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Ibn Barraǧān and Ibn ʿArabī on the Prediction of the Capture of Jerusalem in 583/1187 by Saladin

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AbstractDuring the celebration of the capture of Aleppo by Saladin on ṣafar 18th, 579/June 11th, 1183, the qāḍī Muḥyī l-Dīn b. Zakī l-Dīn al-Dimašqī recited a poem in which he ventured the possibility of conquering Jerusalem in the month of raǧab, as this was the case four years later in 583/1187. Muḥyī l-Dīn b. al-Zakī was asked about the source of his prediction and he answered that he found it in Ibn Barraǧān’s Commentary of the Koran in the beginning of sura al-Rūm (Kor 30, 1-4), where the predicted year of the capture was also right. Even though the prediction became well-known, there is no account of the particular way it was obtained, except for the text in Ibn Barraǧān’s Koranic commentary. Instead, we only have later authors stating that Ibn Barraǧān based his analysis upon astrology. Some time later, in his al-Futūḥāt al-makkiyya, Ibn ʿArabī considered twice Ibn Barraǧān’s prediction and drew the same result by applying the science of letters to the same Koranic verses. However, Ibn ʿArabī pointed out that Ibn Barraǧān had committed an error and that his prediction was right by chance. This paper is devoted to the study of Ibn Barraǧān and Ibn ʿArabī’s methods applied to draw the prediction of the Muslim capture of Jerusalem in 583/1187. It supplies the translations of Ibn Barraǧān’s text in his Commentary of the Koran and those of Ibn ʿArabī in al-Futūḥāt al-Makkiyya.

Affiliations: 1: University of Barcelona


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