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Al Akbariyya (Sufi school)

Al Akbariyya (Sufi school)

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A branch of Sufi metaphysics based on Andalusian sufi gnostic and philosopher Ibn Arabi's teaching.

Definition


Al Akbariyya is a word derived from nickname of Ibn Arabi
Ibn Arabi
Ibn ʿArabī was an Andalusian Moorish Sufi mystic and philosopher. His full name was Abū 'Abdillāh Muḥammad ibn 'Alī ibn Muḥammad ibn `Arabī .-Biography:...

 (1165–1240) who was known as Shaykh al-Akbar which meaning is the greatest Shaykh.
As a definitive term Al Akbariyya it has never been used to indicate a sufi group or society in history but especially in nowadays it is used for all historical or contemporary sufi metaphysicians and sufis influenced by Ibn Arabi
Ibn Arabi
Ibn ʿArabī was an Andalusian Moorish Sufi mystic and philosopher. His full name was Abū 'Abdillāh Muḥammad ibn 'Alī ibn Muḥammad ibn `Arabī .-Biography:...

's sufi doctrine Wahdat al-Wujud.
In this regard it is more different than Al Akbariyya
Al Akbariyya
Al Akbariyya was a secret Sufi society founded in Paris in 1911 by the wandering Swedish Sufi 'Abdu l-Hadi Aguéli. Among its first members was René Guénon. Its purpose was to promote the teachings of Muhyeddin Ibn al-Arabi among the "scholarly, educated and freethinking classes..." through the...

 a secret sufi society founded by a Swedish
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

 sufi 'Abdu l-Hadi Aguéli
Ivan Aguéli
Ivan Aguéli also named Sheikh 'Abd al-Hādī 'Aqīlī upon his acceptance of Islam, was a Swedish wandering Sufi, painter and author. As a devotee of Ibn Arabi, his metaphysics applied to the study of Islamic esoterism and its similarities with other esoteric traditions of the world...

.

Wahdat al-Wujud


Wahdat al-Wajud (Arabic: وحدة الوجود persian: وحدت وجود) the "Unity of Being" is a Sufi philosophy emphasizing that 'there is no true existence except the Ultimate Truth (God)'. Or in other phrasing that the only truth
Truth
Truth has a variety of meanings, such as the state of being in accord with fact or reality. It can also mean having fidelity to an original or to a standard or ideal. In a common usage, it also means constancy or sincerity in action or character...

 within the universe
Universe
The Universe is commonly defined as the totality of everything that exists, including all matter and energy, the planets, stars, galaxies, and the contents of intergalactic space. Definitions and usage vary and similar terms include the cosmos, the world and nature...

 is God, and that all things exist within God only.

Ibn Arabi
Ibn Arabi
Ibn ʿArabī was an Andalusian Moorish Sufi mystic and philosopher. His full name was Abū 'Abdillāh Muḥammad ibn 'Alī ibn Muḥammad ibn `Arabī .-Biography:...

 is most often characterized in Islamic texts as the originator of the doctrine of wahdat al-wujud, however, this expression is not found in his works and the first who employed this term was perhaps, in fact, the Andalusian mystical thinker Ibn Sabin
Ibn Sabin
Abu Mohammed Abd el-Hakh Ibn Sabin was a Sufi philosopher, the last philosopher of the Andalous in the west land of Islamic world. He was born in 1217 in Spain and lived in Ceuta. He was known for his replies to questions sent to him by Frederick II, ruler of Sicily...

.
Actually Ibn Arabi's disciple and step son Sadr al-Din al-Qunawi
Sadr al-Din al-Qunawi
Sadr ad-Din Qunawi was a Persian Sufi who wrote the first and most influential commentary on Ibn Arabi's Setting of Wisdom. He was adopted by Ibn Arabi and remained his disciple throughout his life.-Biography:...

 was clearly expressed that term in his works and explained it by using philosophical terms.

See Sufi metaphysics

Europa and United States


In XX.century there has been focused on Akbariyya School in academic circles and universities.
Viewed in a historical context, increased government support for the study of the Muslim world and Islamic languages emerged in the United States after the Second World War. Many of the students attracted to Islam and religious studies during the 1970s in U.S.

