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God is: there is no existence save His existence. To this the Prophet pointed when he said, “Revile not the world, for the world is God’s” — it is related that…God said to Moses, “O My servant, I was sick, and thou didst not visit me: I asked help of thee and thou didst not give it to me,” and other similar expressions. This means that the existence of the beggar and the sick is His existence…. Just as he who dies the death of the body loses all his attributes, both those worthy of praise and those worthy of condemnation, so in the spiritual death all attributes, both those worthy of praise and those to be condemned, come to an end, and in all the man’s states what is Divine comes to take the place of what was mortal….


Muhyi al-Din ibn Al-‘Arabi (1165–1240) was an Arab sufi mystic and philosopher from the Andalusian region of Spain. Acknowledged in the Muslim world as al-Shaykh al-Akbar (“the greatest master”), Ibn ‘Arabi traveled through the Mediterranean region and some theorize that his works — full of otherworldly visions — may have influenced to some degree Dante Alighieri (1265–1321) in his composition of The Divine Comedy as well as the Spanish Catholic mystics, including St. John of the Cross (1542–1591).

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