I have tried my best to arrange the sections of this book according to the historic order of events, but that cannot be perfectly precise, due to the lack of adequate references and our dependence almost entirely on the dates mentioned by the Shaykh, may Allah be pleased with him, who often mentions accidents of history sometimes without specifying the place or country. However, the dates mentioned by the Greatest Shaykh are enough to give an accurate timeline of the major events in his life, at least in terms of the years, but sometimes the months or days. We don’t doubt that the key dates of his traveling and moving between the countries of Andalusia, the West and the East (Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Mecca and the Levant) and Turkey. Therefore, we relied on these major dates to divide this book into the chapters as we have mentioned above. But the order of events in each of these areas where the Greatest Shaykh resided cannot reach the full degree of accuracy, so it must be rounded and approximated, based on the best guess, which may ensue some mistakes.
For this reason we mentioned the names of cities and the date of the related events in most section titles, if it is known, and with the accuracy of the day and month, or at least a year, if possible. In the case when we were not sure of the exact history, we put the approximation sign before the time or place we mention, and that’s only when there is clear evidence for that. Then if it was not possible to specify the time or place of any event, we left the title of the section undetermined, but nevertheless we put it within the expected sequence among the other sections, to the best of our guess. In the case if we were absolutely not sure of the place and date of the incident, we will note that inside the text.
I hope in this way we could trace the foot-steps of Ibn al-Arabi throughout his entire life, in his travel and stay, with high accuracy, but we can never pretend that this is perfect, because some errors are possible.
On the other hand, I have tried to put the Gregorian calendar as well as the Hijri, which is the original. I did that often without using AH or AD (but for example: 560/1165 means 560 AH corresponding to 1165 AD), but when there is no need to do so, as we mention the Hijri only with the AH, if necessary or when there is a possibility of some confusion. In some places, we only mention the Gregorian date, specially for events that were prior to the Prophet migration, or before Islam, and in this case we refer to the date by AD, only if it is necessary. However, it must be noted that the conversion of the Islamic Hijri year to the Gregorian calendar year may incur some error that may be up to two years. This happens when we don’t know what part of the year we are speaking about. Nevertheless, our reference in this book is always to the Hijri calendar and not the Gregorian. In the process of conversion, the Gregorian date could rounded up or down, depending on the respective month of the year, which is sometimes unknown.