Mindfulness and self-examination in Sufism

Raid Al - Daghistani

 

 1. What is Sufism?

When it comes to the question of defining the essence of Sufism, one will notice that there is a difference of opinion not just among contemporary academics, but also among Sufis themselves. The renowned Islamic mystic of 11th century al-Qushayrī (d. 1074) recounts in his Epistle that when people discuss over the meaning of Sufism, each speaks from his own experience.[1] The difference of opinion on Sufism arises therefore not out of a lack of knowledge on the subject in question, but rather out of the nature of Sufism itself, or more precisely, out of variety of its existential and experiential levels. Another famous Muslim mystic from 11th century, al-Hujwīrī (d. 1072), adds that to Sufis “the meaning of Sufism is clearer than the sun and does not need any explanation or indication”.[2]

Among the Sufis were however also thinkers who had a more theoretical approach to Sufism, and who were attempting to systematically establish it as an “esoteric system” or “spiritual science”, explaining thereby each state, station and technique.[3] Others delivered some more extensive definitions of Sufism itself. One of them is a well known mystic from Bagdad, named al-Junayd  (d. 910), who tried to provide a main summary for Sufism, but did so in very general terms:

[Sufism] is a purification of the heart from the associating with created beings [taṣfiyya al-qalb ʿan mawafiqa al-bariyya], separation from natural characteristics [al-iḫlāṣ aṭ-ṭabīʿiyya], suppression of human qualities [aṣ-ṣifāt al-bashariyya], avoiding the temptations of the carnal soul [ad-dawāʿī an-nafsāniyya], taking up the qualities of the spirit [aṣ-ṣifāt ar-rūḥāniyya], attachment to the science of reality [bi-l-ʿulūm al-ḥaqīqiyya], using what is more proper to the eternal [mā huwa awāla ʿalā al-abadiyya], counselling all the community, being truly faithful to God, and following the Prophet according to the Law [fī-sh-sharīʿa].[4]

In this summary al-Junayd covered the most important fields of Sufism as a whole. The fundamental dimensions of Sufism were outlined more than a century later in a similar way by the famous Muslim theologian, scholar and mystic Abū Ḥāmid al-Ghazālī (d. 1111), who has earned the title “the proof of Islam” (ḥujjatu-l-islām) in Islamic history. In his philosophical autobiography Munqīdh min ad-dalāl he ascertained that the complete way of the Sufis includes knowledge and action, belief and practice. After al-Ghazālī had understood the fundamental teachings of the intellectual side of the works of great Islamic mystics like al-Makkī, al-Muḥāsibi, ash-Shiblī, Abū Yazīd al-Bisṭāmī and al-Junayd, it became clear to him that what is most distinctive of mysticism cannot be gained merely by reading and studying, but only by (1) “mystical taste” of reality (ḏauq), (2) spiritual state (ḥāl) and (3) transformation of personal qualities (tabaddul aṣ-ṣifāt).[5]

Immediate inner experience, spiritual states and transformation of character are actually those issues of Sufism, which are, despite the difference in opinions, discussed essentially in all important Sufi works.[6] Thus al-Ghazālī comes to the conclusion that the Sufis are people of real experience, not merely words. What remained for al-Ghazālī after he studied the Sufi texts was not to be attained through instruction and reading, but only through spiritual and ascetic practice of the mystical path,[7] which is both existential and epistemic.  

 

2. Sufism as science (ʿilm at-taṣawwuf)

But the author whose definition of Sufism is perhaps most interesting for our purpose because of its precision and comprehensiveness is Abū Bakr al-Kalābāḏī (d. 990). In his Kitāb at-taʿarruf li-madhhab ahl at-taṣawwuf, which is deemed one of the most valuable treatises on Islamic mysticism,[8] al-Kalābāḏī defines Sufism as a science of the spiritual states (ʿlm al-aḥwāl).[9] Though since these states are the consequences of acts, they “are only experienced by those whose acts have been right.”[10] Al-Kalābāḏī immediately explains further how to acquire righteous conduct, that is, how to gain the modus vivendi of Sufis: “…the first step to right conduct is to know the science […] namely, the legal prescriptions [ʿilm al-aḥkām ash-sharʿīa], […] as well as the social sciences [ʿilm al-muʿāmalāt], […] These are the sciences which are acquired by learning: and it is a man’s first duty to strive to seek after this science and its rules […].”[11]

