Character History

Who is Ibn Arabi in Dirilis Ertugrul?

Dirilis Ertugrul Season, which was on air on TRT Channel in Turkish while describing how the leader of the Kayi Tribe, Ertugrul Ghazi made it possible for the Ottoman Empire to be established under the command of Osman Ghazi that ruled the whole world for almost six centuries, has attracted the audience’s attention. In Dirilis Ertugrul Season, an actor named Osman Soykut joined the series while portraying an important character Ibn Arabi in history.

After watching Ibn Arabi and his spirituality in Dirilis Ertugrul Season, people started searching about this important character in history. So, I have gathered some information about Ibn Arabi like who was Ibn Arabi? What was the role of Ibn Arabi in the establishment of the Ottoman Empire? What was the relation of Ibn Arabi to Ertugrul Bey of the Kayi Tribe? When Ibn Arabi died? Where Ibn Arabi’s tomb is located? So, here is curious information.

Then, Who was Ibn Arabi?

Abū ʿAbd Allāh Muḥammad ibn ʿAlī ibn Muḥammad ibnʿArabī al-Ḥātimī aṭ-Ṭāʾī was the full name of Ibn Arabi, who was a great Sufi mystic, Philosopher, Poet, and a Scholar. He influenced the Muslim world with his extraordinary works numbered around 800 out of which 100 are yet present in its original manuscript.

Ibn Arabi was born on 26th July 1165 CE in Murcia, Al-Andalus (Spain). Ibn Arabi was considered a saint and also famous with the names “Shaykh al-Akbar (the Greatest Master)” and “Muhyiddin (the Revivifier of Religion)”. The Middle-East knows him with the name Shaikh-e-Akbar Mohi-ud-Din Ibn-e-Arabi. Ibn Arabi belonged to an Arabian Tribe named Tai’i (Tayy). His mother was a North African Berber.

The father of Ibn Arabi “Ali ibn Muḥammad” was a government servant under the rule of Muhammad ibn Sa’id ibn Mardanish, who was the ruler of Murcia at that time. After the death of ibn Sa’id in 1172 CE, his father shifted his services to Almohad Sultan Abū Ya’qūb Yūsuf I and he moved to Seville along with his family. It was the place where Ibn Arabi spent almost 30 years. It was just like a ruling court. He was also given military training there. He traveled the whole Spain and Africa in search of great mystic masters to gain knowledge.

During these years, once he had a chance to meet with the great Aristotelian philosopher Ibn Rushd (Averroës; 1126–98) in Córdoba. Actually, this meeting was pre-planned by his father who was a close friend to Ibn Rushd. It was the occasion that Ibn Arabi started concentrating on the spiritual path and dedicated his life to Sufism. It has also been reported that Ibn Rushd was greatly overwhelmed by his mystic depth. Later, Ibn Arabi moved to Morocco in the city of Fez where Mohammed ibn Qasim al-Tamimi became his spiritual mentor.

In 1198 CE, he left Murcia and started his tour towards East. First of all he began his pilgrimage to Mecca (Hajj) in 1201 CE after which he started his major work “Al-Futūḥāt al-Makkiyyah (The Meccan Revelations)” which was published much later in Damascus. It is consisted of experiences of Ibn Arabi about esoteric sciences in Islam and also the information about his life. He spent almost three years in Mecca. During that period, Ibn Arabi also acquainted with a girl of great beauty. He eternalized her memories in a collection of poems “Tarjumān al-ashwāq; (The Interpreter of Desires)”. Because of this, he also had to experience conflicts.

In the same year 1201 CE, he then moved to Egypt and then to Anatolia where he met with Ṣadr al-Dīn al-Qūnawī in Konya. Al-Qūnawī became his successor in the East. In the same way, after visiting Baghdad and Aleppo, Ibn Arabi reached Damascus and a long pilgrimage came to an end in 1223 CE but this left long-lasting fame spread throughout the Islamic World. After that, he spent his remaining life in Damascus while teaching and writing. And those were the days when his another most important work in mystical philosophy “Fuṣūṣ al-ḥikam (The Bezels of Wisdom)” was composed in 1229 CE. “Fuṣūṣ al-ḥikam” has also been translated in Urdu by the Ibn Arabi Foundation in Pakistan in 2015 CE. Ibn Arabi died on 16th November 1240 CE and buried in Damascus, Syria.

If the believer understood the meaning of the saying ‘the color of the water is the color of the receptacle’, he would admit the validity of all beliefs and he would recognize ALLAH in every form and every object of faith.” (Ibn ‘Arabi, Fusûs al-Hikam)

Did Ibn Arabi Meet with Ertugrul?

If we explore the history of Ibn Arabi, it becomes very unlikely that he actually met with Ertugrul Ghazi of the Kayi tribe. As I already mentioned, Ṣadr al-Dīn al-Qūnawī was an important successor of Ibn Arabi, thus it seems Ibn Arabi predicted about the new empire as the Seljuk Empire was about to end. He also talked about a young man who will establish an empire which will last for centuries and also will fulfill the hadith of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) about the conquest of Constantinople. That’s become the reason, the Ottoman Empire saw themselves inherited by the opening revelations of the Shaykh al-Akbar Ibn Arabi and they also adopted his teachings and orders.  And ALLAH knows the best. (By. Uzair Akram)