Shaykh Muhyi al-Din Ibn ‘Arabi
(‘AQÎDA AHL AL-ISLÂM)
The Blessings and Peace of Allah Upon the Messenger of Allah and Upon his Family and All his Companions
[Al-Futuhat §130] My faithful brethren – may Allah seal your lives and mine with goodness! – when I heard the saying of Allah I about His Prophet Hûd u, as the latter told his folk who had belied him and his apostleship: (I call Allah to witness, and do you (too) bear witness, that I am innocent of (all) that you ascribe as partners (to Allah)) (11:54), [I saw that] he called his folk to witness in his regard – although they belied him – that he was innocent of associating any partners to Allah, and that he positively confirmed His Oneness; and since he knew that Allah I will summon human beings before Him and ask them about what he himself knew, either to exonerate or convict them, until every single witness bears witness;
 And since it was related that the caller to prayer (mu’adhdhin) is witnessed to by every living and non-living thing as far as his voice can reach, and by everything and everyone that hears him; hence “The devil flees at the call to prayer, passing wind” so that he will not hear the caller’s call to prayer and then have to witness on the latter’s behalf, thereby becoming one of those who contribute to the felicity of the one being witnessed to, whereas he is the absolute enemy and does not bear for us an iota of good – may Allah curse him!
 Now, if the enemy himself is obliged to testify on your behalf to whatever you call him to witness regarding your own person, it is even more certain that your friend and beloved should testify on your behalf – for the latter shares your religion and belongs to your religious community – and it is more certain that you yourself should testify, in this world, for yourself, to Oneness (al-wahdâniyya) and Belief (al-îmân).
The First Testimony of Faith
 Therefore, O my brethren, O my beloved – may Allah be well pleased with you! – a weak slave calls upon you to witness, a poor one utterly dependent on His Lord in every glimpse of the eye, the author and maker of this book [al-Futuhat al-Makkiyya (“The Meccan Conquests”)]; he calls you to testify in his regard, after calling Allah I to witness, His angels, and whoever is present with him and hears him among the believers, that he bears witness in word and in full conviction (qawlan wa ‘aqdan) that:
 Allah the Exalted is One God, without second in His divinity;
 Transcendent above possessing a mate or a son;
 Absolute owner [of all] (mâlik) without partner; absolute king (malik) without minister;
 Creator (sâni‘) without any disposer of affairs (mudabbir) with Him;
 Existing in Himself (mawjûdun bî dhâtihi), without any dependence on, or need for an originator (mûjid) to originate Him. Rather, every existing thing other than Him, depends on Him and needs Him to exist. The whole universe exists through Him, and He alone can be said to exist in Himself.
 There is no outset (iftitâh) to His existence nor end to His permanence. His existence is absolute and unconditioned.
 He is subsistent in Himself (qâ’imun binafsih): not as a spatially bounded substance (jawhar mutahayyiz) – for then place would be assigned to Him; nor as an accident (‘arad) – for then permanence would be impossible for Him; nor as a body (jism) – for then He would have a direction (jiha) and a front (tilqâ’).
 He is transcendent (muqaddasun) above possessing directions (jihât) and regions (aqtâr).
 He can be seen with the hearts and the eyes, if He so wills.
 He established Himself over His Throne just as He said and in the meaning that He intended; also, the Throne and everything else was established by Him (bihi istawâ), and (unto Him belong the after (life), and the former) (53:25).
 He has no conceivable equivalent whatsoever (laysa lahu mithlun ma‘qûl), nor can minds represent Him. Time does not confine Him, nor place lift nor transport Him. Rather, He was when there was no place, and He is now as He ever was.
 He created fixity (al-mutamakkin) and place (al-makân), brought time into existence, and said: “I am the One, the Ever-Living” (anâ al-Wâhid al-Hayy). Preserving His creations in no way tires Him. Attributes which do not describe Him and are devised by creatures do not apply to Him.
 Exalted is He far above being indwelt by originated matters, or indwelling them, or that they be “after Him” or that He be “before them”! Rather, we say: “He was and there was nothing with him.” For the words ‘before’ and ‘after’ are among the locutions of Time, which He invented.
 He is the Self-Sustaining Sustainer of All (al-Qayyûm) Who sleeps not, the All-Compelling Subduer (al-Qahhâr) Whom one resists not. (There is nothing whatsoever like unto Him) (42:11).
 He created the Throne (al-‘arsh) and made it the boundary (hadd) of istiwâ’, and He created the Footstool (al-kursî) and made it encompass the earth and the heavens.
 The Sublimely Exalted (al-‘Alî) contrived the Tablet and the Sublime Pen, making them bring about the inscription of His Knowledge concerning His creation until the Day of Determination and Verdict.
 He contrived the entire universe without precedent. He created creation then caused what He created to wither.
 He sent down the souls (al-arwâh) into the specters (al-ashbâh) as custodians, and made those soul-endowed specters deputies on earth.
 He made subservient to us all that is in the heavens and the earth from Him, whereof not one atom moves except back to Him and because of Him.
 He created everything without need for it, and no necessity drove Him to do so, but with His foreknowledge that He would create whatever He created.
 (He is the First and the Last and the Manifest and the Hidden) (57:3), (and He is able to do all things) (5:120, 11:4, 30:50, 42:9, 57:2, 64:1, 67:1).
 (He surrounds all things in knowledge) (65:12) (and He keeps count of all things) (72:28), (He knows the traitor of the eyes and that which the bosoms hide) (40:19). (Should He not know what He created? And He is the Subtle, the Aware) (67:14).
