Spiritual stage that serves as a milestone on the path followed by Muslim mystics (Sufis) as they strive to reach the vision of and union with God.

The Sufi progresses through his own spiritual efforts and through the guidance of sheikhs. In each maqām the Sufi strives to purify himself of all worldly inclinations and prepare himself to attain an ever higher spiritual level. Most Sufis identify seven major maqāms: repentance, fear of the Lord, renunciation, poverty, patience, trust, and satisfaction. See also Sufism.

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plural  maqāmāt 

      in music of the Middle East and parts of North Africa, a set of pitches and of characteristic melodic (melody type) elements, or motifs, and a traditional pattern of their use. Maqām is the principal melodic concept in Middle Eastern musical thought and practice (parallel to īqāʿāt in rhythm). Each performance of Arabic classical music is said to be cast in a maqām, whose attributes are a scale consisting of a collection of tones, characteristic motifs to which an improviser or composer consistently returns, and a distinct character perceived by the informed listener. (The notes used in the maqām are separated by the half tones and whole tones also found in Western music, as well as by three-quarter and five-quarter tones, which result from finer pitch distinctions than the West's half tone; see microtonal music.) Among the most prominent genres of Arabic music is the taqsīm, in which a performer modulates from the home maqām to others, eventually returning to the original point of departure. Approximately 50 maqāmāt are extant, but a small number are by far the most widely used. Chief among these are the maqāmāt of rāst, sabā, nahāwand, hijāz, hijāz-kar, ʿajam, and sīkā. The origin of many Arabic and Turkish maqām names is Persian, reflecting the considerable influence of Iranian culture throughout the Middle East in the formative period of this musical system.

      The concept is found also in Turkish music (spelled makam), in Azerbaijan (spelled mugam), and in Central Asia (spelled shashmakam [“six maqāmāt”] in Uzbek tradition), and it is similar to the concepts of dastgāh and gūsheh in Persian music. Very roughly, it is also related to the Indian concept of raga and to the concept of mode as practiced in medieval and Renaissance music in Europe.

Bruno Nettl

▪ Ṣūfism
      (Arabic: “place of residence”), a spiritual stage that periodically marks the long path followed by Muslim mystics (Sufis (Ṣūfism)) leading to the vision of and union with God. The Sufi progresses by means of his own mujāhadah (work, or self-mortification) and through the help and guidance of the masters (sheikhs). In each maqām the Sufi strives to purify himself from all worldly inclination and to prepare himself to attain an ever-higher spiritual level.

      The order and number of the māqams are not uniform among all Sufis. The majority, however, agree on seven major maqāms: (1) the maqām of tawbah (repentance), which does not mean remembrance of sins and atonement for them but rather forgetting them along with everything that distracts from the love of God; (2) the maqām of waraʿ (fear of the Lord), which is not fear of hellfire but rather the dread of being veiled eternally from God; (3) the maqām of zuhd (renunciation, or detachment), which means that the person is devoid of possessions and his heart is without acquisitiveness; (4) the maqām of faqr (poverty), in which he asserts his independence of worldly possessions and his need of God alone; (5) the maqām of abr (patience), the art of steadfastness; (6) the maqām of tawakkul (trust, or surrender), in which the Sufi knows that he cannot be discouraged by hardships and pain, for he is in total submission to God's will and finds joy even in his sorrows; (7) the maqām of riḍā (satisfaction), a state of quiet contentment and joy that comes from the anticipation of the long-sought union.

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Universalium. 2010.

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