|Title:||The Tree of Being|
by Ibn Arabi.
The Tree of Being (Shajarat al-Kawn) is a treatise written by Ibn Arabi (1165-1240), one of the greatest figures in both Islamic and universal mysticism. He wrote close to five hundred books and manuscripts. Many of them are short, but some, like Fusus al Hikam and Futuhat al Makkiyah, are books of many volumes. Ibn Arabi knew and influenced the great men of his time, Ibn Rushd (Averroes), Jalaluddin Rumi, Suhrawardi, and others. His influence spread beyond the Islamic world and entered medieval Europe. Asin Palacios and Salverda di Grave have pointed out that Dante in the Divina Comedia derived from Ibn Arabi the great design of Hell and Paradise and also the image of the beautified young woman as guide to the Divine.
The Tree of Being is an inspired description of the cosmos and the perfect man as microcosm, expressed in beautiful metaphysical and poetic imagery. Ibn Arabi's devotion to the Prophet Muhammad (saws) as the perfect man provides instruction in Islam for the ones who are interested in learning the essence of this religion.
The book has five sections. First is the translator's introduction including a biography of Ibn Arabi and a discussion of his approach to Sufism. Second is an interpretation of Ibn Arabi's Tree of Being, a commentary on the mystical elements of the Qur'an and Islam. Third is Ibn 'Arabi's description of the character and actions of the Prophet Muhammad (saws). The fourth section is his listing of the two hundred names and attributes of the Prophet.