The Imām and The Perfect Human – An analysis between Ibn ‘Arabī’s al-Insān al-Kāmil and Shī‘ī Imāmology

Ali Abbas, Syed (2021) The Imām and The Perfect Human – An analysis between Ibn ‘Arabī’s al-Insān al-Kāmil and Shī‘ī Imāmology. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This thesis examines the Andalusian mystic, Ibn ‘Arabī’s (1165-1240) central theme of the Perfect Human (al-insān al-kāmil), alongside the Doctrine of Imāmat as understood in Shī‘ī thought. As a comparative work, it is divided into two sections - with the first of its two sections dedicated to Imāmat, and its second section to Ibn ‘Arabī. The Imāmat section begins by briefly contextualizing how the doctrine evolved, whilst taking into consideration the origins of the term shī‘a and the theological position of leadership in both Shī‘ī and Sunnī thought. The section on Ibn ‘Arabī addresses his life and times, in addition to delving into the historical development of how the term ‘Perfect Human’ formed and what was understood by it. An explanation on who a Shī‘ī was, in light of how the term developed in the first two centuries of Islām, will also be looked at.

As the core aim of this research is to identify Shī‘ī influences on Ibn ‘Arabī, this research will also consider the position of Muhammad, ‘Alī and the subsequent Shī‘ī Imāms as found in the teachings of Ibn ‘Arabī, whilst also taking into consideration the Shī‘ī understanding of the Prophet and ahl al-bayt.

Finally, as part of its conclusion, devotional literature found in both the teachings of Ibn ‘Arabī and Shī‘ī Islam will be addressed. It will then go on to focus on certain misconceptions on Shī‘ism and in particular the term rawāfiḍ as used by Ibn ‘Arabī, ending with influences on the study of Ibn ‘Arabī as witnessed the last three decades, with a need for wider research on the mystical philosophy of Ibn ‘Arabī.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BP Islam. Bahaism. Theosophy, etc
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > Theology and Religious Studies
Supervisor's Name: Ridgeon, Dr. Lloyd
Date of Award: 2021
Embargo Date: 2021
Depositing User: Theses Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2021-83023
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 13 Jul 2022 08:14
Last Modified: 13 Jul 2022 08:16
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.83023

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