Ibn ‘Arabi and the Transcendental Unity of Religions

Media Zainul Bahri

Abstract


This essay describes Ibn ‘Arabi’s comprehensive views, captured in his important Futuhat and Fusus, on the concept of wahdat al-adyan, the discrepancy of beliefs, and the Shari’ah as well as its juncture and its unity. Elaborated explanation in this paper is expected to result in a true understanding of this crucial issue, particularly the concept of religious pluralism in the discourse of Islamic studies. Ibn Arabi’ extensively  discusses religion in the sense of the “ideal” versus “historical” or “esoteric” versus “the exoteric”. Ibn ‘Arabi concludes that the absolute unity of religions may only occur within spiritual, ideal, or transcendental realm (or “esoteric”), which is beyond the formal form of religions. Hence, the transcendental unity of religions cannot be found in the formal form of religions nor in the shari’ah.

[Artikel ini mengulas pandangan Ibn ‘Arabi’ mengenai wahdat al-adyan seperti dijelaskan dalam dua bukunya; Futuhat dan Fusus, dan perbedaan dan kesamaan antara iman dan shariah. Diharapkan diskusi artikel ini berkontribusi dalam kajian pluralisme, utamanya dalam disiplin studi Islam. Dalam diskusinya, Ibn Arabi’  menjelaskan perbedaan ‘ideal’ dan ‘historikal’ atau antara ‘esoterik’ dan ‘eksoterik’. Ibn ‘Arabi berpendapat bahwa kemanunggalan agama-agama dapat dicapai melalui spiritualitas, ideal, atau dimensi transcendental (esoterik) yang ada di luar tampilan formal agama-agama. Dengan kata lain, kemanunggalan tersebut tidak akan ditemukan pada shari’ah.]


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14421/ajis.2012.502.461-483

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