"the meccan revelations" english

But we took our knowing from the Living One who never dies [25:58]!’ So the person with concentrated spiritual intention (himma) during their retreat with God may realize through Him – how exalted are His gifts and how prodigious His grace! The actual practice of spiritual intelligence, in all its equally essential stages and facets, is beautifully summarized in the remarkable Arabic word tahqîq, expressing the same process in more dynamic, existential terms: at once the active seeking of what is truly real (that Reality, al-haqq, which is the truly divine), the inner process of “realization,” and the wider, ongoing ethical and social process of “actualizing” those ethical imperatives [19] that can only be truly and creatively, responsibly grasped in the light of that same spiritual intelligence. The Introduction to this book is finished. In either of these key cases, modern-day presuppositions (shared by Muslim and non-Muslim readers alike) are likely to suggest diametrically opposite meanings to readers who have not studied the corresponding notes of explanation or otherwise assimilated Ibn ‘Arabî’s technical terminology. The Meccan Revelations: Selected texts from the Al-Futuhat al-Makkiya Volume 1 by M. Ibn Arabi, edited by Michel Chodkiewicz, new introduction by James W. Morris, English translations by William Chittick and James W. Morris (Pir Press) Perhaps no mystic in the history of the world has delved as deeply into the inner knowledge that informs our being as did Ibn 'Arabi. As he explains there (I 10), “The essence of what is included in this work comes from what God inspired in me while I was fulfilling my circumambulations of His Temple [the Ka’ba, bayt Allâh], or while I was contemplating it while seated in its holy precincts.” However, the actual composition of his first complete version of this immense work, composed during a time of constant travels and the simultaneous production of dozens of other works, lasted until 1231/629. : al-insân al-kâmil). Each earlier “phenomenological” expression or category – often poetic, vague and even potentially dangerous in its original formulation – is presented and analyzed in its wider contexts (both ontological and epistemological), highlighting its particular role, and simultaneous limits and dangers, in the larger process of spiritual realization. For the novice in this field, the English translation of T. Burckhardt’s original French version of a few key selected chapters of the Fusûs, The Wisdom of the Prophets (Oxford, Beshara, 1975) is considerably more approachable than R. Austin’s complete translation, Ibn al ‘Arabî: The Bezels of Wisdom (New York, Paulist Press, 1980) which has long, helpful prefaces to each chapter. He describes those experiences in a famous passage at the beginning of the book, which has been translated and discussed by each of his recent biographers. The Meccan Revelations book. [13]. The multifaceted verb translated here as “to be mindful of” God is from the central Qur’anic term taqwâ, which refers both to the spiritual condition of awe and reverence of God and to the inner and outer actions of piety and devotion flowing from that state. [5] See the basic reference in this area, O. Yahia’s two-volume Histoire et classification de l’oeuvre d’Ibn ‘Arabî (Damascus, I. F. D., 1964), which has been supplemented and corrected by several of the recent studies cited in the “Further Reading” section. Fortunately, as can be seen in the rest of these selections, many passages do not require such detailed background explanations. For those who are encountering Ibn ‘Arabî for the first time, or who would like to pursue their study of his work and teachings, this Introduction will provide helpful background information on the following areas: 2. the origin and distinctive characteristics of his Meccan Revelations (al-Futuhat al-Makkiya), in relation to his other works, including both the better known Bezels of Wisdom (Fusus al-Hikam) and the complex Islamic philosophical and poetic traditions that developed from it, as well as the poetic, allusive and highly symbolic works of his Andalusian and North African youth; 3. a summary outline of key assumptions common to all of his writings, which are essential for situating these translated chapters from the Futuhat; and of the pedagogical, rhetorical relations between the distinctive style and structure of The Meccan Revelations and Ibn ‘Arabî’s intended audiences, as he himself explains those points in his Introduction to that work; 4. the overall structure of the Futuhat and the place of these translated selections – as well as the French translations to appear in a separate companion volume – within that larger structure; 5. and finally, a selection of further English readings in different areas related to Ibn ‘Arabî, his works and teachings, and their ongoing influences and inspiration. In particular, these remarks help explain why anyone who approaches the Futuhat (as it was actually written, of course, and not through extracts and short selections) without the necessary aptitudes and proper motivating intention will very quickly set it down. 177 – 91. 