Document Type : Original Article


1 PhD student in Islamic Mysticism, Faculty of Law, Theology and Political Sciences, Science and Research Unit, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran.

2 Irfan Associate Professor, Philosophy Research Institute, Research Institute of Humanities and Cultural Studies, Tehran, Iran, Corresponding Author

3 Associate Professor of Philosophy, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Religions and Religions, Qom, Iran

4 Associate Professor, Department of Islamic Studies, Faculty of Theology and Islamic Studies, Ferdowsi University, Mashhad, Iran


The issue of the occurrence of evil in the system of creation is one of the issues that have always focused the minds of the thinkers of the world. The number of works that have appeared on this issue forms a long list. The contribution of theologians, scholars of religion, and philosophers of religion in this regard is significant, but the scope of long-term debates and conflicts in this regard is not limited to the scope of academic studies and researches, and has also been extended to the level of the general public, and inevitably sometimes they are divided into two groups of deniers of divine justice and Believers have divided it. The existence of evil, natural and unnatural ailments and shortcomings in the world, especially from this point of view, has attracted the opinion of theologians and philosophers of religion, which is not compatible with God's absolute knowledge, absolute power, and absolute goodness. According to them, solving this inconsistency is the main task of the researchers of the problem of evil. On the one hand, they seek to protect the theological propositions based on God's omniscience, omnipotence, and pure goodness, and on the other hand, they must explain the occurrence of this evil in the divine system in such a way as to be compatible with these theological propositions. Since these doubts are related to the most fundamental principle of divine religions, i.e. the proof or denial of God and the compatibility of divine attributes, the discussion and exchange of opinions by opponents and supporters has turned into a scene of long-lasting confrontations between them. As we will see, in the contemporary philosophy of religion, there have been various discourses on the issue of evil, among which three logical, relative and existential discourses are particularly famous. Philosophers of religion have responded to these three speeches in the form of defense, theodicy, and consolation-meaning, respectively. Although this issue has a long theological and philosophical history, this issue has not prevented the mystics from expressing their opinions and positions on this issue. The supreme example in this valley is Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi, a representative of theoretical mysticism and the founder of the Akbari school, who, from his special mystical perspective, discussed the problem of evil, and to explain the problem of evil and answer the doubts arising from it, from various mystical foundations such as Nizam God's names and attributes, the best system, stable nobles, and personal unity have benefited. In the field of mysticism, articles have been written that are close to this topic, which are remarkable not in terms of complete compliance with the topic, but in terms of the similarity and scope of the topic, and can be effective in a wider understanding of the issue. Among them, Javadinia, Mazaher, 2015, "Evil and how to find its way in Ahsan's system in the school of Ibn Arabi", Philosophy of Religion, second year, vol. 4, which examines and explains evil and how to find its way in Ahsan's system in Ibn Arabi's school based on symbols God's glory and the good names of God, especially the name of the Most Merciful, the principle of personal unity of existence and the principle of manifestation. Of course, in this work, new views have not been considered. Also, Sepahi, Mojtabi, 2014, "Judgment and destiny and its connection with eternal beings from Ibn Arabi's point of view", New religious thought, year 11, number 41, which aims to explain and analyze destiny and destiny with eternal beings and their relationship with personal unity of existence. And although he addressed Ibn Arabi, there is no mention of new views on the issue. Also, Amini, Hassan, 1387, "Good and evil in the school of Ibn Arabi", Maarif al-Aqli, Vol. 12, has investigated and explained the problem of good and evil in Ibn Arabi's view in terms of the personal unity of existence and the good system and in terms of determination. Ibn Arabi has specified and pointed out the problem of evil in various places of his many works, but especially in four places in the book Fass al-Hakm, namely in Fass Yusuf, Fass Zakariyavi, Fass Yunsi, and Fass Ayyubi, and several positions from the conquests of the Makkiyyah to discuss the ills. He has paid evil and harm. In this article, we will first present his claims and arguments about the problem of evil in two books, Fosus al-Hikam and Fatuhat al-Makiyya, and then we will extract the defenses and theodicies that can be attributed to him from these works. A look at Ibn Arabi's works shows that in terms of the personal unity of existence and the system of goodness, he considered evil to be absolutely excluded in the system of existence for the purposes of the simple deprivation of education; But from the point of view of determination, he considers non-existent matters to be inherently evil and in existential matters, he has accepted a kind of relative evil in the creation system and a kind of inherent evil in the legislation system. Also, based on his views on good and evil, God's providence and will, his knowledge is subordinate to his knowledge, and his knowledge is subject to the known, and his known is the fixed nobles and their conditions. Whatever God bestows on things, it is based on the requirements of their fixed virtues. Therefore, good and evil both return to the fixed principles of things, and since the fixed principles are immovable, therefore, God has absolute authority. Also, Ibn Arabi from defenses such as the illusory nature of evil, the absence of evil and the relativity of evil, and from theodicies such as theodicy of compensation, theodicy of free will, theodicy of the best possible world, theodicy of the cultivation of the soul, and theodicy of purity, theodicy of the process, theodicy of the cross, etc. The justification of the problem of evil seeks benefit. It seems that such efforts are highly successful. As we have seen, the capacity of Ibn Arabi's works is so significant that one can make defenses such as the illusory nature of evil, the absence of evil and the relativity of evil, and theodicies such as theodicy of compensation, theodicy of free will, theodicy of the best possible world, theodicy of soul cultivation, and theodicy of purity, theodicy of process, theodicy of crucifixion and He attributed others to him. It seems that conducting similar research on other Muslim mystics as well as other relevant sources in Islamic philosophy and theology can bring important achievements in today's explanation of the views of Muslim thinkers on the issue of evil.


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