The Youth

pilgrims at the Kaʿba

Ibn ʿArabi's meeting with the Youth (from the beginning of the Futuhat):

As I was standing in rapt amazement in front of the Black Stone [in Mecca], I encountered the Youth, steadfast in devotion, both speaker and silent, neither alive nor dead, both complex and simple, encompassed and encompassing.

Then God revealed to me the spiritual rank of this Youth and that he was far beyond all considerations of space and time. He indicated to me that he was created to speak only in symbols.

So I said to him: "O bearer of good tidings, this is such a blessing! Grant me the knowledge of your special language, and instruct me in how your keys work. How I desire your converse and long for your company!"

Then he indicated to me and I knew. He revealed the reality of his Beauty to me and I understood. I stood completely dumbfounded, overwhelmed.

He said to me: "I am neither speaker nor spoken to. My knowledge is not of other than Me, and My Essence is not different to My Names. I am Knowledge, the Known and the Knower. I am Wisdom, the giver of Wisdom and the Wise. Circumambulate in my footsteps, observe me in the light of my moon, so that you may take from my constitution that which you write in your book and transmit it to your readers."