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Khalwa (Arabic, also khalwat; lit., "solitude"; pronounced in Iran, "khalvat"; spelling in Turkish, halvet): 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 the like with the shaykh. Once a major element of Sufi practice, khalwa has become less frequent in recent years.

Other uses

  • 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".
  • The prayer-houses of the Druze are called khalwaat and are used in place of mosques.
  • The Sharia criminal offence of "close proximity" whereby two unmarried non-relatives of the opposite sex are apprehended after being found "in compromising positions" by state religious police.[1] [2][3]

See also

References


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