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The Expansion Of Prophetic Experience

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Chapter Summary

Abd al-Quddus of Gangoh, an Indian Sufi, found a most graceful way of conveying the difference between Sufi experiences and prophetic experiences. The Prophet of Islam underwent two levels of experience and Islam is a product of both: outward experience and inward experience. In his outward experience, he built the Medina, ran the citys affairs, went to war, confronted enemies, cultivated friends and so on. In his inward experience, there was revelation, ascension, reveries, insights and illuminations, and in these, too, he continued to excel and grow increasingly skilled. For religion to become increasingly perfected, it is necessary for the Prophet himself to become increasingly perfected, for religion is nothing other than the condensed sum and substance of his individual and social experiences. Now, in the absence of the Prophet, too, the inward and outward prophetic experiences must expand and grow, thereby enriching and strengthening religion.

Keywords: inward experience; outward experience; prophetic experience



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