The Horizons of Being

The Metaphysics of Ibn al-ʿArabī in the Muqaddimat al-Qayṣarī

The Horizons of Being explores the teachings of Ibn al-ʿArabī by examining Dāwūd al-Qayṣarī’s (d. 751/1350) Prolegomena to his commentary on the Fuṣūṣ al-ḥikam, popularly known as the Muqaddimat al-Qayṣarī. A masterpiece of Sufism, the Muqaddima is both a distillation of the Fuṣūṣ and a summary of Ibn al-ʿArabī’s entire metaphysical worldview. As such, it is a foundational text that delves into the most important subjects characterizing the philosophical Sufi tradition: Being, God’s attributes, divine knowledge, the universal worlds, unveiling, creation and the microcosm, the perfect human, the origin and return of the spirit, prophethood and sainthood. The present work is a complete translation of the Muqaddima and a commentary that incorporates the ideas of the main exponents of this tradition.

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Mukhtar H. Ali, Ph.D. (2007) University of California, Berkeley, is currently Research Fellow at the Warburg Institute, the University of London. He specializes in Sufism, Islamic philosophy and ethics, and has published widely in various peer-reviewed venues. He has also translated several works in classical and contemporary Islamic metaphysics, which include The Principles of Correspondences (2013) and The New Creation (2018).
"Bringing together years of immersion into the Akbarian tradition, Mukhtar Ali’s study and translation of Qayṣarī’s famous Muqaddima is erudite, poetic, and profound. It clearly demonstrates why this text has historically been seen as one of the most important expositions of the Sufi metaphysical vision of reality, and also hints at why it should be taken seriously today. The Horizons of Being is therefore nothing short of a tour de force in modern scholarship, and is essential reading for all serious mystics, theologians, and philosophers." - Mohammed Rustom, author of Inrushes of the Heart: The Mystical Theology of ʿAyn al-Quḍāt


Translation and Edition of the Muqaddimat al-Qayṣarī (مقدمة القيصري)

Author’s Preface مقدمة الشارح

1 On Being, and that it is the Truth في الوجود وأنه هوالحق

2 The Divine Names and Attributes في أسمائه وصفاته تعالى

3 The Permanent Archetypes and a Comment on the Manifestations of the Names في الأعيان الثابتة والتنبيه على المظاهر الأسمائية

4 Substance and Accident According to God’s folk في الجوهر والعرض على طريقة أهل اللّٰه‏

5 The Universal Worlds and the Five Divine Presences في بيان العوالم الكلية والحضرات الخمسة الإلهيّة

6 The Imaginal World فيما يتعلق بالعالم المثالي‏

7 The Degrees of Unveiling and its Main Types في مراتب الكشف وأنواعها إجمالا

8 The World is the Form of the Human Reality في أن العالم هوصورة الحقيقة الإنسانية

9 The Vicegerency of the Muḥammadan Reality and that it is the Ultimate Pole في بيان خلافة الحقيقة المحمدية وأنّها قطب الأقطاب‏

10 The Supreme Spirit, its Degrees and Names in the Human World في بيان الروح الأعظم ومراتبه وأسمائه في العالم الإنساني‏

11 The Spirit’s Return to God with its Manifestations upon the Greater Resurrection في عود الروح ومظاهره إليه تعالى عند القيامة الكبرى

12 Prophethood, Messengership and Sainthood في النبوة والرسالة والولاية

Students and scholars specializing in the field of Islamic studies, Sufism/mysticism, theology, philosophy, Ibn ʿArabī studies, Shiʿism and comparative religion.
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