 He knew all things before they came into existence, then He brought them into existence exactly as He knew them. He has known them without beginning to His knowledge, and such knowledge in no way becomes newer upon the renewal of origination (tajaddud al-inshâ’). He brought all things to perfection in His knowledge, then He established them firmly (bi ‘ilmihi atqana al-ashyâ’a fa ahkamahâ). Likewise, He has full knowledge of their smallest details (juz’iyyât) according to the consensus and complete agreement of the people of sound scrutiny. (Knower of the invisible and the visible! and exalted be He over all that they ascribe as partners (unto Him)) (23:92).
[156—A] (Doer of what He will) (85:16), He is therefore willing (murîd) for existent entities in the earthly and heavenly worlds. However, His power is without link to anything (lam tata‘allaq bi shay’) until He wills it. Likewise, He does not will anything until He knows it. For it is impossible in the mind that He wills something of which He knows not, or that one who is endowed with the choice of not doing, should do what He does not want to do. Likewise, it is impossible that all these realities be attributed to one who is not living, and it is impossible that the Attributes subsist in other than an Entity described by them.
 There is not in all existence any observance nor sin, any gain nor loss, any slave nor free man, any cold nor hot, any life nor death, any happening nor elapsing, any day nor night, any moderation nor inclination, any land nor sea, any even nor odd, any substance nor accident, any health nor sickness, any joy nor sadness, any soul nor specter, any darkness nor light, any earth nor heaven, any assembling nor disjoining, any plenty nor scarcity, any morning nor evening, any white nor black, any sleep nor wakefulness, any visible nor hidden, any moving nor still, any dry nor moist, any shell nor core, or any of all such mutually contrasting, variegated, or similar entities, except it is so willed by the Real – Exalted is He!
 How could He not will it when it is He Who brought it into existence? And how could the one endowed with free will, bring into existence what He does not want? None can turn down His command, and none can dispute His decision.
 ([He] gives sovereignty unto whom [He] will, and [He] withdraws sovereignty from whom [He] will. [He] exalts whom [He] will and [He] abases whom [He] will) (3:26). ([He] sends whom [He] will astray and guides whom [He] will) (7:155). Whatever Allah wants, comes into existence (mâ shâ’a Allahu kân), and whatever He does not wish to be, does not come into existence (mâ lam yasha’ an yakûna lam yakun).
 If all creatures convened to want something which Allah does not want them to want, they cannot want it. Or, if they convened to do something which Allah does not want to bring into existence – although they willed it whenever He wanted them to will it – they cannot do it; nor can they even be capable of doing it; nor does He enable them to.
 Therefore, disbelief and belief, observance and sin, are all according to His desire (mashî’a), His wisdom (hikma), and His will (irâda). And He – Glorified is He! – is described as possessing such will without beginning.
 The universe is in oblivion and nonexistence, although firmly established in itself in [the divine] knowledge. Then He brought the universe into existence without reflection (tafakkur) nor deliberation (tadabbur) such as accompany ignorance or unawareness and would then presumably provide Him the knowledge of what He knew not – greatly exalted and elevated is He above that! Rather, He brought it into existence on the basis of foreknowledge (al-‘ilm al-sâbiq), and the exact specification (ta‘yîn) of transcendent, pre-existent will (al-irâda al-munazzaha al-azaliyya) determining just how it brought the universe into being with respect to time, place, forms, masses, and color. None exists exerting will, in reality, other than He. For He says: (And you will not, unless Allah wills) (76:30, 81:29).
 Just as He knows, He determines (kamâ ‘alima fa ahkama); just as He wills, He details (arâda fa khassasa); just as He foreordains, He brings into existence (qaddara fa awjada). Likewise, He hears and sees whatever moves or stands still and whatever utters a sound in all creation, whether in the lowest world or the highest. Distance (al-bu‘d) does not in any way hamper His hearing, for He is the Near (al-Qarîb). Nor does nearness (al-qurb) veil His sight, for He is the Far (al-Ba‘îd). He hears the discourse of the self in itself (kalâm al-nafs fi al-nafs), and the sound of the hidden contact upon its touch. He sees the very blackness in darkness, and water inside water. Neither admixture (imtizâj), nor darkness, nor light veils Him, (and He is the Hearer, the Seer) (42:11).
 He I speaks, not after being previously silent nor following presumed tacitness, with a speech pre-eternal and beginningless like the rest of His attributes, whether His knowledge, will, or power. He spoke to Musa u. He named it [His speech] the divine Bestowal (al-tanzîl), the Book of Psalms (al-zabûr), the Torah, and the Evangel. [All this] without letters (hurûf), sounds (aswât), tones (nagham), nor languages (lughât). Rather, He is the Creator of sounds, letters, and languages.
 His speech is [spoken] without [the organs of] uvula and tongue, just as His hearing is without auditory meatus nor ears, His sight is without pupil nor eyelids, His will is without cogitation (qalb) nor inner reflection (janân), His knowledge is without compulsion (idtirâr) nor examination of any proof, His life is without the vapor which is caused in the cavity of the heart by the admixture of the elements. His Entity accepts neither increase nor decrease.
 Glorified, most glorified is He Who, from afar, comes near! To Him belongs tremendous majesty, surpassing goodness, magnificent generosity! Everything that is other than Him is but an outpouring of His munificence. His grace unfolds it and His justice folds it up again.
 He perfected the making of the universe and made it uniquely excellent (akmala san‘a al-‘âlami wa abda‘ahu) when He brought it into existence and invented it. He has no partner in His domain (milk) nor joint disposer of affairs (mudabbir) in His dominion (mulk).
 Whenever He shows favor He sends comfort and ease; and this is His kindness. Whenever He sends adversity He punishes; and this is His justice. In no way does He intrude upon another’s domain so as to be attributed tyranny and injustice. Nor is anyone besides Him entitled to pass judgment on Him so that He could be attributed apprehension or fear from such. Everything other than Him is under the authority of His subjugation (qahr) and subject to the disposal of His will and His command.
