In the Name of Allah the Most-Merciful and the All-Merciful
Praise be to Allah Who bestows mercy upon His servants, with the heartfelt generosity, and He ventures the hearts with His bounty and kindness. He is not bounded by any extent, and His attributes and qualities are not counted by number. He is the One God and Unique in His kingdom. The hearts elevate in His love, the minds compete in His knowledge, and the bodies perish in His obedience and worship.
And peace and blessings be upon our master, the Illiterate Prophet, Muhammad, and his family and companions, whom Allah Almighty has selected to be the guide and leader of the pious, and mercy to all the worlds.
I have been asked by the pious brother Dr. Mohamed Ali Haj Yousef, to write a foreword to the book: The Sun from the West (Shams-ul-Maghrib) about the biography of Shaykh Muhyiddin Ibn al-Arabi and his doctrine. I have found that he exerted a great effort to collect the critical information about the life and tradition of this Shaykh, to put before the hands of readers, in a form easily accessible to those who want to benefit, especially since this topic is exciting and spiky at the same time. This is due to the disagreement between the views: of those who admire him and show due respect towards him, and those who criticize and deny, those who believe and those who accuse him of heresy and disbelief.
But the author, may he be guided by Allah, was able to get rid of this dilemma by his objective and scientific style, away from extremism or fanaticism; since he has mostly reported the life of the Shaykh and his doctrine without interfering with many comments that direct to his personal opinion, but he often leaves this to the stories and narrations which are clear and authentic, or at least he clearly declares the source from where he took these narrations.
The knowing of such a significant figure such as Shaykh Muhyiddin Ibn al-Arabi is of an excellent benefit for Muslims, including both supporters and criticizers. One has to learn about the person and recognize him before he could deny it. One has to hear first before judging others and what they say. After that, he could select what he likes, but not merely following others without checking the reality, and without searching and investigating.
The opinion should be based on proper and probationary consideration of things ... then at the end take what is useful and beneficial and leave aside the malicious.
Today, we need to look at things with a serious and critical eye and take them objectively, away from fanaticism and extremism. In the end, what we find agreeing with the Quran and the Hadith we follow it, and what we find against these two main authenticated sources, we leave it out.
We need to read carefully the Hadith narrated in Sahih Muslim, that the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said: “knowledge is a religion, thus be sure after whom you take it!”.
May Allah bless our shaykhs, and reward the brother, the author, all the best rewards on our behalf and of all Muslims, and may He also guide him to more work and contribution in the future. He is hearing (our prayers), and He responds.
Prof. Shaykh Ramadhan Subhi Deeb
The First Preacher at
Shaykh Ahmad Kuftaro Foundation
Sunday, March 31, 2019