Imaginal Worlds: Ibn Al-'Arabi and the Problem of Religious Diversity / Edition 1

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Ibn al'Arabi, known as the "Greatest Master," is the most influential Muslim thinker of the past 600 years. This book is an introduction to his thought concerning the ultimate destiny of human beings, God and the cosmos, and the reasons for religious diversity. It summarizes many of Ibn al'Arabi's teachings in a simple manner. The ideas discussed are explained in detail.
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Editorial Reviews

Introduces the thought of al-Arabi (A.D. 1165-1240), perhaps the most influential Islamic writer, on the ultimate destiny of humans, God, and everything, and the reasons for religious diversity. Explains his concept of human perfection, the implications of the World of Imagination, and why God's wisdom demands diversity. Also suggests how al-Arabi's teachings can be used in the modern study of world religions. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780791422502
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/1994
  • Series: SUNY Series in Islam
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 220
  • Sales rank: 1,488,446
  • Product dimensions: 5.92 (w) x 8.97 (h) x 0.48 (d)

Table of Contents



1. Oneness of Being

Divine Names and Human Perfection
Incomparability and Similarity

2. Microcosm, Macrocosm, and Perfect Man

The Goal of Creation
The Path to Perfection

3. Ethics and Antinomianism

Noble Character Traits
Blameworthy Character Traits

4. Self-Knowledge and the Original Human Disposition

The Nondelimitation of Wujud
Imaginal Consciousness
The Unknown Station
Annihilation and Subsistence
Becoming Human


5. Revelation and Poetic Imagery

The Tarjuman al-Ashwaq
Reason and Self-Disclosure
The Revelation of Similitudes
Witnessing the Loci of Vision

6. Meetings with Imaginal Men

Discerning Imaginal Realities
Varieties of Imaginal Perception
Imaginal Men

7. Death and the Afterlife

Revelation and Reason
The Isthmus after Death
The Unfolding of the Soul
The Next World
The Garden and the Fire
The Cooling of the Fire


8. A Myth of Origins

The Koranic View of Revelation
The Divine Names and the Origins of Religion
Chapter 66

9. Diversity of Belief

The Roots of Belief
The Two Commands
Paths to God
The Marks of Belief
Nondelimited Belief
The Circle of Religious Diversity

10. The Divine Roots of Religion

Gods of Belief
Rational Investigation
Names and Knottings
The Divine Form
All and Nothing
Prophecy and Guidance
Providential Limitations
Appreciating Knots



Index of Sources

Index of Koranic Verses

Index of Hadiths and Sayings

Index of Names and Terms

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