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Glossary of Muslim Terms
accomplishment of His purpose:
Ibn `Arabi believes that God's purpose is to have knowledge of Himself. He possesses this knowledge by knowing Himself through the medium of His creatures. By the very fact of being one of God's creatures, you help Him to fulfill His purpose.

`alam al-shahadat:
The phenomenal world.

Animal soul:
In Arabo-Persian usage, nafs ("soul", "self") is used both for the immortal soul of a human, which survives death, and also for the carnal, or lower, soul.

Someone who offers his adoration to anything besides the one God. Hence polytheists and idolators are associators. However on a more subtle level, anyone who adores God with an impure love is an associator too. For instance someone who adores God, not for His Self alone, but in expectation of some other reward, is also an associator.

persistence (often used in connection with fana to refer to a sort of re-birth that follows ego death; i.e. to persits or endure following death of the ego).

beings who name them:
The beings who name the divine Names are the vassals or devotees of those Names. In other words, it is the human being who epiphanizes a Name in the phenomenal world that has it within his power to name that Name, where the Name can be thought of as his divine alter ego or higher self. According to Ibn `Arabi, some (many?) people reject their Name.

Covenant of Alast:
While human beings were subsisting within God prior to creation, God asked them "Am I not (alast) your Lord?" And they all answered "Yea! We testify!". At the Resurrection it will be determined whether each individual remained faithful to his original testimoy. In other words, did his actions reflect his pre-creation acceptance of servanthood and God's Lordship? Or did his actions demonstrate that he lived the life of a denier, one who's life was a denial of the Covenant of Alast?

The word refers both to memory and to speech. Its literal interpretation is "mention". According to Burckhardt (p. 63), "it is by an inner mention that a memory is evoked". Hence when the Qur'an is translated into English, passages that refer to "remembering Allah" could just as well be translated as "invoking Allah". The injuctions to "invoke Allah" are seen by Sufi masters as supporting the practice of repeating Allah's names.

Literally, "that which gives the heart repose"; a common term for the beloved
(Signs of the Unseen, footnote 110, p. 66)

divine compassion:
In Ibn 'Arabi's works, the Divine Compassion appeases the anguish of being unknown. See the Sigh of Compassion for more information.

divine Name:
Each Name can be thought of as a bi-unity: an uncreated Lord and a created vassal or servant. These two roles are forever distinct. The uncreated Lord may be thought of as the Angel or the eternal hexeity or the eternal individuality of a given individual's being. The created individual or servant is seen as an epiphanized form of the uncreated Lord. As God is indivisible, all of the divine Names are said to be in sympathetic union with one another, yet each Name embodies a unique attribute of the Godhead. Unlike other divine Names, Al-Lah is the Name which is invested with the sum of all the divine Attributes.

Same as sirr

This has a number of different meanings, but within the passages quoted here it most often means "ego death".

God created in the faiths:
The basic premise here is that God reveals himself differently within different religious traditions. Typically an individual will affirm the God who is revealed within his religion, but will reject God as He appears in other religions. According to Ibn `Arabi, this denial of the God found in external religions reflects a less advanced level of spiritual development. Ibn `Arabi maintains that after fana an individual becomes capable of recognizing God's self-revelation in all religions. Furthermore the devotee who practices manajat comes to realize that the God who reveals Himself in response to the devotee's own faith has purposely assumed limits in order to establish a relationship with the devotee as his personal_Lord.

A saying of the Prophet transmitted outside the Qur'an through a chain of known intermediaries. There are two kinds of hadith: hadith qudsi (sacred sentence), a direct revelation, in which God speaks in the first person by the mouth of the Prophet, and hadith nabawi (prophetic sentence), an indirect revelation in which the Prophet speaks as himself.
(Introduction to Sufism, p. 117)

Hallaj was an Islamic mystic who is well known to this day for his assertion, "I am God." He was condemned to death in 922 A.D. His teachings were considered to be so dangerous that it was against the law to copy or distribute his writings for several hundred years after his death.

