The Sealness of the Wilayah of al-Mahdi and the Specification of His Ancestors according to ibn Arabi and Some Commentators of Futuhat al-makkiyyah

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

1 Ph.D. Candidate in Study of Religion, University of Religions and Denominations

2 Ph.D. Candidate in Islamic Mysticism, Imam Khomeini Research Center

Abstract

The sealness of wilayah is one of the most important and challenging issues discussed by Muslim mystics, and has been discussed by the likes of Ibn ‘Arabi. Like other mystics, Ibn ‘Arabi divides wilayah into two types: absolute and limited. However, his ideas with regards to instances of absolute wilayah and limited wilayah diverge from the norm. Sometimes this divergence is so extreme that according to him, it goes away from what is generally accepted by Sunnis and Shi‘is. In other places, however, he implies that his opinion is similar to some of theirs and that he shares the same opinion as them. Ibn ‘Arabi considers Jesus as an instance of absolute wilayah and an Arab man as an instance of limited wilayah. Sometimes, he takes the Mahdi as an instance of limited wilayah and at other times, he says that the Mahdi of the last days is not the same as “the expected Mahdi.” In many places, Ibn ‘Arabi introduces himself as the seal of limited wilayah. What is clear, however, is that there are serious differences between numerous copies of Futuhat and its commentaries concerning the names of the ancestors of the Mahdi, and this has so far been neglected. By comparing numerous copies of Futuhat and its commentaries, the present article aims to study, analyze, and criticize such differences.

Keywords


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