Sufism -- Sufis -- Sufi Orders

Sufism: Awakening to the Awareness of the Unmanifest World

At any moment in the course of following the Sufi path, Sufis may have an experience in which they become drawn into the presence of God. This experience has often been called jadhbah (attraction) or wajd (ecstasy) (lit. finding). Another way of speaking of this experience is to describe it as "awakening to the 'unmanifest or unseen world'(al-ghayb)." The following link, written by the Muslim scholars of the as-Sunnah Foundation, explains both the Prophet Muhammad's knowledge of the Unseen as well as the unveiling (kashf ) or knowledge of the Unseen that the "friends of God" or "saints" (awliya' ) attain. The above link was down on Oct. 20, 2005. A copy is archived at Questions on the Prophet's and Awliya's Knowledge of the Ghayb (Unseen) (This contains documented sources.)

In one of the more important works of early Persian literature, Kashf al-mahjub (Uncovering the veiled), Hujwiri, or Data Ganj Bakhsh as he is also known, in the 11th cent. CE discussed various views of Ma'rifah: Gnosis or Direct Knowledge of God, which is an important epistemological principle in Sufism. (Fixed Oct. 20, 2005)

Al-Ghazali's Treatise on Direct Knowledge from God: Introduction indicates the opinion of one of Islam's greatest scholars concerning the possibility that humans--aside from prophets--can attain "direct knowledge" from God.

For more on the unveiling of the unmanifest realm (kashf al-ghayb) see the article On Kashf and Mukashafat, also written by scholars of the as-Sunnah Foundation. The link was down on Oct. 20, 2005, but the page is archived at On Kashf and Mukaashafaat (Spiritual Unveilings)

Continue reading the introductory essay on Sufism

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