Ihsan ( Ehsan or Ahsan) is an Arabic term meaning perfection or excellence. In Islam, Ihsan is the Muslim responsibility to obtain perfection, or excellence, in worship, such that Muslims try to worship God (Arabic Allah) as if they see Him, and although they cannot see Him, they undoubtedly believe he is constantly watching over them. That definition comes from the hadith in which Muhammed (S.A.W.) states, "[Ihsan is] to worship God as though you see Him, and if you cannot see Him, then indeed He sees you." (Al-Bukhari and Al-Muslim).

The concept of Ihsan has been understood differently by various Islamic scholars. For example, some scholars explain Ihsan as being the "inner-dimension" of Islam whereas shariah is often described as the "outer-dimension". Ihsan is excellence in worship, work, and in social interactions. For example, ihsan includes sincerity during Muslim prayers and being grateful to parents, family, and God.

Sufis have divided Ihsan into two parts :
Muraqaba i.e. to worship with the thought that God is seeing us.
Mushahida i.e. to worship God as if we see Him.


 Tajalliat (plural of tajalli) or Theophanous in the realm of being are manifestations of the divine Truth with regard to infinite perfection and eternal glory. The divine Theophanous are essentially the outpouring of His Beauty, His Perfection and His Love which are expressed in the immense theatre of the universe. The Existential Theophanous taken as a whole comprise three levels which Ibn Arabi calls hadart (Presences or Dignities).
1 First level:
Pure Essence
2 Second level:
The Attributes
3 Third level:

First level: Pure Essence
These are called existential Theophanous of the Essence. They are the determinations of God in Himself, for Himself in His Essence transcending all manifestation and form. The world from which these Theophanous and their radiance spring is called Unity alam al-ahadiyya (Realm of Unity). In this universe, the divine Essence appears as beyond all description, name or qualification. It is the world of pure Essence considered as Mystery of Mysteries and Secret of Secrets from which the Theophanous of the Essence originate, the mirror in which the absolute existential Reality is reflected.

Second level: The Attributes 
These are the existential Theophanous of divine qualities. The existential Theophanous of divine Attributes are the determinations of God in Himself for Himself under the aspect of His intrinsic Names and Attributes. The world specified for this type of theophany is alam al-wahda (Realm of Unicity of the Essence with Its Attributes). God-Truth manifests both in His Essence and in His intrinsic Perfection after his concealment as "Hidden Treasure. This appearance arises by the mediation of what Ibn Arabi calls the most holy emanation (al-fayd al-aqdas). In this particular world of Theophanous the beings destined to incarnate appear in the form of immutable realities.

Third level: Acts
These are the active existential Theophanous since the nature of God or the divinity as such is Essence, Attributes and Action, personified by His Divine Names. The existential Theophanous of divine Action are the extrinsic effects of divine Power in the manifest world. The world where these Theophanous are exercised and revealed is called a1am a1-Wahdniyya ,The Unification in its three aspects: Essence-Attribute-Action. It appears by the way of the holy emanation (al-fayd al-Muqaddas): a universe where God manifests Himself in the form of eternal realities encompassing species and individuals, sensible forms and abstractions.


Yaqeen is generally translated as "certainty", and is considered the summit of the many stations by which the path of walaya (sometimes translated as Sainthood) is fully completed. This is the repository of liberating experience in Islam. In relation to the exoteric religious life Certainty is the sister of religious life in its perfection (ehsn), that is to say the adoration of Allah according to the visionary way; through this channel it is the pillar of Islam in the accomplishment of its external practices, as it is the foundation of faith (imn) in its internal dogma. It is in fact ihsn which gives the external religion its true meaning and the domain of faith its real values. Certainty (al-yaqn), comprises three degrees.


1.1 Ilm al-yaqn
(the knowledge of Certainty)
1.2 Ayn al-yaqn
(the Eye of Certainty)
1.3 Haqq al-yaqn
(the total reality of Certainty)

Ilm al-yaqn (the knowledge of Certainty)
The first degree is referred to by the name ilm al-yaqn (the knowledge of Certainty), which means that Certainty is the result of knowledge. At this degree the object of Certainty is knowledge just as the aim of knowledge is Certainty. Both together are in the soul uniquely, such that Certainty is the first degree of spiritual life and the last of speculative experience. This particular degree of mystical yaqn is the result of divine Theophanous in Act at the level of existence and also the result of Theophanous of lights of nature at the Gnostic level.

