Author, research fellow and lecturer of Islamic studies and metaphysics, Dr Mukhtar Ali shares with us how to go about studying the great thinker and gnostic Ibn al-ʿArabī, ash-Shaykh al-Akbar, in post-modern times.
Specializing in Sufism, Dr Ali paves the way of understanding the spiritual dimension of Islam. He introduces us to Ibn al-ʿArabī, the great mystic of the Sufi tradition, and clarifies the dimensions of Sufi walking: الشريعة (ash-sharīʿa), الطريقة (at-ṭarīqa), and الحقيقة (al-ḥaqiqa). In discussing this basic framework, Dr Ali uses rhetorical speech to teach us how one goes about to ascertain inward truths and realities, planting the seed of the esoteric methodology of questioning and striving.
In our discussion, considerations are given to: the essentials of Islamic theology and understanding the Qurʾān; the basis of attaining knowledge on the premise of unveiling; the four main commentators on Ibn al-ʿArabī and the gist of their work; the complexity of Ibn al-ʿArabī’s terminology and the potential benefit of studying English-Arabic translations alongside an instructor; acquiring and building a vocabulary in Arabic; the recommended trajectory of study for students new to metaphysics; and, the challenges of self-study and the value of approaching Ibn al-ʿArabī’s cosmology through a course or a layman’s book.
This podcast also provides information on the upcoming courses on the Ḥikmah Project, and a modest overview of Dr Ali’s contemporary books, which, in his words, ‘are written as an introduction to the School of Ibn al-ʿArabī in simple language’.