But this is just one part of Sufis’ knowledge. After one thoroughly studies the religious law, theology, Quran and Prophetic tradition, she or he should turn also to the practical spiritual aspects. In this manner al-Kalābāḏī continues, that for someone who tries to transform his inner self, refine his character and improve his actions, “it is first of all necessary, then, that he should know the vices of the soul, and be thoroughly acquainted with the soul, its education, and the training of its character; he must also know the wiles of the Enemy, and the temptations of this world, and how to eschew them.”[12] The science of Sufis is therefore the science of wisdom (ʿilm al-ḥikma). And only “when the soul is properly addressed, and its habits amended, when it is schooled in the divine manners […]”,[13] only then a man is able to overcome his passion, watch over his thoughts (murāqaba al-khawāṭir), and purify the heart. The science of Sufism is therefore also the science of thoughts (ʿilm al-khawāṭir), the science of contemplation (ʿilm al-mushāhadāt), and of mystical disclosures (ʿilm al-mukāshafāt).[14] It is, in a word, the science of gnosis (ʿilm al-maʿrifa),[15] which is – contrary to theology – the inner science par excellence, which Sufis acquire after they have mastered all other religious disciplines. In short, Sufism signifies the “esoteric science” as the science of the inner actions of the heart, spiritual states and stations, and can be finally learned only through practice and actual experience of the mystical way.

In the following I would therefore like to give a very brief account of the main properties of the inner states and spiritual stations of the Sufi path as well as indicate the connection and differences between them.     

 

3. Spiritual stations (maqāmāt) and inner states (aḥwāl)

Despite the differences in opinion about the number as well as the order of inner states (aḥwāl) and spiritual stations (maqāmāt), it is possible to show some of basic characteristics of both dimensions in the light of classical Sufi texts. For this purpose I come back to al-Qushayrī’s Epistle in which he elaborates on the nature of aḥwāl and maqāmāt.[16]

According to al-Qushayrī – who in his remarks also refers to other (named or unnamed) Sufi-Masters of the past – the states are something that descends upon the heart of the meditator, without asking and endeavor.[17] States are therefore considered basically as something that emerges spontaneously, whereas stations are acquired by one’s own inner struggle. Stations are therefore firm and last longer, whereas states are constantly changing.[18] If the station presents an achieved level on the spiritual path, then the state presents a kind of existential feeling or an inner mood that appears as a result of the mystic’s effort. One can gain stations mostly by means of his or her own actions and by acts of self-discipline, whereby the precondition of advancing from one station to the next lies in fulfilling the requirements of the former.[19]

An introductive explanation of the meaning of the state and station can already be found in Abū Naṣr as-Sarrāj’s (d. 988) magnum opus Kitāb al-lumaʿ fī-at-taṣawwuf, which is considered to be the oldest preserved classical manual on Sufism.[20] Relying on al-Junayd, as-Sarrāj asserts that, unlike the inner states, spiritual stations are gained by means of ascetic practices and acts of devotion.[21]

There is no clear agreement on the number and order of the stations that the seeker must reach in his ascent, nor on the states which he thereby experiences. In his Book of Flashes of Sufism as-Sarrāğ for example stresses the following spiritual stations: (1) Repentance (tawba), (2) abstinence (waraʿ), (3) renunciation (zuhd), (4) adopted poverty (faqr), (5) patience (ṣabr), (6) trust in God (tawakkul) and (7) spiritual satisfaction (riḍā). As inner states he considers the state of: (1) nearness to God (qurb), (2) love (muḥabba), (3) existential fear (khawf), (4) hope (rajā), (5) passionate longing (shawq), (6) intimacy (uns), (7) tranquility (iṭmaʾnina), (8) spiritual vision (mushāḥada), (9) certainty (yaqīn), and interestingly enough, also (10) mindfulness (murāqaba).[22] In his Epistle al-Qushayrī adds to those states also the states of joy, grief, expansion, contraction, vexation, awe and need, whereas he lists about 50 spiritual stations, among others, spiritual striving (mujāhada), seclusion (khalwa), good manners (adab), divine gnosis (al-maʿrifa bi-llah), but also invocation (dhikr) and mindfulness (murāqaba).[23] However ʿAbduʾllāh al-Anṣārī (d. 1083), author of the highly eloquent and philosophically sophisticated manual Stations of the Sufi Path, classifies no less than one hundred stations of the spiritual journey towards God, among which are also mindfulness (murāqaba) and self-examination (muḥāsaba).[24]

