What Are the 7 Stages of Sufi Ishq: A Comprehensive Guide

Sufi mysticism is a rich and complex tradition that’s been around for centuries. Many people are drawn to Sufi teachings because of their emphasis on the importance of love, compassion, and devotion to God. Sufis believe that the ultimate goal of human life is to achieve a deep and profound connection with the divine. To this end, they’ve developed a series of stages or levels that a person must pass through in order to reach a state of spiritual enlightenment. These stages are known as the 7 stages of sufi ishq, and they describe a gradual progression from attraction and attachment to complete surrender to the will of God. Each stage has it’s own characteristics and challenges, and requires a different level of commitment and dedication. While the path to enlightenment is never easy, the reward for those who persevere is a deep and abiding sense of peace and contentment, and a profound connection to the divine.

What Are the Steps of Sufism?

Sufism is a mystical Islamic practice that emphasizes the attainment of spiritual enlightenment and union with God. Sufis believe that the path towards this goal involves four distinct stages, each building on the previous one.

The first stage is sharia, which represents the outer, exoteric aspect of Islam. This stage involves following the basic teachings and rituals of Islam, such as prayer, fasting, and giving to charity. Sufis see sharia as a necessary foundation for spiritual growth, as it helps to purify the soul and cultivate good character.

The second stage is tariqa, which represents the inner, esoteric aspect of Islam. This stage involves following a spiritual guide or teacher who can help the seeker to deepen their understanding of Islamic teachings and practices, and develop a closer relationship with God. Tariqa also involves the performance of certain spiritual practices, such as meditation, chanting, and breathing exercises.

The third stage is haqiqa, which represents the mystical truth of Islam. This stage involves experiencing a deeper, more direct connection with God, usually through states of ecstasy or mystical visions. Haqiqa is said to involve a complete surrender of the self to God, and a realization of the unity and oneness of all things.

The final stage is marifa, which represents the ultimate mystical knowledge of Islam. This stage involves a complete merging with God, and a realization of ones own true nature as a divine being. Marifa is said to be a state of complete bliss and illumination, where the seeker experiences the highest levels of spiritual enlightenment.

While it’s possible to practice Sufism independently, many Sufis belong to specific orders or brotherhoods, known as tariqas. These groups typically have a spiritual leader or shaykh who serves as a guide and teacher, and who’s believed to possess deep spiritual knowledge and insight.

The stages of Sufism are an important part of Sufic psychology and involve a deep exploration of the self and it’s different levels. These stages are crucial for personal growth and are seen as a pathway to achieving spiritual enlightenment. Let’s take a closer look at each of the seven stages and what they entail.

What Are the 7 Stages of Sufism?

The first level of Sufism is the tyrannical self, which is characterized by impulsive and selfish behavior. This level is marked by a lack of self-awareness and an inability to recognize ones faults. In order to progress to the next level, the individual must become aware of their limitations and begin to work on themselves.

The second level is the regretful self, which is marked by a sense of remorse for past mistakes and a desire to change. This level is characterized by humility and a willingness to accept responsibility for ones actions.

The third level is the inspired self, which is marked by a sense of purpose and direction in life. This level is characterized by a dedication to spiritual practice and a desire to serve others. In order to progress to the next level, the individual must continue to deepen their spiritual practice and cultivate a sense of compassion and generosity.

The fourth level is the serene self, which is marked by a sense of inner peace and contentment. This level is characterized by an ability to stay calm and centered in the face of adversity. In order to progress to the next level, the individual must continue to cultivate inner stillness and surrender to the will of the divine.

The fifth level is the pleased self, which is marked by a sense of gratitude and joy in life. This level is characterized by an appreciation for the blessings of the present moment and a celebration of lifes joys. In order to progress to the next level, the individual must continue to cultivate a sense of gratitude and maintain a positive outlook on life.

The sixth level is the pleasing self, which is marked by a sense of harmony and balance in all aspects of life. This level is characterized by an ability to navigate relationships and situations with ease and grace. In order to progress to the final level, the individual must continue to cultivate balance and harmony in all aspects of life.

The final level is the pure self, which is marked by complete surrender and union with the divine. This level is characterized by a sense of oneness with all things and an ability to see the divine in all aspects of life. Achieving this level is the ultimate goal of Sufism and requires a lifetime of dedication and spiritual practice.

Source: Sufi psychology – Wikipedia

Sufism is a mystical tradition within Islam that emphasizes the inner search for God and the attainment of spiritual knowledge. There are four main Sufi orders that have their roots in different parts of the Islamic world. The Chishti, Qadiriyya, Suhrawardiyya, and Naqshbandi orders all have unique practices and beliefs, but share a common goal of seeking a deeper connection with the divine. In India, all four orders have been practiced and have had a significant impact on the country’s spiritual and cultural traditions.

What Are the 4 Types of Sufism?

