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2.2.4 - His Uncle Abdullah, and the story of his repentance

Shaykh Muhyiddin tells the story of his parental uncle Abdullah (Abu Muhammad), the brother of his father, who was in his late age at the beginning of his eighth decade. He did not believe in mysticism and asceticism until a young boy gave him this way because of a word he said to him in the shop of perfumery, when this little boy came and asked for “white Nigella”, and the Nigella is the blackseed, which can never be white! Abu Muhammad, who was sitting in the perfumery, when he heard the boy he was so frowned and laughed and told the boy: I am laughing at the intensity of your ignorance because the Nigella are not white. Here, the boy’s answer was shocking and influential, where he said to him: my ignorance of these things will not harm me with God, but your careless and negligence is going to harm you, as you are still turning away from God despite your age!

This speech had a great effect on the old man and this was the reason for his return to the Way of God, so he recited the whole Quran every day and dedicate half of his reward for this boy. After that, he entered the Way of Sufism and asceticism in the world and he lived three years after that, during which he reached a high status in sainthood, and then he died at the age of eighty-three years. That was about three years before Ibn al-Arabi himself entered the Way of mysticism.footnote(In addition to the book of the Holy Spirit as we will convey below, Shaykh Muhyiddin mentioned this story in detail in the book of al-Durrah al-Fakhirah. For more about this story see: Ralph Austin’s translation in Sufis of Andalusia, New Leaf Distributing Company, pp. 99-100. See also: Quest for the Red Sulphur, The Life of Ibn Arabi, Claude Addas, translated from French into English by Peter Kingsley, The Islamic Texts Society, 1993, p. 20-21.

In addition to al-Durrah al-Fakhirah, Shaykh Muhyiddin mentioned the story of his uncle Abdullah in the book of the Holy Spirit, where he also mentioned some of his charismata, such as his smelling the breath of Paradise in the morning, the disappearance of the big swelling he suffered at his death, as well as his accurate prediction of his death and the death of his son. Ibn al-Arabi says in the Holy Spirit:

Some of them, may Allah be pleased with them, is Abu Muhammad Abdullah Ibn Muhammad Ibn al-Arabi al-Taiy, my paternal uncle, my father’s brother. He entered this Way at the end of his life, due to a young boy who did not know what is mysticism. He entered the Way at the age of eighty, and he adhered to retreating and touring in the coast until he excelled. He used to recite the whole Quran every day, half of which he grants to that boy who was the cause of his return.