Ayn al-yaqn (the Eye of Certainty)
The second degree of yaqn is what one calls in Sufi terms ayn al-yaqn (the Eye of Certainty), that is, Certainty as a consequence of contemplation and vision. At this level, the object of Certainty is present in front of the Gnostic and is not only a speculative concept. Here knowledge becomes what one calls 'ilm-e-huzuri (Presence of knowledge), and that is the second aspect of Certainty in the spiritual way and in liberating experience. By this kind of knowledge, the man of the Way is distinguished from philosophers and learned men. This particular degree of spiritual Certainty is the result of divine Theophanous of Attributes at the level of existence, just as it is the result of Theophanous of lights of the intellect at the level of gnosis.

Haqq al-yaqn (the total reality of Certainty)
Finally, the last degree of yaqn is called haqq a1-yaqn (the total reality of Certainty), that is, Certainty as supreme truth. Here, Certainty has a particular coloring: it is the fruit of an all-embracing experience because the object of Certainty is identical to the one who is experiencing it, knowledge being transformed into actual experience and actual experience into knowledge. At this stage, in fact, knowledge is not limited to the intellect, nor to the vision of the one who is contemplating it, it becomes one with the human being. This is the final phase of yaqn, the apotheosis of the spiritual and intellectual journey. This high degree of Sufi Certainty is the effect of the Emanation of the divine The ophanies in Essence at its existential level and that of the diffusion of the Light of lights (Dazzling Irradiations) at the level of the the ophanies of the Gnostic.


Fanaa is the Sufi term for extinction. It means to annihilate the self, while remaining physically alive. Persons having entered this state are said to have no existence outside of, and be in complete unity with, Allah. Fanaa may be attained by constant meditation and by contemplation on the attributes of God, coupled with the denunciation of human attributes. It is a sort of mental, yet real, death. The man of the "Way" experiences it freely; it is the final passage which leads to the summit of the Stages. It liberates man from all contingency outside of his spiritual quest; his ultimate aim is the Truth. Three degrees may be distinguished here: fan' of acts, attributes and essence.
The Sufi fan in its triple manifestation does not have an exclusively negative effect or action; it is the annihilation of everything contingent, whether this be in the form of action, attribute or essence; more precisely, it is the annihilation of everything that is not God, and God is the supreme object of all good, all beauty. Fan' thus conceived is an internal state which requires from the Sufi a sustained and permanent effort of concentration to break his fetters and take on the demands and calls of truth, by his acts, his moral virtues, his whole being. That implies perfect control of himself: in words, deeds and thoughts. It is at this price that he attains an interior spiritual state where he becomes the pure and clear mirror in which the lights of Truth are reflected in all their splendor.

There are three ways in man's journey towards God.

The first is the way of ignorance, through which each must travel. It is like a person walking for miles in the sun while carrying a heavy load on his shoulder, who, when fatigued, throws away the load and falls asleep under the shade of a tree. Such is the condition of the average person, who spends his life blindly under the influence of his senses and gathers the load of his evil actions; the agonies of his earthly longings creating a hell through which he must pass to reach the destination of his journey. With regard to him the Qur'an says, 'He who is blind in life, shall also be blind in the hereafter.'

The next way is that of devotion, which is for true lovers. Rumi says, 'Man may be the lover of man or the lover of God; after his perfection in either he is taken before the King of love.' Devotion is the heavenly wine, which intoxicates the devotee until his heart becomes purified from all infirmities and there remains the happy vision of the Beloved, which lasts to the end of the journey. 'Death is a bridge, which unites friend to friend' (Sayings of Mohammed).

The third is the way of wisdom, accomplished only by the few. The disciple disregards life's momentary comforts, unties himself from all earthly bondages and turns his eyes toward God, inspired with divine wisdom. He gains command over his body, his thoughts and feelings, and is thereby enabled to create his own heaven within himself, that he may rejoice until merged into the eternal goal. 'We have stripped the veil from thine eyes, and thy sight today is keen', says the Qur'an. All must journey along one of these three paths, but in the end they arrive at one and the same goal. As it is said in the Qur'an, 'It is He who multiplied you on the earth, and to Him you shall be gathered.'

