Monday, 9 July 2018

Ibn Arabi: Allah is Worshipped in Every Object of Worship

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

والعاقبة للمتقين

Sadly, the honored reputation of Sufism is being tarnished by stubborn defense of the heretic Ibn Arabi (1165-1240 CE). Ibn Arabi expressed many abhorrent ideas which are manifest repudiations of the fundamentals of Islam, primarily, Tawhid. In this entry, I shall expose Ibn Arabi’s treatment of the episode of Noah and his preaching to his people to worship Allah alone and forsake their idols and false “gods”. First, let us begin with the fact that Ibn Arabi claimed that had the great prophet Noah (peace be upon him) done x,y,z, his people would have given a positive response to his call:
لو أن نوحاً عليه السلام جمع لقومه بين الدعوتين لأجابوه
“If Noah had combined these two calls for his people, they would have answered him.” (Fusus al-Hikam p.80)
فلو أن نوحاً يأتي بمثل هذه الآية لفظاً أجابوه
“If Noah had articulated something like of this Ayat, his people would have responded to him” (ibid)

This is shocking criticism of Noah, one of the five great apostles of God of strong resolve. In it is implicit that Noah was not preaching to his people under divine instruction, but rather, was speaking his own personal ideas, and this is why, according to Ibn Arabi, his people didn’t respond to him. The truth is, however, that Noah preached to his people and called them to worship Allah alone under divine inspiration and instruction. As for the Ayah quoted by Ibn Arabi as his justification for arguing that there was a shortcoming in the call of Noah:

فَلَمْ يَزِدْهُمْ دُعَائِي إِلَّا فِرَارًا

But my invitation increased them not except in flight

(Sura 71:6)

It is wrong to assume from this any blame or shortcoming on the part of the prophet Noah, who was calling to them and acting upon divine instruction and inspiration. On the contrary, the blame lies on the people of Noah whose hearts were sealed, who were deaf, mute and blind. They would not have responded any differently no matter which prophet or apostle was sent to them and no matter what scripture that prophet brought with him, because the reason for their resistance to the call was not any shortcoming or imperfection in the call of the Prophet, but rather, their own spiritual blindness and deafness.
Then Ibn Arabi goes on to justify idolatry:
فإنهم إذا تركوهم جهلوا من الحق على قدر ما تركوا من هؤلاء, فإن للحق في كل معبود وجهاً
They said in their plotting, “Do not abandon your gods. Do not abandon Wadd or Suwa or Yaghuth or Ya’uq or Nasr.” (71:22) Then they abandoned them ignorant of the Truth according to what they left of the idols. Allah has an aspect in every worshipped thing. (Fusus al-Hikam p.82)
فما عبد غير الله في كل معبود
He only worships Allah in every worshipped object. (ibid)

In these lines, Ibn Arabi has essentially said that worship of idols is tantamount to worship of Allah, because Allah has “decreed” that only He shall ever be worshipped. In other words, Ibn Arabi has manifested the heresy of jabr, meaning that the creation is coerced in their deeds which should properly be assigned to Allah and only to the creation in a metaphorical sense. This is why Ibn Arabi has written that “only Allah is worshipped in the worship of every object of worship” and that “there is an aspect of Allah in every ma’budمعاذ الله

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