The greatest growth in American scholarship on Sufism, then, has arisen from the work done by scholars trained during the 1970s. Alexander Knysh notes that “in the decades after World War Two the majority of Western experts in Sufism were no longer based in Europe, but in North America.” Henri Corbin (d.1978) and Fritz Meier (d. 1998) who were prominent among these experts, made important contributions to the study of Islamic mysticism. Another important names were Miguel Asin Palacios (d. 1944), Louis Massignon
Louis Massignon
Louis Massignon was a French scholar of Islam and its history. Although a Catholic himself, he tried to understand Islam from within and thus had a great influence on the way Islam was seen in the West; among other things, he paved the way for a greater openness inside the Catholic Church towards...

 (d. 1962) made contributions to Ibn Arabi studies. While Palacios discovered some Akbarian elements in Dante
DANTE
Delivery of Advanced Network Technology to Europe is a not-for-profit organisation that plans, builds and operates the international networks that interconnect the various national research and education networks in Europe and surrounding regions...

's famous work Divine Comedy Louis Massignon
Louis Massignon
Louis Massignon was a French scholar of Islam and its history. Although a Catholic himself, he tried to understand Islam from within and thus had a great influence on the way Islam was seen in the West; among other things, he paved the way for a greater openness inside the Catholic Church towards...

 studied on famous sufi Hallac al-Mansur saying "Anal Hak" (I am the Truth) and because of that express he was executed.

Seyyed Hossein Nasr
Seyyed Hossein Nasr
Seyyed Hossein Nasr is an Iranian University Professor of Islamic studies at George Washington University, and a prominent Islamic philosopher...

 and his students and academic disciples, has come to play an important role in certain subfields of Sufi studies. The Influence of Nasr and other Traditionalist writers like Rene Guenon
René Guénon
René Guénon , also known as Shaykh `Abd al-Wahid Yahya was a French author and intellectual who remains an influential figure in the domain of metaphysics, having written on topics ranging from metaphysics, sacred science and traditional studies to symbolism and initiation.In his writings, he...

 and Fritjof Schuon on Sufi studies could be seen on the interpretation of the works of Ibn Arabi and the Akbarian school by such scholars as Titus Burckhart, Martin Lings
Martin Lings
Martin Lings was an English Muslim writer and scholar, a student and follower of Frithjof Schuon, and Shakespearean scholar...

, James Morris
James Morris
-Arts:*James Morris , American opera singer*James Shepherd Morris , Scottish architect, partner in Morris and Steedman*James Corbitt Morris , US musician known as Jimmy Driftwood...

, William Chittick
William Chittick
William C. Chittick is a leading translator and interpreter of classical Islamic philosophical and mystical texts. He is best known for his groundbreaking work on Rumi and Ibn 'Arabi, and has written extensively on the school of Ibn 'Arabi, Islamic philosophy, Shi'ism, and Islamic...

, and Sachiko Murata
Sachiko Murata
Sachiko Murata is a professor of religion and Asian studies at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. She is a 2011 Guggenheim Fellow.-Life:...

 and others. These names are both mostly practitioners of Sufism and scholars studing Sufism.

Turkey


Historically viewed Turkey is a country where Ibn Arabi's most prominent disciple, successor and stepson Sadr al-Din al-Qunawi
Sadr al-Din al-Qunawi
Sadr ad-Din Qunawi was a Persian Sufi who wrote the first and most influential commentary on Ibn Arabi's Setting of Wisdom. He was adopted by Ibn Arabi and remained his disciple throughout his life.-Biography:...

 and other important commentators of Arabi's works lived on.
Another important figure Dawūd al-Qayṣarī invited to Iznik by second Ottoman sultan, Orhan Ghazi to be director and teacher of the first Ottoman university (madrasa) was the disciple of Kamâl al-Dîn al-Qâshânî, himself a disciple of Sadr al-Dîn al-Qûnawî. This means that the official teaching itself was set in motion by a great master of the Akbarian school. Not only sufis but Ottoman sultans, politicians and intellectuals had been deeply impressed by Ibn Arabi and his disciples and interpreters.
The last important and famous sufi impressed by Ibn Arabi's doctrine was Seyyed Muhammad Nur al-Arabi  but that effect continued to decrease until the Modern Era. In XX.century last important commentator of Fusûs was Ahmed Avni Konuk (d. 1938). He was a mawlawî and composer of Turkish music.