629 – 52, and 108 (1988), pp. What lends it all its power and lasting importance is the way all the preceding “illuminations” will have radically transformed, for readers who have faithfully followed Ibn ‘Arabî up to this point, their inner awareness and appreciation of the actual, unimaginable complex of meanings, intentions and spiritual realizations which are in fact encapsulated and briefly expressed in each of those particular bits of spiritual advice. The Meccan Revelations: Selected texts from the Al-Futuhat al-Makkiya Volume 1 by M. Ibn Arabi, edited by Michel Chodkiewicz, new introduction by James W. Morris, English translations by William Chittick and James W. Morris (Pir Press) Perhaps no mystic in the history of the world has delved as deeply into the inner knowledge that informs our being as did Ibn 'Arabi. [15] One of the most indispensable “tools” or preparations for understanding both the Futuhat and the Fusûs al-Hikam is a detailed awareness of these core “divine sayings” that are alluded to on virtually every page of both works. This is an English translation of the first volume of Ibn Arabi's famous book of al-futuhat al-makkiyya. The Meccan Revelations: Volume 1 By Ibn Al 'Arabi Translators : William C. Chittick & James W. Morris Editor : Michel Chodkiewicz Paperback 384 Pages ISBN : 9781879708167 Publisher : Pir Press About The Book This breakthrough translation presents twenty-two key chapters from Ibn 'Arabi's ‘Abû Yazîd (al-Bastâmî) said: ‘You all took your knowledge like a dead person (receiving it) from another dead person. Ibn 'Arabi on Divine and Human Responsiveness, “Whoever knows himself...” in the Futuhat. So those on whom God has bestowed the understanding of these things will recognize them and distinguish them from other matters. They influenced the "Spiritual Writings" of the emir Abd el-Kader, who published the book in 1857, and perhaps Dante.[7]. The numerous photographs of the cities and sites where Ibn ‘Arabî lived, taught and prayed are especially helpful for anyone unfamiliar with these cultural centers of the Islamic world. Perhaps no mystic in the history of the world has delved as deeply into the inner knowledge that informs our being as did Ibn ‘Arabi. "The continuation of our acclaimed English translation of Les Iluminations de la Meque. Instead I have given it scattered throughout the chapters of this book, exhaustively and clearly explained – but in different places, as we’ve mentioned. At the time of his death, Ibn ‘Arabî himself was virtually unknown, in any wider public sense, in that Mongol/Crusader period when Islamic public authority almost vanished for some decades from all but a handful of Arab cities (and permanently from most of his native Andalusia). Both are the mature, richly evocative and moving fruits of an intensely personal, life-long reflection on the central issues and perspectives of all of Ibn ‘Arabî’s accessible writings, with visions and emphases that are radically different, yet ultimately astonishingly complementary. The inspirations that gave rise to The Meccan Revelations – as its title suggests – took place in the course of Ibn ‘Arabî’s first pilgrimage in 1202/598. The exploration of the further impact of “Akbarian” ideas, themes and insights during this period on cognate cultural forms in other religions and cultural communities living under Muslim rule in Ottoman, Safavid, South and Southeast Asian and Chinese contexts has barely begun. Ibn 'Arabi: The Meccan Revelations -The Lesser Resurrection and Initiatic Death [3] M. Chodkiewicz’s An Ocean Without Shore (see Introduction, “Suggestions for Further Reading”) is the most profound and penetrating discussion of this essential feature of all of Ibn ‘Arabî’s writings. As with the preceding section, these chapters are usually too rich and complex in their contents to be summarized in any meaningful fashion. Hadīth here, as whenever Ibn 'Arabī is referring to the Ibn Arabi and His Interpreters — Introduction: Ibn Arabi and His Interpreters — Grouping II: Ibn Arabi and His Interpreters — Grouping III: Ibn Arabi and His Interpreters — Grouping IV. His most common and all-encompassing symbolic languages in both domains are also drawn from the Qur’an and hadith: i.e., the scriptural discussions and allusions to cosmology