Hidden Treasure:
This is an allusion to the hadith qudsi in which God declares, "I was a Hidden Treasure, so I wanted to be known." The universe performs a service as God's mirror in as much as it allows God to behold His Attributes. Mankind fulfills a special role in this universe in that the self-realized saints reflect God's ability to recognize the Hidden Treasure (i.e. God) within themselves.

The power of the heart.

a person; The term appears with more frequency in Christian theological works to refer to the three persons of the Christian Trinity.

The figure of Iblis in Islam is similar to that of Satan in Christianity. Although Iblis was an angelic being, his vision couldn't penetrate the outward form of a thing in order to apprehend its inward meaning. When Adam (the first human) was created, God commanded Iblis and all the other angels to prostrate themselves before Adam. Iblis refused to bow down to this new creation of God. Iblis reasoned to himself that he was superior to Adam since he was made of fire while Adam was only made of clay. In this one act of defiance Iblis introduced the sins of pride, envy, and disobedience into the world. When confronted by God, Iblis refused to take any responsibility for his sins; instead he accused God of leading him astray.

imagination (whether referred to as active, or creative, or theophanic):
This term is used widely by Henry Corbin, the translator of Creative Imagination in the Sufism of Ibn `Arabi. When Corbin uses the word imagination, he is not referring to fantasy or make-believe. Instead he is referring to the organ which perceives spiritual visions. The object of such vision is regarded as real, yet immaterial.

This intellect is seen as the seat for the power of discernment; it gives people the ability to see things as they are, to distinguish such attributes as truth and falsehood, beauty and ugliness. However in most humans the intellect is unable to function properly because it is veiled by the ego. The original error in judgment comes from identifying the human spirit with it's cloak of water and clay (i.e. the body). Following this mistaken identification, the intellect is unable to penetrate the outward form of those objects within its perceptual field. If it could go beyond forms to inward meaning, the intellect would discover God in all things. Or as Rumi puts it, "How many words the world contains! But all have one meaning. When you smash the jugs, the water is one" (p. 8 of The Sufi Path of Love.)
While veiled, the intellect is known as the partial intellect and it exists in an adversarial relationship with the ego. As an individual's ego "thins out", the intellect becomes better at fulfilling its purpose. In most people, the ego dominates the intellect. However in those individuals who are making spiritual progress, the intellect begins to dominate the ego. When the veil of the ego is altogether eliminated, the human spirit is altogether sanctified. In Rumi's words:

The partial intellect is a denier of Love, even if it pretends to know the mysteries.
It is clever and knowedgeable, but not naughted -- as long as the angel is not naughted, it is a demon.
(p. 223 of The Sufi Path of Love)

The Ka`aba is a building located within the court of the Great Mosque at Mecca. Muslims all over the world face in the direction of the Ka`aba while praying. Pilgrims at Mecca are supposed to circumambulate the Ka`aba. The Ka`aba contains a sacred black stone.


Ibn `Arabi conceives of prayer as being an intimate dialog between an individual and his personal Lord. God's prayer is seen as existentiating his creatures, whereas the devotee's prayer is seen as existentiating his personal Lord. Ibn `Arabi's method of prayer is presented in detail elsewhere.

A symbol. A symbol is an apparently finite thing that points toward something that's unbounded and indescribable. The knowledge conveyed by the symbol cannot be apprehended in any other way, nor can the symbol ever be explained once and for all. It's true meaning becomes known via theophanic vision.

an orant; one who prays. According to Ibn `Arabi, only the individual who is capable of perceiving the Lord's reponse to his prayer is truly a musalli. If an indivdual does not apprend the divine response, it's because he isn't really present with his Lord during prayer. See manajat for more information.

human, as opposed to divine.

nostalgia of the divine Names:
"Nostalgia" is perhaps a poor choice of words, as it suggests a longing for things past. What this phrase really means is that the latent potentialities within the divine essence (these potentialities are ususally referred to as the divine Names) yearn to know themselves, and this knowledge is acquired via their manifestation within the created universe.

