An excellent article on the Shaykh al-Akbar’s hermeneutics and the immense adab that he shows for the “letter” of the Qur’an from the Ibn Arabi Society website. An extract:
Recent studies of the work of the Shaykh al-Akbar have been bringing more and more clearly to light the fact that his doctrine is rooted in the Qur’an and the Sunna. His major, and sometimes minor, works demonstrate by their means of exposition, and sometimes by their structure, links obvious and subtle with the text of Revelation. Rigorous respect for the letter of the Qur’an and the prophetic model on the one hand, and unlimited grasp of Reality on the other, must balance. Moreover, the Book which came down to Man speaks to him in terms of transcendence and of likeness; it distinguishes the servant and Lord, while calling Man back to the Unique One. Only the heart, receptacle of the Divine Word, can unite all these aspects. Do we not find, in the middle of those verses a Revelation announcing Its principle, intermediary, and the one to whom it is sent, the new and the ancient form:
This is the descent (tanzîl) brought about by the Lord of the worlds. The Faithful Spirit brought it down. Upon your heart so that you might be among the Warners. In a clear Arabic tongue. And it is found in the writings of the Ancients. (Qur’an)
The heart of the Seal of the Prophets (upon him may grace and peace descend), and him alone, is endowed with such comprehension and comprehensiveness. Receptivity to the Word, then, exerts an action of balancing, and consequently inspires the right attitude in any situation, whether it be a matter of doctrine, path of initiation, religious practice or of comportment towards any being whatsoever. Arab and Islamic tradition name this attitude by the term ‘adab‘.There is then nothing surprising in the fact that it often occurs in the writings of the Shaykh al-Akbar. But, while the classical literature of tasawwuf makes rather more use of the term to express the quality of the attitude which it should be observed in respect of God, or in relation between master and disciples (adab al-subha), Ibn ‘Arabi places it on the level of doctrine. He particularly insists on respect, as he himself states it, for the prophetic and Quranic message, and adab towards the text quickly becomes, as we shall try to show, one of the keys to his understanding.
Although there are some typographical mistakes and an edginess of expression at times due to it being a translation from the French (I think) it is still well worth reading. The full text is here.