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The Kufr of Ibn ʿArabī

A listing of the Scholars of Islām who have declared Ibn ʿArabī to be a disbeliever.

I asked our Shaykh Sirāj al-Dīn al-Balqīnī about ibn ʿArabī and he promptly replied that he was a kāfir.

al-hamdulillāh wa al-ṣalātu wa as-salām ʿalá nabīyyinā wa-ḥabiibnā Muḥammad

In reply to a post asking to name scholars who declared ibn ʿArabī to be a disbeliever then one of the Imāms of his time, al-Allāmah Burhān ad-Dīn al-Balqīnī [809-885H] authored a work entirely devoted to this in which he mentions the names and statements of tens of scholars from the time of ibn ʿArabī to his time who declared him to be a disbeliever. He mentions even more who declared him to be a deviant and worse – some of them Ṣufīs themselves. In shāʾ Allāh I will mention a few of them here and the interested reader can refer to the aforementioned book for more detail. The name of the book is ‘Tanbīḥ al-Ghabbī ilá takfīr ibn ʿArabī’

Ibn al-ʿArabī said concerning the worshippers of the cow at the time of Moses (ʿalayhi al-salām) as in his ‘Fusūs’ (pg. 192), “Moses (ʿalayhi al-salām) was more knowledgeable of this matter than Hārūn because he knew what the Companions of the Cow (truly) worshipped. This is because he knew that Allāh had decreed that none was to be worshipped save Him Alone and that when Allāh decrees a thing it must occur. Therefore when Moses censured his brother Hārūn it was because of Hārūn rejecting (what the Companions of the Cow did) and his inability to truly comprehend it. For the Gnostic is the one who sees the Truth (Allāh) in everything, indeed he sees the Truth to be everything.”

[Therefore Ibn ʿArabī thought that the action of these people was correct because what they were worshipping was in reality Allāh!! Refuge is sought with Allāh]

(1). Zayn ad-Dīn al-ʿIrāqī [the teacher of ibn Hajr al-Asqalānī] said, “these words are disbelief from the one who utters them due to a number of reasons…”

It is known that ibn ʿArabī believed that Pharaoh was correct when he said ‘I am your lord most high’ as in Fusūs (pg. 210).

Al-ʿIrāqī said, “his saying concerning the statement of Pharaoh, ‘I am your lord most high’ that it was correct for him to say that…there is not doubt that the one who says this statement, and it is authentic that he said it while possessing his intelligence and not being coerced then he is a kāfir…”

(2). The son of Al-ʿIrāqī, Imām Walī ad-Dīn Aḥmad al-ʿIrāqī said under the twenty first issue of his ‘Fatāwá al-Makkiyyah,’ “there is no doubt in including the Fusoos that is famous from him amongst the clear and explicit disbelief. The same applies to his ‘Futūhāt al-Makkiyyah.’ If these books are truly written by him (Ibn ʿArabī) and he believed in what he wrote when he died then he is a kāfir who will remain for eternity in Hellfire. There is no doubt concerning this.”

(3). Ibn Sayyid al-Nās and ibn Daqīq al-ʿĪd and other scholars all mention from their Shaykh, al-Izz ibn ʿAbd al-Salām (who was contemporary to Ibn ʿArabī) that he said about him, “an evil shaykh, a liar.” This was mentioned by al-Dhahabī via many routes.

(4). Abū Hayyaan [b. 654H] in his famous tafsīr under āyah 5:17

(5, 6). Ibn Hajr and his Shaykh al-Balqīnī. Ibn Hajr says in his biography to ibn al-Fārid in his ‘Lisān al-Mīzān,’ “I asked our Shaykh Sirāj ad-Dīn al-Balqīnī about ibn al-ʿArabī and he promptly replied that he was a kāfir.”

(7). Al-Ḥāfiẓ al-Dhahabī, “and how would it be if the Shaykh (i.e. Sayf al-Dīn ʿAlī al-Harīrī, the Ṣūfī) saw the words of ibn ʿArabī which are pure kufr and heresy, he would say ‘this is the Dajjāl that is awaited.’”

He also said, “if his (Ibn ʿArabī’s) words are not kufr then there is no kufr in the world.” [I quote this from memory]

(8).Ibn Taymīyyah as is well known from him.

And many more.

Published: June 15, 2007
Edited: March 12, 2023


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