personal Lord (al-Rabb)
Ibn `Arabi states that Allah cannot be known or experienced directly. However Allah is desirous to be known and experienced by His devotees. So He imposes limits upon Himself in order to reveal His attributes. Each qualified manifestation of God is regarded as one of God's many divine Names. When known by one such Name, God is said to assume the form of a personal Lord for a particular devotee. Through devotion to his personal Lord, the devotee can eventually come to know God through other divine Names as well and thereby gain a fuller understanding of the Godhead; however through it all he still maintains a unique devotional bond to his own Lord. Ibn `Arabi regards Allah as being invested with the sum of His attributes or Names, whereas the personal Lord (al-Rabb) manifests a particular attribute.

Moses was charged with freeing God's people from the dominion of the Egyptian leader, the Pharoah. Meanwhile the Pharoah did everything he could to preserve his dominion over them. According to the Koran, Moses' adversary the Pharoah asserted, "I am your Lord the Most High." (Koran LXXIX 24).
From a metaphorical point of view, Moses represents the intellect, the Pharoah represents the ego, and God's people represents the spirit residing in each person.

Possessor of the Heart:
Those who are pure in heart achieve God-consciousness; they are truly and actually aware of God at the center of their being (their heart). These sanctified individuals are said to be Possessors of the Heart.
(p. 36 of The Sufi Path of Love)
As an individual makes spiritual progress, he experiences alternating waves of expansion and contraction. When an individual experiences expansion, this is a sort of union, and it is not uncommon for an aspirant undergoing this relative union to think that he's reached the end of his journey. This mistaken interpretation of his experience may lead him to conclude that he is a Possessor of the Heart when in fact he may still have a long way to go.

secret or sirr:
An individual's center of consciousness; the source of an individual's being. At this mysterious point, the individual comes into contact with that which is Holy.

Sigh of Compassion(Nafas al-Rahman or Nafas Rahmani):
Before the creation of the universe, the divine Names yearned to be known. In His compassion and sympathy for these Names, God is said to have existentiated them with a sigh. In other words, it was this sigh of compassion that caused the Names to be epiphanized or manifested in the created universe. Furthermore this sigh continues to preserve the universe by recreating it at each moment.

shaikh, or shaykh:
A shaikh is a saintly, self-realized individual who serves as a spiritual guide for others. The shaikh's words provide some guidance, but even more benefit comes from simply associating with an individual who has attained such purity of intellect, for it reflects something of God's perfection. Through proximity to the shaikh, the disciple's own intellect is strengthened and gains the upper hand in its spiritual combat with the ego.
Of course not everyone who claims to be a shaikh really is one, and a great deal of spiritual harm is inflicted on the disciples of so-called shaikhs who actually are ego-maniacs. In order to distinguish the charlatans from the saints, the potential disciple must already have purified his intellect to some extent. If the disciple's ego still dominates his intellect, he will be tend to be drawn to these charlatans, and their influence will help his ego to become even stronger. In contrast an individual who has already acquired some humility and made progress in virtue will be able to recognize the genuine saint.

A female spiritual guide is a shaikha.

state or al-hal:
Spiritual realization which is fleeting or temporary. Refers to a glimpse of spiritual truths which are more profound than those that characterize a given individual's normal level of realization.

station or maqam:
Spiritual realization which is permanent. The sufi mystic who attains a particular station is said to be established in the truths revealed by that particular level of realization.

surat al-Haqq:
When a spiritual aspirant is sufficiently spiritually developed, his personal Lord appears to him by taking on a form that may be material or immaterial.


An instance of descent from the the One essence into a manifestation within the sensible world. Ironically this descent both reveals and hides the One essence. By transmuting the Unlimited into something limited, It assumes attributes by which It can be known. However since the One essence is unlimited, the very fact that It has assumed limits makes It appear to be other than what It is. This paradox is transcended via theophanic vision.

