Ibn al-'Arabi

1165 - 1240

A Quote by Abu Bakr Muhammad Ibn al-`Arabi on departure, dreams, eternity, facts, god, imagination, perception, reason, understanding, and universe

Questioner: How do you know God? Abu Asa'id al-Kharraz: By the fact that He is the coincidentia oppositorum. Corbin's commentary: . . . the entire universe of worlds is at once He and not-He (huwa la huwa). The God manifested in forms is at once Himself and other than Himself, for since He is manifested, He is the limited which has no limit, the visible which cannot be seen. This manifestation is neither perceptible nor verifiable by the sensory faculties; discursive reason rejects it. It is perceptible only by the Active Imagination (Hadrat al-Khayal...) at times when it dominates man's sense perceptions, in dreams or better still in the waking state (in the state characteristic of the gnostic when he departs from the consciousness of sensuous things). In short, a mystic perception (dhawq) is required. To perceive all forms as epiphanic forms (mazahir), that is, to perceive through the figures which they manifest and which are the eternal hexeities, that they are other than the Creator and nevertheless that they are He, is precisely to effect the encounter, the coincidence, between God's descent toward the creature and the creature's ascent toward the Creator. The "place" of this encounter is not outside the Creator-Creature totality, but is the area within it which corresponds specifically to the Active Imagination, in the manner of a bridge joining the two banks of a river. The crossing itself is essentially a hermeneutics of symbols, a method of understanding which transmutes sensory data and rational concepts into symbols (mazahir) by making them effect this crossing.

Ibn al-'Arabi (1165 - 1240)

Source: Corbin, Henry. Creative Imagination in the Sufism of Ibn `Arabi, 1969. p. 188-189

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by Abu Bakr Muhammad Ibn al-`Arabi on divinity, investment, names, and present

. . . the Divine Being is not fragmented, but wholly present in each instance, individualized in each theophany of His Names, and it is invested in each instance with one of these Names that He appears as Lord.

Ibn al-'Arabi (1165 - 1240)

Source: Corbin, Henry. Creative Imagination in the Sufism of Ibn `Arabi, 1969. p. 121

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by Abu Bakr Muhammad Ibn al-`Arabi on divinity, faith, god, heart, limits, order, and understanding

The "God created in the faith" manifests Himself no longer in order to impose Himself on the faithful, but in order to express His limits, for these limits are the condition which makes possible one among the many divine epiphanies. The gnostic does not receive a ready-made Image of his Lord, but understands Him in the light of the Image which in the course of his manajat, his intimate dialogue, appears in the mirror of his heart as subtle organ.

Ibn al-'Arabi (1165 - 1240)

Source: Corbin, Henry. Creative Imagination in the Sufism of Ibn `Arabi, 1969. p. 270

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by Abu Bakr Muhammad Ibn al-`Arabi on compassion, divinity, faith, god, heart, and mind

The image of the God whom the faithful creates is the Image of the God whom his own being reveals. Thus it is psychologically true to say that "the God created in the faiths" is the symbol of the Self. The God to whom we pray can be only the God who reveals Himself to us, by us, and for us, but it is praying to Him that we cause the "God created in the faiths" to be himself enveloped in the Divine Compassion, that is, existentiated, manifested by it. The theophanies of the "Gods" manifested to the heart or to the faiths are all theophanies of the real One God (Haqq Haqiqi). When we are the musalli, this must be borne in mind; he who knows this is the gnostic who has untied the knot of closed, limited dogmas, because for him they have become theophanic symbols.

