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Ruh al-Quds

Ruh al-Quds fi munasahat al-nafs

Author: Shaykh al-Akbar Muhyiddin Ibn al-Arabi
Editor: Abrar Ahmed Shahi, Ahmed Muhammad Ali
Reviewed by: Abd al-Aziz Sultan al-Mansub
Translator: Abrar Ahmed Shahi Price Rs 2500/-Int'l US $ 45.
 Pages: 472
Dimensions: 255 × 165 mm
Edition: 2nd. 2016
Ruh al- Quds Arabic pdf [25 €]
The Ruh al-Quds fî munâsahat al-nafs by Ibn 'Arabî is a remarkable hagiographical work. In its introduction, the author strongly criticizes contemporary Sufism, condemning practices such as the adoption of Sufi dress, the khânaqâh system, and the Sufi practice of samâ'. However, it is important to note that self-criticism by Sufi authors is not a new phenomenon, as Ibn 'Arabî himself acknowledges that al-Qushayrî also rebukes such practices in his Risâla.
Despite his criticisms, Ibn 'Arabî does offer positive contributions to the Sufi tradition. For example, he explores the theme of companionship, which he believes has become "flattery-based" in this corrupt age. Despite this, Ibn 'Arabî himself managed to form over fifty meaningful companionships, some of which he has recorded in his work.
 The Ruh al-Quds fî munâsahat al-nafs is divided into three sections, each roughly equal in length, which include biographical accounts. However, the work also follows a thematic division that corresponds to the classic Sufi itinerary of mi'râj (ascent), ruju' (return), and the divine sphere (mushâhada). Overall, the Ruh al-Quds fî munâsahat al-nafs is a valuable contribution to the Sufi tradition, offering both criticisms and insights into the spiritual path.
In this book, Ibn al-Arabî is writing to his friend 'Abd al-'Aziz al-Mahdawî and expressing his admiration for his friend's spiritual achievements. Ibn al-Arabî praises his friend for his acknowledgement and respect of knowledge and those who possess it, as well as his lack of desire for miracles or special spiritual states. He also notes his friend's submission to God, humility, and respect for all people regardless of their social status.
Furthermore, Ibn al-Arabî admires his friend's lack of concern for worldly praise or the attention of rulers, which he sees as a manifestation of just treatment. Ibn al-Arabî also praises his friend's honesty in admitting when he doesn't know something and his willingness to learn from others. He believes that his friend's qualities are exceptional and deserving of admiration, with a station that is unaffected by fluctuating spiritual states and whose brilliance surpasses even supererogatory works.
Finally, Ibn al-Arabî notes his friend's unique search for knowledge of humanity and time, and his belief that this knowledge is divinely necessary. Overall, this passage is a testament to Ibn al-Arabî's appreciation for his friend's spiritual qualities and achievements. 
Abrar Ahmed