Batin (Islam)

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Batin (Arabic: باطن) literally means 'inner', 'inward', 'hidden', etc. The Quran, for instance, has a hidden meaning in contrast to its exterior or apparent meaning (the Zahir). Sufis believe that likewise, every individual has a batin which is the world of souls. This is the inward self of the individual which when cleansed with the light of one's spiritual guide, elevates a person spiritually.[1][2] This notion is connected to Allah's attribute of Al-Batin i.e. the Hidden One who cannot be seen but exists in every realm.

Muslim groups believe that the bāṭen[3] can only be fully understood and interpreted by a figure with esoteric knowledge, who for Shia Muslims is the Imam of the Time.

In a wider sense, bāṭen[3] can refer to the inner meaning or reality behind all existence, the ẓāher[3] being the world of form and apparent meaning. It may also refer to the unseen world of angels and jinns as described in the Quran. In short, anything that is hidden as opposed to that which is evident is bāṭen or hidden and unseen.

See also


  1. Daftary, Farhad (2000). Intellectual traditions in Islam New York: St. Martins Press. ISBN 186064760X . page 90.
  2. Gleave, Robert (2011). Islam and literalism: Literal meaning and interpretation in Islamic legal theory. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. ISBN 0748631135. Page 64.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Radtke, B. "BĀṬEN". Encyclopedia Iranica. Retrieved 9 July 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links