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3.1.2 - In the Green Island: Algeciras - (589/1193)

In 589 Muhammad Ibn al-Arabi performed his first trip to the other side of the Strait, to visit some of the cities of Maghreb and Tunisia. He intended to visit Abdul-Aziz al-Mahdawi in Tunisia, one of the close disciples of Shaykh Abu Madyan, and also he will be visiting Shaykh Ibn Khamis al-Kinani, to whom he would walk bare-footed, following the example of his two Shaykhs Abu Yaqoub al-Kumi and Abu Muhammad al-Mawruri who told him that they had made their visit to him in this fashion, as we shall speak about him in sections[ref:al-kinani and[ref:al-mahdawi below.

Before crossing the Strait to the Maghreb, the Shaykh must go through the Green Island, or: Algeciras, a famous city in Andalusia, just opposite the city of Ceuta in Maghreb. It is located east of Chatouna and south of Cordoba. It is also called “Tarif Island”, described by Yaqout al-Hamwi as one of the best cities of Andalusia, but it is not surrounded by the sea as other islands, but connected to the Andalusian land without any water barrier [Glossary of Countries: No. 3110.].

Some scholars believe that the Strait of Gibraltar, where the Mediterranean meets with the Atlantic Ocean, is Majmaa al-Bahrain (the junction of the two seas), where Moses met with Khader (literally means “The Green One”), as Allah mentioned in Quran; so some scholar suggest that this was the city whose people refused to hospitalize Khader and Moses, peace be upon them, and where Khader erected the wall and broke the ship [Quran, 18:60–82], [Al-Humairi, Al-Rawad Al-Miatar: p. 223, 264, 338.]. Yaqout al-Hamwi, however, says that the city of Tlemcen is the one where Khader had built the wall, as we shall soon see below.

In either case, as we have seen before and we shall see below in this chapter, that Shaykh Muhyiddin had actually met with Khader in several places close to these regions.





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