On the Double Meaning of Fanaa’

On the double meaning of Fanaa’ by Alexander Knysh

“The first [definition] presents fanaa’ as the passing away of all things from the consciousness of the mystic, including self-perception; this experiential vacuum is filled by a pure consciousness of God that preludes any perception of the other. In the second definition, fanaa’ is described as the “falling away” of the imperfect attributes of the fallible creature and their replacement by the perfect attributes of the Divine Self. Unlike Nirvana, wit which fanaa’ is often compared in Western studies of Sufism, these definitions of fanaa’ present it not as a mere cessation of individual experience, but as the development of a more ample and perfect selfhood that is adorned by divine presence”.


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