Islamic Calligraphy

Who is Muhyiddin Ibn al-Arabi?

The Greatest Master Muhyiddin Ibn al-Arabi (560-638 AH / 1165-1240 AD) was a great Sufi thinker of the Middle Ages and one of the most influential authors in Islamic history, whose writings have deeply influenced Islamic civilization for centuries, and have more recently attracted wide interest in the West.

 Born in Murcia and died in Damascus, he travelled throughout and between Andalusia and Morocco for many years before he left to the East to settle in Mecca and perform the pilgrimage. He then did many round trips between Mecca, Baghdad, Mosul, Malatya, Aleppo, and Damascus.

His two most influential works are the Meccan Revelations and the Bezels of Wisdom, but he wrote many other shorter books and treatises. In one of his treatises, he listed 289 titles, which increase to 317 confirmed works when added to other titles he mentioned throughout his various books.

His many works eventually brought him fame, and he came to be popularly called Muhyiddin (the Reviver of Religion) and al-Shaykh al-Akbar (the Greatest Master). He continued travelling throughout the Middle East until he settled in Damascus in 1224, where he remained until he passed away in 1240.


The Meccan Revelations is considered the most important book in Islamic mysticism. Ibn al-Árabî started working on this book in Mecca in the year 598 AH / 1202 AD; thus from here it takes its name, where he received the immense knowledge that he had broadcasted in this huge book from a spirit he calls the ‘passing young’ (al-fatâ al-fâàt) whom he met at the Kaaba. But it took him around thirty years to finish it in Damascus in the year 629 AH / 1232 AD, and then he rewrote it again between 632/1235 and 636/1239, just two years before he passed away.
The book consists of 560 chapters that vary in length between as short as half a page and as long as several hundreds. Although it is now mostly printed in four condensed volumes, based on Bulaq edition, it is in total contained in 37 volumes according to Ibn al-Árabî's own arrangement, and each volume is normally divided into seven parts which may start or end regardless of chapters; thus some chapters are placed in more than one part or even more than one volume.


For more details about Ibn al-Arabi and his doctrine, please visit The Sun from the West website. the Sun from the West Website


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