Ibn Arabi on the Ontology of Trust – William C. Chittick


In a world where people often relegate God to the realm of illusion and look on “trust in God” as a psychological crutch, to
speak about trust as an actual dimension of reality must seem odd. People would rather imagine that trust is something we should have in our favorite ideology, or perhaps science, or technology, or our doctors, or some politician. Most people agree that we should trust in change, given that the current situation is unsustainable. As an antidote to the fickleness of modern versions of trust, it may be useful to reflect on the views of Ibn Arabi (d. 1240), arguably the greatest of all Muslim theologians and philosophers. His insights into the manner in which human nature is utterly dependent on trust may help us understand why we are making a hash of our world, and why every change in which we trust eventually turns out for the worse. Before looking at what he has to say about trust, let me first provide some general background for those unfamiliar with the Islamic tradition