The question of the very nature of each particular state or station as well as of their conditions, impact and mutual relationship will be left aside at this point. For our purpose it is important to know that among the fundamental stations – i.e. among those which are usually found on the list of classical Sufi manuals – there are also the techniques of mindfulness and self-examination. I would therefore like to focus on these two spiritual techniques in the next part of my presentation. In doing so, it will be revealed that these two closely linked and complementary methods are part of Sufi spiritual psychology.        

 

4. Sufi spiritual psychology

In his notable work on Islamic psychospiritual study Malik Badri notes that the cognitive principles and practices such as mindfulness, watchfulness, introspection, contemplation and meditation, which have only recently influenced modern Western psychology, were well known by Muslim thinkers and mystics, who already discussed the positive effects of such practices on psycho-physical health and spiritual balance of the human being centuries ago.[25] Muslim scholars and especially Sufis emphasized the importance of vigilant observation of one’s own thoughts, reflections and ideas that can grow into drives and incentives and become habits affecting real life.[26] In their spiritual psychology Sufis therefore developed sophisticated techniques of self-examination and self-discipline. They are based on overcoming passion, breaking desires and cultivating the soul and, moreover, they include watchful concentration, devoted remembrance of God and increasing awareness of divine reality. The Sufis also constantly emphasize that “a person should try to change harmful notions and internal ideas before they become desires and drives, because changing a drive or motive is easier than stopping a consequent action, and removing an action is easier than trying to uproot it after it has become a habit.”[27] The goal of such activities is no other than spiritual perfection. It consists of purifying the heart, refining the character, enlightening the mind and improving conduct.

The spiritual methods of Sufis are based on a deep-rooted conviction that the process of self-realization leads to the realization of the Absolute. The entire effort of self-discipline and self-mastery is therefore not an end in itself for the Sufis, but rather a means to achieve the higher state of consciousness that is capable of holistic experience of reality and meta-rational realization of Existence. Or as al-Anṣārī put it simple and clear: “Discipline is to train oneself to accept the truth (aṣ-ṣidq).”[28]   

So, to take the Sufi path is to undertake a long and demanding journey through numerous inner states and spiritual stations. From the beginning to the end of the path a Sufi wayfarer is constantly confronted with his own thoughts, hopes, fears, desires, doubts, realizations and even visions. These experiences are internal emotional-cognitive realities of the endeavoring human soul striving for transcendence and spiritual perfection. Change of moods and states is an integral part of proceeding through spiritual stations. But the most important Sufi techniques that enable the wayfarer to continue and advance on his spiritual journey are particularly mindfulness (murāqaba) and self-examination (muḥāsaba). These two essential methods, which represent not only psychological but also epistemic components of Sufi practice, help a person to transcend his carnal soul, unfold his divine nature and stay focused on God as the ultimate reality and final goal of his inner journey. These techniques are inevitable for the spiritual ascent also precisely because of their enormous effectiveness in overcoming one’s own impulses, strengthening concentration and particularly in watching, guiding and even controlling one’s chain of thoughts. 

This is a very important aspect, because as Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya (d. 1350) states, “Anything a person does begins as an inner thought, a concealed speech or an internal dialogue.”[29] Fast inner reflections or fleetingly notions, which in modern cognitive psychology correspond to the idea of “automatic thoughts”, are known in the Sufi psychology as khawāṭir (sing. khaṭira).[30] Al-Qushayrī emphasizes for instance that the khawāṭir are inner speeches that enter the soul, and can emerge out of four different sources: (1) “angelic” (ilqāʾ malak), (2) “satanic” (ilqāʾ shayṭān) (3) “self-suggested” (aḥādīth nafs), or (4) “divine” (min al-ḥaqq subḥānahu).  

