The Greatest Master Muhyiddin Ibn al-Arabi
The Greatest Master Muhyiddin Ibn al-Arabi

Most of these introductory articles are exracted from Volume I of the Single Monad Model of the Cosmos: Ibn al-Arabi's View of Time and Creation... more on this can be found here.

The Motion of the Seven Days in the Zodiac

The Motion of the Seven Days in the Zodiac:

The orb of the 'fixed stars', including the constellations of the zodiac and the lunar mansions, is the second orb after the outermost Isotropic Orb, but it is the first material orb, because the Isotropic Orb does not have any distinguishing features (no stars nor planets). We have already noted that Ibn al-Arabi shows that 'Allah created the Day in the first orb, and then defined it in the second orb, which is the orb of the fixed stars (the zodiac)' [Ayyam Al-Sha’n: 6]. That is because the motion of the Isotropic Orb can not be defined for the world beneath it, because there is no reference point to assign a beginning or an end to this motion. However, in the zodiac orb there is such a reference point: the twelve Signs or constellations. So we can say that the days were first defined in the zodiac orb, and each day represents a full cycle of this orb as observed from the earth [III.548.31; see also section II.12 above]. Ibn al-Arabi clearly showed that this orb does not actually move as we observe it [II.441.33, I.141.17, III.549.3], but that we see it as moving because of the motion of the earth around its centre [I.123.17, II.677.21, III.548.31] (see also section I.4).

Ibn al-Arabi takes the first degree in Gemini as the reference point to start counting the cosmic 'Days' of creation, and he claims that this initial motion of time in creation started when this point was matching the divine 'Foot' in the 'Pedestal' above the Isotropic Orb. It is very interesting to note that the first degree of Gemini coincides with the galactic equator.[1] Moreover, recent studies and some historical/archaeological records (Sitchin 1976: 197) show that this point was used by ancient Sumerians as early as 11,000 BC as a starting point for the zodiacal calendar. He says:

And let it be known to you that this Name ('the All-Sufficient', al-ghani) made this orb isotropic with no planets in it: all its parts are the same, and it has a circular shape where you can not distinguish a beginning or an end to its motion, and it has no edge. By the existence of this orb the seven days came into being, and so months and years; but these (particular durations of) times were not determined in it until Allah created, inside this orb, other signs (galaxies, stars and planets) which determined these times.

This orb determined only one Day, which is a single cycle (of this orb) beginning at the place of the (divine) 'Foot' in the Pedestal. So it was determined from above. The duration of this cycle is called a Day. But nobody except Allah knows (the actual length of) this Day, because of the fact that all the parts of this orb are the same, so (nobody knows) the beginning of its motion. And the beginning of its motion was when the first degree of Gemini, which is an orb (whose influence is associated with the lower material element) of air, was matching this Foot.

Hence the first Day that appeared in the world was by the first degree of Gemini, and this Day is called al-ahad (Sunday). So when this specific point of this orb, which is known only to Allah, returned to match this Foot of the Pedestal, a full cycle - that is, of the total orb (and its contents) - was completed and all the parts of this (isotropic) orb matched with the (initial) place of the Foot from the Pedestal. So this motion came over every degree, minute, second, and less than that of this orb. So the places came into being and the existence of the single indivisible localized monad (of all manifest creation) was determined from the motion of this orb.


That was the motion of the initial Day of the sun (Sunday).

Then, at the end (of this initial Day), there began another motion, also from the middle,[2] until that (second motion) reached its end/aim (ghaya), like the first motion - together with the entirety of what (that sphere) contains of the (smallest) parts (ajza’) and the individual entities that are composed of those parts, because (that sphere) is quantitative. This second motion is called Monday. And so on till it completed seven periodical motions everyone is determined by a divine Attribute. And the (main) divine Attributes are seven, not more, which made the Age not more than seven (distinctive) Days.


This is shown better in the diagram in Figure IV.3.

Figure IV.3: The Zodiac and the motion of the days through it.

Notice that the indicated motion in Figure IV.3 refers to the apparent rotation of the sphere of the fixed stars, while the actual astronomical motion is due to the revolution of the earth. The twelve zodiacal signs are divided into four groups whose influences re related to the four material elements (earth, water, air and fire), as described in the preceding Chapter; each group contains three signs of the same nature. The motion of each cosmic Day starts at the first degree of Gemini. Thus the orb of the zodiac (fixed starts) executes only seven distinctive cycles, which are then repeated that over and over again. Each Day of these seven Days of the divine creative Week is called a 'Day of event', in which only one single event happens, because it is ruled by one primary divine Name of Allah. So there are seven Days of events, each related to one particular divine Name from the seven fundamental Names mentioned in section III.4.


[1] The galactic equator is the intersection of the plane of the Milky Way with the celestial sphere.

[2] It is not very clear here what does he mean by 'the middle', and he also used the same expression in the same context right in his introduction to the Futuhat.

Please note that some contents are translated Semi-Automatically!