bn ʿArabī (Arabic: ابن عربي) (July 28, 1165 – November 10, 1240) was an Arab Andalusian Sufi mystic and philosopher.
He is renowned by some practitioners of Sufism as "the greatest master" and also as a genuine saint.
'Abū 'Abdillāh Muḥammad ibn 'Alī ibn Muḥammad ibn `Arabī (أبو عبد الله محمد ابن علي ابن محمد ابن عربي ) was born in Murcia, Taifa of Murcia on the 17th of Ramaḍān 561 AH (27th or 28 July 1165 AD). He went by the names al-Shaykh al-Akbar, Muḥyiddin ibn Arabi, and was also later nicknamed the Great Shaykh.
His father, ‘Ali ibn Muḥammad, served in the Army of ibn Mardanīsh. When ibn Mardanīsh died in 1172 AD, ‘Ali ibn Muḥammad swiftly shifted his allegiance to the Almohad Sultan, Abū Ya’qūb Yūsuf I, and became one of his military advisers. His family then relocated from Murcia to Seville. His mother came from a wealthy Berber family with strong ties to northern Africa.
Ibn ‘Arabī’s intellectual training began in Seville in 578 AH. Most of his teachers were the clergy of the Almohad era and some of them held the official posts of Qadi or Khatib.
His spiritual mentor in Fes was Mohammed ibn Qasim al-Tamimi.
In the year 597 AH/1200 AD, he was in Morocco and took his final leave from his master Yūsuf al-Kūmī, who was living in the village of Salé at that time.
Ibn Arabi undertook Hajj in 598 AH. He lived in Mecca for three years. It was in Mecca that he started writing the very best of his works Al-Futūḥāt al-Makkiyya.
After spending time in Mecca, he traveled throughout Syria, Palestine, Iraq and Turkey.
The year 600 AH witnessed a meeting between Ibn Arabi and Shaykh Majduddīn Isḥāq ibn Yūsuf, a native of Malatya and a man of great standing at the Seljuk court. This time Ibn ‘Arabī was travelling north; first they visited the city of Muḥammad and in 601 AH they entered Baghdad. This visit besides other benefits offered him a chance to meet the direct disciples of Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qādir Jīlānī. Ibn Arabi stayed there only for 12 days because he wanted to visit Mosul to see his friend ‘Alī ibn ‘Abdallāh ibn Jāmi’, a disciple of Qaḍīb al-Bān. There he spent the month of Ramaḍan and composed Tanazzulāt al-Mawṣiliyya, Kitāb al-Jalāl wa’l-Jamāl and Kunh mā lā Budda lil-MurīdMinhu (Hirtenstein 176).
On 22 Rabī‘ al-Thānī 638 AH at the age of seventy-five, Ibn ‘Arabī died in Damascus.