spiritual stages in sufism

In this video Sheikh Burhanuddin is speaking during an intense retreat in Spain.

Spiritual stages in which sufis have broadly categorised their journey of ascension.


Fanaa is the Sufi term for “passing away” or “annihilation” (of the self).

Fanaa means “to die before one dies” and represents a breaking down of the individual

ego and a recognition of the fundamental unity of God, creation, and the individual self.

Persons having entered this enlightened state obtain awareness of the intrinsic unity

between God and all that exists, including the individual’s mind.

It is coupled conceptually with baqaa, subsistence, which is the state of pure

consciousness of and abidance in God.

Through a series of stages and subjective experiences, this process of absorbation

develops until complete annihilation of the self (fanaa) takes place and the person

becomes al-insanul-kamil, the “perfect man”.

It is the disintegration of a person’s narrow self-concept, social self- and limited intellect

(feeling like a drop of water aware of being part of the ocean).