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2.2.11 - Reciter and Educator

It seems that Shaykh al-Lakhmi was also a Sufi, and hw was as brilliant in education as he was adept at reciting. For example, he used to teach his disciples literature and keeping the secret even from friends [Futuhat: II.314, IV.550].

More importantly, he also taught his disciples to reflect on the meanings of the verses, and not simply to read them quickly in order to complete the Quran in a short time. The Greatest Shaykh recalls that he used to tell them a nice story that convey this meaning, which is the famous story about the young man who read the entire Quran every night until his Shaykh asked him to imagine that he is reading the Quran on him; then he could not read more than half of the Quran, and so he gradually asked him to imagine that he is reading to the Messenger of Allah peace be upon him, to whom the Quran revealed, and then in front of Gabriel, who brought it to the heart of Muhammad peace be upon him; thus he could not read more than several verses. Then he said to him, O my son, “Repent to God and be prepared, and you should know that the worshiper is praying to his Lord, and you are standing between His Hands, reciting His Words. Don’t be ignorant!” Then the young man could not complete the Fatihah because he could not say “We are worshiping You” because he was afraid that he was not being sincere, and he knows that he is not yet perfect in worshiping God [Futuhat: I.425].

There is no doubt that such stories of a mystic nature had a great influence on the spirit of the young Ibn al-Arabi who had the virtues of honesty and sincerity as we mentioned above in his story with the Zebra.