 It is He that inspires with Godwariness or rebelliousness the souls of those who are legally responsible. It is He that disregards the transgressions of whomever He will, and holds to task whomever He will, both here and on the Day of Resurrection. His justice does not hold sway (yahkum) over His kindness nor does His kindness hold sway over His justice.
 He brought forth the world as two handfuls (qabdatayn) to which He gave two levels (manzilatayn), saying: “These are for Paradise, and I care not (lâ ubâlî)! Those are for Hellfire, and I care not!” No-one raised the least objection at that time. One handful stands under the Names of His adversity (balâ’), and one stands under the Names of His favors (âlâ’).
 If He wished that the whole universe be in felicity, it would be so; and [if He wished that it be] in misery, it would not have obtained the slightest degree of felicity. However, He did not wish it so, and it was exactly as He wished. Consequently, people are either miserable or happy, here and on the Day of Return. There is no possibility to change whatever the Pre-eternal One has decided. He has said, concerning prayer: “It is five although it counts as fifty.” (The sentence that comes from Me cannot be changed, and I am in no wise a tyrant unto the slaves) (50:29) for My authority over the disposal of affairs in My domain and the accomplishment of My volition in My dominion.
 All this is because of a reality that sights and insights (al-absâr wa al-basâ’ir) are utterly unable to see, nor can mental powers and minds stumble upon its knowledge except through a divine bestowal and token of the All-Merciful’s generosity towards him whom He nourishes among His servants, and who was fore-chosen for this at the time he was summoned to witness. He then came to know – when He was given to know – that the Godhead (al-ulûha) devised this allotment and that it is one of the refinements of the One Who is without beginning.
 Glory to Him besides Whom there is no effecter (fâ‘il), nor any self-existent being (mawjûd li nafsih)! (And Allah has created you and what you make) (37:95), (He will not be questioned as to what He does, but they will be questioned) (21:23), (Say—For to Allah belongs the final argument—Had He willed He could indeed have guided all of you) (6:149).
The Second Testimony of Faith
 Just as I have called upon Allah and His angels, as well as all His creation and yourselves, to testify in my regard to my declaration of His oneness, likewise, I call upon Him – glorified is He! – and His angels, as well as all His creation and yourselves, to testify in my regard to my firm belief in the one He elected and chose from the very time he existed. That is: our master Muhammad r whom He sent to all people without exception, (a bearer of glad tidings and a warner) (2:119, 34:28, 35:24, 41:4) (And as a summoner unto Allah by His permission, and as a light-giving lamp) (33:46).
 The Prophet r thus conveyed fully all that was revealed to him from his Lord, discharged His trust, and acted faithfully (nasaha) toward his Community. He stood, in his farewell Pilgrimage, before all those present among his followers, addressing and reminding them, deterring and cautioning them, giving them glad tidings and warning them, promising and threatening them. He showered them with rain and made them tremble with thunder. He did not address anyone specifically at the exclusion of others in his admonition. He did all this after permission from the One, the Everlasting I. Then he said: “Lo! Have I conveyed the message?” They replied: “You have conveyed the message, O Messenger of Allah!” So he said: “O Allah! Bear witness.”
 Likewise, [I call upon all] to testify that I firmly believe in everything that the Prophet r brought – that which I know and that which I know not. Among the things which he brought is the decree that death comes at a time specified in the presence of Allah I and that, come that time, it is not delayed. I, for my part, firmly believe this, without the slightest reservation nor doubt.
 Just as I firmly believe and declare that the interrogation of the two examiners in the grave is true; the punishment in the grave and the raising of the bodies from the grave are both true; the review in the presence of Allah I is true; the Basin is true; the Balance is true; the flying (tatâyur) of individual Records in every direction is true; the Bridge is true; Paradise is true; Hellfire is true; (A host will be in the Garden, and a host of them in the Flame) (42:7) truly; the agony of that day is true for one group; as for another group, (the Supreme Horror will not grieve them) (21:103);
 The intercession of the angels, the Prophets, and the Believers, followed by the taking out of the Fire, by the most Merciful of those who show mercy, of anyone He wishes, is true; a group of the grave sinners among the Believers shall enter Hellfire and then exit it through intercession and gratification truly; eternal and everlasting world-without-end (al-ta’bîd) in the midst of the pleasures of Paradise is true for the Believers and those who affirm Oneness; eternal and everlasting world-without-end in the Fire for the dwellers of the Fire is true; and all that was announced by the Books and Messengers that came from Allah – whether one came to know it or not – is true.
 This is my witness in my own regard, and it is the responsibility of each and every person that it reaches, to bring it forward if asked about it, whenever and wherever he may be.
 May Allah grant us and grant you the greatest benefit with this faith. May He make us adhere to it firmly at the time of journeying from this abode to the abode of true life. May He replace for us this abode with the abode of munificence and good pleasure. May He intervene between us and a dwelling with (raiments of pitch) (14:50). May He count us in the troop that take their record with the right hand and return from the Pond fully sated, those in whose favor the Balance weighs down and whose feet stand firm on the Bridge. Truly He is the Munificent (al-Mun‘im), the Giver of All Good (al-Mihsân)!
 (All praise to Allah, Who has guided us to this. We could not truly have been led aright if Allah had not guided us. Verily the messengers of our Lord did bring the Truth!) (7:43).
