Fusus al Hikam. This seminal work by Ibn ‘Arabi, dating from the 13th century, describes the meaning of universal human spirituality through the medium of. There have been many commentaries on Ibn ‘Arabī’s Fuṣūṣ al-Ḥikam: the first. Ibn ‘Arabi’s own Summary of the Fusûs, introduced and translated by William Chittick. The importance of Ibn ‘Arabi’s Fusûs al-hikam as the quintessence of his .

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Search the history of over billion web pages on the Internet. For how a thing sees itself through itself is not the same as how it sees itself in something else which acts as a mirror for it. So He manifests Himself to Himself in a form which is provided by the place in which He is seen. He would not appear thus without the existence of this place and His manifestation tajalli to Himself in it. Allah brought the entire universe into existence through the existence of a form fashioned without a spirit ruhlike an unpolished mirror.

Part of the divine decree is fuuss He does not fashion a locus without it receiving a divine spirit, which is described as being “blown” 2 into it. This is nothing other than the result of the predisposition of that fashioned form to receive the overflowing perpetual tajalli which has never ceased and which will never cease.

Then we must speak of the container qabil. The container comes from nothing other than His most sacredly pure Overflowing. So the whole affair has its beginning from Him, and its end is to Him, and “the whole affair will be returned to Him” Thus the command decreed the polishing of the mirror of the universe.

Adam was the very polishing of that mirror and the spirit of that form. The angels are some of the faculties of that form which is the form of the universe, which the Sufis designate in their technical vocabulary as the Great Arrabi al-Insan al-Kabirfor the angels are to it as the spiritual ruhani and sensory faculties are to the human organism. Each of these faculties is veiled by itself, and it sees nothing which is superior to its own essence, for there is something in it which considers itself to be worthy of high rank and an elevated degree with Allah.

It is like this because it has an aspect of the divine synthesis jam’iya. In it is something which derives from the divine side and something which derives from the arabii of the reality of the realities. This organism carries these attributes as determined by the universal nature which encompasses the containers of the universe from the most exalted to the basest.

However, the intellect cannot perceive this fact by means of logical investigation for this sort of perception only exists through divine unveiling by which one recognises the gusus of the forms of the universe which receive the spirits.

This being was called both a human being insan and khalif. As for his humanness, it comes from the universality of his organism and his ability to embrace all of the realities. He is in relation to Allah as the pupil, 3 being the instrument of vision, is to the eye. This is why he is called “insan”. It is by him that Allah beholds His creatures and has mercy on them. So he is a human being, both in-time [in his body] and before -time [in his spirit], an eternal and after-time organism.

He is the word which distinguishes and unifies. The universe was completed by his existence. He is to the universe what the face of the seal is to the seal – for that is the locus of the seal and thus the token with which the King places the seal on his treasures. Allah named him khalif for this reason, since man guards His creation as treasure is guarded with the seal.

As long as the seal of the King is on the treasure, no one dares to open it without his permission. He made him a khalif in respect of safeguarding the universe, and it 4 continues to be guarded as long as this Perfect Man is in it. Do you not see then, that when he disappears and is removed from the treasury of this world, nothing that Allah stored in it will remain? Everything that was in it will leave it, and all the parts will become confused, and everything will be transferred to the Next World.


Ibn Al-Arabi’s Fusus Al-Hikam: An Annotated Translation of “The Bezels of Wisdom” – CRC Press Book

Then Man will be the seal on the treasury of the Next World for endless time and after-time. All the Divine Names contained in in the divine form 4 appear in this human organism. Thus it possesses the rank of containing and integrating this existence. It was by this that Allah set up the proof against the angels, 5 so remember that! Allah admonishes you through others.

The works of Muhyiddin Ibn ‘Arabi – translations from and introductions to many titles

Look at where that originates and where it ends up. The angels did not realise what was implied by the organism of the khalif, nor did they realise what the presence of the Truth demanded as ‘ibada 6 worship.

Each one only knows from Allah what his essence accords him. The angels do not possess the universality of Adam, and they did not understand the Divine Names with which he has been favoured, and by which he praises Allah and proclaims His purity.

They only knew that Allah had names whose knowledge had not reached them, so they could not praise Him nor proclaim His purity through them.

What we mentioned overcame them and this state overpowered them. They said about this organism, “Why put on it one who will cause corruption on it? What they said regarding Adam is exactly the state they were with regard to Allah.

Had it not been that their nature was in accord with it, they would not have said what they said in respect of Adam, “and yet they were not aware. Adam was in possession of Divine Names which the angels did not have, so that their praise and glorification of Him was not the same as Adam’s praise and glorification of Him.

