Ibn Taymiyya (d. 1328) on Ibn ‘Arabi (d. 1240)

Despite being an intractable opponent of several of the latter’s key ideas, this is what Ibn Taymiyya (d. 1328) had to say about Ibn ‘Arabi (d. 1240):

“[Despite his deviance], Ibn ‘Arabi is the closest to true belief among [the mystical philosophers], and his teaching is, in many respects, better than theirs. He, at least, distinguished between the manifest One and the concrete forms of His manifestations. Moreover, he affirmed the validity of the Divine Command and the Prohibition and the Divine Laws as they stand. He also instructed the travelers on the mystical path how to acquire high morals and the acts of devotion, as is common with other Sufis and their disciples. Therefore, many pious worshipers have learned the rules of their path through his instructions and thus have greatly benefited from him, even though they sometimes failed to understand his (mystical) subtleties.”

–Letter to Shaykh Abu Nasr al-Manbiji

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