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al-Isfār ʿan natāʾij al-asfār | Arabic Critical Edition | PDF only


Reviewed and Corrected 2nd Edition 

Author: Shaykh al-Akbar Muhyiddin Ibn al-Arabi
Editor: Abrar Ahmed Shahī
Pages: 96
ISBN: 9789699305269
Dimensions: 255 × 165 mm
Edition: 2nd. May 2023

SKU: Ruh al-quds-1 Category: Tags: ,


The work "Kitab al-Isfar" by Shaykh al-Akbar Ibn al-Arabi delves into the intricacies of spiritual voyage, uncovering its profound significance. This book elucidates the diverse categories of travelers, exploring a spectrum of journeys. Among the sixteen voyages detailed, they span from divine descents into creation to the ventures embarked upon by various prophets. Notably, Ibn ‘Arabi resolutely endorses a solitary kind of journey—the one in which the traveler relinquishes self-initiation and surrenders to being "carried" by the Real, whether in spiritual essence, physicality, or their fusion. This expedition defies convention, a paradoxical odyssey wherein the voyager attains profound stillness amidst movement—a journey that signifies transcendence through surrender.

Ibn al-Arabi's Says in Kitab al-Isfar:

There are three kinds of voyage, not four. The Real, may He be magnified and glorified, has affirmed them. They are: the voyage from Him, the voyage to Him, and the voyage in Him. The voyage in Him is the voyage of wandering and bewilderment. Whoever voyages from Him, his gain is what he finds—that is his gain—while whoever voyages in Him, gains nothing but H/himself. The first two voyages have a goal where [travellers] arrive and dismount from their journey, while the voyage of wandering has no goal.

- Muhiyuddin Ibn al-Arabi



Presenting the "Kitab al-Isfar" in its Arabic critical edition, meticulously crafted by Yusuf Aga 4859, augmented by the incorporation of eight other impeccable copies. This edition stands as a testament to the author's original intent, upholding authenticity and purity. We take immense pride in unveiling the Most Authentic Critical Edition of Kitāb al-Isfār, a comprehensive representation achieved through the collaborative effort of multiple esteemed manuscripts.

1- Yusuf Aga 4859:

From the distinguished Yusuf Aga Library, catalogued under code 4859, emerges a manuscript titled "K. al-Isfār ʿan natā’ij al-asfār," attributed to the illustrious IA. Preserved within the annals of Konya's Physical Library, this manuscript spans pages 12a to 48b. Its placement within the collection stands as the second of three parts. Categorized under RG_01: 307 [122], the manuscript's classification underlines its verified authenticity. The manuscript's provenance is traced to a historic origin, possessing significance as a tangible relic of IA's wisdom. However, it's imperative to recognize that the writing nuances, such as the configuration of letters like kāf, ʿayen, bāʾ, tāʾ, alongside the spacing of words, indicate variance from IA's script. Historical records indicate that this manuscript was transcribed by Ismail Ibn Sawdakin's student from an original copy, subsequently read before him in 638H. Although not the holograph, this manuscript embodies the best available representation of IA's work, a testament to its historical worth. It's hoped that the future may unveil an original manuscript inscribed by Shaykh al-Akbar Ibn al-Arabi himself. Notably, the accompanying samāʿ was recited before Ismail ibn Sawdakin, without reference to Shaykh al-Akbar.

 2- Koprulu 713:

Stored within the Koprulu Fazil Ahmed Library, its code bearing 713, this manuscript finds its place under Collection No. 102. Housed within the Suleymaniye in Istanbul, it spans from page 30a to 44b. In the book sequence, it assumes the second position of three. The manuscript is titled "K. al-Isfār ʿan natā’ij al-asfār" and is ascribed to IA. Its authenticity is confirmed under RG_01: 307 [122]. The work's historical relevance is established through its Konya origin, marked as a historic manuscript and classified as verified. The transcription process is attributed to Ibn al-Marwazī, though with certain doubts. While it was copied from IA's original (YA 4859), discrepancies with the original manuscript arise, rendering this manuscript unreliable. The manuscript's inaccuracies extend to diacritic marks, typographical errors, and insufficient proofreading. Thus, while housed within this library, its discrepancies and errors warrant caution in its use as a reliable source.

