from Sufis of Andalusia: The Ruh al-quds and al-Durrat al-fakhirah,
by Shaykh Ibn ‘Arabi, trans. R. W. J. Austin. Unwin Brothers Limited, Woking: 1971.

Page 31: (Introduction)
‘In the year 593 I met the Pole of the time in the garden of Ibn Hayyun in Fez. God had given me an inspiration concerning him and had told me who he was. He was with a group of people none of whom took any notice of him, he being a stranger to them from Bugia, a man with a withered hand…. The company were discussing the Poles, so I said, “My brothers!, I will tell you something amazing about the Pole of your own time.” As I said this I turned to look at the man whom God had revealed to me as being the Pole…. He said to me, “Tell what God has shown to you, but do not reveal his identity”; then he smiled.’*

Pages 152-153:
62 Al-Ashall al-Qaba’ili
One of the foremost of those devoted to the Qur’an, the Pole of his time.* He would visit us quite often, but would only discuss the Qur’an. At that time I knew nothing of his station.
One night, in a dream, I was told that this man was the Pole of the time, the fount of succour, the Imam (here the words are illegible). When I woke, al-Sammad, the righteous, summoned me on behalf of Ibn Hayyun to go to his garden with a group of others, al-Ashl was one of the company. When we reached the garden we all began to talk together. Then I remembered my vision and announced to the company, ‘Last night I saw an amazing thing.’ Then al-Ashall said to me, “If you want to tell about your vision do not mention the subject’s name to anyone.’ I agreed to this. As we were leaving the Shaikh said to me, ‘It is no longer good for me to stay in this town, now that you know who I am.’ Then he bade me farewell and departed. I have never met him since.*

Page 42:
In Baghdad he had a meeting with a great Sufi Shaikh, Shihab al-Din ‘Umar al-Suhrawardi, author of the ‘Awarif al-ma’arif.

‘…both of them bowed their heads for an hour without uttering a word to each other and then parted. When Ibn ‘Arabi was asked his opinion of al-Suhrawardi he said, “He is embued from head to foot with the norm of the Prophet”. When asked for his opinion of Ibn ‘Arabi, al-Suhrawardi said, “He is an ocean of divine truths.”’

Page 114:
17 ‘Abdullah Ibn Ja’Dun al-Hinnawi B. Muhammad B. Zakariya*

The Henna Collector
    He died in Fez in the year 597/1200-1. I brought him together with my companion al-Habashi. This Shaikh was one of the four Supports (awtad) through whom God preserves the world. He had asked God to remove his good repute from the hearts of the world. When he was absent he wasn’t missed and when he was present no-one sought his advice; when he arrived in a place he was accorded no welcome and in conversation he was passed over and ignored.
I do not now remember the reason for my meeting with him. That is because, when I came to the city of Fez, certain people who had heard of me wished to see me. I therefore fled from the house where I was staying and took refuge in the Friday mosque. These people went to the house and when they did not find me there they came to the mosque. I saw them and they came to me and asked for Ibn ‘Arabi so I told them to look further until they found him.
As I was sitting there, clad in worldly clothes, the Shaikh suddenly appeared before me. I had never seen him before that time. He greeted me and I returned the greeting. Then he opened al-Muhasibi’s book On the Exposition of Gnosis, read a few words from it and asked me to give him an interpretation.* Through divine inspiration I had been told who he was, what was his spiritual station, that he was one of the four Supports and that his son would inherit his position. I therefore told him that I knew who he was and spoke his name. Thereupon he closed the book, stood up and said, ‘Be most discreet about this, for I like you and would like to know you better. Your purpose is sound.’ Then he left me. After that I sat in session with him only when no one else was present.
He suffered from a tied tongue and spoke only with great difficulty, but when he recited the Qur’an his delivery was excellent. His spiritual work was great and he earned his living as a henna siever.* He always appeared disheveled and dusty, his eyes anointed with antimony because of the henna dust.

…If he spoke he appeared foolish, when he sat down others began to get up and leave and when he was present in a company the others found his presence tiresome. This state of affairs was pleasing to him.*
One day I was sitting by the minaret when Ibn Ja’dun came and sat down in front of me after greeting me. Then he opened al-Muhasibi’s book, The Exposition of Gnosis, read from it and asked me to comment on what he read, which I did. Finally I said to him, ‘Fellow, if you don’t stop this I will reveal your position to the people, for you are one of the four (Supports).’ At this he asked me to conceal his identity and promised to do the same for me.

Page 132:
28 A Man Called Al-Sakhkhan

He was one of the Substitutes who had fallen from grace so that he was in great grief and spoke to none. When I met him I was kind to him, because of his great distress.