Prophethood and Sainthood in the Doctrine of Ibn `Arab. Michel Chodkiewicz Ibn ‘Arabi was recognized 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 `Arabi’s metaphysics so that a coherent picture of his supremacy has begun to emerge!’ This process is now greatly enhanced by the present volume in which Michel Chodkiewicz explores for the first time, the Master’s ‘hagiology’ or teaching on sainthood. Founded on a careful analysis of the relevant texts, Chodkiweicz’s work examines this essential aspect of Ibn `Arabi’s formulation of a doctrine of sainthood, defusing the nature and function of sainthood, while also specifying the criteria for a typology of saints based on the notion of prophetic inheritance.
“Chodkiweicz unravels the interwoven strands of Ibn `Arabi’s thought with a blend of knowledge, intellectual scruple and intelligence. It is very instructive and light-years away from the apologetics and the indictments of Islam which make up most of the current works on the subject.” — Maxime Rodinson ***
“This is by far the best available explanation of the central importance of sanctity for understanding both the practical and the theoretical teaching of Sufism.” —William C. Chittick


Michel Chodkiewicz

(b. 1929)

Michel Chodkiewicz has been the Director of Studies at École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris. For many years he was Director of the well-known Paris publishing house, Editions de Seuil. He is the author of numerous books and articles on Islamic spirituality, including a translation of Awhad al-Dīn Balyānī’s Risālah al-Ahdiyyah as Epitre sur l’ Unicite Absolute (1982), Spiritual Teachings of Amir ‘Abdul Qadir (1993) and two books on Ibn ‘Arabi– An Ocean Without Shore (1993) and Seal of the Saints.


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