Encyclopaedia Islamica

Get access

Abdāl
(2,969 words)

Abdāl, the plural of badal or bidl meaning ‘substitute’ or ‘successor’, which can also mean ‘generous’ (karīm) and ‘noble’ (sharīf). This name is given to a group of God's servants who, amongst the awliyāʾ (‘friends of God’, saints), have attained a special spiritual station. The term attained particular importance in Sufi literature. The abdāl are deemed to comprise a group of a fixed number of individuals, such that whenever one of them dies, his place is filled by someone fr…

Cite this page
La-Shay', Hussein and Translated by Farzin Negahban, “Abdāl”, in: Encyclopaedia Islamica, Editors-in-Chief: Farhad Daftary. Consulted online on 03 March 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1875-9831_isla_COM_0023>
First published online: 2015



▲   Back to top   ▲