A Comparative Study Of The "perfect Man" In Ibn Arabi And Rumi


Abstract
Ibn Arabi and Rumi were two well-known gnostics and poets who both lived in the 7th century, one from the West and the other from the East of the world of Islam. The significance of Ibn Arabi's works lies in his developing the system of Islamic theoretical gnosis and theorizing in this field. The effects of his teachings and thoughts have still remained with us until now. However, Rumi's significance lies in his expressing a number of profound gnostic concepts mainly in the mould of poetry in Persian. His Mathnawi is his masterpiece and the most important gnostic work in the field of Persian literature.Both of these two prominent gnostics dealt with the fundamental issues in the gnostic worldview including "gnostic anthropology". The essence of Ibn Arabi's gnostic anthropology is the discussion of the "perfect man". He coined this term himself and used it in his important works such as in Futuhat al-makkiyyah and in the first chapter of his Fusus al-hikam. After him, Sadr al-Din Qunawi, Ibn Arabi's student, disciple, and step-son, explained it in detail in his Mafatih al-ghayb. Rumi has also spoken of gnostic anthropology - without using the term "perfect man" - in his works, particularly in Mathnawi.In this paper, through a study of the most important works of Ibn Arabi, particularly Futuhat al-makkiyyah and Fusus al-hikam, and Rumi's Mathnawi, the writer has tried to compare their ideas concerning the issue of the "perfect man". He has also tried to examine their similar views and the possibility of Rumi's having been influenced by Ibn Arabi
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