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2.2.9 - His Position of the Different Doctrines

Shaykh Muhyiddin did not prefer any specific doctrinal school, although most of the Shaykhs he learned at their hands the various Islamic sciences belonged to the Maliki school, which was popular in Andalusia at the time. In fact he says that the door of ijtihad (discretion) is open and that it is permissible to select from any of the sects that the scholars advocate, without necessarily following any particular doctrine by itself, although this is something prevented by many scholars who obliged to adhere to a particular doctrine. This distinctive opinion of Ibn al-Arabi refutes the allegation of those who attributed him to Ibn Hazm, claiming that he is Zahiri, as we stated at the end of the first chapter.

However, although the Greatest Shaykh accepts all doctrines and allows to select from them for the purpose of seeking the easier permissions if necessary, he mourns and urges the followers to keep themselves safe from all disputations by taking the precautions and resorting to the rules on which most scholars agreed [Futuhat: III.336, as well as: I.405, 545-548, II.559, III.69, 142, 413, 502].

It has been narrated in Sahih al-Bukhari that the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said: “If the ruler ruled after discretion, then if he is right he gets double reward, and he gets a reward if he is wrong.” Therefore, we should not challenge any discretion ruling because the law which is the rule of God has approved that judgment. Many followers of various doctrines have failed to understand this critical issue, although they know it and they read about it, but they often tend to overlook it. As a result, they misbehaved with God at the time when the disciplined servants observed this rule by not faulting any particular diligent [Futuhat: I.348], although it is permissible to judge the righteousness of a specific doctrine without specifying any particular jurist or advocate. From here we see the big difference between Ibn al-Arabi and his followers and those who criticize them as we will discuss in the last chapter.