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In Sufism, the spiritual path toward direct knowledge of God. For early Sufi mystics, the term referred to an individual's spiritual path; later it came to mean the path advocated by a particular school or order of Sufis and then of the order itself. Each mystic order claimed a chain of spiritual descent from Muhammad. Today Sufi tariqah number in the hundreds.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on tariqah, visit Britannica.com.
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