This study sheds light on the issue of seclusion as a means of education for Sufis and others. It presents the scholars’ concept of seclusion in language and convention. The study investigates some issues related to religious seclusions, demonstrates their conditions and how to perform them, identifies their types and their positive and negative effects, and presents the opinions of Muslim scholars and orientalists on the issue of seclusion. The study found that there are several types of seclusions, some of them can be used for religious purposes, such as Sufi seclusion, others for curative purposes, such as self-control and emotional stability. Sufi seclusions are similar – regarding their conditions and rituals – to some other ritual acts of other religions, particularly Christianity. Sufi Sheikhs established several conditions for seclusion, some of them are of a religious nature and consistent to the approach of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him), and others are exaggerated and intense. In addition to the different types of seclusions, the Sufi approaches also vary according to the duration of the seclusion and the type and number of dhikr.
Keywords: Comparative study, Muslim scholars, means of education, orientalists, seclusion
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