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Ibn ‘Ata’ Allah in Lata’if al-Minan (1:84-98) states that there is consensus among the Sufis that al-Khidr is alive. Ibn al-Jawzi in his book ‘Ujala al-Muntazir fi Sharh Hal al-Khadir (cf. Hajji Khalifa, Kashf al-Zunun [2:1125] and Abu Ghudda infra) voices the extreme view that to suggest that al-Khidr is alive contradicts the Shari‘a, yet in his Manaqib al-Imam Ahmad (p. 144) he himself narrates the report of a meeting of Bilal al-Khawass with al-Khidr! Ibn al-Qayyim in al-Manar al-Munif (p. 67-76) and his editor, ‘Abd al-Fattah Abu Ghudda, also claim that al-Khidr is not alive. Among the strongest transmitted proofs to the contrary are two reports, one narrated by Imam Ahmad in al-Zuhd whereby the Prophet e said that Ilyas and al-Khidr meet every year and spend the month of Ramadan in al-Qudus, and the other narrated by Ya‘qub ibn Sufyan from ‘Umar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Aziz whereby a man he was seen walking with was actually al-Khidr. Ibn Hajar declared the chain of the first fair and that of the second sound in Fath al-Bari (1959 ed. 6:435). He goes on to cite another sound report narrated by Ibn ‘Asakir from Abu Zur‘a al-Razi whereby the latter met al-Khidr twice, once in his young age, the other in his old age, but al-Khidr himself had not changed.
Al-Qadi ‘Iyad in his notice on Ibn Abi Zayd in Tartib al-Madarik narrates from al-Ajdabi: “I was sitting with Abu Muhammad [Ibn Abi Zayd] when Abu al-Qasim ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn ‘Abd al-Mu’min the mutakallim was with him. A man asked them about al-Khidr and whether it could he said that he was still in this world in spite of all this time and would not die until the Final Hour comes and whether this is refuted by the words of the Almighty,[We did not give any human being before you immortality] (21:34). They both replied to him that that was possible and permitted and al-Khidr could live until the Final Trumpet was blown. For immortality is connected to remaining as long as the Next World remains, while remaining until the Trumpet is blown is not immortality. Do you not see that Iblis – may Allah curse him – is not immortal, but he is one of those deferred until the Day of a Known Time?”
The hadith master al-Sakhawi stated: “It is well-known that al-Nawawi used to meet with al-Khidr and converse with him among many other unveilings (mukâshafât).” Al-Sakhawi, Tarjima Shaykh al-Islam Qutb al-Awliya’ al-Kiram wa Faqih al-Anam Muhyi al-Sunna wa Mumit al-Bid‘a Abi Zakariyya Muhyi al-Din al-Nawawi (“Biography of the Shaykh of Islam, the Pole of the Noble Saints and Jurist of Mankind, the Reviver of the Sunna and Slayer of Innovation Abu Zakariyya Muhyiddin al-Nawawi”) (Cairo: Jam‘iyya al-Nashr wa al-Ta’lif al-Azhariyya, 1354/1935 p. 33).
Al-Barzanji in his book al-Isha‘a li Ashrat al-Sa‘a (1997 ed. p. 279-281; 1995 ed. p. 204-205) lists proofs to the effect that al-Khidr u is alive and shall face and belie the Antichrist (al-Dajjâl), as he is the one meant in the hadith whereby a man faces the Antichrist and belies him, whereupon the latter saws him in half then revives him only to be belied again. Narrated from Abu Sa‘id al-Khudri by Abu Ya‘la in his Musnad (2:332) and al-Hakim (1984 ed. 4:581=orig. ed. 4:537), both with a chain containing ‘Atiyya ibn Sa‘d who is weak, and with another chain (by Abu Ya‘la 2:535) containing Sufyan ibn Waki‘ who is weak; also narrated from Abu Umama al-Bahili by Ibn Majah in his Sunan (book of Fitan) with a chain containing Isma‘il ibn Rafi‘, who is weak in his memorization; also narrated by Nu‘aym ibn Hammad (d. 288) in Kitab al-Fitan (2:551) who said: al-Zuhri said: ‘Ubayd Allah ibn ‘Abd Allah [ibn] ‘Utba narrated to us that Abu Sa‘id al-Khudri said… The latter is a sound chain but there are several unnamed links between Nu‘aym and al-Zuhri. Also narrated by al-Dani (d. 444) in his book al-Sunan fi al-Fitan (6:1178) but with a chain that stops at the Tabi‘i Abu Mijlaz. None of the weakness mentioned above in the chains raised to the Prophet e is grave. If the weak links are at the same levels of the narrators’ biographical layers and are judged to strengthen each other, it would raise the grade of the hadith to “fair due to corroborative/witness chains” (hasan li ghayrih). It is confirmed by the hadith related from Abu ‘Ubayda ibn al-Jarrah whereby the Prophet e said: “It may be that one of those who saw me and heard my speech shall meet the Dajjal.” Narrated by Ibn Hibban in his Sahih (15:181) with a weak chain according to Shaykh Shu‘ayb al-Arna’ut, however, Imam al-Tirmidhi in his Sunan said it is also narrated from three other Companions and thus graded the hadith itself “fair and single-chained (hasan gharîb) as narrated from Abu ‘Ubayda,” and Allah knows best.
See Hilmi’s 284-entry bibliography in al-Burhan al-Azhar as well as the books of Prof. Michel Chodkiewicz (The Seal of Saints and An Ocean Without Shore) and his daughter Prof. Claude Addas (Quest for the Red Sulphur).
In al-Suyuti, Tanbih al-Ghabi (p. 71).
In Ibn ‘Imad, Shadharat al-Dhahab (5:200).
Cf. al-Suyuti’s Tanbih al-Ghabi (p. 52-54).
Al-Suyuti, Tanbih al-Ghabi fi Takhti’a Ibn ‘Arabi (p. 17-21). The correct title has tanzih instead of takhti’a as in Hajji Khalifa’s Kashf al-Zunun (1:488) and al-Qari’s works.
Al-Suyuti, Tanbih al-Ghabi (p. 59-60).
In al-Suyuti, Tanbih al-Ghabi (p. 70).
