Fana (Sufism)

Fanaa (Arabic: فناءfanāʾ ) is the Sufi term for "passing away" or "annihilation" (of the self).[1] Fana means "to die before one dies", a concept highlighted by famous notable Muslim saints such as Rumi and later by Sultan Bahoo.[2] Fana represents a breaking down of the individual ego and a recognition of the fundamental unity of God, creation, and the individual self.[1] Persons having entered this enlightened state obtain awareness of the intrinsic unity (Tawhid) between Allah and all that exists, including the individual's mind. It is coupled conceptually with baqaa, subsistence, which is the state of pure consciousness of and abidance in God.[3]


  • Early Sources 1
  • Stages of Fana 2
    • Fana fi Shaikh 2.1
    • Fana fi Rasool 2.2
    • Fana Fillah 2.3
  • See also 3
  • References 4

Early Sources

Muslim scholars insist, that similar to other Sufi doctrines, Fana also based purely on the Islamic teachings. The Quran says:

The state of Fana is represented by Rumi in Book Six of the Mathnawi where he writes:

In his book, Ain-ul-Faqr, Sultan Bahoo talks about spiritual levels of which Fana is one:

The words reveal the journey of Oneness where 'four' means he, his Murshid, Rasool and Allah. When he annihilates in his Murshid, he remains 'three'. Then he annihilates in Rasool and he remains 'two'. Finally when he annihilates in Allah, he becomes 'One'. Hence, his journey of Fana(annihilation) completes and he becomes the Universal Man.[6]

Stages of Fana

This explains that there are in fact three basic stages of Fana.[7]

Fana fi Shaikh

This is the first level of Fana where the seeker annihilates in the being of his Murshid. This is only possible through Ishq-e-Murshid.

Fana fi Rasool

This is the second level of Fana where the seeker annihilates in the being of Rasool. This is only possible through Ishq-e-Rasool.

Fana Fillah

This is the third and final stage of Fana where the seeker annihilates in the essence of Allah attained only through Ishq-e-Haqeeqi.

See also


  1. ^ a b Harmless, William. Mystics. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008
  2. ^ Sult̤ān Bāhū (1998). Death Before Dying: The Sufi Poems of Sultan Bahu. University of California Press.  
  3. ^ "Fana in Sufism". Britannica. 
  4. ^ 7 Renowned Translations, Arabic to English Translation. "Surat-L-Rehman 165". 
  5. ^ NICHOLSON, REYNOLD ALLEYNE, ed. The Mathnawí of Jalálu’ddín Rúmí. Poetry Soup. p.132, verses 2095-2096.
  6. ^ Hazrat Sakhi Sultan, Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman. The Universal Man (Insan-e-Kamil). Sultan-ul-Faqr Publications Regd. p. 277.  
  7. ^ Hazrat Sakhi Sultan, Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman. Stages of Annhilation. Sultan-ul-Faqr Publications Regd. p. 288.