A vision of reality in which everything seen takes on symbolic meanings. Same as theophanic vision.

To not sleep:
This has one of two meanings:
To keep vigil; to spend the hours of the night in prayer.
To have reached such a state of purity that even when the body sleeps, the heart continues to contemplate the Beloved. Such a heart is said to be completely and perpetually awake.

Universal Intellect (`aql-i kulli):
The intellect that's entirely pure and free of ego, the "Intellect of the intellect." It can discern the meaning hidden within every form, and thus it sees things as they truly are. Although there is only one Universal Intellect, this intellect reveals itself to the saints in varying degrees, according to their capacity.

Exoteric meaning. Manifest, self-evident meaning.

General terms often found in scholarly works on Sufism
to walk around something in a ritualistic manner.

God revealing Himself in His creation. Describes what happens when spirituality materializes. This is often referred to in Sufi literature as descent. To say that God epiphanizes Himself is the same as saying that He reveals Himself in some aspect of His creation. Compare with theophanic vision.

pertaining to existence
based on experience
pertaining to existentialism

to bring into existence.

(LOGIC) a class of objects divided into subordinate species having certain common attributes
a class, group, or kind with common attributes

Mystical knowledge

Someone who has mystical knowledge

A method of scriptural or symbolic interpretation. See theophanic imagination for more information.

The quality of God as a wholly independent being who is complete in Himself. The term gives emphasis to the paradox that God, without any need to do so, creates and draws creatures to Him through love and knowledge. (Definition courtesy G. Thursby)

relating to the branch of philosophy that deals with being

a sense that something is about to occur; a premonition

A defining or essential feature. What is principial may be hidden to ordinary perception but will be revealed to the mystic. (Definition courtesy G. Thursby)

According to Ibn `Arabi, it is the vassal's devotion to his Lord which permits the Lord to display or manifest his attribute of lordliness. For this reason Ibn `Arabi's often states that the vassal holds "the secret of his Lord's suzerainty". However Ibn `Arabi also contends that the vassal's love for his Lord is nothing but an expression of the divine love as it manifests itself through the person of the vassal. So it is often said that there is a "secret to the secret of the Lord's suzerainty."

theophanic vision:
Theophanic vision is mediated by himma, the power of the heart. An individual with theophanic vision doesn't just process sensory data. Instead he sees through things, gaining an intimation of what the thing symbolizes on a spiritual level. It's as if the each object of theophanic vision were a window into paradise. Viewed in this way, material things are spiritualized. This is often referred to in Sufi literature as ascent or return. Compare with epiphany and theophany

A manifestation of some aspect of God in the material realm as mystically experienced by an individual.

