"Tadbirat al-Ilahiyya" stands as one of Ibn al-'Arabi's earliest literary endeavors, conceived as a reflection of the "Secretum secretorum" (Sirr al-asrar) attributed to Pseudo-Aristotle. This revered text is said to have been crafted by Aristotle for his pupil, Alexander the Great, during a time when accompanying him on campaigns was no longer feasible.
The book is meticulously structured across twenty-one chapters, delving into the intricate web of metaphorical correspondences between the hierarchical framework of mundane politics—embracing figures such as amirs, wazirs, katibs, and qadis—and the inner realm of spiritual governance within the human essence. Notably, "Tadbirat al-Ilahiyya" navigates this juxtaposition, bridging the gap between external rulership and the profound realm of the individual's inner spirit.
Among its thematic landscapes, the text explores military strategies, dissecting the art of warfare within the Self. Amidst its pages, a particular chapter finds its focus on the nurturing of the mind and soul, aligning harmoniously with the seasons of the year. With a homeopathic approach, it prescribes a unique blend of mental and moral sustenance tailored to each distinct season, revealing the intricacies of harmonizing with the changing rhythms of life.
This little book contains vast knowledge of great benefit to all. It is gathered from the gardens of Eden and from Divine Providence. It is meant to be a guide to believers There are neither conjectures not doubts in it. Even if some may find faults in it, they will concede that they are small, fine and beautiful. The book is divided into twenty-one chapters. Each section contains instructions for achieving unity, the Lord’s gift to humankind. They show how to keep order within the divine order while improving ourselves; how to guide our lives in the right way; how to protect His kingdom, which is the human being, from oblivion; how to rule it in the way that it is meant to be ruled, by the soul that the Lord has placed in it as His deputy. This book is a fountain that both high and low will be able to quench their thirst by drinking from it. For those who are able to see beneath the evident, there are signs that, if followed, will lead to the Source. For those who see the surface, there are things plain as could be.
With a rigorous scholarly approach, we have meticulously edited and translated this book to the highest standards. Our endeavor has been supported by the utilization of over five manuscripts, strategically chosen to ensure the establishment of the Arabic text. This comprehensive selection notably encompasses all of the finest sources meticulously cataloged by Osman Yahia. Noteworthy among these is the esteemed Corum 756 manuscript, as well as Yusuf Aga 4859. Of particular significance, Each of these manuscripts has been diligently examined and scrutinized, contributing to the depth and authenticity of our work.
1- Leiden Or 86:
Housed in the Leiden Library under the code Or 86, this manuscript consists of "al-Tadbīrāt al-ilāhiyya fī iṣlāḥ al-mamlaka al-insāniyya." The authorship of IA is verified (v. rg_01: 716 ). The work spans from page 1a to 80b and is the 1st order in the book. It is a clear and excellent copy, transcribed during IA's lifetime in a Maghribi hand. The scribe responsible is ʿAbd al-Raḥmān b. ʿAlī b. Muḥammad al-Lawātī, a companion of IA hailing from Marrakesh, who journeyed with him from the west. The manuscript is historically significant, potentially dating back to around 606H, although the exact date remains speculative. Notably, it was recited by Ibn Sawdakīn in front of IA. The place of writing is likely Aleppo, further highlighting its significance as a unique copy crafted during the author's lifetime by a Maghribi companion, al-Lawātī.
Upon examination, this manuscript is beautifully written in an elegant style of calligraphy. The headings in decorative script are clear, and annotations mark corrections. Additionally, the footnotes explain complex terms. Furthermore, at the conclusion of various sections, there's a comparison and evidence of auditory tradition, indicating that the manuscript was used for auditory purposes. Overall, this manuscript is a comprehensive version of the book and presents the best text. Our research confirms its status as an authoritative copy.
2- Corum 756 & Yusuf Aga 4859:
The manuscript is cataloged under Corum Library with the code 756, and its collection number is 210. The physical library location is in Corum. The manuscript spans from page 1b to 89a and holds the first order within the book.