1 Grades _
Perfection is reached by the regular practice of concentration, passing through three grades of development:
1.1 Fanaa fis sheikh _
Fan -fi-Shaikh, annihilation in the astral plane,
1.2 Fanaa fir rasool _
Fan-fi-Rasul, annihilation in the spiritual plane,
1.3 Fanaa fillah _
and Fan-fi-Allah, annihilation in the abstract.


 Baqaa, with literal meaning of permanency, is a term which describes a particular state of life with God, through God, in God, and for God. It is the summit of the mystical manazil, that is, the destination or the abode. Baqaa comprises three degrees, each one referring to a particular aspect of the divine Theophanous as principle of existence and its qualitative evolution, comprising of faith, knowledge, and grace.


1.1 First aspect: the level of acts
1.2 Second aspect: the level of qualities and attributes
1.3 Third aspect: the level of the essence

First aspect: the level of acts 
The first aspect of the Sufi permanency is situated at the level of acts. The action of the Sufi is here united with the divine action acquiring its order, harmony and durability. This specific degree of Sufi baq' is the result of the shooting forth of the divine thespian as existential principle and the lights of nature as source of knowledge.

Second aspect: the level of qualities and attributes
 The second aspect of permanency is situated at the level of qualities and attributes. Here human virtues are raised to the level of the divine Attributes, acquiring their perfection, dignity and durability: such that the man's heart attains to a spiritual abode where it is the pure and clear mirror on which the characteristics of the supreme Creator are engraved. In its turn, the power of acts in the abode of permanence becomes a docile instrument by which the divine plans in the world and within the living person are realized. This particular form of baq' is a reflection of the divine existential Theophanous at the level of the Attributes and Qualities, and the effect of the lights of the intellect as principle of knowledge.

Third aspect: the level of the essence
 The last degree of baq' is permanency of the essence. In this domain the essence of the servant is raised to the height of the divine Essence in its Unity, Sublimity and Universality. He is totally absorbed by the divine Life. It is through God that he sees, through Him that he hears, through Him that he expresses his will, through Him that he contemplates. This is the most perfect form of Sufi baq', the final stage of the hero's quest. This particular abode is in its turn acquired by the effect of the Theophanous of the Essence on the existential plane and by the effect of the Theophanous of Light at the Gnostic level.


A Tarīqah is a school of Sufism. A Tarīqah has a Murshid, or Guide, who plays the role of leader or spiritual director of the organization.
A Sufi Tarīqah is a group of Murīd (pl.: Murīdīn), Arabic for desirous, desiring the knowledge of knowing God and loving God (a Murīd is also called a 'Faqīr' or 'Fakir' , another Arabic word that means poor or needy, usually used as al-Faqīr 'il Allāh, English: The needy to God's knowledge.

Nearly every Tarīqah is named after its founder, and when the order is referred to as a noun -yah is usually added to a part of the founder's name. For example the "Rifai order," named after Shaykh `Ahmed er Rifai, is called the "Rifaiyyah", the "Qādirī order," named after Shaykh `Abd al-Qādir al-Jīlānī, is called the"Qādiriyyah", and the "Chishiyyah order" by Hazrat Abu Ishaq Shami Chishty.

 In most cases the shaykh nominates his 'khalīfah' or successor during his lifetime, who will take over the order. In rare cases, where the shaykh dies without naming a khalīfah, the Murīds of the Tarīqah elect another spiritual leader through a vote. In some orders, it is recommended to take a khalīfah from the same order as their Murshid. In some groups it is customary for the khalīfah to be the son of the shaykh, although in other groups the khalīfah and the shaykh are not normally relatives. In yet other orders, a successor may be identified through the spiritual dreams of its members.

Tarīqahs have a Silsilah (meaning chain or, more idiomatically, a lineage of various Shaykhs that eventually leads back to Muhammed (S.A.W.)
Every Murid on entering the Tarīqah gets his 'awrād, or daily recitations, authorized by his Murshid (usually to be recited before or after the pre-dawn prayer, after the afternoon prayer and after the evening prayer). Usually, these recitations are extensive and time-consuming (for example the Murid's awrād may consist of reciting a certain formula 99, 500 or even 1000 times). One must also be in a state of ritual purity (as one is for the obligatory prayers to perform them while facing Mecca). The recitations change as a student (murid) moves from a mere initiate to other Sufi degrees (usually requiring additional initiations).