Mysticism in World Religions | Sufism / Islamic Mysticism | c1999 by D. Platt


Adab (literally "courtesy"). Appropriate behavior. This may range from showing respect for one's elders to "doing the right thing at the right time." It implies keeping attentive to one's actions and their effects on others.
Baraka Grace or blessing. A spiritual influence or energy infusing the universe. Saints, spiritual teachers, and Sufi orders are considered to be conduits for baraka to others.
Dervish ("dwelling at the threshold"). A student of Sufism, usually initiated within a specific Sufi order.
Dhikr or zikr  (literally "remembrance"). The chanting (either aloud or silently) of names of God or Qu'ranic phrases as a means of prayer and meditation. A common Sufi practice, often done weekly at group meetings.
Fana (literally "extinction"). The experience of the effacement of the ego or sense of self that occurs when the mystic attains union with God or realization of the Absolute. Often referred to as "annihilation."
Hadith (literally "report"). Advice or sayings of the Prophet Muhammad that supplement or clarify the wisdom of the Qu'ran. Certain hadiths form the key concepts behind much Sufi teaching.
Haqiqah ("the domain of truth [haq]"). Refers to both the ultimate "Reality" and the mystic's station of attainment to that level of truth.
al-Insan al-Kamil (literally the "Perfected Man"). The title for the human who has been fully realized and has become one with all of God's attributes. According to some Sufi teachings, this is the ultimate destiny of all conscious humans.
Ma'rifah (literally "knowledge"). Also translated as "gnosis." The inner knowing of divine reality.
Murid A disciple or student of Sufism who is under the leadership of a developed teacher.
Murshid (literally "director"). An accomplished Sufi master who instructs his murids.
Nafs The soul or psyche. The term is typically applied to the conditioned or habitual self which the dervish on the path must overcome in successive stages of unfoldment.
Qutb (literally "axis" or "pole"). According to tradition, there is one person in each age who serves as the spiritual anchor for humanity. The Qutb resides at the top of the hierarchy of the saints and is said to exert significant unseen influence on human affairs.
Sama (literally "hearing"). In Turkey (where it is spelled sema) it is synonymous with the spinning dance ceremony of the Mevlevi Order, the "whirling dervishes." In general usage it refers to a concert of mystical music and dance.
Shaikh (literally "elder"). There are several varieties of shaikhs. In some Middle Eastern towns or tribes, the title simply refers to a local leader. Within Sufism, "shaikh" refers to someone appointed to represent the order, or to someone who has successfully completed the order's path of study and can now teach it reliably. The highest shaikhs have reached illumination, but this is not true of all who bear the title. Similar titles in some orders include Baba (father) and Dede (grandfather).
Shariah Islamic law. The exoteric rules of the religion, intended to guide society in a moral direction. Sufis sometimes interpret components of the shariah in an esoteric fashion that may seem to conflict with orthodox interpretations.
Silsilah (literally "chain"). The "chain of transmission" of an order, stretching from the dervish back to the order's founder and Muhammad. Each order's silsilahis often considered to carry its own unique baraka.
Sufi A name technically reserved for those who have completed the path of Sufism and mystical union. However in common parlance, the term gets applied to many dervishes or murids who are still far from completion. (The name is sometimes said to be derived from the Arabic word for "wool" suf, or the Persian word for "pure," saf.)
Tariqah (literally "path"). A Sufi order or brotherhood. The Naqshbandis, Chishtis, Mevlevis, etc. are each a different brotherhood reflecting the path first delineated by their respective founders.
Tasawwuf (literally "self-purification"). Islamic mysticism or Sufism. The term Sufism is a relatively recent name coined by Western scholars.
Tekke (literally "corner"). A lodge or center of Sufism, also known as a khaneqah. In the Middle Ages, tekkeswere often significant social centers where many dervishes lived and worked. In Turkey, Kemal Ataturk closed the tekkesin the mid-1920s as part of his modernizing revolution following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.
(c) copyright 1994 by Jay Kinney



Adab: Spiritual courtesy or manners

Adhan [az-awn]: Call to prayer

Abu Bakr As-siddiq: First Khalifa after the Prophet

Arif: Mystic knower, gnostic

Akbar: Greatest or greater

Alayhi salam: On him be peace

Ali ibn Abu Talib: Fourth and last of the righteous Khalifas after the holy Prophet Muhammad.

Ashadu an la ilaha ill'Allah: I bear witness that there is no god but Allah.

Assalamu alaykum: Peace be upon you

Astaghfirullah: I ask forgiveness of Allah

Awliya: The saints and friends of God (plural)

Ayat [ayy-yot]: Sign, indication, verse

Batin: Hidden

Bayat: A pledge or promise, initiation

Bismillah: In the name of Allah

Darvish [dar-veesh] (also darwish and dervish): A poor person, a follower of a shaykh (literally means "threshold"); plural is daravish

Du'a [do-awe]: Prayer or invocation

Dunya: Material world

Fana [fan-nah]: Stage of annihilation in the journey to God

Fatiha [faht-e-ha]: Opening verse of the Qur 'an.

