Naqshbandi Terms

Terms used in the Naqshbandiya order:

Shuyookh in the Naqshbandi order/silsila use certain terms (istilahaat) on which this silsila is based.

These terminologies are in Persian and preserved for the tarbiyah, tazkiyah and ta’leem of the salik.

Initially there were 8 of these terms coined by Hazrat Shaykh Abudul Khaliq Ghajdawani rehamullahu

ta’ala, after a certain period of time Hazrat Bahauddin Naqshband rehamullahu ta’ala added 3 more

teachings for the disciple’s tazkiyah.

These teachings are given below:

1. Hosh der dum:

Hosh dar dum is a Persian phrase which means “To be vigilant and attentive on each and every breath”.

It means that every single breath that the salik takes, he’/she should be in a state of zikr and remembrance

of Allah subhan wa ta’ala. The salik should attention towards his/her heart at all times, so that each and

every moment is spent in the remembrance of Allah subhan wa ta’ala.

2. Nazar bar Qadam:

This is also a Persian phrase which means “keeping ones gaze on ones feet”. The salik should, at all

times, lower his/her gaze while walking so that he doesn’t get distracted by the materialistic world.

Mashaykh e Naqshband state that it is wajib for the salik to keep his sight on his/her feet and cast down

his/her gaze so that it does not fall upon non-mehram and he/she doesn’t see anything, which Allah

subhan wa ta’ala has made impermissible for him/her to see, so that the salik doesn’t lose focus.

3. Safar der Watan:

This Persian phrase means “Journey of the soul”. Basically this phrase states about the journey of the

salik’s inner soul (batin) from the negative attributes such as jealousy, slander, back biting, conceit,

ostentation, etc., which are commonly known as “Akhlaq-e-Razila”, to positive attributes such as

patience, humility, mercy, love for Allah, etc., known as “Akhlaq-e-Hameeda” (Noble/praised attributes)

or sometimes known as “Akhlaq-e-Malakiyah” (angelic attributes). This means that the salik is on a

continuous journey towards positivity and this can be achieved with consistency in zikr, muraqabah and

following the Sunnah in all chores of life. Thus by negating the Akhlaq-e-Razila and purifying oneself

with zikr and sunnah the salik will cover this journey and reach Akhlaq-e-Hameeda.

4. Khulwat der Anjuman:

This builds upon and proceeds from Safar dar Watan, after a person successfully does safar der watan

then this becomes easy. Khulwat dr Anjuman literally means “seclusion in a crowd”. This means that the

heart of the salik should become so absorbed in the zikr of Allah subhan wa ta’ala that in every single

state, whenever he is walking, sleeping, sitting, working or doing any other action, his heart remains a

zakir and remember Allah subhan wa ta’ala. This basically means that the salik’s attention and focus in

zikr (remembrance of Allah subhan wa ta’ala) is so strong that his heart secludes itself, into the state of

zikr, even if the salik is in a the midst of a large crowd, nothing distracting him/her from the zikr of Allah

subhan wa ta’ala.

5. Yaad karad:

Yaad karad means “To Remember/ To do Zikr”. This means that the salik should do the daily zikr and

muraqabah, assigned by the Shaykh to the salik. The salik should do the zikr and muraqabah according to

the instructions, by the shaykh and not skip it, or take it for granted and do this zikr with immense love

and concentration as this will let the salik achieve “huzoor-e-qalb” which means that his/her heart will

remain present on the remembrance of Allah subhan wa ta’ala. Therefore remaining regular, in ones zikr

azkaar, in our regular life is extremely important.

6. Baaz Gasht:

Baaz Gasht specifically refers to the salik/disciple who is on the 8th lesson, (but can be used

generally). It is a dua (supplication) in Urdu/Persian, which the salik is supposed to make while

doing the 8th lesson. When the salik is on the 8th lesson, which is Zikr of Nafī Asbāt or Habs-e-

dum, which is to recite Lā Ilāha IllAllāh (لا اله الّا الله) silently without using our physical tongue,

odd number of times, he/she should pause from time to time and recite this dua.

Persian: “خداوندا مقصود من توئي و رضاي تو، مرا محبت و معرفت خود بده”.

(Khudawanda! Maqsoode mun toi wa razaaiy tu mera muhabbat wa ma’arifat khud biday)

This means, “Oh Allah! In myself, You are the purpose of my desire and your pleasure is my object, Oh

Allah! Grant me your muhabbat (love) and ma’arifat (intimate knowledge and understanding of

yourself)”. This dua should be recited with complete humility and effacement so that, if for instance, the

salik is deluded because of the sweetness of zikr or any negative attributes like pride and arrogance start

crossing his/her soul, they fade away due to the barakah of this dua.

7. Nigahdaasht:

This is the mark of the auliya Allah and very difficult to achieve, it means to be watchful over our

thoughts. It means that the salik should keep the thoughts and whispers of his /her nafs (soul), from

entering into his/her qalb (heart). This is possible, when the salik, immediately drives the thought away

and remove it, as soon as it crosses his mind, because if it enter his/her heart, it becomes extremely

difficult to remove them. The best way to do this is divert ones thought from that whisper and not pay

attention to it. This requires extremely strong will power and stamina; therefore it is advisable that, one

should busy himself/herself in the zikr of Allah subhan wa ta’ala so that the thought itself fades away. If

both the above methods are difficult for the salik, then he/she should imagine the image of his/her shaykh

(with a correct aqeedah/belief, that the shaykh is not his/her maqsood/the object of one’s desire or

yearning), so that the whisper fades away due to the barakah of the shaykh.

8. Yaad Daasht:

This means “To Keep ones Focus”. The salik should focus his/her thoughts (tawajjuh) purely, directed

towards Allah subhan wa ta’ala rather than keep his/her unadulterated focus on Allah subhan wa ta’ala.

This means that the salik should not remember Allah subhan wa ta’ala through the use of words (Asma-e-

Husna) or thoughts (thinking about His mercy and generosity or Day of judgment, etc.) but remember

Allah subhan wa ta’ala such that he/she is perpetually aware of Him. Salik should understand the fact that

Allah subhan wa ta’ala is watching him/her at all times. This realization should be made in general terms

and not in terms of Allah subhan wa ta’ala’s rehmat or barakat. This awareness is not possible without

Fana-e-Haqiqi (annihilation and absorbment of Allah subhan wa ta’ala) and Baqa-e-Kamil (complete and

perfect subsistence of Allah subhan wa ta’ala after returning to this world).

9. Wuqoof e Zamani:

This means “To be Aware of the Passing of Time”. The salik should be aware of his/her state (kaifiyat) at

all times, as to whether he/she is on the straight path or not. If at any case he/she goes astray, the salik

should immediately repent and make taubah and Istighfaar.

10. Wuqoof e Adadi:

This means “To be Aware of the Number”. This term is also specific to the 8th lesson, stating that the zikr

made in the 8th lesson should be of odd number. This is due to the hadees e mubarika which states

“Allah is one (odd) and He loves (those things which are in) odd (number).”

11. Wuqoof e Qalbi:

Wuqoof means to be ever vigilant over one’s heart (spiritual heart, the abode of feelings and emotions)

and maintain the focus of one’s heart towards Allah. To acquire the state of wuqoof-e-qalbi, the salik

must remain conscious that Allah subhan wa ta’ala is watching him at all times. Therefore his

concentration should be towards the tawajjuh of Allah subhan wa ta’ala.

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