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Kitab al-Isrāʼ ilá al-maqām al-Asrá | Ibn al-ʻArabī | Arabic Critical Edition | PDF only


Kitab al-Isrāʼ ilá al-maqām al-Asrá
Reviewed and Corrected Edition 
Author: Shaykh al-Akbar Muhyiddin Ibn al-Arabi
Editor: Abrar Ahmed Shahī
Pages: 200
ISBN: 9789699305252
Dimensions: 6.5*9.5 in
Edition: 2024

SKU: kitab al-isra Category: Tags: ,


Introduction to the Book’s Editions: A Scholarly Perspective

The book in question has seen multiple publications within the Arab world, each contributing to its dissemination and scholarly exploration. Below, I outline the notable editions:

  1. Earliest Edition (1948): The oldest known edition originates from the Jamia Daira Al-Ma'arif Al-Uthmaniya in Hyderabad Deccan.

  2. Suʻād al-Ḥakīm’s Enhanced Edition (1988): Suʻād al-Ḥakīm significantly improved the text with his research and commentary, publishing an updated edition from Beirut.

  3. Mahmoud Mahmoud Al-Gharab’s Contribution (1997): In 1997, Maḥmūd Maḥmūd al-Ghurāb added to the legacy by releasing the same book as part of the “Rasa’il Ibn Al-Arabi” series from Beirut.

  4. Various Arab Edtions: Various Arab publishers have consistently included this work in the “Rasa’il Ibn Al-Arabi” series. These editions span libraries such as Dār al-Madá lil-Thaqāfah wa-al-Nashr (1988), Dār al-Kutub al-ʻIlmīyah, and Dār Iḥyāʼ al-Turāth al-ʻArabī.

  5. The commentary on the book Al-Isra’, with Abdul Baqi Muftah’s research and commentary, was published by Maktaba Kitab Nashuron in 2020. 

  6. Likewise, under the title “al-Najāh min ḥujub al-ishtibāh,” Ismāʻīl Ibn Sawdakīn’s commentary was published by the Ibn Al-Arabi Foundation in Egypt in 2020, under the supervision of Ayman Ḥamdī.

These editions provide valuable insights into the text, its historical context, and the scholarly efforts invested in preserving and disseminating Ibn Al-Arabi’s work.

Placing multiple publications of this book side by side makes it clear that most of its editions lack proper research. In our opinion, Suʻād al-Ḥakīm’s recent publication adheres to the principles of modern research. In it, you have relied on three manuscripts and one printed text. Among these, the manuscript from Maktaba Wali Al-Din (1628) is significant. Additionally, she have used the Hyderabad Deccan edition, the Berlin manuscript “we 1632,” and Pet 195. Furthermore, in her commentary on Ibn Sawdakīn, she had utilized the National Library Paris 6613 manuscript.

We’ve also examined Abdul Baqi Muftah’s commentary. He edited this commentary from two manuscripts and two printed editions: one from National Library Paris (6613), which Suad Al-Hakim also used, and the other from Dar Al-Kutub (1286), copied in 1321 AH. Our edition is purely based on the manuscripts. Although we have Suʻād al-Ḥakīm and Abdul Baqi Muftah’s printed editions, we’ve faithfully transcribed every word from the manuscripts, limiting the editions to understanding the text only. You can find details of the included manuscripts beneath the titles in our editions. However, it’s worth noting that when we discovered Suʻād al-Ḥakīm’s research, we realized that more work was necessary for this book. His edition alone wasn’t sufficient. But as soon as we checked the book’s introduction against the manuscripts, it became evident that we needed to tackle this challenging task. Both Saad Al-Hakim and Abdul Baqi Muftah’s editions fell short


In editing the Arabic text of this book, we have used more than ten manuscripts and two printed editions. Among these, the following manuscripts hold particular significance:

Maktabat Walī al-Dīn (1628): This venerable manuscript stands as one of the earliest and most direct copies from the original source. Its proximity to the original text ensures a high-quality representation.
Shahid Ali (1314): Another valuable manuscript, Shahid Ali’s work contributes to our understanding of the text’s nuances.
Raghib Pasha (1453): The Raghib Pasha manuscript adds depth to our research, capturing the essence of the original.

