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Ibn al-Arabi, Muhyi al-Din

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    Ibn al-Arabi, Muhyi al-Din

    (d. 1240 )

    Among the most influential and controversial Sufi thinkers, also known as al-Shaykh al-Akbar , “the greatest shaykh.” Born and lived in Spain for thirty years before traveling east, where he wrote most of his major works. Best known for views on the unity of being (wahdat al-wujud) and knowledge, emanationist metaphysics, the theory of microcosmic return through mystical love, and the notion of the perfect person (al-insan al-kamil). His philosophy has been criticized as pantheistic, deifying Muhammad , making all religions equal, idolizing women, and interpreting the Quran in an unconventional and dangerous manner. He was accused of heresy during his lifetime and after; some of his works are still banned in Egypt. Major works include Futuhat makkiyah (Meccan revelations) and Fusus al-hikam (Bezels of wisdom), a commentary on prophets mentioned in the Quran.

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