“Ibn Arabi and his Commentators: The School of Philosophical Sufism"
Philosophical Sufism takes a thematic approach to exploring Ibn al-ʿArabī’s main doctrines, in his own words, and through the lens of his most important commentators. The study outlines context in which the school developed, framing its intellectual history and its key figures, then the main body systemically delves into philosophical and mystical themes. The work is designed as a prerequisite study or introductory textbook that prepares the reader for his encounter with the Fuṣūṣ al-ḥikam and the Futūḥāt al-Makkiyya. Most studies on Ibn al-ʿArabī have focused on the master’s own writings. What is different about this work is that it accounts for the commentarial tradition that has shaped our understanding of Ibn al-ʿArabī. Thus, the underlying premise here is that the complex and enigmatic and nature Ibn al-ʿArabī’s writings should be evaluated in light of his own words and the writings of his commentators.
Dr. Ali is a Lecturer in the Department of Religion at the University of Illinois.