Last summer’s newsletter from the Ibn Arabi Society described what appears to be the oldest surviving copy of one of Shaikh-e Akbar Ibn `Arabi’s works – the `Anqa Mughrib – in the Berlin State Library and now in the Society’s digital archives. The copy has a date in Shaikh-e Akbar’s (قدّس سرّه) own hand of Jumada al-Ula, 597, which will be 832 (hijri) years ago next month. It also includes two pages of “coded” writing in the masters own hand, one of which is shown here.Page from `Anqa Mughrib manuscript in Ibn `Arabi\'s writing.

A remarkable document – the earliest known Ibn ‘Arabi manuscript

Stephen Hirtenstein writes: I can confirm his findings, and add that the remains of the cover page (only the right-hand bottom corner survives) has some fragmentary lines in Ibn ‘Arabi’s own distinctive hand, mentioning al-Habashi, his own name, and the town of Fez in the month of Jumada al-Ula [59]7H (= Feb 1201). Below this is a barely legible and rather tantalising sama’ certificate in a different hand, mentioning a reading of the whole work in front of at least four people (some of the names are too faint to be identified or are missing).

Two of these, Isma’il b. Muhammad b. Yusuf al-Ansari and ‘Abd al-Rahman b. Muhammad al-Lawati, are known to have also been present at the Cairo reading of the Ruh al-quds in 603H, and so could be counted as part of the original group of disciples and companions who came with Ibn ‘Arabi from the Maghrib. In both cases the association was close and long-lasting: al-Ansari recited the Taj al-rasa’il in 613H in Ibn ‘Arabi’s house (probably in Malatya) while al-Lawati heard the K. al-Isra’ in the author’s house in Damascus in 633H.

If you’re interested in the subject of quasi-historical, secret and mystical (for lack of a better word) alphabets, this is an interesting online find: an apparently 18th century collection of alphabets purchased in Beirut in the ’20s and now at Princeton. Each alphabet is presented first as pronunced, and then as written.


I already commented at Coding Horror and elsewhere about the actual issues in this whole G-archiver mess. (In case you didn’t see this, G-Archiver is a program for managing a gmail account which also happens to send the users id and password to the developer’s email account. Yep, everyone’s worst nightmare.)

Anyway, as AFAIK the author of the internet’s only abjad-themed quasi-tech blog, how could I resist this:

client.Credentials = new NetworkCredential(“”, “bilal482”);

(I don’t think I’m surprised, but only one commenter at CH even came close to taking this where it might have gone in some other sections of the web, alling Bilal an “Asian name.” Must be a Brit.)

So, just for the record, what I’m suggesting here is absurd, and 482 is almost certainly proof that the little creep was born in April of 1982 (which to my dismay means he’s already almost 26).

I couldn’t recall any particular equivalence to 482, and I didn’t think this meritted sitting for hours working on the problem, and every jafr/abjad related bit of code I’ve ever written has been slower than the cryptogram solutions from Rubyquiz. (Yes, the secret is caching – just unleash an analyzer on a big corpus of text and build a database. Still putting together combinations would be absurdly slow because it combines finding lists of addends with database queries and – presumably – utf text processing.) So, I took the laziest of lazy ways out and used the tables in Shama`-e Shaistan-e Nuri. The only combination I checked was if there was a 390 I could add to 92, but no luck, so the only thing I came up with is that 482 is the `adad-e malfuzi of Mukarram. So there you go. Case closed.

Maybe Mr. Terry could enlighten us.