Presented by Omar K Neusser
- on the one hand, the possible things as they exist in the cosmos, and
- on the other hand, the possible things nonexistent in the cosmos but existent in God’s knowledge.
- entities are either existing in the cosmos (as possible things and existent) or
- entities are nonexistent in the cosmos but existent in God’s knowledge (as possible things.)
- So all things are possible things?!
God creates the cosmos in accordance with His eternal knowledge of it. Thereby He gives each thing known to Him existence in the universe = each entity, “immutably fixed” (thābit ) within His knowledge, is given existence in the universe [as He choses and decides.]
There is no difference between the entity known in God’s knowledge and the entity in the cosmos except that in the first case it is ”nonexistent” while in the second case it is existent. [and they are both possible things.]
The existent entity (´ayn mawjūda ) and the fixed entity (´ayn al-thābita ) are the same reality, one exists in the cosmos and the other does not. The difference between the two corresponds exactly to the difference between the possible thing before it is given existence and the same possible thing after it comes into existence.
However the attribute thābita, ”fixed”, helps remind us that the possible thing never leaves its state of possibility in the Divine knowledge. Though the entity may “exist” in the cosmos, it is still immutably fixed and “nonexistent” in God’s knowledge.
SPK81-83, The Sufi Path Of Knowledge, Ibn Arabi's Metaphysics of Imagination; W C Chittick; p81
Insights Into The Nature Of (Being) And Existence From Sh. Muhyiddīn Ibn ʿArabī
Sh. Muhyiddīn Ibn al-ʿArabī And the Unfolding of the Islamic Intellectual Tradition