and cosmogenesis, including the complex theological language of the divine Names [20]; and the rich, psychologically acute and precise symbolism of eschatology, which is particularly well illustrated in the selections translated below. [29], This opening section contains chapters of very different lengths introducing, often in abbreviated and initially mysterious form, all the major themes found throughout the rest of the book. End of Time’, in Ibn 'Arabī: The Meccan Revelations (co-author with W. Chittick). Such a task should be realizable within the next decades. [6], The Illuminations are a classic of Sufism, theology and Islamic philosophy. Faced with a cosmopolitan, multireligious world not unlike the great Muslim empires of the Ottomans, Safavids and Moguls, these thinkers have increasingly relied on Ibn ‘Arabî’s works and ideas for the task of creating the common language and subtle conceptual structure required to communicate universal spiritual realities in an increasingly global civilization. The following two classic volumes – both originally published in French, although fortunately available in reliable English translations [38] – were certainly not intended for beginners, in the sense we introduced earlier. In particular, we have chosen passages that are long enough, in most cases, to give readers some taste of the inseparable connection between Ibn ‘Arabî’s utterly unique style and forms of writing and the process and purposes of realization for which they were designed. Looking for books by Ibn Arabi? New York, Pir Press, 2002. The Meccan Revelations is considered the most important. Even in Ibn ‘Arabî’s day, very few individuals would have been seriously educated in more than one of these complexes of scholarship and learning. Indeed, the necessary effort to rediscover the essential inner connections between those “revealed” symbolic languages and their real existential counterparts is often far more difficult for readers deeply imbued with culturally conditioned, inadequate conceptions of the reference points of those symbols. [27] Here Ibn ‘Arabî appears to be playing with the expected Qur’anic contrast of the blind and seeing (6:50, etc. [36] Readers of the Austin translation should also try to consult the missing translation of the Introductory section of the same work (“Excerpts from the Epistle on the Spirit of Holiness (Risâlah Rûh al-Quds),” translated by R. Boase and F. Sahnoun) in Muhyiddîn Ibn ‘Arabî: A Commemorative Volume, edited by S. Hirtenstein and M. Tiernan (Shaftesbury, Element, 1993), which contains seventeen other important translations and critical studies. In addition to giving a central role to the scriptural symbolic language of the Qur’an and hadith, Ibn ‘Arabî uses a number of different technical “languages” and bodies of symbolism to refer to both of his other working hypotheses: i.e., the plane of “being,” or ontology, and the plane of individual spiritual realization, or spiritual epistemology. What he says there is indispensable in appreciating the different audiences for whom he has written this work, as much today as in his own time: We said: From time to time it occurred to me that I should place at the very beginning of this book a chapter concerning (theological) creeds, supported by definitive arguments and salient proofs. According to Michel Chodkiewicz, this book occupies a particularly important place in Ibn Arabi's work because it represents "the ultimate state of his teaching in its most complete form". A second, equally mysterious stage in Ibn ‘Arabî’s ongoing influence has been the ways his writings and concepts have served, over the past century, to inspire contemporary intellectuals and students of religion and spirituality outside traditionally Islamic cultures. This volume consists of the English portions of Les Illuminations de La Mecque – The Meccan Illuminations: Textes choisis / Selected texts, originally published in Paris, 1988. The Meccan revelations. [28] Major autobiographical sections of the khutba regarding Ibn ‘Arabî’s role as “Seal of the Muhammadan Saints” were translated by M. Vâlsan (originally in tudes Traditionnelles, 1953) and were reprinted under the title “l’Investiture du cheikh al-Akbar au centre suprme” in the volume l’Islam et la fonction de René Guénon (Paris, 1984), pp. [Ibn al-ʻArabī; Michel Chodkiewicz; William C Chittick; James Winston Morris; Cyrille Chodkiewicz; Denis Gril] -- "The continuation of our acclaimed English translation of Les Iluminations de la Meque. [38] Because both works are so highly allusive, personal, poetic, and so deeply rooted in very personal readings of difficult passages from Ibn ‘Arabî, the Qur’an and many other Islamic classics, they should certainly