Providing a precious glimpse into the real practice of the mystical life within the Sufi tradition, this volume marks the first time any of Ibn ‘Arabi's prayers have been translated into another language. The 14 prayers include not only the most astounding expressions of devotion and contemplation, but also an unparalleled depth of knowledge of union. The very structure of the prayers is itself a mode of contemplation, making for a unique spiritual experience.
Mystic, philosopher, poet, sage, Muhammad b. Ali Ibn 'Arabi is one of the world's great spiritual teachers. Known as Muhyiddin (the Revivifier of Religion) and the Shaykh al-Akbar (the Greatest Master), he was born in 560 AH (1165 AD) into the Moorish culture of Andalusian Spain, the centre of an extraordinary flourishing and cross-fertilization of Jewish, Christian and Islamic thought, through which the major scientific and philosophical works of antiquity were transmitted to Northern Europe. Ibn 'Arabi's spiritual attainments were evident from an early age, and he was renowned for his great visionary capacity as well as being a superlative teacher. He travelled extensively in the Islamic world and died in Damascus in 1240 AD.
He wrote over 350 works including the Fusûs al-Hikam, an exposition of the inner meaning of the wisdom of the prophets in the Judaic/ Christian/ Islamic line, and the Futûhât al-Makkiyya, a vast encyclopaedia of spiritual knowledge which unites and distinguishes the three strands of tradition, reason and mystical insight. In his Diwân and Tarjumân al-Ashwâq he also wrote some of the finest poetry in the Arabic language. These extensive writings provide a beautiful exposition of the Unity of Being, the single and indivisible reality which simultaneously transcends and is manifested in all the images of the world. Ibn 'Arabi shows how Man, in perfection, is the complete image of this reality and how those who truly know their essential self, know God.
Firmly rooted in the Quran, his work is universal, accepting that each person has a unique path to the truth, which unites all paths in itself. He has profoundly influenced the development of Islam since his time, as well as significant aspects of the philosophy and literature of the West. His wisdom has much to offer us in the modern world in terms of understanding what it means to be human.
Stephen Hirtenstein has been editor of the Journal of the Muhyiddin Ibn ʿArabi Society since its inception in 1982, and is a co-founder of Anqa Publishing.
He read History at King's College, Cambridge, and then studied at the Beshara School of Intensive Esoteric Education in Gloucestershire and Scotland. After a teaching career, he began writing and giving talks on Ibn ʿArabi's thought at conferences across the world.
In addition to lecturing and writing, he organises and leads tours in the footsteps of Ibn ʿArabi.
He currently works as a Senior Editor for the Institute of Ismaili Studies in London, and lives in Oxford. Pablo Beneito is currently Professor at the Department of Translation and Interpreting in the Faculty of Letters, University of Murcia, Spain.
He has been studying the works of Ibn ʿArabi since he chose to do his doctorate in Arabic philology at the Complutense University of Madrid, after which he spent 9 years teaching at the University of Seville in the Department of Arab and Islamic Studies. He has also been a visiting professor at the Sorbonne in Paris (Ecole Pratique des Hauts Etudes), in Kyoto University (ASAFAS) and in Toledo (Escuela de Traductores).
As a specialist in Sufi thought, he has given courses throughout the world, and helped organise more than 14 international conferences. He heads MIAS Latina, a branch of the Ibn ʿArabi Society for speakers of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese.
He has edited and translated (into Spanish) Ibn ʿArabi’s Mashahid al-asrar and Kashf al-ma’na. He is currently working on several of Ibn ʿArabi's shorter treatises, including K. al-ʿAbādilah.