Ibn al-Arabi’s Idea of Al-insan Al-kamil (the Perfect Human) and Democratic Education

  • Nuraan DavidsEmail author
  • Yusef Waghid


In this chapter, we draw on some of the seminal ideas of Ibn al-Arabi, who is arguably one of the most influential and intellectual philosophers in Islamic philosophy. In drawing on his depiction of the ‘perfect man’ or the ‘perfect human’, we show that it is through the imagination that human beings might come to know God, and hence, come to self-realisation. Coming to self-realisation implies that human beings take account of their own haqq [right and proper action], and of their haqq in relation to others. The ‘perfect human’, therefore, assumes responsibility for himself, his actions and his intuitive connection with God. Following this discussion we examine the implications and enhancement of the ‘perfect human’ to and for democratic education.


Perfect human Imagination Rightful action Democratic education 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Education Policy StudiesStellenbosch UniversityStellenboschSouth Africa
  2. 2.Faculty of EducationStellenbosch UniversityStellenboschSouth Africa

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