Sufism has been a prevalent mystical practice within Islam, and over time, different interpretations and schools of thought emerged. One of the most significant categorizations of Sufi orders is into four distinct groups, each with it’s particular focus and practices. The Chishti order, for example, emphasizes love, tolerance, and openness, with origins tracing back to Abu Ishaq Shami in Chisht, Afghanistan, around 930 AD.

The Qadiriyya order, on the other hand, draws it’s name from Abdul Qadir Gilani, a Hanbali scholar from Gilan, Iran. This Sunni Sufi order relies heavily on the fundamentals of Islamic law and adherence to them. It’s one of the most influential and widespread Sufi orders globally, with large followings especially in Turkey, Iraq, and South Asia.

Another important Sufi order is Suhrawardiyya, which focuses on the inner spiritual dimensions of Islam and emphasizes following the Prophets sunnah or way of life. It’s named after it’s founder, Shihab al-Din Suhrawardi, who lived in the 12th century. This order is distinct not only in it’s spiritual teachings but also in it’s initiatory practices.

The Naqshbandi order is another major Sunni Sufi order that traces it’s spiritual lineage to the Prophet Muhammad through Abu Bakr and Ali. The name derives from Baha-ud-Din Naqshband Bukhari, who lived in the 14th century in Central Asia. This order emphasizes the importance of silent remembrance of God (dhikr) and adhering to Islamic law.

All four Sufi orders played significant roles in the spread of Islam in various regions, including India, where they left profound impacts on the countrys cultural and religious landscape. Many scholars and spiritual leaders emerged from these orders, contributing to the development of Sufi literature, music, and art.

While these categories aren’t exclusive, they help classify the many different expressions of Sufism that exist today.

A Deeper Exploration of the Historic Origins and Evolution of Sufism as a Mystical Practice Within Islam

This article examines the origins and growth of Sufism, a mystical Islamic practice, throughout history. It delves into the teachings and beliefs of Sufism, as well as it’s relationship with mainstream Islam. This analysis aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of Sufism and it’s impact on Islamic culture and spirituality.

Love has been a pervasive theme in literature and art for centuries, inspiring many poets and thinkers to explore it’s nuances and depths. Sufism, a mystical branch of Islam, also has a unique perspective on love. According to Sufi scholars, love has seven stages, each marked by a different emotion and experience. These stages are hub, uns, ishq, akidat, ibadat, junoon, and maut. Let’s explore each of these stages and what they signify in the context of Sufi teachings.

What Are the 7 Stages of Love in Sufism?

Sufi literature is home to a vast wealth of wisdom and insight on life, spirituality and love. In the Sufi tradition, love isnt just seen as an emotion, but rather as a journey that brings one closer to the divine. This journey is marked by seven stages of love, which are central to Arabic literature. These seven stages are believed to encompass the entire experience of love, from the initial attraction to the ultimate surrender to the divine.

The first stage in this journey is hub, or attraction. This is the first glimpse of someone or something that catches our attention and draws us towards it. It’s an initial spark of interest that sets the wheels in motion for the journey ahead.

Next comes uns, which is infatuation. This is the stage where we become infatuated with the object of our attention, and start to experience feelings of elation and excitement. This is a time when we want to be around that person or thing all the time, and our lives start to revolve around them.

Third is ishq, or love. This is the stage where our feelings go deeper, and we start to develop a genuine love for the object of our affection. We start to see them as more than just an object of desire, but as a whole person with flaws and imperfections that we accept and cherish.

The next stage is akidat, which translates to trust or reverence. At this point in the journey, our love has grown so deep that we begin to trust and admire the other person completely. We develop a sense of reverence towards them and the relationship we’ve built.

After akidat comes ibadat, or worship. This is the stage where we begin to see our love as a form of worship, and we start to elevate it to a higher level. We start to see our loved one as a manifestation of the divine, and we worship them as an expression of this deep love.

The penultimate stage is junoon, which is madness. This is the stage where all rationality gives way to pure passion, and we’re consumed by our love. We act recklessly, casting aside all reason in the name of love.

Finally, the journey ends in maut, or death. This is the ultimate surrender to the divine, where we give ourselves over completely to our love. We die to our old selves, and are reborn in the light of our love for God and our beloved.

They offer a roadmap for those seeking to deepen their understanding of love, and provide a glimpse into the beautiful, transformative power of love in all it’s forms.

How Do These Stages Differ From Traditional Western Views of Love?

This topic discusses the differences between traditional Western views of love and the stages of love.


These stages aren’t merely emotions or feelings, but rather a transformative process involving the purification of the soul and the attainment of true love and devotion. The Sufi path requires a tremendous amount of effort, devotion, and commitment. However, those who embark upon this journey find themselves increasingly free from the constraints of the ego, worldly desires, and suffering. Ultimately, the culmination of this journey leads to a state of being where one is consumed by love and turns away from the material world, embracing the eternal and sublime.