Archive for the ‘Muhyiddin Ibn ‘Arabi (K.S)’ Category

The Divine Roots of Human Love

God’s Love
Muhyiddin Ibn ‘Arabi

All things are rooted in wujûd, which is God, and love is no exception. Hence, if it is universally true that the object of love is nonexistent, the reason for this must be that God’s love, which is the root of all love, takes a nonexistent thing as its object. In fact, the idea that God loves what is nonexistent is a corollary to one of the most basic themes of Ibn al-’Arabi’s works: God is wujûd and everything other than God is not wujûd. Hence, everything other than God can properly be called ‘adam, that is, nonexistence.

One of the Shaykh’s most famous technical terms is ‘ayn thâbita, ‘immutable entity’. The immutable entities are the things of the universe as known by God for all eternity. God knows all things and God does not change, because God is eternal. It follows that God has always known all things and will always know them. These ‘things’ (shay‘) are the ‘entities’, and they are referred to in the Qur’anic verses that mention that God speaks to a thing in order to create it. Thus the Shaykh writes,


God’s words, ‘I was a Treasure’ affirm the immutable entities… They are mentioned in His words, ‘Our only speech to a thing [when We desire it, is to say to it "Be", and it is'] [16:40]. (II 232.12)

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The Divine Roots of Human Love

Ibn al-’Arabi begins his long chapter on love (mahabba) in the Futûhât al-Makkiyya – as he begins most of the book’s 560 chapters – by citing relevant Qur’anic verses and prophetic sayings (II 322.16).[1] He points out first that love is a divine attribute, and he lists several of the Qur’anic verses in which God is the subject of the verb ‘to love’. Fourteen of these verses mention those whom God loves and another twenty-three mention those whom God does not love. In every case, the objects of God’s love or lack of love are human beings. Indeed, the Qur’an associates love only with human beings among all creatures. Hence love is a key term if we are to understand what differentiates human beings from other created things. Most other divine attributes – such as life, knowledge, desire, power, speech, generosity, justice, mercy, and wrath – have no necessary connection with the human race. Read the rest of this entry »