Welcome to F.I.E.L.D.- the First Ismaili Electronic Library and Database.


Encyclopaedia of Ismailism by Mumtaz Ali Tajddin

"The two connotations of the root are ghaba'an, meaning to be absent and ghaba fi, meaning to be hidden. In current usage, ghayb signifies absence. More frequently ghayb indicates what is hidden, inaccessible to the senses and reason, thus at the same time absent from human knowledge and hidden in divine wisdom. It is to this second meaning that al-ghayb refers, as a technical term of the religious vocabulary. The Koran says: "Al-ghayb belongs only to God" (10:20) and "He has the keys of al-ghayb which are known only to Him" (6:59), etc. In sum, al-ghayb, the mystery may be understood in three meanings: The normal religious sense: The mystery of the divine decree, unknowable. The Invisible world: The magic, occultism and astrology try to penetrate. The Reality of the world: This is beyond the senses and discursive reason which gnosis experiences.

Back to top