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. He was born into the cultural and religious crucible of Andalusian Spain in 1165, a place and time in which Muslim, Jewish and Christian scholars learned from each other and from the Greek classics that were then being translated and circulated. Drawing from the most advanced philosophical and metaphysical thinking of his time and from his extensive knowledge of the religion of Islam, Ibn ‘Arabi created an extraordinary mystical theology that essentially sprang from his own spiritual realization. Because of the advanced nature of his teachings he has been known for 800 years as the Sheikh al-Akbar, or the Greatest Master.
Because of the subtlety of his language and complexity of his thought, access to Ibn ‘Arabi has always been difficult and translation daunting. Previously only short extracts were available in English. This volume, the first in our English translation of Les Illuminations de la Mecque, contains 22 key chapters of this Sufi ‘summa mystica,’ on such issues as Ibn ‘Arabi’s doctrine of the Divine Names, the nature of spiritual experience, the end of time, the resurrection and the stages of the path that lead to sanctity.
This great book soars beyond time, culture and any particular form of religion. Describing what is fundamental to our humanity, it is astonishingly universal. Finally readers in the West have an entree into one of the most important, profound works of world literature.