Ghawth : Helper, very high station in hierarchy

Hadith: sayings of the Prophet Muhammad

Hajj: Pilgrimage to Mecca

Hajji: Pilgrim

Halal: Permissible by Islamic law

Halka: A circle of people, usually a shaykh and murids.

Haqq: Truth

Haram: Forbidden

Hu [hoo]: "He" or "him", used in invocation, zikr

'Ilm: Knowledge of science.

Iman: True faith.

'Ibadat: Spiritual service.

Irshad: Guidance or direction.

Insha'Allah: If Allah wills.

Islam: Submission.

Jihad: Struggle or fight or effort.

Jinn: Beings of the spirit world.

Kalima: The Islamic Creed.

La ilaha ill'Allah: There is no god but Allah. (There is no Reality but God.)

Maqam: A station or stage of spiritual development.

Masjid [mass-jed]: "Mosque" in the West, literally "place of prostration."

Mehdi [meh-dee]: One who is guided.

Mihrab [meh-rob]: The niche in the wall which shows the direction of prayer.

Mi'raj [meh-rawj]: Night Journey of the Prophet.

Murshid: Teacher of the Sufi Path.

Murid: Beginning student in Sufism.

Mu' adh dhin [moo-az-zeen): One who calls people to prayer.

Muslim [moss-lemm]: One who submits to Cod.

Nafs: Literally "breathe"; personality/ego clusters which control people and keep them from seeing Truth.

Qiblih [kebb-leh]: Masjid in Mecca to which Muslims turn in prayer.

Qur'an [kor-on]: Also Koran, Revelation from Allah.

Rabb: Lord, Sustainer.

Rabbi: My Lord.

Rak'at (raqat) [wreck-ot]: A unit of ritual prayer including standing, bowing, sitting, and prostrating.

Rasul: Amessenger.

Rahbar: A guide.

Ruh: Spirit, which contains divine secret.

Salams: The greeting of peace.

Salat: Prayer.

Salawat: Asking Allah for peace and blessings upon the Prophet Muhammad.

Shaykh: Master and Superior in an order of daravish.

Shirk: sin, associating partners with Allah.

Silsillah: Chain of succession.

Sirr: Secret, mystery.

Tariqat: The path.

Tafsir: Explaining.

Tassawuf: The Islamic mystic path.

Tesbih: String of beads used in counting prayers also called subah (literally "glorification").

Tawhid: Unity and oneness of God.

Tekke: A dervish gathering place (literally "corner").

Wakil: A guardian, subordinate of a shaykh.

Zikr [zeck-r]: Remembrance, invocation of God


Tassawuf: "Contemplative tradition," exact equivalent for Sufism as a whole.

Silsillah: Lit. "chain," the lineage of a tariqat descending from the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), through his Companion, Ah Ibn Abu Talib or (in some cases) Abu Bakr, or both. The chain of transmission includes all Murshids or the order up to the present.

Tariqat: Lit. "way to," order of Sufism founded by a recognized member of a silsillah.

Ta'ifa: Lit. "group," may designate a branch of an order

Halka: Lit. "circle," a group which gathers to practice or study Sufism,

Dergah : "Royal court," the tomb of a saint and also the center which serves as the headquarters of a particular branch of an order.

Tekke (Turk.): Lit. "corner," lodge, synonymous with Khaniqah (Pers.) and Zawiyya (At).


Murshid: "Spiritual Director," title usually reserved for the head of an order.

Shaykh: Lit. "elder," appointed director

Khalifa: Lit. "vice-regent" a deputized teacher or (sometimes) the designated successor of a particular Shaykh.

Rahbar: Lit. "conductor," a spiritual guide.

Meydan-ji: Meydan is literally the "field" or "meeting-place;" meydan-ji is an elder dervish who helps other students learn the proper customs and procedures of the tariqat.

Wakil: A guardian, subordinate of a shaykh.

Zakir: One who chants in the liturgy, also known as a qawwal.


Salik: A general term, lit. "traveler," a seeker of spiritual realization.

