Lataif (The Spiritual Senses)

it may be mentioned that in Tasswwuf (Sufism), corresponding to the six physical senses of cognition, sight, hearing, touch, taste, smell and the hidden sixth sense, there are six spiritual senses of cognition to apprehend higher spiritual realities much beyond the scope of the physical. These are known as Lataif-e-Sitta.

Lataif is the plural of Latifa which means a subtle sense and Sitta means six. These are:

1- Latifa-i-Nafs  : (Sensual) is located under the navel and the colour of its light (Nur) is yellow.

2- Latifa-i-Qalb  : (Heart) lies in the left chest and the colour of its is red.

3- Latifa-i-Ruh  : (Soul) is in the right chest and the colour of its light is green.

4- Latifa-i-Sirr  : (Secret) is in between Latifa-i-Qalb and Latifa-i-Ruh, and the colour of its light is white.

5- Latifa-i-Khafi : (Hidden) is located in the middle of the forehead and the colour of its light is blue.

6- Latifa-i-Akhfa  : (Hidden-most) is located in the top of the head and the colour of its light is black.

These spiritual centres were first reported to exist by the Prophet of Islam in a Hadith which is as follows:

There is a piece of Flesh in the body called Qalb (heart), the heart is in the Soul, the Soul is in the Sirr, the Sirr is in the Khafi and the Khafi is in the Akhfa which is the Divine “I” (Ana).

The Six Corresponding Spiritual Worlds
Corresponding to six spiritual senses of cognition, there are six spiritual worlds, each capable of being comprehended by one of these senses. In Sufi terminology these are known as Tanazzulat-Sitta or the six stages of devolution or descent through which the Divine Being passes and manifests itself. These six stages are mentioned in the Quran as the six days in which Allah SWT created the universe. But according to Sufism these are the six cosmic stages of creation. The Sufi passes through al the six spiritual worlds practically, and reaching the final stage of Divine Essence, he achieves the state of Fana or complete absorption in GOD and imbibes His Attributes thereby winning for himself the title of Al-Insan-ul-Kamil – the perfect man. He is declared as the vicegerent of the Lord on earth. At this stage he sees by the sight of God, hears by the hearing of God and does everything by the power of God as referred to in a Hadith-i-Qudsi, sayings of the Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم and recorded by Bukhari, Muslim and other authentic collections. This shows how important and perfect is the science of Islamic spiritualism which not only solves the greatest riddle of all times, namely unfolding the secrets of creation, but at the same time furthers the cause of science which is now faced with a state of uncertainty and indeterminancy.