Islamic Garden

Islamic Garden
Islamic Garden in Lausanne, Switzerland

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Ibn Arabi on "the elect" implicated in Sura 1:7

If "those upon whom Thou hast bestowed Grace" is a reference to the "elect" in all religious discourse, Ibn Arabi has some very intriguing revelations to share about the vision of the Lord, which is clearly the final destination of Sirat al-Mustaqim. According to Rom Landau in "The Philosophy of Ibn Arabi":

"This vision, although in itself one and the same so far as the elect are concerned, has, nevertheless, different aspects. Those prophets, who only acquired their knowledge of God through the faith received from God Himself and did not increase that knowledge by reason and contemplation, will behold the vision through the eye of faith. The saint whose faith in God was inspired by a prophet will see it through the mirror of that prophet. If, however, he also gained a knowledge of God through contemplation, then he will have two visions, one of science and the other of faith...Those who obtained from God the mystic intuition only will occupy a grade in glory apart from all the other elect. To sum up, the three aspects which God presents to the elect in these three categories are graded thus: the prophets who received supernatural inspiration from God excel those saints who followed their teaching; while those who were neither prophets nor their disciples but simply saints and friends of God will, if they achieved the desired end by rational contemplation, be inferior in the Beatific Vision to the mystics, because reason, like a veil, will intervene between them and the Divine truth, and their efforts to raise it will be of no avail. In like manner the followers of the prophets will be unable to raise the veil of prophetic revelation. And so it is that the Beatic Vision, pure and unalloyed, will be the heritage exclusively of the prophets and the mystics who, like the prophets, received Divine inspiration on earth..."

~ Excerpted from "The Philosophy of Ibn Arabi" by Rom Landau, (p.80, 1959).

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