Selections from al-Futuhat al-Makkiyya
Shaykh Muhyiddin Ibn al-‘Arabi
4:22 h Islam
The Meccan Illuminations (Al-Futūḥāt al-Makkiyya), Ibn ʿArabi's largest work in 37 volumes originally. It is a vast compendium of metaphysics, cosmology, spiritual anthropology, psychology, and jurisprudence.
Selections from al-Futuhat al-Makkiyya
by Shaykh Muhyiddin Ibn al-‘Arabi

Chapter Three

On Allah being disconnected from any connection (tashbih) or embodiment contained in the words which designate Him in His Books or on the tongue of His Messenger

“Allah is Greatly exalted over what the wrongdoers say.” (17:43)

In the slave’s looking at his Lord
in the purity and disconnection of strength,

And his height from the tools which you connect to “how” and likeness

Is an indication which gives an absolute judgement on the
position of the slave and his praise.

The soundness of knowledge and its affirmation, and
rejection of allegation and distortion.

(All known things were borne by the First Intellect)

Know that the bearer of all known things, celestial and terrestial, is the Intellect which takes from Allah without intermediary. None of the knowledge of higher and lower being is hidden from it. The self's gnosis of things comes from His giving and generosity, and from His manifestation to it, His light and His purest overflowing. The Intellect learns from Allah and teaches the self. The self learns from the Intellect and action comes from it. This applies to all that knowledge of the Intellect connects to things below it. We are limited by “what is below it” in respect of the learning we mentioned. Be careful when you ponder, remembering that Allah said, “until We know” (47:31). He is the All-Knower, so recognise the proper ascriptions!

(..except the Bewildered World)

Know that the Bewildered World does not learn anything from the First Intellect and the First Intellect has no power over those who are bewildered by love. They and it are on the same rank, like individuals among us who are outside of the jurisdiction of the Pole (Qutb), even though the Pole is one of the individuals. But the Intellect was selected to inform as the Pole is selected for appointment among the individuals.

(…and except the science of the isolation ( tajrid) of tawhid)

The principle of the Intellect teaching those below it is transpires in all that the knowledge of the Intellect is connected to— except for ‘the isolation of tawhid’. The science of the isolation of tawhid is different from all known things in all aspects since there is no relationship at all between Allah and His creation, even if the ‘relationship’ is applied to it on a certain day as was done by Imam Abu Hamid al- Ghazzali in his books, and other people. That is a sort of mannerism and very far from the realities. What relationship is there between the in-time and the timeless? Or how can a likeness be made of the One Who does not accept a likeness with someone who does accept a likeness? This is impossible as Abu’l-‘Abbas ibn al-’Arif as-Sanhaji said in Mahasin al-Majalis, “There is no relationship between Allah and the slaves except concern. There is no cause except judgement and no time except pre-Time. Whatever else is blindness and deceptive ambiguity.” One variant has “knowledge” in place of “blindness”. See how excellent these words are and how complete this gnosis of Allah is and how pure this contemplation (mushahada)! May Allah give us the benefit of what he said!

(The intellect’s incapacity for gnosis of Allah)

Knowledge of Allah is too difficult for the faculty of perception of the intellect and the self except for the fact that He exists and is holy! In its reflection and preservation, the sound intellect knows that Allah is different from what is said about Him in respect of creatures or imagined in compounds and other things. That illusion is not permissible in respect of Him nor can that verbal expression be logically applied to Him in the same manner as that which created things accept. If it is applied to Him, it is only used in an manner to facilitate the listener’s understanding of the firmness of existence in a manner comprehensile to the listener, not to establish the the reality which the Real possesses. Allah says,“There is nothing like Him. (47:19)

Knowledge of Allah, however, is obligatory for us in the Shari’ a since Allah said to His Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, “Know that there is no god but Allah.” (47:19). So He is saying, “Know Me from My reports which are in harmony with your reflection so that your belief will give you sound knowledge as your knowledge without belief which comes from definition may be sound.” So that matter is like that.

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