We have categorized these manuscripts into two tiers: First-Tier Manuscripts are those who can be directly traced back to the original source or were transcribed within a century of the author’s life or death. Some explicitly indicate their lineage to the original manuscript. These first-tier manuscripts offer the most reliable representation of the text, and we place significant trust in their accuracy. By "Second-Tier Manuscripts" we mean those copies that are not directly copied from the original manuscript or those whose transcription took place centuries after the death of the author. Although these manuscripts also present good texts, we consider them as secondary evidence. Sometimes, due to the abundance of errors in these copies, all variants are not recorded in the footnotes.

1- Wali al-Din Manuscript (1628):

  • The Manuscript: This ancient manuscript, coded as “W,” is one of the earliest versions of the book “Al-Isra.” It was authored by Sheikh Akbar Mohiuddin Ibn al-Arabi in 633 AH in Damascus. The manuscript contains valuable notes from Sheikh Akbar’s teaching sessions, where he explained challenging parts of the text to a group. Copies of this manuscript were also made during those sessions.
  • Significance: Scholars consider this manuscript the best representation of the book. However, subsequent additions, including a full commentary by Abu al-Hasan Mahmud ibn Muhammad al-Rumi in 976 AH, altered its original form. Unfortunately, integrating the commentary led to changes that affected the manuscript’s authenticity.
  • Dating and Challenges: Suad al-Hakim, who edited the text, faced difficulties due to the lack of scanned copies of manuscripts during his time. The first page appears to be from 633 AH, but closer examination reveals a later date. The absence of the title page, which typically includes the book’s name and narrator, complicates matters. Despite containing additional information, this page also contains errors.
  • Caution: Ignorance of the manuscript’s alterations may lead readers astray. Understanding the Shaykh’s words accurately requires awareness of these changes. Suad al-Hakim’s errors stemmed from the absence of a scanned copy of the manuscript.
  • Sima' certificate:

 سمع جميع هذا الكتاب على مصنّفه شيخنا وسيـدن الإمام العالــم العَــارف العلامة محيي الدين شيخ الإسـلام قدوة العالــم أبي عبد الله محمد بن علي بن محمد بن العــربي الطـائي الحاتمي أيده الله بقــرأة الإمام العالم شـمس الدين أبي الحسن علي بن المظفـر بن القاســم النشبي، صاحبه الإمام الزاهد الورع شمس الدين أبو عبد الله محمد بن يرنقش بن عبد الله المعظمي الشمسي، والأئمة أبو عبد الله الحسين بن ابرهيم الـأربلي وأبو المعالي عبد العــزيز ابن عبد القوي بن الجباب، وأبو الفتح نصر الله بن أبي العرس بن ... الشيباني وأبو عبد الله محمد بن يوسف البرزالي وأبو سعـد محمد ابن المصنف والخطيب يعقوب بن معاذ ألوربي وعيسي بن إسحاق بن يوسف الهذباني ويونس بن عثمان الدمشقي وحسين بن محمد ابن علي الموصلي، وأحمد بن موسي بن حسين التركـماني، وابراهيم بن عمر بن عبد العزيز العرشي، وهذا خطه وذلك في مجلسين آخرهما منتصف صفـر سنة ثلاث وثلاثـين وستمائة بمنزل المصنف بدمشق. والحمد لله وصلاته على محمد نبيه وآله وصحبه وسلم.

سماع علی النسخة ولی الدین

2-Shahid Ali - 1314:

After the manuscript of Wali al-Din, this is the best manuscript of this book, but it is not without its issues. Its most important issue is its incompleteness. Pages are missing from the beginning, middle, and end of the manuscript, which were later copied from a secondary manuscript. According to the Ibn Arabi Society, this manuscript is written in Seljuk script, and the good news is that special attention has been paid to the vocalization of words. Since the beginning and end of the manuscript are missing, it is also not known whether it was orally transmitted or not. The handwriting is very excellent, making each word easy to read and understand. This version was not included in the preparation of any Arabic text before today; we used it for the first time and found it to be the best version of this book.

3- Raghib Pasha - 1453

The Raghib Pasha manuscript is also one of the finest manuscripts of the book Al-Isra. It is a direct copy from the manuscript of Sheikh Sadr al-Din Qunawi. The writer has also copied the tradition of Sheikh Sadr al-Din Qunawi on the first page. The original manuscript had the following statement after the title of the book, written in the handwriting of Sheikh Akbar:

    قـرأ علي الولد العَــارف المحقق المدرك الأنجب صدر الدين محمد بن إسحَاق بن يوسف القونوي هذا الكتاب كتاب الإسراء لنا من أوله إلى آخِر، وكــتب منشئه محمد بن علي بن العـربي في شـهر ربيع الأول سنـة ثلثين وستـمائة والحـمد لله.

