When God created the first body, a form was necessary to Him. The first shape that emerges in the body is the circle and it is the top of all shapes.


Circular Model of Existence

In Sufism it is stated that the existence has a circular structure. The form of this structure is shown by Ibn Arabi (ks) in his famous book  “Fütûhât-I Mekkiyye” as follows:














According to Ibn Arabi (ks), God is in the center of the circle. Outside of the periphery of the circle is the absence, which is the region of impossibilities. All possibilities are between the center of the circle and the absence. So the beings of all realms are between the center of circle and the absence, which is  outside of the circle. The radius of the circle is the wideness of God’s creation. Geometrically the central point defines the circle. So the circle comes up with a point. This means that all possible things are revealed by God.

The center point is the reason of the existence of the environment and the environment is the reason of the center point to be known. Because the center point of a circle must first be known before the circle can be formed. If the circumference of the circle is known, the center of the circle is also known. There is a duality in this structure. Because point and environment are mutually related to each other.

In terms of mysticism, the circumference of the circle maintains the center point through information. The center point protects the environment through existence.

Every objects makes a circular motion throughout its existence. Throughout its being there are two faces of every object. One face is visible side and other face is the invisible side.

From the circular model of the entity we can say that in this model the beginning and the end are connected to each other. If there was no any binding cause and valid binding bond between the beginning and the end, the circle would not complete. With this connection of the beginning and the end, one is known by other and is said that the end is fixed according to the judgment of the beginning. Accordingly, the end is the same as the beginning. This is a mandatory and true thought.

Human beings are the last species. According to the circle model above, man is like mind and connected to it. Because the beginning of circumference is the existence of First Mind. It was reported in a hadith that the First Mind is created by God as the first thing. So the first mind is the first genus. The Creation ended in the human species. Thus the circle is completed through the connection  of human being with the first mind. In between these two points there are all creations of God.

Truth for something is not to go out of the promised reason. Truth of God’s path is circular. Circular truth means to be a complete circle.


Orbits (felek)

The first image of the thing accepted is circle. This is called “felek”. Felek means circle in Arabic language. From the circular movements of felek, the realms of bodies are emerged. Through the movements of stars in felek, all the influences are constituted for the creation of necessary food and rains in the realm. In Arabic the sky (sema) means rain at the same time.

The linear line in the realm can only be found hypothetically and delusional. There is no linear line in fact. Therefore objects never move linearly in the presence, they always make a circular motion.

The Muslims circumambulate the Kaaba in a circular movement. The wisdom in this circular movement is that the circumambulation is of the nature of felek. During circumambulation Muslims circle around the Kaaba 7 times. So it occurs the 7  felek. Therefore the Muslims would rise to felek which is made of seven heavens. The reason of this, the turning around the Kaaba has the property of being circular and felek has the same motion.

The universal object, which is the first object, appeared in a circular pattern. Because God wanted to fill the realm with it. Every space of the cavity can only be filled with circular movements. The reason of this is to ensure that the things come from God and return to God. For it is not possible for an entity to turn from Him back to Him on the same path. It is possible to understand this fact with the knowledge of today’s physics. If an object came out of God with a linear motion, it would be necessary to exert a force of the opposite direction in order to return back. In circular motion, however, the object can always return to its starting point thanks to the centripetal force acting on it. This centripetal force is the revelation of existence which is exerted on the thing from the beginning of the creation on by God to keep it standing.  At the same time it is the achievement of God’s Grace in everything that is directed toward it. All things, like the looking of points on the circumference of a circle at central point, look at God and take what He has given to them.

Felek is active and the objects are the places where the occurrences and creation take place. In this respect, felek is the mother of the emerging ones. If felek acted differently from the circular motion, many natural spaces were not filled in space with its movement. Such a move would not be complete. This would be incompatible with the wisdom of God’s disposition and causes.

Even though there are revolution in the realm, there is no any repetition. They are all about going towards. There is no return. This is the richness of creation.

God protects the skies from being destroyed thanks to human. For this reason the human is the post of the universe. When man is absent and there is no man breathing on earth, the heavens are broken up and destroyed in this way. It means that  the world disappears when man  disappears. Here is the apocalypse. We understand from these expressions that the human is the main aim of God in the realm, His true caliphate and the place where the divine names of God emerge. For this reason, human beings gather all the truths of the world in their own right.


