Ma'rifa

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In Sufism, ma'rifa (Arabic: معرفة‎, translit. ma‘rifah, lit. 'knowledge'‎) describes the mystical intuitive knowledge of spiritual truth reached through ecstatic experiences, rather than revealed or rationally acquired.

In one of the earliest accounts of the Maqamat-l arba'in ("forty stations") in Sufism, Sufi master Abu Said ibn Abi'l-Khayr lists ma'rifa as the 25th station: "Through all the creatures of the two worlds, and through all the people, they perceive Allah, and there is no accusation to be made of their perception."[citation needed]

Marifat is one of the "Four Doors" of Sufism:

  • Sharia (Arabic: شريعة‎‎) : legal path.
  • Tariqa (Arabic: طريقة‎‎) : methodico‑esoteric path.
  • Haqiqa (Arabic: حقيقة‎‎) : mystical truth / verity.
  • Ma'rifa (Arabic: معرفة‎‎) : mystical knowledge & awareness, mysticism.

A metaphor to explain the meaning of ma'rifa involves pearl gathering. Shari'a is the boat; tariqa is represented by the pearl gatherer's rowing; haqiqa is the pearl; and ma'rifa is the ability to tell the difference between true and false pearls.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Geertz, Clifford (1976). The religion of Java. University of Chicago Press. p. 183. Retrieved 20 December 2016. 

Works cited[edit]

  • Damadi, M. (April 1971). Maqamat-l arba'in. 
  • Gulen, M. Fethullah (2004). Key Concepts in the Practice of Sufism, Emerald hills of the heart. 2. p. 135.