As to academic circles it couldn't be seen many studies on Sufism and especially Akbarian works until the first Ph.D. thesis in Tasawwuf department of Marmara University Theology Faculty, "Ibn 'Arabi's Ontology" titled in Turkish "Muhyiddin İbn Arabi'de Varlık ve Varlık Mertebeleri" completed by Prof.Dr.Mahmud Erol Kılıc in Marmara University in 1995. Fortunately academic studies on Akbarian metaphysic and philosophy began to rise after the studies of Akbarian Turkish scholars like Ph.D. Mustafa Tahralı and Mahmud Erol Kılıc. In terms of Akbarian studies the most import phase is to translation of Ibn Arabi's (Magnum Opus) "Futuhat-ı Makkiyya" to Turkish. A Turkish scholar Assist. Prof.Dr. Ekrem Demirli is still going on to translate that work. Another important aspect of this translation is that work will be the first translation to another language of Arabic book. Demirli had previously translated Sadr al-Din al-Qunawi
Sadr al-Din al-Qunawi
Sadr ad-Din Qunawi was a Persian Sufi who wrote the first and most influential commentary on Ibn Arabi's Setting of Wisdom. He was adopted by Ibn Arabi and remained his disciple throughout his life.-Biography:...

's corpus to Turkish.

At last it should not be forgetten there are many Akbarian works in Ottoman Turkish Language waiting for scholars from all over the world to be studied on.

Some of Akbarian Sufis


There had and have been many Akbarian sufis, metaphysicians and philosophers in history from all over the world. Ibn Arabi has never founded a order (tarika) but declared and developed a sufi metaphysics called Wahdat al-Wujud so those sufis listed below was member of different order but they accepted same metaphysical point of view which was Wahdat al-Wujud..

Some Akbarian Sufis listed below:
  1. Sadr al-Din al-Qunawi
    Sadr al-Din al-Qunawi
    Sadr ad-Din Qunawi was a Persian Sufi who wrote the first and most influential commentary on Ibn Arabi's Setting of Wisdom. He was adopted by Ibn Arabi and remained his disciple throughout his life.-Biography:...

     (d. 1274) - student and stepson of Ibn ‘Arabī. Lived in Konya the same time as Mawlānā Jalāl-ad-Dīn Rumi
  2. Mu'ayyid al-Dīn al-Jandī (d. 1291?)
  3. Ismā‘īl bin Sawdakīn
  4. ‘Afīf al-Dīn al-Tilimsānī
  5. Fakhr-al-Din Iraqi (1213–1289)
  6. Aziz al-Nasafi (d.1300?)
  7. Sa'd al-Din Sa'îd Farghani (d. 1300)
  8. Mahmud Shabistari
    Mahmud Shabistari
    Mahmūd Shabistarī is one of the most celebrated Persian Sufi poets of the 14th century.-Life and work:Shabistari was born in the town of Shabestar near Tabriz in 1288 , where he received his education. He became deeply versed in the symbolic terminology of Ibn Arabi...

     (1288–1340)
  9. ‘Abd al-Razzāq al-Kāshānī (d. ca. 1335)
  10. Dawūd al-Qayṣarī (d. 1351)
  11. Ḥaydar Āmūlī (d. 1385)
  12. Abd-al-karim Jili
    Abd-al-karim Jili
    Abd al-Karīm al-Jīlī, or Abdul Karim Jili, was a Muslim sufi saint and mystic who was born in 1366 at Jil in Baghdad. He is famous in Muslim mysticism as the author of Universal Man....

     (d. 1428)
  13. Molla Fanārī (1350–1431)
  14. Shah Ni'matullah Wali (1330–1431)
  15. Abdurrahman Jami
    Jami
    Nur ad-Dīn Abd ar-Rahmān Jāmī also known as DJāmī, Mawlanā Nūr al-Dīn 'Abd al-Rahmān or Abd-Al-Rahmān Nur-Al-Din Muhammad Dashti who is commonly known as Jami , is known for his achievements as a scholar, mystic, writer, composer of numerous lyrics and idylls, historian, and one of the greatest...

     (1414–1492)
  16. Idris Bitlisi (d. 926/1520)
  17. Bâli Efendi of Sophia (d. 960/1552):
  18. Abulvahhab Sharani (1493–1565)
  19. Mulla Sadra
    Mulla Sadra
    Ṣadr ad-Dīn Muḥammad Shīrāzī also called Mulla Sadrā was a Persian Shia Islamic philosopher, theologian and ‘Ālim who led the Iranian cultural renaissance in the 17th century...

     (1571–1641)
  20. Abdulaziz Debbag (d.1717)
  21. Abdulgani Nablusi (1641–1731)
  22. Ismâil Hakki Bursevî (1652–1725)
  23. Shah Veliullah Dehlevi (1703–1762)
  24. Ahmad ibn Ajiba (1747–1809)
  25. Abd al-Qadir al-Jaza'iri (1808–1883)
  26. Seyyed Muhammad Nur al-Arabi (1813–1887)
  27. Ahmad al-Alawi
    Ahmad al-Alawi
    Ahmad al-Alawi , , was the founder of a popular modern Sufi order, the Darqawiyya Alawiyya, a branch of the Shadhiliyya.-Biography:...

