Rhyme and Reason: Five <i>Rā’iyyāt</i>

Denis E. McAuley

in Ibn `Arabī’s Mystical Poetics

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199659548
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191743375 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Oriental Monographs

Rhyme and Reason: Five Rā’iyyāt

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This chapter looks at five poems in the same metre, basī, and the same rhyme, -ri, a combination that occurs in at least six hundred verses by Ibn `Arabī. All five poems explore the theme of God's manifestation (tajallī) in sensibilia through the world of imagination (khayāl), and how it can be discerned through reflection (fikr) on God's signs. The poems range from abstract metaphysics to intense lyrical dream visions. In the fifth and most intricate poem, the speaker ascends to paradise on a winged horse (Burāq) of reflection, in a quasi-prophetic mi`rāj, only to be directed back towards the sensible world. Despite the variety of imagery, the poems revolve around a narrow set of keywords. Placed side by side, they show how Ibn `Arabī’s message is closely associated with its literary form.

Keywords: `Arabī; Dīwān; tajallī; sensibilia; khayāl; dream; Burāq; mi`rāj

Chapter.  12951 words. 

Subjects: Islam

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