be read in the original if at all possible. – who played an important role in Ibn ‘Arabî’s own development, as well as in Sufism and popular Islamic spirituality more generally. What counts, at every stage, is each reader’s active intention and willingness to seek and perceive the inner connection between Ibn ‘Arabî’s words and his or her own corresponding experience and realization. (One might cite here the pioneering efforts of Professor Paul Fenton regarding Jewish spiritual and religious encounters in Ottoman contexts at that time.). Ibn ‘Arabî brought most of those hadith together in his own or version of the Islamic tradition of transmitting “forty” (arba’în) favorite hadith, the celebrated Mishkât al-Anwâr (“Niche for Lights”). On a more widely accessible level, M. Sells’s Stations of Desire: Love Elegies From Ibn ‘Arabî’ (Jerusalem, Ibis, 2000) should now replace R. Nicholson’s frequently cited versions (The Tarjuman al-Ashwaq: A Collection of Mystical Odes) as a superb introduction to the central poetic dimension of Ibn ‘Arabî’s work, which is of course quite evident in the “keynote” poems that introduce virtually every chapter of The Meccan Revelations. In assembling this volume, my colleagues and I intended each section to be relatively self-contained and accessible, together with its introductory matter and notes, to readers without previous contact with Ibn ‘Arabî’s works. [1] I.e., as distinguished from the various historically accrued bodies of interpretation and application in various historical and cultural settings, which may or may not be in accord with that actual Source: hence the inherently creative and unavoidably subversive potential of Ibn ‘Arabî’s teachings in any particular historical setting, Islamic or otherwise. His major work on Sufism, Al-Futuhat al-Makkiyya (The Meccan revelations) is an extensive encyclopedia comprising 560 chapters. and original translator, to facilitate reference from these translations to their original contexts in the Futûhât. [32]. And the lengthy chapter 73 (numerous parts of which are translated in this volume) includes both an elaborate discussion of the types of spiritually realized “saints” (awliyâ’) and Ibn ‘Arabî’s famous responses to Hakîm Tirmidhî’s marvelous “spiritual questionnaire,” or inventory of symbolic expressions that can only be understood by purely spiritual inspiration. ‘The blind and the truly seeing are alike’ in Its regard: [27] It brings together things most far and most near, and conjoins the most high and most low.’And in his final version of The Meccan Revelations, completed shortly before his death, he set down this new “last word,” which adds one key explanation as to why the full understanding of his writing is so challenging: Now this was the credo of the elite among the people of God. [13] See the recent study and translation by G. Elmore cited in the “Further Readings” section, or the even more striking example of Ibn ‘Arabî’s autobiographical K. al-Isrâ’. Third, Ibn ‘Arabî’s usual procedure throughout The Meccan Revelations is to shift constantly between multiple registers and references to the terminology, structures and intellectual assumptions of a host of fields of traditional learning that are often unfamiliar to most modern readers. He died in Damascus. The eighty chapters of this section take up the classical Sufi distinctions of these passing spiritual states, but typically with an approach – well illustrated in the selections translated here – quite distinctive to Ibn ‘Arabî. [7] Despite the historically quite recent ideological responses to colonialism, the transformations of modernity and the new demands of the nation-state, most Muslims throughout the world have lived for the past six or seven centuries in cultural, spiritual and religious worlds [8] whose accomplished forms would be unimaginable without the profound impact of ideas rooted in and expressed by Ibn ‘Arabî. [12] A few of those features are mentioned in the following section, but the best discussion (still very allusive, and assuming a detailed knowledge of the Qur’an and hadith) is scattered throughout M. Chodkiewicz’s An Ocean Without Shore. The following six sections of The Meccan Revelations, with a total of 560 chapters, are preceded not only by Ibn ‘Arabî’s Introduction and Table of Contents, as already mentioned, but also by two more poetic and highly symbolic shorter passages: Ibn ‘Arabî’s “Opening Address” (khutbat al-kitâb), [28] which has been translated and studied in a number of places, and his introductory “Letter” (risâla) to his longtime Tunisian Sufi friend, al-Mahdawî, and other Sufi companions in Tunisia with whom he spent several fruitful months on his way toward Mecca. And at the very