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The Horizons of Being

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

Edited by Mukhtar H. Ali

The Horizons of Being explores the teachings of Ibn al-ʿArabī by examining Dāwūd al-Qayṣarī’s (d. 1350) Prolegomena ( muqaddima) to his commentary, Maṭlaʿ khuṣūṣ al-kilam fī maʿānī Fuṣūṣ al-ḥikam (A Preamble of Select Discourse on the Meanings of the Fuṣūṣ al-ḥikam), referred to simply as Muqaddimat al-Qayṣarī. While his commentary represents the third in a direct line going back to Ibn al-ʿArabī through Kāshānī, Jandī and Qūnawī, it remains one of the most popular due to its thorough and accessible treatment of the Fuṣūṣ that frequently synthesizes the ideas of his predecessors.
The Muqaddima stands on its own as an independent work and has been the subject of careful study. If the al-Futūḥāt al-makkiyya contains the entirety of Ibn al-ʿArabī’s metaphysics which is distilled in the Fuṣūṣ, then Qayṣarī’s Muqaddima can be read not just as a precis of the Fuṣūṣ but a summary of Ibn al-ʿArabī’s doctrine.


Aiyub Palmer

In Sainthood and Authority in Early Islam Aiyub Palmer recasts wilāya in terms of Islamic authority and traces its development in both political and religious spheres up through the 3rd and 4th Islamic centuries. This book pivots around the ideas of al-Ḥakīm al-Tirmidhī, the first Muslim theologian and mystic to write on the topic of wilāya.

By looking at its structural roots in Arab and Islamic social organization, Aiyub Palmer has reframed the discussion about sainthood in early Islam to show how it relates more broadly to other forms of authority in Islam. This book not only looks anew at the influential ideas of al-Tirmidhī but also challenges current modes of thought around the nature of authority in Islamicate societies.