Khalwa

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Khalwa (Arabic, also khalwat; lit., "solitude"; pronounced in Iran, "khalvat"; spelling in Turkish, halvet).

Sufism[edit]

Retreat[edit]

In Sufism, a solitary retreat, traditionally for 40 days (see "chella"), during which a disciple does extensive spiritual exercises under the direction of a Sufi master.[1]

A Sufi murid will enter khalwa under the direction of a shaykh for a given period, sometimes for as long as 40 days, emerging only to pray and, usually, to discuss dreams, visions and live with the shaykh. Once a major element of Sufi practice, khalwa has become less frequent in recent years.

Other uses[edit]

  • A religious school is known as "a khalwa" in the Sudanese dialect of Arabic. This reflects the former dominance of Sufism in the Sudan.
  • The Khalwati order (Halveti) of Sufism derives its name from the term "khalwa".

Other contexts[edit]

In Malaysia, Muslims who are unmarried non-relatives of the opposite sex can be apprehended by state religious police under the offence of khalwat for being in "close proximity".[2]

Khalwat al-Bayada is the name of the prayer-houses of the Druze religion.

See also[edit]

References[edit]