Divine Governance of the Human Kingdom
interpreted by Sheikh Tosun Bayrak Al-Jerrahi
lbn 'Arabi (1 165-1240), the twelfth-century Spanish mystic, was considered by many the greatest master of Sufism. His large body of writings includes The Meccan Revelations (in 560 chapters) and The Bezels of Wisdom (exploring aspects of understanding through the lives of the Prophets of Islam). Contained in this volume is his powerful but little-known work, Divine Governance of the Human Kingdom, rendered into English for the first time. In a particularly startling way, the text uses metaphors from worldly politics to illuminate details of the spiritual search.
Sheikh Tosun Bayrak al-Jerrahi, working from Ottoman Turkish texts of lbn 'Arabi's works, has rendered this and two shorter texts, What the Seeker Needs and The One Alone, into modern English. In an Epilogue, Sheikh Tosun restates lbn 'Arabi's teachings on Sufi practice and the strict duties binding a disciple to his master. Tosun Bayrak is also the author of an interpretation ofAbd al-Qadir al-Jilani's The Secret of Secrets, a translation of lbn al-Husayn al-Sulami's Way of Sufi Chivalry, and his own The Most Beautiful Names.
"This little book contains vast knowledge of great benefit to all. It is gathered from the gardens of Eden and from divine providence. It is meant to be a guide to believers. There are neither conjectures nor doubts in it. Even if some may find faults in it, they will concede that they are small, fine, and beautiful. I call this book Divine Governance of the Human Kingdom.
"The book is divided into twenty-one chapters. Each section contains instructions for achieving unity, the Lord's gift to humankind. They show how to keep order within the divine order while improving ourselves; how to guide our lives in the right way; how to protect His kingdom, which is the human being, from oblivion; how to rule it in the way that it is meant to be ruled, by the soul that the Lord has placed in it as His deputy. This book is such a fountain that both high and low will be able to quench their thirst by drinking from it. For those who are able co see beneath the evident, there are signs that, if followed, will lead to the Source. For those who see the surface, there are things as plain as could be." —lbn 'Arabi, from Divine Governance of the Human Kingdom