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Sh. Muhyiddīn Ibn al-ʿArabī

Impressions from the Meccan Openings

Al-Futūhāt al-Makkiyya

Being, Names, and Nonexistence

Presented by Omar K Neusser

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Note 06

Translated by professor William C. Chittick from the Futūhāt al-Makkiyya[1]

Being, Names, and Nonexistence

Quoting Ibn al-ʿArabī

كل ما سوى الله لا يمكنه الخروج عن قبضة الحق فهو موجودهم بل وجودحم و منه استفادوا الوجود

It is impossible for the things other than God to come out of the grasp of the Real, for He brings them into existence, or rather, He is their existence and from Him they acquire (istifāda) existence. (I 406. 13)

و ليس الوجود خلاف الحق و لا خارجا عنه يعطيهم منه هذا محال بل هو الوجود به ظهرت الاعيان

Existence/ Being is nothing other than the Real, nor is it something outside of Him from which He gives to them. That is impossible. On the contrary He is Being, and through Him the entities become manifest. (I 406. 14)

For the Verifiers it has been established that there is nothing in Being/ existence (wujūd ) but God. As for us (creatures), though we exist, our existence is through Him. He whose existence is through other than himself is in effect nonexistent. (I 279.5)

نعتقد فى الموجودات على تفاصيلها أن ذلك ظهور الحق فى مظاهر أعيان الممكنات بحكم ما هى الممكنات عليه من الاستعدادات

Concerning the existents in all their differentiations, we maintain that they are the manifestation of God in the loci of manifestation, that is, the entities of the possible things in accordance with the preparedness possessed by the possible things.

فاختلفت الصفات على الظاهر لان الاعيان التى ظهر فيها مختلفة

Hence the attributes of the Manifest are diverse, since the entities within which It becomes manifest are diverse.

فتميزت الموجودات و تعدّدت لتعدّد الاعيان و تميزها فى نفسه

Hence the existent things become distinct and plural through the plurality of the entities and the distinction in themselves.

فما فى الوجود الاالله و احكام الاعيان و ما فى العدم الشىء الاأعيان الممكنات مهيأة للاتصاف بالوجود

Hence there is nothing in Being/ existence except God and the properties of the entities, while there is nothing in nonexistence except the entities of the possible things prepared to be qualified for existence.

فهى لا هى فى الوجود لا ن الظاهر أحكامها فهى لاعين لها فى الوجود فلا هى

So in existence ”they are/ they are not”: The Manifest is their properties, so ”they are.” But they have no entity in existence, so ”they are not”:

كما هو و لا هو لانه الظاهر فهو و التميز بين الموجودات معقول و محسوس لاختلاف أحكام الاعيان فلا هو

He is the Manifest, so ”He is.” But the distinction among the existents is intelligible and perceived by the senses because of the diversity of the properties of the entities, so ”He is not.” (II 160.1)

فانّ العالم كما أعطاه الله اسم الوجود الذی هو له تعالی حقيقة أعطاه العالم باستعداده و كونه مظهرا فله الاسمأ الحسنی

Just as God gave the cosmos the name wujūd, which belongs to Him in reality, so also He gave it the Most Beautiful Names through its preparedness and the fact that it is a locus of manifestation for Him. (II 167.32)

كل اسم في العالم هو اسمه لااسم غيره فانه اسم الظاهر في المظهر

Every name in the cosmos is His name, not the name of other than He. For it is the name of the Manifest in the locus of manifestation. (II 122.14)

SPK94/5, The Sufi Path Of Knowledge, Ibn Arabi's Metaphysics of Imagination; W C Chittick; p94/5

  1. الفتوحات المكيّة التي فتح الله بها على الشيخ الإمام العامل الراسخ الكامل خاتم الأولياء الوارثين برزخ البرازخ محيي الحق و الدين أبي عبد الله محمد بن علي المعروف بابن عربي الحاتمي الطائي قدّس الله روحه و نوّر ضريحه ٱمين

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The Other Notes in This Series
link-in The Possible Things
link-in The Veil of Otherness
link-in Being and Existence 1
link-in Being and Nonexistence 2
link-in Wujūd and Infinity
link-in Being, Names, and Nonexistence

Related texts
link-in Insights Into The Nature Of (Being) And Existence From Sh. Muhyiddīn Ibn ʿArabī
link-in Sh. Muhyiddīn Ibn al-ʿArabī And the Unfolding of the Islamic Intellectual Tradition

* Living Islam – Islamic Tradition *