When a thought comes from an Angel, it is an inspiration [al-ilhām]; when it comes from the soul, it is a prompting [al-hawāğis]; when it comes from Satan, it is a devilish whispering [al-waswāsa]; when it comes from God […] it is a real thought [khāṭirun ḥaqqun]. All these are different types of communication.[31]

But what is the criterion, with which one can draw the difference between these types of “automatic thoughts” and detect their origin? Al-Qushayrī also gives an answer to this question:

When a thought comes from an angel, its authenticity is affirmed by (religious) knowledge. […] When, on the other hand, it comes from Satan, it usually incites to disobedience (of God). Finally, when it comes from the soul, it usually prompts (man) to follow (his) passions and imbues (him) with a feeling of pride.[32]

The sincere inner struggle against one’s own passion and desires may thus never stop, for impulses of the carnal soul will keep agitating the mind.[33] The aim of Sufi techniques – among which murāqaba and muḥāsaba are considered especially efficient – is therefore to protect, cultivate, purify and harmonize the human heart and to lead it to higher levels of certain knowledge, spiritual insights and mystical experience of the Divine reality.

 

5. Mindfulness (murāqaba) and self-examination (muḥāsaba)

As an essential technique of Sufi spirituality murāqaba is also the method, with which the person who meditates increases his or her awareness of the Divine presence in this world. But since the act of spiritual focusing on the Divine reality necessary requires awareness of one`s own state of mind, murāqaba is inseparably connected with muḥāsaba, i.e. the technique of self-examination.

Yet the purpose and goal of murāqaba is not only to increase the awareness of God, but also to act accordingly to that awareness, that means, not only to gain a higher consciousness, but also to develop the proper virtues and perfect conduct of life. The very motivation of murāqaba Sufis draw upon is the concept of iḥsān, which stands for realization of the good and the beautiful. When the Prophet Muhammed (p. b. u. h.) was asked what iḥsān actually means, he answered: “To worship God as if you see Him, for even though you may not see Him, He (always) sees you.”[34] For God, as He reveals Himself in the Koran, is the absolute “Observer”, the absolute “Watcher” of the whole Universe.[35]

Murāqaba therefore enables the person who meditates to become highly aware of the Divine presence as the absolute Consciousness, which is constantly observing him in his thoughts, intentions and actions. The state of mindfulness as an awareness of God is for the Sufi at the same time the knowledge that God is always watching him. Perseverance in the awareness of the Divine is therefore the fundamental principle of inner attitude, morality and of a righteous way of life. Thus true mindfulness (murāqaba) for the Sufis is possible only in connection with self-examination or spiritual introspection (muḥāsaba). In al-Qushayrīʼs Epistle we read that when the Sufi

takes account of what he has done in the past, corrects his (inner) state in the present, follows the path of Truth, takes good care of his heart in dealing with God Most High, stays with God Most High in every breath he makes, and observes God Most High in all his states, he will then realize that God – praise be to Him – is watching over him, that He is close to his heart, that He knows (all) his states, watches (all) his actions and hears (all) he says. Whosoever neglects all of this is shut off from attaining God, not to mention from the true realities of closeness (with Him).[36]

That the murāqaba and muḥāsaba are not only inseparably connected, but rather two supplementary activities, is confirmed by many Sufis. ʿAbullāh al-Murtaʿsh said for example: “Awareness (of God) is watching over your innermost heart by taking note of the Unseen with every breath and every phrase.”[37] It is also clear that murāqaba is not merely a manifestation of a passing spiritual station, but in some ways a “spiritual constant” of the Sufi path. The traveler of the spiritual path should never neglect mindfulness, because it is one of the necessary conditions for expanding consciousness, penetrating the metaphysical truths and perfecting the religious virtue of devotion to God. And only after perseverance in murāqaba may the meditator receive the first glimmers of gnosis; or as al-Nasrabādhī puts it: “Fear (of God) distances you from disobedience; awareness (of God) leads to the paths of true realities.”[38] So, the mystical disclosure as a meta-rational experience of the Divine Reality can emerge only after training in mindfulness.