Movement and Stability

According to Sufism, movements are meanings and reasons occur in the passing and displacements and they are relationships. These relationships arrive at a decision according to what belongs to them. The stability is the absence of movement and the absence is their original. The stability means to stay at origin that is to be fixed. This means in the absolute sense that non-moving entities will go back to the absence. So there is no entity that does not act in absolute sense. For this reason, every object in the universe is in motion. This mobility is observed at both micro level and macro level. In CERN experiments, we can understand the collision of particles in this sense as follows: Colliding protons with equal speeds come to a stopping point when they act totally centripetal collision. So they disappear. In this moment God creates new particles according to His Own Will and Power. The movements of objects in the micro realm and in the macro realm are locally curved. However, every small piece on a curvilinear orbit is a part of a circular motion. So in fact, the objects are in every instant in a circular motion. It means that curve trajectories are actually combinations of many circular trajectory parts. Even if the object gives perception to humans that it is moving linearly, this movement is actually circular. For example, an object perceived as motionless on the earth, moves in fact on a curved trajectory in the universe, because the earth moves by drawing a curved trajectory. So it would not be wrong to say that objects always move in circular orbits. The 40th verse in Sura Yasin is in this sense: “The sun can not overtake the moon, nor can the night outpace the day: each floats in (its own) orbit.” Here the orbit is used as the counterpart of the word “felek”. The use of word  “floating” in the verse, requires the presence of a substance in the universe which has filled all of the void. Because floating is not possible in vacuum and it is necessary a medium for it.

This pattern of universe is also put forth for consideration by Einstein in his general relativity theory in 1916. But this patter was first discovered by Ibn Arabi in 1220 and published in his famous book “Fütûhât-I Mekkiyye”. Of course there are some differences between them. But we can think that they could be united in a wide theory.  

The movement has a great authority. The effect of movement is seen in the bodies and their integrated properties. It is also found to be intelligible in meanings and in things whose definition is unknown. Accordingly the movement is fully extended in all things in universe. The first authority of the movement in everything outside of God, is that absolute truth goes out from the divine knowledge and passes from the absence to existence. We can express it as follows: The universe has been created by divine movement.  This movement is the movement of the key during opening, which is a circular movement too.

It is not possible for any entity to be in stability. So things can not stay in a fixed and constant state. Because stability means immobility. However, all beings are shifting from one state to another.

According to Sufism, movement is natural – voluntary movement to reveal some secrets by divine commands. Divine command is directed to being realm and moves it. For example, the aim of the electron’s circular motions around the nucleus is to form atom and to prevent the high energy of the core from coming out. The reason of the formation of seasons, days and nights is the movement of the earth around its axis and in its orbit. The purpose of moving the tree branches by the air is to remove the distorted vapors from the atmosphere. The aim of this act is to prevent situations that will cause diseases in the world. So the wind clears and cleans the air. The wind, then, is not an effective cause, but an intended purpose. The effect belongs to God.



It has been determined that the objects we observe both at the micro level and at the macro level, move on curvilinear orbit. The curvilinear trajectory of objects is a result of their being existence. This suggests that the conception of the circular structure of existence in Sufism is realistic. The movement of objects in curvilinear orbits cause the emergence of secrets they possess. For this reason, the stability in universe can not be discussed. Because, every being in universe is created with wisdom and reason. In creation,  nothing is coincidental and without reason. For this reason, objects whose functions end in their existence, lose their motions and return to their absence, that is their own absolute constants.

In this wisdom, there are many thoughtful points for today’s positive scientists. We recommend that they should take into account the views of Islamic mysticism while continuing their scientific studies. Because we think that the information obtained through the discovery of Sufism will help to understand many things in the world.



“Correspondance”, Sadreddin Konevi, Iz Publishing, İstanbul, 2007

“Divine Revelations”, Sadreddin Konevi, Iz Publishing, İstanbul, 2004

Fütûhât-I Mekkiyye”, Ibn Arabi, Litera Publishing, İstanbul, 2010

“Knowledge and Existence in Sadreddin Konevi”, Ekrem Demirli, Iz Publication, İstanbul, 2005

“States of Wise Men”, Imam Rabbani, Sufi Book, İstanbul, 2010

“Tree of Existence”, Ibn Arabi, Iz Publishing,İstanbul, 2010


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Circular  Model  of  Existence

in  Sufism

Publishing  date : 14.02.2017