Poems in context
Since the majority of Ibn 'Arabi's poetry occurs side by side with prose, we have picked out some articles on this site which feature substantial passages of translation, where the poems can be seen in context.
Between this world and the Resurrection, for whoever reflects,
there are intermediate (barzakhîya) levels, each with their limits:
What they hold is according to the influence of how their possessor is
right now, before dying – so consider deeply [O people of vision].
Ibn 'Arabi on the Barzakh – Chapter 63 of the Futûhât al-Makkiyyah, translated by James Morris. Page 6 (pdf 160KB)
I wonder at the house He has built and shaped,
placing therein a noble spirit, putting it to the trial.
He destroyed it utterly, as if He had not built it.
Who can put it together for me, who can make it last?
Chapter 317 of the Futûhât al-Makkiyyah, "Concerning the true knowledge of the Waystation of Trial and its blessings", translated by William Chittick. Page 5 (pdf)
Prohibition arises from the stain of temporal origination –
Say not, 'My vicegerency releases me.'
Beware! Your vicegerency limits you!
Where is release when the door of your engendered existence is open?
Chapter 339 of the Futûhât al-Makkiyyah, "Concerning the true knowledge of a waystation in which the shari'a kneels before the Reality, seeking replenishment", translated by William Chittick. Page 16 (pdf)
You are the guide who, over the mistaken one,
lays the veil of his intercession.
You are the secret in the idols,
and if not for You,
[the idolaters] would neither adore the tree nor the star
nor would they do as many good works as they do.
On the Divine Love of Beauty, translations from the Futuhat al-Makkiyyah by Pablo Beneito. Page 11 (pdf)
Such is the situation if you understand it well:
If you are in Him, then you are you.
In truth you are the bridal chamber
where the Truth (manassât al-Haqq) reveals Himself,
but you are not you when you are.
The Servant of the Loving One, the chapter of the Kashf al-ma'nâ "On the Adoption of the Character Traits of al-Wadûd", translated by Pablo Beneito.
Put on the Mantle [of God-fearing], for Man's Best Vestment is God-fearing,
which is the truest Religion and the strongest World.
None fear God except every discerning one,
chosen and guided, whom God has distinguished.
Ibn al-'Arabi's Testament on the Mantle of Initiation (al-Khirqah), translated by Gerlad Elmore. Page 25 (pdf)
Look to the Kingdom closest to you: You will find
in each person a Regent over all his parts.
Ibn al-'Arabī's Book of the Fabulous Gryphon ('Anqā' Mughrib) , an introduction by Gerald Elmore.
I marveled at an Ocean without shore,
and at a Shore that did not have an ocean;
And at a Morning Light without darkness,
and at a Night that was without daybreak;
The Alchemical Marriage of Intellect and Soul, by Gerald Elmore
From the water of Mary or from the breath of Gabriel,
In the form of a mortal fashioned of clay,
The Spirit came to be in an essence
Purified of nature, which you call Sijjin (prison)...
A Spirit from God, not from anything else.
Thus he raised up the dead and made birds from clay...
God purified him in body and exalted him in spirit,
And made of him a symbol of engendering.
See Jesus in the Quran: an Akbari Perspective, by Reza Shah-Kazemi
The Straight Path belongs to God (Allāh).
It is manifest in all, not hidden.
He is present in the small and the great,
In those who are ignorant of how things are and those who know.
Because of this His mercy encompasses everything,
No matter how base or magnificent.
The Circle of Inclusion, by Cecilia Twinch.