Ibn Arabi's Small Death by Mohammed Hasan Alwan, translated by William M. Hutchins
Ibn Arabi's Small Death is a sweeping and inventive work of historical fiction that chronicles the life of the great Sufi master and philosopher Ibn Arabi. Known in the West as "Rumi's teacher," he was a poet and mystic who proclaimed that love was his religion. Born in twelfth-century Spain during the Golden Age of Islam, Ibn Arabi traveled thousands of miles from Andalusia to distant Azerbaijan, passing through Morocco, Egypt, the Hijaz, Syria, Iraq, and Turkey on a journey of discovery both physical and spiritual. Witness to the wonders and cruelties of his age, exposed to the political rule of four empires, Ibn Arabi wrote masterworks on mysticism that profoundly influenced the world. Alwan's fictionalized first-person narrative, written from the perspective of Ibn Arabi himself, breathes vivid life into a celebrated and polarizing figure.