There are however different levels and stages of mindfulness in Sufism. Al-Anṣārī, the great Sufi of Herat, distinguished three kinds of mindfulness. (1) The first is mindfulness of religious service (murāqaba al-ʿibadāt), which can be achieved by carefully abiding by the regulations of God’s revealed law. (2) The second is mindfulness of the spiritual moment (murāqaba al-aḥwāl), which can be obtained through elimination of one’s own desire. (3) The third is mindfulness of inner-consciousness (murāqaba as-sirr), which can be gained only through complete abolition of attachment to worldly things, inner deliverance from one’s self, and mystical return to the Primal Being.[39]

A similar attempt of categorization of murāqaba is given also by one of the greatest Iranian Sufi thinkers of the 20th century, Sayyid Muḥammad Ḥusayn Ṭabāṭabāʾī (d. 1981). He observes that in the early phases of spiritual ascent the wayfarer practices a different kind of mindfulness than at later stages. In his mystical treatise Kernel of the Kernel he notes that “the higher the stages and levels one traverses and the more one advances toward perfection, the more intense and more profound one`s murāqaba becomes…”[40]

Ṭabāṭabāʾī distinguishes between four stages of mindfulness or awareness in Sufism. (1) The first level requires careful attention to the commandments and prohibitions of the revealed law (sharīʿa) and observation of all obligatory religious duties.[41] (2) On the second stage the wayfarer intensifies his mindfulness and increases his awareness of the Devine presence, by trying to overcome his carnal soul and by striving to act only with the purest attention to please God`s will.[42] Mindfulness is thereby connected with self-examination (muḥāsaba), inner, spiritual struggle (mujāḥada) and the practice of invocation (tadhakkur). (3) The third stage consists in permanent awareness of God, which results in a certain realization that “God, the Almighty is present and watchful everywhere, and concerned about all creatures.”[43] (4) The fourth and final level of murāqaba is the most exalted form of man`s awareness of the Devine Reality.[44] The spiritual wayfarer is now capable to observe Divine Beauty in an integral, holistic manner in all his states and at all times.

Murāqaba, as mentioned, is possible only when supported by muḥāsaba. Muḥāsaba as a careful examination of the soul plays a central role in the psycho-spiritual theories of Sufis. In the same way as is the case for murāqaba, muḥāsaba presents not only one of the stations on the Sufi path, but is also a particular method for achieving spiritual perfection. In his renowned work ar-Riʿāyatu li-ḥuqūq-Allāh (“Book of observance of the rights of Allah”) [45] Abū al-Ḥarith al-Muḥāsibī (d. 857) for example demonstrates that careful self-examination is indispensable for regenerating pure intention and truthfulness in one`s own actions. If the spiritual wayfarer wants to gain the state of existential “conformity with the Real”,[46] he must start with the examination of his own conscience and inner acts. The main function of spiritual introspection is therefore purification of the heart, which leads to sincere actions, which for the Sufis must always correspond to the revealed Law and Divine will.

Examination of one`s own actions is therefore the main aim of muḥāsaba, which requires a certain amount of consistency, perseverance and time. Self-discipline (mujāhada) as well as mindfulness (murāqaba) is integral parts of spiritual introspection and examination of one’s conscience. But for al-Anṣārī the field of self-examination is the outcome (of the field) of refinement (tahḏīb), which is of three kinds: refinement of self, refinement of temperament and refinement of the heart.[47] So only after one has gone through the process of refinement, one is in the position to begin with self-examination (muḥāsaba), which for al-Anṣārī is again based on three foundations: (1) on distinguishing between the acts of transgression and the acts of spiritual transaction, (2) on balancing between blessings received from God, and one’s own service to Him, and (3) on distinguishing between what is due to God and what is due to oneself.[48]    

On the whole, muḥāsaba as spiritual introspection consists of examining one`s own thoughts and analyzing one`s own actions, with the aim to purify the character and refine the religious way of life. On the higher levels, muḥāsaba enables the spiritual wayfarer to recognize his or her weakness and even transcend the realm of ego. It enables the wayfarer to shape one’s way of life in perfect accordance and harmony with the demands of the Divine will.

 

Conclusion

Self-examination and mindfulness are two of the most important techniques for epistemic as well as ontological progress on the path of spiritual ascent toward the Real. Both methods play important parts in the theophany of the mystical realization. Most of the prominent Sufi masters consider murāqaba and muḥāsaba as the most important and necessary technique of spiritual traveling, because it is the foundation upon which other inner activities, such as contemplation (tafakkur) or invocation (taḏakkur) are constructed. Both activities lead to knowledge of the self, which leads to knowledge of the God as the ultimate Ground of the self. The interaction between murāqaba and muḥāsaba enables the wayfarer to recognize and overcome their bad qualities in order to purify their soul and gain spiritual perfection.  

