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On The Self-Disclosure Of

God - Allah

Acc. to Shaykh Muhyiddin Ibn ʿArabi

pt. 2

By Omar KN

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On the Selves, the Horizons and the Cosmos

Shaykh Muhyiddin Ibn ʿArabi:

”The cosmos, all of it, is a book inscribed [Su 52:2], since it is an orderly arrangement, parts of which have been joined to other parts. Instant by instant in every state it gives birth. There is nothing but the appearance of entities perpetually.

” No existence-giver ever gives existence to anything until it loves giving it existence. Hence everything in wujūd is a beloved, so there are nothing but loved ones. (IV 424-21)


” The Lawgiver turned you over to knowledge of yourself in knowledge of God through His words, {We shall show them Our signs}, which are the signifiers, {upon the horizons and in themselves}. Hence He did not leave aside anything of the cosmos, for everything of the cosmos that is outside of you is identical with the horizons, which are the regions around you.
{Until it is clear to them that it is the Real}, nothing else, because there is nothing else. (III 275.32)


” [The friend of God] exceeds those who are veiled only because of what God inspires into his secret heart. This may be a consideration of his rational faculty or his reflection, or it may be a readiness, through the polishing of the mirror of his heart, for the signs to be unveiled through unveiling, witnessing, tasting, and finding. (III 344.34)

” God has placed His signs in the cosmos as the habitual and the non-habitual. No one takes the habitual into account save only the folk of understanding from God. Others have ho knowledge of God's desire through them.

” God has filled the Koran with [mention of] the habitual signs, such as the alternation of day and night, the descent of the rains, the bringing forth of vegetation, the running of ships in the sea, the diversity of tongues and colors, sleep during the night, and the daytime for seeking after God's bounty. So also is everything He has mentioned in the Koran as signs {for a people who have intelligence} [Su 13:4], {who hear [Su 10:67] {who understand} [Su 6:98], {who have faith [Su 6:99], {who know} [Su 6:97], {who have certainty} [Su 2:118], and {who reflect} [Su 13:3]. Despite all this, no one gives it any notice save the Folk of God, who are the Folk of the Koran, God's elect.

” The non-habitual signs-that is, those that break habits - are those that display traces within the souls of the common people, such as earthquakes and tremblers, eclipses, the rational speech of animals, walking on water, passing through the sky, announcing events in the future that happen exactly as announced, reading thoughts, eating from engendered existence, and the satiation of many people with a small amount of food. Such things are taken into account only by the common people.

” When miraculous breaking of habits occurs not on the basis of uprightness, or if it does not alert people and incite them to retum to God such that they return and exert themselves in returning, then it is a deception and a {leading on step by step from whence they know not} [Su 7:182]. This is the {sure guile} [Su 7:183] - God's gifts, despite [the servant's] acts of opposition.' (II 372.10)

” God has unveiled the covering of ignorance from the eyes of their insights and has made them witness the signs of themselves and the signs of the horizons. Hence it has become {clear to them that it is the Real} [Su 41:53], nothing else. So they have faith in Him, or rather, they know Him through every face and in every form, and they know that {He encompasses everything} [Su 41:54]. The gnostics see nothing unless in Him, since He is the container that encompasses everything. And how should He not be? He has alerted us to this with His name Aeon, within which enters everything other than God, so he who sees something sees it only in Him. That is why Abū Bakr said, "I see nothing without seeing God before it," for he did not see it until it had entered into Him. Necessarily, his eye saw the Real before the thing, for he saw the thing proceed from Him. So the Real is the house of all existent things, because He is wujūd. And the heart of the servant is the house of the Real, because it embraces Him - that is, the heart of the one who has faith, none other. (IV 7.30)

” In this waystation is found the knowledge of the rational proofs and demonstrations that judge their Existence-Giver as is worthy of Him and [the knowledge of] His acknowledgment of their truthfulness in what they judge. After all, God set up some signs only for the Possessors of the Kernels, who are those who understand the meanings of the signs through the rational faculty that God has mounted within them.

” Moreover, God made reason itself a sign of reason, and He bestowed upon it the remembering and reminding faculty that reminds it of the Real who discloses Himself to it so that it knows Him through witnessing and vision. Then He lets down the veils of nature upon it, and then He calls it to His knowledge through the signifiers and the signs. He reminds it that its own self is the first signifier of Him, so it should consider it. (III 291.2)

” The Messenger of God ﷺ said that there is no path to knowledge of God but knowledge of self, for he said, "He who knows himself knows his Lord." He also said, "He who knows himself best knows his Lord best." Hence he made you a signifier. That is, he made your knowledge of yourself signify your knowledge of Him. This is either by way of the fact that He described you with the same essence and attributes with which He described Himself and He made you His vicegerent and deputy in His earth; or it is that you have poverty and need for Him in your existence; or it is the two affairs together, and inescapably so.

