The Literature of Commentaries on Fusūs al-Hikam During the Ottoman Period


The Commentaries on Fusus al-Hikam constitute a field within the literature of sufi history that needs to be scrutinised attentively. They must be read on the basis of the Oneness of Being (wahdat al-wujūd) doctrine, the premises of which were laid by Ibn al-‘Arabī himself, and in terms of the resultant theoretical issues. These commentaries aim to strengthen and reproduce the authority of Fusus al-Hikam in view of the emergent issues and the expectations. However, it would not be an appropriate attitude to consider all commentaries as foundational texts with regard to methodology and content. The Ottoman phase of Sufi history has witnessed multi-faceted debates that could be connected to Fusus al-Hikam in theory and in practice. The commentaries on Fusus al-Hikam are exclusive texts in which the relevant discussions could be directly followed and their contexts could be analysed. In this article, the outlines of the literature on Fusus al-Hikam will be evaluated in view of discourse, methodology, source, problem and content.

Keywords: Sufism (Tasawwuf), Ottoman Thought, Ibn al-‘Arabī, the Oneness of Being (wahdat al-wujūd), Fusūs al-Hikam, commentary.

Ercan Alkan
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