Suhbat of Auliyah – Glossary of Terms

EXPLANATION OF TERMS

AABID- Aabid literally means a worshipper. In Islamic terminology it refers to a pious person who devotes the greater part of his time to ibaadat. An Aabid is not an ignorant worshipper. He has adequate knowledge of the rules of ibaadat and of his obligations to Allah Ta`ala.

ABDAAL – Abdaal are a special class of Auliyaa whose identities are concealed. Their number is 40 and this remains constant. When one dies, he is replaced. Allah Ta`ala imposes a variety of duties on them. They possess miraculous powers.

AARIF – Aarif literally means a person who knows. In Sufi terminology, it refers to a person who possesses deep insight of spiritual matters. Hidden knowledge of Allah Ta`ala is revealed to him by way of inspiration. He has recognised Allah Ta`ala. His divine perception is vivid and real. It is not a mere intellectual understanding. He sees Allah with his spiritual (baatini) eyes. Plural is Aarifeen.

FAQEER – Faqeer (plural Fuqaraa), literally means a pauper, a destitute person. In the terminology of the Auliyaa (Sufiyaa), it refers to a pious mendicant (pauper) who does not beg. He reposes trust in Allah Ta`ala.

MISKEEN – Miskeen (plural Masaakeen) in Sufi terminology has a meaning similar to Faqeer.

KASHF – Kashf literally means to open. In the technical terms of the Auliyaa it refers to messages inspired into the heart of the saintly person. These revelations come from the spiritual realm and are of divine origin.

ILHAAM – Ilhaam is the same as Kashf. However, it is of lesser clarity than Kashf. Both Kashf and Ilhaam are not proofs of the Shariah. They do not constitute a basis for Shar`i law. If the Kashf and Ilhaam conform to the Shariah, they will be accepted. If in conflict with the Shariah, it will be ignored and a suitable interpretation given to it. It is possible for a Wali to misinterpret or misunderstand his Kashf or Ilhaam. Other external or internal factors may also lead to a misunderstanding of the meanings of these forms of inspirations.. Hence, the criterion of Haqq (Truth) and Baatil (falsehood) is only the Shariah.

MAJNOON – Literally refers to a mad man. In Sufi terminology it refers to a Wali whose intellectual capacity has been disturbed on account of his absorption in divine love, i.e. love for Allah Ta`ala.

SAALIHEEN – Saaliheen is the plural of Saalih, which means a pious person. It refers to the Auliyaa.

ZUHD – Zuhd means renunciation of the world or to abstain from worldly pleasures and luxuries. The person who renounces the world is called Zaahid.

BUZRUG – Buzrug is an Urdu / Farsi term referring to a pious person. (Saalih or Wali).

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