Adab: Protocol. Etiquette, Respect.

Ahlul Bayt: The Quranic (Koranic) term for the immediate family of

Prophet Muhammad. Usually meant for Prophet Muhammad, His

daughter Fatima Zehra, her husband Imam Ali and their two sons

Imam Hasan al-Mujtaba and Imam Husayn Shaheed Kerbala.

AI-Lah: Arabic term for God.

Alam akbar: Macrocasm. Cosmos. Universe.

Alam asghar: Microcasm. Man.

Alam al-ghayb: the Unseen realm.

Arsh: Divine Throne.

Baqa: Survival. This stage come after fana, when the Gnostic return to his or her improved Self after being absorbed in God.

Batin: Esoteric or mystical meaning of the Qur'an. Inward religion or tradition.

Dargah: Sufi Shrine.

Dervish: Sufi, Sufi student, Sufi-like, monk. The term generally used in Turkish influenced areas like Balkans, Turkey, Central Asia and Iran. For example the whirling dervish of the Mawlawiyyah Sufi Order.

Dhikr: Remembrance of God prescribed in the Qur'an. In Sufism, dhikr is done by reciting a selected Divine Name by tongue or by heart as a mantra. For example in the Sufi Order of Azeemia, Ya-Hayiu Ya-Qayumu is given for dhikr.

Fana: Annihilation. Complete surrender of the Self to the Divine. Self-negation.

Faqir: also fakir. lit., Destitute, poor. A wandering Sufi monk.

Farsi: Persian.

Fatah: Revelation. In Sufism, a state in which the student is able to see the unseen.

Fiqh: Islamic jurisprudence.

Ghauth-Pak: Title of Shaykh Abdul Qadir Jilani, founder of Quadiriya Order.

Hadith: sayings of the Prophet Muhammad.

Iblis: Satan. According to Qur'an, when God ordered angels to prostrate before Adam, all did except Iblis, who insisted on his superiority over Adam. Thus, he was condemned and thrown out of the Divine Court. When confronted by God, Iblis refused to take any responsi­bility and accused God of straying him. Also, persuaded Eve to taste the forbidden tree.

Ihsan: A state of awareness in which a person feels as if they are watching God or God is watching them constantly. Also known as martaba-e-ihsan.

Ilm, ilm ladani: According to Sufism, Primordial Knowledge given to Adam and after him given to all the prophets and apostles of God. After the closure of prophethood, the knowledge was transferred through Imam Ali and his descendents to other Sufi Saints. The ultimate reward for any Sufi.

Imam: lit. leader. In Sunni Islam term applies to anyone who leads prayers. However, in Shi'i Islam and in Sufism, the term used for the descendents of Prophet Muhammad through his daughter Fatima and son-in-law Imam Ali.

Injeel: Gospel. The first four books of the New Testament.

Ishq: Spiritual, selfless love (verses hu'b= love that longs for physical contact, ageedat=devotional love that relies on imitation).

Jalal: Divine Majesty.

Jamal: Beauty.

Jinn: According to Qur'an, an unseen creature other than angels or humans.

Jadhab: Absorbtion. Permanet surrender of the conscious to the Divine.

Jazb: see jadhab.

Jesus: Prophet Isa ibn Maryam.

John the Baptist: Prophet Yahya.

Joseph: Prophet Yusuf.

Kaaba: the Grand Mosque in Mecca. Said to have been first built by Abraham with Ishmael at his side.

Karamat: Miracles performed by Sufi saints.

Kashaf: Spiritual vision.

Kashaf ul Qaboor: Revelation of the life after death.

Khalifa: In Sufism. A person who has received the ilm from his Shavkh. Also used to denote successor of a Shavkh.

Khanqah: Sufi convent.

Khilafat: In Sunni and Shi'i Islam simply a secular or theocratic leadership. However, in Sufism the term is used for that ilm or knowledge that once God bestowed it to Adam, He ordered all angels to prostrate before Adam. Also known as ilm ladani, ilm al-alma.

Lungar: Free meal offered at Sufi shrines.       

Majdhoub: one who has surrendered his copscious to the, Divine, permanently. Holy mad-man.

Majzoob: see majdhoub.

Moses: Prophet Musa.

Murad: Shaykh, Sufi Master.

Muraqaba: Meditation. Contemplation.

Muraqib: One who is in the state of Muraqaba.

Murid: Disciple, student. One who is initiated into a Sufi Order.

Murshid: Sufi Master.

Nafs: Soul.

Nafs al-ammarah: see ruh-e-hevani.

Nafs al-lawwama: see ruh-e-insani.

Nafs al-mutmain'na: see ruh-e-azam.

Nur: Invisible pure light.

Pak-Punjtain: lit.,The Holy Five. See Ahlul Bayt.

Pir: Sufi Master.

Qalandar: A high-ranking Sufi, who has overcome the restriction of Time and Space.

Qawwali: Spiritual music performed primarily in Sufi shrines. Also known as sa'ma.

Qutb: A high-ranking Sufi.

Ruh: Spirit. Soul.

Ruh-a-azam: Higher Self, Contented Soul. According to Sufism, this soul carries the primordial knowledge.

Ruh-e-insani: Ego. Intellect.

Ruh-e-hevani: Lower Self.

Sa'ma: Spiritual music.

Shahood: a level of Sufi learning, where the student is able to observe beyond the limits of Time and Space.

Shaykh: Sufi Master.

Shia: One of the two major outward legalistic traditions of Islam. See Sunni.

Silsila: lit., chain. Sufi Order. Tariqa.

Sufi, Sufism: the esoteric and mystical version of Islam. Islamic Gnosis.

Sunni: One of the two major outward legalistic tradition of Islam. See Shia.

Tariqa: Sufi Order.

Tassawuf: original term for Sufism.

Tekke: Sufi convent primarily in Turkish areas.

Torah: the first five books of the Old Testament given to Moses.

Urdu: Indo-European language of Turkish origin. Lingua franca of Pakistan, India, Nepal, Dubai. Widely used in Mauritius and Suriname. Written in Arabic script.

Urs: lit. Wedding. Passing away of the Sufi Saint, thus a union with God, the Beloved. Also used for the death anniversary of the saint, which is usually a time of celebration for the devotees.

Va'da-e-Alust: When God created souls out of non-existence, they were initially in a state of bewilderment. Then God addressed them, Am I not (alust) your Lord, the beings collectively replied bala (Yea) we testify. This event is mentioned in Qur'an and is known in the Sufi literature as the Vada-e-Alust (Covenant of Alust). By testifying together, creatures gained collective conscious.

Wahabi: a militant, intolerant, extremist sect of Saudi origin. Denies existence of Spirituality in Islam. Also known as Salafi (North Africa), Ahl-e-Hadith (Pakistan).

Zaboor: Psalms. Book of David.

Zikr: see dhikr.



In the current information age, the very question of what Man is, and to what extent his abilities go, has gained prominence. Metaphysical knowledge tells us that Man is not just a mass of muscles and bones but in fact is a living universe or microcosm (a'lam asghar) itself. His life is primarily relying on information. As a matter of fact his life is nothing but a collection of thoughts and imagination. His every movement is influenced by information and thoughts. Every human achievement is circled around the unseen world of cognition, imagination and creative thoughts. By giving new meaning to this idea, Man creates and invents new things out of nothing.