Document Type : Original Article


1 Ph.D. of Philosophy of Religion, University of Tehran

2 Professor of Philosophy of Religion, University of Tehran



The oneness of being is the most central idea of Ibn Arabi, and as interpreted by his commentators and followers, the oneness of being does not mean that the Real or true existence is united with others or is a single whole. The oneness of being means that only one entity has true existence and nothing else; therefore, the oneness of being gives the meaning of oneness and uniqueness; for this, many consider it the best interpretation of Towhid or pure monotheism. After this, the question that comes to mind first and foremost is what are others? What are these things that we name the world? The purpose of this research is to examine this question. What position should be taken in the existential structure of Ibn Arabi about the existence of the world? 
This research discusses the oneness of being by focusing on the existence and imaginary world. In the discussion of existence, we refer to common views about the oneness of being. Ibn Arabi has contradictory interpretations about the existence of the world.  He has said both that they exist and do not exist. According to this research, this is a contradictory proposition; because there is no intermediary between existence and non-existence. In the following, we refer to the imaginary world and two different interpretations of it, imagination means one presence of five divine presences, and imagination means everything other than real existence, which according to Ibn Arabi is an imaginary existence. Therefore, what we are looking for to investigate its existence or non-existence is sometimes called imagination in Ibn Arabi's mysticism and the term Alam has also been coined for it. For this, in order to make the matter more clear, more focus has been placed on what is imaginary existence.
In looking for an appropriate answer to the main question of research it is argued that 1. It cannot be said that the world is pure illusion and does not exist. 2. It is not possible to both accept and reject the existence of the world. 3. It is not possible to solve the problem by rejecting the law of non-contradiction. 4.  In Ibn Arabi's mysticism, the Gradation of Being is not accepted. 5. Therefore, the world exists and enjoys true existence. A great amount of this research is focused on explaining the existence of the world if we have no other way than accepting the existence of the world. Seeing things as imaginary existence and acceptance of otherness, from the point of view of this research, is caused by the subject's epistemological field. In fact, if we are talking about the epistemological subject, then the state of existence of the world will correspond to the epistemic state of the subject. With this expression, the perception of something other than the Real is an inability to perceive pure existence. Therefore, the term Alam in Ibn Arabi's mysticism, which means other than the Real, is a term that was established for our imaginary perception of existence. But the world itself, in the sense of what it is, has true existence.
So, it is not correct to say that Ibn Arabi emphasizes otherness as much as he emphasizes oneness. Also, it is not correct to accept that the world both exists and does not exist in a contradictory way. We must distinguish between external reality and knowledge of it. One of the roots of the aforementioned contradiction is ignorance of the difference between the world meaning what is other than Real and the world meaning what is. Therefore, the structure of mystical existence, i.e. various presences and worlds, is nothing but the epistemological structure of man and the layers of knowledge that are revealed to him. It cannot be overlooked that when we use the expression of things as they are and argue that they enjoy true existence, this is an expression due to our inability, which indicates otherness. The only truth is that there is one and there is nothing but him.


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