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2.2.6 - Who is this Boy!

As Stephen Hirtenstein explained in his commentary on this story [The Unlimited Mercifier, p. 38], it is most likely that this boy is none other than Ibn al-Arabi himself, because Shaykh Muhyiddin often speaks of himself using the third person. This is very palatable because this description applies to him as he was still “a young boy who did not know what is this Way” and also the comment of Shaykh Abu Muhammad Abdullah al-Taiy and his laughing at the boy’s question about the “White Nigella” indicate that he was joking, which means that he knows him very well and probably used to joking with him before. Likewise, the boy’s harsh answer may not only have been a response to the shaykh’s laugh at the boy’s ignorance of the names of medicinal herbs, but he may have known him much more and that, despite his age, he was still wasting time and turning away from God.

All this means that there is a strong relationship between the boy and Shaykh Abdullah al-Taiy, and it is not unlikely that this boy is his nephew Muhammad. This also corresponds to the fact that Abdullah al-Taiy died before Muhammad entered the Way and that this story happened three years before his death, and we will find soon that Shaykh Muhyiddin entered the Way at a very early age, that may be not more than fifteen years, and that he was accompanied by the people of Allah since his early years.