Al-Qari, Risala fi Wahda al-Shuhud (p. 62).
Ibn al-Najjar, Dhayl Tarikh Baghdad as quoted in al-Suyuti, Tanbih al-Ghabi (p. 64-66) and in Ibn Hajar, Lisan al-Mizan (5:311 #1038).
As related from al-Biqa‘i by al-Suyuti in Tanbih al-Ghabi (p. 40-41).
As related from al-Biqa‘i by al-Suyuti in Tanbih al-Ghabi (p. 42-43).
See al-Sakhawi, al-Daw’ al-Lami‘ (8:17) and al-Kawthari’s Maqalat (p. 412-413).
aAl-Adnahwi, Tabaqat al-Mufassirin (p. 230 #276).
In Shadharat al-Dhahab (5:190).
Al-Qari wrote Firr al-‘Awn in reply to him.
Al-Qari addresses it towards the end of Firr al-‘Awn (p. 142f.).
See Ibn Hajar, Inba’ al-Ghumr bi A‘mar al-‘Umr (3:403-404), year 831.
In Hilmi, al-Burhan al-Azhar (p. 32-33).
Ibid. (p. 34).
As stated by his student al-Haytami, Fatawa Hadithiyya (p. 331).
See his Majmu‘a Rasa’il Ibn ‘Abidin (2:271).
On the hadith master Imam Badr al-Din al-Hasani see the biography by his student Shaykh Mahmud al-Rankusi entitled al-Durar al-Lu’lu’iyya fi al-Nu‘ut al-Badriyya (Damascus, 1951). Dr. Wahbe al-Zuhayli told us that Shaykh Badr al-Din al-Hasani fasted every day of the year except the two days of ‘Id, including on the Day of ‘Arafa during pilgrimage.
Al-Qinnawji, Takhrij al-Wasaya (p. 119).
Al-Qasimi, Qawa‘id al-Tahdith (p. 348-351).
Al-Kawthari, Maqalat (p. 412-413).
bMuhammad ‘Abduh, Tafsir al-Manar (1:18).
In Ibn ‘Imad, Shadharat al-Dhahab (5:192).
In al-Qari, Risala fi Wahda al-Shuhud (p. 55).
Narrated from Abu Hurayra by Bukhari, Muslim, Ahmad, al-Nasa’i, and Ibn Majah; from ‘Umar by Muslim, al-Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, Ahmad, and al-Nasa’i; and from Abu Dharr by al-Nasa’i, all as part of a longer hadith.
From his Damascus lessons on the Munajat of Ibn ‘Ata’ Allah, 21 September 1997.
I.e. if some texts seem to affirm indwelling, they do so metaphorically, as the literal given of divine Transcendence is not open to question.
From Dr. Sa‘id al-Buti’s unpublished commentary on the Hikam of Ibn ‘Ata’ Allah.
“I was one of those who, previously, used to hold the best opinion of Ibn ‘Arabi and extol his praise, because of the benefits I saw in his books, such as al-Futuhat, al-Kanh, al-Muhkam al-Marbut, al-Durra al-Fakhira, Matali‘ al-Nujum, and other such works.” Ibn Taymiyya, Tawhid al-Rububiyya in Majmu‘a al-Fatawa (2:464-465).
In the epistle attributed to him and entitled Fadiha al-Mulhidin or Risala fi Wahda al-Wujud, a title also used by al-Qari. Al-Kawthari revelad in his Maqalat (p. 413) that the real author of al-Taftazani’s supposed epistle was ‘Ala’ al-Din al-Bukhari. The Hanafi jurist Isma‘il Kalnabawi responded to that epistle in a fatwa cited in full in al-Burhan al-Azhar (p. 18-22).
As named by al-Qari in his Risala fi Wahda al-Wujud (p. 61).
In al-Qari, Firr al-‘Awn (p. 144). Al-Fayruzabadi said: “If the report whereby Ibn ‘Abd al-Salam and our shaykh al-Bulqini ordered Ibn ‘Arabi’s books burnt were true, not one of his books would have remained today in Egypt or Sham, and no-one would have dared copy them again after the words of these two shaykhs.” In Hilmi, al-Burhan al-Azhar (p. 32). Al-Hilmi adds (p. 34) that a further proof that al-Subki changed his position concerning Ibn ‘Arabi is that he wrote many refutations against the heresies of his time but never wrote against Ibn ‘Arabi, although his books were widely read in Damascus and elsewhere.
He wrote al-Radd al-Aqwam ‘ala ma fi Fusûs al-Hikam but is on record as not objecting to Ibn ‘Arabi’s other works, as noted.
Mizan al-I‘tidal (3:660). Al-Dhahabi in the same chapter makes derogatory comments and reports a strange story which Ibn Hajar cited in Lisan al-Mizan. Al-Qari also attributes negative comments on Ibn ‘Arabi to al-Suyuti in the latter’s al-Tahbir li ‘Ilm al-Tafsir and Itmam al-Diraya Sharh al-Niqaya.
