and Detractors,"
       Journal of the Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi Society 11, 1992a, pp. 38-63. Idem, "Irfan
       Revisited. Khomeini and the Legacy of Islamic Mystical Philosophy," Middle East
       Journal 46, 1992b, pp. 631-53. H. Landolt, "Der Briefwechsel zwischen Kashani und
       Simnani über Wahdat al-Wugud," Der Islam 50, 1973, pp. 29-81. Idem, "Simnani
       on Wahdat al-Wojud," in Majmu'a-ye sokhanraniha wa maqalaha, ed. M.
       Mohaqqeq and H. Landolt, Tehran, 1971, pp. 91-111. L. Lewisohn, A Critical
       Edition of the Divan of Muhammad Shirin Maghribi, Tehran and London, 1993. P.
       Lory, Les Commentaires eÇsoteÇriques du Coran d'apreàs 'Abd al-Razzaq al-Qashani,
       Paris, 1981. N. Mayel Heravi, Rasa'el-e Ebn-e 'Arabi. Dah resala-ye farsi- shoda,
       Tehran, 1367 Sh./1988. A. Mir-'Abedini, Divan-e kamel-e Shams-e Maghrebi ... be
       endemam-e Resala-ye jam-e jahannoma, Tehran, 1358 Sh./1979. J. Morris, "Ibn
       'Arabi and his Interpreters. Part I: Recent French Translations," JAOS 106, 1986,
       pp. 539-51; "Part II. Influences and Interpretations," JAOS 106, 1986, pp. 733-56;
       107, 1987, pp. 101-19. S. Murata, The Tao of Islam. A Sourcebook on Gender
       Relationships in Islamic Thought, Albany, 1992. S. 'A. Musawi Behbahani,
       "Ahwal wa athar-e Sa'en-al-Din Torka Esfahani," in Majmu'a-ye sokhhanraniha wa
       maqalaha, ed. M. Mohaqqeq and H. Landolt, Tehran, 1971, pp. 97-145. S. Nafisi,
       Kolliyat-e 'Eraqi, Tehran, 1338 Sh./1959. I. R. Netton, Allah Transcendent. Studies
       in the Structure and Semiotics of Islamic Philosophy, Theology, and Cosmology,
       London, 1989. R. A. Nicholson, The tarjuman al-ashwaq. A Collection of Mystical
       Odes by Muhyi'ddin ibn al-'Arabi, London, 1911. H. S. Nyberg, Kleinere
       Schriften des Ibn al-'Arabi, Leiden, 1919. F. Rosenthal, "Ibn 'Arabi between
       'Philosophy' and 'Mysticism'," Oriens 31, 1988, pp. 1-35. A. Schimmel, Mystical
       Dimensions of Islam, Chapel Hill, 1975, pp. 263-86 and passim. M. Takeshita, Ibn
       'Arabi's Theory of the Perfect Man and its Place in the History of Islamic
       Thought, Tokyo, 1987. O. Yahia, Histoire et classification de l' oeuvre d'Ibn
       'Arabi, Damascus, 1964. Nezam-al-Din Yamani, Latáa'ef-e ashrafi, Delhi,
       1219/1804. 'A. Zarrinkub, Donbala-ye jostoju dar tasawwof-e irani, Tehran, 1362


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