Matter of Beliefs: An Examination of Ibn ‘Arabi’s Stances toward the Diversity of Religions
The diversity of religions is one of the most challenging issues in the contemporary world that has instigated various reactions such as pluralism which has been specified by contemporary philosophers of religion in the form of a unified theory. John Hick claims that regardless of the formation method of theory, its content has been suggested many centuries ago by thinkers such as Ibn ‘Arabi. In addition to the examination of this claim, the article at hand aimed at studying the way Ibn ‘Arabi has addressed the question of the diversity of religions based on the principles of this thought. This examination led us to conclude that Ibn ‘Arabi’s thought system is a solid one which entails several key ideas as its focal points; Ibn ‘Arabi’s solutions for many issues are based on these key ideas. Ibn ‘Arabi’s attention to the difference between beliefs and the diversity of religions does not derive from external factors and social issues; rather, it originates directly from his pivotal ideas such as the Unity of Being, Divine Names, and the manifestation and sovereignty of God in the whole World of Being. Based on these principles, Ibn ‘Arabi rules that all paths are right and all religions and their followers are also right. The title of this article is adopted from the very statements of Ibn ‘Arabi in his works; he calls his heart as the “receiver of all forms” and advises everyone to be the “matter of all beliefs”.
Journal of Philosophy of Religion, Volume:16 Issue:4, 2019
655 - 675
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