Definitions for abdal
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word abdal
A religious devotee or dervish in Persia.
Origin: ابدال, plural of بدل, from بدل
a religious devotee or dervish in Persia
Origin: [Ar. badl, pl. abdl, a substitute, a good, religious man, saint, fr. badala to change, substitute.]
Abdal is a rank of forty saints, but more often the larger group of 356 saints in Sufi theosophy, only known to and appointed by Allah. It is through their operations that the world continues to exist. The term over time has come to include a greater hierarchy of saints, all of different rank and prestige. "Abdal" is the plural of "Badal" or rather "Badeel", and means "those who get replaced", "those who serve as a partial replacement to the role of the prophets" or "friends of God". The Abdals are the group of true, pure believers in God. They serve God during their lifetime; when they die, they are immediately replaced by another selected by God from a larger group said to be the 500 "Akhyar", i.e., the semi-divine good ones. The Abdals are headed by their leader, "Al-Ghawth", who is said to reside in Mecca. This leader is often referred to as the Qutb, which means "Pole" in Arabic. This leader though unknown to the public is usually sought out by all of the lower ranking members of the abdal. At various times in history, shaykhs have been known to publicly claim to be the Qutb, despite the tradition of remaining outside of the public eye. The missions of the Abdals are, inter alia, to be God's merciful subjects everywhere they reside and to render the helping blessing hand to all of God's creatures.
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