The date of the manuscript is estimated to be before the year 638 AH. Regarded as one of the finest manuscripts of "Tadbirat al-Ilahiyya," Corum 756 stands out. When combined with the pages from YA 4859, it forms a comprehensive version. Within my critical edition, the variations found in this manuscript are notably more precise than others. The text itself is characterized by its accuracy, lucidity, and vibrancy. Margin corrections are present and intelligible, while headings are prominently displayed in a bold, large font. Notably, this manuscript lacks any information about the scribe, place of transcription, or the source from which it was copied. Furthermore, there are no signs of samaa or copying notes throughout the entirety of the current form of the manuscript.
Yusuf Aga 4859 constitutes the second portion of the work, complementing the first part found in Corum 756. It covers from bāb 2 to 3 of bāb 17. Interestingly, these manuscripts share identical content but were inexplicably separated. Much like Corum 756, this manuscript displays the same qualities, including accurate, clear, and vivid text. Corrections in the margins are easily comprehensible, and headings are presented boldly. Nonetheless, like its counterpart, Yusuf Aga 4859 lacks details about the scribe, transcription place, or source manuscript, and features no samaa or copying notes in its current state.
3- Bibliotheque Nationale 5917:
The manuscript is located in the Bibliotheque Nationale library with the code 5917. It doesn't have a specific collection number mentioned. The physical library is situated in Paris. The manuscript spans from page 1a to 70a.
This manuscript holds significant importance. According to the provided information, it contains a narration from Sheikh Akbar Muhyiddin Ibn al-Arabi to Muhammad ibn Yarnaqsh al-Maẓramī. The manuscript's calligraphy closely resembles Sheikh Akbar's to the extent that some researchers are deceived, mistaking it for his own handwriting. While the scribe's identity and transcription date are absent, the text is remarkably similar to Sheikh Akbar's original work. The manuscript includes titles written in clear script and incorporates notes of "unẓur" (observe) at specific points, perhaps signifying their importance. Marginal comparisons are visible in the annotations, enhancing the manuscript's completeness. Notably, the manuscript's last few pages were supplemented by someone else later, raising doubts about their accuracy. The manuscript concludes with a passage mentioning its reading before Sheikh Akbar Muhyiddin Ibn al-Arabi. Another reading is attributed to Badr al-Din Abi Ali al-Hasan ibn Hud al-Maghribi, dated 784 Hijri.In preparing the text, the manuscript has been relied upon extensively, possessing similar content to two prior manuscripts. Though some sections exhibit uniqueness, overall, its content closely resembles those manuscripts.
3- Koprulu 713:
This manuscript was transcribed in the month of Jumada al-Awwal in the year 663 Hijri, 25 years after the passing of Sheikh Akbar. It took place in the city of Konya. The scribe's name is Ibn Hussain al-Mawri. The text is beautifully written in Naskh script and is adorned with intricate diacritical marks. Throughout the manuscript, there are annotations that suggest a comparison was made, indicating that even after transcription, it was checked against the original.The manuscript's main flaw is that it's incomplete in its current state. On page 22a of the manuscript, the eighth chapter is ongoing, but on page 22b, the seventy-third chapter starts. This omission means that eight chapters are missing from the manuscript.Nowhere in the manuscript is it explicitly stated from which original source it was copied, but according to scholars, it is a complete copy of the manuscript Yusuf Aga 4859. The manuscript ends with the following statement: "Praise be to Allah, the Lord of all worlds, and blessings be upon our master Muhammad and his family. The completion of this book was done by the hands of the humble Ibn al-Mawri, may Allah pardon him, in the month of Jumada al-Awwal of the year six hundred and sixty-three. He was fifty years old, and Allah forgave him in the city of Konya."Similar to the collection of Yusuf Aga, this manuscript is also part of a larger compilation. It is a segment of a comprehensive collection that includes "Tadbirat Ilahiya," "Kitab al-'Ibadila," and "Kitab al-Asfar." Annotations indicate that the last two treatises of this compilation were copied from the original manuscript.
5- Shehit Ali 1341:
The manuscript is housed in the Shehit Ali library with the code 1341, part of collection number 131. The physical location of the library is Suleymaniye in Istanbul. The manuscript comprises pages 76a to 120a and holds the fifth order within the book, which has a total of 27 orders.
