The Greatest Master “Muhyiddin Ibn al-Arabi” is one of the most famous Sufi figures in Islamic history. His writings have deep influence on many intellectuals and mystics in the Islamic civilization throughout the centuries that followed, and have more recently attracted wide interest in the West.
In this book, we shall give detailed accounts on his biography, starting from his early life in Andalusia, the scholars he met there and how he learned from them the principles of Islamic mysticism, his various discussions with some of the famous figures of his time, his frequent traveling between the cities of Andalusia and Morocco, and then his moving to Mecca and the various voyages he performed in the East before settling in Damascus until he passed away in 638 AH / 1240 AD.
Although there will be no dedicated sections to discuss his complex theological doctrine, and his philosophical and ontological views, this will be adequately elaborated throughout the book as we comment on the hundreds of books that he authored in these many cities that he visited or stayed in for intermittent periods, together with the relevant discussions he had with the masters and students he met there.
This research is based on the earlier Arabic edition by the author: “Shams ul-Maghreb”, first published in 2006. The title of this book: “the Sun from the West”, has no direct relation with his famous book of Anqaa Mughrib, that speaks about “the Seal of Saints”, although Ibn al-Arabi himself is often identified as “the Seal of Muhammadan Saints”.
Nevertheless, this title is drawn from the fact that his life cycle is profoundly analogous with the daily voyage of the Sun; slowly rising from the orient and then climbing up towards the dome of the sky, before setting down to hide behind the mountains and distant hills, disappearing temporarily from our sight, in order to surprise us again the next morning. Ibn al-Arabi, however, took a different path, and a special way, where he rose from the west, from Andalusia, then he journeyed back to the east. Moreover, this similarity with the Sun applies for many profound details, as we explain in each of the seven chapters that are named after the different periods of the day: dawning, morning, forenoon, noontime, afternoon, evening and dusking.
We shall also discover that the mystery behind this symbolic analogy is deeply connected with his view of the periodic motion of time, and particularly the seven days of the week, that are also profoundly connected the seven main divine attributes: Living, Knowing, Willing, Ability, Hearing, Seeing and Speaking, as we have discussed in the Single Monad Model of the Cosmos.
Please note that this electronic version is a pre-print. Updates will be also published on the dedicated website sunofwest.com until the final book is ready for publication.