least, explanatory notes are essential in such cases to help readers begin to reconstruct the experience of what it would be like to read through the Futûhât from the very beginning. A final distinctive characteristic of the Futûhât, in the context of Ibn ‘Arabî’s own writings, is the relatively discursive and comprehensible explanatory prose of most of the chapters – a quality that is only apparent, one must admit, when compared with the extremely allusive, poetic and mysteriously symbolic discourse that is more typical of the earlier writings from his North African and Andalusian period. [12] Despite the multitude of his later learned and artistic followers and interpreters, no one has really attempted any sort of detailed imitation of that distinctive Arabic literary style, which remains as unique, in its own way, as the equally inimitable Qur’an-inspired structures of Rumi and Hafez. [20] William Chittick’s first book on the Futûhât, the Sufi Path of Knowledge (see “Further Readings”) rightly emphasizes the importance (both intellectual and existential) of understanding Ibn ‘Arabî’s peculiar usage of this theological language, which is so essential that without it most of The Meccan Revelations will remain incomprehensible. This is one of the main reasons that we still have very few complete translations of important longer chapters from the Futûhât. Ibn 'Arabi: The Meccan Revelations - The Lesser Resurrection and Initiatic Death Print Details Written by Ibn Arabi Category: Islam Created: 03 January 1013 The final outcome of the affair (al-amr) is the return from the many to the One, for both the man of faith and the polytheist (mushrik). In this anthology: chapters 130131, and 140-141 (“Towards Sainthood”, Chittick); in the French sections of the Sindbad edition: chapters 88, (IV, C. Chodkiewicz); and 161 (VI, Gril). That semantic reality is what explains the translators’ frequent interpolation of transliterations of the underlying Arabic terms, useful at least to those with some familiarity with Sufi and Qur’anic Arabic terminology. In the Illuminations Ibn Arabi develops a theory of the imagination and the imaginary world explained by Henry Corbin. Second, Ibn ‘Arabî – whether in his poetry or prose – constantly plays with the multiple, often very different meanings and registers of key Arabic terms (especially from the Qur’an), which in his writings are normally closer in their polyvalence to musical chords or the symbols of the I Ching than to the prosaic “equivalents” of any possible English translation. For this is the True Knowing and the Veridical Saying, and there is no goal beyond It. Anyone wishing to keep up with translations and studies of Ibn ‘Arabî, and more particularly with the dramatic unfolding of worldwide academic research into his profound influences in all aspects of later Islamic religion and the Islamic humanities, should refer to past and present issues of the Journal of the Muhyiddîn Ibn ‘Arabî Society (Oxford, now in its third decade). The Meccan Revelations is considered the most important. On an initial, static or schematic level, the first of those fundamental working assumptions, is the profound concordance or correspondence, rooted in the deepest sources of reality, between the three “books” of being [16] or creation; of “revelation” (again, with meanings and domains that go far beyond the usual historicist notions that the word might suggest); and of the human soul. This is an English translation of the first volume of Ibn Arabi’s famous book of al- futuhat al-makkiyya. initially connected with a single key passage or symbolic phrase from the Qur’an or other divine sayings. The Meccan Revelations, Volume II book. Finally, The Meccan Revelations are replete with allusive cross-references to other writings or discussions of related topics elsewhere in the same book, which are absolutely indispensable to understanding the particular passage, symbol or allusion in question. Indeed the level of scholarly understanding and worldwide interest in the Futuhat has approached the point where the possibility of a serious, collective effort to begin to translate at least the opening Fasl (more than a quarter of the entire work) is now being seriously considered. [37] Still available in the later version published by the University of California Press, 1984, under the new title: Sufism and Taoism: A Comparative Study of Key Philosophic Concepts. The main subjects covered include metaphysics, cosmology, spiritual anthropology, the relationship of science … [3] There is also a psychological and religious description of the effects of Allah's Love (in both the subjective and objective sense of expression).

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