What Is the Status of Ibn ‘Arabi in Sunni Islam?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question

I have a question regarding Ibn ‘Arabi.

While many scholars criticize him heavily and even exclude him from Islam, others defend and praise him.

Therefore, I’d like to ask what stance we should have toward him.

Answer

I hope you’re doing well, insha’Allah.

The predominant view across mainstream scholars has been to respect (even admire) Ibn ‘Arabi as a scholar and master of the science of Islamic spirituality.

At the same time, they affirm that his writings shouldn’t–or can’t–be read by those who aren’t trained to understand his usage and terminology.

Conceptually, this is not unlike a common person not reading and applying works on heart surgery: they’re specialized works whose readings have particular conditions that need to be fulfilled.

And Allah is the giver of success and facilitation.

[Shaykh] Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani spent ten years studying with some of the leading scholars of recent times, first in Damascus, and then in Amman, Jordan. His teachers include the foremost theologian of recent times in Damascus, the late Shaykh Adib al-Kallas (may Allah have mercy on him), as well as his student Shaykh Hassan al-Hindi, one of the leading Hanafi fuqaha of the present age. He returned to Canada in 2007, where he founded SeekersGuidance in order to meet the urgent need to spread Islamic knowledge–both online and on the ground–in a reliable, relevant, inspiring, and accessible manner. He is the author of: Absolute Essentials of Islam: Faith, Prayer, and the Path of Salvation According to the Hanafi School (White Thread Press, 2004.) Since 2011, Shaykh Faraz has been named one of the 500 most influential Muslims by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center.