The treatise "Insha al-Dawair" is of immense importance due to its subject matter. It begins with Sheikh acknowledging divine guidance and expressing his desire to present profound truths about the relationship between the Creator and His creations in a comprehensible form. This treatise aims to make these concepts accessible not only to those with deep insight but also to individuals who may struggle with the complexities of these ideas. Sheikh emphasizes the significance of understanding the various levels of existence and non-existence in humans.
The treatise commences with an exploration of the recognition of existence and non-existence. Sheikh asserts that there are relative aspects of existence and non-existence within any given entity. He distinguishes between the absolute affirmation or negation of a thing's existence and introduces the concept of relative existence and non-existence, illustrating that existence and non-existence can coexist within the same entity.
In summary, "Insha al-Dawair" addresses fundamental philosophical concepts related to existence and non-existence, offering a nuanced perspective that acknowledges both absolute and relative aspects within these categories. Sheikh's treatise aims to make these profound ideas accessible to a broader audience.
First and foremost, we would like to assure you that the edition in your possession is not an ordinary edition; rather, it is the most reliable and authenticated edition. Its preparation involved extensive research and consultation with extremely rare manuscripts. Typically, texts circulated in the Arabic world suffer from imperfections, and in the field of Sheikh's studies, these imperfections can lead to serious misunderstandings. Therefore, the rigorous investigation of Arabic texts is of paramount importance.
This book has been published multiple times in the past. The first edition, to the best of my knowledge, dates back to 1363 Hijri (1919 AD) and was published by Laden. H.S. Nyberg conducted the research and editing for this edition. It is believed to be the oldest published edition of this treatise. In this edition, Sheikh's three works are combined, with "Risalah Insha al-Dawair" being the first.
In the Arabic text, no introduction or preface was found. However, references to different manuscripts and footnotes are scattered throughout the text.
Similarly, in 1996, Paul Fenton and Maurice Gloton translated it into French and published it alongside Nyberg's text. Likewise, a version of this treatise was published by Maktaba al-Thaqafah al-Diniyah in Cairo in 1998. Although I don't have access to this text, it appears that Nyberg's edition was most likely used as the basis for these publications.
Furthermore, in 2001, Yusuf Saffar Fatoum published a text in Damascus, and there was also an edition published in Iran.
An independent Italian scholar, Maurizio Marconi, is working on an improved text, which he has compared with Nyberg's text. However, as of now, it may not have been officially published.
1- Manisa Manuscript - 1143:
The manuscript known as "Manisa Manuscript - 1143 (Code: M)" is a highly valuable copy of a treatise. It was personally transcribed by Muhammad bin Abdul Qadir bin Abdul Khaliq al-Ansari, a close associate of Sheikh Akbar, in the year 655 AH. This manuscript is considered one of the most important copies of the original treatise and is derived from the text transcribed by Abdullah Badr al-Habashi, another close associate of Sheikh Akbar.The manuscript begins with a statement confirming its authenticity and the name of Sheikh Akbar. It is written in the Naskh script, making the text easily legible. Vowel marks (Arabic diacritics) are added to most words for clarity, and annotations are present throughout, indicating comparisons and corrections.The treatise "Insha al-Dawair" concludes on page 140 of the manuscript, dated 655 AH. At the end of the book, there is an explicit mention of a comparison with the Sheikh's original manuscript and an acknowledgment of the effort made to ensure its accuracy. Additionally, there is an intriguing cryptic seal or symbol.This manuscript is part of a compilation that includes ten treatises of Sheikh Akbar, which are as follows: "Sharh al-Alfaz," "Mukhtasar Fusus al-Hikam," "Kitab al-Kunah," "Kitab al-Nasa'ih," "Mukhtasar Kitab Fusus al-Hikam," "Kitab Mashahid al-Asrar al-Qudsiyya," "Kitab al-Nuqaba," "Kitab al-Madkhal," "Kitab al-Ifadah," and "Kitab Insha al-Dawair."Most of these treatises were transcribed by Abdul Qadir al-Ansari, adding to the significance of this compilation.
