Ibn Arabi Quotes (Sufi Poetry)

Written by Daniel Seeker

Nov 30, 2023

Ibn Arabi was a Sufi philosopher, mystic poet who lived from 1165 to 1240. Born in Andalusia, Ibn Arabi is sometimes considered as “al-Shaykh al-Akbar“, a title given to him as he was one of the most influential and greatest thinkers in Sufism, the mystery tradition of Islam.

He is also sometimes regarded as the patron ‘saint’ of the free souls of the world, the role model of poets and musicians and artists, a man who, six hundred years after the Prophet Muhammad, embodied the Prophet’s finest character traits.

In this article we’ve decided to honour him and his wisdom by sharing some of his most powerful quotes.

I am no one in existence but myself.
Ibn Arabi (The Universal Tree and the Four Birds)

How can the heart travel to God, when it is chained by its own desires?
Ibn Arabi

God sleeps in the rock, dreams in the plant, stirs in the animal, and awakens in man.
Ibn Arabi

When you know yourself, your ‘I’ness vanishes and you know that you and Allah are one and the same.
Ibn Arabi

I am in love with no other than myself, and my very separation is my union… I am my beloved and my lover; I am my knight and my maiden.
Ibn Arabi

If men knew themselves, they would know God; and if they really knew God, they would be satisfied with Him and would think of Him alone.
Ibn Arabi

If you find it complicated to answer someone’s question, do not answer it, for his container is already full and does not have room for the answer
Ibn Arabi

I was wedded to all the stars of the sky.There was not a single star left, and I married every one of them with great spiritual pleasure. Then I married the moon.
Ibn Arabi

None but God is loved in the existent things. It is He who is manifest within every beloved to the eye of every lover – and there is nothing in the existent realm that is not a lover
Ibn Arabi

When the mysterious unity between the soul and the Divine becomes clear, you will realize that you are none other than God. You will see all your actions as His actions; all your features as His features; all your breaths as His breath.
Ibn Arabi

Ibn Arabi Sufi Quote: It is He who is revealed in every face, sought in every sign, gazed upon by every eye, worshipped in every object of worship, and pursued in the unseen and the visible. Not a single one of His creatures can fail to find Him...

It is He who is revealed in every face, sought in every sign, gazed upon by every eye, worshipped in every object of worship, and pursued in the unseen and the visible. Not a single one of His creatures can fail to find Him in its primordial and original nature.
Ibn Arabi (The Meccan Illuminations)

Such knowledge can only be had by actual experience, nor can the reason of man define it, or arrive at any cognizance of it by deduction, just as one cannot, without experience, know the taste of honey, the bitterness of patience, the bliss of sexual union, love, passion, or desire.
Ibn Arabi (The Meccan Illuminations)

I shall answer your question, O noble friend and intimate companion,
concerning the Journey to the Lord of Power (may He be exalted) and
the arrival in His presence and the return, through Him, from Him
to His Creation, without separation.
Ibn Arabi

Whoever builds his faith exclusively on demonstrative proofs and deductive arguments, builds a faith on which it is impossible to rely. For he is affected by the negativities of constant objections. Certainty(al-yaqin) does not derive from the evidences of the mind but pours out from the depths of the heart.
Ibn Arabi

Beware of confining yourself to a particular belief and denying all else, for much good would elude you – indeed, the knowledge of reality would elude you. Be in yourself a matter for all forms of belief, for God is too vast and tremendous to be restricted to one belief rather than another.
Ibn Arabi

As for the theorists and thinkers, and the scholastic theologians, with their talk about the soul and its properties, none of them have grasped the Reality; such speculation can never grasp it. He who seeks to know the Reality through theoretical speculation is flogging a dead horse; … for he who seeks to know It by any means other than the one proper to It, will never grasp It.
Ibn Arabi

Ibn Arabi Quote: All that is left to us by tradition is mere words. ...

All that is left
to us by tradition
is mere words.
It is up to us
to find out what they mean.
Ibn Arabi (The Tarjuman Al-Ashwaq)

A garden among the flames!

My heart can take on any form:
A meadow for gazelles,
A cloister for monks,
For the idols, sacred ground,
Ka’ba for the circling pilgrim,
The tables of the Torah,
The scrolls of the Quran.

