Ihsan (Perfect Goodness)

Ihsan (Perfect Goodness) Ihsan has two literal meanings, doing something well and perfectly and doing someone a favor, and is sometimes used in the Qur’an and the Sunna with either meaning. At other times, as pointed out in the reflections on Heart while describing the Prophet Joseph’s consciousness of ihsan,...

The Heart and Some of Its Dynamics

The Heart and Some of Its Dynamics The heart is a spiritual resource with two aspects; through one it turns toward the world of spirits, through the other it connects with the world of physical bodies. If the body is under the command of the spirit according to all the...

praying

Dhikr (Recitation of God’s Names)

Dhikr (Recitation of God’s Names) Literally meaning mentioning, remembrance, and recollection, in the speech of the Sufis dhikr denotes regular recitation of one or some of God’s Names in the same recitation session. Some spiritual or Sufi orders prefer to recite: Allah (the proper Name of the Divine Being); others...

praying

Rida (Resignation)

Rida (Resignation) Rida (resignation) means showing no rancor or rebellion against misfortune, and accepting all manifestations of Destiny without complaint and even better peacefully. In other words, one should welcome all things and events, even those normally associated with distress and terror. Another beautiful definition of resignation is having or...

Inbisat (Expansion)

Inbisat (Expansion) Literally meaning growing larger and deeper, spreading and expanding, Sufis use inbisat to signify the relaxing of one’s heart, to the extent allowed by the Shari’a, so that it can embrace everybody and make them pleased or contented with one’s gentle words and pleasant manners. In the context...

Tawhid (Unity)

Tawhid (Unity) Tawhid, derived from wahda (oneness), means unifying, regarding as one, believing in God’s Oneness or Unity, and sincerely accepting the reality that there is no deity but God. The Sufis add to these meanings the ideas of seeing only He Who is the One, and knowing, mentioning, desiring,...

Futuwwa (Youth and Chivalry)

Futuwwa (Youth and Chivalry) Futuwwa (Youth and Chivalry), defined as youth and chivalry, is really a composite of such virtues as generosity, munificence, modesty, chastity, trustworthiness, loyalty, mercifulness, knowledge, humility, and piety. It is a station on the path to God as well as a dimension of sainthood, and also signifies...

Tawadu (Humility)

Tawadu (Humility) Tawadu (modesty and humility) is the opposite of arrogance, pride, and haughtiness. It can also be interpreted as one’s awareness of one’s real position before God, and as letting that realization guide one’s conduct toward God and with people. If one sees oneself as an ordinary, individual part...

Sidq (Truthfulness)

Sidq (Truthfulness) Meaning true thought, true words and true actions, sidq (Truthfulness), is reflected in the life of a traveler on the path to God as follows: he or she does not lie or tell a falsehood, lives according to truthfulness, and strives to be a trustworthy representative of loyalty to God....

Haya (Modesty)

Haya (Modesty) Sufis use haya, which literally means shame, bashfulness, and refraining from saying or doing anything improper or indecent, to describe one who, out of fear and awe of God, seeks to avoid displeasing Him. It urges one to be more careful, self-possessed, and self-controlled, for such restraint, if...

Shukr (Thankfulness)

Shukr (Thankfulness) Literally meaning gladness felt about and gratitude shown for the good done to one, Sufis use shukr to mean using one’s body, abilities, feelings, and thoughts bestowed upon one to fulfill the purpose of his or her creation: being thankful to the Creator for what He has bestowed....

Silence reflection quite

Sabr (Patience)

Sabr (Patience) Sabr literally means enduring, bearing, and resisting pain; suffering and difficulty; and dealing calmly with problems. In more general terms it means patience, which is one of the most important actions of the heart mentioned in the Qur’an. Because of its importance, patience is regarded as half of...

Prayers of Supplication

‘Ibada, ‘Ubudiya, and ‘Ubuda (Worship, Servanthood, and Deep Devotion)

‘Ibada, ‘Ubudiya, and ‘Ubuda (Worship, Servanthood, and Deep Devotion) Although some view worship, servanthood, and devotion as synonymous, most Sufi scholars and masters say that these words have different meanings and connotations. ‘Ibada (worship) means fulfilling God’s commands in one’s daily life and fulfilling the obligations of being His servant,...

footprints steps

Ikhlas (Sincerity or Purity of Intention)

Ikhlas (Sincerity or Purity of Intention) Ikhlas (Sincerity or Purity of Intention) has been interpreted as being upright, sincere, and pure; being distant from show and ostentation in one’s intention and conduct; and being closed to whatever clouds or fouls the heart. Purity of intention, straightforwardness in thought, pursuit of no worldly...

Istiqama (Straightforwardness)

Istiqama (Straightforwardness) People of truth have interpreted straightforwardness as avoiding all deviation and extremes, and as following in the footsteps of the Prophets, the faithful, the witnesses (of truth), and the righteous (in belief) in their religious deeds and daily lives. The verse: Those who declare: “Our Lord is God,”...

Tawakkul, Taslim, Tafwiz, and Thiqa (Reliance, Surrender, Commitment, and Confidence)

Tawakkul, Taslim, Tafwiz, and Thiqa (Reliance, Surrender, Commitment, and Confidence) Tawakkul (Reliance), Taslim (Surrender), Tafwiz (Commitment), and Thiqa (Confidence) are the four steps or stations of a spiritual journey beginning with reliance on (or trust in) God, continuing in full awareness of one’s helplessness and destitution before God, and ending...

Khuluq (Good Nature)

Khuluq (Good Nature) Khuluq (Good Nature), in addition to meaning temperament, disposition, and character, is a goal to which a traveler aspires, for it is the most important dimension of creation. In brief, this station means that one is characterized (equipped) with God’s qualities or way of acting. For example,...

Muraqaba (Self-Supervision)

Muraqaba (Self-Supervision) Muraqaba (Self-Supervision) has been defined as watching, supervising, controlling, and living in the consciousness of being controlled (by God). Sufis take this further, by defining it as setting one’s heart solely on God, abandoning any attachment to that which is other than Him, denying to one’s carnal self all that...

alone reflection Huzn (Sadness or Sorrow)

Wara’ (Abstinence)

Wara’ (Abstinence) Wara’ (Abstinence) is defined as holding oneself back from unbecoming, unnecessary things; as strictly refraining from what is unlawful and forbidden; or abstaining from all doubtful things lest one should commit a forbidden act. The Islamic principle: Abandon what you doubt and prefer what you have no doubt about, and...

Taqwa (Piety)

Taqwa (Piety) Taqwa (Piety) is derived from wiqaya, which means self-defense and avoidance. Sufis define it as protecting oneself from God’s punishment by performing His commands and observing His prohibitions. Besides its literal and technical meanings, in religious books we find the meanings of piety and fear used interchangeably. In fact, taqwa...

Scroll Up