[IBN ARABÎ / BULAQ IMPRINT / FINE BINDINGS] شجرة الكون الشيخ الا كبر سيدى محي الدين العربى رضى الله عنه / Shajarat al-Kawn: Al-Sheikh al-Akhbar Saydi Muhy al-Din ibn Arâbî Radhallahu Anh [i.e., Tree of the universe by the Greatest Master Ibn Arabî]

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IBN ARABÎ (Abû ‘Abd Allâh Muḥammad ibn ‘Arabî al-Tâ’î al-Ḥâtimî) (1165-1240).

Matbaat al-Kebîrî Bulak / Al-Kâghedhâna al-Husayn Beg Husni, Bulak, AH 1292 = [1876].

Contemporary fine full burgundy leather, gilded borders on front and rear boards. Original decorative red endpapers. Small 4to. (26 x 16 cm). In Arabic. 22 p. Marginal notes in red ink by contemporary ex-owner, a small tear with a minuscule loss on the right lower corner of the endpaper, and another small tear on the second leaf without any losses. Otherwise, a very good copy in a handsome fine binding. 

Extremely rare first edition of a treatise on Sufism by Ibn-i Arabî, a well-known Andalusi Arab scholar, and philosopher, extremely influential within Islamic thought in the golden age of the Islamic world. This important Islamic work was published more than fifteen times under the name of Ibn Arabî (previous editions were anonymous) after it was attributed to him in some 18th and 19th century manuscripts.

This early Islamic text concerning the “Muhammadan Reality” describes the universe and its true origin, the role and place of Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him), and his central place in the sacred presence. The creative word, or Logos, and the World Tree are two ancient cosmological symbols that are the subject of this treatise entitled “The Tree of Being” attributed to Ibn Arabi.

“The Cosmos is a tree which has sprung from the seed of 'Kun' and has sent down roots to the deepest underworld, sent up a trunk and spread out its branches to embrace East and West, with its topmost branches penetrating to the highest heaven, so that all three kingdoms: Mulk, Malakut, and Jabarut. They are in the Tree beneath the Divine Throne. In the Qur’an, this tree is associated with God’s light, for the process of bringing the tree into existence is to show forth God’s names and attributes. The first light formed from God’s Light is the Light of Muhammad, and the human form is constructed in the image of the name of Muhammad. This volume also includes an outline of the character and actions of the Prophet Muhammad and a list of his 201 names and attributes.” (Tosun Bayrak’s English translation).

Out of the 850 works attributed to Ibn Arabi, some 700 are authentic while over 400 are still extant. His cosmological teachings became the dominant worldview in many parts of the Muslim world.

Ibn Arabi left Andalusia for the first time at age 36 and arrived in Tunis in 1193. After a year in Tunisia, he returned to Andalusia in 1194. His father died soon after Ibn Arabi arrived at Seville. When his mother died some months later, he left Andalusia for the second time and traveled with his two sisters to Fez, Morocco in 1195. He returned to Córdoba, Andalusia in 1198, and left Andalusia crossing from Gibraltar for the last time in 1200. While there, he received a vision instructing him to journey east. After visiting some places in the Maghreb, he left Tunisia in 1201 and arrived for the Hajj in 1202. He lived in Mecca for three years, and there began writing his work Futâhât al-Makkiyya [i.e., Meccan illuminations].

After his death, Ibn Arabi's teachings quickly spread throughout the Islamic world. His writings were not limited to Muslim elites but made their way into other ranks of society through the widespread reach of the Sufi orders. Arabi's work is also popularly spread through works in Persian, Turkish, and Urdu. Many popular poets were trained in the Sufi orders and were inspired by Arabi's concepts. (Wikipedia).


The Bulaq or El-Amiriya Press is the first official and governmental Arabic printing press to be established in Egypt, and functions according to an industrial printing basis, causing not just a qualitative but also a quantitative and knowledgeable leap in science throughout the Arab region. It was established in 1820 by Muhammad Ali Pasha of Egypt and Sudan (1769-1849) and it was part of Muhammad Ali's inclusive development plans for the modernization of Egypt.

As of May 2024, we couldn’t trace any copies in OCLC, or KVK.