The Seal of the Saints:
Prophethood and Sainthood in the Doctrine of Ibn â€˜Arabi
Michel Chodkiewicz; Translated by Liadain Sherrard
Paperback 192 pages
Ibn Arabiâ€”born in 1165 in Andalusia and died in 1240 in Damascusâ€”was recognised in his lifetime as al-Shaykh al-Akbar, the supreme spiritual Master. Over a period of eight centuries he has exerted a profound influence on Islamic mysticism. In recent years a number of important studies have helped acquaint the Western reader with Ibn Arabiâ€™s metaphysics and this process is now greatly enhanced by the present volume in which Michael Chodkiewicz explores for the first time, the Masterâ€™s â€˜hagiologyâ€™ or teaching on sainthood. Founded on a careful analysis of the relevant texts, Chodkiewiczâ€™s work examines this essential aspect of Ibn Arabiâ€™s doctrine of sainthood, defining the nature and function of sainthood, while also specifying the criteria for a typology of saints based on the notion of prophetic inheritance. The book concludes with a detailed description of the two phases of the initiatory journey, the ascent to God, followed by the descent to created beings which, once accomplished, makes a saint the necessary mediator between Heaven and Earth.