Al-Khadimi wrote in the introduction to his Sharh Ma‘ani al-Basmala: “It was stated in al-Bazaziyya that if a certain question has a hundred aspects, ninety-nine of which entail disbelief and one precludes it, the scholar must lean towards the latter and not give a fatwa to the apostasy of a Muslim as long as he can give his words a good interpretation. Also, in al-Usul: No preference is given in the face of abundant evidence to the contrary.” As cited in al-Burhan al-Azhar (p. 17-18). In Bustan al-‘Arifin al-Nawawi states, after reporting Abu al-Khayr al-Tibyani’s apparent breach of the Shari‘a: “Someone that imitates jurists without understanding may imagine wrong and object to this, out of ignorance and stupidity. To imagine wrong here is plain recklessness in giving vent to suspicions against the Friends of the All-Merciful. The wise person must beware from such behavior! On the contrary, if one did not understand the wisdoms from which they benefited and their fine subtleties, it is his duty is to understand them from one who does. You may witness such occurrences about which the superficial person gets the illusion of deviation, but which are actually not deviant. On the contrary, it is obligatory to interpret figuratively the actions of the friends of Allah.” As cited in al-Suyuti’s Tanbih al-Ghabi (p. 45-46) and Ibn ‘Imad, Shadharat al-Dhahab (5:194). The rules spelled out by al-Nawawi, al-Haytami, and al-Khadimi refute the presumption that only the statements of the Prophet r may be interpreted figuratively (cf. al-Qunawi in al-Qari’s Risala fi Wahda al-Wujud p. 110 and al-Suyuti’s Tanbih al-Ghabi p. 44-45, as against ‘Ala’ al-Din al-Bukhari in al-Qari’s Firr al-‘Awn p. 153; cf. al-Munawi in Ibn ‘Imad, Shadharat 5:194) or that “every truth that contravenes the outward rule of the Law consists in disguised disbelief (zandaqa)” (al-Qari, Firr al-‘Awn p. 152). The most shining refutation of the latter claim lies in the Prophet’s r hadith of the straying desert traveller who, finding his mount and provisions after having lost them, is so overwhelmed by joy that he exclaims: “O Allah, You are my slave and I am Your master!” Narrated from Anas by Muslim in his Sahih.
Al-Sakhawi in al-Daw’ al-Lami‘ similarly points out this contradiction between al-Biqa‘i’s expressed principles and his actual practices.
Al-Haytami, Fatawa Hadithiyya (p. 331). For the account of the condemnation of al-Biqa‘i himself as a kâfir see al-Sakhawi’s al-Daw’ al-Lami‘ and al-Shawkani’s al-Badr al-Tali‘.
The complete hadith states: “Whosoever shows enmity to one of My Friends, I shall declare war upon him. My servant draws not near to Me with anything more loved by Me than the religious duties I have enjoined upon him, and My servant continues to draw near to Me with supererogatory works so that I shall love him. When I love him I am his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes, his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask something of Me, I would surely give it to him. Were he to seek refuge in Me, I would surely grant him it. Nor do I hesitate to do anything as I hesitate to take back the believer’s soul, for he hates death and I hate to hurt him.” Narrated from Abu Hurayra by Bukhari. Ibn ‘Abd al-Salam in al-Ishara ila al-Ijaz (p. 108) said: “The ‘hesitancy’ of Allah I in this hadith is a metaphor of the believer’s superlative rank in the presence of Allah and connotes a lesser hurt to prevent a greater harm, as in the case of a father’s severance of his son’s gangrened hand so as to save his life.”
Al-Dhahabi, al-Muqiza (p. 88-90).
Ibn Hajar, Lisan al-Mizan (5:311 #1038). See also his words in al-Intisar li A’imma al-Amsar and in al-Qari’s Risala fi Wahda al-Wujud (p. 113).
The mere sight of Ka‘ba is considered worship.
The hadith “The Black Stone is the right hand of Allah” is narrated from Ibn ‘Abbas, Jabir, Anas, and others by Ibn Abi ‘Umar al-Ma‘dani in his Musnad, al-Tabarani, al-Suyuti in al-Jami‘ al-Saghir (1:516), Ibn ‘Asakir in his Tarikh (15:90-92), al-Khatib in his (6:328), and others. Al-‘Ajluni stated that it is sahîh as a halted report from Ibn ‘Abbas as narrated by al-Quda‘i in the wording: “The Corner is the Right Hand of Allah on earth…,” and declared it hasan as a hadith of the Prophet r. Ibn Qutayba in Mukhtalaf al-Hadith (1972 ed. p. 215) attributes it to Ibn ‘Abbas and relates a saying of ‘A’isha that the Stone is the depository of the covenant of souls with Allah. Its mention in the Reliance of the Traveller (p. 853b) as “narrated by al-Hakim, who declared it sahîh, from ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Amr,” is incorrect.
Multazam is the space between the Black Stone and the Ka‘ba’s door (including the two) where prayers are answered.
An allusion to the kiswa or black cloth covering the Ka‘ba.
Ibn ‘Arabi, Futuhat (original ed. 1:701).
Main sources: Hilmi, al-Burhan al-Azhar; Ibn ‘Imad, Shadharat al-Dhahab (5:190-202); al-Suyuti, Tanbih al-Ghabi.
From ‘Uthman Yahya’s edition of al-Futuhat al-Makkiyya (1:162-172), Part Three of “The Meccan Conquest,” chapter entitled “Attachment Comprising the Essential Creed of All, Which is the Doctrine of the People of Islam Agreed To Without Examining the Proof Nor the Presentation of Evidence” (Waslun Yatadammanu Mâ Yanbaghî an Yu‘taqad ‘alâ al-‘Umûm wa Hiya ‘Aqîdatu Ahl al-Islâmi Musallamatan min Ghayri Nazarin ilâ Dalilin wa lâ ilâ Burhân). Also quoted in full in Hilmi’s al-Burhan al-Azhar (p. 69-77).
Part of a hadith of the Prophet r narrated from Abu Hurayra by Bukhari and Muslim.
Cf. al-Shibli in Ibn Jahbal’s Refutation of Ibn Taymiyya §27 (published in full separately): “The Merciful exists from pre-eternity while the Throne was brought into being, and the Throne was established and made firm (istawâ) by the Merciful.”
See Appendix entitled “Allah is Now As He Ever Was” in our translation of Ibn ‘Abd al-Salam’s al-Mulha fi I‘tiqad Ahl al-Haqq, published separately under the title The Belief of the People of Truth.
Or: “He created place and all that takes place.”
