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Muraqaba

Muraqaba (‫ﻣﺮاﻗﺒﺔ‬, an Arabic word meaning "to watch over", "to take care of", or "to keep an eye"), is the Sufi word for meditation.
It implies that with meditation, a person watches over or takes care of his spiritual heart (or
soul), and acquires knowledge about it, its
surroundings, and its creator. This form of meditation is common amongst most Sufi orders and is a core concept for manytariqas.

Contents
Stages
Somnolence
Adraak
Warood
Gnosis of the universe
Kashaf' / Ilhaam
Shahood
Fatah
Gnosis of Allah
Fanaa
Sair illallah
Fana fillah
Sair min Allah
Baqaa billah
Types
Beginning muraqabas
Middle muraqabas
Higher muraqabas
35 Lessons of the Naqshbandi Mujaddidi Order
See also
References
Further reading

Stages
Here are the maqamat (Arabic: ‫ ﻣﻘﺎﻣﺎت‬stages) in which Sufis have broadly categorised their journey of ascension. The
categorization is an arbitrary one, and each level is generally further divided into several sublevels. During the process of
enlightenment, some stages can merge or overlap each other.

Fana fi Shaikh - Become One or Annihilated in or with the Master


, Guru, Teacher or Murshid
Fana Fi Rasul sm - Become One and Annihilated in or with Muhammad
Fana Fil Quran- Become One and Annihilated with or in Quran and its commandments.
Fanafillah - Become One and Annihilated in or with God.

Somnolence
This is the starting level of meditation. A person who starts meditation often enters a somnolent or sleep state (ghanood ‫)ﻏﻨﻮد‬. With
the passage of time, the person goes into a state between sleep and wakefulness. The person can remember seeing something but not
specifically what it is.
Adraak
(Arabic: ‫ إدراك‬- cognition) With continuous practice of meditation, the sleepiness from meditation decreases. When the conscious
mind is not suppressed by sleep and is able to focus, the person can receive the spiritual knowledge from his subconscious mind. At
this stage, the person is unable to see or hear anything but is able toexperience or perceive it.

Warood
(Arabic: ‫ ورود‬coming, beginning) When adraak (experience) becomes deep, it is exhibited as sight. The stage of warood starts when
mental concentration is sustained and somnolence is at its minimum. As soon as the mind is focused, the spiritual eye is activated.
The conscious mind is not used to see through the spiritual eye so concentration comes and goes. Gradually, the mind gets used to
this kind of visions, and the mental focus is sustained. With practice, the visions/experience becomes so deep that the person starts
considering himself a part of the experience rather than considering himself an
observer.

Gnosis of the universe

Kashaf' / Ilhaam
Kashaf, or Ilhaam (Arabic: ‫اﻟﻬﺎم‬/‫ ﻛﺸﻒ‬unveiling of arcane knowledge) is the stage of starting to get information that most other
people are unable to observe. In the beginning, this occurs suddenly, without personal control. With practice, the mind gets so
energized that it can get this knowledge by will.

Shahood
(Arabic: ‫ ﺷﻬﻮد‬evidence) A person can get any information about any event/person at will. This stage is broadly categorized
according to activation of thesenses:

1. The person can see things anywhere in the universe


2. The person can hear things anywhere in the universe
3. The person can smell things anywhere in the universe
4. The person can touch things anywhere in the universe (hadith)
5. These are all spiritual senses, known as Hawas-e-Batin (senses of the innermost).

Fatah
(Arabic: ‫ ﻓﺘﺢ‬opening, victory) Closing eyes is no longer necessary for meditation. The person is freed from both space and time and
can see/hear/taste/touch anything present anywhere in time and space.

Gnosis of Allah

Fanaa
(Arabic: ‫ ﻓﻨﺎء‬extinction, annihilation) Through a series of stages (maqamat) and subjective experiences (ahwal), this process of
absorbation develops until complete annihilation of the self (fana) takes place, and the person becomes al-insanul-kamil, the "perfect
man". It is the disintegration of a person's narrow self-concept, social self and limited intellect (feeling like a drop of water aware of
being part of the ocean). The stage is also called Fana fit tawheed ("extinction with the unity"), and Fana fil Haq (Extinction in the
reality).

Sair illallah
(Arabic: ‫ﺳﻴﺮ اﻟﻰ اﻟﻠﻪ‬
ٌ journey towards the God) The person starts his spiritual journey towards the ultimate reality of the universe,
God. It is also called Safr-e-Urooji.

Fana fillah
(Arabic: ‫ ﻓﻨﺎء ﻓﻲ اﻟﻠﻪ‬Extinction of the self in God) One of the important phases of mystical experience is attained by the grace of
God by a traveller on the mystical path. Now, the person becomes extinct in the will of God. It is important to mention that this is not
incarnation or union. Most Sufis passing through this experience have preferred to live in the greatest depth of silence, which
transcends all forms and sounds and to enjoy their union with the beloved.

