IBN ARABI AND HIS CHALLENGES ON THE ISSUE OF FREE WILL
A REVIEW OF THE ISSUE IN LIGHT OF TWO OF HIS THEORIES
Keywords:Free will, the unity of being, The Desiring, vicegerency, Ibn Arabi
Criticising Mutazilite and Asharite interpretations of free will, Ibn Arabi accepted free will in the human being and considered it as a kind of human independency, although he was doubtful about the meaning of free will in two specific contexts – divinity and humanity. Therefore, he provided contradictory ideas about the issue. This paper deals with the origin of the contradictions in his ideas on the issue through the review of his two major theories, namely the unity of being and the divine form of human being. Based on the concept of unity of being, there is no existence but God. Therefore, there is no effective function of free will by creatures since they are manifestations of God. However, Ibn Arabi at least provided two interpretations of the divine form of human beings: man possesses all the divine names including the name Al-Murīd (The Desiring), and also man is vicegerent of God on earth, which means man is responsible, and hence he has free will to assume his responsibility.