‘Ilm Ladun (The Special Knowledge from God’s Presence)

‘Ilm Ladun (The Special Knowledge from God’s Presence) What is meant by ‘ilm ladun, or the special knowledge from God’s Presence, is knowledge of the Unseen or knowledge of mysteries, or knowledge which God imparts into one’s heart and the truths occurring to it. Primarily included is the knowledge of...

Wahy and Ilham (Revelation and Inspiration)

Wahy and Ilham (Revelation and Inspiration) Revelation and inspiration are two subjects that have been much discussed in Islamic religious sciences, as well as by Sufis, as they are each an important dimension of effusion and manifestation. The Sufis have mostly recollected Revelation and inspiration when manifestation is discussed, and...

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Al-A‘yanu’th-Thabita  and Al-‘Alamu’l-Mithal  (Archetypes and the World of Representations or Ideal Forms)

Al-A‘yanu’th-Thabita  and Al-‘Alamu’l-Mithal  (Archetypes and the World of Representations or Ideal Forms) In Sufi terminology, archetypes are the established, existential origins of things in the realm of Divine Knowledge. They consist of the manifestations of the Divine Names in the realm of Knowledge, and they denote the existential essences that pertain...

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Ahadiya and Wahidiya (Uniqueness or Absolute Oneness and Unity)

Ahadiya and Wahidiya (Uniqueness or Absolute Oneness and Unity) Ahadiya literally means oneness, or singleness, without having a second or like. It denotes oneness in order to emphasize uniqueness, or that God is One Who has no like. Because of this, when we say that God is Ahad (Unique, Absolutely...

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Wahda and Kasra (Unity and Multiplicity)

Wahda and Kasra (Unity and Multiplicity) Like the Divine Names the First and the Last, and the All-Outward and the All-Inward, the concepts of unity and multiplicity are, with respect to their literal meanings, opposite to one another, but in reality, they complement and are associated with one another. As...

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Salik (Initiate)

Salik (Initiate) A salik (initiate) is a traveler who follows a way to a goal and makes efforts to meet with God. The way of traveling differs according to the capacity, abilities and gifts with which each individual has been favored. Some are extraordinarily attracted and taken by God Himself...

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Dervish

Dervish Dervish is a word that means poor, destitute one. Even though it is used for the poor and helpless in worldly terms, in Sufi terminology it is used for those who are aware of their poverty and helplessness before God. Although poverty and helplessness in worldly terms are associated...

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Another Way of Journeying and Initiation

Another Way of Journeying and Initiation Some make spiritual journeys by refining and developing the inner faculties, while others purify the carnal self within, causing it to take certain steps. In both these ways, suffering for certain periods is essential to reach the rank of perfection and to become a...

The Distance Between Two Bows or Nearer

The Distance Between Two Bows or Nearer This metaphoric Qur’anic expression concerns God’s Messenger’s unparalleled nearness to God during his Ascension. From the viewpoint of Sufism, it denotes rising beyond the horizons of Divine acts and Names and reaching the peak of Attributes or even going beyond it. Reaching the...

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The Universal Man

The Universal Man Also known as the perfect man (al-insanu’l-kamil), the universal man is the brightest mirror of God’s acts, Names, Attributes, and even His Essential Qualities that qualify Him as God. There is a rule that when an attribute is mentioned without it being specified who the one or...

Irshad and Murshid (Guidance and the Guide)

Irshad and Murshid (Guidance and the Guide) Guidance is defined in different ways, among which are directing to the right path, awakening hearts to the Ultimate Truth, helping feelings and thoughts reach God by removing the obstacles between Him and people’s minds and hearts, and serving as a means for...

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Safar (Journeying)

Safar (Journeying) Literally meaning being transported from one place to another, journeying in the language of the Sufis is described as being freed from living a restricted life with carnal or bodily concerns and bounds, and turning to God on the horizon of the heart. It can be viewed and...

Samt (Silence)

Samt (Silence) Literally meaning avoiding speech and keeping silent, samt is used by the Sufis to describe keeping silent or preferring silence in self-possession to avoid the useless or harmful utterances that one can make while speaking. Aware of the Divine warning, Not a word does he utter but there...

Farq (Distinguishing)

Farq (Distinguishing) In the language of Sufism, farq (distinguishing) has been interpreted as making a clear distinction between unity and multiplicity. To give a longer and more explicit definition, distinguishing means the discernment of the created, despite having perfect knowledge of the Creator, and despite being among people at the...

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Jam’ (Absorption)

Jam’ (Absorption) Jam’ (absorption) literally means coming and bringing together. In the language of Sufism, it means fixing all one’s feeling, sight and consciousness on the Truth, to the extent that one is absorbed in Him and does not feel the existence of the world with all that is in...

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Yaqada (Wakefulness)

Yaqada (Wakefulness) In the language of Sufism, yaqada (wakefulness) means that an initiate must be aware, careful and sensitive with respect to God’s commandments at the beginning of the journey, and, without falling into any confusion, must be straightforward in thought, preserve spiritual balance, and act with insight in the...

Chila (Suffering)

Chila (Suffering) Denoting abandonment of all (worldly) pleasures and delights, and the affliction and hardship one bears when overcoming corporeality, chila (suffering) is used to express an initiate’s spending at least forty days in strict austerity and self-discipline in the name of spiritual training. During this period, initiates keep to...

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Mujahada (Striving)

Mujahada (Striving) According to people of the heart, mujahada (striving) means doing what is required by having been endowed with will-power. It includes struggling against the carnal self and seeking ways to defeat it, always preferring to fulfill the religious obligations without neglecting even the secondary ones, when they clash...

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Sohba and Musahaba (Conversation and Communion)

Sohba and Musahaba (Conversation and Communion) Sohba (Conversation) means making effective speeches to direct people to the Almighty, enlightening others with words and thoughts, using other’s good opinions of oneself to guide hearts to eternity, and always wishing well for others. The famous Turkish Sufi poet who lived in the...

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