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Maqam

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The Oxford Dictionary of Islam What is This? Covers the religious, political, and social spheres of global Islam in the modern world

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    Maqam

    (1) Station (pl. maqamat). Used by Sufis to refer to the stages or degrees along the path to illumination. The goal of the path is personal experience of divine reality. A maqam is a stage that can be achieved through human effort, as opposed to hal (grace), which is a gift from God. The stages are to be achieved through the guidance and authority of a shaykh. The number and order of maqamat vary from order to order. The term also refers to physical locations where a saint has revealed his occasional presence, typically a tomb, which is then developed into a shrine and serves as a location for communication with that saint. (2) A system of pitch organization in traditional Arabic music for creating melodies and improvisation within a scale. The beginning, end, and main notes of a musical suite are determined by the maqam.

    See also Hal

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