This manuscript, written in Naskh script, is an exceptionally fine copy of this treatise. Throughout the manuscript, there are indications in the annotations that a significant amount of comparison was carried out, suggesting that even after the transcription, it was cross-referenced against the original source. Some annotations provide Persian meanings for various challenging Arabic terms, indicating that the possessor of this manuscript likely had Persian as their mother tongue.The manuscript ends with the following statement: "Attached by the humble servant to the rich saint, Abu al-Rida ibn Sayyid Ali ibn Muhammad al-Juwayni, in the latter part of the month of Jumada, in the year seven hundred and twenty-four. I intended to attach it in a similar duration as its composition out of respect for the author. May Allah bestow His blessings upon us and all Muslims. Agreement in such a manner is nearly achieved, and praise is due to Allah as is His right. Peace and blessings be upon His Prophet Muhammad and His servant, at the place of Samisat in Damascus."From this, it's evident that the scribe, Abu al-Rida ibn Sayyid Ali ibn Muhammad al-Juwayni, transcribed it in the month of Jumada al-Thani in the year 724 Hijri in the city of Damascus. The scribe made an effort to follow in the footsteps of Sheikh Akbar and managed to complete the transcription in merely four days. Subsequently, the scribe copied it from a manuscript that had been transcribed by Sheikh Akbar himself. During this comparison, the scribe received assistance from various companions, and their esteemed names are listed in the annotations. Among them, Ja'far ibn Yusuf ibn Ali al-Husayni al-Shirazi and the righteous brother, Junaid ibn Usman, are included.
4- Fakhr al-Din al-Khurasani's compilation:
This manuscript, written in Naskh script, is an adornment of a private library in Pakistan. It was transcribed in the year 814 Hijri in the city of Zabid, Yemen, and the scribe copied it along with many other works of Sheikh Akbar, totaling 60 treatises. The compilation is spread across numerous large pages. This collection includes "Kitab al-Tadbirat al-Ilahiyyah" (Divine Governance), spanning from page number 200 to 237. Although the writing style indicates that it was transcribed swiftly, the annotations demonstrate that thorough comparison was carried out, thereby increasing its significance.There are two noticeable flaws in this manuscript: firstly, the entire third paragraph of the first chapter is missing in the text. These are the very nine lines where Sheikh explains the purpose of his composition. Similarly, in the same chapter, further along, the scribe recalls his own couplets within Sheikh Akbar's prose, even though the scribe explicitly states that these are his verses. However, to exercise caution, these verses should have been relegated to the annotations, keeping the original text unchanged. Apart from these two instances, the manuscript largely aligns with the original text, and we have discovered an excellent version of "Kitab al-Tadbirat al-Ilahiyyah."The manuscript concludes with the following statement: "The book is completed, thanks to Allah's guidance and blessings. Peace and blessings be upon our master Muhammad, his family, and companions. This was done under the guidance of the respected Imam, the unique scholar, Zain al-Din al-Harawi. May Allah illuminate his deeds and seal them with righteousness. By the hand of the humble servant of Allah, Ali ibn Yahya al-Sharif, may Allah pardon him and his parents. Amen, amen. And his completion was initiated in the month of Rajab, from the year fourteen hundred and eight. He completed it in the month of Sha'ban of the year eight hundred and fourteen." From this, it's evident that the responsibility of this transcription lies with the meticulous scholar Zain al-Din al-Harawi, and he completed it on the first of Rajab in the year 814 Hijri.
قراءة في كتاب: التدبيرات الإلهية في إصلاح المملكة الإنسانية
الحمد لله الذي تواضع كل شيء لعظمته، والحمد لله الذي ذلّ كل شيء لعزته، والحمد لله الذي خضع كل شيء لملكه، والحمد لله الذي استسلم كل شيء لقدرته، اللهم لك الحمد حمدًا كثيرًا خالدًا مع خلودك، ولك الحمد حمدًا لا منتهى له دون علمك، ولك الحمد حمدًا لا منتهى له دون مشيئتك، ولك الحمد حمدًا لا أجر لقائله إلا رضاك. والصلاة على سر العالم ونكتته، ومطلب العالم وبغيته، السيد الصادق، المدلج إلى ربه الطارق، المخترق به السبع الطرائق سيدنا محمد صلى الله عليه وعلى آله الأطهار، وصحابته الأخيار، الذين عرفوا قدره وأجلوا أمره وعظموه تعظيمًا. ليس شيء أبلغ، في تخليد ذكرى الشيخ الأكبر محيي الدين ابن العربي من إحياء آثاره ونشر كتبه. وقد أخذت مؤسسة ابن العربي إسهامًا منها في ذلك أن تخرج كتاب «التدبيرات الإلهية في إصلاح المملكة الإنسانية». وأخذت تعد العدة لإخراج هذا الكتاب إخراجًا طبقًا لمنهاج التحقيق العلمي.