Being mostly followers of the spiritual traditions of Islam loosely referred to as Sufism, these groups were sometimes distinct from the ulema or officially mandated scholars, and often acted as informal missionaries of Islam. They provided accepted avenues for emotional expressions of faith, and the Tarīqahs spread to all corners of the Muslim world, and often exercised a degree of political influence inordinate to their size.


Marifa (or alternatively 'marifah') literally means knowledge. The term is used by Sufi Muslims to describe mystical intuitive knowledge, knowledge of spiritual truth as reached through ecstatic experiences rather than revealed or rationally acquired. M. Fethullah Gulen in his book on Sufism describes Marifa (knowledge of God) as a special knowledge that is acquired through reflection, sincere endeavor, using one's conscience and inquiring into one's inner world. It is different from scientific knowledge or "ilm" based on study, investigation, analysis, and synthesis. The opposite of knowledge (scientific) is ignorance, while the opposite of marifa is denial. Marifa is the substance of knowledge attained through reflection, intuition, and inner perception. A person realizing marifa (divine being) is imperceptible to others, who are without such knowledge. The following words are narrated in books concerning Sufism as a hadith qudsi-saying in spited by and received from God.

Oh humankind! One who knows his self also knows Me; one who knows Me seeks Me, and one who seeks Me certainly finds Me; one who finds me attains all his aspirations and expectations, and prefers none over Me. Oh humankind! Be humble that you can have knowledge of Me. One who renounces his self finds me. In order to know Me, renounce your own self. A heart which has not flourished and been perfected is blind.
In one of the earliest and finest accounts of the maqamat (stations) in Sufism, the Forty Stations (Maqamat-l arba'in), Sufi master Abu Said ibn Abi'l-Khayr lists marifa as the 25th station: "Through all the creatures of the two worlds and through all the people they perceive Allah, and there is no accusation to be made of their perception."
It is preceded by the truth of certainty (haqq al-yaqin)and followed by effort (jahd), where the traveler worships Allah in their hearts and souls with no doubt in their obedience.


Haqīqat (Arabic: is literally translated as essence, or truth (derived from one of the 99 names of Allah, Al-Haqq , means The Truth). In Sufi thought, it refers to the inward vision of divine power achieved through mystical union with God, or alternatively "the ultimate way". Approached by Sufis through the use of intuitive and emotional spiritual faculties trained under the guidance of a sheikh, it is considered one station in the way towards God. Sufis believe haqiqa can be reached through adherence to shariah and the principle of tawhid, although specific methods differ. For Sufis, when an individual has gone through haqiqa and reached the station of marifa he or she is able to see the true nature of God, and he or she becomes The True Human Being, as God intended when He created the person. He or she will fully understand the very reason of one's existence.

Ecstasy (Wajad)

 Wajad by Sufis: it is especially cultivated among the Chishtis. This bliss is the sign of spiritual development and also the opening for all inspirations and powers. This is the state of eternal peace, which purifies from all sins. Only the most advanced Sufis can experience Wajad. Although it is the most blissful and fascinating state, those who give themselves entirely to it become unbalanced, for too much of anything is undesirable; as the day's labor is a necessary precursor of the night's rest, so it is better to enjoy this spiritual bliss only after the due performance of worldly duties. Sufis generally enjoy Wajad while listening to music called Qawwali, special music producing emotions of love, fear, desire, repentance, etc. 

Aspects of Wajad

There are five aspects of Wajad:

Wajad of dervishes,
which produces a rhythmic motion of the body.
Wajad of idealists,
expressed by a thrilling sensation of the body, tears and sighs.
Wajad of devotees,
which creates an exalted state in the physical and mental body.
Wajad of saints,
which creates perfect calm and peace.
Wajad of prophets,
the realization of the highest consciousness called Sidrat al-Muntaha.

One who by the favor of the murshid arrives at the state of Wajad is undoubtedly the most blessed soul and deserves all adoration. 


Noor is the link which binds being to knowledge in Sufism. The word itself means light. Each particle of light that is reflected of the "mirror of the heart" projects spiritual knowledge according to distinctive types of colors. A Sufi can differentiate between the following:

Noor is the spiritual light of a person. It emanates primarily from the forehead, but can bloom from the whole body. A person's spirituality can be judged by the noor emanating from him. Noor is descended from the heavens, reaching the Kabatulallah in Makkah. From there it is distributed to all the Masjid. There it manifests in those that are spiritually inclined.