2- Wali al-Din - 1686:
The manuscript known as "Wali al-Din - 1686 (Code: W)" is a copy written in Naskh script and is currently held at the Bayezid Library in Istanbul. While there is no explicit mention of the original manuscript from which it was transcribed, it is considered a good-quality copy of a specific book. Based on the date of the manuscript's compilation, it was transcribed in the year 667 AH. According to records from the Ibn al-Arabi Society, this copy is believed to have been transcribed by one of Sheikh Sadr al-Din Qunawi's students.The handwriting in this manuscript is clear and easily legible, with no diacritical marks (Arabic vowel marks) applied to the text. The titles are written in red ink for emphasis, while the rest of the text is in black ink. There are no extraneous phrases or passages at the end of this copy.This manuscript is part of a valuable collection that includes more than nine books and treatises of Sheikh Akbar Ibn al-Arabi. The scribe suggests that these books were all found in Sheikh Akbar's house. The titles of the books and treatises in this collection include: "Al-Ahadith Al-Awwal," "Kitab al-Khalwah," "Mishkat al-Anwar," "Risalah al-Anwar fi Ma Yumnih Sahib al-Khalwah min al-Asrar," "Dairat al-Wujud al-Ghaib (Insha al-Dawair)," "Kitab al-Tajalliyat," "Kitab al-Maqsid al-Asma," "Kitab al-Mubashshirat," and "Kitab al-Azal."
3-Bayezid - 3750:
The manuscript known as "Bayezid - 3750 (Code: B)" is preserved at the Bayezid Library in Istanbul. This is an ancient copy of a specific treatise. The manuscript employs both red and black ink in its transcription. Titles are highlighted in red ink for clarity, while the main text is written in black ink. There are visible signs of corrections in the margins.The copy of the treatise "Insha al-Dawair" does not contain any specific information about its date of transcription at its conclusion. However, another treatise within the same collection provides the date of 782 AH (Islamic calendar) for the manuscript and specifies that it was transcribed in Aleppo.According to records from the Ibn al-Arabi Archive, the possible identity of the scribe is Isa ibn Ibrahim al-Sarmati, although this identification could not be confirmed within the manuscript.This manuscript is part of a collection that includes more than 20 books and treatises authored by Sheikh Akbar Ibn al-Arabi. The entire collection was transcribed in Aleppo in the year 782 AH.
4- Fatih - 5298:
The manuscript known as "Fatih - 5298 (Code: F)" is housed in the Suleymaniye Library in Istanbul. It was transcribed in the year 783 AH (Islamic calendar). The transcription utilizes both red and black ink for writing. Titles are highlighted in red ink, while the main text is written in black ink. There are visible signs of comparisons and corrections made in the margins.The manuscript concludes with the following statement: "By Allah, the Guide, this book was completed on the blessed day, Monday, the second of the month of Sha'ban al-Mukarram in the year 783 Hijri according to the Prophetic calendar. May the best blessings and utmost greetings be upon its owner. Completed."This statement indicates that the book was transcribed by the scribe Ali ibn Isa ibn Muhammad ibn Jabir on the second day of Sha'ban al-Mukarram in the year 783 AH. However, it is not clear which manuscript was used for comparison, and there is no mention of the source manuscript from which it was transcribed.
5- Fakhr al-Din Khurasani:
The manuscript known as "Fakhr al-Din Khurasani (Code: F)" is a valuable addition to a personal library in Pakistan. A digital scan image of this manuscript is available with the Ibn al-Arabi Foundation, which has been used for comparison purposes. This manuscript was transcribed in the year 814 AH (Islamic calendar) in the city of Zabid, Yemen. The scribe copied it along with many other books and treatises by Sheikh Akbar Ibn al-Arabi, numbering more than 60 in total. The entire collection has been transcribed onto large pages.The style of writing suggests that the scribe produced this manuscript in a hurry, yet there are clear traces of comparisons and corrections in the margins, enhancing its significance. The wording in this manuscript closely resembles the original, making it one of the finest copies of this treatise. Red and black ink have been used for writing, with titles highlighted in red and the main text written in black. Poetry is included within the text rather than being separated. Although the manuscript lacks a specific date, there are numerous references to the copying date throughout the collection.