This article will explain the exoteric (ẓāhir), the esoteric (bāṭin), and ḥaqīqī (real) dimensions of the ḥajj (pilgrimage), the Ka‘ba (House of God, the Sacred Masjid) and the qiblah (direction of prayer). The ẓāhir belongs to domain of the sharī‘ah, the bāṭin is the path of the ṭarīqah, and the bāṭin al-bāṭin are the realities of the ḥaqīqah. Thus, there is a specific ḥajj, Ka‘bah, and qiblah for each of these three domains: each level serves as the symbol (mithāl) for the higher level and the inner meaning (ta’wīl) of the lower level. The ẓahir is a symbol of the bāṭin and the bāṭin is the esoteric meaning of the ẓāhir. It is likewise for the bāṭin and the bāṭin al-bāṭin.
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