G̲h̲ayba
(540 words)

( maṣdar of g̲h̲āba ) means “absence”, often “absence of mind”. The latter sense was developed by the Ṣūfīs as the obverse of ḥaḍra [q.v.], absence from the creation and presence with God. The word is also used for the condition of anyone who has been withdrawn by God from the eyes of men and whose life during that period (called his g̲h̲ayba) may have been miraculously prolonged. It is so used of al-Ḵh̲aḍir [q.v.]. A number of S̲h̲īʿī groups have recognized the g̲h̲ayba, in the latter sense, of one or another imām, with the implication that no further imām was to succeed him and he was to re…

Cite this page
MacDonald, D.B. and Hodgson, M.G.S., “G̲h̲ayba”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Consulted online on 25 November 2017 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1573-3912_islam_SIM_2479>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004161214, 1960-2007



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