The Single Monad Model of the Cosmos: Ibn Arabi's Concept of Time and Creation

The Single Monad Model of the Cosmos

Ibn Arabi is the only scholar who was able to formulate a unique cosmological model that is capable of explaining our observations as well as many phenomena in physics and cosmology, and even solve some perplexing modern and historical riddles in science and philosophy such as the EPR paradox and Zeno paradoxes of motion. Moreover, the Single Monad Model explains for the first time in history the importance of the “week” as a basic unit of space and time together. This prodigious theory is based on the notion of the intertwining days where Ibn Arabi shows that at every instance of time there is indeed one full week of creation that takes place in the globe. Since its publication in 2008, this book has triggered an overwhelming response, and I hope this expanded edition will help promote further Ibn Arabi's wisdom that is still buried in his multitudes of books and treatises.

 Editorial Reviews

The similarity between the world-view of modern physics and that of Ibn Arabi is interesting, and this kind of study should be encouraged. ... I wonder if Ibn Arabi's theory could be successfully expressed in mathematical formulas. A work which succeeded in doing that would bridge humanities and science, and contribute to mutual understanding between the two fields of human knowledge.

[Prof. Shigeru Kamada, Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, University of Tokyo - Journal of Islamic Studies; Sep. 2010, Vol. 21 Issue 3, p418]

The most important contribution of this book seems to me its elucidation of the complicated process of creation/manifestation, which makes clear the link between the metaphysical One and the phenomenal Many, the cardinal question of mysticism. Another contribution is that it clarifies in a concrete way how a Muslim mystic formed his thought through inspired reflection on particular Quranic texts.

[Prof. Shigeru Kamada, Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, University of Tokyo - Journal of Islamic Studies; Sep. 2010, Vol. 21 Issue 3, p418]

One of the remarkable characteristics of this book is its constant reference to the latest developments of the theories of modern physics.

[Prof. Shigeru Kamada, Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, University of Tokyo - Journal of Islamic Studies; Sep. 2010, Vol. 21 Issue 3, p418]

This constantly challenging and thought-provoking study is clearly the fruit of years of research on one of the most difficult subjects to be found in the writings of one of Islam's most seminal, creative, inspired, and notoriously difficult thinkers. So even those who may find Ibn Arabi's language and speculations difficult to follow will surely come away from their reading with a heightened appreciation of the relative poverty, thoughtlessness, and lack of sophistication in today's dominant public discourse about religion and science ...
Prof. James W. Morris (Boston College)

From the Author

Ibn 'Arabî is one of the most prominent figures in Islamic history, especially in relation to Sufism and Islamic philosophy and theology. In this book, we want to explore his cosmology and in particular his view of time in that cosmological context, comparing his approaches to the relevant conclusions and principles of modern physics whenever possible. We shall see that Ibn 'Arabî had a unique and comprehensive view of time which has never been discussed by any other philosopher or scientist, before or even after Ibn 'Arabî. In the final two chapters, we shall discuss some of the ways his novel view of time and cosmology may be used to build a complete model of the cosmos that may deepen and extend our understanding of the world, while potentially solving some of the drawbacks and paradoxes in the current cosmological models of modern physics.
As we discuss in the opening chapter, there is no doubt that time is one of the most important issues in physics, cosmology, philosophy and theology, and hundreds of books and articles have been published in these fields. However, none of these studies have fully developed Ibn 'Arabî's unique view of time in its cosmological dimensions, although his conception of time is indeed central to understanding, for example, his controversial theory of the 'oneness of being'. One possible reason for this relative neglect is the difficult symbolic language he usually used. Also, he didn't discuss this subject at length in any single place in his extant works--not even in chapters 59, 291 and 390 of the Futûhât whose titles relate directly to time--so we must piece together his overall cosmological understanding of time from his scattered treatments in many works and different contexts within his magnum opus, the Futûhât, and other books. Therefore this book may be considered the first comprehensive attempt to set forth all the relevant dimensions of time in Ibn 'Arabî's wider cosmology and cosmogony.
To start with, Ibn 'Arabî considers time to be a product of our human 'imagination', without any real, separately existing entity. Nevertheless, he still considers it to be one of the four main constituents of existence. We need this imagined conception of 'time' to chronologically arrange events and what for us are the practically defining motions of the celestial orbs and other physical objects, but for Ibn 'Arabî, real existence is attributable only to the actually existing thing that moves, not to motion nor to time (nor space) in which this motion is observed. Thus Ibn 'Arabî distinguishes between two kinds of time: natural and para-natural, and he explains that they both originate from the two forces of the soul: the active force and the intellective force, respectively. Then he explains that this imaginary time is cyclical, circular, relative, discrete and inhomogeneous. Ibn 'Arabî also gives a precise definition--drawing on the specific usage of the Qur'an and earlier Arab conceptions of time--of the day, daytime and night, showing how these definitions are related to the relative motions of the celestial orbs (including the earth), where every orb has its own 'day', and those days are normally measured by our normal observable day that we count on the earth.


The Meccan Revelations Website:

The Sun from the West:

The Single Monad:

يَا حَكِيْمُ: حِكْمَتُهُ لاَ يَشُذُّ شَيْءٌ عَنْهَاط، هَبْ لي حِكْمَةً تحمِلُني عَلَى محَاسِنِ الأَحْوَالِ وَالأَفْعَالِ وَترْكَ القَبَائِحِ مِنْهَا.
الشيخ الأكبر محي الدين ابن العربي [من كتاب النور الأسنى بمناجاة الله بأسمائه الحسنى - -]

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