     (1869–1934)
  28. Abd al-Wahid Yahya
    René Guénon
    René Guénon , also known as Shaykh `Abd al-Wahid Yahya was a French author and intellectual who remains an influential figure in the domain of metaphysics, having written on topics ranging from metaphysics, sacred science and traditional studies to symbolism and initiation.In his writings, he...

     (1886–1951)
  29. Mustafa 'Abd al-'Aziz
    Michel Valsan
    Michel Valsan was a Muslim scholar and master of the Shadhuliyya tariqah in Paris under the name of Shaykh Mustafa 'Abd al-'Aziz...

     (1911–1974)
  30. Abdel-Halim Mahmoud
    Abdel-Halim Mahmoud
    Sheikh Abdel-Halim Mahmoud served as Grand Imam of Al Azhar from 1973 until his death in 1978...

     (1910–1978)
  31. Isa Nur al-Din Ahmad al-Shadhili al Darquwi al- `Alawi al-Maryami
    Frithjof Schuon
    Frithjof Schuon, was a native of Switzerland born to German parents in Basel, Switzerland. He is known as a philosopher, metaphysician and author of numerous books on religion and spirituality....

     (1907–1998)
  32. Javad Nurbakhsh
    Javad Nurbakhsh
    Dr. Javad Nurbakhsh was the Master of the Nimatullahi Sufi Order from 1953 until his death. He was also a psychiatrist and a successful writer in the fields of both psychiatry and Sufi mysticism.-Iran:...

    (1926–2008)

Reading list about Akbariyya Doctrine

  • Masataka Takeshita : Ibn 'Arabi's Theory of the Perfect Man and Its Place in the History of Islamic Thought, Tokyo: Institute for the Study of Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, 1987
  • William C. Chittick :Ibn 'Arabi's Imaginal Worlds: Creativity of Imagination and the Problem of Religious Diversity
  • _____________ : The Sufi Path of Knowledge: Ibn al-'Arabi's Metaphysics of Imagination
  • ______________ : Ibn 'Arabi - Heir to the Prophets.
  • ______________ : Imaginal Worlds.
  • ______________ : The Self-Disclosure of God
  • Stephen Hirtenstein: The Unlimited Mercifier: The Spiritual Life and Thought of Ibn 'Arabi
  • _____________ : Prayer and Contemplation: The Principles of Spiritual Life according to Ibn 'Arabi.
  • Henry Corbin : Creative Imagination of the Sufism of Ibn 'Arabi
  • ______________ : Alone with the Alone: Creative Imagination in the Sufism of Ibn 'Arabi.
  • Claude Addas : Looking for the Red Sulphur: The Story of the Life of Ibn 'Arabi
  • ___________________: The Voyage of No Return
  • Michel Chodkiewicz: An Ocean without Shore -Ibn 'Arabi, The Book and the Law.
  • ___________________: The Seal of the Saints
  • ___________________: The Spiritual Writings of Amir Abd al-Kader
  • Peter Coates : Ibn 'Arabi and Modern Thought - The History of Taking Metaphysics Seriously
  • Alexander D. Knysh : Ibn 'Arabi in the later Islamic Tradition
  • Titus Burckhardt : Mystical Astrology According to Ibn 'Arabi
  • __________________ : Universal Man by Abd al-Karim al-Jili translated with commentary
  • Michael Sells : Mystical Languages of Unsaying
  • Ronald L. Nettler : Sufi Metaphysics and Qur'anic Prophets: Ibn 'Arabi's thought and method in the Fusûs al-Hikam
  • Toshihiko Izutsu : Sufism and Taoism, Comparative work between Lao Tzu and Ibn Arabi's doctrines.
  • Caner K. Dagli: The Ringstones of Wisdom (Fusús al-hikam)translation, introduction & glosses by Caner K. Dagli.
  • E.A.Afifi : Ibn Arabi: Life and Works, http://www.muslimphilosophy.com/hmp/XX-Twenty.pdf
  • Mohamed Haj Yousef : Ibn 'Arabi – Time and Cosmology
  • Pablo Beneito : La taberna de las luces, Ibn Arabi, Shusteri and other sufis' poems translated to Spanish. Editora Regional de Murcia, 2004

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