In addition to the various history books mentioned above, the details of the events in this book are mainly drawn from Ibn al-Arabi’s own statements he mentioned in “the Meccan Revelations” (al-Futuĥât al-Makkiyya), in which he recorded numerous stories he experienced during his different journeys, in addition to his famous treatise of “the Holy Spirit in Self-advise” (Rŭĥ al-Quds) which is an essential reference for anyone who wants to study his biography, because he elucidated in it many accounts of his Shaykhs whom he dealt with and whom we often don’t find any information about them in other books.
Most of the information in Ruh al-Quds are also mentioned, with important elaboration, in the treatise of “al-Durrah al-Fâkhirah fî dhikr man intafa’tu bihi fî ťarîq al-âkhira: the Luxury Pearl in describing those whom I had benefited from in the way of the Hereafter”, although this book had been apparently lost but Shaykh Muhyiddin wrote an abridged version of it on the request of one of his companions. Both these works, Ruh al-Quds and al-Durrah al-Fakhirah, have been translated in R. Austin’s Sufis of Andalusia, Beshara Publications, 1988 [citep:arabi2013sufis].
We have also benefited greatly from the other treaties and books by Ibn al-Arabi, in which he also mentioned some of his teachers, such as the Leave he issued to the Ayyubid King al-Mudhaffar, which will be translated in full in the third volume because he also list many of his works that he could remember at the time.
Additionally, many chronologies are also concluded from the introductions Shaykh Muhyiddin wrote in his various books, or from his statements within the texts, where he often gave some remarks on the reason for writing some of these books, in addition to various other incidents he may come across.
As for the biographical information about other prominent Sufis, contemporary with Shaykh Muhyiddin, are also described in the key source on this era written by Abu Yaqoub Yusuf Ibn Yahya al-Tadili (d. 617/1220), known as Ibn al-Zayyat: al-Tashawwuf ilâ rijâl al-tašawwuf wa-akhbâr Abî al-’Abbâs al-Sabtî, edited by A. Toufiq, Rabat, 1984 [citep:tadili1984].
Nevertheless, this work was not done from scratch, but we have also benefited greatly from many good books by other researchers known in this field, so we adopted some of their conclusions in the compilation of this book. Therefore, although we relied primarily on the original works by Shaykh Muhyiddin Ibn al-Arabi himself, we have to mention some important key references that we have benefited from in this book.
The first in this regard is the work of the Spanish scholar Asin Palacios, whose book is one of the first and most important studies on the life of Ibn al-Arabi, despite some errors and inaccuracies contained in it. We relied on the Arabic translation by Abdul Rahman Badawi, entitled: “Ibn al-Arabi, his life and doctrine” printed in 1979 in Kuwait and Beirut.
The second important reference is the indispensable book by Othman Yahya (Histoire et Classification de l’oeuvre d’Ibn Arabi) citepyahya1964osman, also translated into Arabic by Ahmed Tibi, and published in Egypt in 2001. In this book, the author provided a table of the dates of the presence of the Greatest Shaykh in different cities and countries that he visited or passed through, as he himself mentioned in his various books, or mentioned by some of his disciples. But this table also has many errors which we corrected by some researchers that we mention next.
Above all we also relied heavily on the important book presented by Claudia Addas in French: “Ibn ’Arabî ou La quête du Soufre Rouge”, Paris: Gallimard, 1985, and translated into English by P. Kingsley, with the title: “Quest for Red Sulphur: The Life of Ibn al-Arabi”, and published by the Islamic Texts Society, Cambridge, 1993 citepaddas1993quest. She analyzed and studied the life of the Greatest Shaykh and his relationship with the Shaykhs whom he met in his different journeys, then she reported at the end of her book the same table developed by Osman Yahya and added some details, especially with regards to the last twenty years, while the Greatest Shaykh was in Damascus. We will mention this table in the appendix of this book, with some important additions of other events we analyzed inside the book.
Also one of the other books that we benefited from, especially in Volume II, when discussing the critics of the Greatest Master, is: “Ibn Arabi in the Later Islamic Tradition: The Making of a Polemical Image in Medieval Islam”, by Alexander Knysh, published by State University of New York Press in 1999 citepknysh1999ibn.
Finally, we must also mention the book by Stephen Hirtenstein: “The Unlimited Mercifier, The Spiritual Life and Thought of Ibn Arabi”, which was printed in Oxford in 1999 citehirtenstein1999. In this book, the author gave fine analysis of the spiritual life of the Greatest Shaykh and presented it in an easy and exciting manner.
In addition to these books above, there are some other books that we benefited from them, among them the books by Suad al-Hakim, such as “al-Mu’jam al-Sŭfi: the Sufi lexicon” (Dendera House, Beirut, 1981) and her critical edition of the book of “al-Isrâ ilâ al-Maqâm al-Asrâ” (Dendera House, Beirut, 1988) and other books of her.
There are also other good books in Arabic, Persian, Turkish, English and French, and we will mention some of them in a timely manner within this book, and also in the glossary of references in the end, Allah willing.