Sufi Metaphysics and Qur'anic Prophets

Sufi Metaphysics and Qur'anic Prophets,
Ibn 'Arabi's Thought & Method in the Fusus al-Hikam,
[A5+] Paperback - 233 pages,
Muhy'ud-Din Ibn al-Arabi,
Compiled by Ronald Nettler.
Published by the Islamic Texts Society, Cambridge, UK.



Description :

The Fusus al-Hikam is acknowledged to be a summary statement of the sufi metaphysics of the “Greatest Master”, Ibn ‘Arabi (d.1240). It is also recognised that the Fusus is a work of great complexity both in its ideas and its style; and, over the centuries, numerous commentaries have been written on it.

Each of the chapters of the Fusas is dedicated to a Qur’anic Prophet with whom a particular “wisdom” is associated. In Sufi Metaphysics and Quranic Prophets: Ibn’ Arabi’s Thought and Method in the Fusus al-Hikam, Ronald Nettler examines ten chapters from the Fusus which exemplify the ideas, method and perspective of the entire work. Concentrating on a detailed analysis of the text, the author brings out the profound connection and integration of scripture and metaphysics in the world-view of Ibn Arabi.

'Sufi Metaphysics and Qur’anic Prophets' serves not only as an explication of Ibn Arabi’s thought in the Fusus, but is also a great aid in the overall understanding of Ibn Arabi’s thought.

The Fusus and the Qur'an : My basic approach to Ibn 'Arabi's thought in the Fusus is, then, from a Qur'anic and traditional Islamic perspective. Such a perspective reveals Qur'anic (and, sometimes, also hadith) framework stories as the core round which Ibn 'Arabi builds and explicates his sufi metaphysics. This is effected in the text in different ways, the better to fulfil Ibn 'Arabi's purpose in the various chapters of the Fusus. He might, for example, take certain elements directly from a Qur'anic narrative(s) concerning the prophet to whom a particular chapter is dedicated and construct his framework story in this way.

Other Qur'anic passages and selected hadith which are not directly related to that prophet might also be incorporated here. Or, he might construct a Qur'anic 'story' composed of elements which have no overt relation in the Qur'an to the prophet involved, but which for Ibn 'Arabi exemplify important aspects of that prophet's life and character. Or, again, in yet another, less typical, formulation, Ibn 'Arabi might use a framework story based on a hadith narrative not overtly related to the designated prophet and employing some Qur'anic components. Finally, Ibn 'Arabi might use any or all of these, alone or in combination.

Shaykh al-Akbar Muhammad b. 'Ali al-'Arabi al-Hatimi al-Ta'i, may Allah be pleased with him, commonly known and referred to as Ibn 'Arabi, was a major figure of Islamic religious thought and of sufism, the mystical tradition of Islam. Ibn 'Arabi was born in Murcia in al-Andalus, Islamic Spain, on 27 July 1165 (17 Ramadan 560). He grew up in a privileged position, as a result of his father's various posts of political importance. Inclining in his later teen years toward a quest for intellectual, religious and spiritual truth, Ibn 'Arabi spent the rest of his life on this path. From his late twenties, he began his physical journeys outward from Spain, first to the Maghrib several times and, in following years, to various points in the East. In 1223, Ibn 'Arabi finally settled in Damascus where, now finished with his wanderings, he lived out his remaining years, working assiduously and producing a number of important works; among these was the Fusus al-Hikam, which Ibn 'Arabi claimed to have received in a vision from the Prophet Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, in that city.

Ronald L. Nettler is university research lecturer in Oriental Studies, Oxford University, and fellow and tutor in Oriental Studies at Mansfield College, Oxford.

Table of Contents :


---Chapter [1] : Ibn Arabi: The Man and His ideas and methods,
---Chapter [2] : The Wisdom of Divineness in the Word of Adam,
---Chapter [3] : The Wisdom of Exaltedness in the Word of Musa,
---Chapter [4] : The Wisdom of leadership in the Word of Harun,
---Chapter [5] : The Wisdom of Ecstatic Love in the Word of Ibrahim,
---Chapter [6] : The Wisdom of Unity in the Word of Hud,
---Chapter [7] : The Wisdom of the Heart in the Word of Shu’ayb,
---Chapter [8] : The Wisdom of Divine Decree in the Word of Uzayr,
---Chapter [9] : The Wisdom of Divine Sovereignty in the Word of Zakariyya,
---Chapter [10] : The Wisdom of Singularity in the Word of Muhammad,
---Chapter [11] : A Lutian Epilogue.





Size : 235 x 155mm


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  • Written by: Sh. Ibn al-Arabi

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