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The Tarjuman al-Ashwaq, by Ibn al-Arabi, tr. Reynold A. Nicholson, [1911], at


1. Between Adhri‘át and Buṣrá a maid of fourteen rose to my sight like a full moon.

2. She was exalted in majesty above Time and transcended it in pride and glory.

3. Every full moon, when it reaches perfection, suffers a waning that it may make a complete month,

4. Except this one: for she does not move through zodiacal signs nor double what is single.

5. Thou art a pyx containing blended odours and perfume, thou art a meadow producing spring-herbs and flowers.

6. Beauty reached in thee her utmost limit: another like thee is impossible.


1. 'Between Adhri‘át and Buṣrá': he mentions these places because they mark the farthest point reached by the Prophet in his Syrian journey.

'A maid of fourteen,' i.e. the perfect soul. Four is the

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most perfect number, and ten consists of four numbers, viz. 1 + 2 + 3 + 4, and fourteen is 4 + 10.

4. 'Nor double what is single,' i.e. she is in the station of Unity and no one is joined with her, for she is not homogeneous with anything.

5. 'Blended odours and perfume,' i.e. Divine sciences and influences.

6. 'Beauty reached in thee her utmost limit,' as Abú Ḥámid (al-Ghazálí) said, 'A more beautiful world than this is not possible. Had it existed and had God kept it to Himself, He would have shown avarice which is incompatible with His liberality and weakness which is contradictory to His omnipotence.'

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