” We also see that, concerning the knowledge of God that is called maʿrifa, God says, {We shall show them Our signs upon the horizons and in themselves until it is clear to them that He is the Real}, Hence the Real turned us over to the {horizons}, which is everything outside of us, and to {ourselves}, which is everything that we are upon and in. When we come to understand these two affairs together, we come to know Him and it becomes clear to us {that He is the Real}. Hence the signifying of God is more complete.

” This is because, when we consider ourselves to begin with, we do not know whether consideration of the cosmos outside ourselves - indicated by His words, {in the horizons} - gives us a knowledge of God that is not given by ourselves or by everything in ourselves. If if did give us such a knowledge, then, when we considered ourselves, we would gain the knowledge of God that is gained by those who consider the horizons. As for the Lawgiver, he knew that the self brings together all the realities of the cosmos. Hence he focused you upon yourself because of his eager desire-since, as God said concerning him, {He is eagerly desirous for you} [Su 9:128]. He wanted you to approach the signifier so that you would win knowledge of God quickly, and through it reach felicity.

” As for the Real, He mentioned the horizons to warn you of what we mentioned - lest you imagine that something remains in the horizons giving a knowledge of God that is not given by your self.
Hence He turned you over to the horizons. Then, when you recognize from them the very signifier of God that they provide, you will consider yourself, and you will find that the knowledge of God that is yielded by your consideration of the horizons is exactly the same as that yielded by your consideration of yourself. Then no obfuscation will remain to cause misgivings in you, because there will be nothing but God, you, and what is outside you, that is, the cosmos.

” Then He taught you how to consider the cosmos. He said, {Do you not see how your Lord draws out the shadow?} [Su 25:45]. {What, do they not consider how the clouds were created} and so on [Su 88:17 ff.]. {Have they not considered the sovereignty of the heavens and the earth?} [Su 7:185]. Such is every verse in which He urges you to consider the signs. In the same way He says, {Surely in that are signs for a people who have intelligence} [Su 13:4], {who reflect} [Su 13:3], {who hear} [Su 10:67], and {who understand} [Su 6:98], and {for the knowers} [Su 30:22], {for the faithful} [Su 15:77], {for the possessors of understanding} [Su 20:128], and {for the possessors of the kernels} [Su 3:190]. He knew that He created the creatures in stages, so He enumerated the paths that lead to knowledge of Him, since no stage oversteps its waystation, because of what God has mounted within it.

” The Messenger turned you over to yourself alone because he knew that the Real would be your faculties and that you would know Him through Him, not through other than He. For He is the Exalted, and the 'Exalted' is the forbidden through its unreachability. When someone attains someone else, the latter is not forbidden in its unreachability, so he is not exalted. That is why the Real is your faculties, When you know Him and you attain to Him, none will have known and attained to Him save He. Hence the attribute of exaltation never leaves Him. Such is the situation, for the door to knowledge of Him is shut, unless it comes from Him, and inescapably so. (II 298.29)

” God says, {We shall show them Our signs upon the horizons and in themselves} so that they will know that the human being is a microcosm of the cosmos containing the signs that are within the cosmos. The first thing that is unveiled to the companion of the seclusion are the signs of the cosmos, before the signs of his own self, for the cosmos is before him, as God has said: {We shall show them Our signs upon the horizons}. Then, after this, He will show him, the signs that he saw in the cosmos within himself. If he were to see them first in himself, then in the cosmos, perhaps he would imagine that his self is seen in the cosmos, So God rernoved this confusion for him by giving priority to the vision of the signs in the cosmos, just as has occurred in wujūd. After all, the cosmos is prior to the human being. How should it not be prior to him? It is his father. Thus the vision of those signs that are in the horizons and in himself clarify for him that He is the Real, nothing else. (II 150.33)

” The negation (of the shahadah: 'no god' / la ilāha) is turned toward the indefinite noun, which is god, while the affirmation is tumed toward the definite noun, which is {God / Allāh}. The negation is turned toward the indefinite that is, {god} only because all things are included within it. There is nothing that does not have a share of divinity to which it lays claim. This is why the negation is turned toward it, since the "god" is he whose shares do not become designated, because all shares belong to him. When people recognize that the god possesses all shares, they recognize that He is called by the name God / Allah. (IV 89.16)

Source: SDG6

Oriental Pattern


Related texts:
link-in Ibn `Arabi - Texts Overview

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