Ibn al-'Arabi (1165 - 1240)

Source: Corbin, Henry. Creative Imagination in the Sufism of Ibn `Arabi, 1969. p. 266-267

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by Abu Bakr Muhammad Ibn al-`Arabi on anguish, appearance, divinity, eternity, existence, experience, god, knowledge, maxims, meaning, names, nostalgia, reality, and relatives

The Names . . . have existed from all eternity: these Names are designated as "Lords" (Arbab), who often have all the appearance of hypostases though they cannot strictly be defined as such. We know them only by our knowledge of ourselves (that is the basic maxim). God describes Himself to us through ourselves. Which means that the divine Names are essentially relative to the beings who name them, since these beings discover and experience them in their own mode of being. . . . Thus the divine Names have meaning and full reality only through and for beings . . . in which they are manifested. Likewise from all eternity, these forms, substrate of the divine Names, have existed in the divine Essence (A 'yan thabita). And it is these latent individualities who from all eternity have aspired to concrete being in actu. Their aspiration is itself nothing other than the nostalgia of the divine Names yearning to be revealed. And this nostalgia of the divine Names is nothing other than the sadness of the unrevealed God, the anguish He experiences in His unknownness and occultation.

Ibn al-'Arabi (1165 - 1240)

Source: Corbin, Henry. Creative Imagination in the Sufism of Ibn `Arabi, 1969. p. 114-115

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by Abu Bakr Muhammad Ibn al-`Arabi on compassion and world

. . . the "Sigh of Compassion" flows through the things of the world like the waters of a river and is unceasingly renewed.

Ibn al-'Arabi (1165 - 1240)

Source: Corbin, Henry. Creative Imagination in the Sufism of Ibn `Arabi, 1969. p. 201

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by Abu Bakr Muhammad Ibn al-`Arabi on attitude, concern, doctors, giving, ignorance, islam, laws, mortality, secrets, spirituality, stupidity, and sufi

When Sufism was at loggerheads with the legalitarian Islam embodied by the doctors of the Law, known as the fuqaha', according to Henry Corbin: . . . Ibn 'Arabi made no secret of his disgust at their stupidity, ignorance, and depravity, and such an attitude was not calculated to win their favor. The tension rose, giving rise to denunciations and arrests; our shaikh was in mortal peril. At this critical moment the irreducible antagonism between the spiritual Islam of Sufism and legalitarian Islam became patent. Saved by the intervention of a friendly shaikh, Ibn 'Arabi had but one concern, to flee far from Cairo and its hateful, bigoted canonists. Where was he to seek refuge? He returned to Meca (1207).

Ibn al-'Arabi (1165 - 1240)

Source: Corbin, Henry. Creative Imagination in the Sufism of Ibn `Arabi, 1969.

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by Abu Bakr Muhammad Ibn al-`Arabi

The total being is the union of this Lord and of His vassal. The two dimensions refer indeed to the same being, but to the totality of that being; one is added to (or multiplied by) the other, they cannot negate one another, one cannot be confounded with, or substituted for the other.

Ibn al-'Arabi (1165 - 1240)

Source: Corbin, Henry. Creative Imagination in the Sufism of Ibn `Arabi, 1969. p. 209

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by Abu Bakr Muhammad Ibn al-`Arabi on divinity, eternity, inclusion, individuality, and present

The totality of our being is not only the part which we at present call our person, for this totality also includes another person, a transcendent counterpart which remains invisible to us, what Ibn 'Arabi designates as our "eternal individuality" - our divine name.

Ibn al-'Arabi (1165 - 1240)

Source: Corbin, Henry. Creative Imagination in the Sufism of Ibn `Arabi, 1969. p. 173

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by Abu Bakr Muhammad Ibn al-`Arabi on children, christ, compassion, death, divinity, eternity, heart, inspiration, investment, nature, secrets, soul, and spirituality

Indeed as Jalaluddin Rumi also says, each of our eternal individualities is a word, a divine Word, emitted by the Breath of Divine Compassion. When this Word penetrates the mystic's heart... that is, when the "secret of his Lord" unfolds to his consciousness, when divine inspiration invests his heart and soul, "his nature is such that there is born within him a spiritual Child (walad ma'nawi) having the breath of Christ which resuscitates the dead."

Ibn al-'Arabi (1165 - 1240)

Source: Corbin, Henry. Creative Imagination in the Sufism of Ibn `Arabi, 1969. p. 172

Contributed by: Zaady

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