Mystic, philosopher, poet, sage, Muhammad Ibn el Arabi is one of the world’s greatest spiritual teachers. He was born in Murcia, Al-Andalus in 1165 and his writings had an immense impact throughout the Islamic world and beyond.
The most famous idea attributed to el Arabi is wahdat al-wojud “the oneness of being.” Although he never employs the term, the idea is implicit throughout his writings. In the manner of both theologians and philosophers, Ibn el Arabi employs the term wojud to refer to God as the Necessary Being. Like them, he also attributes the term to everything other than God, but he insists that wojud does not belong to the things found in the cosmos in any real sense. Rather things borrow wojud from God, much as the earth borrows light from the sun.
THE SPECIAL LOVE
by Ibn el Arabi
As the full moon appears from the night, so appears
her face amid the tresses.
From sorrow comes the perception of her: the eyes
crying on the cheek; life the black narcissus
Shedding tears upon a rose.
More beauties are silenced: her fair quality is
Even to think of her harms her subtlety (thought is
Too coarse a thing to perceive her). If this be
So, how can she correctly be seen by such a clumsy
organ as the eye?
Her fleeting wonder eludes thought.
She is beyond the spectrum of sight.
When description tried to explain her, she overcame it.
Whenever such an attempt is made, description is
put to flight.
Because it is trying to circumscribe.
If someone seeking her lowers his aspirations (to
Feel in terms of ordinary love),
– there are always others who will not do so.