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2.1.2 - Murcia, His Birthplace

Ibn al-Arabi’s journey started from the Orient, and its first phases, by the hidden name, ended in Murcia, on the banks of the Segura river, in southeastern Andalusia. In this city, Muhammad saw the first light, and there: the first sun shone upon him, and he breathed the first breeze. Although he lived in it only a few years of his childhood, Murcia undoubtedly lived in his memory, even when their suns were set down together, when the Spanish seized it from its last Andalusian prince Ahmed Ibn Muhammad Ibn Hud, in 636/1239, only two years before his death.

Yaqut al-Hamawi says in his Glossary of Countries (Muajam al-Buldan) that Murcia is a beautiful city located in eastern Andalusia, constructed by Abd al-Rahman ibn al-Hakam and he first called it Tudmir, like the Tadmur (Palmyra) in the Levant, but people continued to call it by the original. It is a city with lots of trees and gardens surrounding it. It was the home of Ibn Mardanish, in whose reign it became the base of Andalusia. To Murcia belongs Abu Ghalib Tammam ibn Ghalib, the linguist who has written a great book called “al-Mauib,”, in addition to many other renowned scholars and writers [Glossary of Countries: No. 11131].

Among the scholars born in Murcia also are: the narrator and linguist Sharaf al-Din Abu Abdullah Muhammad al-Salami, the writer Abu al-Abbas Ahmad ibn Rushiq (died 426/1035), Abu Muhammad Abdullah Ibn Muhammad al-Khashani al-Faqih al-Hafiz (died 526/1132), Abu al-Hasan Ali Ibn Ismail, known as Ibn Sayda al-Andalusi, a linguist and author of the book al-Muhgassass and the books of al-Muhkam, Abu al-Abbas Ahmed Almorsi, one of the most prominent saints who died in Alexandria in 686/1287, Abu Abdullah Muhammad Ibn Abdullah Ibn Abi Bakr al-Qadai al-Balasi, al-Imam al-Hafiz, the famous poet, writer and historian Ibn al-Abbar, and many others.

Additionally, al-Humairi says, in al-Rawd al-Miatar, that Murcia is located near a big river, watering all its fields like the Nile of Egypt. It has a grand mosque, public baths and busy markets. It is a rich city, with cheap grapes and varieties of other fruits, also rich of silver metals. People of Murcia are famous for making delicate carpets, ... etc. The city is located in a plain field near the river, with a bridge and boats moving between its regions to transfer people and goods. It is full of fig trees, with magnificent fortifications, castles, and territories. The distance to Valencia is five stages, and ten to Cordoba [Al-Rawad Al-Matar in the Country News: A Geographical Lexicon with Comprehensive Catalogs, by Muhammad Bin Abdel-Moneim Al-Humairi, by Ihsan Abbas, Lebanon-Beirut Library, 1984, p.539.].