Muhabbest: Lit. "attracted one," someone attracted to an order, also called muhibb ("lover").

Talib: A candidate or aspirant to formal membership in a Sufi order.

Murid: Lit. "directed one," a person who has accepted a spiritual director.

Sufi: Lit. "wearer of wool." (in one meaning) In some orders, one who has entered an order as a novice.

Dervish: "Poor one," synonymous with faqir (Ar.), a formal member of an order. In some orders, a salik who has attained maturity on the path.

Dede: Lit. "Grandfather," an elder dervish with spiritual standing within the order, usually the same level as a Khalifa.

Wali: Lit. "protecting friend," a saint or someone who has attained a high degree of realization.


Baraka: All practices are accomplished through the spiritual energy or "grace" emanating from Allah through the silsillah of the tariqat.

Wazifa: Repetition of a name of God, given as practices prescribed to the murid.

Subhat: Lit. "association," spiritual affiliation.

Rabita: From the root "rab," 'binding," to keep inward contact with one's guide through tawajjuh, concentrating one's being upon another.

Talqin: Private spiritual instruction, transmitted orally or through other, spiritual means.

Ruksa: Concession or permission given by a Shaykh to perform a certain practice or organizational function.

Salat: Islamic prayer, synonymous with namaz (Pers.)

Asma ul Husna: The 99 Names of God which are used individually or together in zikr

Wird: A set prayer done in addition to the required 5 daily prayers (salat).

Zikr: Lit. "remembrance," individual or collective meditation employing the names of God.

Hadrah: Lit. "presence," a gathering for the practice of zikr often accompanied with movement.

Muraqaba. Meditation practiced in solitude,

Muhasibi: Lit. "rendering account," taking stock of one's actions.

Haiwet: Spiritual retreat; the chille (Turk.) is often 40 days.

Sema: Lit. "audition," a spiritual concert or zikr accompanied by music and sometimes turning (whirling).

Raqs: Dancing.


Ahwal: Lit. "states," pl. of hal, a transitory mystical state.

Maqqamat: Lit. "station," pl. of maqqam a more permanent condition of having refined one's nafs.

Nafs: The "self" or individual personality, which must be purified, refined, and transcended.

Irada: The quality of spiritual aspiration.

Himmah: Force of heart, decisiveness.

Dhawq: Lit. "taste," perceptivity gained through divine grace.

Kashf: Intuition, occasionally experienced in lawami (flashes), sudden intuitions.

Ru'yah: Lit. "vision," esp. of a spiritual nature.

Mahabba: Love or attraction.

Ishq: Passion or ardent desire.

Wajd: Ecstasy.

Burhan (Turk.): Spiritual possession.

Bast: Expansion or elation.

Qabz: Contraction or deflation.

Tajalli: Irridation, epiphany, or theophany.

Mi'raj: The night journey of the Prophet (pbuh), lit. the type of "ascendsion"which may be paralleled by advanced Sufis.

Mahabbat: Effacement.

Fana: Temporary "annihilation," cessation of ego-awareness which may be
accomplished in various degrees or at various levels or depths

Sukr: Mystical intoxication, often accompanying wajd or fana.

Sahv: LIt. "sobriety," the condition of the mature practitioner who has returned to normative consciousness after sukr.

Yaqin: Lit. "certainty," usually connoting conviction (of various degrees) concerning the goal of the path.

Tawwakul: Complete trust in and reliance upon God Alone.


Ma'rifah: Mystical knowledge of all types held to be valid.

Irfan: Gnosis, direct perception of Reality.

Tawhid: Unity, also direct perception of the central tenet ofIslam, Allah's absolute singularity.

Wahdat al Wujud: "Oneness of Being" (ibn al Arabi), the absolute non-duality of existence.

Wahdat ash Shuhud: "Unity of Vision" (Sirhindi), the absolute unity of the Creator in indissoluable relation to the unity of the individual existent who remains separate.

Baqa: "Subsistence," continuing awareness through Allah.


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