In 1240 AD, at Damascus, the cradle of civilizations, and the oldest inhabited city in history, the Sun of the Greatest Master Muhyiddin Ibn al-Arabi set down, after it filled the world with guiding light, and enlightened the minds with fascinating knowledge, and overwhelmed the hearts with inspiring wisdom. Per the maxim: "people are dead, but those with knowledge are alive," the Sun of Muhyiddin, "the Reviver of Religion," did never fade away. Only momentarily veiled, he continued in the hearts of his righteous disciples and followers, who continued to spread his knowledge and mystic teachings in the Levant, Anatolia, and then Central Asia, and – in later centuries – to the West.
Despite the severe attack by a few religious authorities for his unorthodox ideas and teachings, he is still praised everywhere by the people of all ranks, particularly in the Middle East, Turkey, North Africa, Persia, Pakistan, India, and Indonesia, in addition to the West, both amongst Muslims and non-Muslims. There is no doubt that he has become one of the most prominent international figures whose works continue to influence intellectuals from virtually every culture and religion in the world, and a wide range of subjects in all fields of sciences, arts, and humanities.
The lasting influence of his teachings, and his unfathomably mysterious views, have spread in every part of the Muslim world, particularly among the Sufi circles. He was the foremost pioneer for all subsequent Sufis, who were directly or indirectly influenced by the divine wisdom dispersed in his multitudes of multi-volume books and other shorter treatises. Many of his followers became famous Sufi masters and prolific authors, such as Sadruddin al-Qunawi, Abd-ul-Razzaq al-Qashani, Abd-ul-Karim al-Jili, Abd-ul-Ghani al-Nabulsi, and Abd-ul-Wahhab al-Shaarani, amongst other scholars and intellectuals whose biographies will be illuminated in this book.
Nevertheless, his mysterious sciences were not always received with keen ears, but some other religious authorities criticized him, sometimes aggressively and brutally, and some have accused him of heresy. For this purpose, they wrote many books attempting to expose his mysterious conceptions and opinions according to their ways of understanding. Most notably, amongst the most violent critics are Ibn Taymiyyah, Burhanuddin al-Beqaii, and Muhammad Ibn Abd-ul-Rahman al-Sakhawi, as we shall describe their accounts and objections.
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