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2.0 - THE MORNING: His birth, early life, education and traveling between the cities of Andalusia - (560/1165 - 589/1192)

The souls are paired with their bodies, as the human manifested with their essence.
He secured their nature with desire, when the Creator perfected their composition.
The Merciful allocated him in Paradise, playing with their girls and boys.
The Merciful made the servers offering around the cup and bowl.
Until he came to the protected hill, seeking for sight to perceive the Merciful.
If our souls knew their essence, they would be reading the Quran in communal.
But praise is to the one who made them wandering, in their own selves, for a wisdom, so that they would know the discern.

Ibn al-Arabi (Diwan, p. 415) ... See the comments on this poem in section 2.10 at the end of this chapter.

Muhammad Ibn al-Arabi al-Hatimiy al-Taiy was born in Murcia, in eastern Andalusia, in the years 560 AH, corresponding to 1165 AD, at the time when Almoravids dynasty was taking the last breath, before it was replaced by the Almohads. This also took place during the reign of the Abbasid Caliph al-Mustanjid, who ruled in Baghdad from 1160 to 1170 AD, and the Fatimid dynasty in Egypt was extinguished by Saladin who reinforced the spiritual supremacy of the Abbasids, as first step towards uniting with Syria and eventually liberating Palestine from the crusaders.

His father, Abu Muhammad Ali Ibn al-Arabi, was assuming a high position with Ibn Mardanish, the Sultan of Murcia. At the age of eight, this last Sultan of Almoravids died and Almohads took over Murcia, thus Muhammad moved with his family to Seville, the capital of Andalusia at the time, where his father also had a high statues in the Palace.

In Seville and Cordoba, Muhammad received his education at the hands of the famous scholars Andalusia. He was being preparing to take a position in the Sultan’s Palace, such as his father had, but he turned very early to the Way of asceticism and mysticism. That was before completing the second decade of his life, and very soon this opened for him all kinds of knowledge and sciences that led to his fame that swept Andalusia and Maghreb until he became sought by the scholars and shaykhs.

The Greatest Shaykh spent most of the last years of this period, until 589 AH, traveling between the cities of Andalusia, to meet the famous Sufi masters in order to learn on their hands and benefit from them, and also benefit them, when he has not yet reached the thirty years of age.

2.1- His Birth and Early Life in Murcia - 560/1165

2.2- Moving to Seville, His Youth and Learning - 568/1172

2.3- Entering the Way of Sufism (~ 580/1184)

2.4- Spiritual Education and His Main Shaykhs

2.5- His Visits to Cordoba

2.6- Shaykh Abdullah al-Mawruri, the Pole of Reliance

2.7- His Female Teachers

2.8- Touring in the Coast and Meeting with al-Rondi (Sidonia, 589/1193)

2.9- Other Shaykhs He Met in Andalusia

2.10- Comments on the Opening Poem