Sufi Concepts The Six
Realities of The Heart: Drawing from Qur'anic verses, virtually all Sufis distinguish Lataif-e-Sitta (The
Six Subtleties), Nafs, Qalb, Ruh, Sirr, Khafi & Akhfa. These lataif (singular : latifa) designate
various psychospiritual "organs", or faculties of sensory perception.
Sufic development involves the awakening of these spiritual centers of perception that lie dormant in an
individual. Each center is associated with a particular color and general area of the body, often with a
particular prophet, and varies from order to order. The help of a guide is considered necessary to help
activate these centers. After undergoing this process, the dervish is said to reach a certain type of
The person gets acquainted with the lataif one by one by Muraqaba (Sufi meditation), Dhikr (Remembrance
of God) and purification of one's psyche of negative thoughts, emotions, and actions. Loving God and
one's fellow, irrespective of his or her race, religion or nationality, and without consideration for
any possible reward, is the key to ascension according to Sufis.
These six "organs" or faculties: Nafs, Qalb, Ruh, Sirr, Khafi and Akhfa, and the purificative activities
applied to them, contain the basic orthodox Sufi philosophy. The purification of the elementary
passionate nature (Tazkiya-I-Nafs), followed by cleansing of the spiritual heart so that it may acquire
a mirror-like purity of reflection (Tazkiya-I-Qalb) and become the receptacle of God's love (Ishq) and
illumination of the spirit (Tajjali-I-Ruh). This process is fortified by emptying of egoic drives
(Taqliyya-I-Sirr) and remembrance of God's attributes (Dhikr), and completion of journey by purification
of the last two faculties, Khafi and Akhfa.