The highest stage of fana is reached when even theconsciousness of having attained fana disappears. This is what
the Sufis call "the passing-away of passing-away" fana( al-fana). The mystic is now wrapped incontemplation of the
divine essence (Nicholson, The Mystics of Islam, p. 60).
Since it is a state of complete annihilation ofcarnal self, absorbation or intoxication in God, the pilgrim is unable to
participate in worldly affairs, and he is made to pass into another state known asFana-al-Fana (forgetfulness of
annihilation). It is a sort ofoblivion of unconsciousness. Since two negatives make one positive, the pilgrim at this
stage regains the individuality he had when he started the journey . The only difference is that in the beginning, he
was self-conscious, but after having reposed in the Divine Being, he regains that sort of individuality that is God-
consciousness or absorbation in God. This state is known asBaqa-bi-Allah: living or subsisting with God (Alhaj
W.B.S. Rabbani, Gems of Sufi Gnosticism).

Sair min Allah


(Arabic: ‫ ﺳﻴﺮ ﻣﻦ اﻟﻠﻪ‬journey from the God) Here the person comes back to his existence. It is also called
Safr-e-Nuzooli.

No one can subsist with God, and to believe as such is shirk. What really happens is the person's awareness of God increases so much
so that he forgets his own self and is totally lost inhis magnificence.

Baqaa billah
(Arabic: ‫ ﺑﻘﺎء ﺑﺎﻟﻠﻪ‬eternal life in God The Creator) This is the state in which man comes back to his existence and God appoints him
to guide the humans. The individual is part of the world but unconcerned about rewards or position in the world. The doctrine is
further explained in Sahih Bukhari, which states that God said:

And the most beloved things with which My slave comes nearer to Me, is what I have
enjoined upon him; and My slave keeps on coming closer to Me through performing Nawafil
(praying or doing extra deeds besides what is obligatory) till I love him, so I become his
sense of hearing with which he hears, and his sense of sight with which he sees, and his
hand with which he grips, and his leg with which he walks.[1]

There is another verse from Qur'an that is used to explain this concept:

We are nearer to him than his jugular vein.(50:16)

When Sufis have come out of the Fana fillah state and enter Baqa billah, many of them have produced works of unsurpassed glory,
especially in the fields of philosophy, literature and music. Such works have crowned the culture of the entire Islamic world and
inspired Sufis and non-Sufis for generations. As the great Persian Sufi poet, Hafez of Shiraz, fondly remembered as the "tongue of
the unseen", said centuries ago: "He whose heart is alive with love, never dies". The
Qur'an says:

"Lo, indeed, the friends of God have no fear, nor are they grieved".

Types
There are many different kinds of muraqaba practiced in various Sufi schools in different parts of the world. Here is a list of the most
common ones.
Beginning muraqabas
1. Muraqaba of light

These are usually used for beginners, or for cure of variousdiseases.

Violet
Indigo
Blue
Turquoise
Green
Yellow
Orange
Pink
Red
2. Ihsan
3. Nūr (invisible light)
4. Haatif-e-Ghabi (unhearable sound of the cosmos)
5. Names of God: getting acquaintance with attributes of God
6. Allah (Proper name of God): the final level of Muraqaba of names of God.

Middle muraqabas
1. Maot (Arabic: ‫ ﻣﻮت‬Death): getting acquaintance with life after death
2. Qalb (Arabic: ‫ ﻗﻠﺐ‬Heart): getting acquaintance with the spiritual heart
3. Wahdat (Arabic: ‫ وﺣﺪه‬Unity): getting acquaintance with the reason behind cosmic unity
, God's will
4. La (Arabic: ‫ ﻻ‬Nothingness): getting acquaintance the non-material universe

Adam (Pre-existence), the next level of Muraqaba of Nothingness.

5. Fana (Arabic: ‫ ﻓﻨﺎء‬Annihilation): the annihilation of self, getting acquaintance with thealpha and omega of universe.

Higher muraqabas
1. Tasawwur-e-Sheikh (Arabic: ‫ ﺗﺼﻮر اﻟﺸﻴﺦ‬Focusing mind on master): to facilitate the transfer of spiritual knowledge
from master to student.
2. Tasawwur-e-Rasool (Arabic: ‫ ﺗﺼﻮر اﻟﺮﺳﻮل‬Focusing mind on prophet): to facilitate the transfer ofFaiz (arcane
spiritual knowledge) from prophet to student. This focusing of mind is done on Muhammad.
3. Tasawwur-e-zat-e-Ilaahi (Arabic: ‫ ﺗﺼﻮر اﻟﺬا اﻻﻫﻲ‬Focusing Mind on God): the student experiences theTajalli-e-Zaat of
God.
4. Muraqba of Martaba-e-Ihsan(Arabic:‫ ﻣﺮﺗﺒ اﺣﺴﺎن‬Focusing Mind on the perfection of Faith): Mohammad said, "Y
ou
should offer Salat as if you are watching Allah. If you cannot do that, then offer Salat as if Allah is watching you.
These are two kinds of Muraqba of Murtaba-e-Ihsan".

35 Lessons of the Naqshbandi Mujaddidi Order


The Naqshbandi Mujaddidi order has 35 lessons.They are all related to getting closer to Allah and receiving faiz and nur
.

See also
Nafs
Tazkiah

References
1. "Cmje" (http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/hadithsunnah/bukhari/076.sbt.html#008.076.509)
. usc.edu.

Further reading
Khwaja Shamsuddin Azeemi(2005) Muraqaba: The Art and Science of Sufi Meditation
. Houston: Plato, 2005,
ISBN 0-9758875-4-8

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