White Death Ibn al-ʿArabī on the Trials and Virtues of Hunger and Fasting

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Atif Khalil



The article presents an analysis of Ibn al-ʿArabī’s (d. 1240) treatment of fasting and hunger as it appears in chapters 106 and 107 of al-­Futūḥāt al-­makkiyya (Meccan revelations). In the process of examining this very short section of the encyclopedic text, the essay both draws out the deeper theological significance of hunger and fasting and highlights the virtues and trappings of the spiritual exercise in the mystic’s thought. An attempt is also made to situate some of Ibn al-ʿArabī’s ideas within the broader context of the earlier Sufi tradition to which he was heir.

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