3-Shahid Ali – 1340 :

This manuscript, adorned in naskh script, bears notable significance as it was transcribed in the year 789H within Mecca. Its transcription is attributed to Abdul Karim bin Abubakar al-Jabarti, who holds ties to the al-Jabarti lineage. The manuscript's unique quality lies in its affiliation with the al-Jabarti family. Divergences from the texts of Yusuf Aga, Koprulu, and the Beyazit manuscript are evident throughout this manuscript, underscoring its distinctiveness. Notably, errors, particularly in the prologue, are relatively high, with inaccuracies present when referencing various words in the text. Unveiling accurate content from this manuscript is challenging without comparative analysis against other manuscripts. Nonetheless, a commendable feature is its precise rendition of numerous words in their correct forms. Unfortunately, this manuscript has yet to undergo systematic comparison with others, hindering its potential for enhanced accuracy. While the date of transcription remains unspecified, the scribe's name is provided at its conclusion. This manuscript is part of a personal compilation encompassing 20 manuscripts, all scribed by the same hand. Among these, 11 are confirmed works of Sheikh Akbar Ibn al-Arabi. The compilation commences with a listed inventory and follows a structured sequence. Recognizing variations in "Kitab al-Asfar" is essential by considering this manuscript's unique perspective. Notably, the insights shared here are rooted in content analysis.

4-Beyazit 3785:

This manuscript, executed in a splendid thuluth script, was transcribed in the exquisite city of Qaysariyah on the 5th of Rabi al-Awwal in the year 716H. One notable observation from perusing this manuscript is that it distinctly differs from the copies of Yusuf Aga or Koprulu. Hence, variations in wording arise at certain junctures. Employing diacritical marks, some words are specified, and this manuscript is impeccably composed. The text is inked in black, while titles are rendered in red ink. According to the observations of Uthman Yahya, this manuscript is associated with Shams al-Din Fanari’s library and transcribed from an original copy. An important comparison underscores the manuscript’s significance. Concluding remarks state, “And the completion of this manuscript’s copying was on the morning of Thursday, the 5th of Rabi al-Awwal in the year 716H in the city of Qaysariyah.” This manuscript was completed on Thursday morning, the 5th of Rabi al-Awwal, in the year 716H in Qaysariyah. Notably, a comparison was finalized on the 11th of Rabi al-Awwal in the same year. Throughout the comparison, a special notation “صح” (correct) is placed above numerous words, signifying their accuracy. Additionally, at several instances, the term “اظنہ” (I think) is used before certain words to indicate the scribe’s estimation. This is particularly done where the scribe believes that the original source from which this manuscript is copied might contain errors. This improved choice of words is indicated in the margins. This manuscript is a part of a collection that comprises only two manuscripts: a treatise on ascension (Isra’) and another on servitude (ʿibādah). According to our assessment, this manuscript is one of the best versions of this treatise. In our view, it holds more significance than the Koprulu manuscript. Therefore, in some places, we have given preference to its wording over that of Koprulu.

5- Yusuf Aga 5463:

The manuscript labeled Yusuf Aga 5463 (Code: Gh) is housed in the Yusuf Aga Library in Konya. It falls under Collection No. 181 and physically resides in the Yusuf Aga Library. The manuscript spans from page 256 to 271 and holds a position as the 4th out of 9 orders in the book. The title on the manuscript is "K. al-Isfār ʿan natāʾij al-asfār," and it was written by IA. The work's status has been verified as A (via rg_01: 307 [122]). The manuscript is dated around 946 (circa) and was written in Mecca. It shares the same scribe as previous works, indicating a safe estimation of its dating to 946-947 Hijri. The scribe responsible is Qāsim b. Ilyās. The manuscript is a clear copy, featuring marginal corrections. This manuscript, like others from Yusuf Aga's collection, employs page numbering instead of folios. It serves as a valuable copy of the book "Kitab al-Asfar" and belongs to the second category of manuscripts, with its text carefully transcribed onto large pages in Mecca during the late 10th century Hijri.

6- Fakhr al-din al-Khurasani's compilation:

This manuscript, written in Naskh script, is a treasure of a personal library in Pakistan. The Ibn al-Arabi Foundation possesses a digital scanned image of this manuscript for comparison purposes. Copied in the year 814 AH in the city of Zabid, Yemen, the scribe compiled it alongside numerous other books and treatises by Sheikh Akbar, totaling 60. The complete compilation has been transcribed onto large pages, containing the treatise "Risala Isfar" from page 587 to 600. The writing style suggests a hasty transcription, yet evidence of annotations indicates a comparison was made, increasing its significance. The most distinct feature that sets this manuscript apart is its lack of diacritical marks and dots, making it appear like it was copied from a manuscript with minimal diacritics. This raises the possibility that it was either transcribed directly from the original or from a source lacking diacritics. The text closely resembles the original to a considerable extent, making it one of the best copies of the treatise.

7- Rifa'i Manuscript:

Rifa'i Manuscript, Manuscript Library of Al-Maniyya (Code: A) On the online website, its number is Vollers 0251. This manuscript, written in Naskh script, is an excellent copy of this book. The name of the scribe and the date of transcription are not recorded on the manuscript, making it difficult to determine its historical significance. We have found its text to closely resemble the original, indicating that it has been transcribed from a good manuscript.

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