 

 

Bibliography:

      al-Anṣārī, ʿAbduʾllāh, Manāzil as-sāʾirīn, Stations of the Wayfarers. Traslated by Hishām Rifāʾī (Paris: Dar Albouraq 2011).

          al-Anṣārī, ʿAbduʾllāh, Sad maydān, Stations of the Sufi Path. Translated by Nahid Angha (Cambridge: Archetype 2010).

       al-Daghistani, Raid, Epistemologije srca: kontemplacija – okušanje – raz-sebljanje; in: S. Vörös (ed.): Mistika in Misel, Poligrafi 71/72. (Koper: Univerzitetna Založba Annales 2013).

          al-Ghazālī, Abū Ḥāmīd, Rešitelj iz Zablode. Translated by Raid Al-Daghistani. (Ljubljana: Kud Logos 2014).

      al-Ghazālī, Abū Ḥāmīd, The Faith and Practice of Al-Ghazālī. Translated by W. Montgomery Watt. (London: G. Allen and Unwin, 1967).

         al-Hujwīrī, Kashf al-maḥjūb, The Revelation of the Veiled. Translated by Reynold A. Nicholson. (London: E. J. W. Gibb Memorial Trust, 2014).

          al-Kalābāḏī, Abū Bakr, At-Taʿrruf al-maḏhad ahli-t-taṣawwuf. (Beirut: 2001).

      al-Kalābāḏī, Abū Bakr, The Doctrine of the Sufis. Translated by Arthur J. Arberry. (Cambridge: Cambrideg Univeristy Press 2000).

          al-Muḥāsibī,Abū al-Ḥarith, Kitāb ar-Riʿāyatu li-ḥuqūq-Allāh. Edited by Margaret Smith (London 1940).

          as-Sarrāj, Abū Naṣr, The Kitāb al-Lumaʾ fī’-t-taṣawwuf. Translated by Reynold A. Nicholson. (Leiden: Brill 1914).

      as-Sarrāğ, Abū Naṣr, Schlaglichter über das Sufitum. Translated by Richard Gramlich (Stuttgart:, Franz Steiner Verlag 1990),

          al-Qushayrī, Risāla Al-Qushayriyya fī ʿilm at-taṣawwuf. (Beirut: al-maktaba al-ʿaṣṣrya 2007).

          al-Qushayrī, Al-Qushayriʼs Epistle on Sufism. Translated by Alexander D. Knysh. (Beirut: Garnet 2007).

          Badri, Malik, Contemplation. An Islamic Psychospiritual Study. (London: International Institute of Islamic Thought 2000).

          Schuon, Frithjof, Sufism: Veil and Quintessence (Bloomington: World Wisdom 2006)

          Ṭabāṭabāʾī, S. M. Ḥusayn, Risāla-yi Lubb al-Lubāb, Kernel of the Kernel. Translated by Mohammad H. Faghfoory (New York: State University Press 2003).



[1] Al-Qushayrī, Risāla, 2007, p. 279; Epistle on Sufism, 2007, p. 289.

[2] Al-Hujwīrī, The Revelation of the Veiled, 2014, p. 34.

[3] See:  Al-Kalābāḏī, At-Taʿrruf, 2001, p. 59; The Doctrine of the Sufi, 2000, p. 74.

[4] Al-Kalābāḏī, At-Taʿrruf, 2001, p. 16; The Doctrine of the Sufis, 2000, p. 10.

[5]Al-Ghazālī, The Faith and Practice, 1967, p., 55.

[6]See for example: as-Sarrāj, Kitāb al-Lumaʾ fī’-t-taṣawwuf, al-Makkī, Qūt al-qulūb, al-Kalābāḏī, At-Taʿrruf al-maḏhad ahli-t-taṣawwuf, al-Hujwīrī, Kashf al-maḥjūb, al-Munāwī, Al-Kawākib ad-durrīyya, as-Sulamī Ṭabaqāt aṣ-ṣūfīya, al-Qushayrī, Risāla Al-Qushayriyya fī ʿilm at-taṣawwuf, al-Ansāri, Manāzil as-sāʾirīn and also al-Ghazālī, Iḥyāʾ ʿulūm ad-dīn.

[7]Al-Ghazālī, The Faith and Practice, 1967, p., 54.

[8] Arberry, Introduction, in: al-Kalabadhi, The Doctrine of the Sufis, 1977, p. xiii.

