YOUR FIRST QUESTION
You ask a confidential question about one of your forebears signing himself, “al-Sayyid Muhammad.” My brother, it isn’t possible for me to give a scholarly answer to this or to research into it. However, I told my companions: “Hulûsi resembles neither the present-day Turks, nor the Kurds. I see other qualities in him.” They agreed with this. We said in accordance with the saying, “No talent is needed to receive God’s gifts,” the nobility observed in Hulûsi is a divine gift. Also, as you know, God’s Noble Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace) has two families. One consists of his descendants, and the other is the family of his prophethood’s luminous collective personality. You certainly belong to the latter, and I am of the opinion, though unsubstantiated, that in respect of his first family, your forefather’s signature was not without reason.
My Dear Brother!
A SUMMARY OF YOUR SECOND QUESTION
Muhyiddin al-‘Arabi1 said: “The spirit’s createdness consists of its unfolding.” With this question you are compelling a powerless wretch like me to contest an awesomely brilliant scholar of reality and genius of the occult sciences like Muhyiddin al-‘Arabi. However, relying on the teachings of the Qur’an I can attempt the discussion; even if I am only a fly, I can fly higher than that eagle.
My brother! You should understand that Muhyiddin would not deceive, but he could be deceived. He was rightly-guided, but could not act as a guide in all his works. What he saw was correct, but it was not reality. The reality of man’s spirit, about which you ask, is explained in the Twenty-Ninth Word, the discussion about the spirit.
Yes, in respect of its nature, the spirit is a law proceeding from the divine command, but it is a living law clothed in external existence and possessing external existence. Muhyiddin thought of it only from the point of view of its essential nature. His way of the Unity of Existence considers the existence of things to be imaginary. He had wondrous visions and unveiled the realities, but since he had chosen an independent way, he was compelled to apply, artificially and with forced interpretations, certain Qur’anic verses to his way and observations, thus marring the clarity of the
Muhyi al-Din ibn al-’Arabi, an eminent scholar and thinker who profoundly influenced the development of Sufism. He was born in Andalusia in 560 A. H. and died in Damascus in 638 A. H. Among his best known works are Fusus al-Hikam and al-Futuhat al-Makkiya.