Ibn Arabi, the Sufi
Fatwa No: 83951

Question

I have read three of Ibn Arabi 's books and I found them very interesting. I would like to know what is your opinion about Ibn Arabi 's mysticism.

Answer

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the World; and may His blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his Family and Companions.

Ibn 'Arabi is Muhammad Ibn Ali Ibn Muhammad al-Taae al-Hadimi al-Andalusi al-Mirsi surnamed Muhyiddeen , died in 638 A.H in Damascus. People differ concerning Ibn 'Arabi as follows: (1) some believe that he is a faithful friend to Allah; (2) others believe that he is a disbeliever, and (3) a third group believe that he ranks high in Divine Friendship and ban reading his books, since these contain misguidance and irreligion.
Anyway, most scholars dispraise him and warn people not to read his books. Furthermore, a group of grand scholars believe that Ibn 'Arabi is a disbeliever due to bad pieces of writing that are ascribed to him.
Imam Taqi al-Deen al-Fasi , died 832 A.H, wrote in his book "al-'Aqd al-Thamin Fi Tareekh al-Balad al-Amin" opinions of scholars that present his disbelief.
Also, Imam Burhan al-Deen al-Buqa'I in his book "Tanbih al-Ghubi Li Kufr Ibn 'Arabi" adopted to Imam Taqi al-Deeen's opinion about Ibn 'Arabi .
Ibn 'Arabi is a leading personality among those who believe in pantheism; the existence of Allah is identical to the presence of His Creatures. So, the Creator is the Creature and vice versa. Thus, Ibn 'Arabi stated in his books that Pharaoh will be safe from Allah's torture, and so are all pagans and worshippers of idols, since they in fact, worshipped none but Allah.
We say that such above-mentioned ideas of Ibn 'Arabi do not only constitute a denial to the Qur'an but also a contradiction to all previous Divine revelations.
Here is an example of Ibn 'Arabi 's pantheism: 'The Creator who is for above every imperfection is identical with the creation'. And he said about Nooh's nation: 'If they left worshipping to idols such as wadd, Suwaa, Yaghooth and Ya'voq, they would become ignorant of the right'.
He added: 'Allah is present in the worshipped in some form and such a thing could be known by some and unknown by others. So, a scholar could know his god, his form when he worshipped Him'. Ibn 'Arabi said about Hud's nation: 'They won the blessing of nearness of Allah, and were on the straight path'. Ibn 'Arabi also defended Pharaoh saying: 'He died as a believer and free from sins'.      
al-Hafiz al-Mizzi (May Allah's Mercy be upon him) said: 'I copied from Ibn 'Arabi 's comments on Allah's statement: {Verily, those who disbelieve, it is the same to them whether you (O Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) ) warn them or do not warn them, they will not believe. Allâh has set a seal on their hearts and on their hearings, (i.e. they are closed from accepting Allâh's Guidance), and on their eyes there is a covering. Theirs will be a great torment.} [2:6-7] the following:
'Those who disbelieve means cover their love', (it is the same to them whether you (O Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention )) warn them or do not warn them) means: 'It makes no difference to them, whether you admonish them or not'. (They will not believe.) means: They don't believe in you, nor take guidance from you, but they take from Us ( Ibn Arabi …).
'(Allâh has set a seal on their hearts) means: they do not understand except about Allah'. '(and on their hearings) means: they only hear from Allah'. '(and on their eyes there is a covering) means: they do not see anything except that is from Him, not they turn their faces towards Him or what you have, because of what we put in them'. '(Theirs will be a great torment) means: great sweetness'.
Now, we sum up sayings of some grand scholars about Ibn 'Arabi , whose opinions become a source of trial and infatuation among a great many Muslims.
1) Imam Ibn Daqiq al-'Id said: 'I asked al-Iz Ibn 'Abdus-Salam about Ibn 'Arabi . He said: 'a bad liar Sheikh, who believes that the creation is very ancient (without beginning) and does not prohibit adultery or fornication.
2) Ibn Hajar al-'Asqalani reported that Imam al-Balqini said: ' Ibn 'Arabi is a disbeliever', commenting on one of the latter's words.
3) Imam al-Subki said: ' Ibn 'Arabi and his coterie are ignorant and astray people, rebels to Islam and its scholars'.
4) Abu Zar'a said: 'There is no doubt that Ibn 'Arabi 's books "al-Fusoos" and "al-Futuhaat" contain frank disbelief. If he continued to believe in his opinions expressed in these books, he would be a disbeliever and would be in the Hell-Fire for ever'.
5) al-Zahabi in his "Siar A'laam al-Nubalaa" said: ' Ibn 'Arabi 's book "al-Fusoos" contains the worst form of disbelief that can be on earth'. 'Many of Ibn 'Arabi 's words may be construed and interpreted but not those in his book "al-Fusoos".
al-Zahabi added: 'If Ibn 'Arabi recanted his words and writing, before death, then he would win'.
As a final word, a Muslim should not be engaged in issuing a ruling on Ibn 'Arabi , whether he is a disbeliever, or has some reason or repents before death. We assure that his writings contain disbelief in Allah. Thus, we warn all people about reading his books.
Allah knows best.

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