This indicates that this statement was written in the month of Rabi al-Awwal in the year 630 AH. The writer copied the text in black Nastaliq script, while the headings are in red Naskh script. In some places, traces of corrections are also visible in the margins. There are multiple instances of collation at various places in the manuscript, indicating that it was copied with great care. Alhamdulillah, this is a complete manuscript of the book. At the end of the manuscript, the following statement is written:

ووقع الفـراغ من تحريره ضحاة يوم السبت الحادي وعشرين من جمادي الآخرى سنة ثمان وعشرين وستمائة على يد العبد الضعيف محمد بن إسحاق بن محمد غفر الله ولوالديه وعرفه بنفسه وعرفه بكل علم مقرب إليه نافع لديه، أن يلزمه

This indicates that it was transcribed in the year 628 AH and later, in 630 AH, Sheikh Akbar personally wrote on it.

4- Manuscript National Library Paris - 6104:

Written in Maghribi script, this manuscript is among the intermediate level copies of the book. Both red and black ink are used in the writing, but the scanned manuscript we have is in black and white, so the red ink appears faded. The manuscript does not have a date of transcription, but in another treatise from the same collection, "Mashaahid al-Asraar al-Qudsiyya," the date of transcription is mentioned as Rabi al-Akhir 1127 AH. It is also mentioned therein that this treatise was copied from the original manuscript of Sheikh Akbar, which he wrote in the city of Fez in 594 AH. However, no further details are provided regarding the manuscripts of the book Al-Isra.

5- Fakhr al-Din Khurasani:

This manuscript, written in Naskh script, is a prized possession of a private library in Pakistan. The Ibn Arabi Foundation possesses a complete scanned image of this manuscript. It was transcribed in the city of Zabid, Yemen, in the year 814 AH. The scribe copied it alongside more than 60 other books and treatises of Sheikh Akbar. The entire collection was transcribed on large pages. It contains the book Al-Isra from page number 154 to 174. The style of writing suggests that the transcription was done hastily, and there are traces of comparisons in the margins. Red and black ink are used in the manuscript. At the end of the book, the following statement is written:


: تم كتاب الإسراء إلى المقام الأسرى نهاية ... وثمانماية في مدينة زبيد على العبد الفقير إلى عفو الله وكرمه محمد بن عبد الصمد بن أبي بكر بن عبد الرحمن ... ممن نسخ برسمه الشيخ الأجل الفاضل العالم العامل المكمل الكامل زين الملة والدين أبي بكر بن فخر الهروي. وصلى الله على سيدنا محمد وآله وصحبه وسلم، تسليما كثيرا طيبا مباركا فيه، والحمد لله.

نسخة فخر الدین الخراسانی

The manuscript shows signs of damage, with pages torn throughout, resulting in the loss of significant portions of text. However, what remains readable indicates that it is a good copy of the book.

6- Fateh - 5233:

This manuscript is part of a large collection that includes over 25 books and treatises by Sheikh Akbar. At the beginning of the collection, below the table of contents, the following statement is written: "This magnificent and beautiful manuscript has been endowed by the greatest sultan and khan of Islam and Muslims, Nasir? Sultan ibn Sultan, Sultan Qari Mahmud Khan ... and his successor until the end of time. A legitimate endowment for those who read and benefit ... by the grace of God, the Creator of the universe." We have observed a copy of Fakhr al-Din al-Khorasani's manuscript, and both manuscripts often bring similar variations in wording, sometimes distinct from older versions. Therefore, in our opinion, they are almost the same, and both are categorized as middle-grade manuscripts.

7-Hakim Oglu - 506:

About this manuscript, I would only say that it is incomplete. We have only checked it briefly. Some variations were noted at certain initial positions, but it did not prove to be a significantly better manuscript.

8-Various Other sources

In addition to these manuscripts, we also checked some text portions from other manuscripts, including the manuscript from the University of Michigan, the collection of Wahid Basha, and two manuscripts of the commentary by Ismail ibn Sudekin. The purpose of using these manuscripts was to check the text, so their variations were not noted in the margins, except for what Allah willed.

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