[9]Al-Kalābāḏī, At-Taʿrruf, 2001, p. 74; The Doctrine of the Sufis, 2000, p. 59.

[10]Al-Kalābāḏī, At-Taʿrruf, 2001, p. 74; The Doctrine of the Sufis, 2000, p. 59.

[11]Al-Kalābāḏī, At-Taʿrruf, 2001, p. 74; The Doctrine of the Sufis, 2000, p. 59.

[12]Al-Kalābāḏī, At-Taʿrruf, 2001, p. 75; The Doctrine of the Sufis, 2000, p. 59.

[13]Al-Kalābāḏī, At-Taʿrruf, 2001, p. 16; The Doctrine of the Sufis, 2000, p. 10.

[14] Al-Kalābāḏī, At-Taʿrruf, 2001, p. 16; The Doctrine of the Sufis, 2000, p. 59.

[15] Al-Kalābāḏī, At-Taʿrruf, 2001, p. 16; The Doctrine of the Sufis, 2000, p. 159.

[16]Al-Qushayrī, Risāla, 2007, p. 57; Epistle on Sufism, 2007, p. 78.

[17] Al-Qushayrī, Risāla, 2007, p. 57; Epistle on Sufism, 2007, p. 78.

[18] Al-Qushayrī, Risāla, 2007, p. 57; Epistle on Sufism, 2007, p. 78.

[19] See Al-Qushayrī, Risāla, 2007, p. 57; Epistle on Sufism, 2007, p. 78.

[20] Gramlich, Einleitung; in: as-Sarrāğ, Schlaglichter über das Sufitum, 1990, p. 15.

[21] See As-Sarrāj, The Kitāb al-Lumaʾ, 1914, p. 13.

[22] See As-Sarrāj, The Kitāb al-Lumaʾ, 1914.

[23] See Al-Qushayrī, ar-Risāla 2007; Epistle on Sufism, 2007.

[24] See Al-Anṣārī, Stations of the Sufi Path, 2010; also Al-Ansāri, Stations of the Wayfarer, 2011.

[25] Badri, Contemplation. An Islamic Psychospiritual Study, 2000, p. 21.

[26]Badri, Contemplation. An Islamic Psychospiritual Study, 2000, p. 22.

[27] Badri, Contemplation. An Islamic Psychospiritual Study, 2000, p. 22.

[28] Al-Anṣārī, Stations of the Wayfarer, 2011. p. 60–61.

[29] Badri, Contemplation, 2000, p. 22.

[30] Badri, Contemplation, 2000, p. 22.

[31] Al-Qushayrī, Ar-Risāla, 2007, p. 83–84; quoted from: Al-Qushayrī, Epistle, 2007, p. 106.

[32] Al-Qushayrī, Epistle, 2007, p. 106.

[33] Badri, Contemplation. An Islamic Psychospiritual Study, 2000.

[34]Al-Qushayrī, Risāla, 2007, p. 189; Epistle on Sufism, 2007, p. 203.

[35] See Koran: 33:52, 50:18 and 9:78.

[36]Al-Qushayrī, Risāla, 2007, p. 189; Epistle on Sufism, 2007, p. 203.

[37]Al-Qushayrī, Risāla, 2007, p. 191; Epistle on Sufism, 2007, p. 205.

[38] Al-Qushayrī, Risāla, 2007, p. 191; Epistle on Sufism, 2007, p. 204.

[39] Al-Anṣārī, Stations of the Wayfarer, 2011. p. 84–85.

[40] Ṭabāṭabāʾī, Kernel of the Kernel, 2003, p. 20.

[41]Ṭabāṭabāʾī, Kernel of the Kernel, 2003, p. 118.

[42]Ṭabāṭabāʾī, Kernel of the Kernel, 2003, p. 118.

[43]Ṭabāṭabāʾī, Kernel of the Kernel, 2003, p. 118.

[44]Ṭabāṭabāʾī, Kernel of the Kernel, 2003, p. 118.

[45] See al-Muḥāsibī, Kitāb ar-Riʿāyatu li-ḥuqūq-Allāh.

[46] Schuon, Sufism, 2006, p. 133.

[47] Al-Anṣāri, Stations of the Sufi Path, 2010, p. 83.

[48] Al-Anṣāri, Stations of the Sufi Path, 2010, p. 83.