Marifa (Arabic: المعرفة‎), which literally means knowledge, is the term used by Sufi Muslims to describe 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 marifa 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."

Marifa in the four spiritual stations

The stage of ma'rifat is described as imperceptible, and accordingly, it can not be communicated through corporeal means, but it can be attained by anybody. The four spiritual stations are as follows:


This station is an affirmation that Allah is the only God, the one to be followed, above even one's own desires


The application of such oath is to follow all that God said in the Holy Qur'an. The result when one follows the Qur'an: one becomes a law abiding citizen of this universe, and harmless and a kind and a generous person...


Marifa is the third station. "In one respect, it is said to be a light that illumines and clarifies, but in another respect its very brilliance dazzles, blinds, and ultimately extinguishes the one designated as a ‘knower’ (al-arif)." [1]


The final stage of haqiqa is the station of a man whereby all his affairs in life are consistent with all that God commands in the Holy Qur'an. At this time, this person reflects nothing but the truth ("haqq"), and his or her life subsides only with Allah.


  • M. Damadi, Translation of Maqamat-l arba' in April 1971
  • M. Fethullah Gulen, Key Concepts in the Practice of Sufism, Emerald hills of the heart. Vol 2, p135, 2004


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