I.e. I am in no need of any of you.
Lâ tarji‘u ilayhi sifatun lam yakun ‘alayhâ min sun‘ati al-masnû‘ât. Ibn ‘Arabi apparently allows inferred attributes which do describe Him, such as “The Far” (see §163 below and note) in contradiction of the general principle that the divine Names and Attributes are ordained and non-inferable (cf. Appendix entitled “The Names and Attributes of Allah Are Ordained and Non-Inferable” in our translation of Ibn ‘Abd al-Salam’s The Belief of the People of Truth).
See our translation of Ibn Khafif’s Correct Islamic Doctrine (published in full separately) §10: “In no way does He subsist in originated matters (laysa bi mahall al-hawâdith) nor they in Him.” This is due to the mutually exclusive nature of contingency (hudûth) and incontingency (qidam). The former refer to whatever is created, the latter to the beginningless and uncreated, “and the twain never meet.”
This is directed against the Mu‘tazila and those affiliated with them.
The notion of “linkage” (ta‘alluq) between the pre-eternal Attributes of Act and the acts pertaining to creation was expressed by some scholars as a distinction between two types of linkage (ta‘alluq) to the act: “beginninglessly potential” (salûhî qadîm) and “actualized in time” (tanjîzî hâdith).
No such Attribute is established in the texts, but Ibn ‘Arabi here states it without contradiction of his own precept (§145, cf. §180) that “Attributes which do not describe Him and are devised by creatures do not apply to Him” since He uses “the Far” in the same way that some have used the indefinite qualificative “Separate” (bâ’in) – likewise not found in the Qur’an and Sunna – meaning “far and separate from creation,” so that nearness in no way affects Him as it affects creatures. Al-Tabari (in his Tafsir on verse 17:79) relates from some of the Salaf a contrary position which states that Allah is not said to be “in contact with,” nor “separate from” anything. The latter is reminiscent of Abu Nu‘aym’s narration from ‘Ali in Hilya al-Awliya’ (1997 ed. 1:114 #227): “How can even the most eloquent tongues describe Him Who did not exist among things so that He could be said to be ‘separate from them’ (bâ’in)? Rather, He is described without modality, and He is (nearer to [man] than his jugular vein) (50:16).” Al-Bayhaqi reports the Ash‘ari position on the issue from Ibn Mahdi al-Tabari: The Pre-eternal One (al-Qadîm) is elevated over His Throne but neither sitting on (qâ‘id) nor standing on (qâ’im) nor in contact with (mumâss), nor separate from (mubâyin) the Throne – meaning separate in His Essence in the sense of physical separation or distance. For ‘contact’ and its opposite ‘separation,’ ‘standing’ and its opposite ‘sitting’ are all the characteristics of bodies (ajsâm), whereas (Allah is One, Everlasting, neither begetting nor begotten, and there is none like Him.) (112:1-4) Therefore what is allowed for bodies is impermissible for Him.” Al-Bayhaqi, al-Asma’ wa al-Sifat (Kawthari ed. p. 410-411; Hashidi ed. 2:308-309). This shows with remarkable clarity that those who made it a categorical imperative to declare that “Allah is separate from creation” went to excess, although their intention was to preclude notions of indwelling. Examples of these well-founded excesses are given by Ibn Khuzayma: “Whoever does not definitely confirm that Allah established Himself over His Throne above His seven heavens, separate (bâ’in) from His creation, he is a disbeliever who must be summoned to repent” [in al-Dhahabi’s Mukhtasar al-‘Uluw (p. 225-226)] and Sulayman ibn ‘Abd Allah ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab: “It is obligatory to declare that Allah is separate (bâ’in) from His creation, established over His throne without modality or likeness or examplarity” [in al-Tawdih ‘an Tawhid al-Khallaq fi Jawab Ahl al-‘Iraq (1319/1901, p. 34, and new ed. al-Riyad: Dar Tibah, 1984)].
The Prophet r said: “His veil is light, and if He removed it, the glorifications (subuhât) of His face would burn everything His eyesight fell upon.” Narrated from Abu Musa by Muslim, Ibn Majah, Ahmad, Abu ‘Awana, Abu Dawud al-Tayalisi, Ibn Abi ‘Asim, al-Ajurri, and al-Bayhaqi in al-Asma’ wa al-Sifat (Kawthari ed. p. 180-181; Hashidi ed. 1:465-466 #392-394). Al-Bayhaqi said: “The veil mentioned in this and other reports refers to creatures for they are the ones who are veiled from Him by a veil He created in them. Allah said of the disbelievers: (Nay, but surely on that day they will be covered from (the mercy of) their Lord) (83:15). His saying: ‘if He removed it’ means if He lifted the veil from their eyes without empowering them to see Him, they would have been burnt and would have been unable to bear it.” Al-Qurtubi in al-Asna (2:92) said: “If he had removed from them the veil, His majesty (jalâl), awe (hayba), and subjugation (qahr) would have caused everything His sight fell upon to disappear – from the Throne to the undersoil, for there is no end to His sight, and Allah knows best.” Cf. Ibn Khafif’s ‘Aqida §12: “Nor does He hide Himself (istatara) with anything created.”
See Ibn ‘Abd al-Salam’s refutation of those who claimed the pre-eternality of letters and sounds in various passages of his Mulha.
In al-Nihaya, entry b-l-â: “Al-Azhari said that a number of scholars glossed ubâlî as ‘loathe’ (akrah).” Meaning: “It adds nor subtracts nothing from My greatness.”