تم ذكركتاب «التدبيرات الإلهية في إصلاح المملكة الإنسانية» في الفهرس رقم 33 والإجازة رقم 34، و«الفتوحات المكية»1: ص63، ص114، 3: ص262 طبعة القاهرة، و«كتاب عنقاء مغرب» ص4 طبعة القاهرة، و«كتاب مواقع النجوم» ورقة 91 أ مخطوط بايزيد 3750 . ولقد تكلم الشيخ في مصنفه على جملة من المسائل الإلهية التي لا طالما أبرزها في مصنفه الموسوعي الفتوحات المكية الذي هو موسوعة فكر الشيخ الأكبر ومذهبه، وتحت كل مسألة من تلك المسائل يتكلم عن جملة من أسرار وحِكَم الشرع الشريف، ويمكن إجمال تلك المسائل وعلى حسب ما عنون به الشيخ الأكبر الكتاب في الآتي: أولًا: مكانة الإنسان وخلافته في الأرض. ثانيًا: الإنسان هو النسخة المصغرة من العالم الكبير. ثانيًا: إن الإنسان - الفرد - عبارة عن مملكة قائمة بذاتها، والتي لابد لها من ملك يحكمها، ونظام يسيطر عليها، وأفراد مسئولين يديرون شئونها .
تقوم فكرة الكتاب الرئيسية على وضع الإنسان - الفرد - في مقابلة بين العالم من فوقه، وبين الدولة من حوله، في محاولة فريدة من نوعها بين إحداث التطابق بين ثلاثة أطراف: الإنسان والعالم والدولة. أما بعد: قال الشيخ الأكبر - قدس الله سره - في سبب تأليفه للكتاب ما نصه:
«كان سبب تأليفنا لهذا الكتاب، أنه لما زرت الشيخ الصالح، أبا محمد الموروري، بمدينة موْرور، وجدت عنده كتاب «سر الأسرار» صنفه الحكيم [أرسطو] لذي القرنين [الإسكندر] لمَّا ضعف عن المشي معه، فقال لي أبو محمد: هذا المؤلف قد نظر في تدبير المملكة الدنيوية، فكنت أريد منك أن تقابله بسياسة المملكة الإنسانية، التي فيها سعادتنا، فأجبته، وأودعت في هذا الكتاب من معاني تدبير الملك أكثر من الذي أودعه الحكيم، وبينت فيه أشياء أغفلها الحكيم في تدبير الملك الكبير، وألفته في دون الأربعة الأيام بمدينة مورور، ويكون جرم كتاب الحكيم في الربع أو الثلث من جرم هذا الكتاب».
ثم يذكر الشيخ الأكبر - قدس الله سره - فائدة هذا الكتاب ما نصه:«فهذا الكتاب ينتفع به خادم الملوك في خدمته، وصاحب طريق الآخرة في نفسه، وكل يحشر على نيته وقصده» ويعود الشيخ الأكبر في المقدمة ليبين أهمية الكتاب، فيقول: «أمّا بعد: ففيه للخواصّ إشارة لائحة، وللعوامّ طريقة واضحة، وهو لُباب التصوّف وسبيل التعرّف، لحضرة التشرّف والتعطّف، يلهج به الواصل والسَّالك، ويأخذ حظّه منه المَمْلُوك والمالك، يعرب عن حقيقة الإنسان وعلوّ منصبه على سائر الحيوان، وأنّه مختصَر من العالم المحيط، مركّب من كثيف وبسيط، لم يبق في الإمكان شيء إلّا أُودع فيه، في أوّل منشئه ومبانيه، حتّى برز على غاية الكمال، وظهر في البرازخ بين الجلال والجمال، فليس في الجود بخلٌ، ولا في القدرة نقصان، صحّ ذلك عند ذوي العقول الراجحة بالدليل والبرهان، ولهذا قال بعض الأئمّة: «وليس أبدع من هذا العالم في الإمكان».