Most of these introductory articles are exracted from Volume I of the Single Monad Model of the Cosmos: Ibn al-Arabi's View of Time and Creation... more on this can be found here.
The Two Cycles of Life
The Two Cycles of Life:
According to the well-known hadith 'Time has returned the same as it was when Allah created the heavens and the earth' [Kanz: 12357], Ibn al-Arabi argues that the cosmos has completed one cycle from the beginning of creation until the point where the spirit of Prophet Muhammad is attached to his body, and he notes that this cycle is 78,000 years. As he explains:
Time started in Libra for spiritual justice by the name the Hidden (al-batin) of Muhammad - may God bless him - as he said: 'I was prophet when Adam was still between water and clay' [Kanz: 2017]. Then it (time) circled around after one (full) time cycle, which is 78,000 years, to start another cycle of time by the name 'the Manifest' (al-zahir) when the body of Muhammad - may God bless him - appeared.
In chapter 7, at the beginning of the Futuhat [I.121-124], Ibn al-Arabi also states clearly the order of creation in time during this cosmic time-cycle, for major events of the kinds created by Allah. The numbers that he gives clearly do not agree with modern cosmology and geology, and can not be explained or understood in those terms (as we showed in section 3 above). These two cycles of life are explained in Figure II.1.
Figure II.1: The Cycle of Life. The numbers of years are extracted from chapter 7 of the Futuhat [I 121-6].