Quest for the Red Sulphur: The Life of Ibn ‘Arabi is undoubtedly a landmark in Ibn ‘Arabi studies. Until the publication of this book, anyone who wanted to learn about the life of Ibn ‘Arabi has had little choice of material to work from. This major study by Claude Addas is based on a detailed analysis of a whole range of Ibn ‘Arabi’s own writings as well as a vast amount of secondary literature in both Arabic and Persian. The result is the first-ever attempt to reconstruct what proves to have been a double itinerary: on the one hand, the journey that took Ibn ‘Arabi from his native Andalusia to Damascus – and on the other hand, the ‘Night Journey’ which carried him along the paths of asceticism and prayer to the ultimate stage of revelation of his mystic quest.
‘I read it like a novel, a novel written in captivating style and with a seeming infinite love for its hero – a novel distinguished by its meticulous care for details and full of trustworthy information taken from manuscripts and printed sources … It is more than a translation: with the author’s help, some additions have been made, some points clarified.’
Annemarie Schimmel, Journal of Islamic Studies
‘The first serious biography of the most influential figure in the history of Islamic mysticism. It is based on an enormous amount of documentary evidence … In his voluminous writings Ibn `Arabi recounted his visionary experiences, his journeys, real and imaginary, and his meetings with other mystics, both alive and dead.’