Past Event

Translated Desires: Ibn al-ʿArabī and the Multilingual Islamic Past

October 21, 2023
9:00 AM - 6:30 PM
Columbia Law School, 435 W. 116 St., New York, NY 10027 106

The writings of Ibn al-ʿArabī (d. 1240), one of the most influential Sufi Muslim theoreticians of the medieval period, touched all aspects of knowledge in Asia and Africa in the centuries after his death. This workshop will take as its objective a global history of translation and language in both the dissemination and reception of Ibn al-ʿArabī's writings through discourse, music, and art.

Welcome, Acknoweldgements, Opening Remarks: 9AM

Ali Karjoo-Ravary (Columbia University)

SOURCES: 9:30-11 AM

  • Kazuyo Murata (King's College London)
    Ibn al-ʿArabī on Boredom

  • Maria Dakake (George Mason University)
    Ta'wil and Ishara: The Meaning of these Terms in Ibn al-ʿArabī's Approach to the Quran

  • Mohammed Rustom (Carleton University)
    Ibn al-ʿArabī on Translation

LEGACIES: 11:15 AM - 12:45 PM

  • Rosabel Ansari (SUNY Stony Brook)
    Ibn al-ʿArabī in Peripatetic guise? From ʿiyān to burhān and the epistemological problematic

  • Marlene Dubois (Suffolk Community College)
    The Covenant of Alast: When Love Shared its Promise

  • Amer Latif (Emerson College)
    The Sufi Path of Extraordinary Ordinariness in the Ottoman Novel
    The Depths of Imagination

  • Atif Khalil (University of Lethbridge)
    Ibn al-ʿArabī in Japan: The Life and Legacy of Toshihiko Izutsu (1914-1993)



  • Oludamini Ogunnaike (University of Virginia)
    Philosophical Sufism in the Sokoto Caliphate: Two Poems of Shaykh Dan Tafa

  • Shankar Nair (University of Virginia)
    The Heart as Cosmic Creator: Hindu Scriptures Translated through the Lens of Ibn al-ʿArabī

  • Sachiko Murata (SUNY Stony Brook)
    Wujūdī Metaphysics in Chinese

KEYNOTE: 5-6:30 PM

  • William C. Chittick (SUNY Stony Brook)
    Farghānī on Wahdat al-Wujūd in the Four Journeys 


Sponsored by: 

The Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi Society 

Middle East Institute, Columbia University 

Qalam Pakistan Initiative 

Columbia Core Curriculum 

Department of History, Columbia University 

Sakıp Sabancı Center for Turkish Studies,  Columbia University 

Center for the Study of Muslim Societies, Columbia University 

The Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities, Columbia University 

Sacred Music at Columbia

Columbia Music Center 

Columbia Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies 

Columbia Center for Contemporary Critical Thought 

Columbia Law School 

Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University 

Chaar Prahar

Contact Information

Ali Karjoo-Ravary
+1 212 853 4154