Allah describes this to us so that we may ponder it and learn adab 7 with Allah, and so that we will not lay claim to what we have not realised or possessed by pinning down. How can la allege something which is beyond us and of which we have no knowledge? We will only be exposed. This divine instruction is part of Allah’s discipline of those of His slaves who are well-mannered, trusting and khalifs.

Let us return to the wisdom under discussion. Know that universal matters which have no existence in themselves are without a doubt intelligible and known in the mind.

They are hidden and continue in their invisible existence. These universal matters have jurisdiction and effect on everything which has an individual existence. Indeed, they are the same thing and nothing else, i. They are manifest in respect of the sources of existent things just as they are hidden in respect of their intelligibility. Each individual existent thing depends on these universal matters which cannot be dislodged from the intellect, nor would their existence be possible in the source once they ceased to be intelligible, whether that individual existent is in-time or out-of-time.

The relationship of that which is in-time or out-of-time to this universal intelligible matter is the same. This universal matter only has jurisdiction in individual existent things according to what the realities of these individual existent things demand of it. It is like the relationship of knowledge to the knower, and life to the living. Life is an intelligible reality; knowledge is an intelligible reality. Knowledge is as distinct from life as life is distinct from knowledge.

So we say that Allah has knowledge and life, and that He is the Living, the Knowing. We also say that the angel has life and knowledge, and is living and knowing. We say that man has life and knowledge, and is living and knowing. The reality of knowledge is one thing and the reality of life is another, and their relationship to the 5 knowing and the living is the same relationship. We say that the knowledge of Allah is in non-time and the knowledge of man is in-time. So look at the evaluation that this relationship has brought about in this intelligible reality!

Examine this connection between individual intelligibles and stence is necessary, rather, it is necessary by another, not by itself. As knowledge determines the one who participates in it as he is called knowing so the one who is described by it can determine the knowledge.


It is in- time in relation to the one in-time and non-time in relation to the one in non-time. Each of the two is determining and determined. It is known that these universal matters, even if they are intelligible, lack a source although they still have an authority.

When they are determined, since they are ascribed to an individual existent thing, they accept the principle in the existent sources and do not accept distinction or fragmenting, for that is impossible for them.

They themselves are in everything described by them, as humanity is in every person of this particular species, without distinction or the numbering which affects individuals; and it continues to be intelligible.

The Muhyiddin Ibn ‘Arabi Society

Now, as there is a connection between that which has an individual existence and that which does not have one and it is a non-existent relationship so the connection of existents to each other is easier to conceive because, in any case, there is a common factor between them which is individual existence.

In the other, there is no common factor, yet there is a connection despite the lack of a common factor. So it is stronger and more real when there is a common factor. Without a doubt, the in-time establishes itself as being put into time and it needs something in time to put it into time. It has no place in itself so it exists from something other-than-it, and it is linked to That by the dependence of need. This dependence must be on That whose existence is necessary, which is independent in Its existence by Itself without need.

It is That which, by Its own essence, gives existence to the in-time which depends on It. Since the existence of Its essence is necessary and what appears from It depends on It for its essence, it nevertheless depends on its form for everything which is from a name or attribute, except for the essential necessity. That is not the property of it in-time, even if its existence is neceesary, rather, it is necessary by another, not by itself. Since the matter is based on what we said about its manifestation in its form, Allah communicates to us knowledge of Himself through contemplation of the in-time.

He tells us that He shows us His signs in the in-time, 8 so we draw conclusions about Him through ourselves. We do not describe Him with any quality without also possessing that quality, with the exception of that essential autonomy.

Since we know Him by ourselves and from ourselves, we attribute to Him all that we attribute to ourselves. For that reason, divine communications came down on the tongues of our interpreters, 9 and so He described Himself to us through ourselves.

When we witness, He witnesses Himself. We are certainly numerous as individuals and species, yet we are based on a single reality which unites us.

So we certainly know that there are distinctions between individuals. If there were not, there would be no multiplicity in the One. Similarly we are described in all aspects by that by which He describes Himself, but there must be a disinction and it is none other than our need of Him in our existence. Our existence depends on Him by virtue of our possibility and He is independent of that which makes us dependent on Him.

Ibn Al-Arabi’s Fusus Al-Hikam: An Annotated Translation of “The Bezels of Wisdom”

Because of this, one can apply before-timeness and timelessness to Him which negates that firstness which is the opening to existence from non-existence. Although He is the First, firstness is not ascribed to Him, and for this reason, He is called the Last. Had His firstness been the firstness of the existence of determination, it would not have been valid 6 for Him to be the Last of the determined because the possible has no last – for possibilities are endless.