Ibn Sina (d. 1037) is perhaps the most important philosopher of the pre-modern era. Among his many contributions, the proof for the existence of the Necessary Existent stands out. Ibn Sina proceeds to extract each of God’s attributes (sifat) from His necessary existence. Although his ideas met with resistance in some quarters, they found a warm reception in the Akbarian school, particularly, in the works of Sadr al-Din al-Qunawi (d. 1274) and ‘Abd al-Razzaq al-Qashani (d. 1335). This paper argues that the influence of Ibn Sina’s concept of necessity (wujub) had a great impact on the founder of the Akbarian school, Muhyi al-Din ibn ‘Arabi (d. 1240). Ibn ‘Arabi reformulates God’s necessary existence (wujud) as God’s necessary/ metaphysical mercy (rahma) in order to extract all of the divine Names from this primary attribute of God. Even as he denies all influences and insists his work is the product of spiritual unveiling (kashf), Ibn ‘Arabi seems to be following the same path delineated by his illustrious predecessor, if in his own way.
Reham Alwazzan, University of Glasgow, United Kingdom