Narrated from Anas by Abu Ya‘la with a chain of trustworthy narrators except for al-Hakam ibn Sinan al-Bahili who is weak, and by Ibn Marduyah; from ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Qatada al-Sulami by Ahmad and al-Hakim who declared it sahîh, and al-Dhahabi concurred; from Mu‘adh ibn Jabal by Ahmad with a munqati‘ chain missing the Successor-link; from Abu Sa‘id al-Khudri by al-Bazzar and Ibn Marduyah; from Ibn ‘Umar by al-Bazzar and al-Tabarani; from a Companion named Abu ‘Abd Allah by Ahmad in his Musnad with a sound chain according to Ibn Hajar in al-Isaba (7:258 #10198); from Abu Musa al-Ash‘ari by al-Tabarani in al-Kabir; from Abu al-Darda’ by al-Tabarani in al-Kabir and Ahmad with a sound chain in the Musnad according to al-Kattani. Also narrated, but without the words lâ ubâlî, from Abu Hurayra by al-Hakim al-Tirmidhi in Nawadir al-Usul; without mention of the handfuls, from ‘Umar by Malik in al-Muwatta’, Ahmad, Abu Dawud, al-Tirmidhi (hasan), al-Nasa’i, and others. Al-Suyuti in al-Durr al-Manthur under the verse (And remember when your Lord brought forth from the Children of Adam, from their reins, their seed) (7:172) cited other narrations to that effect from Abu Umama, Hisham ibn Hakim, and other Companions. Al-Fattani in Tadhkira al-Mawdu‘at said its chain was “muddled” (mudtarib al-isnâd) because of great variations in it, which makes the narration mutawâtir al-ma‘na or mass-narrrated in its import – as opposed to its precise wording – as indicated by al-Kattani in Nazm al-Mutanathir, due to the great number of Companions that relate it.
Hadith qudsi within the narration of the Prophet’s r ascension: “The day I created the heavens and the earth I made obligatory upon you and upon your Community fifty prayers: therefore establish them, you and your Community…. Let them be five prayers every day and night, and let every prayer count as ten. That makes fifty prayers. This word of Mine shall not be changed nor shall My Book be abrogated.” See the translation of Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Alawi al-Maliki’s his collated text of the sound narrations of the Prophet’s r isra’ and mi‘raj entitled al-Anwar al-Bahiyya min Isra’ wa Mi‘raj Khayr al-Bariyya translated in full in Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani’s Encyclopedia of Islamic Doctrine.
For §168-173 see also Ibn Khafif, al-‘Aqida al-Sahiha §32-37: “ Allah is doer of what He will:  Injustice is not attributed to Him,  And He rules over His dominion as He will, without [anyone’s entitlement to] objection whatsoever.  His decree is not revoked nor His judgment amended.  He brings near Him whomever He will without [need for] cause and He removes far from Him whomever He will without [need for] cause.  His will for His servants is the exact state they are in.” The Ash‘ari position is that Allah rewards and punishes without being obliged to do so by the actions of His servants (“Allah is doer of what He will”). He is free to place the disbeliever in Paradise and the believer in Hellfire without any injustice on His part (“Injustice is not attributed to Him”), since He owns all sovereignty over the heavens and the earth, and no one received any share or authority from Him to object to what He does.
The evidence for this is in the verses: (Know you not that unto Allah belongs the Sovereignty of the heavens and the earth? He punishes whom He will, and forgives whom He will. Allah is Able to do all things) (5:40); (Say : Who then can do aught against Allah, if He had willed to destroy the Messiah son of Mary, and his mother and everyone on earth? To Allah belongs the Sovereignty of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them. He creates what He will. And Allah is Able to do all things) (5:17); (The sentence that comes from Me cannot be changed, and I am in no wise a tyrant unto the slaves) (50:29). At the same time it is obligatorily known that Allah does not take back His promise to reward those who believe and do good and punish evil-doers: (But as for those who believe and do good works We shall bring them into gardens underneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide for ever. It is a promise from Allah in truth; and who can be more truthful than Allah in utterance?) (4:122). The scholars have described the former evidence as “based on reason” (dalîl ‘aqlî) and the latter as “based on law” (dalîl shar‘i), noting that it is the latter which takes precedence over the former. Cf. al-Buti, Kubra al-Yaqinat (p. 149).
Narrated from Abu Bakrah al-Thaqafi, Ibn ‘Umar, Ibn Mas‘ud, and Jabir by Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, Ahmad, and al-Darimi.
The Prophet r was asked by ‘A’isha – may Allah be well-pleased with her: “Will the beloved remember his beloved on the Day of Resurrection?” He replied: “On three occasions he will not: At the Balance until it either weighs for or against him; at the time the individual Records fly in every direction, so that he should be given his record either with the right hand or the left; and at the time a long neck comes out of the Fire, winding itself around them [at the Bridge over Hellfire]…” Narrated by Ahmad in his Musnad with a fair chain, ‘Abd al-Razzaq, Ibn Abi Shayba, Ibn al-Mundhir, al-Hakim who stated it is sahîh, al-Ajurri in al-Shari‘a, and ‘Abd ibn Humayd in his Musnad as stated by al-Suyuti in al-Durr al-Manthur. Abu Dawud narrates it in his Sunan without mention of tatâyur.
Another possible translation is: “the interrogation of the two examiners in the grave is real; the punishment in the grave and the raising of the bodies from the grave are both real; the review in the presence of Allah is real; the Basin is real; the Balance is real; the flying (tatâyur) of individual Records in every direction is real; the Bridge is real; Paradise is real; Hellfire is real; (A host will be in the Garden, and a host of them in the Flame) (42:7) really; the agony of that day is real for one group; as for another group, (the Supreme Horror will not grieve them) (21:103).” Cf. Ibn Khafif’s ‘Aqida §83: “Paradise is true; Hellfire is true; Resurrection is true; the Rendering of Accounts is true; the Balance of Deeds is true; the Bridge [over the Fire] is true; the punishment of the grave is true; and the questioning of the angels Munkar and Nakîr is true