My creed is Love;
Wherever its caravan turns along the way,
That is my belief,
My faith.
Ibn Arabi

Inasmuch as God’s Essence is Independent of the words, the cosmos is not He, but inasmuch as God freely assumes relationships with the words through attributes such as creativity and generosity the cosmos manifests the He. If we examine anything in the universe, God is independent of that thing and infinitely exalted beyond it. He is “incomparable” (tanzíh ) with each thing and all things. But at the same time each thing displays one or more of God’s attributes, and in this respect the thing must be said to be “similar” (tashbíh ) in someway to God
Ibn Arabi

It is none other than He who progresses or journeys as you. There is nothing to be known but He; and since He is Being itself, He is therefore also the journeyer. There is no knower but He; so who are you? Know your true Reality. He is the essential self of all. But He conceals it by [the appearance of] otherness, which is “you.”

If you hold to multiplicity, you are with the world; and if you hold to the Unity, you are with the Truth …. Our names are but names for God; at the same time our individual selves are His shadow. He is at once our identity and not our identity … Contemplate!
Ibn Arabi

Ibn Arabi Quote: Do not praise your own faith exclusively so that you disbelieve all the rest. If you do this you...

Do not praise your own faith exclusively so that you disbelieve all the rest. If you do this you will miss much good. Nay, you will miss the whole truth of the matter. God, the Omniscient and the Omnipresent, cannot be confined to any one creed, for He says in the Quran, wheresoever ye turn, there is the face of Allah. Everybody praises what he knows. His God is his own creature, and in praising it, he praises himself. Which he would not do if he were just, for his dislike is based on ignorance.
Ibn Arabi (The Tarjuman Al-Ashwaq – Preface)

O lover – whosoever you are – know that the veils between you and your beloved – whosoever he might be – are nothing save your halt with things, not the things themselves; as said by the one who hasn’t tasted the flavour of realties. You have halted with things because of the shortcoming of your perception; that is, lack of penetration, expressed as the veil; and the veil is nonexistence and nonexistence is nothingness. Thus there is no veil, If the veils were true, then who got veiled from you, you should also have been in veil from him.
Ibn Arabi

Your first duty is to search for the knowledge which establishes your ablution and prayer, your fasting and reverence. You are not obliged to seek out more than this.
This is the first door of the journey;
then [b] work;
then [c] moral heedfulness;
then [d] asceticism;
then [e] trust.
And in the first states of trust, four miracles befall you. These are the signs and evidence of your attainment of the first degree of trust.
These signs are : crossing the earth,
walking on water,
traversing the air,
and being fed by the universe.
And that is the reality within the door.
After that, stations and states and miracles and revelations come to you continuously until death.”
Ibn Arabi (The Journey to the Lord of Power)

Ibn Arabi Sufi Quote: When my Beloved appears, With what eye do I see Him? With His eye, not with mine...

When my Beloved appears, With what eye do I see Him? With His eye, not with mine, For none sees Him except Himself.
Ibn Arabi (The Tarjuman Al-Ashwaq)

From my insufficiency to my perfection, and from my deviation to my equilibrium
From my sublimity to my beauty, and from my splendor to my majesty
From my scattering to my gathering, and from my rejection to my communion
From my baseness to my preciousness, and from my stones to my pearls
From my rising to my setting, and from my days to my nights
From my luminosity to my darkness, and from my guidance to my straying
From my perigee to my apogee, and from the base of my lance to its tip
From my waxing to my waning, and from the void of my moon to its crescent
From my pursuit to my flight, and from my steed to my gazelle
From my breeze to my boughs, and from my boughs to my shade
From my shade to my delight, and from my delight to my torment
From my torment to my likeness, and from my likeness to my impossibility
From my impossibility to my validity, and from my validity to my deficiency.
I am no one in existence but myself
Ibn Arabi (The Universal Tree and the Four Birds)

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<a href="https://nirvanic.co/author/seeker/" target="_self">Daniel Seeker</a>

Daniel Seeker

Daniel Seeker is a wandering dervish, creator of Nirvanic and a lifelong student of the past, present and future. He realized that he was made of immaculate and timeless consciousness when meditating in his hermit cave on the island of Gotland. His writings and his online course are mostly a reflection of that realizaton. Daniel has studied history, philosophy, egyptology and western esotericism at Uppsala Universitet. He’s currently writing his B.A. thesis in history which explores how Buddhist and Hindu texts were first properly translated and introduced to the western world in the late 18th and 19th century.

1 Comment

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    Asalamu Alaikum, thank you for these beautiful quotes. I have a question please, do you know from which book «  Alone with the Alone » is taken from ?
    Thank you to let me know if you know.


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